For two years, I served as a representative to my medical school's student affairs committee.  My job was to convey medical student concerns and problems.  As part of that role, I had a lot of time to think about how and why many medical students experience depression and stress. Two recent articles have led me to write about the issue now: "10 simple solutions to stop medical student suicide," ...

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As a medical student having completed my undergraduate major in the humanities, I often receive the question, "Why did you choose to do that?" The underlying thought behind asking why I would choose a major in the humanities while holding the intention to later attend medical school is that medicine is especially distinct from the humanities (and specifically African-American studies in my case). The sciences are just a whole other ...

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shutterstock_227448991 Being an intern and resident in today’s day and age of medicine is proving to be more difficult than ever. I’ve written about resident work hours before, but now that I have finished intern year, I have a lot more to say regarding this issue.  I recently reread Dr. Pauline Chen’s article "The Impossible Workload for Doctors in Training," ...

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shutterstock_84235930 We live in a time of great cynicism and skepticism. We seem to see only the mundane and boring in even the most interesting and spectacular things.  The electrical rhythm of the heart that pulses through cardiac tissue and results in a coordinated muscle contraction that effectively ejects blood to the rest of the body for appropriate oxygen delivery is just … a ...

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Charcoal_untitled -page-001 Blackness covers the paper in its entirety. Hunched over, charcoal stained fingertips splayed out in front of me, I exhale and my saturated breath evokes miniature tornadoes. The fragrance of warm charcoal engulfs my olfactory bulb and my temporal lobe explodes with images of the past. I am transported back to scraped shins guarded by starched, white ruffled socks. My fingertips ...

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shutterstock_99170549 In a field filled with history, data, and very smart people, it can be difficult to do anything with confidence. And yet, this is one of the most desirable traits a doctor can have, that and a light hand when it comes to handing out narcotics. However, I have never been a fan of over-confidence. I feel that if you are going ...

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"Sometimes a simple, almost insignificant gesture on the part of a teacher can have a profound formative effect on the life of a student." - Paulo Freire Think back to a moment when a teacher or “authority” figure gave you a compliment. We all have them, from kindergarten to high school to college and sometimes graduate school and work. The reason why many of you can recall such moments is that unlike ...

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shutterstock_262498211 As my third year of clinical rotations comes to an end, I’ve been reflecting on the ways in which I use my training as an anthropologist on the wards. One patient comes to mind, a recent immigrant from South Asia who came into the hospital after an accident where he was bicycling and got hit by a car. He was scanned from ...

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shutterstock_256955077 The number of African-American physicians in academic medicine is dismal, and this leads to an abundance of problems.  Academic hospitals (teaching hospitals associated with universities) generally do not have a proportionate representation of underrepresented minority faculty as compared to the surrounding population. According to a U.S. News & World Report article, the number of African-American faculty increased by 0.2 percent ...

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shutterstock_284554253 Dear future Pranay, By the time you read this, time will have passed with the same explosive inevitability that C. diff diarrhea passes from unfortunate rectums. I’m not sure where life has taken you -- you might be a serious senior resident physician, frazzled fellow, or -- maybe -- living your dream of being an eccentric train conductor with an affinity for shoe ...

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