Here are some questions that are still on my mind as I approach the tail end of my chief year. I’m thinking about the best ways to offer constructive feedback.

  • What is the best way to approach a struggling learner?
  • What is the best way to give guidance and feedback without being perceived as a tyrant or overbearing?
  • How can I maximize the potential of my team members and the trainees ...

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I was walking home from classes last week when I ran into a few friends from my medical school class sitting outside at a local bar. I was done for the evening, so I pulled up a chair, ordered a beer, and joined the conversation. They were talking about the wards. I’ve been on a year off since we’d all been third-year medical students together, so it was fun to ...

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The ACGME recently formally increased its work-hour limits for resident physicians, a change that was widely covered in the press.| This decision has also been significantly misreported.  While it may seem like all residents will now work for longer hours, in reality, only first-year interns will be allowed to work longer 24-hour shifts, where the previous maximum was 16 ...

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It was 5:30 a.m., and I could barely contain my excitement. I was almost done with my clinical rotations. I had worked tirelessly to improve my medical knowledge and spent hours mastering my clinical skills. Now, as I was nearing the end of my third year of medical school, I felt more than ready for what lay ahead. I walked into my patient’s room. As she slept, I examined the lines and ...

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sonder - noun. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.” – from the "Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows," a compendium of invented words written by John Koenig. I followed the chaplain into the patient briefing room, not quite sure what to expect. The room was dimly lit. The overhead lights were off, and only one small lamp gave off a weak glow, with ...

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He could not stand Legs weak from the wasting effects of a cruel disease Stripping him of his manhood Denying him his future He could not eat His mouth cracked and dry Saliva having made an untimely exit from his personhood Unable to return again He could no longer dream He would say As I stared at him Longing to do more than hope that his pain patch Would lessen the pain of not just dying but of knowing one is dying. When ...

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As I turn off my laptop after taking notes for two consecutive hours on microcytic anemia and pack my pens and papers, millions of thoughts come to my mind. Only yesterday, we finished our microbiology exam. Bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi mnemonics are still in my mind, many of which I forgot what they refer to. The microbiology exam finished, and another challenge is on the way. Everyone faces challenges and bumps ...

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I pulled on my white coat and straightened my tie before walking into the patient room with my supervising physician, Dr. H. Our patient was a teenage boy with autism, and Dr. H let me take the lead. Towards the end of the visit I asked, as I always do, “Do you have any questions for me?” He had not made eye contact with me throughout the visit, which can ...

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I’ll be honest, when I first matriculated into medical school, I didn’t even know what a USMLE Step exam or clinical clerkship was. In fact, the first time I ever heard of them was from another applicant on the interview trail. I have always been a take-it-one-step-at-a-time type of person, but eventually, I would have to succumb to the pressure and ask upperclassmen about the exam. And what did they ...

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On my first trauma shift as a fourth-year medical student, a young, disheveled man with blood-soaked pants hobbled into the emergency department. Wincing in pain, he offered me a bizarre history of being shot in the leg by a nail gun that went off after he dropped it on some stairs while helping a friend move. He lifted his right pant leg and removed the bloody, tattered bandana wrapped around ...

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