When I wrote the article, “My future as a physician looks mediocre at best,” I did not expect the traction that it received. When it received so many shares, I realized there is an important point for us to shed light on. So, I pose the simple question: Is it possible for the modern day doctor to be happy? Now I don’t mean an overly dramatic happiness involving euphoria, ...

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As a medical student, I have encountered more emotional and psychological pain as a direct result of my training than I could have previously anticipated. My pain may not be physical (though sometimes it is secondary to sleep deprivation), but it is real. I look around me and am reminded of who I do not want to be, and the kind of person I would dread becoming. At first, I ...

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Nothing compares to the apprehension of starting residency. OK, that’s not true, but it’s really high up there on nerve-wracking firsts. I remember my first day as a resident. In a matter of a few hours, I went from being human furniture to being asked to make life-altering decisions. I was overwhelmed, to say the least. Here are some pieces of advice that I wish senior residents would have emphasized before I started this ...

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In an oft-cited psychology experiment from the 1960s done at Stanford, toddlers were isolated in a room with a table on which sat a single marshmallow. If they could resist the temptation to eat it, as they were told by the experimenters, they would be rewarded with two marshmallows later on. If we replaced these toddlers with medical students as the subjects, the experimenters would have run out of either marshmallows ...

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I recently read an article that my future in medicine would be mediocre.  It made me reflect on some things.  Like the author of that article, I am a fourth-year medical student waiting to graduate and start my training in residency, the training that will prepare me for a successful career as a physician. Like the author of the article, I decided to become a doctor with the hope ...

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I am forced to write anonymously because of gross neglect by my residency program regarding standard ACGME duty-hour rules. If my name were published, it would identify my program. As a PGY-2, I worked 100+ hours per week on average last year while taking primary call for my urology department. (Admittedly, the PGY-2 is the historic “worst year” for any urology resident.) On a quarterly basis (depending on manpower), we take ...

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Tests and exams are the most challenging part of campus life, especially when it is in medical school where students will frequently encounter different types of examinations. One of the things which makes it special is that in medical school, exams are not only given as a written examination but also as oral and practical examinations in which students must face their instructors. Most of the time these are external ...

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It is frustrating for patients to have unanswered questions, and it is equally frustrating for doctors to not have answers to their questions. In the past month, I have cared for three patients who have stood out to me because they have all presented under personally dire situations. “I have had crushing 10/10 chest pain since this morning,” Ms. A tells me at the urgent episodic appointment she scheduled in my ...

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As a clinical student, I’ve been a part of dozens of outpatient clinic visits, but several days ago, I witnessed a clinic visit much unlike the others. For one, our patient arrived not for a 20-minute appointment, but for a three-hour one. As a hemophiliac, this patient came to Stanford once a year, for a comprehensive, coordinated patient care visit, where she saw not only her hematologist but also her social ...

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We as humans start learning new things since we are born and continue learning until the last breath we take on this earth. We learn lessons that are essential to our lives such as walking and talking, all the way to life lessons that we learn when we face death. I learned a lot through my lifetime; as a child, as a student, as a citizen,  and I continue to ...

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