“And then he said, ‘I … I just want to help people you know?’” The table burst out laughing. I struggled not to spit out my breakfast burrito while chuckling. The laughter slowly died down, and I took another gulp of stale hospital coffee. My classmate was recounting the story of one of the pre-med undergraduates he had begun to mentor. I was too tired to think clearly about why ...

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Chapter 1: Physiology “I am a brain, Watson. The rest of me is a mere appendix.” - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Bound by flesh and bone, therein lies a mystery of undefined potential which the cosmos cannot even parallel in mystery and in complexity beautiful and terrifying. It is that which allows movement to leave the study hall beneath the starry sky, professors to lull us to sonorous sweet slumber, to remember minute ...

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I was incredibly nervous going into my first day in the inpatient child/adolescent psychiatry unit. “Was this where the truly psychotic kids are? Am I going to be safe here?” I wondered as I casually introduced myself to the staff on the floor. After a morning of sitting in on group therapy led by psychologists and occupational therapists, I calmed down. Against the backdrop of the soothing soft pastel colors, ...

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“I mean, ever since it happened, I just don’t feel safe anymore … they come out of nowhere … my heart will be pounding and pounding … they can get me at night, even if I’m in my mom’s house. I haven’t worked this whole month, and don’t know how I’ll go back.” Ms. Smith is a young white woman who is presenting with panic attacks. “Doctor, the pain is so bad ...

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We need to fail more tests in medical school. I'm serious. In first year, our class had two of the most memorable weeks of our schooling: A crash course on biochemistry taught by a professor who is widely accepted as one of the best teachers in our medical school. His in-class lecture style kept students engaged and entertained; I, and many of my classmates, learned tremendous amounts of his material and ...

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The past three and a half years have flown by, and somehow, I’m completely done with clinical rotations! I just finished up on the pediatric infectious disease service, and this rotation was unlike my others in one key way: I was joined on the service by students who are training to be nurse practitioners and pharmacists. Training alongside other students isn’t itself new, but on every other rotation, they’ve always been ...

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A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association concludes that 27 percent of medical students around the world exhibit symptoms of depression and 11 percent have thought of taking their own lives. Equally troubling is the fact that, among students experiencing depressive symptoms, only 16 percent seek psychiatric treatment. Other studies have suggested that the prevalence of depression in medical students may be as ...

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Throughout medical school, students are taught about great physicians and their contributions to medicine and society. Among them are John Snow, famous for his shoe-leather epidemiology; Alfred Sommers, renowned for reducing childhood mortality with his research on vitamin A; and most recently, Mona Hanna-Attisha, whose studies revealed dangerous levels of lead in the Flint, Michigan, water supply. These physicians are notable not only for their clinical skills, but also for ...

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Dear patient, I may never get to meet you, which is a real shame. I think I would have enjoyed getting to know you and working together with you to overcome whatever particular medical issue with which you had come to meet me. We might have learned about each other. We might have learned about our community. We might even have made some kind of change together. I myself am a patient, ...

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It’s 4:17 a.m. as I begin this entry. I’m scheduled to be at the hospital in 43 minutes for one of my last days on surgical rotation, and I’ve been working on the following text message since 3 a.m.: “Hi, team. Im afraid that im burned out and anxious. I will be taking today off. Sorry to be blunt but i felt it better than to make up an excuse. Thanks ...

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