When we got an NIH grant last year to ascertain how teens could get their peers interested in research careers, we did not anticipate turning to Jimmy Kimmel for inspiration. Kimmel’s “Lie Witness News” segment is notorious for asking unsuspecting pedestrians to share their opinions about ridiculous topics from a new "scented" iPhone to the "appointment" of Judge Judy to the U.S. Supreme Court. While the interviews are purely for amusement, ...

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There she lay: a 59-year old woman who had become increasingly disoriented and confused. Not only did she have an infection in her bloodstream, years of alcohol abuse had taken its toll on her liver, leaving her skin yellowed. “Welcome to the ICU,” I thought. In contrast to my previous clinical experience, I found this patient encounter unsettling. No conversation. No personality. No interaction. She was nothing more than a body in a bed punctured ...

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shutterstock_166178981 At a recent block party, neighbors asked me questions about the life of a resident. It amazed me how little the general public still knows about the hours a resident works. Over the years, TV shows have shed some light on what the experience of a resident is like, although none are quite realistic, but it is hard to appreciate from ...

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“Have you had any horrible problems with wait times?” shouted the reporter as he jogged towards the van pulling out of the parking lot. Leaning in so far that his head actually crossed the window’s threshold yet still audible from across the street, he continued “We’re looking for people who’ve had terrible experiences here!” So it was last week walking in to work at the Durham VA Medical Center. One year ago, ...

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We don’t even have to ask, and you certainly don’t need to get out your credentials. It’s so obvious that you are a medical student. And it’s not just the short white coat and student identification badge half-hidden in your linen pocket that says it all. We’ve seen you at all hours around the hospital during your clinical rotations. You tend to appear a half-hour before everyone else, just in time to commandeer ...

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While reading the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, I was mesmerized by her insight about the self-perpetuating difficulties women face during their careers; however, something was missing. Mrs. Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, wrote an enlightening novel about the differences in mindset between the genders and how this hinders women in their career. I found that she was spot on with my experience as a woman pursuing medicine. Like Mrs. ...

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How to insert a central line had been drilled into me long before my first attempt, and I was admittedly nervous performing my first procedure as an intern. But, as a senior resident, watching the intern in front of me insert his needle into the patient’s neck was ten times more anxiety-provoking. I wanted to guide him successfully through the first of many procedures he would need to master, in ...

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shutterstock_110822132 Every year roughly 400 physicians take their lives: a group of physicians greater than the size of two graduating classes at my medical school. Let's be clear, physician suicide and medical professional mental health awareness is a neglected issue in medicine. We are twice as likely to commit suicide than our non-physician counterparts. Women physicians are up to three times ...

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Anyone considering attending a Caribbean or any foreign medical school should do due diligence. An Internet search is step one. If the school does not list residency match statistics, that could be a red flag. It would not be easy to accomplish, but try to speak with some current students or recent graduates of any schools you are thinking about. If the school won't give you any names, use caution, and ...

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shutterstock_210504655 If the analogy between medical training and a fraternity is true, then medical students are the pledges. For many, the most grueling part of this pledge process is the third year surgery rotation where the modified Murphy’s Law is applicable almost daily: Anything a medical student can do wrong, a medical student will do wrong. In a fraternity, pledges can do no right. ...

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