Ever since I started medical school, my friends and family will often ask my opinion on a new medical recommendation they recently read online or heard on the radio. The trouble is, many times their query falls upon my clueless ears, as it is the first I am hearing about that medical study. In this last year, as I diligently pour through my medical textbooks, or almost exclusively answer my ...

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Ten male students crowded around a clean-shaven instructor who asked a series of questions.  The students had meticulously prepared and would maintain close proximity to well-rehearsed answers. "Hopefully, the questions are simple," they thought. One by one, they answered, at times stumbling through their responses. This was expected. The students were learning and the incorrect answers allowed room for humility. Such a scene could easily describe an American teaching hospital, ...

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"A doctor’s mission should not be just to prevent death, but to improve the quality of life. You treat a disease, you win-you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you’ll win, no matter what the outcome.” – Patch Adams (1998) It’s that time of year where everyone begins residency applications, and you commonly hear conversations along the lines of, "What are you going into?", or, "what type of doctor are you ...

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Dear Pamela, Let me start off by telling you that I am a warrior, a protector, and a healer. I am an Army veteran. I’ve worked as an EMT, completed a bachelor's degree and two years of medical school, plus I’m raising a family. I’ve achieved amazing things, but I have never been defeated like I’ve been over these past few years. Honestly, I was less stressed in Afghanistan. Medical school is ...

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"I graduated this July and took the QE (written general surgery boards) on July 19th. I got my results today, and I failed. Not only did I fail but my score placed me in the 5th percentile. Needless to say, I'm disappointed. You hear stories about CE (oral exam) failure but never about QE failure. I never blew the ABSITE out of the water (50, 29, 20, 34, ...

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Many recent articles, blogs, and presentations have focused on what American health care lacks and what additional skills health care professionals should adopt to “fix” our “broken” system. Third-party payers and health care organizations tend to promote the need for quality improvement and economic measures, while clinicians grapple with their transition to less-autonomous employees, noting increased job dissatisfaction and conflicts regarding administration and reimbursements. The theme that American health care ...

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As first year came to an end, we were asked to reflect on our experiences thus far. The multitude of tests and memorized facts, anatomy dissections, and patient interactions flooded my mind. Shockingly, it was not the difficulty of the first year of medical school that I will remember the most, rather the jaded comments from physicians and students that attempted to cloud my perspective of medicine. “Medicine is different now. ...

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As the health care landscape in America continues to change after the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, we are seeing an even more diverse group of patients seeking care across the nation. As rapidly as these demographics are changing, however, there is still progress to be made in diversity of health care providers who treat these patients. For instance, although 13 percent of Americans are of African descent,
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Dear Class of 2020, You’ve worked hard to earn the privilege of becoming a physician. I hope you took some time before starting medical school to enjoy yourself and embrace your passions, be they travel, music or art, or simply spending time with family and friends. Becoming a doctor is a long, bumpy and often lonely road. Resiliency is essential. My first and most important piece of advice is to be ...

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“Please don’t spoil the movie with your own soundtrack.” Remember hearing this message before the beginning of a movie in a theater and how most people turn their devices on silent to watch the movie? The cost of the movie ticket is considerably less than the cost of medical education, but I wonder if learners consider this phenomenon when they walk into their classrooms. Is the habit of smartphones in ...

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