Is medical school just for rich kids? This letter was received and edited for clarity by Pamela Wible, MD. Dear Dr. Wible, This will be my last email to you because I am giving up on my dream of being a doctor. I’ve contacted so many colleges and medical schools hoping to find one that would help me become a doctor for my tribe. Today, I finally got a response from the ...

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KevinMD.com recently published the article "It’s time to make the Match disappear" written by medical student Amy Ho. I firmly agree with her that the current match system is wildly inefficient and needs fixing. However, she is throwing the baby out with the bath water in abandoning the algorithm which yields an extremely effective system. Firstly, when one examines her data, which in itself is correct, one also needs ...

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Stop calling medical school graduates newly minted doctors Many friends from my original medical school class will graduate and officially become doctors in just a few weeks. I can’t believe I’ll be at that point in only a year, and I’m incredibly proud of my soon-to-be-doctor friends. This time of year there’s always a lot of talk surrounding graduation, and in light of that I have a ...

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Don’t wear the white coat; it scares the kids. Most children stare at me with that wide-eyed look.  Thinking from their perspective, the six-foot something curly headed giant with big round glasses probably appears very strange to the little human that barely scrapes my knee.  They do not cry. They just stare.  I smile, and they gape. Parents laugh as I grin sheepishly.  Towering over the patients, I likely appear more ...

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Medical school gets a reputation for being a time stealing black hole from which students only temporarily reappear before residency begins. Reasonably so, when one considers the vast number of hours dedicated to memorizing biochemical pathways, bugs and drugs, the months spend study for board exams and the years dedicated to learning the essence of medicine. It has been estimated that medical students learn 13,000 new words just in the ...

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My family has always expressed that they’re proud of what I’m doing -- the funny thing is, they go on to say that they’re unsure of exactly what I do. My parents know I’m studying medicine and that this means I’ll be a doctor. What they don’t get is where in the process I am, what specializing means or what I’m talking about most of the time when I share stories ...

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“Are you more or less cynical than when you started residency?” This was the question my program director asked our senior internal medicine residents at a recent dinner with Dr. Bob Wachter. If you aren’t familiar with Dr. Wachter, he is widely acclaimed as the “father of hospital medicine” and a renowned champion of patient safety and quality. His blog, Wachter’s World, is chock full of insightful commentary on the American ...

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Before the 1980s, drug testing was uncommon. It was widely viewed as an invasion of privacy and an infringement on fourth amendment rights. Today, a medical student is likely to be drug tested before entering medical school, before clinical rotations, and/or before residency. If preventing drug use among medical students is the goal of these tests, they have failed miserably. Urinalysis drug tests are ineffective. But more importantly, ...

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An American poet and political activist, Muriel Rukeyser, said the universe is made of stories, not of atoms.  I believe her. As a seasoned storywriter and storyteller, I walked gingerly into the adult emergency services for my first shift as a volunteer at a legendary New York City public hospital. I sported a crisply ironed red polo with “emergency department volunteer” embroidered in white stitch. Armed with a pocket notebook and a ...

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As everyone knows, residents are now restricted to working 80 hours per week. One of the lesser known side effects of this work hours limitation is the drastic loss of educational conference time. Since at least one third of the residents must now go home after morning rounds, afternoon conferences are no longer possible. Most residency programs now devote part of at least one morning per week to dedicated educational time. JAMA ...

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