Recently, Dr. Peter Kramer published an intriguing, well-written, but poorly reasoned and potentially dangerous “thought piece” in the New York Times. His article, “Why Doctors Need Stories,” contains several logical flaws and erroneous arguments, but the overarching concept is a classic straw man argument. He creates a false and highly misleading notion of what evidence-based medicine ...

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In September, Doximity, a closed online community of over 300,000 physicians, released its ratings of residency programs in nearly every specialty. Many, including me, took issue with the methodology. Emergency medicine societies met with Doximity's co-founder over the issue and echoed some of the comments I had made about the lack of objectivity and emphasis on reputation. I wonder if it is even possible to develop a set of valid ...

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One of the hardest parts about medical school for me has been the constant pursuit of approval. Having a pass/fail system during pre-clinical years helped ease things some, but there remains a personal desire to prove myself. In front of attendings, all I can focus on is performing my physical exam just right, presenting in the perfect manner, and nailing the assessment and plan. Unfortunately, my strong desire to look ...

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What I wish I knew: Advice for spouses of doctors and residents Residency life. I don't talk about it much, and that's on purpose. Here's why: My life is wonderful. I really love it. Is it perfect? No. Is anyone's life perfect? Definitely not. I would never wish to portray my life in a negative fashion and certainly not to wish for sympathy. I would talk about it in an informative way, but even ...

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If I had to choose one theme that has stood out in the first weeks of medical school, it would be this: questions, questions, and more questions. In the first class on our first day of medical school, our professor set the tone by laying down the requirement that we ask a minimum of ten questions before the lecture was over. Based on my experience in large undergraduate lectures, where ...

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Medical students are brilliantly frugal. And it’s no surprise -- according to the AAMC, the average U.S. medical student incurs $170,000 of debt from medical education. We are a resourceful, smart, and cost-conscious group -- so why is the medical school curriculum practically silent on the cost of medicine? During medical school, we are taught to be excellent diagnosticians. The third and fourth years of training provide 60 to 80 hours a week of ...

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As of October 2013, the average medical student graduated with $169,901 of debt with nearly 80 percent of all graduates owing at least $100,000. Although these numbers are daunting, medical school educational debt is part and parcel of our profession. Truth be told, at the end of our training (which can range from three to ten years post-medical school), almost all of us will make at least $150,000 and ...

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The present time has one advantage over every other - it is our own. - Charles Caleb Colton The cherubic young man smiles from the black-and-white class photo. His open, relaxed appearance captures my attention. He sits on a wooden bench at the far right end of the front row, his sharp white shirt and patterned tie cinched tightly beneath his three-piece wool suit with the stylishly wide lapels. He looks directly at the camera ...

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What can be said about the Generation Y physician? Tech-savvy.  Attention-craving.  Lazy, good-for-nothings. These are a few of the many traits that have been commonly bestowed upon those born around the last two decades of the 20th century.  Commonly known as Generation Y, this demographical cohort of 20- to 30-somethings has certainly sparked mixed reviews from its Gen X and Baby Boomer elders. But what defines the particular subgroup of young ...

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A few years ago, I was doing a summer internship in which I looked at health outcomes for hospitalized patients. I sat in an office and read about patients with issues like high blood pressure and cholesterol. At a certain point, I realized that the reports on their outcomes were interesting, but the real solution to the problems I was studying was happening outside my window. My window overlooked a ...

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