Upon starting medical school, I remember feeling amazed to learn just how many of my classmates had physician parents. I felt like I was in the minority, not having any family members of my own who were doctors. This made me realize: Physician parents tend to breed physician children. But why? I soon discovered that the answer may lie in the genetics of personality. The academic study of personality has grown extensively over ...

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Medical couples are experts at delaying gratification. Medical school’s rigid, unpredictable, and demanding schedule forces couples to postpone vacations, outings, dinner plans, and relationship progress. Glen Gabbard and Roy Menninger, in their book Medical Marriages, call this common trend among single- and dual-physician couples “the psychology of postponement.” They explain that medical school and demanding attending physicians become “a convenient scapegoat” for couples looking to avoid living their lives or ...

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"I can't find the fetal heart tones." The nurse states with a tone of underlying panic as she exits the patient room. It's around 7 a.m., and those of us working the night shift are getting ready for morning sign out before we can head home and get some much-needed sleep after a crazy 14 hours shift. "Tessa, go scan her" the resident nods towards the ultrasound machine, and I cheerfully follow ...

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The concept of burnout is malicious and dangerous. Terminology like that removes blame from enormous structures that systematically cause harm and put fault onto the victim. It says: "No, the health care system isn't inhumane, you just aren't strong enough to handle it." That word makes physicians doubt themselves and each other, hating themselves for not being "strong" or "tough" enough in a system meant to provide compassion and care. This ...

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Walking into Riley Pediatrics Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana, and having just completed two prior rotations in emergency medicine at two different level 1 trauma centers, I thought I would be able to easily fit in with pediatric population here. I thought I would be able to slide fluidly from patient to patient, oral reports to consults, while staying connected with the rest of the team. I thought I would be ...

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From the moment I entered medical school, I have been viewed as dollar signs by many individuals.  Every medical student is visualized this way.  Let’s start from the beginning. Most medical students come from humble beginnings.  My father is a bluegrass musician, and my parents couldn’t pay for my medical school.  So I had to take out loans.  This was the same situation for the vast majority of my friends.  In ...

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Medical training in the United States is a long and tedious process. It begins in college, when one must complete the mandatory prerequisite curriculum and take a medical entrance exam; your score on which is directly compared to other applicants, immediately labeling you as a competitive candidate or not. The process of applying requires the completion of multiple comprehensive applications, the compilation of countless hours of research, clinical experience, letters ...

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You are currently on inpatient wards and notice your chief medical resident has been demonstrating erratic behavior, frequently muttering about MEN syndromes and antibodies associated with rheumatologic diseases and has been reciting gene translocations. What is the most likely cause of her symptoms? A. Hospital-associated delirium B. Conversion disorder C. Symptoms related to completing an excess number of multiple choice questions in preparation for taking internal medicine boards If you guessed C, you understand what I have been going ...

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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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