We as humans start learning new things since we are born and continue learning until the last breath we take on this earth. We learn lessons that are essential to our lives such as walking and talking, all the way to life lessons that we learn when we face death. I learned a lot through my lifetime; as a child, as a student, as a citizen,  and I continue to ...

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I’m a first-year medical student who recently discovered the magnetic pull of surgery. As one might assume, on my first day scrubbing into the OR under a pediatric surgeon, I was beyond excited. The surgeon’s precision and expertise fascinated me, and the constant activity in the surgical suite was something I could definitely get used to. Adrenaline was as pervasive as anesthesia in the OR, and I knew I’d thrive there. However, ...

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“Pregnancy termination” and “infanticide” are two different words, used by two very different kinds of people, to describe the one exact same thing: abortion. The source of an argument is found by looking at the words used to frame it; the rest is filler. I am a medical school student. Like many of you reading this, my life is spent between the walls of the library and the walls of the ...

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  “Medicine Purple is now rounding at Room 202.” The announcement rang throughout the hallways on the lower pavilion. It was an announcement I had heard many times before, but this time it was quite different. As I glanced in the upper right-hand corner of the electronic medical record of my first patient, the following glared back at me in all capital letters: “ATTENDING: COOPER, JOSEPH DAVID.” I had imagined the ...

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I am a professor of family medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School. During their third and fourth years, students must complete a four-week clerkship in family medicine. The clerkship includes a "significant-event reflection" project, in which students discuss patient encounters that they've found especially meaningful. Over nearly a decade as a facilitator for these groups, I have heard many powerful and emotional stories. I've often felt deeply moved--and admiring ...

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Pre-med students are characterized by a number of things. Most notoriously, they prominently carry type A labels. Perhaps the intricately color-coordinated notes give you away. Maybe it is your strict, military-like regimen with which you go about your daily existence. Whatever it is, you are not alone. Many pre-meds turned medical student harbor these behaviors to some degree. After all, we get to where we are because of years of ...

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I arrive 7:15, 15 minutes before I was supposed to come in. I make sure to bring a shelf review book, knowing that I will be getting significant use of it that day. After surreptitiously observing my surroundings, I attempt to seek out a physician of sorts, a guide, a mentor, a guru that could aid in my quest for knowledge and experience. I am seated in a chair against a ...

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On Friday, November 4, Thomas Nasca, MD, the chief executive officer of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), released a letter outlining the proposed changes to intern work hour restrictions and other regulations. Specifically, the proposed update is expanding the previous restrictions to the length of the intern (who is a physician in their very first year out of medical school) work day from 16 to up to 28 ...

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“C-section at OR 3,” said the clerk at the neonatal ICU (NICU). We then sped to the prep area to enter the OR as soon as we could. Once geared up, we entered the OR and waited for the new addition to the NICU family. Mom had no prenatal care, but we knew she had used multiple illicit drugs throughout the pregnancy, she was young, had a history of psychiatric disease, ...

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“It won’t be the last sacrifice you make for medicine.” These were the words my surgical intern said between yawns as I expressed regret at having to miss a distant cousin’s wedding. The digital wall-clock read a blurry 3:15 a.m. as we sat together in the on-call room, the coffeemaker dripping black gold into the pot. She had three pagers affixed to her scrub pants which would beep intermittently in turn, signaling anything ...

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