Like many of my peers, I started medical school with idealistic dreams of providing compassionate care for poor patients. I thought being a physician was a noble profession and even discussing money, much less changing my career choices based on it seemed antithetical to that. A visit to the financial aid office quickly cured me of my naiveté. I was facing over $300,000 in debt and would be forgoing millions of ...

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When the U.S. health care system began, physicians were largely autonomous in selection of medical treatments and their delivery. Patients were treated under a fee for service model. However, over time we began to notice an alarming incline in medical spending which ultimately lead to the development of health maintenance organizations (HMOs). At their inception, HMOs were intended to standardize medical treatment, reduce unnecessary use of resources, and encourage the ...

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On July 1st, 2017, the updated Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Common Program Requirements will take effect. The increase in the maximum continuous work hour shift from 16 to 24 hours has surely received the most attention, and will likely continue to do so. However, the ACGME did make some significant improvements in this latest guideline update worth noting. Among them was a slight conjunctional switch from an “and/or” ...

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STAT_LogoJust before the holidays, I was treating a woman with severe pneumonia. As I examined her, day after day, she told me about her family, their plans for Thanksgiving, and how much she missed her children. I liked her. I cared about her. I even used the promise of free Wi-Fi to convince her teenage daughter to come see her. The day ...

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Every summer medical school seniors are faced with the daunting task of completing applications for residency programs.  This requires completion of the “common application” through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS), among other things.  This ultimately becomes a compilation of medical school and USMLE transcripts, letters of recommendation, personal and biographic information, a personal statement, and a resume composed of work, volunteering, and research experiences. Countless hours are spent on its ...

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Virtually every med school hopeful writes a personal statement with some variation of “I want to help people.” Three years into medical school, helping people seems to be the last thing on any medical students’ mind. At every stage of medical training, there seems to be a competition designed to consume us. Just getting into medical school can feel like an obstacle course with barriers at every step. First-year medical ...

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“Can you make Moana sing,” my four-year-old daughter begs as she widens her dark brown eyes. (My husband insists those are my eyes.) Apparently, the Disney toy was involved in an accident. A button on the wrist that makes the doll loudly blurt out “See the line where the sky meets the sea!” has become separated from her plastic body. Pink wires stick out instead of forearm bones. I’m a doctor. ...

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Spoiler alert: I am biased. I graduated from St. George’s University, a medical school in Grenada that graduates more physicians annually than any other medical school in the world. It is a school comprised of people who are so determined to become doctors that they are willing to move to a different country  —  some taking their families with them, some leaving everything behind  —  to study medicine. My peers ...

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STAT_Logo There’s absolutely no good reason why Sally should have been in the hospital. Not a day over 60, she had come to the emergency department for severe gastrointestinal pain and was then moved to a bed on the 10th floor of one of the hospital’s two towers. I met Sally (not her real name) during my first year in medical ...

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I was deeply disappointed to receive the email this week in which I was told that the decision to publish an article I wrote was an error. The editor of the journal, which is PubMed-indexed and respected on an international level, explained that the decision I received was intended for another author. In the days following this news, I have only been able to think about the loss of the ...

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