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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I don't remember all of the details. It was the summer of 1990, sometime in the first 3 months of internship. I spent those months on the 11th floor of the VA Lakeside Medical Center (now the vacant lot just east of the hospital). The VA was familiar territory for me. I spent 3 months there as a third year student, also on the 11th Floor. 11 East, to be ...

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This New York Times article stimulated thoughts about teaching internal medicine: "Better Ways to Learn":

In the new book, “How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens” (Random House), Benedict Carey, a science reporter for The New York Times, challenges the notion that a high test score equals true learning. He argues that although a good grade may be achieved in the short term ...

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An excerpt from Getting Into Medical School: A Comprehensive Guide for Non-Traditional Students. Tranditional vs. non-traditional Traditional premedical students enter a four-year university directly after high school and begin taking courses for their major while also working on their required pre-med core sciences in order to finish their studies in a timely fashion.  Most of these students finish their sciences by their sophomore year in hopes of taking the Medical ...

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Recently, I have been reflecting more about my musical journey as an organist over the past 15 years. It has been great to learn how to continue my medical training to the best of my ability while still trying to keep my musical interests alive. Despite the busyness of medical training, I have thankfully had opportunities to perform publicly, as well as meet other musicians. I began ...

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To be or not to be: An artist in medicine “Why would an artist want to go to medical school?” It was a good question, and one of my favorite questions asked of me during my medical school interviews. I am what one might define as an artist, and yes, I really wanted to go to medical school. I was a photographer, musician, composer, and actor. I loved the arts and they ...

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During most of my career as a psychiatrist, I haven't often dealt directly with death. For the past five years, though, I have had the privilege of spending two days a week treating service men and women returning from deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. Listening to their stories and talking with them about their war experiences, I've spent much more time thinking about death and dying. Despite this, I was shocked ...

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A thick green glob landed on my scrub top at the same time that the first drop of sweat rolled down the small of my back. I tried not to grimace and discretely walked over to the hand sanitizer dispenser. But like every other hand sanitizer I had tried, this one was empty. Yesterday I had also discovered that the only bathroom in the hospital had no toilet paper. It ...

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“I’ve been with my doctor for years and years,” an elderly man, voice hoarse but lilting with fondness for his caregiver, told a nurse in the primary care clinic where I was waiting to see a doctor. “He’s fantastic.” I was coming to the clinic for a follow-up appointment about an injury for which I’d been seen a few months prior, but neither the initial appointment nor this follow-up were with ...

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From PA to MD: An appreciation for physician education My journey in medicine began as a young child: I was the typical kid who knew I wanted to a be a doctor since I was a child and was thrilled when I was accepted into an 8-year college program which culminated in a medical degree. However, by the end of my undergraduate program, medicine was changing: doctors were spending less ...

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