shutterstock_133319240 As a third-year medical student, I realized one particular morning on rounds that I had let the demands of the job overtake the joys of why I went into medicine at all. I found myself running behind my team, barely even able to say goodbye to the last patient we had seen. The human interaction had become an afterthought in the ...

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There were a lot of happy faces on March 20th as depicted in this brief video of the excitement on the campus of the University of Rochester School of Medicine. Similar scenes took place at every U.S. medical school because 93.9 percent of the 18,025 graduates of U.S. allopathic medical schools matched in a specialty. But for the 1,093 (6.1 percent) U.S. graduates who didn't match things were not ...

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The patient was hacking sputum into a tissue when the resident and I entered his room. “How long have you had that cough?” “Oh this? As long as I can remember.” “But it’s been worse lately?” “Yeah.” “Worse how?” “More stuff coming out each time. See?” He opens the tissue. “How much sputum is there?” “Sputum?” “The stuff you cough up.” “I don’t look that close.” “More than two spoonfuls?” “Oh yes. Definitely.” “And the color?” “White-ish.” “Ever see any streaks of blood?” “Never.” “And how long have ...

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As I reflect back on the last four years of medical school, I am reminded of the ghosts of patients past. Those of you already entrenched in the dredges of patient care know what I mean. The images of their faces burned on your brain: the ones you couldn’t help, the promises you never meant to break, and the hope you weren’t able to give. Those ghosts take on several shapes ...

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I am relieved and proud to report that I passed my boards: I am officially a diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. While the oddly formal “diplomate” is a term in common use with physicians, I didn’t understand what “diplomate” and its sister phrase "board-certified physician" meant until I undertook my own board preparation. The Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) is a memorably stressful element of applying to ...

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“You have the nurse hand you the equipment, that way she doesn’t just stand and stare like a chaperone,” my doctoring mentor explained to me before we entered the room to do a pap smear on a young, 35-year-old woman. My doctoring mentor is a middle-aged, 6-foot-5, exceptionally hairy, broad-shouldered man that carries a warm, jovial presence. Yet the reality of the fallen world is that no matter how sweet, happily ...

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The July Effect is a relatively well-known reference to the influx of new trainees entering hospital systems annually on the first of the month. Researchers have attempted to investigate the impact of the new trainees on patient outcomes with divergent conclusions. Despite the ongoing debate, educators in medicine recognized the need to prepare medical students for day 1 of residency training, by establishing core competencies to evaluate the preparedness of students. One such example ...

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Does the profession of medicine favor certain personality types over others? When I was younger, it seemed like all of my doctors were gregarious, self-confident, and humorous, leaving me to wonder if one can “make it” in medicine without being outgoing. This seemed a natural consequence of the fact that so much of medicine is team-based and demands constant interpersonal interaction with colleagues and patients. For many introverts, a career in ...

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I recently had an interesting conversation with several co-residents about how our health care system should evaluate physician performance. If nothing else, the discussion highlighted how challenging this issue has been for almost all medical specialties, including internal medicine, where the controversy has been punctuated by debates about maintenance of certification (MOC) and licensure. It remains to be seen what will develop after the American Board of Internal Medicine recently ...

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I am wearing my favorite scrubs, the teal ones a friend gave to me while I was volunteering in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake. My first-year classmates and I are in front of the anatomy lab, waiting to see our cadaver for the first time. Our group enters, and we stand around the blue-plastic-cloaked body for a few minutes, preparing ourselves and discussing the task at hand. My anatomy ...

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