It’s 4:17 a.m. as I begin this entry. I’m scheduled to be at the hospital in 43 minutes for one of my last days on surgical rotation, and I’ve been working on the following text message since 3 a.m.: “Hi, team. Im afraid that im burned out and anxious. I will be taking today off. Sorry to be blunt but i felt it better than to make up an excuse. Thanks ...

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According to the Residency Review Committee for Surgery, "A resident may be considered the surgeon only when he or she can document a significant role in the following aspects of management: determination or confirmation of the diagnosis, provision of preoperative care, selection, and accomplishment of the appropriate operative procedure, and direction of the postoperative care." In nearly all instances, resident "determination or confirmation of the diagnosis, provision of preoperative ...

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“I want to die, I want to die,” she repeated over and over as the trauma team stabilized her body. The patient, a female in her late 70s with Parkinson’s disease, presenting with a self-inflicted gun shot wound to the head.  It was at that moment I saw the complex cruelty of her situation. The despair in which she found herself and in the manner in which she sought to ...

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Since being fired from my program as a result of my cancer diagnosis, I am on a mission to help medical students and doctors. After starting the website, Improve Medical Culture, I have found that much of the general population has little sympathy for doctors. Some find us completely unrelatable. Because of this, I wrote the following comparison between dogfighting and medical training. I aim ...

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I thought long and hard about the financial ramifications of medical school before I started. I already had a job in the medical field that I enjoyed, and I was happy with my level of compensation at the time. After running the numbers, I knew that the choice to pursue medicine would result in a delayed economic benefit that would take at least 15 years to recover, and only through ...

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When I wrote the article, “My future as a physician looks mediocre at best,” I did not expect the traction that it received. When it received so many shares, I realized there is an important point for us to shed light on. So, I pose the simple question: Is it possible for the modern day doctor to be happy? Now I don’t mean an overly dramatic happiness involving euphoria, ...

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As a medical student, I have encountered more emotional and psychological pain as a direct result of my training than I could have previously anticipated. My pain may not be physical (though sometimes it is secondary to sleep deprivation), but it is real. I look around me and am reminded of who I do not want to be, and the kind of person I would dread becoming. At first, I ...

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Nothing compares to the apprehension of starting residency. OK, that’s not true, but it’s really high up there on nerve-wracking firsts. I remember my first day as a resident. In a matter of a few hours, I went from being human furniture to being asked to make life-altering decisions. I was overwhelmed, to say the least. Here are some pieces of advice that I wish senior residents would have emphasized before I started this ...

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In an oft-cited psychology experiment from the 1960s done at Stanford, toddlers were isolated in a room with a table on which sat a single marshmallow. If they could resist the temptation to eat it, as they were told by the experimenters, they would be rewarded with two marshmallows later on. If we replaced these toddlers with medical students as the subjects, the experimenters would have run out of either marshmallows ...

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I recently read an article that my future in medicine would be mediocre.  It made me reflect on some things.  Like the author of that article, I am a fourth-year medical student waiting to graduate and start my training in residency, the training that will prepare me for a successful career as a physician. Like the author of the article, I decided to become a doctor with the hope ...

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