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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In news to absolutely no one with an iota of common sense, the purported physician shortage isn’t actually one of numbers, but rather a problem of distribution. Per this article by in the Washington Post:

Critics of doctor shortage projections have argued for years that the problem is actually poor distribution of physicians, with too many clustered in urban and affluent areas and too few in poor and rural areas.
Doctors prefer to ...

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shutterstock_198799223 The “age of the giants” has passed. The idea of larger-than-life doctors devoting themselves completely to patient care and sacrificing their personal lives in the process is giving way to an era of recognizing the limits to a physician’s work life. This change in attitude has been advanced, in part, by Read more...

He is that new patient to the clinic. You know the one. He is the "multiple chronic conditions" patient.  Diabetes, hypertension, COPD, chronic kidney disease, congestive heart failure, arthritis -- it would probably be quicker to name the conditions he doesn’t have. You let out a deep sigh before entering the room. You know the one. He is the "non-native English speaker." English isn’t his first language, perhaps not even his second. You try ...

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Recently, I had the honor and pleasure of introducing my book, Women and Cardiovascular Disease, in London. During the event, I was able to meet with many of my European colleagues from both the media as well as the health care space. I spoke with countless bright and motivated attendees who are excited to be part of a wave of change in cardiac care for women. We identified many ways ...

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