The first resident who really reamed me out on the wards was having trouble reading my handwriting. My handwriting became doctor-unreadable well before medical school, but how quaint. It was the beginning of my second month of clinical training, and hers of internship. She couldn’t follow our shared patient’s daily progress note. I didn’t tell the story in the right order. The format was wrong. Instead of noting only pertinent ...

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Congratulations on your admission to medical school! Your white coat ceremony is coming, and it'll be grand. Your orientation leaders will suggest study skills, where to find scrubs and the best cheap supplements. Maybe more enlightened members of the faculty will remind you that medicine is really about the patients. If your parents are physicians, as so many medical students’ parents are—mine are not—they will reminisce about their own days ...

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