Physician burnout has been previously described as heartbreaking, and this may be an understatement.  The growing complexities of health care delivery, intricacies of documentation practices as required by Meaningful Use, and difficulties inherent to billing and reimbursement are only a few of the issues faced by residents and attending clinicians these days. Unfortunately, these topics are still not formally taught in American medical schools. As students, we really do not know ...

Read more...

I was glad she never asked if I had done this before. My first nasogastric tube was placed on an elderly woman with chronic liver disease. As her illness worsened, it gradually turned her skin yellow, her abdomen swollen, and her mind foggy. One day, we realized that she was at too high a choking risk to swallow her medications herself. She would need a plastic tube to do it for ...

Read more...

At the outset of this process of becoming a doctor, a friend and mentor of mine, a professor emeritus of medicine known as a mentor who cares deeply about his students and for his New England style dinner parties, sat me down to explain the gist of medical school. The first two years, he explained -- bowtie notwithstanding -- are the equivalent of studying a language from textbooks. You must first ...

Read more...

It’s been a long day, and you just want to decompress. My boyfriend tells me about his day. I get to hear about the insane amount of reading he has to do for graduate school, or about the occasional annoying customer he’s had to deal with at his part-time job as a bank teller. When it’s my turn to decompress, I usually gripe about a patient or two from the ...

Read more...

eric garner On Thursday January 15, over one hundred Stanford Medical School graduate and medical students gathered to commemorate MLK day and remember the lives of Mike Brown and Eric Garner. On a white board that proclaimed "Black Lives Matter," attendees wrote their thoughts. On the board, I wrote "Keep the conversation going," and in that effort I'd like to examine one ...

Read more...

“Hefur þú lært um Staphylococcus aureus?” I almost don’t recognize the bacteria name because my grandmother pronounces it differently in Icelandic. “Já–” I’m about to translate my microbiology flashcard for her when she interrupts, her hands busy kneading the cookie dough and her eyes on my little sister near the oven. That’s the bacteria that almost killed her eleven years ago, she tells me. I can hear her words building up. This ...

Read more...

For many years, I taught a sizable chunk of our local medical school’s second-year pathology course.  I was always energized by the students’ enthusiasm and desire to learn more about medicine.  On the other hand, I remembered feeling their same frustrations regarding the lack of fundamental practice skills included in today’s medical school curriculum. In fact, at our university, a group of students started a business in medicine interest group, where ...

Read more...

It’s the beginning of February and this year’s residency interviews are wrapping up. It is widely known, even encouraged, that medical students change their social media profile names or deactivate their accounts while applying and interviewing for medical residencies.  David becomes AviD, Jessica is now Jes Sica, and Sarah morphs into Miss S; students are leery of admissions committees stumbling upon their accounts, changing their profile names to something that would ...

Read more...

“Katie, If you go into surgery, you’re going to miss patients.” It was three in the morning in the ED; the resident was feeling the strain of a 24-hour trauma call, and I was loving it. I had spent the past half hour with a lovely, older woman whose foot had gone through the floor of her vehicle in a crash. We chatted about where she had been traveling, and ...

Read more...

I showed up that morning on the inpatient service as a part of my elective. Surprisingly, I found three other medical students present: 1 third year, 2 second years. The fourth year of medical school has many perks as I have been told by those senior to me. Once the application process gets underway, I have been advised to live every day as though it were my last. Personally, I liked ...

Read more...

104 Pages