My stomach had been in knots that morning. “Are you pregnant?” my classmate laughed after I returned to the gross anatomy lab for the second time after leaving for fresh air. “No,” I spat, dissection through fat and fascia, teasing out muscles from nerves. But, I wondered. After lab, I bought a pregnancy test. I began medical school in my late 20s, already having discussed with my husband appropriate times to start a family during ...

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Did you know that several Caribbean medical schools provide postgraduate premed courses so students can complete their science requirements? At least one school’s nearly year-long premed curriculum includes 8 hours per day of classroom work, rudimentary general chemistry and organic labs, and a physics lab with 40-year-old equipment. The fee is more than $30,000 cash, no loans. That's a lot to pay for courses that are not accredited and credits ...

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Physicians are not robots. The health care system (and the corporate world in general) turns idealistic students into jaded and cynical professionals. They become small pieces in a profit-obsessed machine. They count down the days until retirement. We have to beat this system. And to do that, we must protect at all costs our humanity and creativity. We have to challenge the notion of how a doctor “should” be by embracing ...

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When I first met Jason, I was a third-year medical student halfway through my psychiatry rotation, and he was a newly admitted patient halfway through a nasty comedown from crystal meth. He sat slumped in his chair scowling with his face hidden by a baseball cap and black hooded sweatshirt and growling responses to my interview questions. "Why do I have to do this? I hate this crap. I've answered these bullshit ...

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Why do I think it is important to discuss mental wellness in regards to medical school? Because a publication from December 2016 says 27.2 percent of medical students demonstrate depression or depressive symptoms and 11.1 percent indicate suicidal ideation. Because a 2015 publication says 28.8 percent of resident physicians experience depression or depressive symptoms. Most of these people suffer silently. Too afraid to speak up because others might see them ...

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One of the most respected and skilled clinician-educators — of course, he is an infectious diseases specialist — at our institute came into my office, sat down and immediately starting eating pretzels. “Let me know what you think about this,” he said between bites. He went on to recapitulate a recent interaction he had with the members of the internal medicine team (medical students, house staff and the attending physician) ...

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Two posts on KevinMD highlight the problems facing many medical students today. The first was by an anonymous rising fourth-year student who has come to the conclusion that going to medical school was “a terrible, terrible decision.” It ended with a comment that medical school “is not fun. It’s jarring, scary, disappointing and absolutely depressing.” The second was by another anonymous student who described how miserable he (or ...

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There was an article recently published in Forbes titled "Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Doctors." It was a well-written piece that outlined the multitude of reasons that many physicians have become disillusioned with a field they once felt a passionate draw to. The reasons listed in the article were accurate and included the loss of autonomy, mental exhaustion, and asymmetrical rewards. Many physicians feel ...

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The national Gold Humanism Honor Society (GHHS) strives to “recognize students, residents and faculty who are exemplars of compassionate patient care and who serve as role models, mentors, and leaders in medicine.” This society relies initially on a validated peer nomination tool to identify medical students who embody clinical competence, caring, and community service. Upon discovering this emphasis on peer nomination, I began to question my own humanism, wondering which ...

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Back in September, an Inside Stanford Medicine article featured my first-year medical school class on our first day of anatomy. It spoke of learning anatomy and having the privilege to work on real donors’ bodies as a “rite of passage,” something all medical students must do to really discover the human body. We were all very excited, yet timid, on that first day of anatomy class, I remember. Afraid ...

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