shutterstock_211066060 During my third year of medical school, I would often tell my parents about my days on the clinical wards. As physicians, they were excited that I was following in their footsteps and eager to engage me in conversation about my education as doctor-in-training. “So,” they would ask, “did you draw the blood for the labs?” “No, I don’t think I’m allowed to ...

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shutterstock_140576308 Years ago as a first-year medical student, I wrote a piece titled “Be an Innovator in Medical School.” The content was meant to be a starter guide for medical students interested in creating change at their institution or community. Now, at the tail end of medical school, I reflect on lessons I have learned along the way. 1. Do what moves ...

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shutterstock_119970649 Ask any premed student what they fear most and the answer will always be the MCAT, or Medical College Admission Test. After 25 years, the MCAT is being revised, becoming longer (by three hours) and covering a broader range of topics than simply chemistry, physics, and biology. One-quarter of the new test covers "psychology, sociology and the biological foundations of behavior." ...

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A new doctor, fresh out of a top residency and fellowship, wants all the right things at the wrong time. She wants to be busy, with lots of patients, operating every day. In fact, it is better not be busy, and instead to think long and hard about each patient, listening, pausing, recommending non-operative treatments and being patient. Doctors learn the most from the patients they take the time to truly ...

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shutterstock_150587642 Medical schools traditionally admit pre-med students who are science nerds, and later wonder why their graduates aren't well-attuned to their patients' emotions. The Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City hopes to correct that. It now operates a program, called "Hu-Med," that admits humanities majors. They're selected after their sophomore college year, and don't even need to take ...

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Black-Cloud-revised Everyone who went through medical school recognizes who the black cloud was on their team. James Chang is a radiologist and author of Oh Doctor, The Places You Will Go… He blogs at Poor MD and can be reached on Facebook.

It's two months into my second year of medical school, and I'm at the clinic, preparing to shadow Dr. Neiland, a primary care physician. I didn't want to come here this morning. Yesterday, one of my preceptors decided that it was my turn to be "pimped." Pimping, in medical education, is when the preceptor asks you questions until you get one wrong. Then he asks more questions, highlighting your ignorance. Theoretically, this ...

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shutterstock_250745014 Two years ago, during my second year of medical school, my classmates and I sat in cramped auditorium chairs as our instructor presented us with a clinical scenario. We were learning about arrhythmias, and our instructor flipped through slides of different ECG patterns, asking how we would respond to each. After several less concerning ones, the slide flashed ventricular fibrillation: an irregular ...

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Suturing As if med students don't have enough to worry about in the OR. James Chang is a radiologist and author of Oh Doctor, The Places You Will Go… He blogs at Poor MD and can be reached on Facebook.

shutterstock_161671763 I was at an orientation luncheon prior to my first week of medical school when my new classmate turned to me and asked, "So why did you decide to go back to school?" "Back" to school? In the eyes of this then-23-year-old future doctor, I must have appeared older than I was supposed to be. She was right. I was a little ...

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