She was absolutely perfect.  She had ten perfect fingers and ten perfect toes.  Her eyes were wide and curious and drew you in fondly. She was absolutely perfect everywhere -- everywhere except for her nose and mouth. She was born in 1959 with a unilateral complete cheiloschisis and palatoschisis, more commonly known as a cleft lip and palate.  Where her perfect, beautiful nose should have been was an empty, gaping ...

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In just the past six months months we, the medical community, have been challenged by questions regarding the torture report, #ICantBreathe and #WhiteCoatsForBlackLives hashtags, Ebola research and treatment, the ALS ice bucket challenge, deaths of Brittany Maynard and Joan Rivers, and the Hobby Lobby case.  What these events have in common are not their scientific or molecular underpinnings, but rather their push for us to reflect on the current state ...

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She screamed when her boyfriend hugged her. Why? I was checking my email when it happened. My boyfriend had texted me saying that he was late arriving to the airport. So I stood outside with my suitcase behind me and clicked to an email from my mother. I didn’t notice until too late that someone had approached me, and I screamed when I saw a black man reach out to ...

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What I learned from the next generation of doctors “So this is Christmas, and what have you done?” John Lennon sang from my nightstand, waking me out of a deep slumber. Bleary-eyed, I pondered his question: What have I been doing all year? A decade ago, my conversations with my younger brother, went something like this: “Do anything but medicine for God’s sake, save your soul, man!” He’s now an emergency room doc. ...

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Physicians and medical students stage a die in Recently, over 70 medical schools across the United States organized a mass “die-in” to silently protest back-to-back decisions to not indict law enforcement officers involved in the unfortunate deaths of two unarmed Black men within the context of an overall concern about systemic racism and the victimization of Black men by law enforcement. You may have seen the phrase ...

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Are millennial doctors ready for 21st century medicine? Are millennial doctors well trained for the 21st century? That was the question posed in NPR’s Millennial Doctors May Be More Tech-Savvy, But Is That Better? I believe how millennial doctors are educated may make them less adequately prepared than previous generations. This isn’t a reflection of medical education, but of education in general.

  • Do the technological tools available prevent the engagement ...

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Medical students in the couples match: One students story I recently wrote about the pressure that comes with the scrutiny of residency applications and the interview process. Adding to this, many applicants apply alongside their significant other, making use of the “couples match” option. Let’s think about that: No longer do you have to stress for yourself, but now you worry for your partner too. And while your ...

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How to choose a good medical school: A look behind the scenes The competition to get into medical school is fierce.  The Association of American Medical Colleges just announced that this year, nearly 50,000 students applied for just over 20,000 positions at the nation’s 141 MD-granting schools -- a record.  But medical schools do not have a monopoly on selectivity.  The average student applies to approximately 15 schools, and many are accepted by more ...

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In 1978, under the pseudonym Samuel Shem, psychiatrist Stephen Bergman published “The House of God,” an iconic novel drawn from his medical internship in Boston in the early 1970s. Earlier this year, Dr. Bergman spoke at the commencement of the New York University School of Medicine. With his permission, the following is adapted from those remarks. I began writing The House of God as a catharsis, to make sense of what seemed like the worst year of my life. These are ...

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Before starting third year, we had a week-long course that taught basic skills not learned in our first two years of medical school: suturing, knot tying, injections, note writing, etc.. One critical skill they left out was how to use a fax machine and how to deal with medical record offices. To outsiders, it probably seems pointless to learn how to operate an archaic communication tool like a fax machine in ...

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