In a recent article posted on this site, the author (a radiologist) waxed rhapsodic about a young medical student that was convinced to pursue primary care. When the author asked the student about the economic downsides to primary care, he responded by saying, "I’m not in it for the money ... What matters to me isn’t the money -- it’s making a difference in my patients’ lives.” Well, good for him. Time ...

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Every third-year has heard it: “When I was in your position, I was taking 24-hour calls every other night. If my resident was there, I was there ...” We’re regaled about the glory days, without shelf exams, without phlebotomists, and -- by God -- without those work-hour restrictions. The days when medical students wouldn’t dare ask their residents for help, or residents their chiefs, or chiefs their attendings, and so on. ...

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Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable.  Black America’s favorite physician is under fire.  Multiple allegations have surfaced and re-surfaced accusing Bill Cosby of various insidious perpetrations.  This blog is not intended to persecute or defend Mr. Cosby, but rather to highlight something to minority physicians that can be easily overlooked. Ask any black male physician under age 40 to name five black doctors who inspired him as a youth, and it is likely that ...

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shutterstock_124837006 We recently had a session hosted by the medical education staff at our school where we were encouraged to share any difficult situations encountered in clerkship (submitted anonymously beforehand if that was preferred) and discussed them as a class. Issues regarding ageism, sexism and racism were brought up and addressed with the group. While I have not encountered any of the ...

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As a faculty member, I’ve encountered many medical students excelling inside and outside of the classroom. Students can be recognized for their contributions through scholarships, awards, and grants. Whenever I can, I try to direct students to these opportunities. It’s been a great joy for me to help students win scholarships, and here’s what I’ve learned from award recipients. 1. Your ability to develop strong relationships with faculty mentors is crucial ...

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It’s really quite easy to kill a doctor. Here’s a step-by-step process guaranteed to succeed at least 400 times a year: Start early. Be sure to denigrate medical students whenever possible. Even if they’ve come to the profession later in life and have accomplished all kinds of amazing things personally and professionally (which don’t count, of course, since those are other professions) they don’t know squat about medicine and you do. Make sure to emphasize ...

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Sexism is a major problem in education around sciences, technology and engineering. The first step in addressing this problem is awareness. A new study suggests many men deny that sexism is a problem in STEM fields. A study in Psychology of Women Quarterly says that that among 423 respondents in an online forum, men were more likely to suggest sexism isn't a problem even when confronted with evidence it is. Wow, men are ...

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It was 11:47 p.m. That meant that I had 13 minutes to reach my pre-set goal of  “activity” that the fitness tracker on my wrist had been registering throughout the day. If I met the goal, I would get a “trophy” on the accompanying app. I probably looked pretty funny bouncing around my living room doing a squat here and a sit-up there, punching a pretend opponent, and running in ...

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Ever since the first invocation of the dogma "publish or perish" in the 1930s, modern medical practice seems to have followed in the ways of Darwinian evolution: It’s survival of the fittest. This doctrine, concise yet striking, refers to the competitive nature of the academic profession in which we have been raised and continue to grow. Although obtaining a medical degree reflects many years of effort, discipline, and camaraderie, ...

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A while ago, I wrote about a medical student whose school tried to dismiss him just prior to graduation for unprofessional behavior. A judge ruled that the school could not do so because it had tolerated some similar behavior earlier in his medical school career and had not considered it important enough to mention in his letters of recommendation. In that post, I said, "'Professionalism' is difficult to define, especially when trying to ...

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