Congratulations! At this point, you are almost halfway done with your first year of medical school. Either you have finally figured out what's going on, or if you're like me, you are still trying to figure it out. Relax, take a few deep breaths. Medical school is unlike anything you have ever done. The volume of information, constant testing, and overwhelming need to keep up with your peers is an ...

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“I lift things up and put them down.” This quote is from a commercial for Planet Fitness I have seen in the past. It portrays a bulky body builder on a tour of the gym premises. There is no real communication with the tour guide since he keeps saying that he lifts things up and puts them down, irrespective of what the tour ...

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Our powerful subconscious minds are processing information that we don’t even realize we are taking in, so to achieve gender equity we must actively uncover things that are unintentionally promoting stereotypes. For example, we know that if we want to promote a gender equitable environment that putting portraits of men on the walls of the classrooms would not be ideal. Even if there were one or two women in the mix, ...

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On TV shows, therapists decorate their rooms with leather lounge chairs, throw pillows and organza curtains that let in the light. But Dr. Hassan's office is in the clinic basement. The fluorescent lighting is sterile. She has a gray metal desk — I think every doctor I've shadowed as a medical student has had that same desk. But I'm not here as a student. I've been anticipating this appointment for a month. In ...

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“You folks have it easy.” As a resident, it is not uncommon to hear these words on the wards from older physicians. After all, this new generation is spoiled, one could say. At the time when I trained, we had hour limitations and “caps” on the number of cases we could handle as interns on our shifts. Now, that seems to have reversed. Second year was tougher in ...

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The news that the Department of Justice is supporting a case against affirmative action at Harvard has led me to reflect on my 38 years of experience in admissions at a New York medical school. When I started out in the late seventies, affirmative action legislation had already been in place for a decade. One of its goals ...

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Whether we are aware of it or just letting it happen in the background, every day we are teachers, and we are learners. In the realm of academic medicine, the roles and relationships are obvious. Attendings teach residents, residents teach medical students. Medical students teach each other, and to a great degree, they must teach themselves. Regardless of our chosen field of medicine, our patients depend on us daily for ...

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Traditionally, many medical students use the proverbial “last summer of their lives” to conduct basic/clinical research, shadow or go abroad. If you want to be a leader in health care or are simply unsure of what to do over the summer, you should try something more exotic and unexpected — work in finance or industry. Wall Street, big pharma and private insurers have long been the moral punching bags of clinicians ...

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I’m three weeks into my second year of medical school, and my classmates and I are sharing feelings of being “old” compared to the first years on campus, who are “bright-eyed eyed and bushy-tailed” -- not yet jaded by med school bureaucracy, and (rightfully) excited by all the opportunities that lie ahead of them. I’ve also heard a few of them use an often-judgmental term that has always confused me: ...

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A few weeks ago, my ​program ​​hosted a lecture series that focused on patient safety. One lecturer truly caught my attention. He chose to highlight the fact that medical professionals have been trained since medical school that perfection, as a practicing physician, is necessary. We have been held to high expectations during our training, and we hold ourselves to these impossible standards as we continue our courses in residency and, ...

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