shutterstock_84235930 We live in a time of great cynicism and skepticism. We seem to see only the mundane and boring in even the most interesting and spectacular things.  The electrical rhythm of the heart that pulses through cardiac tissue and results in a coordinated muscle contraction that effectively ejects blood to the rest of the body for appropriate oxygen delivery is just … a ...

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Charcoal_untitled -page-001 Blackness covers the paper in its entirety. Hunched over, charcoal stained fingertips splayed out in front of me, I exhale and my saturated breath evokes miniature tornadoes. The fragrance of warm charcoal engulfs my olfactory bulb and my temporal lobe explodes with images of the past. I am transported back to scraped shins guarded by starched, white ruffled socks. My fingertips ...

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shutterstock_99170549 In a field filled with history, data, and very smart people, it can be difficult to do anything with confidence. And yet, this is one of the most desirable traits a doctor can have, that and a light hand when it comes to handing out narcotics. However, I have never been a fan of over-confidence. I feel that if you are going ...

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shutterstock_284554253 Dear future Pranay, By the time you read this, time will have passed with the same explosive inevitability that C. diff diarrhea passes from unfortunate rectums. I’m not sure where life has taken you -- you might be a serious senior resident physician, frazzled fellow, or -- maybe -- living your dream of being an eccentric train conductor with an affinity for shoe ...

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shutterstock_167355368 If you had asked me 15 years ago what I wanted to be when I "grow up," a doctor was definitely not a thought in my mind. I wasn’t bred at a young age to become a physician by the ancestors that walked before me, nor did I desire to go through that much schooling before I could enter the real ...

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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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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.

shutterstock_253531033 I have received many questions on this topic from medical students so I thought I would share my thoughts on choosing the right medical specialty for you. I hope you find this helpful. 1. Relax. The medical degree offers more flexibility than any other graduate degree. Even if you realize your selected specialty no longer fits you there are multiple areas your degree ...

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shutterstock_115412092 At my institution, we have a decades-old tradition known as Girls’ Night Out.  Once a year, the female surgical attendings treat the female general surgery residents to a night out at a fancy North End restaurant.  At its infancy, in the late 1970s, the dinner consisted of the only two female members of the department of general surgery.  It has since ...

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Evidence-based medicine (EBM) has been classically described as “the conscientious, explicit, and judicious use of current best evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients.”  At first look, this well-accepted approach to clinical medicine appears not only completely reasonable, but also somewhat obvious given the immense amount of research available for academic consumption. EBM has been repeatedly preached as the gold standard of clinical care across all medical ...

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