Most doctors are very bright people. I believe that what often sets apart those who perform well on the job and on exams isn't raw intelligence but rather the ability to learn effectively. In the MCAT and USMLE steps 1, 2, and 3, I did poorly and barely passed. In 2009, I took my family medicine in-training exam and fell below the minimum passing score. After taking almost five years away from residency ...

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Before I started my residency program at Boston Medical Center (BMC), I had no idea that residents were unionized at 60 hospitals across the country. I actually didn’t know much about unions or the labor movement until I got involved in contract negotiations between my own union, the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR), and Boston Medical Center administration. Through this process, I now know what it is like to ...

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From a young age, I knew I wanted to be a physician. There were no physicians in my family, but I had interacted frequently with doctors as a child and felt a strong desire to similarly help others as I grew older. To this end, I focused on academics. In choosing a university, I chose the one I felt was academically best, despite being a private school in an expensive city ...

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Are you a medical resident or fellow?  Do you have a family to provide for?  Do you feel that your biweekly paycheck is not quite enough to justify the hard work you put in?  Luckily for you, your program offers the great benefit of "moonlighting."  Should you take advantage?  Here are some of my thoughts on the matter. What is moonlighting? Like so many other things we take for granted in medicine, ...

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The hold music on the telephone cut off abruptly as the doctor I was trying to reach picked up the line. “Yes?” she said curtly.

“Hi, this is Erin Barnes,” I said. “I’m calling from Temple University Hospital in regard to one of your patients. She was admitted last week with anemia. We were initially concerned about a ...

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When the U.S. health care system began, physicians were largely autonomous in selection of medical treatments and their delivery. Patients were treated under a fee for service model. However, over time we began to notice an alarming incline in medical spending which ultimately lead to the development of health maintenance organizations (HMOs). At their inception, HMOs were intended to standardize medical treatment, reduce unnecessary use of resources, and encourage the ...

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The Match is an algorithm that pairs medical school graduates with a residency so they can begin practicing as a physician. It was invented in 1952 when there were far more residency positions available than students graduating. Now, the opposite is true. Yet we use the same algorithm. The result? A significant portion of medical school graduates are left unemployed and with no place to go once they complete school (and have ...

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On July 1st, 2017, the updated Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Common Program Requirements will take effect. The increase in the maximum continuous work hour shift from 16 to 24 hours has surely received the most attention, and will likely continue to do so. However, the ACGME did make some significant improvements in this latest guideline update worth noting. Among them was a slight conjunctional switch from an “and/or” ...

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After thirteen years of duty hours restrictions, it was important for the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) to assess the impact those regulations had had on patient safety and resident training. So last year, on March 16 to 17, 2016, the ACGME convened a congress on resident duty hours in Chicago. It was evident to everyone who attended that the ACGME had made a real commitment to hear ...

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Every summer medical school seniors are faced with the daunting task of completing applications for residency programs.  This requires completion of the “common application” through the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS), among other things.  This ultimately becomes a compilation of medical school and USMLE transcripts, letters of recommendation, personal and biographic information, a personal statement, and a resume composed of work, volunteering, and research experiences. Countless hours are spent on its ...

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