The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) released a proposal last month that will affect physicians in their first year of training after medical school. Currently, there are regulations to prevent these doctors from working more than 16 hours at a time. The new proposal wants to remove these limits, extending the maximum shift to 28 consecutive hours. There is an outpouring of public discourse on the issue with ...

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  “Medicine Purple is now rounding at Room 202.” The announcement rang throughout the hallways on the lower pavilion. It was an announcement I had heard many times before, but this time it was quite different. As I glanced in the upper right-hand corner of the electronic medical record of my first patient, the following glared back at me in all capital letters: “ATTENDING: COOPER, JOSEPH DAVID.” I had imagined the ...

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On Friday, November 4, Thomas Nasca, MD, the chief executive officer of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), released a letter outlining the proposed changes to intern work hour restrictions and other regulations. Specifically, the proposed update is expanding the previous restrictions to the length of the intern (who is a physician in their very first year out of medical school) work day from 16 to up to 28 ...

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Kicking off intern year means BBQs, team dinners, and block parties.  Every invitation encourages us to bring our significant others, those people who define our existence outside of the hospital.  And yet, hot dog and cold drink in hand, it seems we can’t help but alienate our non-medical partners by talking exclusively about the minutiae of our medical lives: our interesting patients, our frustrations, and our philosophies of medicine. They ...

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Something odd happens in medical school. It affects you as a patient, me as a provider, and state and federal budgets. For the first two years of medical school, empathy levels stay the same while we bubble in multiple choice questions. Then third year comes. Eagerly, we drop the backpacks and pick up the stethoscope ready to see real life patients. What happens during this long awaited year?
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It’s that time again -- time to dust off your nicest suit and prepare for either residency or fellowship interviews. Being knee-deep in interview season for infectious diseases fellowships, my interview days bear some resemblance to my residency interviews, yet also are quite different. I have a unique opportunity this year to be a part of the recruitment and decision process for our internal medicine residency program, in addition to being a fellowship applicant. I was visiting ...

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It is hard for any physician to advance as a medical researcher. Competition for research funding is fierce; the rigors of publishing in prestigious medical journals are gargantuan. And women pursuing such careers face even bigger challenges, with many having to take on disproportionate burdens at home compared to their male colleagues (caring for kids, attending to chores), while receiving less effective mentorship than equally accomplished men. Add ...

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I began one of my medical oncology rotations alongside my co-resident: an MD/PhD, fast-track (pre-matched into fellowship) future oncologist. Among my three interns that rotation, two were “Harvard kids.” Needless to say, I was intimidated. My colleague and counterpart not only had the entire catalogue of genomic alterations at the tip of his tongue, he knew and understood their implications on disease. I saw my intern having a long conversation ...

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Dear Dr. Wible, I am writing to you with great sadness, but with relentless determination to ignite change. I am a doctor with a disability. Two years ago I began residency training in pediatrics. The privilege was overwhelming as I stood a doctor in the very halls where I had been wheeled in as a patient with a brain tumor. I couldn’t believe that I had actually made it, that I ...

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My mother-in-law died last week. She’d single-handedly raised two sons on a social worker’s salary after the love of her life, her husband, died with metastatic melanoma. After her sons left home, she stayed alone on the farm in the middle of nowhere. When she turned 73 and felt the swell of grandmotherly love in her chest, she moved to the city to help raise her first set of grandkids, now ...

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