Physician burnout has been previously described as heartbreaking, and this may be an understatement.  The growing complexities of health care delivery, intricacies of documentation practices as required by Meaningful Use, and difficulties inherent to billing and reimbursement are only a few of the issues faced by residents and attending clinicians these days. Unfortunately, these topics are still not formally taught in American medical schools. As students, we really do not know ...

Read more...

I am a physician, but I also consider myself a mother hen. When I have a census of patients, I think of them as little chicks, perhaps old roosters, clucking hens, tender capons. Some are old, some young, some have been chased out of the coop by an angry dog, caught in the wires and sent to me for care. Some may be bad eggs, but still deserving and in ...

Read more...

Amid the many ongoing changes to health care, it's clear that better teamwork is needed in American medicine. Calls for stronger interdisciplinary collaboration have permeated position statements and policies, and organizations have begun redesigning care processes to include novel team-based approaches. Emerging data continue to affirm that strong teamwork and communication can increase the value of care. Of the many efforts to improve teamwork, however, one potential area for significant improvement ...

Read more...

During my residency training in plastic surgery, I remember spending time in the offices of some of our community faculty members. These were invaluable opportunities to gain exposure to the field outside of the academic university hospital, where things were quite different. The university was a large organization where several residency programs and hundreds of trainees were not just seamlessly integrated into the workings of the hospital, but actually required to ...

Read more...

As clinicians, we often forget or become desensitized to the image that society has of medicine and doctors. Alongside teachers and scientists, we are seen to be among the most trustworthy of professionals, yet our morale is low, with almost 50 percent describing it as “low” or “very low.” You can imagine, then, why I often describe medicine as a forest: beautiful, scenic and picturesque from afar but ...

Read more...

It’s the beginning of February and this year’s residency interviews are wrapping up. It is widely known, even encouraged, that medical students change their social media profile names or deactivate their accounts while applying and interviewing for medical residencies.  David becomes AviD, Jessica is now Jes Sica, and Sarah morphs into Miss S; students are leery of admissions committees stumbling upon their accounts, changing their profile names to something that would ...

Read more...

shutterstock_60295858 I will always remember my awkward medical school interviews. Filled with bioethical scenarios and questions to measure my ability to prevent an impaired physician from practicing, the interviewers seemed hardly interested in my prior career achievements or humble beginnings. Such discussions carried on through the first two years of medical school. They never taught us how health care reimbursement works or why ...

Read more...

We’ve almost made it. Long gone are the purgatory stints of library study, slaving to solve esoteric problems relating to planks and pulleys. Innumerable several-day exams have been conquered and tucked far away in our memories, hopefully never to haunt us again. The last of our forced smiles and faux-eager nods have been displayed toward ambivalent instructors and medical teams during the throes of our student rotations. Post-graduate training is also nearing ...

Read more...

It's that time of year again. Bright-eyed fourth years have begun wandering our hospital in uncomfortable shoes and fancy suits. They look equal parts nervous and excited, ready to embark on the insane adventure that is being an intern. But first, they have to survive interview season and Match Day:  a stressful, expensive, hoop-jumping endeavor that culminates with an envelope containing the result of eight years of hard work. Wouldn't ...

Read more...

shutterstock_156241253 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 ...

Read more...

64 Pages