As a freshman in college, I helped my aunt with her obstetric appointments to try and see what it meant to be an obstetrician. After her delivery, I asked her OB about her college majors, and she told me she majored in history. The next week, I signed up to start my history minor. Was that mentorship? No. Granted, having a liberal arts background has been extremely helpful in my medical ...

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“It’s good to see you brother!” I had never met this man, but I knew exactly what he was talking about. With a large smile on his face and a look of pride, he extended his arm to give me a handshake. “There aren’t too many of us doing what you do. I’m glad we got some representation in here.” I am a black man in the medical field. When I ...

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At a recent block party, neighbors asked me questions about the life of a resident. It amazed me how little the general public still knows about the hours a resident works. Over the years, TV shows have shed some light on what the experience of a resident is like, although none are quite realistic, but it is hard to appreciate from a one hour sitcom what it feels like to ...

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“Have you had any horrible problems with wait times?” shouted the reporter as he jogged towards the van pulling out of the parking lot. Leaning in so far that his head actually crossed the window’s threshold yet still audible from across the street, he continued “We’re looking for people who’ve had terrible experiences here!” So it was last week walking in to work at the Durham VA Medical Center. One year ago, ...

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shutterstock_132966002 As a wife and mother, I have days that are very difficult, especially since my husband is in training. I go several days in a row where I only see him right before bedtime, and some days he is unable to see our son at all. I often feel like I have no control of our schedule, and am lucky to ...

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How to insert a central line had been drilled into me long before my first attempt, and I was admittedly nervous performing my first procedure as an intern. But, as a senior resident, watching the intern in front of me insert his needle into the patient’s neck was ten times more anxiety-provoking. I wanted to guide him successfully through the first of many procedures he would need to master, in ...

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Anyone considering attending a Caribbean or any foreign medical school should do due diligence. An Internet search is step one. If the school does not list residency match statistics, that could be a red flag. It would not be easy to accomplish, but try to speak with some current students or recent graduates of any schools you are thinking about. If the school won't give you any names, use caution, and ...

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shutterstock_173798813 I was asked by one of my readers recently to write a post on how I maintain work-life balance during the all-consuming intern year of medical training. I love this idea because keeping myself sane while spending 80 percent of my time in the hospital has proven to be a constantly challenging task, and I’ve come up with a few ways ...

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There were a lot of happy faces on March 20th as depicted in this brief video of the excitement on the campus of the University of Rochester School of Medicine. Similar scenes took place at every U.S. medical school because 93.9 percent of the 18,025 graduates of U.S. allopathic medical schools matched in a specialty. But for the 1,093 (6.1 percent) U.S. graduates who didn't match things were not ...

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The patient was hacking sputum into a tissue when the resident and I entered his room. “How long have you had that cough?” “Oh this? As long as I can remember.” “But it’s been worse lately?” “Yeah.” “Worse how?” “More stuff coming out each time. See?” He opens the tissue. “How much sputum is there?” “Sputum?” “The stuff you cough up.” “I don’t look that close.” “More than two spoonfuls?” “Oh yes. Definitely.” “And the color?” “White-ish.” “Ever see any streaks of blood?” “Never.” “And how long have ...

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