In a recent post, I wrote about the iCOMPARE research study that is comparing the effects of increasing medical residents’ consecutive duty hours with observing the currently prescribed limits on their shifts. According to the study protocol, the primary hypothesis of the research addresses the safety of patients: that mortality under ...

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I start this article with a disclaimer: I am not here to comment on the decreasing salaries of physicians or the knowledge that I will never get paid the way the prior generation of doctors got paid. It is hard for me (and the American public) to feel bad for anybody making more than $200,000 a year when the median household income is in the mid-$40,000 range. What this article is ...

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His eyes were as wide open as his mouth as he slowly placed his beer on the bar without looking away from me.  Making no effort to wipe the thick foam from his upper lip, the man continued to stare in disbelief, “That’s the coolest thing I’ve ever heard.” The thirty-something C-something-O was blown away by what I did for work.  By this time a small crowd had gathered, standing in ...

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As I get near the completion of an intense 5-year orthopedic surgery residency program, I had an interesting interaction with our hospitals sub-committee specifically tasked to address duty hour and resident fatigue issues. As they gave examples from other departments about changes made to their programs regarding duty hours, a clear-as-mud connection was continually made. They spoke of “improvements” made as the result of residents stepping up to serve as whistleblowers ...

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When I first seriously began discussing the possibility of applying to medical school with my family and close friends, I received mixed reactions. Although medicine seemed like a great fit for me in many ways, I also heard sad stories about relationships and even entire families that had struggled to survive the strenuous period of medical training (particularly residency). As somebody who values family and close relationships highly, I was ...

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In the hour after I heard the news, I experienced the full spectrum of typical reactions to a physician suicide. One end of the spectrum came from the attending in a clinic, who when asked if the residents could go home and mourn their friend who just committed suicide, proceeded to tell me a story of how when her grandpa died before a final exam in medical school. She decided to ...

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On February 3, 2016, many physicians on social media took a moment to celebrate the first ever National Women Physician, timed to coincide with the 195th anniversary of the birthday of pioneer, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell. I began the day with a Facebook post wishing all my fellow women physician friends and colleagues a happy #nwpd and adding, “May today be the last day someone says to any of us ‘you look ...

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A few years ago, the hospital where I work started new residency programs in internal medicine and family practice. Many of the residents do rotations in anesthesiology and surgery where I have an opportunity to meet and talk with them. They are eager to learn medicine of course, but they are also interested in the perspective that many of us who have been practicing medicine for many years have to ...

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When I was finishing my fifth year of studies as clinical psychology doctoral student, I fell in love with a second-year medical resident; a wanderer at heart with the softest smile and a way of listening that made me feel like the whole world stopped when I spoke. Whenever possible, we found ourselves in the forest exploring the world on foot or, if the weather was bad, on long drives ...

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It was a concept intimately familiar to me long before anyone gave it a name. From my earliest days in college, I felt surrounded by people who packed their days with meetings, activities, sports practices or competitions; classes, study groups, and research; for whom every moment had been spoken for and each day didn’t so much end as spill over into the next. The standard was clear: to do any ...

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