At the beginning of this year, I bought a ukulele. I started intern year at a sprint, like anyone does, arms full of hope which was quickly extinguished, lost in an atmosphere so devoid of hope that all of it flew out of my arms to settle into places so far in between it might as well have been floating in the vacuum of space. The cloak of physicianship burdens upon ...

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In his famous novel, Moneyball, Michael Lewis illustrates the phenomenon of professional baseball scouts focusing on all the wrong characteristics when looking at players. He describes how scouts focus on fastball velocity as a way to compare pitchers, despite the lack of correlation between fastball speed and the quality of a pitcher. As it turns out, the most important factor in a pitcher is deception, not a high-velocity fastball. The ...

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On a normal Tuesday, one of my fellow residents did the same things we all do. She woke up before sunrise, put her best face forward, came to work, saw patients quickly, wrote notes, said "good morning" to everyone at morning conference, saw more patients, wrote more notes, then went home. She said "good night" to her loved ones  —  her parents and siblings at home  —  and went to ...

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To me, five years ago: Right now you are 28, seated at the top of everything: chief resident of the entire pediatric department. You are in charge of 19 other interns and residents. You are resilient, kind, funny and determined. You seem to have the solution for everything, yet you don’t actually have the answer to anything. At least that’s how you’ll feel on most days in your new leadership role. ...

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The other day I was sitting at home looking out the window at an achingly crisp, clear blue sky.  A slight, cool breeze was wafting through that open window, and faint birdsong accented a view of tree tops in blooms of pink, red, and white.  The blue-tinged mountains were hovering in the distance, proud and majestic. Only, no.  I was actually at work.  Underground.  In front of a computer screen, whose ...

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Fireworks, champagne toasts, sparkly hats, and the ball drop are all items that we conger up in our minds as we think of the New Year. For the majority of the world, January 1st represents the transition from one year to another on the calendar. New resolutions are made, and there is a global fresh start. However, for those of us in the medical field, there is another new year ...

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Every July, recently graduated doctors from medical school transition into hospitals, clinics and surgical rotations. Doctors completing their internship year welcome second year with additional leadership roles. This period of transition is coupled with the pressure of doing well, the stress of proving your competency on attending rounds and the desire to receive respect from your team. It is easy to get caught in a sea of confusion and frustration as ...

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My wife and I were in a unique situation after graduating medical school. We had met in the first year of medical school in and became friends. During our second year we started dating, and by end of third year, we were married. By the beginning of fourth year, we were proudly expecting. By June 1st, 2016 we were fortunate enough to share our graduation from medical school with our ...

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They say you never forget your first crush. Or your first date. Or your first kiss. And you don't. Just as we have landmarks events that shape us in the adolescence of our personal lives, physicians also have landmark events that shape them in the adolescence of medical training: residency. No longer a child of medical school, needing constant supervision and clinical babysitting by elders, resident physicians start with a refreshingly nascent view ...

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I knew that residency would be indentured servitude for (in my case) three years. I knew it. I prepared for the fear, the shaming, and the isolation as best I could. And I have for the past 11 months done OK. I am not the smartest or fastest. But I am told that I am passionate about my patients and have an “adequate fund of knowledge.” Woohoo. Adequacy! I have had dark moments. And ...

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