We recently had a patient who arrived on our service in the intensive care unit after a complicated surgery. The surgery left him close to dying, and he was immediately put on life support and given heavy sedatives. Ventilators breathed for him. Special drugs kept his heart beating. A continuous pump acted as his kidneys, filtering out his body’s toxins and infusing the cleaned blood back into his veins anew. He had ...

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I just had a conversation with a physician and faculty member at my school. He started the conversation like this: “It’s alright if you disagree with me, and I can disagree with you too. Good academic discourse should allow people to disagree with each other.” He then allowed me to question him and explain my perspectives for over an hour as he explained his answers, helped clarify some points, and gave ...

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Our country is at risk of losing an iconic institution that has played a pivotal role in the history of medical education. A school, which has produced some of the boldest pioneers in medicine, could lose accreditation upon the opening of a new hospital that will shunt away 40 percent of their current patients. Scores of our brightest potential medical students will be ripped away from the communities that desperately ...

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It was my first day of orientation at medical school. In a hallway stood a coat rack overflowing with white garments. I set down my accumulated papers, reached for a hanger and — for the first time ever — shrugged first one arm and then the other into a white coat. It was too large, but I had no other options. The unisex coats ran from XXS to XXL, but the ...

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After my surgery rotation, I was in a very bad place. I felt like two months of grueling work hours and relentless studying were wiped away in an instant by a bad test score. That single number somehow mattered more to me than every positive comment I had received from my patients, colleagues, residents, and attendings. I felt like I had put my heart and soul into that rotation, constantly ...

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"A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience." — Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. Several years ago, an anxious senior medical student was preparing his application for The Match, the clearinghouse through which 37,000 candidates hope to secure one of the 33,000 available residency positions. It is a nerve-wracking time. Each student compiles documents, assembles records, creates lists of activities, summarizes research, catalogs volunteer projects, selects the perfect photo and solicits faculty ...

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Two weeks ago, while I was helping with an emergency medicine course that I’m a teaching assistant for, I started feeling extremely light-headed, and the chest tightness that I had dismissed as heartburn earlier that morning got worse. I was tended to by the emergency medicine doctor who I was teaching with, admitted to the ED with a resting pulse rate of 130 beats per minute, later admitted to the ...

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“Where there is no struggle, there is no compassion.” -Frederick Douglass Growing up with sickle cell anemia exposed me to the field of medicine. As I go through the pain and complications, it humbles me to the point that motivates me to work harder to be the doctor I want for myself. I want to be a physician-scientist that conducts clinical research targeted toward patients like me. I believe that as a ...

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It was during the first few weeks of medical school that I realized that I was joining a secret society. Like many physicians, I was called to medicine at a young age. For me, it was Doctor Beverly Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation. I admired her — I wanted to be who she was and do what she did. (More or less, my dreams of space medicine transmuted ...

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The New York University School of Medicine stunned the nation by announcing tuition for all current and future medical students will be free, irrespective of merit or financial need. Dr. Robert Grossman, dean at NYU, commented: “This decision recognizes a moral imperative that must be addressed, as institutions place an increasing debt burden on young people who aspire to become physicians.” NYU says their scholarship -- which begins in the ...

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