Applying to medical school is really annoying, expensive, and hard for no reason. I’d like to share some  wisdom I picked up along the interview trail. Become an expert stalker. You have had plenty of practice stalking your friends on Facebook. Use those skills to find out everything you can about the school. Admissions officers tend to ask you why you would like to attend their institution. In order to ...

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As a medical student I have come to appreciate two core goals of health care: 1. Health: The delivery of medical knowledge, assessment or treatment to a patient 2. Care: The compassionate approach to any patient In my medical training, I have also witnessed clinical medicine practiced across a spectrum of situations.  Taking my time to reflect on these experiences, I am not certain we are meeting our goals.  Too often ...

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For the sake of patient privacy, I am going to tell this story very ambiguously and hope that the insanity of it is not missed with the lack of details. Because most of us do clinical training with non-pediatrician tutors, we have mandatory pediatric tutorial sessions. While I had already done a little bit of lung and heart listening on some children earlier on in ...

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July is the month that new resident physicians begin their training all across the United States. Our future family physicians and pediatricians, neurosurgeons and emergency physicians, plastic surgeons and laser tattoo removal specialists (ok, not really a specialty, just a side-line) will begin learning how to be physicians, having completed four years of expensive college and four years of even more expensive medical school. Anxiety-filled and debt-ridden, they will embark on ...

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Arriving in anatomy lab there was an obvious discontent in the air. People were slower to arrive than usual and then they were even slower to get changed in the locker room. Girls would start casual conversation, or would wait for 15 minutes for others to move from in front of their locker, just in the hopes that they would get 5 more minutes ...

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I’ve always had a hard time identifying myself as a feminist. I work for healthcare equality and human rights. Women’s rights seemed to me a part of human rights work (and as Hilary Clinton and others have said, woman’s rights are human rights). Tying myself to the feminist movement then seemed to be looking backwards – clinging to a term that was anachronistic, divisive and too narrowly defined in what activism ...

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As I finished my 24-hour call recently, I was reminded of a 2009 study revealing a decline in empathy as medical students transition from their mostly-didactic second year to third year, which is essentially an apprenticeship in the hospital with lecture as an afterthought.  I began my third year with what most would argue is the most difficult rotation, surgery, and my experiences over ...

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I'm starting to understand why graphic pictures on cigarette packs are so effective. We are studying pathology, which is the human body gone wrong.  The photos--taken from autopsies--are gross, meaning their structures can be seen with the naked eye.  Cirrhotic livers are littered with bumps and scars, the heart dies and leaves a band of black tissue behind, the lungs are stretched so far that they can't pull in the ...

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Debates over resident autonomy are nothing new. Informed patients are sometimes reasonably concerned about just how much responsibility for their care will be delegated to their doctor's trainees. Care within academic medicine, especially acute inpatient care in a public system, can and does sometimes mean going a whole admission without meeting the attending physician presumably responsible for your care as a patient. At least in my limited experience. This as ...

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She whispered to me with bulging eyes of urgency, "something is not right, I’ve been in pain all night." Her chief complaint was chest pain.  She had a routine work-up and some care with little relief.  The news came that all of her test results were normal.  Her body appeared tense, she looked panicked and afraid.  At bedside, the attending suggested endoscopy offering that her pain ...

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