by James Gaulte, MD Should medical student applicants be chosen less for their demonstrated ability to master large amounts of knowledge and solve problems and more for their social consciousness and desire to push forward with social justice? That appears to be the suggestion of a panel of experts from the AMA in a project called the Initiative to Transform Medicine (ITM) who believe an ...

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Even as a medical student, I’m already complicit in exacerbating the problem of the high cost of health care. It hit me one day, during my medicine rotation.  We were working up a patient, and I was ordering tests with my resident.  The patient had liver disease and perhaps some ascites. He came in for another issue, and this wasn’t of primary concern to us, and we really wouldn’t have ...

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The average medical school debt today, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, is $156,456. The United States is the only country in the world were future doctors have to bear such a financial burden of their education.  That places significant strain on any relationship involving an American medical student. Recently, there was an interesting piece in the New York Times discussing this very issue. The article profiled a female
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A guest column by the American Medical Association, exclusive to KevinMD.com. by J. James Rohack, MD ama_logo This year marks the 100th anniversary of the landmark Flexner Report that standardized medical education in North America. Now, during this historic time of health system change, medical education reforms on the scale of those enacted a century ago are needed ...

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I thought I was an oddball in college. I've only recently learned that I was avant garde. Right before beginning college in 1975, I decided I wanted to be a doctor. Being the first-born son – with decent SATs – of an upwardly mobile Long Island Jewish family, I had relatively little choice in the matter. Notwithstanding this predestiny, I felt confident that medicine was a good fit for my interests ...

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shutterstock_113416138 Some reflections on my first semester of medical school. 1.  Medical school is hard. Yes, it’s true -- medical school is as hard as people who have been through it make it out to be. I was skeptical when I started mostly because I felt I had challenged myself while doing my undergrad degree and in graduate school.  I had taken heavy loads ...

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According to an article published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, counties with teaching medical hospitals experienced a 10% increase in fatal medication errors as compared to counties without teaching medical hospitals. First, what is the July Effect? It represents an entire transition in the hospital, during which medical students become interns, interns become senior residents, and second or third-year residents become chief residents. ...

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Can the field of family medicine truly become monotonous? I never thought I’d ever find myself in a repetitive routine when selecting family medicine as my specialty. I spent eleven years after high school studying what I know. How can eleven years of material really become mundane? In a way, it’s a great thing – it means I am feeling comfortable and confident in my job. And I am fortunate enough to ...

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One of the mantras of performance improvement is that caregivers and provider organizations should learn from their experiences. That’s all well and good, but how about policy-setting organizations? Recently, in the New England Journal of Medicine, two of the Biggest Kahunas in the safety and quality worlds – the Joint Commission (TJC) and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) – announced bold new policies. To their credit, both organizations ...

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How many hours can a doctor work? The residency regulators are back. About ten years ago, the national organization that accredits residency programs (ACGME) set out its first guidelines about how many hours a doctor-in-training can work. Interns and residents finally achieved the vaunted 80-hour workweek. New York State was 15 years ahead on this, having mandated an 80-hour work week in 1989, stemming from the Libby Zion case. Every patient wants ...

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