Dear Dr. Brandt,

As a second year medical student, I know that my peers and I all struggle with what we view as "failure" at some point or another. I imagine this problem doesn’t stop (... ever), especially since medicine seems to attract people who hold themselves to extremely high, if not impossible, standards. If you’re looking for topics, I wonder if you might have some insight to offer on how ...

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I recently finished my 10 weeks in Internal Medicine and have moved on to 1 week each of Ophthalmology, Neurosurgery, Anesthesiology, and Otolaryngology.  This week: brain surgery.  (Tomorrow, the world.) In 3rd grade, I wrote “I want to be a brain surgen [sic].”  Ever since, it’s been a goal of mine to be a neurosurgeon.  Well, until college ... when other interests and the anticipated reality of a 7+ year residency ...

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A century ago in the U.S.,  the American Medical Association (AMA) created the Council of Medical Education (CME) to evaluate the standard of medical education. In 1908, the committee recruited the Carnegie Foundation to survey the 155 medical schools operating at the time in order to see whether they met the standard of medical education set by the CME. The Carnegie Foundation in turn asked Abraham Flexner, a professional educator, to ...

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I recently finished my two months of surgery rotations. I am happy to say that I really enjoyed my surgery rotations. I thought I was going to be intimidated by the OR, but I found it fascinating. I am relieved, since surgery is a big part of OB/GYN. Here are a few things I learned on my surgery rotation:

  • Scrub in before the surgeon but after the OR nurse.
  • Before you scrub in, introduce ...

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I recently spent a week in Ireland, taking in the sights and spirits. I was actually there for work too – visiting the University College of Dublin and the Mater Miserecordia Hospital – or the original Mercy Hospital as they refer to it.   As the future of primary care, residency work hours, and the healthcare insurance system continue to cause angst in the US, we often find ourselves referencing what our European ...

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The first time I let a medical student try to intubate was in August. Now in my final year of anesthesia residency, I had volunteered to mentor a third-year medical student for a week. A few weeks in advance I got an email with the form she had filled out. Anesthesia experience: none. Excited to learn: yes. I met her on Monday morning after she navigated through the preoperative holding area ...

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I had a nightmare last night about anatomy, the very night before my first dissection. I was in anatomy lab and had my scalpel plunged into an unknown body. As I pulled out the scalpel, a piece of flesh came flying out and shot into my gaping mouth. Needless to say, this morning in lab I was very careful about keeping my mouth shut. I admit that I felt nervous and ...

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by Walter van den Broek, MD, PhD Video podcasts are not ready to replace lectures. This disappointing result is recently published online. Teachers are eager to use new information technology to teach. When I’m doing a lecture at our medical school, these lectures are made to podcasts and posted on blackboard. Together with the slides, students can rehears or listen to the lecture afterwords when not present. This ...

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The growing criticism of industry funded continuing medical education (CME) over the past several years has had a number of significant effects on the CME community. As the Accreditation Council of Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) annual report showed, from 2007 to the present, commercial support of CME dropped 29.3%, and the number of directly sponsored CME activities decreased over 7% between 2008 and 2009. CME funding is extremely important ...

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Medical students need mentors

by Berry Pierre As I was browsing one of my favorite sites, Student Doctor, it hit me that a lot of the pre-medical students have no clue how to go about removing the prefix from their title. This is a problem that I know of very well because I was in their same position when I was an undergraduate. Growing up I knew that I wanted to be ...

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