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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by Timothy Dempsey One thing changes everything. While this may be a poor paraphrase of the cheesy slogan ESPN used for the recently finished World Cup, in my life this statement has revealed itself as a universal truth. For me, one book changed everything. It would lead me into research labs, on a trip to disease-riddled Gaborone, Botswana, and pique my interest into an epidemic whose global ...

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It has been 10 years since the landmark Institute of Medicine report "To Err is Human" uncovered disturbing deficiencies in the quality of our nation's medical care. Progress in correcting these deficiencies remains frustratingly slow, and it has become clear that achieving the quality and safety improvements we seek will require us to examine our approach to medical education. Although today's newly minted physicians are well prepared in the science of medicine ...

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by John Gever Academic medical centers need comprehensive policies to manage their physicians' relationships with industry and other commercial interests, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Disclosure of such relationships -- both to patients and to their institutions -- should be more detailed than is currently the case at many medical schools, an AAMC task force recommended in a new report. In particular, significant potential conflicts should be reported annually ...

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While the percentage of commercial support for continuing medical education (CME) has continued to drastically drop over the past few years (29% decrease from 2007 to 2009), recent data, which show an epidemic of medication errors in hospitals, make this decrease even more troublesome. At a time when 30 million more patients will flood our hospitals, do we really need to ...

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It’s summertime once again, which for many medical students means helping out with a research project over the next 8 weeks. Participating in the design, execution and presentation of medical research is an invaluable learning experience for medical students. The growth of evidence based medicine means current and future physicians need to know how evidence is generated in order to effectively evaluate it and judiciously apply it to their practice. Participating in ...

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As originally reported in a New York Times article recently, with more coverage in MedPage Today, the University of Michigan School of Medicine has decided to end all industry support of CME as of January 1, 2011. According to the dean of the medical school, "the decision was based on a review of literature about the influence on clinical faculty of industry-funded CME." Apparently the decision was made after a ...

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by Shawn Vuong Incoming medical students, I know you're excited about medical school. I was in your same exact position about 2 years ago to the day. Every day I went to sleep and thought about how cool medical school was going to be, how much cool stuff I was going to learn, and how much my life was going to change. I asked myself many questions.  Am I going ...

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