Medical schools are traditionally ranked on criteria like research funding and technological innovation. These rankings are highly significant. A place on the US News' annual Best Medical School list  is a coveted spot indeed. So that's why there was some media attention paid to a recent study from the Annals of Internal Medicine, which ranked medical schools according to their "social mission" -- a phrase that defines a school's ...

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A version of this op-ed was published on June 2nd, 2010 in USA Today. During medical training, I routinely stayed awake for more than 30 hours straight to care for my patients in the hospital. I strove to be the tireless physician who would be with his patients until they went home.  It turns out I may have jeopardized their safety instead. For many years, the medical ...

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Patient handoffs increase the risk of medical errors. As I wrote recently in USA Today, as residency hours are restricted, more of these handoffs will take place. It's imperative that this source of error be minimized. Vineet Arora, associate director at the University of Chicago's Internal Medicine residency, is one of the nation's authorities on patient handoffs. She recently made a video for the incoming interns about the ...

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On a recent Saturday, I rounded in the hospital.  I met up with Zainab, the president of the minority premed association for the University of Chicago, who asked to shadow me.  While she was doing research at the hospital, she had not ever rounded in the hospital before.  It was Saturday so our team was mostly off so it was just me and my very capable resident who is about ...

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A guest column by the American Board of Internal Medicine, exclusive to KevinMD.com. The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) is sending a clear message to doctors this week: Compromise the integrity of the certification process and face swift and serious penalties. ABIM is sanctioning 139 physicians for sharing, buying, or soliciting confidential, copyrighted questions that were part of the ...

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I received a wonderful inquisitive e-mail from a 1st year medical student.  He aspires to an academic internal medicine career and, as a non-traditional student with an MPH, has realistic goals.  He asks:

What scares me is the prospect of going into a relatively low-paying specialty in such a non-lucrative practice environment with such massive educational debt.  Are there any other challenges to going into internal medicine that are unique to ...

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by an anonymous medical student As of today, I am one month from adding those long sought-after and hard-earned initials to my name, M.D.. I matched at my number one choice in a very competitive “lifestyle specialty,” have a fabulous husband who has helped me through the emotional turmoil that is medical school, and two young boys who make me laugh and smile every day. I sit here, where ...

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I try to read as much as I can of everything floating around the medical blogosphere. I think the most recurrent topic I come across is why current medical students aren’t choosing to go into primary care. It’s a great topic that relates to health care reform, making it ripe for medical bloggers to comment on relentlessly. Probably the most often cited reason is low reimbursement for primary care (read: primary ...

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I went to medical school and know something about what it’s like to work in clinical environments. I’ve recently started reading blogs and articles about “physician burnout” and I can’t help but notice that there’s a lot of blame being placed on “the system”. Doesn’t this kind of storytelling just reinforce that physicians are victims? I’d like to see physicians adopt a way of thinking that will enable them to create ...

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Physician burnout starts early in training. I wrote last year that medical residents faced burnout, helped in part by the culture they train in:

... residents “from seven different specialties and found that they set themselves up for burnout by accepting, even embracing, what they believed would be a temporary imbalance between the personal and professional aspects of their lives.”
Recent studies have shed more light on the issue. According to a study ...

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