I recently saw a post in Yahoo questions entitled, "Is it illegal for a medical student to introduce themselves as 'Doctor' before they have received their MD?" One of the answers that was rated highly was "I think it is more unethical than illegal." Clearly, if a student is deliberately misrepresenting themselves as a ‘doctor’, it is grounds for disciplinary action.  More often than not, this misrepresentation is not ...

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In the New York Times article "18 Stethoscopes, 1 Heart Murmur and Many Missed Connections," Madeline Drexler tells her story of being a model patient. Not like a model citizen cooperative and pleasant but, a person with a medically interesting finding who is asked to help teach medical students. These "patients" are examined by small hoards of inexperienced medical students who have little knowledge, little skill and varying degrees ...

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If you’re a new intern you are hopefully a little afraid of the new found responsibility in your life. I say "hopefully" because there is nothing more frightening in healthcare than someone who is "unconsciously incompetent." That is, someone that doesn’t even realizethey have no idea what they are doing. Before starting medical school I was an emergency nurse. As an RN, I had the opportunity to see many medical ...

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A strange thing happens on your first day of med school.  Yesterday, you may have joked with old friends about upping your Paxil dose, but starting today, you are expected to be professional. And professional is suddenly a word that prevents you from being open with your new friends, a word that hints admitting to any real struggle could be a career-ending mistake. I want to tell you that it isn't, but the truth is, I'm ...

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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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