The first two years of medical school are geared towards learning enough so you can pass your first round of boards. All the sleepless nights and the tears can be overwhelming, but to finally get to the finish line is an incredible achievement. It reinforces that these first two years were worth it and that you learned some things along the way. However, some students don’t receive the same good news. ...

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"You're 27-and-a-half weeks pregnant." As I lay on the exam table, time froze. How can this be? I wondered dazedly. I'm a second-year medical student. I've just completed a course in female reproduction and endocrinology. How could I have missed the signs? I attribute my obliviousness to the surgery I'd gone through only months before: the removal of a 27-pound, mucus-filled ovarian cyst. My lack of menstrual periods was nothing new; they'd been ...

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The sound of a clock, hung haphazardly on a colorless cold wall, ticks repetitively -- tick, tick, tick. Time continues to pass as my appointment scheduled for three hours ago seems like it will never come. I scheduled this appointment three months ago, and here I sit three hours later. The irony bounces around the room to the sound of the clock ticking. Tick. Tick. Tick. A door squeaks open. Just my ...

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Since starting medical school, I have struggled to answer this question. Because medical school is everything. It’s amazing, challenging, soul-sucking, life-giving, exhausting, dream-fulfilling, anxiety-provoking, interesting, and, dare I say, fun? How can I explain to someone that while I’m pursuing this dream, a dream that so few get the opportunity to pursue, that I have felt the lowest of lows but also the highest of highs? I typically settle for “It’s ...

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I was a 22-year-old intern, just about to finish my public health internship. I had an ambitious career ahead of me. I was trained as a public health educator. I was doing wellness fairs, writing newsletters, and excited to get to the next stage of my life. I wasn't yet certified, however, so when all of a sudden a job opportunity presented itself to me and gave me a chance ...

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Toward the end of my clinical rotations, I met Salma, a 34-year-old woman who came from Egypt with her family to the U.S. two years ago. Wearing a latte-colored hijab, she was here at the hospital to care for her father, who had a case of congestive heart failure exacerbation with pleural effusions. When deoxygenated blood comes to the right side of the heart, it gets pumped to the lungs to ...

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Imagine yourself spending two years of your life indoors with books. Sometimes the only person you speak to for a few days is yourself, as you memorize intricate details of bugs and drugs that you never imagined yourself knowing. And then after these two years, you're completely isolated from the world for about two months or so, studying for the exam that they tell you determines the rest of your ...

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When looking at the way medical education and patient care is delivered, there is no question that there is a culture of “knowing.” From the moment a pre-med enters high school, they are bombarded with tests that assess knowledge. This extends throughout medical training, where the development of an assessment and plan in residency is paramount in the transition to an attending physician who must make autonomous decisions for their ...

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Michelangelo once said, “The sculpture is already complete within the marble block before I start my work.” The same insight applies to the scientific potential that resides inside young people. Curiosity is imbued within every human being since our birth, and before we can find the words to explain why, we experience the urge to turn over rocks. Often, efforts to promote science among young people aim to impress upon them what ...

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The millennial generation is known for its desire and ability to change the status quo. As this group continues to enter and dominate the workforce, particularly as our current residents and medical students, employers are adjusting their long-held practices to reinvent their culture and ensure long-term access to young, top talent. Can you give this generation the same dress code as you did the baby boomers and expect the same result? ...

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