Think all the way back to your grade school years. Did you know that your personality traits were starting to be honed for the work you do today? Let me give you some examples about myself and see if you can relate. I remember the praise and exhilaration of being the only kid in the class to get a 100 percent on an extremely difficult second-grade spelling test.  My teacher told ...

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After teaching biology and nutrition for three years, I began my journey back to my original dream: a career in medicine. The most common sense approach to me was to return back to college and start taking the necessary pre-requisites to apply for medical school. My original major in college begin special education, I had no previous college-level science background, so I began taking introductory biology and chemistry at a ...

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"Ms. Taylor*?" "Yes, it's me. I'm so deeply sorry to you and the team. You all helped me so much when I was here. But I started drinking a day after I left and blacked out." Two weeks ago, Ms. Taylor was found by her sister lying unconscious on the bathroom floor after a week-long alcohol binge. Next to her was a suicide note. "My depression is robbing me of my freedom. I ...

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We were in the middle of the morning routine – sign out between mouthfuls of eggs and homefries – when the call came in overhead, “Code Blue, 9 West.  Code Blue, 9 West.”  Just like that, our team snapped into action, the continued banter only thinly concealing a change in demeanor: backs straight, jaws set, we walked with a sense of purpose.  There was a life on the line. By the ...

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The most important piece of advice I can give to incoming medical students is to be vigilant about how you are feeling day-to-day and to be aware of your actions. As is often said, our personalities, the distinctive makeup that makes us who we are, are set in stone. If you are a mindful person, you'll stay that way even as you get older. If you are someone who likes ...

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Obesity is a global epidemic, and its prevalence is increasing in every part of the world. While we have new medications and complex surgical techniques that promote weight loss, the awareness of healthy eating habits and dietary education are still the most important factors in helping control body weight. Unfortunately, nutrition knowledge appears confined largely to books and exams; as the doctors barely engage in nutrition counseling with patients. In teaching ...

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I have spent the greater portion of my 20s enduring a premature quarter-life crisis. Patterns of self-doubt and debilitating anxiety became my new normal. I was rejected from medical school — again. After taking time to process the reality that I would have to wait another year to re-apply, I fervently journeyed through a messy jungle of introspection that led me to these six lessons. Although I learned more than I could ...

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A face feels nothing like a frozen pig’s foot, I thought, as I guided a curved needle into the woman’s cheek, drawing the absorbable thread across her still-bleeding wound. Two wraps around the needle driver and I pulled the nearly invisible thread through, bringing the edges of her skin back together, securing my first knot. “Hey, have you ever sutured?” the ER doctor had asked, just minutes before. “Only in class,” I replied, ...

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We learn about it in school as a formula. There is a checklist that we are given, and we ask our patients these eight questions and then calculate whether or not they have depression. It’s so simple. Anyone can do it! I never once thought that I would be calculating my own score at the prime of my education. I entered medical school full of hope after years of failures and ...

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I would like to offer some words of encouragement to what many call the “non-traditional” students pursuing medicine. The term encompasses people in different aspects in their lives. It may be someone in a different line of work looking at medicine as a second career or another just getting started that didn’t take the traditional path in undergrad. My own journey I started medical school at 28 after spending six years as a ...

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