Everybody gets nervous at the doctor’s office. Physicians ask all sorts of personal questions about what people eat, how much they drink, and how things are at home. Even questions that would seem completely harmless in another context — such as how work is going, or what hobbies a person enjoys — seem surrounded by hidden meaning and purpose. After all, who doesn’t want to “pass” their annual checkup? Part of ...

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A speech to graduating residents. It’s an easy thing to count the number of seeds in an apple. In our residency class of 2018 we have nine seeds, and on your graduation, we scatter you across the country. You each carry amazing potential that we have hopefully helped nurture over your years here. You will be caring doctors kneeling by bedsides. You will be national leaders changing policies. You will be ...

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A few days ago I received a message: “Any advice for incoming med students?” As an old, wise, seasoned, now-second year medical student, I know everything. Just kidding — I fumbled my way through first year like everyone else, and just like you will too. No piece of advice allows you to opt out from the challenges of medical school year one. My advice isn’t the “normal” recommendations incoming medical students receive. You ...

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Recently, I had the honor of standing by one of my childhood best friends as she promised the love of her life that she’d stand by him forever. The wedding was beautiful, and at the reception, I played with another close friend’s 3-year-old daughter and talked with other friends about their work promotions and apartment searches. All I have to contribute to these conversations are anecdotes about medical school and ...

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“I am so happy I’m not in residency anymore!” he said with a big grin on his face. “I mean, I learned a lot, don’t get me wrong,” he tried to rectify the situation after realizing who he was talking to, “I just remember how tired I was and how I never saw my family.” This was not the first, nor the last, time I heard something like this. So many ...

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Recently, I entered an essay contest on advice you would give to future medical students. I sincerely believe that the best person to write an article offering advice to younger medical students should come from a person who didn’t match. Also known as me. Why, you say? Well, for everyone else, Match Day is a culmination of four years of mentally, physically, and emotionally taxing work. They might even forget ...

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I will graduate from medical school next week. As it winds down, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on what I’ve learned and how I’ve changed over the past five years. Obviously, I now know a lot more about medicine. There’s no escaping the need to absorb an enormous volume of information. I can rattle off the symptoms, mechanisms, and treatments for heart failure, diabetes, syphilis, and dozens of other ...

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I am a first-year medical student, and just like some of you once did, the primary reason I am becoming a physician is to really make a difference for my patients by [insert x, y or z]. “Wow, that’s really great, but we’ll see how you feel about it in a few years.” “That’s not how it works once you’re actually out there.” “Trust me, medicine isn’t what it used to be, get ...

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School interviews are considered the most important factor for selecting candidates for medical school. They allow faculty to meet candidates who look good on paper and see how they fare in person. Though thousands apply, only a fraction are offered interviews. Naturally, candidates feel nervous when preparing for these interviews. This is especially true for applicants with multiple interviews since they must prepare for more than ...

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"I feel very dizzy when standing," was Ms. A's* chief complaint. She originally came to the ER for sudden onset double vision and severe balance issues. After briefing myself, I took the stairs to the fourth floor and found her. When I arrived, Ms. A was the only person there. She was wearing a silver visor and a crisp white shirt. As a native of west Texas, she loved her BBQ, ...

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