What is your gut reaction when you hear the words "hospital chaplain?" Maybe it's an eye roll or confused stare about what you believe to be an incoming attempt at religious conversion. As a family member anxious about a loved one in the hospital, maybe it's a sigh of relief. As a patient, maybe it's an overwhelming fear of incoming bad news. Health care chaplaincy is chronically misunderstood, beginning with ...

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I have just finished another round of that dreaded process that we call “the interview process.” Without fail, this process has haunted me almost cyclically every 3 to 4 years in the last 11 years of my life. First, there were medical school interviews, residency program interviews, and then lastly, fellowship interviews. You would think that after so many rounds of applying, it would get easier. You would think after I ...

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An excerpt from Career & Life Planning Guidebook for Medical Residents: The Best Part of Your Journey Is about to Begin. Life is a journey. Where is this journey of life taking you? Do you know? If I asked you where you will be in seven years, could you tell ...

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After third-year medicine, I was required to withdraw for handing in an assignment late. It was a paragraph of self-reflection; I couldn't believe I was being kicked out for something so seemingly inconsequential. My dealings with the faculty became increasingly hostile and negative. I realized that my fellow students had to band together. Otherwise, there will be no change. I have to say that at my medical school, they have been ...

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The doctor shortage across the United States is coming and has the potential to be painful to millions of Americans. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, by 2023, the country may experience a deficit of up to nearly 122,000 physicians. With more and more Americans getting access to health care because of policies like the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion, and with the aging population, medical schools ...

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It is easy to feel the gravity that accompanies the act of caring for those whose souls are still stuck to the surface of the earth. Their nerves still feel. Their skin still bleeds. Their eyes blink, and their hearts beat. Their chests rise and fall and rest for a moment before this rhythm repeats. They cry when poked and, sometimes, ask if they are going to live or die, ...

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“Can we please try to be objective about this!” I said these words to myself over and over during this year’s interview season as we formulated our residency rank list. At my institution, the residents and faculty have equal sway in forming the rank list. The chief resident facilitates the resident half of the process. As the hours wore on during our last meeting, the discussion gradually deviated from assessing the ...

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Last June, I became a freshly-minted young doctor, bright-eyed, and enthusiastic about heading off to my dream residency program. By August, I found myself crossing the street on my way home, wondering if I had made a horrible mistake that could have harmed a patient. The most painful thing was, I hardly had the energy to care. This is not why I chose to dedicate myself to medicine. Like many medical trainees, ...

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Residency application season has begun! When I was applying last year, I spent a lot of time thinking not just about what programs I wanted to go to, where I wanted to live and how best to answer "Where do you see yourself in five years?" — but also trying to develop a method for making this decision. This is the mental model I came up with that helped me through ...

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It’s fascinating — the strange clarity that a little panic brings. I remember thinking this in the days after, startled at the level of detail in my memories of the first time I watched a patient die. “Just got a call, transport’s bringing in a code. You good to standby for compressions?” I nodded as I felt my stomach free fall ten-thousand feet, managing a, “Yeah, totally,” that sounded more confident than I ...

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