Today is a strange day. I treated myself to a slice of nondescript doughy hospital pizza for lunch today. If this was an actual pizza place, and I had a choice, I would never order this pizza. But today, the pizza tasted fantastic. In fact, it tasted like the best pizza I’ve ever had. Why you ask? Because this would likely be the last time I’d ever eat this hospital pizza. I enjoyed ...

Read more...

Dear third-year medical students, Welcome to the wards. I remember this stage — basking in the glory of completing pre-clinicals, in the excitement of finally switching heavy textbooks for living, breathing people, in the realization that medical education now lies in the hands of those I wanted to heal. I would be sleeping less, but living more, because this was my purpose. Remember this moment because this will be the most difficult year ...

Read more...

Learners value efficiency.  As I recall my residency, nothing caused more angst than unnecessarily long rounds.  In the 1970s just like in the 2010s, I had much to do after rounds ended. As an attending physician, my responsibilities involve patient care and aiding learning.  I have always worked hard to do that within a time constraint.  The time constraint requires that rounds run efficiently. Like many things in medicine, efficiency only works ...

Read more...

Everyone knows that the process of applying and getting accepted into medical school is highly competitive. Last year, 51,680 people applied for seats in U.S. medical schools. Collectively, they submitted 816,153 applications -- a whopping 16 applications per person on average. Only 21,338 applicants matriculated to a U.S. school last fall, or 41 percent of applicants. So how do the admissions committees evaluating all these applicants make their ...

Read more...

As I was reviewing his chart, I noticed under social history that “freelance artist/painter” was listed as his occupation. I've never met a patient of such talent and honestly, I was excited to meet him. When I arrived at the ER, I was introduced to an unassuming elderly man. He wore a pair of worn out jeans and a burnt orange T-shirt. Tufts of white hair emanated from under his ...

Read more...

I could see the excitement on my six-year-old daughter’s face as we pulled into the parking lot and unloaded her new bike from the car. She had been anxiously awaiting this moment for several weeks — she was going to learn to ride a bicycle. She watched with increasing interest as I unscrewed the training wheels, tightened her handlebars and handed her the bike. She got on her new bike ...

Read more...

Literature coming from business and human resource management suggests that women are over-mentored and under-sponsored. However, if you have been reading reports about women in medicine, then you likely have heard that women are both over-mentored and under-mentored. Where does the truth lie? That depends on various factors including the definitions of these terms. What exactly do these words mean? In the business sector, mentorship is ...

Read more...

Young, aspiring doctors are the Iron Youth of this generation. In Erich Maria Remarque's All Quiet on the Western Front, young German soldiers are called the Iron Youth as part of a campaign to generate enthusiasm for fighting in the war; these soldiers soon realize the true horrors of war and its lasting impact on the psyche. The analogy is not necessarily to compare residency to war but to highlight ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

Join 141,000+ subscribers

Get the best of KevinMD in your inbox

Sign me up! It's free. 
close-link
✓ Join 141,000+ subscribers 
✓ Get KevinMD's 5 most popular stories
Subscribe. It's free.
close-image