STAT_Logo'Tis the season. Thanksgiving? Sure. Christmas? That too. But for thousands of fourth-year medical students and foreign medical graduates all over the United States, fall through early winter is a time of job hunting — interviewing for residencies. This is a critical step in our training, where we specialize in the individual fields of medicine that will carry ...

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My alarm went off at 4:15 a.m. I lay in bed dreading the day ahead of me. By 4:50 a.m., I arrive at the nursing home where I was doing a geriatric rotation. A stack of charts and a patient complaint list was awaiting me. On the list were the usual suspects: a follow up for lab results, a fall, abdominal pain. And at the bottom was a note on ...

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For the month of September, I embarked on the experience of a lifetime, living and working on the largest Native American reservation in the United States. Sprawled across the four corners region of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, the Navajo Reservation in Chinle, Arizona, encompasses an area as large as the entire state of West Virginia. Its population, however, is only about 300,000, making it extremely rural. To leave ...

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Medical residents take on a variety of responsibilities. Some are clear, upfront, and obvious: the responsibilities they have been training for since entering medical school. Coming up with a treatment plan and carrying it out is first and foremost their raison d'etre, and they put an enormous amount of effort into it. However, they also acquire a host of other duties. They run interference for attendings. They coordinate with nursing. ...

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I was born in Shanghai, China. In September 2000, my parents and I left behind our family and friends, a language and culture dear to our hearts and social and financial stability to immigrate to the United States. I was six at the time. Although I don’t claim to have fully understood the weight of their decision to start a new life, I knew that my parents were making a ...

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I distinctly remember the excitement I felt during my first year of medical school when exposed to the breadth of general and specialty fields that seemed all so equally rewarding and medically influential.  I envisioned myself holistically understanding my patient, seeing the problem in the context of her other medical issues, her personality, her family and her environment -- an approach I considered at the heart of the oath we ...

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Four o’clock on a Friday afternoon is an anxiety-inducing time to be running behind in clinic as patients and staff both begin to show signs of wanting to leave. After finishing with a particularly complicated case involving chronic pain with multiple spinal and abdominal surgeries, I rushed into the room of the patient scheduled for 3 p.m. frazzled. The patient was an elderly man, seated with arms folded, looking sternly ...

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In an article published by the Atlantic earlier this year, Ryan Park writes that neither truck drivers nor bankers work the kind of gruelingly long hours that doctors -- particularly young doctors in their residency programs -- do. It is no secret that residency life is demanding and exhausting. Over the last decade, it has also become controversial. Almost a test in itself, as if gauging doctors’ ...

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“I know you think your organization is patient-centered … but it really isn’t.” The statement from a rare disease foundation president to a room full of industry partners stung as we observed a candid but cordial exchange about what “patient-centered” has come to mean in today’s health industry world. Everyone knew what they were hearing was right. Rewind a few days to the CBI Independent Medical Education and Grants Breakthrough Summit, where ...

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Politics are divisive. That should not be a shock to anyone. However, the political climate in the USA at the moment is more than just divisive.  Lately, I have noticed that there is an underlying disdain for those we disagree with in a way that even my grandparents say they have never seen in this country. The current political climate pervades nearly every aspect of our society, from pop culture ...

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