I’m three weeks into my second year of medical school, and my classmates and I are sharing feelings of being “old” compared to the first years on campus, who are “bright-eyed eyed and bushy-tailed” -- not yet jaded by med school bureaucracy, and (rightfully) excited by all the opportunities that lie ahead of them. I’ve also heard a few of them use an often-judgmental term that has always confused me: ...

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Although my medical school created many opportunities for clinical exposure during the first two years, none of it compared to the immersive experiences that were to follow. Textbooks, PowerPoints, and lectures galore were supplanted by hundreds of patient interactions in my rotation months. Here are four patient communication tips that have served me well, and that I wish I knew from the outset of my rotations. 1. Build rapport with the ...

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A surgical resident is suing St. Louis University, its surgical residency program director, and its trauma service chief for what she claims is an unjustified decision requiring her to repeat her fourth year of training. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch article about this has a link to a 42-page PDF describing the details of the suit. Because I suspect you won’t read that PDF and maybe not even the article, I ...

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As I approach the end of my medical school training, I want to take a moment to reflect upon the invaluable education that my classmates -- novices in medicine but rich in life experiences -- have provided. Nearly all of us identified with the common struggle of medical school: late night study sessions, difficult days, and the general balancing act of focusing on work as well as our own wellness. All ...

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It’s that time of year again, the dreaded, yet exciting, residency application season. Year after year, we have learned that securing a residency position extends beyond competitive scores. It involves planning, networking and putting your best foot forward to prove you are the perfect “match” for a program. To avoid having shock and stress of an unexpected scramble, we wanted to share five tips, which extend beyond some of the ...

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“Someone call for a body bag.” These were words that I didn’t expect to hear on my final day of burn surgery at large metropolitan hospital. We had just planned on a routine burn excision and skin grafting. Our patient, Faith, was a seven-year-old girl with third-degree burns to 85 percent of her body from a house fire. We had been caring for her in the ICU for the past three ...

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That first paycheck as a new attending means so much more than what is direct-deposited into the bank account. The emotions of finishing medical school and training to finally seeing the fruits of your labor positively affect the bank account is something to be proud of. As a medical student (like myself) and resident, it is the light at the end of the tunnel. You’re probably asking yourself, “Why should ...

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When Hurricane Harvey swept through Texas, devastating millions of people, I was lucky to be in an area of Houston where the flooding did nothing more than confine me to my apartment for a few days. It hurt to see so many people suffering after reading the news and social media posts about people losing their homes, many of their belongings, and in some cases, their lives. As the flooding ...

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Despite what the textbooks say or how much research is devoted to substance use disorder, I still meet people who feel that addiction is a "choice," and that these patients don't need "treatment" (you made your bed, and now you can just lay in it). To a certain degree, this is true. Like Little Debbie cakes and type 2 diabetes, cigarettes and lung cancer, lack of exercise and essential hypertension, addiction ...

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Last week, I spent a few hours completing an online module for one of my immunology courses. The purpose of this module was simply to expose students to the format of lecturing and assessments that would take place throughout the length of this course. The portion of the module that I found really exciting was a series of videos depicting scenes at a local clinic where a physician examined a patient ...

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