Education

Fighting AIDS compelled this student to become a doctor

by Timothy Dempsey

One thing changes everything.

While this may be a poor paraphrase of the cheesy slogan ESPN used for the recently finished World Cup, in my life this statement has revealed itself as a universal truth. For me, one book changed everything. It would lead me into research labs, on a trip to disease-riddled Gaborone, Botswana, and pique my interest into an epidemic whose global …

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Academic medical centers need better conflict of interest policies

by John Gever

Academic medical centers need comprehensive policies to manage their physicians’ relationships with industry and other commercial interests, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

Disclosure of such relationships — both to patients and to their institutions — should be more detailed than is currently the case at many medical schools, an AAMC task force recommended in a new report.

In particular, significant potential conflicts should be reported annually …

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New medical student summer tips

by Shawn Vuong

Incoming medical students, I know you’re excited about medical school. I was in your same exact position about 2 years ago to the day. Every day I went to sleep and thought about how cool medical school was going to be, how much cool stuff I was going to learn, and how much my life was going to change.

I asked myself many questions.  Am I going …

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Does restricting work hours hurt surgical training?

by Michael Smith

Life is better but the quality of surgical training has gone down in the wake of a Swiss law restricting surgical residents’ hours.

That was the view of both the residents and the surgical consultants who supervise them in a survey conducted by Daniel Oertli, MD, of University Hospital Basel in Basel, Switzerland, and colleagues.

Less than 9% of residents and less than 5% of surgical consultants saw the change …

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Medication errors spike when new residents start in July

by Kristina Fiore

Deaths from medication mistakes appear to spike in July, when medical residencies begin, researchers say.

Over nearly a 30-year period, fatal medication errors appear to jump 10% solely in that summer month in U.S. counties with teaching hospitals, David P. Phillips, PhD, of the University of California San Diego and Gwendolyn E.C. Barker, BA, of the University of California Los Angeles, reported online in the Journal of General Internal …

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The public wants resident physicians to work less

by Emily P. Walker

A majority of the American public doesn’t approve of doctors working 24 hours straight and supports tougher work hour regulation for resident physicians, according to a new public opinion survey.

The survey, published in the online journal BMC Medicine, is the first to assess the public’s perceptions about the controversial issue of medical residents’ work hours.

The survey found that 90% of Americans believe the maximum shift duration should …

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Social mission as a way to train more primary care doctors

Medical schools are traditionally ranked on criteria like research funding and technological innovation. These rankings are highly significant. A place on the US News‘ annual Best Medical School list  is a coveted spot indeed.

So that’s why there was some media attention paid to a recent study from the Annals of Internal Medicine, which ranked medical schools according to their “social mission” — a phrase that defines a school’s …

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Op-ed: Restrictions on physician hours may not improve patient safety

A version of this op-ed was published on June 2nd, 2010 in USA Today.

During medical training, I routinely stayed awake for more than 30 hours straight to care for my patients in the hospital. I strove to be the tireless physician who would be with his patients until they went home.  It turns out I may have jeopardized their safety instead.

For many years, the medical field has been rightfully …

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Patient handoff video that every medical intern needs to see

Patient handoffs increase the risk of medical errors.

As I wrote recently in USA Today, as residency hours are restricted, more of these handoffs will take place. It’s imperative that this source of error be minimized.

Vineet Arora, associate director at the University of Chicago’s Internal Medicine residency, is one of the nation’s authorities on patient handoffs. She recently made a video for the incoming interns about the …

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