Education

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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A medical student chooses dermatology because of family

by an anonymous medical student

As of today, I am one month from adding those long sought-after and hard-earned initials to my name, M.D.. I matched at my number one choice in a very competitive “lifestyle specialty,” have a fabulous husband who has helped me through the emotional turmoil that is medical school, and two young boys who make me laugh and smile every day. I sit here, where …

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Physician burnout and depression during medical residency

Physician burnout starts early in training.

I wrote last year that medical residents faced burnout, helped in part by the culture they train in:

… residents “from seven different specialties and found that they set themselves up for burnout by accepting, even embracing, what they believed would be a temporary imbalance between the personal and professional aspects of their lives.”

Recent studies have shed more light on the issue.

According to a study …

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Intern: A Doctor’s Initiation, an audiobook excerpt

An audiobook except from Intern: A Doctor’s Initiation, now available for download on iTunes.


Intern: A Doctor’s Initiation — Click to play audioclip

by Sandeep Jauhar, MD

Chapter one

internI had been an intern less than an hour, and already I was running late. The sloping footpath leading up to the hospital was paved with gray cobblestones. My feet ached as my …

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A pre-medical student writes to her gross anatomy cadaver

A letter from a pre-medical student honoring her gross anatomy cadaver.

Letter to the other side
by Hana Low

Thank you for donating your body to science and medical education. It’s so generous to give yourself to those you will never meet. I hope you’re having a good time, up there or wherever you are.

Working with your body has made me acutely conscious of the dangers in my everyday environment. I have to …

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Family comes first for some who have finished residency

by Dr. Whoo, MD

I have met several women who have completed residency and maybe even practiced beyond that, but decide to quit and stay at home with kids. I wonder – why would a woman who has gone through all of that training just quit? It would seem like the hard part is behind them and I am perplexed by their decision but, of course, I …

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ACP: Challenges for a competency-based framework for residency training

A guest column by the American College of Physicians, exclusive to KevinMD.com.

by Steven Weinberger, MD, FACP

Since the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) instituted its Outcome Project approximately 10 years ago, residency training programs have progressively focused on how well their residents have acquired knowledge, skills and attitudes in six broad domains. These “general competencies” include medical knowledge, patient …

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