I woke up to the sound of a faint “ding” from my bedside table. It was 5:24 a.m. Shaking off my lethargy, I scrambled over to my phone because the ding meant one thing: my first residency interview invitation. Looking back on that moment, as I responded in the dim light of the morning, I realize that I knew very little about what was to come over the next few months. ...

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With the transition to residency, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about next steps in my career. I even did a self-reflection exercise for a class in which I listed out professional decisions that will come up in the next few years (including choices like fellowship selection, type of practice setting, whether to pursue management roles, and more). I then rated the different options on a set of six ...

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I will graduate from medical school next week. As it winds down, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on what I’ve learned and how I’ve changed over the past five years. Obviously, I now know a lot more about medicine. There’s no escaping the need to absorb an enormous volume of information. I can rattle off the symptoms, mechanisms, and treatments for heart failure, diabetes, syphilis, and dozens of other ...

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In any educational environment, there’s a set of buzzwords that create a common vocabulary. Medical students constantly hear about “bench-to-bedside research,” “evidence-based medicine,” and “compassionate care.” Meanwhile, business school students can’t stop talking about “aligning objectives,” “disruptive innovation,” and of course, “synergy.” One of the most frequently used phrases in both schools is “big data.” The idea is that with bigger, faster computers and new analytical techniques, we can now sift ...

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Just after I started at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, I wrote an article on why I’m doing an MD/MBA. I argued that business school can help clinicians develop a new perspective, acquire important skills and build bridges between doctors, policymakers, and administrators. I heard from dozens of students, faculty, and physicians who supported the idea of an MD/MBA. However, a question repeatedly came up about as to ...

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After finishing three years in medical school, I recently moved over to Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. I decided to pursue an MBA in addition to my MD and will graduate two years from now with both degrees. I’m not alone. There are 11 MD/MBA candidates in my business school class, including nine from Stanford. Our cohort is part of a small but growing trend towards doctors obtaining business training. The ...

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As part of my pediatrics rotation, I recently spent a week taking care of patients at juvenile hall. The patients were physically healthy for the most part; I saw them for screening physicals that they receive while incarcerated. However, these encounters were far more than a typical physical. Instead of focusing on medical issues, we primarily talked about health behaviors and general well-being. It was a rare opportunity to interact with ...

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Last year, I had the opportunity to attend the American Medical Association’s interim meeting in Dallas, one of the two annual conferences held by the organization. I went to the meeting to present at a research symposium, but I stuck around for a few extra days because I was curious about the inner workings of organized medicine. As someone interested in health care systems and the delivery of medical care, ...

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A few years ago, I was doing a summer internship in which I looked at health outcomes for hospitalized patients. I sat in an office and read about patients with issues like high blood pressure and cholesterol. At a certain point, I realized that the reports on their outcomes were interesting, but the real solution to the problems I was studying was happening outside my window. My window overlooked a ...

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