The hardest thing about medical school isn’t learning medicine. It isn’t the hours. It isn’t the tests. It’s that you sign away control over years of your adult life. When I started my clerkship year in January, I felt like I was stepping onto a conveyor belt and would not be allowed off for twelve long months. For the entirety of 2018, my days are planned for me, my hours are ...

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I am a resident in a fancy hospital in New York. We focus a lot on value-based care, and technological innovations, and high reliability. This year, we are opening a multimillion-dollar new facility for specialty medical services. Our outdoor spaces have stone lions and grassy promenades. Our cafe serves world-class food. Today, during a beautiful new spring morning, I watched my colleagues sit, in disbelief and despair, crying with each other ...

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Prospective physicians in the United States must undergo a gauntlet of resume-building tasks, in the end, to have little control over their career, and for some, their love life. We just underwent Match Day, the brain-child of Alvin Roth and Lloyd Shapley who won a Nobel Prize for this accomplishment in 2012. The U.S. has been utilizing this tool since 1952, which was an improvement over the previous disorganization, which resulted ...

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“The ones you leave behind ...” That phrase often connotes loved ones who have lost a family member, friend or colleague through death. I have thought of the same phrase often lately in a different context — one of increasing prevalence. Here, I refer to the patients and colleagues left behind by the loss of a primary physician. No one would begrudge the retirement of a physician who has served his or her patients ...

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When did patient satisfaction become more important than appropriate medical care? Medicine has been turned into a service with bonuses related to the patient’s satisfaction score. There is a complete disregard for the appropriate medical care if the patient is dissatisfied with what they’re told. Doctors are so afraid of losing satisfaction scores and getting sued that inappropriate medical care has become the norm. The opioid epidemic is just one ...

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I’m about two-thirds of the way through my 3rd year of medical school, and I have hit my wall. I have become so fed up with the set up of medical school. I think a decent amount of this comes from the fact I am on my 6th week of an eight-week surgery clerkship (an area of medicine that I literally have zero interest in). I’m tired of waking up ...

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She could have been my charming tiny kindergarten teacher, sitting there nonchalantly in her wheelchair with neatly folded arms in her lap. The delicate, airy cloud of silvery blonde hair on her head resembled Queen Elizabeth’s style. I named her Ms. Elizabeth. A few moments ago, though, she looked like a young child who could not comprehend the meaning of her condition. Whenever she was spoken to, her mind seemed ...

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I work as a pediatrician in a bustling metropolis, in an outpatient setting of a world-renowned academic center. One of those non-profit hospitals you see in television ads. For the last three years, our outpatient encounters have plummeted, and the mothership has put all efforts into recuperating financial losses. Meanwhile, our office phones are ringing off the hook, and we cannot seem to hire enough nursing staff to deal with ...

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As a private practice specialist in an affluent metropolitan area, I am often inundated with requests for consultation by local residents and primary physicians. That’s fine — it’s what I do, and it’s what I enjoy doing. Hey, it pays the bills, and I won’t complain about that. Concierge medicine has taken a foothold locally, and this means more referrals directly from doctors who insist we take care of their patients ...

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It is December 2017. I have been on the road for the last five months, completing my five months of elective rotations. I am a fourth-year medical student aspiring to specialize in family medicine. I also want to learn procedures, so I did two months of surgery, three months of family practice electives. At the beginning of this process, I had wanted to be a general surgeon, but I ended ...

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