I remember the day well. The dean of my medical school called me directly. As soon as she announced herself on the other end of the line, I knew it was bad news. Deans don’t tend to make social calls, and I was right. She was calling to tell me that I had failed the USMLE Step 1, the first in a long series of standardized national exams to complete ...

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Last Thursday I got up at 5 a.m. to bake a lasagna. Admittedly, lasagna for breakfast is not my typical go-to, but last Thursday was the last session of a year-long advanced faculty development course on teaching skills that I co-direct and teach. In one of our first sessions of the year, we used the ice-breaker, “What would you choose for your last meal?” In the past, when I’ve asked this ...

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