The past three and a half years have flown by, and somehow, I’m completely done with clinical rotations! I just finished up on the pediatric infectious disease service, and this rotation was unlike my others in one key way: I was joined on the service by students who are training to be nurse practitioners and pharmacists. Training alongside other students isn’t itself new, but on every other rotation, they’ve always been ...

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As a clinical student, I’ve been a part of dozens of outpatient clinic visits, but several days ago, I witnessed a clinic visit much unlike the others. For one, our patient arrived not for a 20-minute appointment, but for a three-hour one. As a hemophiliac, this patient came to Stanford once a year, for a comprehensive, coordinated patient care visit, where she saw not only her hematologist but also her social ...

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“I could never go into that specialty. They’re so passive aggressive.” “Those residents are so catty.” “Oh, them? They don’t even know their patient’s names.” “Those residents are such bros.” And so on. I guarantee you that if you’re in medicine -- or even if you’re not --  it would take you no more than two guesses to figure out which specialty each of the above statements is describing. At some point during third year, ...

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There was a morning where I felt like the smallest human being on earth. It was a morning spent in the OR, where it seemed like I could do nothing right. I placed the Foley incorrectly on my first attempt, and then ended up removing it incorrectly as well. I nonchalantly brushed past the robot we were using for the case, which was already draped and prepped, and whose sterility I ...

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Dear future self, Remember that day on surgery you stepped into the OR for the first time? How you had no idea you were supposed to pull your own gloves for the scrub nurse from the supplies cabinet, or that you needed to stand an arm’s length away from the equipment table to avoid breaking sterility? Remember how scared you felt? How clumsy you were when you scrubbed in, in a ...

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Over the past eight months, I’ve rotated at the Palo Alto VA, Santa Clara Kaiser, Stanford outpatient family medicine, and pediatrics clinics, and most recently, at Santa Clara Valley. At the VA and Kaiser, all my patients spoke English. Occasionally, at Stanford’s outpatient sites, our patients spoke a language other than English; however, this never felt like a barrier to care because Stanford had phone interpreters available, as well as ...

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“I remember how hard it was to be a third-year medical student,” one of my residents once said to me. “You have to appear constantly enthusiastic. You feel continuously judged and evaluated. And worst of all, you know, deep inside, that if you were to get a cold or something and not show up one day, not one bit of the daily workflow would change because as far as pivotal ...

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As part of the second-year clinical skills course, each member of my class is required to complete two 8-hour emergency department (ED) shifts. I had my first ED shift last week, and when I walked in, I introduced myself as a second-year medical student who needed to practice IV placements, EKGs, and any other procedures that happened to come my way. Three hours later, when I walked out of the ...

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Learning in medical school often feels like learning a completely new language. There are numerous acronyms (OPQRST, CAGE) and molecules (IL-1, TGF-beta) and more. But most striking to me are two particularly ubiquitous buzzwords: “high-yield” and “protected time.” I feel like I heard both these terms -- and particularly the former -- thrown around every single week of this past school year. High-yield has been used to refer to, as you ...

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This quarter of medical school has by far been my favorite, because almost everything we do has an explicit clinical correlation. Each week we work in small groups of 10 or so students to go over patient cases, practice respiratory and cardiovascular (our two organ blocks this quarter) physical exam skills, and interface with real patients in the hospital. These experiences have been both exciting and humbling, and two in ...

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