A professor recently romanticized my idea of clinical reasoning as he began our session by saying, "When you're a physician, you're a detective." He elaborated: "Every fact you have, every piece of evidence you have, must be consistent with your leading diagnosis." As he said this, my eyes narrowed, and I sat up a little taller. My fellow first-year medical students and I have begun our official training in clinical reasoning, ...

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I recently told a friend that medical school is changing me fundamentally as a person. This sounds dramatic, but there's truth to it. This program and education are successfully training my brain to think in new ways, sloughing off parts of who I was, and adding new parts to who I will become. However, to my surprise, the experience has also resurfaced old parts of me that I had considered ...

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In medical school, I’m having a hard time choosing among extracurricular activities. Some of the difficulty comes from the fact that our mandatory classes are hard enough for me to manage. On top of managing coursework, I feel an enormous pressure to question what I should and shouldn’t do to best plan for my future. A little voice inside my head always asks, “How will this look on my resume?” I ...

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During the recent winter break, I went home and visited my yearly slew of doctors for check-ups: vision, dental, gynecology, etc. In the exam room, my new gynecologist instructed me to put my feet up in the stirrups. I had recently learned in a seminar at school that new guidelines on Pap smears suggest spacing them every three years for women at my age, and I wondered, “Do I even ...

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Before coming to medical school, I made a promise to myself: I will not become a robot doctor. Time and again, I visited what I call robot doctors: those physicians unable to empathize with me and seemingly unable to compute moments when I said something unscripted. For example, I once made an appointment with a doctor to discuss what might have been irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). While describing my symptoms ...

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