"Please help me. I was brushing my teeth this morning and started bleeding a ton from my mouth." Joe (identifying information changed) pointed to a bucket next to his bed. I was horrified to see close to two pints of blood in it. With gloves on, I pulled out my penlight and a new tongue depressor. "Open your mouth wide for me Joe. I need to see where you are bleeding from." I clicked ...

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Based on my clinical experiences, there are ten pieces of advice I would give to any medical student starting their rotations that will maximize productivity and lead to a robust and thriving work environment (your interns will thank you). 1. Do as complete of a workup on your assigned patients as you can. Be thorough with your admission H&P. Think of all the tests, labs and imaging studies you want ordered. ...

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"Ms. Taylor*?" "Yes, it's me. I'm so deeply sorry to you and the team. You all helped me so much when I was here. But I started drinking a day after I left and blacked out." Two weeks ago, Ms. Taylor was found by her sister lying unconscious on the bathroom floor after a week-long alcohol binge. Next to her was a suicide note. "My depression is robbing me of my freedom. I ...

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The most important piece of advice I can give to incoming medical students is to be vigilant about how you are feeling day-to-day and to be aware of your actions. As is often said, our personalities, the distinctive makeup that makes us who we are, are set in stone. If you are a mindful person, you'll stay that way even as you get older. If you are someone who likes ...

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Finishing my ER shift for the day, I waited for the shuttle at a busy intersection. Within a minute of drowning myself in music, I saw an obese man at the bus stop suddenly collapse to the ground. I removed my backpack and ran the fastest I have ever run in my life across the street to him. His body was shaking violently, and I waved and yelled to the nearby police ...

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September 2015, a few weeks into my first year of medical school. Mr. Smith (John) (identifying information and event details altered to protect confidentiality) wore an orange jumpsuit with the letters "COUNTY JAIL" running down his right pant sleeve. At all times, I felt the presence of his police officer sitting right outside the shock room. As I interviewed John, he had a face void of emotion. I introduced myself as a ...

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November 2017. I was on my pediatrics rotation at a local community clinic. My attending asked me if I could see Johnathan (identifying information and event details altered to protect confidentiality), an eight-year-old boy who has been increasingly fatigued since the start of the school year. I walked down the hallway laden with paintings of Amazon animals and knocked on room #13. "Good afternoon, Ms. Sanders. My name's T.J., and I'm ...

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I sat in seat 23F next to the window, took out my leftover dinner from my backpack, and furiously started eating. A few minutes later, a man wearing an Astros baseball cap sat next to me with a puzzled look. “You sure look hungry.” “I am, can’t beat fried noodles with chicken. My name’s T.J. Pleasure to meet you.” “My name’s Mike, Mike Jordan.” “Are you related to the Michael Jordan?” “Ha ha! I sure ...

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As I was reviewing his chart, I noticed under social history that “freelance artist/painter” was listed as his occupation. I've never met a patient of such talent and honestly, I was excited to meet him. When I arrived at the ER, I was introduced to an unassuming elderly man. He wore a pair of worn out jeans and a burnt orange T-shirt. Tufts of white hair emanated from under his ...

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"I feel very dizzy when standing," was Ms. A's* chief complaint. She originally came to the ER for sudden onset double vision and severe balance issues. After briefing myself, I took the stairs to the fourth floor and found her. When I arrived, Ms. A was the only person there. She was wearing a silver visor and a crisp white shirt. As a native of west Texas, she loved her BBQ, ...

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On a Sunday afternoon, I arrived at the hospital for my psychiatry ER shift. As medical students, we keep an eye on the track board for new patients to see. Two names turned bright red, and I chose to follow Jackie Swanson*. Her initial ER evaluation read “Patient is a 30-year-old female here for SI, HI, and AVH in context of recent sexual assault and cocaine use.” She was brought ...

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