Just under half of health care workers do not get their annual flu vaccine. Some of these workers contract the flu and unknowingly transfer it to their sick hospitalized patients, and in some cases, because of them passing the flu along, those patients die.   We know the most important reason for health care workers to get vaccinated against influenza is that it is the most effective way of preventing influenza ...

Read more...

We often pull comparisons between unexpected resources in any given profession, especially when it comes to adopting tried and true best practices. For example, I always encourage hospital systems and training institutions to look to the hospitality industry for the treatment of patients and guests, among other areas. Last year, as I settled into my seat on a cross-country flight, I witnessed a textbook example of looking outside the box ...

Read more...

The familiarity that health care professionals develop with complex medical procedures and topics is the result of years upon years of hard work, and over time we become accustomed to the jargon. We use phrases like "lap chole" and "appy" without much thought when talking to each other and (if we have a momentary lapse) with patients. We take the fantastic array of medical specialties, procedures, and knowledge in our ...

Read more...

STAT_Logo'Tis the season. Thanksgiving? Sure. Christmas? That too. But for thousands of fourth-year medical students and foreign medical graduates all over the United States, fall through early winter is a time of job hunting — interviewing for residencies. This is a critical step in our training, where we specialize in the individual fields of medicine that will carry ...

Read more...

As a trainee at a large private health system (residency) followed by a NCI-designed comprehensive cancer (fellowship) in two large metropolitan areas in the United States, I was not prepared to face the challenges of working at a university setting affiliated with a county (public) hospital in more rural west-Texas.  After one and a half years of experience as a practicing urologic oncologist, these are the five challenges I have ...

Read more...

I keep a spare set of scrubs in my car. It’s an act of preparedness, informed by experience. A couple of months ago, I came out of an ED room after performing a particularly unsavory procedure and noticed that my left knee was wet. Disgusted, I shared my misfortune with my coworkers, and all of them had the same sympathetic response; they mirrored my grimace and cautiously offered hope: “Maybe ...

Read more...

When is the right time to have a baby? This question plagues professional women across industries. It takes on more significant importance for women training as physicians. Medical training is long and coincides with a woman's late 20s, often stretching into her 30s. Waiting to have children until completing training is not always biologically feasible. Medical schools and residency training programs still lag behind in developing formal parental leave policies. Outside ...

Read more...

“Breathe in slowly, deeply, giving fresh energy to your body. Breathe out, releasing any tension from your day. In … 1 … 2 … 3 … 4 … Out … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1 …” I try to follow the yoga instructor, but in my post-call fog, I struggle to let go of the last 24 hours. We begin by sitting poses to stretch our necks. But my neck is so ...

Read more...

Mine was an unusually long hiatus from residency for research training. And in the rough readjustment to clinical environments and work processes, one forgotten element seemed glaringly problematic: “Have a plan,” said one attending, “If you don’t know, just guess.” And another, in a teaching session, “Just guess, even if you’re wrong.” From a chief resident during an awkward pause when a junior was put on the spot: “Just guess; it’s OK.” When ...

Read more...

Back in the grueling training days of my residency, I was the first-hand victim of theft. Not the kind you see on the big screen, where you're held up at gunpoint, or the kind where your belongings get ransacked. It was worse, at least in the way that it made me feel. I had my handbag stolen from me, right from its usual resting place on the shelf near my ...

Read more...

395 Pages

Most Popular

Get KevinMD's 5 most popular stories.