As an aspiring surgeon, I at times contemplate whether being creative has any effect on my future career. On one hand, if you see surgery as an “art,” then possibly a creative personality is beneficial. On the other hand, surgery often seems objective and clear-cut, qualities often deemed uncreative. Perhaps even my goals of surgery and my interests in artistic creation are independent, noncommunicating personality features that are unrelated and ...

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Social media platforms lit up when sponsors of the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) announced Step 1 score reporting will change from 3-digit numerical scores to pass/fail by January 1, 2022. First-year Harvard Medical School student LaShyra Nolen tweeted, “this could reinforce the hierarchy among med schools,” arguing the score change could encourage residency admission directors to favor applicants from prestigious medical ...

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“To become successful, you need to be excellent and likable,” said a local Black physician giving advice to young underrepresented students facing the usual challenges of medical school. “Black excellence is the only way forward. The system and the institutions are racist, but we just need to work extra hard. If we do, we will get what we deserve,” said another prominent African-American doctor trying to inspire graduating Black physicians. Both of ...

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Quick, think of someone unrelated to you who has had a major impact on your life. I’d wager the vast majority of us pictured a face or two, and that nearly all (I hope) represented a positive influence. In my thirty-plus-year career in medicine, I’ve been blessed with several, and their impact on my life and career is truly inestimable. As a smart kid who went to medical school because it’s ...

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"I will never forget these words. This physician validated my efforts to emotionally connect with patients. This message will indelibly shape the way I allow myself to care for and become invested in the patients to come in my future. Illness is often incredibly unfair, and sometimes we cannot overcome. However unbeatable ...

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An excerpt from Cured: A Doctor's Journey from Panic to Peace. Dead bodies surrounded me. They lay on their backs, supine in medical terminology. I imagined some staring at the white plastic sheets that covered them completely, others glaring at their closed eyelids. Their smell, a mixture of formaldehyde and ...

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“Checkmate,” she whispered. A silent wave swept across the tournament area. Players turned their heads in our direction, eager to see who had lost 30 seconds into the round. It was me—I had fallen victim to the infamous four-move checkmate. My opponent, a five-year-old girl who could barely reach the other side of the chessboard, extended her hand to shake. My seven-year-old self was mortified. In the chess world, nothing is ...

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I am sitting at my desk, scribbling down notes as my pre-recorded lecture races ahead of me at two times speed. My phone buzzes with another New York Times notification about the spread of coronavirus variants. I regret turning on push notifications about breaking news, but I can’t look away now. When I consider changing the setting, I am reminded that I shouldn’t look away. I have a ...

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One of my most impactful experiences during my third year of medical school was spending time with my patients and getting to know them. I went into medicine because I believed in the special relationship between doctor and patient. As I was shadowing in college, I was amazed by how within minutes, a stranger would reveal physical and psychological details about their life they might not even share with their ...

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On Inaugural Day, January 20th, 2021, Amanda Gorman eloquently recited her poem "The Hill We Climb.". Instantaneously, she electrified a nation that resonated deeply with her words. For many, she became the highlight of the Inauguration as she revived an appreciation for poetry and the meaning it can create. Through the nuanced phrases and occasional rhymes, she portrayed her own feelings and passions regarding the state of our nation. ...

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Decades of job loss, the opioid crisis, and the current pandemic have all shaken the already tenuous health care system of rural America. This is happening in the wealthiest nation on Earth, with a GDP of over 20 trillion dollars. Why is this happening? And how can the medical education system better prepare future physicians to meet rural ...

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"The peer-review process is fallible, slow, and biased, and it takes advantage of the scientific community’s altruism. We need to keep pushing the conversation forward about making publishing more equitable, timely, accessible, and fair. An obvious and easy way to begin is to pay the experts who perform the peer reviews. ...

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From a medical perspective, ‪Mr. G’s case seemed straightforward. His GFR had fallen. His kidneys were failing. Dialysis would be required as the best treatment for his renal condition. When I met with Mr. G later in the afternoon, he was in despair. He could not see how dialysis would save his life and expressed anguish towards the idea of living the remainder of his life on dialysis. He deliberated declining ...

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Patients often comment on my attire other than my white coat, particularly my impractical footwear, until I finally broke down and purchased Danskos to avoid being called out for my truthful impracticality. It is amazing how patients care more about my orthotics than remembering the reason they scheduled a visit with me, and God bless them for that. I am in family medicine, and I thrive on personal and genuine relationships where ...

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Years and years ago, everyone always walked up a mountain of snow and ice barefoot while dragging a carriage behind them to get to school, and their stethoscopes were made of bamboo. They were hard, hard times, and it was a time-honored tradition to hear the talk from our attendings about how hard training used to be and always elicited an internal groan. The follow up refrain frequently heard in ...

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As a child, I was no stranger to the medical field. In kindergarten, while my classmates brought a pet frog, a family heirloom, or their favorite toy for show-and-tell, I brought a kidney stone the size of a plum. My family unites Eastern and Western medicine; my mother is a licensed acupuncturist, and my father is a urologist. Growing up, he always claimed that “urine put food on the table.” ...

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He studied at Turin, worked as a chemist until the age of 24, and in 1943 he resisted Nazi occupation of Italy with a group of countrymen. Italian fascists arrested him, turned him over to the Germans, and sent him to Auschwitz in 1944. He arrived on a train packed with six hundred and fifty people. He was imprisoned in the concentration camp for a year. Later
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Stacks of flyers ranging from local free dinners to legal services collecting in a box or filing cabinet are familiar scenes in student-run clinics (SRCs). To anyone who has worked in social services, maintaining organization and keeping up-to-date resources can be a frustrating and common challenge. Across the nation, SRCs generally serve homeless, at-risk, and low-income populations for free or at little cost. Primarily run by medical students, SRCs also provide ...

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"Doctors are indeed noble for what they do. Their work is undoubtedly physically intense and emotionally taxing. But the notion that they are 'superhuman' and 'different' from the rest of society is exactly the trap that we fall into the moment we don our white coats as medical students. It is because ...

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"I am left wondering what would have happened if I was the patient’s daughter, niece (who she said I reminded her of), or friend. The nurse made a quick judgment based on my physical characteristics, and she was completely incorrect. I am blessed to be able to challenge people’s implicit bias on ...

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