The fall is over, and winter has come, which means I have just wrapped up a busy season of medical school interviews. Most interviews are conducted in a similar fashion with an hour of introduction, speeches by the dean, presentations of facts I already knew from the website, and finally the interviews. Within the first hour, I understand the reason: “We are the best medical school at (fill in the blank).” ...

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Medical residents take on a variety of responsibilities. Some are clear, upfront, and obvious: the responsibilities they have been training for since entering medical school. Coming up with a treatment plan and carrying it out is first and foremost their raison d'etre, and they put an enormous amount of effort into it. However, they also acquire a host of other duties. They run interference for attendings. They coordinate with nursing. ...

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I was born in Shanghai, China. In September 2000, my parents and I left behind our family and friends, a language and culture dear to our hearts and social and financial stability to immigrate to the United States. I was six at the time. Although I don’t claim to have fully understood the weight of their decision to start a new life, I knew that my parents were making a ...

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I distinctly remember the excitement I felt during my first year of medical school when exposed to the breadth of general and specialty fields that seemed all so equally rewarding and medically influential.  I envisioned myself holistically understanding my patient, seeing the problem in the context of her other medical issues, her personality, her family and her environment -- an approach I considered at the heart of the oath we ...

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“I know you think your organization is patient-centered … but it really isn’t.” The statement from a rare disease foundation president to a room full of industry partners stung as we observed a candid but cordial exchange about what “patient-centered” has come to mean in today’s health industry world. Everyone knew what they were hearing was right. Rewind a few days to the CBI Independent Medical Education and Grants Breakthrough Summit, where ...

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An excerpt from Love in the time of medical school: Build a happy, healthy relationship with a medical student. My dad is the oldest of four boys and my grandfather was an anesthe­siologist for many years. Apparently, the women who wanted to marry into the family all had to pass ...

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I was in the midst of my family medicine clinical rotation when my world came crashing down. I had failed my Step 1 boards. I would never be a doctor. It was a nightmare that unfolded over three failed attempts, from which I awoke in a new reality where I was no longer a medical student -- and there was absolutely nothing I could do to change that. I poured everything ...

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My job as a standardized patient (SP) at several different medical schools means that I spend a lot of time being interviewed and examined by students at every stage of their education. Occasionally, the interview is of such a nature that the SPs are told to dress in a certain “costume” because it signifies to the student that there is something about our cultural representation that affects our medical care. ...

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How important is it for a doctor to want to be a doctor? At first glance, that question is ludicrous. The path to becoming a practicing physician is so long and tortuous that no one would do it if they didn't want to. Right? First, there's the four years of undergraduate education, then four years of medical school, then at least three years of residency. No one has ever suggested that ...

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Here it comes — another email about “physician wellness,” advertising mindfulness training, an ice cream social, or a volunteer day. As a psychiatrist, I can attest to the importance of tending to one’s own mental and physical health in order to strive for wellness. However, the trend of implementing physician wellness programs throughout the U.S. is nothing more than putting proverbial lipstick on a pig. Or, stated differently, this may ...

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