"Each patient I have seen over these four decades has made me a better doctor. Books do not impact long term memory the way a real patient can. I once heard the chair of medicine at a teaching hospital say that the worst thing about being on call every other night as an intern is missing half the patients. I now ...

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Transitioning from the classroom to the wards is an uncertain and anxiety-provoking time for many medical students. Schedules are constantly changing, as are expectations and learning objectives. Mentorship and advice from upperclassmen, residents, and attendings was an essential tool in my MS3 toolbox. I would go so far as to say that these pieces of insight are the toolbox. The 2020-2021 academic year will provide its own degree of obstacles ...

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Like many others, I have felt immense frustration in the past couple of weeks. The news surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement, compounded by many other incidents of injustice against minorities, has made me feel constant rage at the society we live in.

I’ve tried to channel my anger into as much activism as I can think of, and I’m looking for more opportunities every day. Beyond donating, protesting, ...

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Black bodies are dying, and medical schools are partially to blame.  Never did I imagine that I would come to the realization that as a medical student; I was being trained and conditioned to identify and treat conditions predominately in white people.  It is time for medical institutions to address how medical school curriculums, which use whiteness as a scale to define normal, contributes to increased rates of mortality and ...

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With a flip of a calendar page, the new academic year is upon us. For much of the workforce, July 1st signifies the halfway point of the fiscal year, and most Americans would say that each new year starts on January 1st. However, those of us in academia, particularly those of us in medical and graduate medical education, understand how significant this day is. It is the day when newly-minted ...

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Recently, the AAMC announced its partnership with HireVue’s video interviewing platform to introduce the Video Interview Tool for Admissions (VITA), an online, one-way recorded interview without a human interviewer. The candidate is shown several text prompts on HireVue’s system and instructed to record a ~3-minute response to each prompt. A list of participating medical schools will be released by AAMC in July 2020. I advocate against the use of this ...

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An excerpt from Doctors' Orders: The Making of Status Hierarchies in an Elite Profession. Copyright (c) 2020 Tania M. Jenkins. Used by arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved. I met Trevor on his very first day of residency, at the start of three years of practical, ...

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Our country is currently battling two urgent and severe health care crises: COVID and systemic racism. We believe that addressing systemic racism now is as urgent and as dangerous to the health of our nation and its people as the COVID19 pandemic. In addition, we believe systemic racism is intersecting with the COVID-19 pandemic, as seen through disproportionate access as well as morbidity and mortality among people of color. While it ...

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Most incarcerated individuals -- over 95 percent of them -- will return to their communities. Medical students have a unique opportunity, as a part of their training, to learn about the medical needs of this group and help provide care for a vulnerable population that has historically been abused. Moreover, prison health services have been shown to reduce the stigma of those ...

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I was 19 years old when I became pregnant. Pregnancy and birth, at such a young age, was both the happiest and the scariest thing to have happened to me. My dream of becoming a doctor began when I was in middle school, from a seemingly mundane moment that suddenly and unexpectedly changed the course of my life.  It stemmed from a tennis injury, a broken leg, and a visit to ...

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Despite major disparities that exist for African Americans in health outcomes and access to care, there is still an alarming lack of African American physicians in the field. This must be addressed with a concerted effort to recruit, admit, and train more black doctors – breaking down the barriers that directly or indirectly prevent black students from pursuing a medical degree, and thereby strengthening the ability of our ...

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Over the course of medical school, I developed a fascination for public health and finding new ways to optimize care delivery to patients. This eventually resulted in me deciding to take a gap year between my third and fourth year to complete a Masters of Public Health. I originally applied to four programs based on what would fit in well with my medical school schedule. On ...

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Amaka was a timid-looking girl, tall in stature with a head of braided hair, like myself. She was unassuming and composed at first glance and, if my hypothesis was correct, she could not have been older than me. We were similar, both being of Igbo heritage, but also different—Amaka was pregnant. Admittedly, at 14, I had apprehensions, but they were mitigated by my curiosity about her story. Our similarities gave ...

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On February 12, 2020, the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) announced that, “the USMLE program will change score reporting for Step 1 from a three-digit numeric score to reporting only a pass/fail outcome” as early as January 1, 2022. This change will have a major impact on medical education. USMLE has not announced a complete plan for the transition to pass/fail score reporting. USMLE’s careful ...

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“You have to work twice as hard to get half as far.” As a black woman, this sentiment has haunted me for my entire life. Minority individuals are consistently forced to go above and beyond to prove themselves, regardless of the setting. Unfortunately, medical education is no different. Black and Hispanic students, often referred to as underrepresented minority (URM) students, consistently face racial bias, which places them at a disadvantage to ...

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"As a nearly graduated medical student, I have come to the conclusion that the focus of medical school is split between training and distinguishing medical students. Modern pedagogy has not found its way into the modern medical school classroom. Preclinical students spend mounds of time on impossible tasks, like memorizing First Aid for the USMLE Step 1, without learning concrete skills ...

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I remember clearly the first lecture in which I began to feel the painful knot of despair clenched in my chest. We were being taught about piebaldism, a disease that impacts the pigment-producing cells of the body. It was not the description of the condition that alarmed me, but rather the picture that was chosen to depict it. The image displayed a black mother and her children, standing shoulder to ...

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A black girl was called the N-word on the playground in elementary school in the ’90s. That black girl was me. A black girl was called ugly because of her dark black skin in elementary school in the ’90s. That black girl was me. A black girl created and independently executed a project for the science fair in elementary school. The authenticity of the ...

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"As medical trainees, we will shape the rapidly changing health care environment in this country. We are fiercely advocating for our disadvantaged patients, debating the price of life-saving medications, and carefully considering how the upcoming elections will shape the health care system in which we both provide and receive care. All the while, we handle our responsibilities and prepare to care ...

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When people ask me what A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara is about, I have trouble describing it beyond the story of a young man named Jude with a horrific past and his relationships with the people he meets in college. The heart of the story lies not in the plot but in the connections that Jude makes with his friends, professors, and colleagues. Jude has a traumatic childhood that ...

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