"Doctors are people, and people are capable of prejudice and discrimination. But, in medicine, there is no place for prejudice and discrimination because a patient’s life is at stake. Stereotyping a customer and assuming that they cannot afford a certain product is emotionally hurtful, but it is far less dangerous than stereotyping a patient and misdiagnosing a life-threatening condition. The nature of ...

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The current socio-political environment in the U.S. and worldwide has brought much-needed attention and heightened awareness to the plights of minoritized groups, especially Black and African-American communities. Police brutality, structural violence, overt racism, and discrimination are only a few examples prompting new activism. Along with the COVID-19 pandemic, they have amplified health inequities and disparities that have pervasively been threatening communities of color. As a response, academic medicine leaders, equity scholars, and ...

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One day recently, while working as a nursing assistant, I heard a shrill, gravely cry for help pierce the air in the hallway of the long-term memory care facility where I work. I sprinted to the room where the pleading call was coming from, and in the two seconds it took to reach the room, a million different worst-case scenarios passed through my mind. Broken hip, pool of ...

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The medical school admission process can be overwhelming. There is no definitive path that guarantees admission. Prospective students are meant to create their own way that could bring them an acceptance letter. That is why some individuals with a 3.6 GPA and a 508 MCAT score get accepted, and others with a better academic record get rejected. They might be considered an outlier, but some are not necessarily ...

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Last November, our medical school’s community faced a devastating loss, as second-year student R took her own life. As she was rushed to our hospital’s emergency room, some of R’s classmates, as well as her physician mentor, were on rotation and bared witness to her getting rolled in. Understandably, the loss of R cut deeply. While not often discussed, medical student suicide has been no stranger to medical schools both ...

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A message appeared in the chatbox. “Always trust the parents. If they think the shunt has failed, more likely than not, they’re right.” It was one of the two fifth-year neurosurgery residents, both present on the video platform for virtual clinic to moderate medical students through patient cases. Prior to each virtual clinic session, the two residents would meet with me, fellow MS2 summer research students, and MS4 “visiting” interns, in ...

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The long debate about rationality and conformity in both medicine and religion has been intense on many levels. Some people claim science requires certainty, validity, and reliability; others believe faith and optimism are essential for scientific advancement. Some reasons for this argument might include the enormous prosecution of scientists
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With the advent of GPS, the need for self-directed navigation has all but vanished. We find ourselves at the mercy of and indebted to the wisdom of our devices. Occasionally given choices for route preference based on directness, speed limits, or tolls, we are otherwise taken on a course of someone else’s choosing. Agreeable for the ease, wisdom of insight, recommendation based on past experience, we accept the ...

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Think about the fear and uncertainty that ensues when being involuntarily uprooted from one’s home and community. Now imagine a shy, self-conscious fourteen-year-old girl being told that she has to switch high schools – not once, but twice. You may read this and think, “This doesn’t seem like such a big deal in the grand scheme of things.” However, to that fourteen-year-old, it is everything. Many movies depict a stereotypical image ...

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"It is time to stop being spectators. We are at a critical turning point in our fight against this disease, and our actions now will determine whether we stay on the sidelines, or put an effective end to the scourge of the disease.  If we want to avoid a deadlier and costlier battle for the years to come, students, and the ...

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“Each morning, I make my way to joy – joy that God has given me the breath of life for another day. The process is never instantaneous though. My alarm is usually blaring for five to 10 minutes continuously before I can get up, but sometimes I’m able to jump out within a minute. I purposely place my alarm a physical distance away from me so that I’m forced to ...

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This was the first time that I was unsure of how to respond when a patient cried.  Usually, as a medical student, compassion and understanding helped make up for obvious gaps in our knowledge.  It just comes with the territory.  But this time was different: I could not understand why the patient was crying, because it was a reason I had yet to consider in my short medical journey. The patient ...

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As the world becomes more interconnected, one of the upsides is the ability to share our journey as medical students with other medical students across the world. The International Medical School Conference on COVID-19 held by the International Medical Association of Keio University School of Medicine was attended by medical students from the United States, Japan, Brazil, China, Italy, Korea, and Thailand. Through presentations by representatives from each country and ...

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"I initially fell into the dangerous grief and shame spiral. I shoved these feelings of loss deep down and let shame bubble up. How could I legitimize my feelings when people are dying? However, I have been working through the idea that comparative pain and its conflicting feelings do not help. To a toddler, their worst grief is not being able to ...

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Shifting nervously in our seats amongst 180 of our fellow medical school classmates, we focused in on the front of the lecture hall as our deans began their annual orientation address. “Each of you has worked so hard to get here. No one has gotten to this point by mistake. But also be wary that each and every one of you will experience imposter syndrome during your time here. Everyone ...

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The Kaiser Permanente’s Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine opened this summer, and its students will not learn anatomy by dissecting a cadaver. Instead, they will don virtual reality headsets and dissect virtual bodies. The school does have a collection of pre-dissected, “plastinated” cadavers, but according to the chair of biomedical sciences students will spend the majority of their time studying electronic ...

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I have found that sleep and the medical profession have an uneasy relationship. Physicians, of course, recommend that patients get at least seven hours of sleep each night. But despite dispensing that advice to others, I don't think I personally know a single doctor who actually sleeps that much, given the demands of providing care, documentation, making time for their loved ones and ruminating on illnesses and treatments for patients who ...

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The faculty and staff welcome us warmly. They know each of our names as we walk through the door, and further conversation reveals that they have also studied the short biographical sketches we sent in last month. We are reassured - we belong here. I scan the atrium for students I might have seen at my interview. This is the first time I have been back here since that day, ...

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So long as you are trying to fit in, you will never feel like you belong. When the travesty of a “research” publication titled, “Prevalence of Unprofessional Social Media Content Among Young Vascular Surgeons” seemingly metastasized overnight into what will forever be immortalized as the sordid saga that unwittingly catapulted the hashtag #medbikini all across the internet ether, in every way possible this “study” exposed the unsavory truth about the still ...

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"We do not have to continue to blame external forces for the stresses upon us now. By organizing, mobilizing, and finding solutions to the problems facing us and our adopted community today, we can meet the current challenge to be of help, however we can. Perhaps, in this way, we can stop making pandemics a future generation’s problem to solve, and ...

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