Over and over again, I find myself repeating the same words to myself as I watch the sunset over the Sacramento River on my dreary commute back from my job in clinical research: hope over fear. It was with hope that 2020 began—a catalyst year in which we had the wind at our backs and the promise of a better future just over the horizon. 2020 promised the inevitability of change, ...

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COVID-19 has revealed once again how short our nation is of doctors. Early in the pandemic, several governors called on retired physicians to return to the workforce. Medical schools allowed students to graduate ahead of schedule and begin working and training in hospitals. States loosened licensing restrictions to allow physicians from other locales to practice within their borders. These temporary measures helped battle the pandemic in the short term. But they're not ...

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For students studying at Caribbean medical schools, success in the residency match is a major concern. And it should be, because Caribbean medical students have unique challenges. At the same time, strategizing early in your medical school career can significantly impact your ultimate success. Here are five rules that are critical in residency match success: 1. Yes, your exam score matters. The reality of the current day residency match is that programs ...

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"Around the time of the coronavirus outbreak, 2019 also marked a full century since the death of Sir William Osler, who revolutionized medical training. Despite some lingering debate over whether Dr. Osler’s pneumonia-related death should be counted among the 50 million lost to the 1918 influenza pandemic, his notes suggest that he ...

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Lulu was a force of nature. She didn’t believe in expiration dates. Her version of attending church was driving her pumped-up (to manage ranch terrain) golf cart out to the pasture to watch the sunset. She always had dogs underfoot who often ate better than humans. She often would write her birthday card messages on a piece of paper inside the card and then ask me for the ...

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The Prussian pathologist, Rudolf Virchow, who gave us Virchow’s triad: hypercoagulability, endothelial injury, blood flow stasis also gave us the foundations of social medicine, claiming that “physicians are the natural attorneys of the poor” and should be equipped to solve the pressing social problems of their time. In addition, he argued that politics was indeed “medicine on a grand scale,” assertions that are all the more prescient during a global ...

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First of all, congratulations on making it this far in your journey towards becoming a physician. It truly is a privilege to be in the position of a third-year medical student because unlike the previous two years, we are now able to address the needs of actual patients, and in many cases, their family members and caregivers, whether they be emotional, mental, physical, or socioeconomic. I admit that it sounds trite ...

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The symptoms of systemic discrimination and sweeping organizational problems are ubiquitous in the news and health care literature. Yet, medical students' curricula focus on codes of professionalism, setting these issues, and the historical forces that created them to the side. While professionalism is undoubtedly an important aspect of being a physician, it is simply not enough to give students the background they need to recognize the historical contextualization of ethical ...

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Medical schools are increasingly emphasizing early clinical exposure for their medical students. While the traditional medical education format -- in which the basic sciences are taught during the first two years, and clinical rotations are stressed during the latter two -- are still generally followed, many schools provide their students with exposures to the hospital or clinical settings much earlier in their medical education.  For example, just two months into ...

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Though many say freedom of speech has never been more prevalent with the creation of social media, moral relativism and shaming have taken a toll. Evident today, cyberbullying in the name of justice polarizes attitudes while placing some opinions as martial law and others as bigotry. This polarization of America marginalizes majorities and attempts to silence them into submission. Concurrently, it diminishes the “moral” side’s own goal to gain support ...

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The transition from resident to doctor is overwhelming and can impact your personal life deeply, particularly within the context of your relationship. It is important to sit down and discuss with your partner or spouse and discuss your excitement and fear during this odd phase of life. Although the transition can make or break a relationship, if both you and your partner put forth the effort, you will surely be ...

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As a first-year medical student, the transition to an online curriculum has posed a unique set of challenges. I am often asked, “How exactly can you become a doctor without having seen a patient, without having put a stethoscope on another human being?” I've been told many times already by my professors that to listen to one of the four heart sounds, I should place the diaphragm of my stethoscope ...

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When you’re applying to medical school, it’s remarkable how much four years or more of intense work can come down to one single day. The medical school interview is high stakes: studies have found that interview performance is the most important factor in admissions decisions. While your MCAT score and your GPA can help secure an interview invitation, it’s your interview performance that matters most when it ...

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By all appearances, I was just another sweaty-palmed medical student taking the first neuroanatomy exam of the semester. The stakes are high with every step toward becoming a doctor, but they were even higher for me that day. Failing the test would mean withdrawing for the semester, effectively delaying my education by a year. Such a precarious position was the consequence of my decision to do the unthinkable, or at ...

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I’ve named the woman lying on the dissection table Betty. She’s 92 and married, with three daughters, twice as many granddaughters, and a retriever named Boots to show for it. Her husband is a woodworker, the last of his generation. He carved Betty’s favorite rocking chair, the one she’d drag onto the porch when the chickadees were out, out of Carolina Cedar. Betty says she’s useless with a wood saw, ...

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During the third week of my internal medicine rotation, I was assigned to a patient who would be brought to our floor following an operation. I saw him briefly as they wheeled him into his room but could hear his screams of pain all through our morning rounds. When I walked into the room, he was in agony. He could barely speak, and all he could say was, “It hurts.” ...

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In an increasingly technology-oriented world, genuine human connection is becoming rarer. Physicians are taught to emotionally disassociate from their patients for mental self-protection. This detachment can result in a loss of human connection between a doctor and patient, which may interfere with patient health outcomes. Studying great literature, such as Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich, allows health care professionals to adopt the patient perspective and gain insight into how ...

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Do you remember what you dreamed of becoming as an adult? I do, and I recall my father telling me I could be anything I wanted to be. My dreams were shattered as soon as I stepped into a prison and I am still trying to pick up the pieces of my self-worth. “Wait, you’re a doctor?” “Nah, man he ain’t a doctor; he looks too much like us.” I am ...

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The House in the Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune is the kind of book that paints you into an entirely new, fantastical world, and you may find yourself wishing you never left. Our humble protagonist, Linus Baker, is an employee of DICOMY (Department in Charge of Magical Youth) who spends his days evaluating orphanages that house, teach, and often abuse magical children in a land where extreme prejudice against ...

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Recently, FIGS – a design-driven medical apparel company – published its latest video advertisement: a young woman in bubblegum pink scrubs struts into view, shaking her FIGS-clad hips for the camera while holding a Medical Terminology for Dummies textbook upside-down. Forget practicing medicine; this woman isn’t fit to drive. The camera pans, emphatically, towards her badge, which reads DO – short for doctor of osteopathic medicine. Ahhh, the viewer is ...

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