I would like to offer some words of encouragement to what many call the “non-traditional” students pursuing medicine. The term encompasses people in different aspects in their lives. It may be someone in a different line of work looking at medicine as a second career or another just getting started that didn’t take the traditional path in undergrad. My own journey I started medical school at 28 after spending six years as a ...

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It’s no secret that physician job dissatisfaction is soaring to unprecedented levels, with over 50 percent of practicing physicians reporting burnout. While many factors have contributed to this epidemic in America over the last 20 years -- not least of all electronic medical records that are taking a heavy (and unacceptable) toll on physicians’ time -- this is not a phenomenon unique to the United States. I went to ...

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Dear Mom and Dad, I love you, and thank you. The rest of this letter is an attempt to write something more eloquent and thoughtful, but those are the best and truest words I can ever speak to you. I made the decision to enter the medical field when the rest of our family is from a business and finance background. Despite being unfamiliar with the different hurdles of application cycles, ...

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There has been a profound deterioration in the education of our medical students. I only make this contention after having taught over a hundred medical students across five continents, often one-on-one and for extended periods. Although the majority of those I’ve taught have been students educated at international medical institutions, a substantial number have been those from U.S. medical schools. While I do recognize that those that find their way ...

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For some reason, social media does a good job with sculpting our lives into perfectly organized displays that are available to look at during every breathing second of our lives thanks to the revolutionary invention called the smartphone. I look at pictures of people studying with beautifully organized desks, smiles, intricately designed planners and captions about how wonderful their day at home was with those planners. And I completely understand and ...

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I recently attended a small dinner hosting Robert Lefkowitz, MD, the winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery for G-protein coupled receptors. Throughout the night, the conversation traversed a diverse range of topics — from his adventures in Stockholm, Sweden to his work-life balance — but his remarks on one particular subject stuck with me. It turns out that Dr. Lefkowitz, when interviewing candidates to work in ...

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"I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well." - Diane Ackerman Nathan picks up a pen from the tray next to the dry erase boards. “OK,” he says. “Here’s what he showed us.” The rest of our small group watches. Nathan is one of the more intense medical students I ...

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On one of my first days on the labor and delivery ward, one of the attending obstetricians asked me what area of medicine I was interested in. When I said that I was applying into neurology this year, she said, “Ah! The other end of the body!” After a pause, she continued, “Well, this rotation will be … different.” It wasn’t the first, or last, time I had heard a similar refrain during ...

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September 2015, a few weeks into my first year of medical school. Mr. Smith (John) (identifying information and event details altered to protect confidentiality) wore an orange jumpsuit with the letters "COUNTY JAIL" running down his right pant sleeve. At all times, I felt the presence of his police officer sitting right outside the shock room. As I interviewed John, he had a face void of emotion. I introduced myself as a ...

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I just had a conversation with a physician and faculty member at my school. He started the conversation like this: “It’s alright if you disagree with me, and I can disagree with you too. Good academic discourse should allow people to disagree with each other.” He then allowed me to question him and explain my perspectives for over an hour as he explained his answers, helped clarify some points, and gave ...

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