We want competent physicians, but we also want compassionate ones. How do we get them? Is it nature or is it nurture? Is it more important to search out more compassionate students, or should we instill compassion somehow in the ones we start along the training pipeline? I think the answer lies in nurturing what nature has already put there. My background is in pediatric critical care, which I have practiced ...

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I left the library at 10 p.m. the night before the last exam of my first year of med school. As I hopped on my bike, I took comfort in my typical pre-test refrain: I’m done studying. I did everything I could. Of course, I’m not really done studying: I still have three years of school left packed with end-of-block finals, end-of-rotation exams, and the behemoths of the medical testing world, ...

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It is no secret that medical school is getting very expensive. Over the past 20 years, the cost of medical school has greatly outpaced the rate of inflation, and medical school debt is rapidly rising. The average medical student now graduates with over $192,000 in student loans, but with the cost of attendance for the most expensive private medical schools approaching $100,000, there are some physicians who ...

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The season has opened, and panic has spread among senior year residents, chief residents, and hospitalists out in the community. Fellowship applications are live and being viewed by the programs applicants think they want to rank one, two, and three. These incredibly intelligent physicians are refreshing student document network daily now and soon to be hourly as the weeks go on. The anxiety is building as people are waiting to ...

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I was always worried about doing well on board exams. I didn’t want to simply pass them; I wanted to excel. Before I took exams, rumor had it that a person would have to intentionally fail Step 1, 2, or 3 and that failing Step 2 CS was virtually impossible. The truth, I learned, is that thousands of physicians-to-be fail one of these exams every year. I know, because I’m one ...

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Today is a strange day. I treated myself to a slice of nondescript doughy hospital pizza for lunch today. If this was an actual pizza place, and I had a choice, I would never order this pizza. But today, the pizza tasted fantastic. In fact, it tasted like the best pizza I’ve ever had. Why you ask? Because this would likely be the last time I’d ever eat this hospital pizza. I enjoyed ...

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Dear third-year medical students, Welcome to the wards. I remember this stage — basking in the glory of completing pre-clinicals, in the excitement of finally switching heavy textbooks for living, breathing people, in the realization that medical education now lies in the hands of those I wanted to heal. I would be sleeping less, but living more, because this was my purpose. Remember this moment because this will be the most difficult year ...

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Everyone knows that the process of applying and getting accepted into medical school is highly competitive. Last year, 51,680 people applied for seats in U.S. medical schools. Collectively, they submitted 816,153 applications -- a whopping 16 applications per person on average. Only 21,338 applicants matriculated to a U.S. school last fall, or 41 percent of applicants. So how do the admissions committees evaluating all these applicants make their ...

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I could see the excitement on my six-year-old daughter’s face as we pulled into the parking lot and unloaded her new bike from the car. She had been anxiously awaiting this moment for several weeks — she was going to learn to ride a bicycle. She watched with increasing interest as I unscrewed the training wheels, tightened her handlebars and handed her the bike. She got on her new bike ...

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Literature coming from business and human resource management suggests that women are over-mentored and under-sponsored. However, if you have been reading reports about women in medicine, then you likely have heard that women are both over-mentored and under-mentored. Where does the truth lie? That depends on various factors including the definitions of these terms. What exactly do these words mean? In the business sector, mentorship is ...

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