An excerpt from Career & Life Planning Guidebook for Medical Residents: The Best Part of Your Journey Is about to Begin. Life is a journey. Where is this journey of life taking you? Do you know? If I asked you where you will be in seven years, could you tell ...

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I consider myself one of the lucky ones because my wife and I couples matched to the same institution for residency. At the time we put our residency match lists in, we were just boyfriend and girlfriend, and the decision to couples match felt like a bigger leap forward for our relationship than deciding to ask her to marry me about a year later. It was the right decision for ...

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“Can we please try to be objective about this!” I said these words to myself over and over during this year’s interview season as we formulated our residency rank list. At my institution, the residents and faculty have equal sway in forming the rank list. The chief resident facilitates the resident half of the process. As the hours wore on during our last meeting, the discussion gradually deviated from assessing the ...

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Residency application season has begun! When I was applying last year, I spent a lot of time thinking not just about what programs I wanted to go to, where I wanted to live and how best to answer "Where do you see yourself in five years?" — but also trying to develop a method for making this decision. This is the mental model I came up with that helped me through ...

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Today, I’m thinking about the end of residency. But first, let me tell you about the beginning of residency. My first day of clinic, my very first week of residency, I had a grand total of one patient scheduled. A seasoned, outgoing resident had given me sign-out on this person, along with some big, knowledgeable shoes to fill. I did my most thorough pre-rounding the evening before. I prepped my note and ...

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I'm fascinated by the human body — the intricacies of it, the poetry of it. I am intrigued that a cell can come together with other cells to form tissues, those tissues, organs, and systems. The body is a powerful metaphor for unity: what happens when the one becomes the many, and the many, even more. It is a lesson in both individuality and community; how one sets out to create ...

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I was a 22-year-old intern, just about to finish my public health internship. I had an ambitious career ahead of me. I was trained as a public health educator. I was doing wellness fairs, writing newsletters, and excited to get to the next stage of my life. I wasn't yet certified, however, so when all of a sudden a job opportunity presented itself to me and gave me a chance ...

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Recently, thousands of new residency and fellowship graduates have earned their wings and will be, mostly metaphorically, hanging out their shingles. Sadly, though, as the excitement of finally finishing training after decades of schooling wears off, even great work can become routine. There is a parable about three men laying bricks. When asked what they were doing, the first man said, “Laying bricks.” The second man said, “Building a church.” And ...

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When I decided to become a doctor, little did I know that medical school and residency would be like a hazing for future physicians. We are broken down mentally and physically and then remade in the image of the "strong" doctor and to admit to being sick is equivalent to being weak. We are publicly shamed for admitting we don't know the answer to daily pimping on morning rounds. We ...

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“Medicine robbed me of my 20s.” I’ve heard the line many times in my medical training. It often comes accompanied by a long sigh, a slow sip of coffee, and a glazed stare off into the distance. “Imagine what could’ve been,” the seasoned physician muses, “if I had my 20s to do over, without medicine.” But now, I am mere months away from leaving my 20s behind. To be completely honest, I often feel similar ...

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The residency interview trail quickly becomes a lonesome journey, so when I was on it this winter, I’d usually have the hotel room television turned on for some background noise and often find myself watching ESPN’s SportsCenter. On my last interview in Philadelphia, the show was featuring the high flying phenom Zion Williamson, who’s set to be drafted this year to the NBA. When I finally returned to home in ...

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To my residency class: The clock is ticking, its hands spinning around its face faster and faster until I feel dizzy and disoriented. The remainder of the academic year can be measured in days, even hours for some. The carousel is slowing down to let some off, some on. Some, like me, will remain in the saddles of their brightly painted ponies. The cheerful calliope melody becomes distorted with the change ...

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As I listened to my attending explain how during her residency training she was on call every third night, I realized how the definition of "call" had significantly changed since that time. For her, it meant her shift started at 6 a.m. and ended at 8 p.m. the next day, totaling the shift to upwards of 36 hours. My call, on the other hand, was a mere 6 a.m. to ...

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Residency training is often considered to be one of the most daunting experiences in a physician’s career. Each day comes with its own package of highs and lows.  Every year is a new challenge, and a young physician has to adapt significantly as the journey unfolds. Having gone through this process over the past three years as an internal medicine resident, I thought it would be useful for me to ...

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In the era of the recognition of vast burnout in medicine, particularly amongst medical students, there needs to be a call to address structural problems in medical education. One particularly low-hanging fruit is the Step 2 Clinical Skills Exam (Step 2 CS). The exam has a relatively short history. The National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) developed the exam for American medical students in ...

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Being a medical student is tough, applying for a competitive residency spot is tough, and being a new mother is also very tough. I am one of the lucky women to do all three at the same time. I had my child early August of my fourth year of medical school. The fourth year of medical school is a great time to become a new mother. The schedule is more ...

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I can vividly remember the day the phone call came. My cousin screaming over the phone, trying to make out words but unable to speak, disbelief, horror, the fear in her voice palpable even though she was thousands of miles away. It was barely 5:30 a.m., I was frantically rushing out to beat traffic, hoping to get a head start on pre rounding since I was on call. Confused, I ...

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Trust me: The time you spend thinking about your personal statement before you start writing will make the actual writing process much, much easier. Before you even start writing a word, spend some time reading personal statement examples. Read good ones, read bad ones, read strange ones. The reason for this is to give you an intrinsic idea of what you personally liked and didn’t like. Moreover, you will begin to ...

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If you’ve ever tried to learn about student loan repayment plans, you might have felt overwhelmed and confused. Instead of spending days researching information — as I did — here’s a summary of the different repayment plans to help you choose the right one. 1. What is the standard repayment plan? With the standard repayment plan, you will pay off your student loans in 10 years by making “fixed” monthly payments. The ...

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Mentorship is a common topic in medicine. We, as a profession, spend significant time discussing, attending workshops about, and researching the role of mentorship. Mentorship is key to personal development, career choice, and improved academic productivity. Yet, it wasn’t until recently that my understanding of mentorship was challenged. I have always viewed mentorship as someone more senior than myself helping me to achieve my goals.  I have always been the mentee in such ...

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