Twenty-five years have passed since I finished my residency, and a lot has changed. Back then, we hand wrote all our notes, and the only time we looked at a computer screen was to obtain laboratory results. Now, residents spend more time in front of a computer screen than at the bedside. I contend that electronic health records (EHR) are an obstacle to learning the art and practice of medicine during ...

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Like everything in life, applying for residency this year is going to be radically different. There won't be any long cross-country plane flights, no driving across state lines, no crashing at friend's places to save money on hotel nights. Residency interviews are going virtual. Medical students that need help with the residency applications virtually, can use this helpful tool to make better decisions. For some students, this ...

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More than six months into the COVID-19 pandemic and with social distancing measures in full swing, virtually every facet of life in America has been affected, with medical education being no exception. Medical students have been forced to reschedule USMLE/COMLEX board exams and cancel entire rotations. Residents have been re-deployed to work in COVID-19 ICUs. And of course, the annual residency application and recruitment season have ...

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It is time we stopped framing resident burnout in a certain way. Let’s be honest, the current descriptions give us nothing to build on. How is burnout currently framed?  In a strict academic sense, we are guided by clear, globally accepted definitions. We are familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, depersonalization, emotional exhaustion, and reduced personal accomplishment, as well as the various questionnaires and indexes. However, in the real world, in the hospital and clinics, ...

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Congratulations on becoming PGY-1s! Truthfully, most memories of the times around my internship at Rush Medical College in 1991 are a blur. For example, I cannot recall the popular songs, who won the Super Bowl, or even the model of car I drove. However, as clear and crisp as if it was yesterday, I remember the faces and stories of many of the patients and families for whom I cared. 1991 ...

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The interview season has again arrived.  The circle of life repeats, the wheel of time rolls on as the new residents who were interviewees last year meet the next group of interviewees, and our senior residents again themselves become interviewees in their quest for jobs and fellowships.  However, something is different this time.  The presence of a life-changing global pandemic second only in impact to the zombie apocalypse yet to ...

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Recently, a few colleagues and I sat down with our six incoming interns during a welcoming round-table discussion.  Being the closest member of the faculty to these residents in age and time from residency, I was best able to relate to them and their current feelings. I, too, sat in those chairs in a conference room that was last used for graduating our outgoing chief residents.  I, too, remember the feelings ...

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An excerpt from Doctors' Orders: The Making of Status Hierarchies in an Elite Profession. Copyright (c) 2020 Tania M. Jenkins. Used by arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved. I met Trevor on his very first day of residency, at the start of three years of practical, ...

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Every July, the same tired “new interns: be scared to go to the hospital” memes and jokes appear. I disagree. I believe that July is as safe as any other month to go to the hospital. July should be celebrated. Medical students and resident physicians are the lifeblood of our profession. Clinical physicians have never felt more exhausted, harassed, commoditized, and defeated by the “health care machine.” We need your eagerness, ...

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The Match is a stressful time during any physician’s life. Applicants study for, arrange for, and lose sleep over their USMLE steps, their letters of recommendation, and their personal statements. The matching process is particularly difficult during a global pandemic. As COVID-19 spread in March 2020, all USMLE testing was suspended. Applicants were reassured that tests would either be rescheduled, or that an alternative testing format would be proposed. The National ...

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To the residents graduating in 2020 and joining us in the ranks as physicians, from a residency educator: Victor Frankl was an Austrian psychiatrist and holocaust survivor. He was paraphrasing Goethe when he said: “If you take a man as he is, you make him worse. If you take him as he should be, you make him capable of becoming what he can be.” When you started as interns, we, your educators, ...

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"When the director of my general surgery program asked for a report on how the pandemic was affecting the residents, I queried my colleagues, promising anonymity to encourage candor. I received a wide variety of responses and reactions. Some are thriving; others are not. In the end, I cannot decide if things are going well or not. That may be because everything ...

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When I matched into anesthesiology residency in 2002, I assumed that the entire four years of training were guaranteed to me, barring any gross failure on my part.  A package deal, essentially. I hadn't heard of anyone not finishing. For me, residency was exhaustingly tolerable, yet gratefully formative – interspersed with warm camraderie, the occasional difficult patient or frustrating attending, satisfying progress, and finite episodes of survivable misery. I had a ...

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"When I first heard about medical schools fast-tracking graduation for students and shifting young residents into high need areas to fight the pandemic of COVID-19, I thought of how panicked those students and residents must feel. Asking them to step in to fight a battle we don’t know how to win, and envisioning them witnessing the suffering and death of multiple ...

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"The USMLE has failed the medical education community, and subsequently, future patients, as medical students will undoubtedly have irreplaceable damage from this experience; however, like all tests, it is possible to learn from mistakes and improve. In these unprecedented times, we as students understand the need to be flexible, but in return, we ask not to be forgotten and left abandoned ...

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"The COVID-19 pandemic has turned medical education upside-down. From exclusively virtual pre-clerkship courses, to delayed clerkships, to canceled graduation proceedings, there has been massive disruption. Now, after weeks of speculation, we’ve learned how the pandemic will be disrupting the 2020-2021 residency application cycle. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) is now recommending that all residency interviews be conducted virtually. While ...

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"What do you want to be when you grow up?" That is a common question you hear in the setting of medical education. I think I heard it for the first time on my first clinical rotation. A little background, I was a non-traditional medical student. I worked as a clinical pharmacist for ten years prior to starting medical school. When the resident asked me that question, I was initially a ...

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With COVID-19 still consistently creating setbacks in the health care community, we see yet another issue for medical students because of this pandemic. In prior years, the traditional medical student would be expected to be part of a team assisting medical professionals in the field, developing relationships with future mentors, and gaining the experience necessary to take on the difficulties presented in that given field. COVID-19 has been altering the ...

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The COVID-19 pandemic has turned medical education upside-down. From exclusively virtual pre-clerkship courses, to delayed clerkships, to canceled graduation proceedings, there has been massive disruption. Now, after weeks of speculation, we’ve learned how the pandemic will be disrupting the 2020-2021 residency application cycle. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) is now recommending that all residency interviews be conducted virtually. While this a wise recommendation, out of concern for public ...

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For physicians, residency is the most critical time for growth in clinical and surgical skills, professionalism, and medical knowledge. Your residency training — for better or worse — shapes your future career as a physician. Your surgical technique, clinical decision making, and bedside manner are all, to some degree, a reflection of where you trained. Interestingly enough, there are only two residency years with formal titles — the intern and chief ...

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