"In medicine, the guise of 'professionalism' is an example of how an oppressive system has led us to believe that we ought not to advocate for our rights. It would be 'unprofessional' to organize for a better health care system for both patients and workers. To work towards personal liberation, Boal ...

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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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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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For a bunch of folks striving to stomp out malignant processes in our patients, we sure tolerate a fair amount of destructive behavior among training programs.

I’ll be the first to say I’m not the most delicate flower in the garden. Before pursuing medicine, I was a college athlete. I’m no stranger to long hours, harsh coaches, or repeated failures.

Medical students get their first bitter taste of malignant ...

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I’ve done a lot of interviews on my road to becoming a cardiology fellow. Here are a few topics that people don’t talk about enough. Speed dating I think of interviews like speed dating. Everyone puts on their “first date.” Everyone behaves their best; therefore, you can’t trust everything people say. Your job is to really listen to what people are saying, how they’re saying it, when they pause, when they fish ...

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If I had $100 for every time I walked into a patient’s room, introduced myself as the doctor, and was immediately asked, “Hey, how old are you?” I might be able to retire right now — at the age of 28. Of course, I am exaggerating, and yet this question echoes for my baby-faced colleagues and me constantly. Whether it’s simple curiosity or blatant reverse-ageism, I find this question erodes trust ...

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Residency and fellowships are tough. While most trainees come in and expect medicine to be the most challenging thing they have to deal with, what makes a training program challenging to navigate seems to be entirely something else. Having trained in programs in both the U.S. and Canada, there are some trends that I felt had to be addressed. I want to take a deep-dive into some of ...

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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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