Summer is upon us, and with it comes the end of the academic year, graduations and the arrival of the newest crop of interns. Soon these fresh-faced physicians will enter into one of the most remarkable educational experiences of their medical careers: residency. Many of these soon-to-be-interns are looking to attendings now for advice on how to excel during (or survive through) the arduous first year of training. Suggestions like ...

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Congratulations! You made it through medical school, got your MD/DO degree, and can officially be called doctor! One day, you’re a student. The next, you’re a doctor and with that come the responsibility, trust, compassion, and professionalism associated with our career. But how do you transition? It starts with your mindset and then deciding to be the best doctor you can be. Your thoughts inspire your words, which direct your actions. I ...

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The third year of medical school is met with a newfound sense of freedom. Freedom to rediscover yourself and rekindle your love for all things forgotten. It’s about the thrill of seeing your textbook knowledge come to life or connecting deeply with a stranger. It’s about the humbling moments in medicine that force you to hide tears in the exam room. Allergies, you say. You can tackle anyone’s drug list now, ...

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When I was in fourth grade, I won our school’s spelling bee. This meant that I went on to the next tier of the local spelling world -- the sort of prestigious competition that takes place in a gymnasium somewhere with a makeshift stage and a bunch of flags. I was the first kid disqualified. I misspelled veterinarian “veterenarian” and battlement “battlemint.” I remember feeling, in the moment the announcer said, ...

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Strong letters of recommendation are essential for supporting your residency application and matching well. This article details how to ensure you get great letters of recommendation. Knowing what constitutes a great letter of recommendation is crucial to obtaining outstanding letters. A strong letter of recommendation clearly conveys knowledge of the medical student, how that student performed and qualities that predict excellent performance in residency. Strong letters of recommendation include the following:

I recently received a call from a physician resident in the Northeast U.S. who had been notified that she would be terminated from her residency program for a “weak knowledge base.” There would be no contract offered to her for the coming academic year. She reports that her scores are no worse than several of her colleagues and that her accredited program has a history of arbitrarily dismissing residents. She ...

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The words were like bitter candies that I had been sucking on, hoping to come to a sweet center. I had walked the hallways of the hospital holding them in the silky pocket of my cheek for weeks. Finally, afraid I would choke, I spit them out into the middle of the dinner table. “I think I’m depressed.” I stared down at the tablecloth, moisture collecting on the base of my water ...

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The first week of residency of any program is usually comprised of several orientation sessions in which the new interns are introduced to various important aspects of the residency program. My orientation week was no different with a river of new information flowing towards me. Needless to say, I felt a bit overwhelmed and struggled to keep track of everything that was being introduced. Later on, I found out that ...

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The tendency to look back and impose self-criticism for the past is an all too common human tendency. A more robust strategy involves looking far ahead — not just dreaming, but making a detailed plan after careful analysis of goals, hopes, and reality. What follows are some thoughts and wishes applied through the filter of the retrospectoscope. Father time The bravado of youth often overlooks critical developments that alter the landscape of ...

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A 76-year-old gentleman with a history of kidney failure, myasthenia gravis and recently diagnosed with esophageal cancer presented for evaluation of melena and hypotension. The patient was my first admission to the medicine team as an intern, and he was as near to an ICU admission without actually being admitted to the ICU as one could come. After examining the patient, I briefly staffed with the busy attending physician, placed the ...

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