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 ...

Read more...

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, ...

Read more...

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, ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

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, ...

Read more...

"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 ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

"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 ...

Read more...

"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 ...

Read more...

"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 ...

Read more...

"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 ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

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 ...

Read more...

I recently read a medical school commencement, delivered by a physician, that was both inspiring and sadly reminiscent of what physicians should aspire to throughout their careers. This physician relayed how patients throughout her training and career had provided her with moments of clarity, helping her identify the "why" she chose a career in medicine. She went so far as to describe how a group of patients saved her from choosing ...

Read more...

With the advent of countless resources and study aids over the years to help medical students prepare for the USMLE Step 1 exam, ranging from the venerable First Aid review book and Anki flashcard decks, to online tools such as UWorld, Pathoma, SketchyMicro, Firecracker, Amboss, and countless more, the entire process of studying for Step 1 has become an arms race. At the same time, Step 1 scores have established ...

Read more...

“How did you like it there?” I ask, sitting down next to a new fellow (between bites of a plump sandwich, hoping there is no spinach in my teeth). I expect to hear the standard resident talking points — long hours, frequent call, and ballooning student loans. Instead, she surprises me. “Do you know how much they charged us to park there every month?” I frequently text friends who are residents at her previous program. It is a ...

Read more...

My wife and I had a baby a few months ago. Or, more accurately, she birthed a child while I sat in the corner, contemplating the miracle of reproductive physiology in a vasovagal fugue. In the months leading up to and following that wondrous moment, we found ourselves navigating the labyrinthine complexity of parental leave in graduate medical education. To start with the positive, we are both residents in the same ...

Read more...

Most physicians recall the rigors of their residency training through a mixed lens. In prior generations, a single-duty shift could stretch to 36 or more consecutive hours, but the exhaustion was buoyed by the camaraderie of sleepless on-call nights in the hospital. Despite the exhaustion, resident well-being received scant attention. Beginning with the 1984 Libby Zion case, and later the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) duty hour restrictions ...

Read more...

I graduated from an international medical school this past spring. I'm currently in the midst of a preliminary year as an internal medicine resident at St. John's Riverside Hospital in Yonkers, N.Y. Next year, I'll start my dream residency in anesthesiology at Brown University. Like many physicians, my journey to medicine has had its share of twists and turns. But my story is slightly different than the ...

Read more...

44 Pages

Most Popular

✓ Join 150,000+ subscribers
✓ Get KevinMD's most popular stories