The exploitation and bullying of medical students and residents can only be meaningfully understood in the broader historical context of the New Deal’s dismantling and the destruction of the middle class that has followed in its wake. Moreover, it is fallacious to look at this inhumane treatment as something that happens only within the confines of the medical profession. For these exploitative working conditions have in fact become the norm ...

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Physician training is an extremely high stakes business, not only for the patients that will be under the care of the eventual independent, fully-trained, board-certified doctor, but for the trainee herself. The financial and time costs of the entire training process are enormous. To become derailed from the board certification path can have significant and permanent career consequences. With so much at stake, what does a resident do when she ...

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“No one can know what you’re doing here.” The resident across the table from me made this clear the moment we sat down. We were in her hospital’s cafeteria, talking discreetly at her request with the union coordinator. In an effort to generate more revenue for the hospital, her already substantial call duties had been increased yet again, leaving less time to spend with each patient with no discernible educational benefit. ...

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Let’s talk about the cycle of abuse. No, I am not referring to the very serious issue of domestic violence. Instead, I am talking about the graduate medical education system. No one is a resident forever: the duration of each residency is predetermined with a wide range of three to nine years. The self-limited nature of this experience decreases the incentive for participants to advocate for changes. And the attitude ...

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STAT_Logo'Tis the season. Thanksgiving? Sure. Christmas? That too. But for thousands of fourth-year medical students and foreign medical graduates all over the United States, fall through early winter is a time of job hunting — interviewing for residencies. This is a critical step in our training, where we specialize in the individual fields of medicine that will carry ...

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Medical residents take on a variety of responsibilities. Some are clear, upfront, and obvious: the responsibilities they have been training for since entering medical school. Coming up with a treatment plan and carrying it out is first and foremost their raison d'etre, and they put an enormous amount of effort into it. However, they also acquire a host of other duties. They run interference for attendings. They coordinate with nursing. ...

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In 1968, Rosenthal and Jacobsen introduced the concept that expectations in the classroom can positively or negatively affect students. This phenomenon was dubbed, “The Pygmalion Effect.” Since then, there has been controversy surrounding the topic. Other authors have argued that the data was insignificant or inconclusive. From my own personal experience, having been in school for over ten years, I believe that the concept carries validity. Furthermore, I believe that ...

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I was recently interviewed on a podcast and was asked the simple question, "Why are you in medicine?" In retrospect, that's the exact question I silently ask myself in frustration and exhaustion a little bit too often while I'm in the hospital. In those moments I recognize that I feel burnt out. In those moments if someone told me that I had to repeat intern year in order to finish ...

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You’ve probably heard this story before: a young physician, who has spent all of his or her life succeeding and building goals, stumbles into a career without meaning or enthusiasm. Indeed, my story about burnout is much like the rest. Like so many before me, I entered into a career in medicine motivated and eager to change the world through the care of my patients. I grew up in a family ...

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A resident suffering from depression drinks too much and sleeps through a hospital shift the next morning. Another resident walks out of a patient room in the midst of a panic attack. As family medicine educators, how do we best handle these health concerns in our residents? The pendulum in medical training can swing in two directions. At one end, residents are indoctrinated into a macho mentality, where the need for self-care ...

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