As a third-year medical student, fresh and green on my clerkship rotations, I was determined to stand out on my general surgery team. I knew this was not going to be easy; I was often the last item on many surgeons’ minds as they rush through morning pre-rounds at the hospital, flying around corners, their Nike sneakers squeaking on the polished white floors. In the OR, I observed from the corner, ...

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It was Saturday. My first day off in the last 14, which included three 26-hour calls. My wife was left home alone for these stretches to care for our 2-week-old son. I’m sitting on the couch, reading a book to my little man, enjoying a much-needed breather, and making up for lost time in seeing him grow into a person. And the phone rings. Concurrent emergent cardiac surgeries: the only way that ...

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"How long have you been doing this?" he asked, eyes gleaming with admiration. I was unsure whether he was asking how long I had been conducting patient interviews or how long I had been a medical student. I decided on the latter. "2 years," I replied with a confident smile across my chin. "Well, you’re very good!" "Thank you," I replied, almost a whisper. It was a compliment that I was definitely not ...

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Almost every day there is a new revelation about men committing horrible, criminal, bizarre, or nauseating acts of sexual misconduct. Harassment and assault seem to be rampant. The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have illuminated the vast scope of the problem.  Most stories have focused on famous men in politics, business, sports, and entertainment, but this type of behavior is pervasive. Lately, the lay press, medical blogs, and social media have ...

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Doctors at some of the largest U.S. hospital chains admit they went overboard with opioids to make people as pain-free as possible, and now they shoulder part of the blame for the nation’s opioid crisis. In an effort to be part of the cure, they’ve begun to issue an uncomfortable warning to patients: You’re going to feel some pain. Even for people who’ve never struggled with drug abuse, studies ...

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Someone who I care about deeply messaged me today: “I think I’m done with surgery.” This person, a surgeon, feels like his potential is elsewhere. There are more opportunities, different challenges, and fulfilling experiences in other places and he is ready to explore. I told him that he inspires me. But I am in medical school. So how could someone leaving the medical field be inspiring to me? Because inspiration does not come from a job description or a fancy ...

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Six weeks ago, I was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. As a breast cancer and breast plastic surgeon, I see women all the time who are in the exact same place I’ve been since receiving the phone call from the pathologist.  Shocked and terrified by the news, overwhelmed by what this is going to mean for their life in both the short- and the long-term, waiting for results from what seems like ...

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Artificial intelligence and robotics spell massive changes to the world of work. These technologies can automate new tasks, and we are making more of them, faster, better and cheaper than ever before. Surgery was early to the robotics party: Over a third of U.S. hospitals have at least one surgical robot. Such robots have been in widespread use by a growing variety of surgical disciplines, including urology and gynecology, ...

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In 2017, more women than men were accepted into medical school for the first time. 2017 also brought attention to the sexual harassment many women face that often goes ignored. Medicine is not immune to behavior that objectifies women and ignores their complaints. My experiences are mild in comparison to many of my peers, but highlights the comfort both patients and physicians feel discussing the appearance of female trainees. *** I was ...

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It is December 2017. I have been on the road for the last five months, completing my five months of elective rotations. I am a fourth-year medical student aspiring to specialize in family medicine. I also want to learn procedures, so I did two months of surgery, three months of family practice electives. At the beginning of this process, I had wanted to be a general surgeon, but I ended ...

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