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Fast Moving Technology: Is The Pager Completely Extinct?

It’s funny what we remember.  As a 3rd year medical student rotating in surgery I remember quite clearly sitting in my attending’s office at Worcester Memorial Hospital.  He was a vascular surgeon.  I don’t remember his name.  On this particular day I had followed him to his office after rounds.  He had just received his new pager and placed a call to whomever had sent him the device.

It seemed there was a problem.  The device lacked the latest pager feature: vibration.  His current pager only beeped.  The dialog centered around his on-call demands as a vascular surgeon and his love for the symphony.  With a buzzing pager he Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*

Does The Next Generation of Physicians Know What They’re Getting Into?

Doctors have an image problem.  People see us one way.  Perhaps more importantly, we see ourselves one way.  And it seems to start at a young age.

I had a premedical student in my office recently – A friend of a friend interested in a career as a doctor.  And as I often do I like to ask the question, ‘what do you think medicine will be like when you’re done training?’ It’s something of an exercise.  I usually get an answer involving some combination of hospital rounds, physical examinations, telephone calls, and busy office visits.  Occasionally I’ll get rehearsed nonsense about black leather bags and house calls.  The young woman in my office didn’t fail to deliver.

What does the next generation of physician know? Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*

How To Gross Out A Medical Student

We have (mostly) non-EM studs rotate through our ED on their sometimes mandatory, sometimes killing a month elective ED tour. There is little reason for EM destined students to rotate in our place, as we don’t have a residency and we’re not part of the club of EM residency directors ( i.e. letter of rec writers). So, usually not EM hard chargers. Nothing wrong with that, but they’re not my cuppa tea.

Today’s lesson: shoulder reduction for the non-EM Stud, and for me in What We Do Isn’t Usual.

As is our norm, after a thorough Hx, PE, Xrays and Time Out, was in on a 2 doc reduction; One does the sedation, one the reduction. I don’t typically have students follow me: I don’t dislike the students, but I don’t have them. Personal preference.

Today, a shoulder reduction. My colleagues’ student. Not destined for a life in the ED (already matched, not in a remotely EM specialty). My colleague is on the sedation, and I’m on the reduction. I, after discussing the technique, in my presence and under my direction, allowed the stud the first attempt at reduction after sedation. No go. Good effort, not enough muscle. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at GruntDoc*

The Gift Of Being A Doctor: “What Are You Going To Do With It?”

I’m going to do something unusual: Reprint in its entirety a commentary from a fourth-year medical student, Jonathan. He posted it in response to comments from other readers to my blog about Dr. Berwick’s commencement address to his daughter’s medical school class.

I tweeted about Jonathan’s post, calling it a needed voice of idealism at a cynical time. This is what Jonathan had to say to his physician colleagues:

“To begin, I am a fourth-year medical student going into primary care and this directly applies to me. We have two options when reading [Dr. Berwick's] address. We can take, in my opinion, the weak road or the strong road. Our new generation, as well as the one that raised us, is one of apathy and selfishness. We are only concerned about how changes affect us. We have lost the sacrifice and the consideration of our patients and fellow staff. This address, no matter how hard your heart may be, springs up a humanism in you that is undeniable. You can choose to brush it off and make excuses about policies and money, or you can stand up and be the physician that is described. I agree that there are a lot of issues in medicine today (billing, paperwork, bureaucracy to name only a few). However, if those issues render you cold and uncaring, my friend, I strongly suggest you find another profession. This profession is one of nobility. It is one of selfLESSness. This is a high calling. A good book states, ‘To whom much has been given; much will be expected.’ Well, if you are a physician, much has been given to you. What are you going to do with it?”

Today’s question: How would you answer Jonathan?

*This blog post was originally published at The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty*

What It’s Like To Be In Medical School

Ever wonder what a day in the life of a medical student is like? A father of two, a husband of one, and a medical student and soon-to-be doctor of many describes his daily routine in one day in his life as a second-year medical student.

I heard one of my partners describing a friend of hers recent exit as an intensive care unit nurse and into the life of a medical student. How did the RN describe his experience?

“Man, this is hard.”

Yes, it is. No matter how many years you spend as a nurse, there is no replacement for a medical school education.

*This blog post was originally published at The Happy Hospitalist*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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