Another academic year is winding down and those of us who have lived our lives as perpetual students are about to embark on a familiar transition. I was thinking back over the past decade and a half of my life (or half of my life as it turns out…) and realized that my professional development can be broken down into four-year blocks. Beginning with high school and followed by college, medical school, residency, and finally fellowship training, my aptitude has been a waveform with cyclic peaks and valleys. For example, as a chief resident in the final month of training, I have never been better at my job. I feel there is little that is thrown my way that I wouldn’t at least be able to reason through. This of course stands in contrast to 4 short years … view full post »
Do you remember as a child when misbehaving lead to a lecture that seemed to last forever? But deep down you knew that the lecture your mother was giving you was right, and no matter what you did, you couldn’t figure out how she was always right about things? Well, that doesn’t change, even if you are in medical school, residency, chief residency or if you are an attending. Your mom’s lessons on how to behave and act in life will always carry forward. I began to think of this, as mother’s day was just around the corner and how it is a day to celebrate our mother’s influence in our lives. I started wondering how there are many daily MD practices we perform that were basically our mom’s teachings … view full post »
One of the requirements of a residency program is that it administers an effective faculty advising program. Ensuring that residents are competent to practice their chosen field of medicine in independent fashion is the most important goal of residency. However, residency directors are also obligated to guide residents through the process of identifying and learning how to take the first steps towards the appropriate career paths based on their personal aspirations. A life-long mentor will help you stay on that desired path by providing knowledge, insight and encouragement. The mentoring relationship is rewarding for both the “mentor” and the “mentee.”
The process of choosing a mentor can begin before entering medical school, and not all mentors have to be in medicine. In college, one of my mentors was the faculty advisor for students interested in a career in medicine and she was an important liaison between the college and medical … view full post »
I recently came across an old photograph of our labor and delivery board room. The scene contained a smiling attending that I know well along with two other residents that I never knew. The white, lined board detailing the acute inpatients of the women’s hospital was in the same orientation on the long wall of the room. But what struck me was what lay in the background of the photo: a very large and notably solitary computer with blackened screen. This stood in such contrast to the current board room which now contains 7 flat screen monitors each given just enough room to fit a body huddled close to its glowing screen (between medical students, acting interns, residents, fellows, and attendings they are always occupied and there is usually one or two people in the corner on their laptops).… view full post »
Monday morning quarterbacks tell you what the Sunday QB should have done. This is my take on that little idea. The entire purpose of writing this blog is to aid all of you in your endeavors as a future resident. It is now May and in just a couple of months, many of you will embark on your first day in residency. That first day will quickly go into hyperdrive and a couple of light years later you are at the end of residency. I recently looked back to reflect on my time as a resident and realized that I learned a great deal about myself, medicine and humanity. Additionally, I came to know of a bazillion things I wish I knew prior to starting. Today I am going to share with you 5 things I wish I knew then … view full post »
Illness, under the weather, sick, unwell and simply feeling like poo: these are all terms that we hear our patients use, but the irony is that as physicians we are exposed to microbes, stress, and unrelenting hours that also make us vulnerable to becoming sick. While on the wards you are going to come across many sick patients, and as their doctor you owe it to your patient to stay healthy and alert. If you are tired, then your patient’s care will suffer; while concomitantly if you are sick you risk exposing them to whatever virus is currently waging war upon your T cells and macrophages.
So how are you supposed to stay healthy while working your umpteenth hour that day and surviving on the fumes of bazillion hour energy drinks? Well, there are many small things you can do each day to keep at the top of your game … view full post »
While visiting a friend in a skilled nursing facility, I heard a patient calling for help on a rhythmic basis every two minutes. Certified nursing assistants walked down the hallway seemingly oblivious to his cries. This went on for at least a half hour. I wondered if the nursing assistants were used to him and had already attended to him numerous times. Finally I went to the patient’s room where I found him strewn across the bed with his head against the safety metal bars close to the head of the bed on each side. With his right leg amputated above the knee, it was clearly difficult for him to maneuver to a more comfortable position. “How can I help,” I asked? He replied, “It’s my fault, really. I don’t know how I ended up like this, but … view full post »
Think back to the first time you called a medical consult. Likely it was early on in your training as a medical student. Now, think about what type of training you received to prepare you to call that consult. If you are like me, you probably don’t remember getting very much in the way of formal training when it comes to calling or fielding consults.
I am currently the chief of the benign gynecology team and part of our job is to run the obstetrics and gynecology consult service for the emergency department and inpatient services. We also care for a number of postoperative and medical gynecologic admissions and call our fair number of consults as well. This week was particularly full and I began thinking about the medical consult. It is … view full post »
Most of us know someone over the age of 65 who has suffered a hip fracture. That’s because the yearly incidence of elderly hip fractures is approximately 1 per 100 women and just under half that for men1. Extrapolating that out, approximately 1 in 4 women and 1 in 8 men will experience this event by age 90. Given the incidence, it’s easy to understand that hip fractures represent a significant source of health care expenditure, but more importantly, elderly hip fractures represent an incredible source of morbidity and mortality for those at risk. One-year mortality is reported between 20%-30% and half of those who suffer a hip fracture do not return to their previous level of function. It’s hard to imagine that if your loved one breaks his or her hip, there’s a 1 in 4 chance that your parent or grandparent might not be … view full post »