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It was a night of restless dreams. So when my phone blinked to life at 1:42 a.m., my eyes snapped wide open. [ALERT] **VDEM** FRONT ROYAL SAR. VDEM is the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, the state authority in charge of all emergency responses, including incidents involving missing persons. In those situations, VDEM...
How to Make Challah: The Jewish Octopus

How to Make Challah: The Jewish Octopus

Challah bread is traditionally prepared for Jewish holidays and the Sabbath. We made ours on a Wednesday night. Helen and Marie stare warily from their wheelchairs as a dozen medical students file into the retirement home lounge, toting tubs of flour and challah dough. “We’re not playing bingo?” Helen asks, looking disappointed, as students and...
LSD-Assisted Psychotherapy: Reopening the Doors of Perception

LSD-Assisted Psychotherapy: Reopening the Doors of Perception

After a nearly 40-year moratorium, a controlled study of the therapeutic use of LSD in humans has been published in The Journal of Neural and Mental Disease after the pioneering work of Swiss psychiatrist Peter Gasser. Sponsored by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) and approved by the BAG (the Swiss Drug Enforcement Agency),...

Answering a Tough Question

“Why did you want to become a doctor?” I hate that question. It makes me cringe every time I hear it. Honestly, I went into medicine because my parents wanted me to. But that answer sounds mildly insufficient, so I feel obliged to give my customary “I love science and I want to help people”...

Shredded Remains of Once Spotless White Coats: Physician Compliance in CIA Interrogations

According to CIA director Michael Hayden, the role of medical officers during interrogations has always been “to ensure the safety and the well-being of the detainee." The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence refuted this testimony as “incongruent with CIA records." What a gross understatement that would prove to be.
John C.

John C.

How can doctors-in-training allow their personal experiences with loss and death to inform how they practice medicine? John, a fourth-year medical student in Philadelphia intending to become a psychiatrist, reflects on how his father’s long-drawn demise from Alzheimer’s influenced him.

Lost in Translation

In the rest of the house, the noise of the party is deafening: the clink of glasses, the sizzle of burgers on the grill, the excited cries of relatives reunited after long absences. But in the bright light of the kitchen, Mark is talking to me without sound. He presses his right hand over his...
Good Food Brings Us Together

Good Food Brings Us Together

It was a tough week for many of us. Scary events in the news. As phrased so eloquently by a fellow writer here, community injustice is intimately related to patient care. On my psychiatry rotation, I regularly hear about unbelievable violence that stems from and leads people into substance abuse, mental illness and crises resulting...

“Americans Don’t Lose Weight”

“Americans don’t lose weight.” This was the favorite tagline of a gastroenterologist I shadowed as a second-year medical student. In the few hours I spent with him, he seemed to have a defeatist attitude towards the potential that patients have in caring for themselves. Unfortunately, I do not believe this physician is alone in his...
Careers Beyond Clinical Medicine: An Interview with Heidi Moawad, MD

Careers Beyond Clinical Medicine: An Interview with Heidi Moawad, MD

Heidi Moawad, MD is a neurologist, professor and author of "Careers Beyond Clinical Medicine." In this interview, she tells us about what led her down this path and about her research.
A Reflection on the National White Coat Die-In

A Reflection on the National White Coat Die-In

This afternoon, medical students across the country, from Providence to San Francisco, will lay down on sidewalks and atrium floors in their white coats to express solidarity with ongoing victims of racial violence. As aspiring health care professionals, we don our white coats for these “die-ins” to express our commitment to the idea that racial...

The Future of Doctors’ Salaries

To begin our examination of doctors' salaries, let us first look at the real cost of becoming one. According to Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR), the data warehouse for medical school application services, less than 60 percent of all applicants to MD programs are accepted.
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