Doctor’s Orders

Doctor’s Orders is our section for residents and physicians to give wisdom and advice to medical students.

Joseph Chiweshe, MD, MPH Joseph Chiweshe, MD, MPH (1 Posts)

Physician Guest Writer

University of Kentucky Medical Center


Dr. Chiweshe is a Preventive Medicine Physician with a Masters in Health Management and Policy. He is Founder and Chief-Editor at MedSchoolFinanancial.com where he writes on the Business of Medicine with a focus on health care leadership, personal finance, and systems transformation. You can join the newsletter at MedSchoolFinancial.com for updates and connect with him via Twitter @ChiwesheMD.




MedSchool Financials: Transportation, by Joseph Chiweshe, MD, MPH

On the journey to become a physician, your education will take you to a lot of different places, both geographically and developmentally. Throughout this process, the cost of transportation is an important and worthwhile factor to monitor. Transportation can become a large a part of your budget; however, there are several things you can do and steps you can take to keep it well within your budget during the time spent in medical school and beyond.

Seeing Past the Unicorns In Medicine, by Valencia Walker, MD

As an “underrepresented minority” in medicine, my personal experiences of mistreatment while navigating the challenges of pursuing this career are mostly invisible to the rest of society, but I know that they are far from mythical or unique. In fact, my experiences harmonize perfectly with the tales of so many African-American physicians before me and even in the accounts of the students I currently mentor. Everyone asks, “Aren’t things different now for African-Americans?” Yes. But, are they better? Sadly, not exactly.

Safeguarding Your Professional Freedom in a Treacherous Environment, by Michel Accad, MD

I am honored by this opportunity to offer you some advice on how to prepare for your professional career in what has become a treacherous health care system. I will not elaborate on why I think the health care system is “treacherous.” I will assume — and even hope — that you have at least some inkling that things are not rosy in the world of medicine.

Why—Or Why Not—Go Into Anesthesia, by Karen Sibert, MD

In case you were wondering: robots won’t replace anesthesiologists any time soon, regardless of what The Washington Post may have to say. There’s definitely a place for feedback and closed-loop technology applications in sedation and in general anesthesia, but for the foreseeable future we will still need humans. I’ve been practicing anesthesiology for 30 years now, in the operating rooms of major hospitals. Since 1999 I’ve worked at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, a large tertiary care private hospital in Los Angeles. So what do I want to tell you, the next generation of physicians, about my field?

Why I Smile by Luke Murray, MD

At 8 a.m. every morning of the work week, I show up to class and make every bit of a dramatic entrance — slapping high fives to people in the front row, cracking a joke at He-Man’s (the class ‘buff guy’) expense, taking a moment to survey the classroom for an empty seat (next to people I haven’t sat with yet), throwing long distance secret handshakes to anyone from my lab table that’s paying attention … and smiling as big as I can stand it. And though this behavior is admittedly odd and seemingly manic, it is actually a completely honest expression of everything that my smile represents. Some of my classmates have noticed and asked me about it. At 2 p.m. on October 10, one of Dr. Rudy’s former patients reminds me of the substantial and universally relevant answer to why I am the way I am.

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Clinical Students by Rishi Kumar, MD

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the clinical portion of medical school. Now you’ll work alongside interns, residents, attendings, pharmacists, social workers, and a myriad of other health care workers to provide quality care for your patients. As a resident, I’ve seen medical and PA students struggle with feelings of anxiety, incompetence and disorganization. They are excellent with patients, but often have difficulty with team dynamics and understanding their roles as clinical students. Here are some tips for success modeled after Covey’s “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”

Work-Life Balance in Medicine: A Dad’s Perspective by Abraham Knoll, MD

Becoming a doctor is a long road. One’s frame of mind during the process is important, because the wrong perspective can make the delayed gratification truly overwhelming. While your friends and family members may have sprinted through school, saying “I’ll be done in a year,” you are thinking “It’s going to be a lifetime before I’m truly done.”

Miriam A. Knoll, MD: Stay Safe — You Are Your Own Best Advocate

The hierarchy of medicine is most obvious to the medical students, who see each required step towards the next rung on the ladder very clearly. It takes times, though, to learn the cultural rules and nuances to do things the “right” way. During the learning process, many students spend time observing and avoiding making waves. But regarding safety, it’s important to speak up no matter what. Two stories during my training have solidified this for me.

Sasha Yakhkind Sasha Yakhkind (16 Posts)

Editor Emeritus: Former Medical Student Editor (2013-2015)

Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida


Sasha is thrilled for the opportunity to combine her interests in writing and medicine. She has been writing since she got her first journal in second grade, and editing since she ran her high school newspaper. Her interest in medicine evolved through travel, studying the brain through the lens of social science as undergraduate at Boston University, and together with her interest in yoga and dance. Sasha gets inspired on long runs and looks forward to few things more than hiking with her mom.