Tag: clinical competency

Shilpa Darivemula Shilpa Darivemula (2 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Albany Medical College


Shilpa is a member of the Class of 2018 at Albany Medical College. She is a trained classical Indian dancer, a fruiti-vore, and a true lover of sleep. She loves indigenous-anything and usually responds to anything that has the word "traditional" in it. She can be spotted doing secret dance moves in her cubicle in the library.




Shifting Perceptions: Lessons Learned from a Student-Run Clinic

Each time we came in for our Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA) Medical Clinic, we never knew what to expect. IMANA clinic is a community-based project led by the Albany Medical College Family Medicine Office that connects medical students to the local Muslim population through screening and education clinics at Masjid As-Salaam. This masjid is the central prayer space and community support for many of Albany’s Muslims. The unique quality of this service-learning program is its emphasis on cultural competency and understanding the role of spirituality in medical care.

Disability and Medicine: We Can All Do Better

Imagine you are a 45-year-old female patient with a significant physical disability that requires the use of a wheelchair for mobility. Thankfully, you have Medicaid insurance, but it is difficult to find primary care providers who will accept it. The paratransit service that you rely on to get to your medical appointments is wildly inconsistent, often forcing you to cancel. When you do make it to your doctor’s office, you are not able to be …

I Don’t Know How to Tell You This…

“My rheumatologist was the one who told me I have cancer because for nine months we thought my back pain was due to a type of arthritis. He felt really bad about it and when he called me to tell me the diagnosis, he started crying on the phone.” A student in my second-year medical school class says this when we are in the big lecture hall for a class presentation on how to give …

Finding Your Voice in Medical School

One of the biggest challenges medical students face is finding their voice: with their medical team, with the hospital staff, with patients, and with their chosen specialty. As a medical student, you want to be proactive, to advocate for the patient, and to learn the best management techniques. But ‘proactive’ for one physician can easily be ‘annoying’ for another physician. Likewise, what can be viewed as ‘lack of initiative’ by one physician is ‘eager to …

The Exam Room Cloud

Last spring, I saw my first real patient. The plan was to go into an exam room and take the history and physical of a real patient who had graciously offered to sacrifice half of his day. A doctor would watch everything and give feedback. The intimidating fact that I was being monitored made me feel like I was about to go on stage in front of an audience. If you had followed me into my …

A Med Student’s Biggest Privilege

Two interesting opinion pieces published a few months ago inspired me write this column: one from Tal Fortgang, a Princeton freshman defending his “white man privilege,” and another from Max Ritvo explaining what exactly that white man’s privilege is. To summarize their points, the former author laments that his academic success is shadowed by society attributing his successes to being genetically a white man. As a result, society believes he is able to attend an Ivy …

The Non-Inferiority Complex in Medicine

“You know, the globus pallidus.”  My coaxing words ripened in the air between us.  Josh admitted it sounded familiar, but couldn’t quite remember the time or the place.  This concerned me, because my friend was a highly accomplished emergency physician, yet he wrinkled his nose at “globus pallidus” like it was a piece of decomposing fruit. “It’s in the brain,” I said helpfully. He smiled, “That’s probably why it sounds familiar.” A few hours before, …

A Good Doctor, aka The Goldilocks Effect

When I told people I was going to medical school, the first thing I’d hear was, “Oh, you’ll be a good doctor.” As an idealistic and energetic first-year, I was flattered every time a standardized patient complimented me. But I wasn’t a good doctor — I don’t even have an MD. I was exposed to esoteric subjects like biochemistry and physiology, but I wasn’t much help to any person in distress. I believed, like my …

Ethics in Training: Creating Humanistic Practitioners from Competent Clinicians

Medical training prides itself on being an art, never simply a black-and-white field where answers to increasingly complex health questions are merely algorithmically derived. It follows then that the only way for medical knowledge to transcend this rigid, computational process is through the accumulation of clinical experience, which over enough time should inform our intuition to the point where we become masters of navigating a sea of grays. This archetype is classically understood to be …

Doctor versus Algorithm: Which Would You Trust?

Next generation medical robotics If your doctor and an algorithm arrived at two different diagnoses, which would you trust?  Of course, it depends on the specific context but this question opens a much needed discussion about a transformative process occurring in medicine: computers are beginning to perform tasks of physicians.  While modern medicine utilizes medical technology primarily as an aid for physicians, future technology may afford diagnostic capability that rivals that of humans. The question …

Nabeel U. Ali Nabeel U. Ali (2 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Albany Medical College


Nabeel is a medical student at Albany Medical College in the Class of 2017; he is focused on impacting healthcare through innovative research and technology.