Despite its omnipresence, Time seemed to be in reliably short supply throughout the year. I keenly felt its absence: less time to cook and clean. Less time to exercise; less time to date. Less time to read and to write. And it frequently seemed that my peers had a command of Time that escaped me. They finished novels, ran half-marathons, and published papers all while possessing a medical knowledge superior to my own. The only indulgence Time afforded me was enough to follow the aforementioned Republican primaries—a gift that I would have gladly gone without.
I wrote this poem during my first year as a medical student while learning physiology. I was struck by the concept of human growth mechanisms. I found it fascinating that our organs grow and change in size through such concrete cellular mechanisms. Growth is such a universal and fundamental characteristic to living beings, and I wanted to play with both language and form to contrast a scientific explanation of growth to the emotional growth that occurs when we experience pain or suffering.
How we respond to failure says a lot about who we are. In business, failure is often seen as a good thing. World-famous motivation speaker Tony Robbins likes to say, “You’re either winning, or learning.” He replaces the word losing with learning. We learn from our mistakes when we fail. Failing allows us to move forward in life, to grow into something better. Why is failure treated so differently in medicine?
Medical school is terrifying. This is not something I feel like I am supposed to admit — or let alone feel — because it conveys insecurity. For all the learning we compress into our days as students, we operate in a constant state of not knowing. Perhaps paradoxically so, uncertainty itself seems to be guiding us down the path laid before us. It is as if we are walking with our hands stretched out in front of us, groping in darkness. Every day, we face the unfamiliar, not just in terms of knowledge, but also the larger questions of whether we are turning down roads that feel true to us.
“It’s time to wake up boss, please open your eyes. / There’s much work to be done and we’re ready to advise.” / Curiosity propelled me to confront my kooky staff. / One flipped through a dictionary, the other spoke on his behalf.
The humble beginnings of in-Training often obscure the grand aspirations of the magazine. Since the first article on July 2, 2012, we have published 1000 articles from 450 different authors, curated by our team of over 40 editors, representing 152 different medical schools throughout the world. This is quite the accomplishment for a magazine that was born out of a simple conversation.
Earlier in the summer, I was speaking with a friend from medical school while we were studying for Step 1, the big test taken by medical students at the end of second year, and he remarked, “There’s really nothing quite like this. We probably don’t even realize how strange it is since we’re so ingrained in it.” He was right: the demands of medical school often make it an all-encompassing undertaking, one that can be difficult to explain to those outside it.
We began medical school orientation with several anonymous ice breakers. The idea was to learn more about the class’s demographics through a few clicker questions. Most were innocuous: are you in-state? Did you take a gap year? Were you a science major? They were standard questions in the boring small talk repertoire of medical school orientation. One question though, incited murmuring among students: How many of you came from households with six figure incomes?
Patient presentations are a strange sort of voyeurism. Though they resemble medical interviews in many ways — the history-taking, the assessment of emotional state and physical function — what was once a private interaction becomes a public play. What was once a conversation intended to benefit the patient becomes a performance to satisfy the curiosity of so many medical students.
In a recent article entitled “In Defense of Step 2 Clinical Skills,” Dr. Ken Simons, senior associate dean for graduate medical education and accreditation at the Medical College of Wisconsin, argues the current student-led campaign to end the USMLE Step 2 CS examination is misguided and potentially dangerous.
Many of us have this romanticized version of the ED in our heads from some TV drama. We imagine a world where beautiful physicians are sprinting next to flying gurneys, pounding chests and snarling, “Get me epi, STAT!” We imagine a war zone rife with Shakespearean tragedy, with heart-breaking moments that leave grizzled doctors weeping.
You see, when starting your anesthesiology clerkship it feels as if you are learning a completely new skillset and knowledge base. Of course you are drawing on common principles in physiology, pharmacology, and anatomy. But how they play out, and how you apply those concepts, are fresh. Here are some tips to maximize your learning, assist your resident and really start to appreciate the field.