Columns

Vinayak Jain (2 Posts)

Columnist

Kasturba Medical College


Vinayak is a fifth-year medical student at Kasturba Medical College in India. A research stint at Johns Hopkins got him interested in medical education. He is particularly interested in clinical competencies, affective milestones and the incorporation of humanities in MedEd, on which he delivered a TEDx talk. In his free time, he enjoys sleeping, eating and being a medical student.

In the Quest for Competence

Medical education today struggles to keep pace with actual medical practice. Moving from an information-driven curriculum to a value driven one has propelled a vast array of research and scholarship in teaching methods, assessments and competencies. In this column, I hope to share insights on some of these areas as well as call for learning that is more adaptive and less standardized.




In Our Assessments We Trust

To understand the issue surrounding assessments, we must understand that it has become increasingly challenging to train physicians suited to face contemporary changes. To future physicians who have access to a repository of ever-expanding information on their smartphones, being tested on ‘high-yield’ minutia serves little purpose. Being able to think critically (and perhaps even imaginatively) in order to make sense of that information for patient care is what counts. And thus, no matter how standardized an examination is, lack of contextual reference renders it futile.

Leading the Rounds: The Medical Leadership Podcast — “Joy and Justice in Leadership with Dr. Ijeoma Nnodim Opara”

In this episode we interview Dr. Ijeoma Nnodim Opara. Dr. Opara received her medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine (WSUSOM) and completed a Med-Peds Residency at the Detroit Medical Center where she served as Chief Medical Resident. Currently, she is a double-board certified and an Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics.

Leading the Rounds: The Medical Leadership Podcast — “Why Gender Doesn’t Belong in Leadership Conversations with From Skirts to Scrubs and Dr. Stephanie Faubion”

In this episode we combine with another podcast, From Skirts to Scrubs, to interview. Dr. Stephanie Faubion M.D. She has practiced in the Women’s Health Clinic at Mayo Clinic for over 10 years. She has a broad interest in women’s health and her research encompasses sex- and gender-based differences in disease, menopause, hormone therapy, healthy aging and sexual health and dysfunction in women.

The Subtle Art of (Not) Reflecting

Another day passed as I approached the deadline of my latest assignment. Our professor asked students rotating in the ICU to reflect and write up a patient encounter that influenced them deeply. In an effort to encourage a more humane and nuanced understanding of medicine, this was part of a series of reflective assignments being introduced in medical schools. While the budding writer in me was delighted at this prospect, the medical student, ironically, was …

Tissue Paper Skin

I believe these inadequate approaches circumvent the answer the interviewer is actually trying to provoke: are you self-aware enough to know your faults?

Every one of us is imperfect, fallible, and vulnerable to making mistakes. Being a strong physician requires self-reflection and awareness, and interviewers want to know if you are willing to be honest with yourself and others. I can’t tell you how to answer this question, but I can tell you how I did.

Course Correction: Growing Distrust in Physicians and Looking Ahead

As we seek to understand this phenomenon, there are many subjective variables that contribute to the trust between patients and providers. Measuring trust in a reliable and consistent fashion is challenging in itself. With these limitations in mind, three salient factors are involved in the decline of patient trust in physicians: one, a commodified healthcare system; two, lack of quality time spent with the patient; and three, racial influences on the patient-provider relationship.

Leading the Rounds: The Medical Leadership Podcast — “Death, Humor and Bringing Humanism Back to Medicine with Dr. Ed Creagan”

Dr. Creagan was the Mayo Clinic president 1999, 2000, 2001. He was responsible to the Mayo Clinic CEO who directed answered to the internal board of governors and the external trustees. He believes that this gave him a fascinating insight into what he called the “Masters Of The Universe.”

Leading the Rounds: The Medical Leadership Podcast — “Esprit De Corps and the Importance of Curiosity with Dr. Stephen J. Swensen”

In this interview, we talk to Dr. Stephen J. Swensen. He is dedicated to the support of thoughtful leaders who aspire to nurture fulfillment of their staff. He is a recognized expert, researcher and speaker in the disciplines of leadership and burnout.

Lived experience

Becoming More Emotionally Intelligent, Adaptive Physician-Leaders

Current evidence suggests that much of human health is influenced more significantly by contextual factors like the social determinants of health than the direct receipt of health care. This relatively new understanding has challenged the notion of “physicianhood” and what it means to improve the health of entire populations and communities. With the influx of issues that the pandemic has brought with it, this new model for being a highly effective physician has become even more important.

Ashten Duncan, MPH, CPH Ashten Duncan, MPH, CPH (11 Posts)

Columnist, Medical Student Editor and Former Managing Editor (2017-2018)

OU-TU School of Community Medicine


Ashten Duncan is a third-year medical student at the OU-TU School of Community Medicine located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A 2018-2019 Albert Schweitzer Fellow, he recently received his Master of Public Health (MPH) with an interdisciplinary focus from the University of Oklahoma Hudson College of Public Health. Ashten attended the University of Oklahoma for his undergraduate program, completing a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Microbiology and minors in Chemistry and French. An aspiring family physician, Ashten is currently on a National Health Service Corps scholarship. His research interests include hope theory, burnout in medical education, and positive psychology in vulnerable populations. Ashten is passionate about creative writing and what it represents. He has written pieces that have been published on KevinMD.com and in-Training.org and in Blood and Thunder and The Practical Playbook. Ashten is currently serving as Associate Author for the upcoming edition of First Aid for the USMLE Step 1.

The Lived Experience

As medical students, we sometimes lose sight of our purpose for going into medicine and feel that we are exerting ourselves excessively with little feedback from our environment. It is important that we remember that, while we are living through the experiences that come with our training, our future patients are also living through their own experiences. The focus of this column is to examine topics in positive psychology, lifestyle medicine, public health and other areas and reflect on how these topics relate to medical students, physicians and patients alike.