To fully capture the breadth of medical humanities is simply not possible. In fact, it is all too easy for the medical community to lack an appreciation for all of the ways that the humanities not only complement, but enhance medicine. Medicine — a field so biological and chemical — is often associated with far more rigidity than where the humanities permits the mind to go.
As she closed the door behind her, the palliative care geriatrician whom I (Meghan) was shadowing turned and said, “Remember, there are no difficult patients – just difficult situations.” We walked to our next patient, Mrs. C, who was suffering from congestive heart failure. All cures had been exhausted and she was tired of being at the hospital but was scared to enter hospice care. The doctor clasped hands with Mrs. C and explained that starting hospice did not mean giving up – it meant living life on her own terms in the time that was left. After these discussions, Mrs. C appeared more at ease and decided to pursue hospice care at her home.
In this article, I hope to examine some causes of this discrepancy, compare and contrast the various prison systems across different countries, understand the shortcomings of America’s prison system in addressing these issues and shed light on how prison systems can provide better health care services.
My interest in radiology began, as it does for many, with the thrill of coming to a solution based on imaging and some sparse words on a patient’s chief complaint. Reading radiologic scans is like learning a language — a code composed of axial and coronal views, enhancing and nonenhancing areas and anatomical landmarks. When you dive into the millimeter slices of a contrast CT and the defect snaps to your attention, you are hooked.
Like many medical students, I am familiar with the antiparasitic medication ivermectin, a common drug taught in medical school. Ivermectin became an unexpected subject in the COVID-19 pandemic. However, after seeing a patient in the clinic taking ivermectin as an alternative to vaccination, the news hit differently.
Studies have shown that physicians with exposure and background in the humanities are more empathetic, ethical, expressive and even healthier. Recently, medical school curricula across the country have begun to emphasize communication, teamwork, problem solving and humanistic care, as the dichotomous view of the sciences as a separate entity from art and literature is becoming obsolete.
In medicine, very little is black and white. Now, as a medical student who has begun to experience ethical dilemmas in the realm of patient care, I’ve discovered that the ethics of journalists and physicians are more similar than I expected.
As a fourth-year medical student from a new medical school who just finished interviewing for ophthalmology residency, I can credit much of my interview season experience to intentional career planning and preparation early on. The ultimate impact of the upcoming changes to the USMLE Step 1 to pass/fail is yet to be fully determined. However, in my perspective, this monumental shift in medical education will place a greater emphasis on the need for thoughtful career planning earlier in medical school.
Before starting medical school, buried in a list of to-do tasks, I was asked to submit my Meyers-Briggs personality inventory. I was no stranger to this string of four letters, as I had performed the assessment many times in my life. I didn’t need to take the test again to know what I would get: INFJ.
With a growing interest in geriatrics, I began to wonder what resilience looks like for elderly patients, who unlike children, present their life trajectories to physicians much later. This is perhaps challenging and even uncomfortable to discuss for those who perceive resilience as a long-term goal — overcoming significant barriers in order to improve over time. Resilience may not seem as relevant for elderly patients who may be nearing the end of their lives.
Many women have experience with using or trying to attain access to contraceptives. More than 100 countries offer contraception over the counter; however, the United States is not one them.
Students across the country in all grade levels, from preschool to graduate school, had their educational routines upended by the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated lockdown. In medicine, there were special challenges associated with adapting safety protocols to a field that inherently requires human interaction.