Dr. John Abramson served as a family physician for 22 years, and was voted “best doctor” numerous times. He is a Harvard Medical School faculty member, where he currently teaches health care policy. He transitioned to litigation as a consultant for the FBI and Department of Justice and served in many trials against big pharmaceutical companies.
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.
Trends come and go, some faster than others. Similarly to fads in fashion, getting admitted to medical school requires the observation of trends. What trends can you leverage as a student switching careers into medicine?
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.
What happens after a nurse has gained valuable experience at the bedside and fine-tuned this skillset? Many find themselves exploring the idea of returning to school for an advanced degree, which is typically a master’s degree or doctorate in nursing. On the other hand, some choose to take a path less traveled — from nurse to physician.
If I don’t text back / Please don’t think it’s you / It’s the abundance of info / That I must go through
In today’s landscape of rapid innovation, medical providers need to quickly adapt in order to thrive in an ever-changing field. Better yet, we need to be equipped to lead and guide the innovations so that we are not just “reactors” to change, but rather the drivers of progress in health care.
Huh? Just like that, my confidence took a nosedive. Jeff could have spoken to me in Mandarin, and I would have been no better off in understanding what he had just said. Suddenly, I felt very small in my new white coat. Rhinorrhea sounded pretty severe. How dumb would I sound if I asked Jeff how long the patient had to live? I thought.
I learned English out of necessity — not only for myself but also for my family. I grew up in Mexico and moved to a small Northern California town at the age of eight. When we moved to the United States, I was placed in an English-speaking classroom with no one who spoke Spanish. Necessity forced me to learn English quickly and, as a result, I became my family’s unofficial interpreter, including at their medical appointments.
On Monday morning, a medical assistant finds me with a nasal swab in hand. I scribble my signature and temperature on the form he hands me. “Ready, Maria?” he asks, and then laughs when I groan in response. I tilt my head, close my eyes and wait for the worst part to be over. After 15 minutes of waiting in the student workroom, he tells me I am COVID-19 negative and set for the week.
How was I going to navigate living alone, so far from family, in an unfamiliar state? Who would take care of me if I got really sick? And most importantly, how would I deal with loneliness?
Dr. Ely’s research has focused on improving the care and outcomes of critically ill patients with ICU-acquired brain disease. His team developed the primary tool by which delirium is measured in ICU-based trials and clinically at the bedside in ICUs worldwide.