Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My blog has moved

Please watch this page for future posts.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Paradox of the Doctor-Patient Relationship

I watched a birth. More than watched: an hour or so after first meeting the mom-to-be as she lay in her bed in a hospital gown, I was helping her push. I was the one who retrieved her glasses so that she could see her new, perfect baby girl. I might be a footnote in some of the stories she and her husband later tell their family about the day their first child entered the world. I’m probably in some of the photos. But it’s almost certain that I will never see those new parents or their daughter again.
My career will be a series of moments like that. Sharing good news, delivering bad, offering a diagnosis or treatment that may change someone else’s life — and then moving on with my own. I will be present at some of the biggest turning points in my patients’ experience, but I will never really be part of their lives.
Read more of my latest at TIME Healthland:

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Anatomy memorial service

A nice piece about the memorial service we held to honor the people who so generously donated their bodies to further our medical educations:

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Anatomy Lesson

I skinned a man. Strange as it sounds, it felt more natural than I expected.
Fresh off winter break, we first-year medical students were slated for our first two days in the anatomy lab: Thursday would be orientation. Friday (gulp), dissecting a human body. The professor ran us through the ground rules—no music, no food, utmost respect for the cadavers. If we want extra study time, he assured us, the lab is open 24 hours a day. I can’t imagine any place I’d less like to be in the dead of night than in a room full of half-dissected bodies.
Read more:

And here is my previous Doctor-in-Training essay, which I neglected to post, about taking my first medical history from a real patient: 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Shock and Awe: Dispatches from Med School

I've just started medical school and will be chronicling my experiences in a series of "Doctor in Training" essays on TIME's Healthland blog. You can read the first installment here. An excerpt:

My very first patient died — twice. 
Less than a week after our White Coat Ceremony — the symbolic start of our medical education, in which we donned short white student coats in front of faculty, friends and family — I, along with a dozen other first-year medical students, am training in basic cardiac life support. 
Our mock clinical scenario: an elderly woman (fortunately, a mannequin, whose vital signs the EMS instructor makes up as we go along) collapses in a ShopRite supermarket, aisle 3. Unresponsive, she has stopped breathing. We check: no pulse. The instructor is quizzing us on the emergency response protocol. Then he asks a different type of question: “Is the patient dead or alive?”

Read more:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Worth a read: the doctor-patient relationship

Now that I'm back in school doing my prerequisites for medical school, I'm more interested than ever in health news, particularly when it comes to the way physicians interact with the people they treat. (A classmate and I are co-chairing a focus group on the doctor-patient relationship in my postbac premed program.) This story about the ways in which medical schools are changing their curricula to encourage future doctors to consider the whole patient caught my eye. I especially like the idea that focusing on relating to patients as human beings by adding humanities classes to med school isn't a nice touchy-feely bonus; it's a key part of medical training.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Study: Exercise Can Counteract Obesity Genes

Some families, alas, are fatter than others. But for dieters continually at war with their genes, there's good news in a study published in this week's PLoS Medicine: they can burn off 40% of their genetic predisposition to obesity by exercising. Read the full story on