Frustrated by EHR? How about GMAIL(HR)?!?

Folks, there’s been a lot of jibber-jabber lately about “Medicine 2.0″ and using technology to better connect with our patients. Here’s a quick tutorial that cuts to the...

The 4 “T”s for Transforming Medical Education

A while back, I was able to reflect on the always jam-packed and inspiring Association of American Medical Colleges 2011 Meeting that took place in Denver.  The theme of the meeting was transformation.  It was certainly an interesting theme with the undertones of economic recession and the GME funding crisis- and that was before the failure of the Supercommittee to reach a resolution. So how does medical education need to transform?  In more ways than one, it turns out.  So here are just 4, and being a fan of alliteration, they all begin with “T”. • Trust – it’s clear that we need to restore the American peoples’ trust in physicians and in the medical education process.  While students enter medicine to make a difference, something that they see in their journey to becoming a physician makes them jaded and they sometimes lose sight of their initial intention. Is it debt, burnout, role models…Or likely some combination of the 3? It does not matter, because we have to restore their faith in teaching– yes teaching.  Teaching is the heart and soul of our medical education and it is sometimes the easiest to lose in an academic health center focused on NIH dollars or US news world report rankings.  In addition to teaching our students, it is time to teach another constituency, our patients and Congress about the critical need for medical...

How One Student’s Notes Became the ‘Wikipedia of Medicine’

Since many medical schools have switched to the pass/fail system, students have become much more comfortable sharing notes. Med students, attempting to convey enthusiasm and sense of camaraderie amongst their class, tell visiting applicants “we have a Facebook group where everyone puts up review sheets, helpful websites, etc…there is a real sense of trying to help one another because no one is telling us that in order for you to do well, your friend has to do badly….below the curve, at least.” For one student at Manchester University, at the Royal Bolton Hospital, sharing notes went far beyond uploading his 5,000 page Microsoft Word document. Tom Leach, now a junior doctor in Australia, had the best notes around in med school — and his friends knew it. He tells The Times of India, “One day I went into the library and there was a queue for the photocopier where people were copying my notes.” His notes were so clear and accurate that Leach decided to put them online and in just a few years it developed into so much more. Leach describes his site, AlmostADoctor.com (cool name…) as “The Wikipedia of medicine with doctors as editors to verify the content” but a closer look shows that the site offers much more. With tabs for Notes, Blogs, Flashcards and Reviews in several fields of medicine, there is not much more an aspiring...

Practice Surgery On the Go With T@uchSurgery

Touch Surgery might be the new best app for med students…especially those who want to pursue a surgical field. Using thorough lessons, simulation and practice tests, the app (for iPhone and Android) walks you through several common surgical procedures; from an appendectomy to knee replacements. The simulations are interactive, requiring you to respond precisely to the instructions for making incisions, retracting and suturing. As you progress through various modules, you can save and track your progress. The simulations are even in 3D, so that the student can get “real life” experience with different surgical procedures. It’s like a Da Vinci Robot on the go! Touch Surgery is a really neat learning tool designed with the med student in mind; even if you aren’t gunning to become a surgeon, the app is actually really fun– and it’s free. You can “operate” on the subway, in the bathtub, or even over your morning...

To Be or Not to Be? That is the Question of M4

Medical school is an extremely difficult endeavor that requires a true passion for its pursuit. Often, this passion is challenged by the sacrifice and struggle that come with a career in medicine. Many of the our contributors have discussed the deterrents , such as substantial student debt, lack of residency positions and the long and rigorous path to become a practicing physician. Still, each year, thousands of applicants are turned away from medical schools, and hundreds of graduating medical students are turned away from residency programs. So it’s clear that are there are enough people who want to go into medicine, and the problem with these deterrents is that they wear down medical students and doctors, often leading to hostile attitudes and negative incentives. Right now, America needs good doctors more than ever. Under the Affordable Care Act, almost 30 million more Americans will gain health insurance, so where are we getting the doctors to address this demand for care? Yes, medical school class sizes are growing, but residency positions are not. Healthcare is reforming so why shouldn’t medical education? A recent article in Kaiser Health News reported on medical schools that are creating accelerated programs, reducing medical school from 4 to 3 years. Some policymakers and medical school administrators believe that reducing medical school to 3 years is a great way to produce more doctors. Others argue that...

5 Ways to Make Our World a Healthier Place

Mark Rosenberg, MD, MPP, President of The Task Force for Global Health, former head of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, discusses the top 5 issues currently facing global health. From eradicating disease to reducing poverty, he covers the ways that doctors and patients can come together to ensure that even the poorest people in the world can lead healthy lives. Read more about The Task Force for Global Health.       Featured image is a screenshot from video...

A Day in the Life of a Med Student

A descriptive and mathematically accurate depiction of my happiness (or unhappiness) throughout my day in med school. Another graph needed to depict happiness on vacation as well as unhappiness leading up to...

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