The number of medical school graduates is increasing faster than the number of residency slots, thanks in part to a cap on federal funding for residency programs that has been in place for over 20 years. Without securing a residency, medical school graduates cannot go on to become physicians. Yahoo!News quotes me in their article.
American medicine is at a crossroads as doctors begin to reject a cruel, exhausting educational model and a minefield-ridden practice landscape. Hands wring over the worsening physician shortage, yet little happens to ease physicians’ administrative workloads or student loan burdens.
This piece is the second most-viewed opinion article ever on STAT.
Unsuccessful medical school applicants face a quandary. What to do next?
A popular option has been the master’s degree in public health. Students figured it was a way to spend a year doing something “health-related.” They could take off for medical school interviews, maybe write a paper or two. But the MPH is too easy a route. It is not enough. Here is what the MPH telegraphs: “I sat down for a year in easy to moderate difficulty classes and passed. I have a broad overview of public health.”
In your second or third year of residency or fellowship, your smartphone will suddenly start buzzing at all hours of the work day. When you answer, a hyperactive-sounding millennial will chirp at warp speed: “HiDr[yourname]! IjustwantedtoknowyouravailabilitycauseIhaveanamazingopportunity60milesfromChattanooga….”
Financial advisors and wealth managers are not just for rich people or for investing in llama futures and bitcoin loan sharks. Health professionals have complicated financial lives. Huge debts, job search expenses, salary negotiations, moving costs, nanny salaries, high rents and mortgages near the medical center, wedding expenses, and even unforeseen costs like car accidents can make investing and saving for retirement seem decades away, but a wise planner can be a great resource while a veterinarian or anesthesiologist concentrates on her practice. Good financial planners excel at calming their clients down, getting clients sorted out with insurance policies (that they actually need), and making savvy decisions for the future. How does one find that person who is a walking Wall Street Journal/therapist?
Hospital cafeteria food. Malignancy or benign-ness. Patient population seen in the third and fourth years. A medical school interview provides a fusillade of data points to consider, and an applicant can feel overwhelmed. But what criteria actually matter in the long run? Doctors can debate this question endlessly, but here, in no particular order, are the five criteria I believe to be essential considerations when making this all-important decision.
Aaron Zaks, a family medicine intern (first-year resident) at Shasta Community Health Center in Redding, CA, did not set out to practice medicine on the Sacramento River, deep in the shadow of the Cascades foothills where Chinook salmon spawn.
Every year on the third Monday in March, medical school deans across the nation warn their senior students to stay alert for a pager call. Worse than a late-night code blue, that ring, if it comes, portends terrible news.