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Jennifer A. Best

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What we lose in medical training


Jennifer  A. Best, M.D., writing in JAMA, discusses  some of the losses involved in the brutal rigor of medical training:

  • “Forming close-knit clinical teams each month that disband without a proper acknowledgment or goodbye.

  • “Being asked by family to provide medical advice for an ill relative and finding no space in that role for personal sadness or the intense anxiety of “impostor syndrome.”

  • “A romantic relationship whose future success lies with the computerized Match algorithm.

  • “Hoping to become pregnant with a ‘ticking clock’ but ovulating while assigned to a week on a night rotation. Again.

  • “Absence from “unique and unrepeatable” events—holidays, birthdays, weddings, and funerals.

  • “Vigorous and repeated bedside challenges to one’s core ethical, moral, and spiritual framework.

  • “Strain in longtime friendships related to years of sustained unavailability, compounded by geographic distance.

  • “The sad recognition that months have passed since you’ve played your cello.

  • “Lamenting deterioration in one’s physical body that has accumulated in the wake of sleep disturbance, quick meals, little exercise, and delayed health maintenance.”

    To read her essay, please hit this link.

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