The Differential
Blog Address: http://blogs.medscape.com/thedifferential
December 19, 2014

Not Quite Black or White

Race is always a tricky issue in medicine. For the most part, race is a social construct. But it is not one without it's biological and subsequent medical implications. For instance, many patients with some form of thalassemia are descended from populations living in Coastal regions that stretch from North Africa to Southeast Asia. The root word, thalassa, is a reference to the sea. But for all the predilections of certain illnesses for certain populations, there are only genetically miniscule differences between one group of humans and another. 

I bring this up because of the awkward encounters I have with patients from time to time. I remem...

Posted By: Olaseni Ajibade  

December 16, 2014

What's On Your Table?

'Tis the season for holiday joy and time spent around the table with family and friends. What's on your table?

In the Dominican Republic, for example, everything from friend cheese to fried salami is a staple. Fried foods are often complimented by simple carbohydr...

Posted By: Alexa Mieses  

December 14, 2014

Does Residency Teach Us to Waste Money?


It is not uncommon to have patients who present with vague symptoms and difficult-to-pin-down diagnoses. We have all heard of the patient who had been seen by doctor after doctor only to have the correct diagnosis made months (perhaps ...

Posted By: Annie Chiu  

December 11, 2014

Got Your Flu Shot?

Brace yourselves. Per the CDC, we're about to be hit by a potentially severe season. H3N2 drift variants are on their way, and they're not afraid of this year's flu shot. "Reduced efficacy" are the...

Posted By: Felix Lee  

December 11, 2014

When Patients Know More Than We Do

I've found that re-reading many of the books about medicine I read prior to med school is a completely different experience. This is great because it means I get to spend less money on new books and feel like I'm learning something as I understand more each time I read th...

Posted By: Sara Teichholtz  

December 10, 2014

Medical Education, Learning, and Tech

I recently saw a video on a medical blog that I follow. It is a thought-provoking video that makes us really think hard about the common belief that "technology has vastly improved...

Posted By: Matthew Marschall  

December 9, 2014

Machines in Medicine: EMRs and the Physician-Patient Relationship

I've now worked with two different electronic medical record (EMR) systems and have a number of thoughts--some good, some not so good. I'll start on a positive note, because these are the more obvious, well-recognized benefits. For one, EMRs allow us to collect data more ...

Posted By: Abraar Karan  

December 8, 2014

Forgive and Remember

When I was out on interviews, a program director suggested that I read Forgive and Remember, a study of surgical training by Charles L. Bosk. Dr. Bosk is a sociologist--something I previously knew nothing about. There was a nice symmetry in my ignorance, for...

Posted By: Bryce Krishna Cragg  

December 6, 2014

You Know What They Say About Assumptions...


During the rush of holiday parties and get-togethers, I take care to reconnect with friends and family with whom I’ve lost touch during my med school-related busy-ness over the prior months. Truth be told, I’m pretty bad at...

Posted By: Annie Chiu  

December 5, 2014

Failure, Frustration, and Success

One of the most difficult things for me as a third year has been those instances when I have a "real-world failure."  Unlike a classroom failure, or poor grade on an exam, getting something wrong in the clinical setting has a much bigger and impressive effect. I...

Posted By: Matthew Marschall  

 
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About This Blog

Medical school and residency can be a stressful, demanding time. These medical students share their insights and experiences, good and bad, in order to create a community of support and understanding for medical students everywhere.

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