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Med School Doesn't Teach This

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What new docs need to know and never learned in medical or osteopathic school

Harvard Medical School's Top Health Headlines of 2015 as reported in HEALTHbeat, on Twitter, and in their blog. (To read any of these articles or patient education pieces, please go to their website: and/or get a free subscription by registering there.)


Top 5 HEALTHbeat articles

  1. How stretching keeps your joints moving
  2. Exercise: An effective prescription for joint pain
  3. Healthy eating for blood sugar control
  4. Good balance requires mental and physical fitness
  5. Take a moment to be mindful

See all the HEALTHbeat archives »


Top 5 HEALTHbeat blogs

  1. Common anticholinergic drugs like Benadryl linked to increased dementia risk
  2. FDA strengthens warning that NSAIDs increase heart attack and stroke risk
  3. How much protein do you need every day?
  4. Folic acid, a B vitamin, lowers stroke risk in people with high blood pressure
  5. Mindfulness meditation helps fight insomnia, improves sleep

"10 Things Medical School Won't Tell You"  (by Jonnelle Marte. WSJ, pub. 10/14/12):

  1. Verbal and psychological abuse is commonplace and a rite of passage.
  2. Increasingly, an approach to stem errors is "holding all health care providers — including nurse practitioners, physician assistants and anesthesiologists — accountable for a group’s mistakes and encouraging them to speak up when something seems amiss."
  3. Collaboration is expected and that may create uncertainty about the physician's role versus other members of the team (including mid-level practitioners and those who are the keepers of the guidelines, standards and protocols.
  4. Beyond high test scores hand having attended the "best" schools, there's professionalism, demonstrable listening skills and an affinity for teamwork.
  5. Transferring undergraduate schools, regardless of reason, may earn you a demerit.
  6. Primary care physician shortages, notwithstanding, getting an M.D or D.O. degree is just the beginning of post-post-graduate training (like residencies, fellowships, experience) and, in some cases, being required to pay for more than ever before.
  7. "Offshoring is not just for factories anymore."  There's major competition for positions in U.S. schools and getting a medical degree abroad presents further difficulties and expenses.
  8. Test scores and ratings from one's training program may be worse for those internationally trained, yet better clinical outcomes may be realized by them, e.g., in the management of congestive heart failure or acute myocardial infarction.
  9. The shortage of primary care physicians mentioned in #6, above is aggravated by the severe indebtedness incurred in training.  Besides  specialists making more, their quality of life is better.
  10. But, going into medicine is no "prescription for riches."

The following was originally posted by Martin Young at [Note: the refernce link failed 10/14/2014]:

   The "euphoria of qualifying as a doctor" ...wears off

 Your education costs are of no interest to others, "particularly when it comes to your salary scale."

 "You will need business savvy to run a successful practice – hard work alone is a rough road to financial failure."

 "No matter how good you are, or how hard you try, some patients will just not like you."

 "Patients come first – above your family – and your life partner will not understand."

  "Balance your job and family life?  Forget it!"

  "Redefine 'success' in your own mind before you embark on your career – if money features too high on the list, you are in the wrong profession


   .....any other job after medicine will seem trivial and meaningless by comparison!

   Enjoy your career!!"

Truncated - [email:] target="_blank">"21 things new doctors need to know that medical schools do not teach!"

[email:]target="_blank">Posted by Martin Young at 10/2/2010 12:45 PM GMT on Doc2Doc, a doctor's blog from BMJ Group

In the interest of current and possibly future educational efforts — This is all about education; making it work well—See, for instance: "Colleges Reinvent Classes to Keep More Students in Science."

Holistic Outcomes?

Note that practitioner training, all too often in the context of a pressurized, unfulfilling "environment of practice, is not yielding the holistic outcome that physicians, patients, and the healthcare community desire [in particular, the] training of physicians and their culture of practice often do not support their emotional and relational development, which is crucial in a healing relationship.

Paolini HO, Gibney KC, Bogue FJ. "Physician Burnout and The Patient Experience: Are We Overlooking a Crucial Element?, pub. online October 31, 2014 [Last accessed this fantastic article {subscription required} March 5, 2015]

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