becoming a doctor

Medical Humanities

When your body threatens mutiny and you are peering into the abyss, you want a doctor who has contemplated mortality in a deep way. Being sick is indeed hell and every patient deserves a Virgil. Infusing the medical training with a bit more Virgil just might be the key. More

Art & Anatomy

The “art of medicine” is a term that is used—sometimes disparagingly—to refer to the non-technical skills of medicine. Artistic rendering enables us to appreciate the emotional grappling one must do in the world of anatomy and in the larger world of medicine. More

In Search of a Beloved Teacher

“Written and Illustrated by…” These words were written on a blackboard in September, 1971, in crisp, authoritative chalk. This was practical magic, unfolding on our laminate pressboard desks every single day. Ms. Zive handed us power, and it was exhilarating. More

Danielle Ofri’s TED Talk on “Deconstructing Perfection”

Shame, guilt, fear—you can’t tally these on a spreadsheet, but they are the biggest elephants in the room when it comes to medical error. Danielle Ofri makes a powerful, against-the-grain case about perfection that could lead to dramatic improvements in care and ultimately could save lives. More

Moth Radio Hour

“July First” is the story of my first week of internship at Bellevue Hospital. It was the middle of the night, on the 16-West ward, when I faced the first existential crisis as a doctor. More

Danielle Ofri at the Moth MainStage

Danielle Ofri tells the story of the existential crisis she faced on Day One of being a doctor at Bellevue Hospital. Performed live for the Moth. More

Adding Spice to the Slog: Humanities in Medical Training

As soon as we’d finish rounds on the medical wards I’d race to pass out an Anatole Broyard essay in the nanoseconds before dispersal entropy overtook our team. More

An Epidemic of Disillusioned Doctors?

“That’s it,” I thought, after an overwhelming morning in clinic. “I quit!” It’s a thought that crosses the minds of the majority of doctors, it seems. A survey of more than 13,000 doctors found that more than two-thirds feel negatively about their profession. More

When Doctors Feel Fear

I remember the first time I laid eyes on an actual amygdala, after slicing through a brain with a repurposed kitchen knife in neuroanatomyclass. That’s it? I thought. That nickel-size splotch tucked below the temporal lobes was the seat of my fears? It was monumentally underwhelming and even lacked
the poetic almond shape that its Latin name connotes.
More

The Darkest Year of Medical School?

Next month, your future doctor will take the first steps into clinical medicine. I am not talking about the first day of internship (though that also happens on July 1), but the monumental transition that medical students make at the halfway point of medical school from the classroom years to the clinical years. More

NPR Interview–Why Would Anyone Become a Doctor?

Danielle Ofri speaks on Minnesota Public Radio about why  would anyone choose to become a doctor. Hear the story now. More

For Whom Do We Write

Was writing simply cathartic, an unloading of pent-up frustration, pain, occasional exhilaration? Or was this part of a nobler cause, something that would fall under the purview of healing, something with ultimate benefit for my patients? For if it wasn’t the latter, was I not simply exploiting my patients for their readily accessible drama? More

Social Mission of Med Schools

What exactly is the mission of a medical school? Is it to train the best and smartest doctors? Is to tend to our nation’s health? Is it to further medical knowledge? More

Residency Regulators are Back!

Every patient wants a doctor who is well rested and alert, but limiting residents to 80 hours per week wasn’t as simple a panacea as it seemed. In fact, the 80-hour workweek did not decrease errors and did not increase sleep time for the doctors. More

Books by Danielle Ofri

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