medical training

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

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

The Insanity of Recertification

Studying for the boards is like stuffing your face at a hot dog–eating contest: The first few hundred pages are intriguing and tasty; the next few hundred are interesting, but your brain is feeling sluggish. The remaining thousand pages are just confettied sauerkraut delivered by dump-truck onto a comatose slop of neurons. 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

Storytelling in Medicine: the Passion and the Peril

So much of medicine is about stories—the ones we hear, the ones we tell, the ones we participate in—that it is no accident that doctors and nurses are attracted to stories. More

Physician Suicide and the Tyranny of Perfection

Doctors have the highest suicide rates of any professional group. But losing two of our newest members within a week of each other is a painful reminder of the dangers of our profession. 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

Fear is a Primal Emotion

This was it—the first code I was in charge of. After two years of racing to codes as a first- and second-year resident, now suddenly, the code was mine. I was the one to call the shots, to direct the care, to assign the jobs, to make the decisions….Shit! More

Danielle Ofri on NPR’s ‘The Takeaway’

Danielle Ofri is interviewed by NPR’s John Hockenberry on ‘The Takeaway’ about whether medical school makes students jaded and bitter. 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

Medical Errors and the Culture of Shame

It was probably our eighth or ninth admission that day, but my intern and I had given up counting. I was midway through my medical residency, already a master of efficiency. You had to be, or you’d never keep up. This one was a classic eye-roller: a nursing home patient with dementia, sent to the emergency room for an altered mental status. When you were juggling patients with acute heart failure and rampant infections, it was hard to get worked up over a demented nonagenarian who was looking a little more demented. More

Mensches with MDs

All religions have weighed in on the thorny ethical controversy of when life begins. In the Jewish faith, however, there is consensus: the embryo is only viable once it graduates medical school. More

Books by Danielle Ofri

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