Category Archives: Advice for Physicians

Electrolyte & Acid–Base Disturbances in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus

Our own master of electrolytes and kidney specialist, Dr. Biff Palmer, recently published an excellent review article in New England Journal of Medicine titled “Electrolyte and Acid–Base Disturbances in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus.” These frequently encountered clinical scenarios pose problems both in the inpatient and outpatient settings and it is important for physicians of all specialties to become familiar with common presentations and approach to workup and management.

Continue reading Electrolyte & Acid–Base Disturbances in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus

What Makes an Outstanding Upper Level Resident? 6 Tips May Help!

Dr. Juan Lessing and Dr. Nick Mark from the University of Washington presented some advice on how to be a great senior internal medicine resident at SGIM 2015, “6 Precepts to Becoming a Good Senior Resident”. Click on the link below to read it as it’s full of helpful advice and very applicable to the housestaff! Thanks to Dr. Anil Makam for the reference!

6 Precepts to Becoming a Good Senior Resident

Advice for Physicians in Training: 40 Tips From 40 Docs

Remember how much your work matters, because health is important to everyone. You get to cure disease sometimes and offer comfort when you cannot. What you do makes a real difference in the lives of others, allowing you to leave the world a better place than you found it. And as if all that wasn’t enough, you actually get paid to do these things.

 

David Juurlink, Advice for Physicians in Training: 40 Tips From 40 Docs,The Winnower2:e142006.67645 (2014). DOI:10.15200/winn.142006.67645

Advice for Physicians in Training: 40 Tips From 40 Docs

On Professional Relationships

 

 

Helping patients and families deal with death is one of the most rewarding aspects of practicing medicine. Becoming comfortable talking about death, however, is not easy, and physicians who are good at it didn’t get that way overnight. When you find one who is, observe and emulate them.

David Juurlink, Advice for Physicians in Training: 40 Tips From 40 Docs,The Winnower2:e142006.67645 (2014). DOI:10.15200/winn.142006.67645

Advice for Physicians in Training: 40 Tips From 40 Docs

ON CAREER CHOICES

  • Don’t be in a rush to complete your training, especially if you are uncertain about the sort of career you want. Extending your training buys you time to mature as a physician and as a person, and might open doors that would otherwise be closed.

David Juurlink, Advice for Physicians in Training: 40 Tips From 40 Docs,The Winnower2:e142006.67645 (2014). DOI:10.15200/winn.142006.67645

Advice for Physicians in Training: 40 Tips From 40 Docs

ON UNCERTAINTY AND ERROR

  • Uncertainty is everywhere in medicine – in diagnosis, prognosis and therapeutics. Be thankful for that, because without it, medicine would be algorithmic and boring. Uncertainty is where the science of medicine ends and the art of medicine begins.

David Juurlink, Advice for Physicians in Training: 40 Tips From 40 Docs,The Winnower2:e142006.67645 (2014). DOI:10.15200/winn.142006.67645

Advice for Physicians in Training: 40 Tips From 40 Docs

On Being a Doctor

  • Awareness of what you don’t know – and in particular how you deal with not knowing – will define the sort of physician you are perhaps more than anything else.

David Juurlink, Advice for Physicians in Training: 40 Tips From 40 Docs,The Winnower2:e142006.67645 (2014). DOI:10.15200/winn.142006.67645

Advice for Physicians in Training: 40 Tips From 40 Docs

Keep every letter and card of thanks from patients and their families. If you are acknowledged in an obituary, clip and save it. Read these things periodically. They are affirmations that you are making a difference in the lives of others. 

David Juurlink, Advice for Physicians in Training: 40 Tips From 40 Docs,The Winnower2:e142006.67645 (2014). DOI:10.15200/winn.142006.67645

Advice for Physicians in Training: 40 Tips From 40 Docs

ON MENTORSHIP AND GUIDANCE

True mentors want you to succeed and are guided by your interests rather than theirs. A good mentor has “been around” and knows things you don’t, including which rules can be broken and which ones cannot. The best mentors will sometimes tell you things you don’t want to hear. Time often proves them right.

David Juurlink, Advice for Physicians in Training: 40 Tips From 40 Docs, The Winnower 2:e142006.67645 (2014). DOI: 10.15200/winn.142006.67645

Advice for Physicians in Training: 40 Tips From 40 Docs

On Professional Relationships

“Drug reps” are not your friends. They have a job to do, and their objectives are often at odds with your obligations to your patients. Drug reps tend to exaggerate a drug’s benefits and minimize its harms. Decline free samples, which are nothing more than marketing devices, and skip the fancy “educational” dinners, which will only make you feel cheap. (And if they don’t, you might want to think about that.)

David Juurlink, Advice for Physicians in Training: 40 Tips From 40 Docs,The Winnower2:e142006.67645 (2014). DOI:10.15200/winn.142006.67645