Opportunities in Primary Care

surgical specialties

Medical students are bombarded with decisions regarding what they want to do with their lives, from choice of specialty to options within the field itself. Quite a few medical schools these days push for students to pursue primary care specialties. These include family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine and (sometimes) psychiatry. There are many incentives offered for students to pursue these in-demand fields: scholarships, loan repayment options, etc. Below are a few opportunities for medical students who are set on primary care fields.

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The Truth About "Primary Care" Statistics


How to Think About Med Schools’ Primary Care Statistics

Listener Lavender BloodPoison (not their real name) sent us a message saying they were impressed by CCOM’s Primary Care residency match statistics. And while many schools that serve states like ours do love primary care, “there are lies, damn lies, and statistics,” as the saying goes. How should one interpret match statistics in light of the fact that many who appear to match in primary care will go on to specialize after their first year residency? Lisa Wehr, Teneme Konne, Aline Sandouk, Amy Young, and Kaci McCleary are here to drop some truths about the so-called “Dean’s Lie” (less a lie as much as it is a truth that doesn’t tell the whole story).

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All in the Family: A Profile of Family Medicine

Central to the skillset of every physician is the differential diagnosis; this is the process by which new patients are evaluated to establish the most likely diagnosis. Similarly, the first clinical year of medical school is like a differential for each student, except instead of a medical diagnosis, students are seeking to determine which specialty they will choose. This column explores this differential: experiences from each rotation by a current third-year student.
My first day on Family Medicine might be the best depiction of the specialty: my clinical preceptor and I moved between our three clinic rooms, barely able to keep up with the 20+ patients that had appointments. We saw a patient following up on depression with new-onset low back pain; a middle-aged woman with a classic urinary tract infection; a husband and wife geriatric wellness visit; an adult woman with diabetes; a 9-year-old with strep throat; and a few cases of sinus infection to round out the day. By the end, I was exhausted and wondered how I would ever learn everything that my preceptor knew about such a wide variety of disease processes and patients. By the end of the rotation, I was still nowhere near his level or my other professors’ – years of residency and clinical experience still separate us – but had at least developed a sense of how to manage many of the common illnesses, and feel that I have a good understand of the breadth and variety of family medicine.

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Where to Apply to Medical School: Factors to Consider when Making Your School List

where to apply to medical school

If you’re applying to medical school this year, you’re probably starting to think about what school you’d like to attend. Many students are encouraged to apply broadly, and on average, applicants apply to 16 medical schools. While the right number of schools is different for everyone—you may apply to more or less—a good rule of thumb is to only apply to the medical schools you would attend if accepted. This will save you time and money overall, even if it means doing more research before the application cycle begins.

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Increasing Access to Healthcare in America

The advent of the Affordable Care Act was meant, in part, to help to increase the access that all Americans have to healthcare providers. However, while this has meant that a larger number of families now have health insurance, there is still a long ways to go before equitable access to healthcare is achieved.For medical students who will be coming into practice in the near future, an understanding of this issue and why it is important is a critical beginning to producing new physicians that are aware of the problem and are willing to be both proactive and creative when it comes to finding solutions to it. This article covers health care disparity and why it is important, as well as practical solutions to help close the gap of access to medical care in America.

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The Power of the Patient-Doctor Bond: A Conversation with Michael Clearfield, DO

michael clearfield

Some people develop the passion for medicine at an early age. Michael Clearfield, DO, was not one of them – but once he did find that passion, he ran with it for miles.Although he’d been interested in science and math throughout college, and had a vague feeling that “something in healthcare would be something I’d be interested in,” it was ultimately a personal experience that cemented his future career goals. “Some personal issues happened in our family, where people got ill, and I was able to experience the healthcare team as it impacts you as an individual,” he told SDN at last year’s UC Davis Pre-Health Conference (UCDPHC15), where he delivered a keynote on opportunities in osteopathic medicine. “There were some very startling revelations to me; some positive, some negative – seeing how the system worked, and how it didn’t – and I decided that [medicine] would be a career that I would like to try and make a difference in.”

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