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Board exam strategies | College news for Associates | Communication skills | Computers and training | Educational experience | Ethics | Job market | Legal issues | Lifestyle | Loans and taxes | Managed care | The Match | On the job | Patient care | Research and presentations | Training regulations | Unions | Miscellaneous


Board exam strategies

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Medical 'Jeopardy' rounds score big points with residents
Once a regional rivalry, this Annual Session blockbuster now draws teams of Associates from across the country. (June 2004)

Strategies to help pass the internal medicine boards
While you won't succeed by cramming for this exam, you still have time to sharpen your test-taking skills. (June 2003)

Strategies to pass the internal medicine board exam
Experts outline their best test preparation tips (June 2000)

Taking the boards? Try these strategies for success
Experts say you might need more than traditional study techniques to do well (May 1999)

Simple strategies for surviving the board examination
What will work and what won't—like cramming and pulling all-nighters—may surprise you (June 1998)

Are you ready to take the internal medicine boards?
Experts advise self-assessment tests, study groups and other ways to best prepare—and pass (May 1997)

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College news for Associates

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What's the right way to redesign residency training?
A new set of proposals aims to juggle residents' different career goals with programs' training and service needs. (June 2006)

Capitol Hill conference puts spotlight on student debt. (November 2005)

Associates becoming full members eligible for discounts. (April 2004)

Associates becoming full Members eligible for discounts A special transitional dues program can save you over $500 (March 2003)

Associates on the path to full membership eligible for discounted dues, products (March 2002)

Associates win national abstract competition (July-August 2002)

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Communication skills

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Serve your trainees a feedback sandwich

The end of residency rotation isn't the only opportunity to teach. Assessing physicians should occur continuously, with a clear plan for a conversation between the attending and the trainee. More

PCPs, hospitalists work at communication

Closer relationships between primary care physicians and hospitalists and resulting improvements in patient care are achievable with relatively little effort. More

IMGs get acculturation advice from a veteran

In an already overwhelming time period of residency, international medical graduates face extra burdens: confusing slang from patients, questioning authority when needed, and interacting with more knowledgeable subordinates. Cultural barriers have to be crossed to adapt to life in a U.S. residency. More

Med schools promoting care for underserved

To encourage primary care careers, medical schools are offering students shortened specialty rotations in favor of fast-track graduation, half-tuition forgiveness and having students follow patients wherever they go in the health system. Different teaching models emphasize continuity of care over snapshots of diagnoses, and place students in the clinics where they can fulfill the nation’s need for rural care. More

Handoff Rx: knowing what to say and how to say it
Standardized forms, written and verbal reports help residents avoid potential problems during transfers. (October 2006)

Owning up to a mistake takes courage—and practice
Role-playing a conversation in which you disclose an error can help prepare you for an unexpected response. (June 2005)

Strategies to help you deal with difficult attendings
Talking about expectations and seeking support with tough attendings can resolve problems and enhance needed skills. (January-February 2004)

Tips to talk to patients in terms they'll understand
Low levels of "health literacy" mean that most patients understand less than half of what you tell them. (February 2003)

Bearing bad tidings? Try these communication tips
Communicating bad news with frankness and empathy can help improve your bond with patients (January 2003)

Talking about risk with your patients? Try these tips
Statistics can mislead and confuse, but you can cut through the clutter and communicate more clearly (September 2002)

Patients uncooperative? Try these communication tips
By recognizing important issues and helping set expectations, residents can improve patient encounters (May 2002)

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Computers and training

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Hi-tech tools offer hands-on training without the risks
Next generation options are interactive and current, but can virtual patients teach doctors real-life lessons? (January-February 2006)

With computers, residents need to go beyond basics
Surfing the Web is a good start, but housestaff should learn to master a wide range of applications (October 2000)

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Educational experience

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Unique aspect of internship involves learning to meet needs

An intern learns to balance patient needs with his own, following the guidance of senior residents and mentors. More

‘Rights, privileges and responsibilities appertaining thereto’

An internal medicine resident reflects on his recent graduation, a cross-country move and the new responsibilities he now carries. More

Serve your trainees a feedback sandwich

The end of residency rotation isn't the only opportunity to teach. Assessing physicians should occur continuously, with a clear plan for a conversation between the attending and the trainee. More

Med schools promoting care for underserved

To encourage primary care careers, medical schools are offering students shortened specialty rotations in favor of fast-track graduation, half-tuition forgiveness and having students follow patients wherever they go in the health system. Different teaching models emphasize continuity of care over snapshots of diagnoses, and place students in the clinics where they can fulfill the nation’s need for rural care. More

Eyeing a training overhaul: Should residency by revamped?
A debate grows about how, and whether, to change the current one-size-fits-all internal medicine training model. (October 2005)

Tips to prepare for a rotation in outpatient medicine
Outpatient problems may seem mundane, but they can teach you new skills and a different approach. (July-August 2003)

Clinical depression: more than just residency blues
Getting past old stigmas is the key to recognizing symptoms—and helping vulnerable residents (December 2000)

Tips to find a fellowship in a competitive market
Fewer subspecialty slots may mean a tough search. Here are ways to make the process successful (July-August 2000)

Moonlighting: good experience or a necessary evil?
Working extra hours can expand your training and income, but educators point to potential drawbacks (May 2000)

For some students, medical school is not enough
A growing number are getting degrees like PhDs, MBAs and MPHs to learn—and earn—more (September 1998)

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Ethics

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Owning up to a mistake takes courage—and practice
Role-playing a conversation in which you disclose an error can help prepare you for an unexpected response. (June 2005)

Is it OK to 'practice' on patients who have just died?
While residents need to hone their resuscitation skills, some institutions worry about issues of consent (April 2003)

How to help patients who use alternative medicine
With alternative therapies booming, you need to identify patients' nonconventional treatments (June 2001)

Tips on talking to patients about advance directives
Getting beyond simplistic statements like 'no machines' can dramatically improve end-of-life planning (March 1999)

Your patient is out of line—now what should you do?
How to anticipate—and resolve—awkward patient encounters like sexual advances and gift-giving (July/August 1997)

Why residents should 'fess up to their mistakes
Errors provide an opportunity to learn—if handled the right way (December 1996)

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Job market

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Invest time upfront to land the job you really want
From interviewing strategies to contract negotiations, physicians offer tips for a successful job transition. (September 2006)

In a red-hot job market, some residents are taking time off
The booming demand for internists has some young physicians waiting longer to start looking for that first job. (May 2004)

Look carefully before you sign that first contract
Before committing, residents should scrutinize pay, non-compete clauses and partnership options (December 2001)

How to find a job after training that you really want
Tips for finding job leads and evaluating opportunities (September 2001)

Getting ready to sign a contract? Read these tips
To protect yourself in employment negotiations, get everything in writing, and retain a lawyer to help (May 2001)

Subspecialty vs. general medicine: Which path is right for you?
Tips to help guide your career choices (October 2000)

Tips on finding a first job you'll want to keep
Sorting the Prince Charmings from the frogs takes research—and realistic expectations (July/August 1998)

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Legal issues

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Residents, programs try to finesse complex visa issues
Programs trying to fill slots and IMGs who want to come to—and stay in—the U.S. face many tough choices. (July-August 2006)

Steering clear of malpractice problems in residency
While housestaff aren't generally included in lawsuits, there strategies to help you play it safe. (September 2003)

Don't get slammed by tail coverage
One physician discovered that not reading an insurance contract carefully could cost him thousands. (Web only)

How you can steer clear of a malpractice lawsuit
Experts say the keys are documentation and talking to patients when you make a mistake (November 1999)

Steering clear of malpractice
A guide to understanding when residents are—and are not—at risk for negligence (June 1995)

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Lifestyle

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Med school debt becomes budgeting burden for primary care

A newly minted primary care physician graduates with a budget that can leave him or her $800 in the red each month. The debt leaves primary care physicians feeling undervalued compared to their subspecialist counterparts, especially since they consider their work to be as hard and as important. More

Bridging the generation gap from Boomers to Millennials
Understanding what motivates physicians can defuse simmering 'workaholic' vs. 'slacker' stereotypes. (June 2006)

How to manage your finances while still in training
Besides dealing with debt, residents need to decrease expenses and take steps to begin boosting their savings (November 2001)

Strategies to balance training, your personal life
While medicine encourages compulsiveness and sacrifice, residents need to be well-rounded to thrive (July 2001)

Facing up to an occupational hazard: substance abuse
Substance abuse affects one in six residents. Here are some warning signs and ways you can help (February 2000)

Tips to keep your debts from spiraling out of control
How to keep medical school debt—and your current spending habits—from ruining your financial future (January 2000)

Parenthood and residency: the great balancing act
Planning can help make the most of progams' policies, but hard decisions remain (June 1997)

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Loans and taxes

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Giving Uncle Sam his due should be less taxing this year
The IRS now allows residents to deduct textbooks, job expenses and more interest from student loans. (March 2004)

College supports bill to reduce taxes on student loans. (March 2004)

Saddled with debt? Consider consolidating your loans
Today's historically low interest rates give some residents an opportunity to make their money go even farther. (December 2002)

Why forbearance is your last resort for relief
Forbearance provides a break from making payments, but not from accruing interest. (Web Only)

Tax refunds for residents? The issue heats up again
Teaching hospitals say residents are exempt from certain taxes, but a new IRS memo may not agree (November 2000)

Tips to keep your debts from spiraling out of control
How to keep medical school debt—and your current spending habits—from ruining your financial future (January 2000)

What you owe the tax man: a guide for IMGs
How to determine whether the IRS considers you a resident or nonresident alien—and other tax tips (March 1997)

How to take control of your medical school debt
Making smart financial decisions—including consolidation and deferment—can help residents (January 1997)

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Managed care

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Teaching residents to control the costs of care
Housestaff can learn to balance the bottom line without sacrificing quality (January 2001)

Preparing residents to practice cost-effective medicine
Training programs are devising ways to help housestaff practice cost conscious medicine (November 1995)

Preparing residents for the real (managed care) world
Learning how to discover patients' underlying concerns can diffuse demands for expensive tests and treatments (April 1995)

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The Match

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Most medical students get good news on Match Day
Internal medicine's filled positions edged upward but students still shied away from careers in primary care. (May 2007)

Internal medicine posts a steady draw in 2005 Match
But experts claim this year's figures still reflect an ongoing decline in the desirability of primary care careers. (May 2005)

Are residents applying too early for fellowship slots?
Some changes already streamline the application process—but housestaff want to wait longer to apply. (March 2005)

In this year's Match, internal medicine continues to lose U.S. graduates
Internal medicine continued its six-year slide in the Match, due in part to students concerns about income and lifestyle. (May 2003).

Pay and hours driving losses in this year's Match
Hardest hit were primary internal medicine and med-peds tracks. (May 2002)

Match shows continuing decline in primary care
While internal medicine programs saw a 1.5% decrease, family medicine residencies took a 17% hit. (May 2001)

Third consecutive loss in the Match has primary care asking questions
Internal medicine appears stable, but it posts a small decline (May 2000)

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On the job

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Checking in with residents on the discharge summary. (November 2006)

Military residents now learn from wartime challenges
As they care for veterans and war wounded at home, housestaff prepare for the possibility of being deployed. (April 2006)

Residents finding their place on rapid response teams
While teams may reduce the rates of codes and mortality, housestaff are still finding out where they fit in. (March 2006)

Reviving the medical autopsy as a valuable training tool
By examining the dead, residents learn essential tips about treating—and communicating with—the living. (July-August 2005)

Owning up to a mistake takes courage—and practice
Role-playing a conversation in which you disclose an error can help prepare you for an unexpected response. (June 2005)

Despite new work hour rules, residents need more rest
Training programs try everything from seminars to free taxi services to help housestaff cope with lack of sleep. (December 2004)

Tips to help you recognize delirium in elderly patients
Physicians need to pick up on key diagnostic clues like inattention, disorganized thinking and acute onset. (November 2004)

Residents help raise the bar on infection control efforts
Training programs highlight techniques housestaff can use to cut rising rates of hospital-acquired infections. (October 2004)

Tips for saving time in the era of new work hour rules
Residents find that technology and creative teamwork can help them balance education with patient care. (September 2004)

Rx for success: learning how to work well with nurses
One of the more difficult aspects is balancing your clinical skills with the hands-on experience of RNs (November 2002)

Tips to resolve grievances in your residency program
Understanding your program's procedures can help you work through problems without jeopardizing your career. (February 2002)

Teaching residents to control the costs of care
Housestaff can learn to balance the bottom line without sacrificing quality (January 2001)

Working with a tough attending? Try these techniques
Opening the lines of communication is just the first step to helping resolve problems (October 1999)

Need a consult? Be sure to ask the right questions
Gathering evidence and communicating clearly will help you get the answers you need (January 1999)

Health care hazards: steering clear of needle sticks
Universal precautions and keeping track of your sharps can help prevent deadly accidents (October 1998)

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Patient care

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When you look, but don’t see the diagnosis

Gradual yet significant change in a woman’s appearance, first noticed by a daughter she hadn’t seen for a year, leads to the diagnosis of a common yet frequently missed ailment. Why hadn’t those who’d seen the woman daily noticed anything? Intuitive vs. deliberative thought processes made all the difference. More

Training programs step up efforts to prevent inpatient falls
Residents play a key role in assessing patients' risk of falls and prescribing necessary precautions. (November 2005)

Focusing on near misses can bring major improvements
When it comes to patient safety, residents have a big role in detecting close calls and suggesting solutions. (September 2005)

Tips to help you recognize delirium in elderly patients
Physicians need to pick up on key diagnostic clues like inattention, disorganized thinking and acute onset. (November 2004)

A hard lesson: coping with the death of a special patient
Talking about patient deaths can help residents weather what can be one of the toughest parts of medical training. (April 2004)

Tips to detect and treat depression in older patients
Subtle clues can help you spot depression, a common condition that patients don't report—and many deny outright. (December 2003)

Strategies to help you cope with violent patients
By spotting the warning signs and working with problem patients, you can learn how to protect yourself (October 2002)

How to help patients who use alternative medicine
With alternative therapies booming, you need to identify patients' nonconventional treatments (June 2001)

Tips to recognize—and respond to—domestic violence
Learning how to gently ask for information is the first step toward helping abused patients (March 2001)

Good diagnostic skills should begin at the bedside
Improving physical exams and history-taking can help you become more efficient and compassionate (February 2001)

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Pay

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Resident pay remains flat, but benefits improving
Despite regional variations in pay, the good news for all residents is that the benefits picture for everyone has improved (March 2001)

Amid flat stipends, resident pay an issue for some
As school debt escalates, residents question the fairness of their stipend levels (March 1998)

Resident stipends stable despite fears of upcoming cuts
With fears of cuts to government subsidies of GME, some teaching hospitals are freezing interns' stipends (April 1996)

Does money talk?
Teaching institutions fear rising stipends may influence residents' choice of program (March 1995)

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Research and presentations

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ABIM invites residents to apply for research grants. (October 2006)

Need help giving a presentation? Try tips from two experts
Practice makes perfect when it comes to engaging audiences and getting articles published in prestigious journals. (June 2004)

With computers, residents need to go beyond basics
Surfing the Web is a good start, but housestaff should learn to master a wide range of applications (October 2000)

How to make the most of research during residency
Choosing a topic that's right for you is key to getting all you can from your scholarly pursuits (April 1999)

Trying to improve your clinical presentations?
Here are some tips for writing better papers—and for avoiding the seven deadly sins of speaking (November 1997)

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Training regulations

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Under pressure, medicine revisits resident work hours
As federal policy-makers look to regulate resident work hours, the profession has been working on its own solutions. (March 2002)

New rules for regulating residents?
A call for tighter oversight of housestaff has some educators worried (October 1998)

New HCFA project means fewer slots, more pressure
Financial incentives in New York aim to reduce resident numbers, but at what cost to patient care? (September 1997)

Shrinking budgets, new ACGME rule changing stipends
The fallout could range from lower stipends for popular subspecialties to lump-sum lures (March 1997)

Geriatrics changes its rules to attract more residents
More ambulatory experiences, intellectual challenges part of pitch to meet skyrocketing demand (February 1997)

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Unions

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Resident's union celebrates its Golden Anniversary
Members tackle modern-day issues and a payment system that entices physicians away from primary care. (July-August 2007)

New ruling on resident unions worries some educators
Collective bargaining may improve conditions for some, but educators worry about the fallout (March 2000)

Residents turn to unions in battle for salaries, rights
Threats of Medicare cuts and privatization of public hospitals are increasingly driving residents to join forces to defend their rights (March 1996)

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Miscellaneous

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Internship reflects how patient care guides medical education

Our columnist reflects on his just-completed intern year. More

Residents finding their place on rapid response teams
While teams may reduce the rates of codes and mortality, housestaff are still finding out where they fit in. (March 2006)

Moonlighting: a tug-of-war between time and money
Opportunities abound, but work-hour rules and safety concerns are shrinking the pool of available residents. (December 2005)

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