Friday, June 14, 2013

The New England Journal of Medicine

     Sometimes people (residents, attendings) speak to you (a medical student) in passing, and end up saying something so unintentionally profound, it sticks with you forever. At the same time, I am sure that they (busy, important individuals) probably do not remember what they said a mere 5 minutes after they say it. When I was on my internal medicine Sub-I, one of the interns gave me some sage advice. He said that the best doctors he knew in any field read constantly. Not only do they keep themselves up to date with regard to what is going on in their field, they keep themselves reasonably up to date with news from other fields. This is because a patient on a surgery floor, for example, might very well be on a psych medication, and thus, the surgeon should have an understanding of the newest psychiatric medications and how they act in the body and interact with other medications.
     He said that the easiest way to keep up with new information would be to order the New England Journal of Medicine, which has the most up to date studies in every field. The New England Journal of Medicine is the oldest continuously published medical journal in the world, and publishes editorials, papers on original research, review articles, correspondence, case reports, as well as a section called "Images in Clinical Medicine." He also advised all of the medical students to order a physical copy instead of/in addition to an email copy or copy for the ipad. He said that it is easy to skip over an email, but people are more likely to read something it if it is in front of their face or lying around their home.
      Additionally, a subscription to the New England Journal of Medicine costs a lot more to purchase as an attending physician than as a resident or a medical student. As an attending, it costs $169 a year, but as a student/resident, it only costs $69 a year. In my opinion, that is a small price to pay to keep myself updated and informed in an effort to be the best doctor I possibly can for my patients. Besides, I really look forward to receiving my copy each week. I am just as excited to see my new copy in the mail as I am to see my People magazine. So, I am passing this advice on to all of you. I may not remember much from my internal medicine Sub-I, but I will always remember this resident and his advice. Hopefully, I can pass on some useful information to the medical students that I will work with in the future too.

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