Cultivating Creativity in Medical Training FedEx Style

14 01 2013

Over the holidays, I took full advantage of this opportunity to read a book from start to finish.  I chose Daniel Pink’s Drive.  It was actually recommended by @Medrants and I read it partly to understand why pay-for-performance often fails to accomplish its goals for complex tasks, such as patient care.  However, the thing I found most interesting about this book was the way in which creativity is deliberately inspired and cultivated by industry.

I could not help but think about why we don’t deliberately nurture creativity in medical trainees.  Why am I so interested in creativity?  Perhaps it is the countless trainees I have come across who are recruited to medical school and residency because of their commitment to service who also happen to have an exceptionally creative spirit.  Unfortunately, I worry too many of them have their spirit squashed during traditional medical training.   I am not alone.  I have seen experts argue the need to go from the traditional medical education that is fundamentally oppressive, inhibits critical thinking, and rewards conformity.   Apart from the criticism, it is of course understandable why medical training does not cultivate creativity.  Traditional medical practice does not value creativity.  Patients don’t equate ‘creative doctors’ as the ‘best doctors’.  In fact, doctors who may be overly creative are accused of quackery.

So, why bother with cultivating creativity in medical training? Well, for one thing, creativity is tightly linked to innovation, something we can all benefit from in medical education and healthcare delivery.   While patients may not want a ‘creative approach’ to their medical care, creativity is the key spice in generating groundbreaking medical research, developing a new community or global health outreach program, or testing an innovative approach to improving the system of care that we work in.  Lastly, one key reason to cultivate creativity in medical trainees is to keep all those hopeful and motivated trainees engaged so that they can find joy in work and realize their value and potential as future physicians.  In short, the healthcare system stands to benefit from the changes that are likely to emanate from creative inspired practicing physicians.

So what can we do to cultivate and promote creativity among medical trainees? While there are many possibilities including the trend to implement scholarly concentrations programs like the one I direct, one idea I was intrigued by was the use of a “FedEx Day”.  FedEx Days originated in an Australian software company, but became popularized by Daniel Pink and others in industry.  For a 24 hour period, employees are instructed to work on anything they want, provided it is not part of their regular job.  The name “FedEx” stuck because of the ‘overnight delivery’ of the exceptionally creative idea to the team, although there are efforts being undertaken to provide this idea with a new name. Some of the best ideas have come from FedEx Days or similar approaches, like 3M’s post-its or Google’s gmail.  I haven’t fully figured out how duty hours plays into this yet… so before you report me or ride this off, consider the following.  Borrowing on the theories of Daniel Pink, we would conclude that trainees would gladly volunteer their time to do this because of intrinsic motivation to work on something that they could control and create.  And to all the medical educators who can’t possibly imagine how would we do this during a jam packed training program, lets brainstorm a creative solution together!

Vineet Arora MD





Where are the Lollipop Men in Healthcare?

9 04 2012

I recently watched Dr. Atul Gawande on video describe how what American healthcare needs is pit crews and not cowboys.  This sentiment is also memorialized in his thought-provoking writings for the New Yorker.

Interestingly, Dr. Gawande is not the first person I have heard to suggest such a thing.  A colleague named Dr. Ken Catchpole actually studied Formula 1 pit crews and used the information to guide improvements in pediatric anesthesia handoffs.  His observations were astounding and really highlighted how the culture of medicine is different from Formula 1. In Formula 1, pit crews have a ‘fanatical’ approach to training that relies on repitition.   In healthcare, the first time we often do something is “on the fly”.  Moreover, on-the-job training usually means ‘checking the box’ by attending an annual patient safety lecture.   Perhaps the most important was the role of the “lollipop man” in pit crews.   And yes, even thought it’s a funny name, it’s a critical job.   As shown in the video, the Lollipop man is responsible for signaling and coordinating to the driver the major steps of the pit stop.  When it is safe to step on the gas, the Lollipop man will signal to the driver.  Sounds like a thing so perhaps it can be automated.  Wrong.  When Ferrari tried replacing the Lollipop man with a stop light that signaled the driver, the confusion created (does amber mean stop or go?) led to a driver leaving the pit with his gas still connected.  Quickly after this incident, Ferrari announced it would go back to the tried and trusted Lollipop “hu”man.

So, who are the Lollipop men (or women) in healthcare?  Turns out that Dr. Catchpole and his team observed that it was often unclear who was leading the handoff process that they were observing in healthcare.  With team training and system reengineering, Dr. Catchpole’s team was able to reorganize the pediatric handover so there was a Lollipop man (anesthesiologist) at the helm.

While these handoffs represent a critical element of healthcare communication in a focused area, it is symbolic of a larger problem in healthcare – we are still missing “Lollipop men” to coordinate healthcare for patients across multiple sites and specialties.  This is even more critical on the 2-year anniversary of healthcare reform and this month’s match results. At a time when we need to cultivate and train more “Lollipop men” to coordinate care for patients, we have had stable numbers of students who enter primary care fields.   And like the lessons from the Ferrari team, it is doubtful that a computer (even Watson who is now working in medicine apparently) will be able to do the job of a Lollipop man.

So, how can we recruit more Lollipop men?  While it is tempting to blame the rise or fall of various specialties and market forces, it is important to recognize that being this is a difficult job to do when the Lollipop is broken or even nonexistent.  Without the tools to execute the critical coordination that Lollipop men rely on, they cannot do their job.  So, the first order of business to ensure that the Lollipop, or an infrastructure to coordinate care for patients through their race that is their healthcare journey, exists.  As the Supreme Court debates the future of the Accountable Care Act, there is no greater time to highlight the importance of the Lollipop.

–Vineet Arora MD





A Modern Day Fairy Tale for Medical Education

28 12 2011

Recently, I was asked to speak about innovations in inpatient medical education for leaders in general internal medicine.  Knowing that I would be last in a distinguished lineup of speakers and that my charge was to discuss novel ways to teach in the inpatient setting, I thought it would be important to review how its been done for a long time — so long that it is embodied in one of my favorite fairy tales…

You see, Cinderella dreamed of one day becoming the best clinical educator in the academic kingdom.  Unfortunately, her evil stepmom “Mrs. Dean” scoffed at Cinderella and said “teaching does not pay…look at your hard working and loyal stepbrothers….“Bill” has been our primary breadwinner due to his high volume of Patient Care and “Grant” –yes, while its feast or famine with him, just got a big payout for his Clinical Research.  Teaching? That’s no way to make a living.  Go work work for them until you figure you what you want to do.” 

So Cinderella toiled away…until one day, she met the Godmother of a grateful patient “Mrs. Fairy” who donated a small sum money to improve inpatient teaching…and with this Cinderella was able to transform herself into one of the leading teachers of the new curriculum (she was also able to get a raise to update her wardrobe!).  She quickly became a hit among all the medical students and residents who were truly “charmed”.  Then one day, at the stroke of midnight, Cinderella’s protected time ran out…and all of her work went up in smoke as she was forced back to her life of hardship seeing patients and doing research.  The students and residents were distraught at the thought of losing their most prized teacher and searched the academic complex for her –they were so moved they wanted to award her the precious “Glass Slipper” teaching award, which not only is bestowed with honor, but also a promotion to become a tenured educator in the academic kingdom.   And she lived happily ever after…

While you may think that this is the stuff of fairy tales (especially happily ever after), we all have Cinderellas at our institutions.  And those Cinderellas want to teach, but they struggle not only with funding, but also the realities of today’s inpatient environment.  So, what are these Cinderellas to do? Well, there are few of the ways to ensure that clinical teaching is rewarded – and possible resolutions for the New Year for medical educators.

  • Focus on a gap that needs to be filled:  Protected time is most likely be awarded to someone who is filling a need – think new curriculum that is mandated by LCME/ACGME or other alphabet soup organizational body.  What is the specific need that you can fill with teaching?  Often this may require thinking about a topic that may not exactly match your initial interest, but it is more likely to lead to funding for your teaching.
  • Learn new teaching methods:  Teaching methods for today’s wards are not well developed in the land of an organized chaos.  By incorporating a new platform for teaching (think case blogs, video reflection, standardized patients, or a host of other ideas), you can breathe new life into an old topic.  For example, using simulation to teach end of life discussion, or using blogs to teach about professionalism, can result in a novel curricular program that not only engage next generation learners, but also gains attention of leaders in medical education.
  • Document the effectiveness of the teaching – it is only through methodological evaluation that one can document that teaching translates into practice.  By showing that teaching can be linked to improvements in knowledge, attitudes, or practice, it is more likely that someone (maybe a fairy) will finance this teaching as critical to the mission of the hospital.  Think about procedural training that shows reduction in central lines.
  • Work with a mentor – Just like ‘big research’, mentorship is still important although not always emphasized. To be honest, mentors can serve to mobilize resources or promote your work with senior leaders.

However, regardless of these strategies, funding for teaching requires institutional leadership to recognize that the academic mission of teaching hospitals is still ‘to teach’.   Of course, this mission is sometimes lost in the chaos of teaching hospitals surviving budget crisis in an increasingly competitive environment.  So during this holiday season as everyone is reminded of the time of giving, now is a great time to remind the fiscally minded Mr. Scrooge in your C-suite that the greatest gift they can give is enabling a teacher to teach the future doctors of our nation.

–Vineet Arora MD





Becoming a Medical School Memory Champion via Cartooning

11 06 2011

Congratulations to all of our MS2 who recently took the dreaded USMLE 1 Exam!  Unfortunately, much of medical school is about memorization – and believe it or not, there is a science to memorization.  I learned this from one of our students—who describes her experience meeting a ‘memory champion’ and picked his brain for some memory tricks for Step 1 including cartoon images.   As I’ll be speaking at the upcoming Comics in Medicine conference here in Chicago this weekend, it seemed fitting to describe her journey.

Right around the time I was beginning an epic five-week studying stint to prepare for STEP 1 of the Boards, Joshua Foer happened to be a guest on The Colbert Report (my go-to 20 minute study break).  Joshua Foer is this ridiculously young and talented journalist who won the US Memory Championships (yes this exists).  If his name sounds familiar you may be thinking of Jonathan Foer, his equally talented older brother who is also a writer.

Anyway, Joshua Foer was promoting his recently released book “Moonwalking with Einstein:  The Art and Science of Remembering Everything.” The book is about memory and his adventures in the world of memory competitions. Apparently there is a small group of people who get together each year and have memory competitions which consist of several memory “events” including faces of strangers, poetry, random words, numbers, binary digits, stacks of cards, etc.  Participants wear noise cancelling headphones and blinders (think sunglasses with two little holes drilled out) to reduce distractors as much as possible.  After attending the US competition as a journalist he wound up being tutored by and English memory master and winning the completion the next year (the US memory scene is not very developed, the Germans are much more serious).

Foer stressed that memory champions are not born with extraordinary powers of memory. They training themselves to use some established memory techniques and are constantly developing new ways on remembering things. This intrigued me since I wondered if I could use some of these techniques to master the overwhelming volume of facts needed for the Boards.  I started reading his book and loved it. It’s very pop-science quick read.   When chatting with one of my best friends who was studying for the Bar, she says, “Oh Josh Foer is giving a talk at this spot in Echo Park this weekend, let’s go pick his brain for ideas.”  (I studied in LA).

So we went… and I managed to get up the nerve to ask him for any advice.  In the most bizarre coincidence, he tells me that his wife is a also second year medical student studying for the boards (bet she’ll do just fine!).   Since visual mnemonics are big in the memory world, he explained that when making a visual aid, the funnier, scarier, raunchier, and stranger it is, the easier it is to remember. He recommended trying to enrich the image with as much detail as possible. He also explained that, though these images help you remember, thinking up good ones takes a lot of creative energy and can be exhausting. That’s one of the things you work on developing when training for a memory championship – the capacity to conjure up rich, creative images really quickly.  He signed my First Aid for the Boards, and I went home and started using that idea by making cartoons (a la Micro Made Ridiculously Simple).

He was right…creative effort is draining.  Sometimes, it took forever to think of something that would stick – but the stuff I made cartoons for is in the vault! Here is an example of a visual aid I made myself for a mucopolysccharidosis, Hurlers. In this image there is a gargoyle (Hurler’s causes gargoylism) hurling a ball (Hurler’s).  He has a dark spleen and liver (spleno- and hepatomegaly) and rain clouds for eyes (clouded corneas). He is also panting and gasping because of airway obstruction.  What I love about this picture is that if I can remember one part of the image (one thing about Hurler’s) the rest of the image (the rest of the facts) come back to me. The other nice thing I noticed is that on a lot of Boards questions you narrow it down to two answers, but it’s been a while since you looked at that material and you are 70% sure you picked the right answer. If I made a picture like this I was sure, clouded cornea’s goes with Hurler’s, not the related Hunter’s disease.  I used some other techniques from the book: the “memory palace” for biochemical pathways; the “major system” to remember lab values.   While memory tricks don’t lend itself to everything, it was really helpful for stuff that is difficult to reason through (lysosomal storage diseases, embryology).

–Gabrielle Schaefer, MS2

Thanks to Gabrielle for describing her experience!  And who said doodling in class never got you anywhere?





Twitter to Tenure: 7 ways social media advances my career

2 05 2011

As part of our SGIM Social Media Workshop “From Twitter to Tenure” our workshop lineup of ‘twitterati’ will be posting each day this week about how social media affected their career.   So yesterday was @AlexSmithMD on GeriPal.   Here is the schedule for the week:  Monday – me (@FutureDocs) here on FuturedocsTuesday – Bob Centor (@medrants) on DB’s Medical RantsWednesday – Kathy Chretien (@MotherinMed) on Mother’s in MedicineThursday – Eric Widera (@ewidera) on GeriPal (and hope to see you in Phoenix for our workshop!)

For the Twitter to Tenure workshop at this year’s Society of General Internal Medicine Meeting, I was asked to think about how social media enhanced my career.  This may sound ridiculous at first- after all, social media is a big waste of time right? Wrong as some of you have discovered.  Social media has opened doors for me by connecting me to a variety of people I would not have met.  Here is just a brief list of the ways social media has impacted my academic career.

  • Media interviews – I was interviewed by Dr Pauline Chen through the New York Times who located me through – you guessed it Twitter!  She actually approached me for the interview by direct messaging me through Twitter.  She was following me and noticed my interests in handoffs on my Google profile which is linked to my Twitter account.  She was also very encouraging when I started the blog which was exciting!
  • Workshop presentations- I presented a workshop on social media in medical education (#SMIME as we like to call it), at 2 major medical meetings with 3 others (including @MotherInMed who encouraged me to start a blog and also is my copresenter at SGIM).  The idea was borne on Twitter…and the first time I actually met one of the workshop presenters (who I knew on Twitter) was at the workshop.
  • Acquired new skills  – My workshop co-presenter who I only knew through Twitter ended up being Carrie Saarinen, an instructional technologist (a very cool job and every school needs one!).  She is an amazing resource and taught me how to do a wiki.  After my period of ‘lurking’, I started my own ‘course’ wiki  dedicated to helping students do research and scholarly work which we are launching in a week.
  • Lecture invitations – Several of my lecture invitations come through social media.  Most notably, I was invited to speak for an AMSA webinar on handoffs and also speak to the Committee of Interns and Residents on teaching trainees about cost conscious medicine.  Both invitations started with a reference to finding me through Twitter or the blog.
  • Committee invitations – I am now on the SGIM communications task force as a result of my interest in social media.  Our most recent effort was a piece about ‘tweeting the meeting’ with @medrants and an older piece focused on the top Twitter Myths and Tips.
  • Grant opportunities – I recently submitted a grant with an organization that I learned of on Twitter – Initially, I had contacted Neel Shah from Costs of Care asking him if they had a curriculum on healthcare costs.  They did not, but were interested in writing a grant to develop a curriculum so they brought my team on board and we submitted together (fingers crossed).
  • Dissemination - One of the defining features of scholarship (the currency of promotion in academic medical centers) is that it has to be shared.   Well, social media is one of the most powerful ways to share information.   In a recent example, we entered a social media contest media video contest on the media sharing site Slideshare.  Using social media, we were able to obtain the most number of ‘shares’ on Facebook on Twitter which led to the most number of views and ultimately won ‘Best Professional Video.’  To date, this video, has received over 13,000 views, which I was able to highlight as a form of ‘dissemination’ in a recent meeting with our Chairman about medical education scholarship.    While digital scholarship is still under investigation with vocal critics and enthusiastic proponents debating the value of digital scholarship in academia, digital scholarship does appear to have a place for spreading nontraditional media that cannot be shared via peer review.

Part of being a good citizen on social media is giving back.  I try to give back when I can through helping anyone who contacts me for something specific – so I have read personal statements, reviewed websites, and offered input to others who are interested in my perspective on their work.  I can’t always keep up since I have a day job and alas, this is an extracurricular activity.  The good news is a tweet is only 140 characters  – so like the blue bird, I can keep it short but sweet.

–Vineet Arora, MD





Physician Advocacy: Staying in Place and Telling Your Story

25 04 2011

This month, I have talked to two former trainees who are contemplating major changes in their career- -to leave medicine.  Both are in private practice and are frustrated by many different things that they see in their practice and are inspired to improve the practice of medicine.   While their desire to leave medicine is concerning enough and could be the subject of this entire post,  I was actually struck that both of them contacted me to find out how they could find out more about health policy and get involved.   One of them wondered if they needed to get a Public Policy Degree like I did.  The other one thought maybe she would have to move to DC to become more active in the health policy arena.   I also recall wondering how to get involved many years ago and thinking the same thing.  Fortunately, I was able to find a way to balance my interest in advocacy without giving up my job.  So, before I sent them packing to the Hill or back to school to read seminal texts in public policy and weekly economic homework assignments, I thought there are a few things they could do to engage while they stay in their job if they choose to.

  1. Learn from professional society advocacy experiences.  Some people will react and say that they have a negative opinion about “lobbying” or the special interests of their professional society.  My advice is that if you don’t have a basic terminology of healthcare reform and the healthcare system (i.e. SGR, ACO, etc.), then this is a great place to start -with other physicians who are also learning.
  2. Read the news foraciously – the best way to understand what is happening on the Hill is to keep up with the news.  While this may seem like a tall order, customizing Google news and setting alerts for healthcare reform or whatever it is that you are interested in can be helpful.  In addition, the iPad has amazing news applications that aggregate your favorite news sources and blogs (my personal favorites are PulseNews and FLUD, which even touts itself as the sexy news ecosystem).   My go to sources are still the New York Times Health Section and NPR Health, especially anything written by Julie Rovner.  Another excellent source for health policy which you can add to your reading list include The Healthcare Blog, Kaiser Health News, and the “Bob Blogs” as I refer to them (see the blogroll below) .  Even if you can’t read the article right away, you can often ‘favorite’ it to read later or send to InstaPaper.
  3. Engage in Social Media – Social media has become one of the best ways to stay on top of health policy news, especially thanks to KevinMD and his steady stream of diverse and eclectic contributors that include medical students, patients, physicians, and health policy wonks.  In addition to the usual news sources listed above, you can also keep on top of professional society news (see the medicalsocieties Twitter list) or use healthcare hashtags to stay abreast of the situation.   However, the key to effectively using social media is more than just staying informed, but also interacting and engaging and contributing to the dialogue.  So that brings us to the last way to get involved….
  4. Write – whether it be a comment on a newspaper article or blog post, a letter to the editor to your local newspaper, or a blog post about a specific health policy issue, writing is a great way to get the word out.  Policy narrative has become increasingly valued among physicians.   That is because there is nothing more compelling to the general public or legislators like a personal story. One of our own faculty has specialized in this area and teaches our students how to use policy narrative in their practice.

While some have a natural tendency to write, it may not be intuitive to others.  Fortunately, this year I was lucky enough to attend a session at the IHI meeting led by disciples of Marshall Ganz and dedicated on how to tell your story in a compelling way in 5 easy steps:

  1. Write the story of self (personal narrative)
  2. The story of us (to build a shared vision)
  3. The story of now (to highlight the urgency)
  4. Then present a choice (to raise the tension)
  5. End with asking for a commitment

One of our homework assignments was to practice so I actually chose to write a story to convincing others to come with me to DC for the American College of Physicians Leadership Day since I am leading this year’s Illinois delegation.  So here is my narrative for why you should join me:

When I first went to DC to lobby with ACP Leadership Day, I remember feeling awkward and relying on a medical student who showed me how to approach legislators.  The next year, I remember our student had graduated so I assumed the mentor position for the new people.  Two years later, I got a call that they needed a young physician to testify to Congress about the need for physician payment reform and I was thrilled to be able to do so on my 33rd birthday.  I know you have also wondered about how to get involved with healthcare policy but like me, you are very busy and overcommitted.  The key is that time is of the essence as the future of healthcare legislation is being debated in this election year and your input is critical to shaping the future.  So, I know that this May, you could stay at work and continue your everyday activities or you could decide to take action and go to Washington to witness and contribute to the political dialogue around healthcare.  So, I am asking you to commit to joining me as internists will come together to communicate the importance of affordable healthcare and preserving primary care for Americans. 

Look forward to hearing your stories too.

–Vineet Arora, MD MAPP





Nature vs. Nurture in Medical Education: The Case of Student Bedside Manner

13 03 2011

Sir William Osler at the bedside

Believe it or not, it’s been a major news week about the soft stuff in medicine, bedside manner.   First, a Time magazine story about a new study showing that patients cared for by physicians with greater empathy had better diabetes control.  That study comes on the heels of an editorial in the New York Times written by a patient (who also happens to be a science journalist and an outstanding writer) with mitral valve prolapse who graciously volunteered herself to be examined by preclinical medical students learning to do the physical exam and lived to vividly document the experience for all of us.  As she eloquently describes, some students seemed like naturals, whereas others were awkward and clunky.   

These articles add more fuel to the fire for the most hotly contested question in medical education – Can you teach these behaviors?  One on side, you have the nature supporters, saying that the role of admissions committees is to screen these behaviors out.  The nurture supporters say that these behaviors can be taught and its medical schools responsibility to do so.  While it is true that some pathologic behaviors need to be screened in admissions, the question for most students is more refined—is it true that some students come in ‘empathetic’ and others are just hopeless oafs that can’t empathize with patients?  Well, it was refreshing to read Number Needed to Treat blog written by a medical student who says the NYT article was eating away at her soul…She nails it by saying the following:

“Almost every single med student I know is, in fact, an affable person. Yet it doesn’t always come through in the exam room.”

Why is this so hard?  Well, it is not easy to learn how to do a physical exam while also forming your bedside manner.  Our students have to pass a national standardized exam that requires doing the over 100 step “head to toe” physical exam.  As a ‘dinosaur’, I never had to take such a test. I’m not even sure what all the steps are but have asked my colleague, Dr. Farnan, who runs our Clinical Skills program for medical students who informed me of all the points and that they are to be memorized.  Let’s be honest- most of our faculty could not do this without referring to a cheat sheet.  If they had to memorize it for a test, they may even come across robotic and unempathetic at first. 

So, what does this mean for students’ bedside manners while they are learning?  Well, mental capacity is finite.  Workload has been well described as a construct that includes the mental and physical challenge of the work.  For complex tasks, it is important to consider how much ‘spare capacity’ one has after the ‘primary task’ is dealt with.  Elegant studies have shown that experienced physicians are BETTER at performing a secondary task than novice physicians when both are doing the same primary task.  Why?  The experienced physicians have more ‘spare capacity’ to deal with the second task.  

So what is the primary and secondary task in interviewing a patient?  Well, the primary task is learning the physical exam and how to take a history.  As we celebrate this week’s residency match, the job of medical school is to produce physicians that can perform these basic functions during residency training.  While our medical students acquire these skills, of course some will be naturals, and therefore have more spare capacity to key in on their bedside manner.  In contrast, others may struggle with basic skills and have difficulty with both.  The majority, however, will first initially put all their mental effort into learning how to do a history and physical, leaving little ‘spare capacity’ for bedside manner.  Is there hope?  Yes, as these students get better at taking a history and physical, they will be more at ease.  This will then free up the necessary spare capacity to be continuously cognizant of their bedside behaviors.  Consistent with this philosophy, one school has had success actively reinforcing bedside manner skills while prerounding during the third year clerkship.

This progression is important, and highlights the learned art of medicine.  This was articulated beautifully by our recent keynote speaker, Dr. Joel Schwab, for the Gold Humanism Society senior student honorees.   On the subject of being humanistic, he said that he THINKS about the landmark article on etiquette-based medicine every time he sees the patient and he follows the 6 steps –

  1. Knock on the Door (wait permission to enter)
  2. Introduce yourself (with name badge on display)
  3. Shake hands (wear glove if needed)
  4. Sit down (smile if appropriate)
  5. Briefly explain your role on the team
  6. Ask the patient how he or she is feeling 

While working at a free clinic last Saturday, I too thought about this article for every patient I saw.  The first year students I was working with came from a variety of medical schools in Chicago and were volunteering their Saturday to do this.  I had no doubt that they all cared about the patients.  But, I did notice that they were taking time to think very hard about the chief complaint, figure out the right questions to ask, and how to present it coherently.  So, the role of medical education is to make sure that doing a history and physical becomes second nature for our students, and that thinking about bedside manner becomes the primary task.

–Vineet Arora, MD








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