Unofficial Prognosis

Unofficial Prognosis

Perceptions and prescriptions of a medical student

  • A Graduating Medical Student's Final Reflections: Running in the Right Direction

    By Ilana Yurkiewicz | May 30, 2015 |

    Two years ago, during my second year of medical school, my classmates and I sat in cramped auditorium chairs as our instructor presented us with a clinical scenario. We were learning about arrhythmias, and our instructor flipped through slides of different ECG patterns, asking how we would respond to each. […]

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  • Resident as Teacher: How to Nurture Strengths in Medical Students?

    By Ilana Yurkiewicz | May 3, 2015 |

    In just under two months, I will be making two big transitions as I begin life as a resident. The first and obvious change is from student to doctor. The second doesn’t get the same spotlight, but might be just as important: from student to teacher . […]

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  • Projection

    By Ilana Yurkiewicz | March 22, 2015 |

    The patient was hacking sputum into a tissue when the resident and I entered his room. “How long have you had that cough?” “Oh this? As long as I can remember.” “But it’s been worse lately?” “Yeah.” “Worse how?” “More stuff coming out each time. […]

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  • Finding the Right Confidence Interval

    By Ilana Yurkiewicz | February 21, 2015 |

    “Stick to your guns.” “Put your nickel down.” “Stand your ground.” If you’re a medical student, there is an excellent chance you have heard one of these in the course of your training. Confidence is an entrenched element of medical culture. Say what you will about TV representations of medical training, but one thing Scrubs captures extremely well is the premium placed on confidence. […]

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  • So, you want to write about medicine?

    So, you want to write about medicine?

    By Ilana Yurkiewicz | January 31, 2015 |

    Last year, I was honored to receive an invitation to address the Medical Student Section of the American Medical Association (AMA) on writing about medicine. I’ve been meaning to upload my slides for a while, if only to follow my own advice about how things get broader readership when you blog them. […]

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  • The path of least resistance

    By Ilana Yurkiewicz | January 30, 2015 |

    I was glad she never asked if I had done this before. My first nasogastric tube was placed on an elderly woman with chronic liver disease. As her illness worsened, it gradually turned her skin yellow, her abdomen swollen, and her mind foggy. One day, we realized that she was at too high a choking risk to swallow her medications herself. […]

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  • These agents prevent disease. Why aren't we using them?

    These agents prevent disease. Why aren't we using them?

    By Ilana Yurkiewicz | December 31, 2014 |

    The life cycle of a medical advance usually goes something like this: from discovery at the research bench and replication of findings, to translational research and clinical trials, to implementation. The bottleneck can be at any one of these stages, and often it is in the discovery one; we just haven’t yet found the thing that works. […]

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  • What’s so healthy about skepticism?

    By Ilana Yurkiewicz | December 21, 2014 |

    He was known to the hospital as someone who would try to manipulate his caregivers. And I fell for it anyway. Frequently admitted for pain crises associated with a chronic illness, he spent most of his hospital course avoiding eye contact with the team. […]

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  • Strange bedfellows

    Strange bedfellows

    By Ilana Yurkiewicz | November 29, 2014 |

    "You wanna talk? Let's talk." The 42-year-old man sits up straighter in the hospital bed and grins a toothless grin. "Those other doctors, they don’t understand. They don't get what I'm going through, you know?" I know only what they told me. A few minutes earlier, our team had gathered outside the door, where the senior resident had instructed the intern on how to handle it. […]

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  • It’s a simple question - isn’t it?

    It’s a simple question - isn’t it?

    By Ilana Yurkiewicz | November 12, 2014 |

    “So, is this the sickest list you’ve ever had?” the resident asked me at 2 AM, after I finally finished checking off all my boxes for the night. I nodded. I agreed. I was also shaking. The life of a medicine resident (image source: Wikimedia Commons) I had been covering nine patients that night. […]

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