Harvard Medical School

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Atul Gawande (Author of many medical books)
Health care issues

"Great for understanding and learning about how patients will have different needs and how even if a treatment doesn’t make the most medical sense to a physician that it can actually be the best option based on what is important to the patient. " - Ben on Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

Atul Gawande's books, including Being Mortal (2014), The Checklist Manifesto (2009), Better (2007), and Complications (2002), offer valuable insights into various aspects of medical practice, helping premed students better prepare as future physicians. These books discuss challenges, limitations, and improvement areas in medicine, offering readers a deeper understanding of patient care, medical ethics, and healthcare systems.

Being Mortal focuses on the end-of-life care and the importance of maintaining patients' dignity, autonomy, and quality of life. This book can help premed students appreciate the significance of compassionate and person-centered care, enabling them to consider patients' individual needs and preferences when making medical decisions.

The Checklist Manifesto emphasizes the value of using checklists in healthcare to reduce errors, improve patient outcomes, and streamline complex processes. This book highlights the importance of organization, teamwork, and communication in medical practice, preparing premed students for the collaborative nature of their future careers.

Better discusses the pursuit of excellence in medicine, offering insights into the habits and practices of highly effective physicians. Through this book, premed students can develop a better understanding of medical professionalism and learn strategies to enhance their own performance.

Complications explores the uncertainties and complexities inherent in medical practice, examining how physicians make decisions, handle errors, and deal with unexpected outcomes. This book encourages premed students to acknowledge and confront these challenges, fostering a more resilient and adaptable mindset.

In summary, Atul Gawande's books provide premed students with valuable perspectives on various aspects of medicine, helping them develop a well-rounded understanding of the profession and preparing them to become empathetic, effective, and ethical physicians.

CanMEDS Framework
Self-reflection

The CanMEDS Framework is a comprehensive competency-based model designed to outline the essential skills and abilities required by physicians to effectively address the healthcare needs of their patients. Developed by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, CanMEDS encompasses seven key roles that are integral to the practice of medicine: Medical Expert, Communicator, Collaborator, Leader, Health Advocate, Scholar, and Professional.

For premed students aspiring to become future physicians, familiarizing themselves with the CanMEDS Framework can provide a clear understanding of the expectations and responsibilities associated with the medical profession in Canada. By exploring each of the seven roles, students can develop a well-rounded perspective on the various aspects of medical practice and identify areas for growth and development.

The CanMEDS Framework can help premed students in the following ways:

  1. Medical Expert: Students can learn to integrate their knowledge, clinical skills, and professional attitudes to provide high-quality patient care.
  2. Communicator: The framework emphasizes the importance of effective communication with patients, families, and colleagues, which is essential for building trust and ensuring optimal care.
  3. Collaborator: Students can develop the ability to work effectively within interprofessional healthcare teams, fostering a collaborative approach to patient care.
  4. Leader: The framework encourages the development of leadership skills, including decision-making, resource allocation, and healthcare system navigation.
  5. Health Advocate: Students can learn to advocate for individual patients and broader community health issues, promoting the well-being of the populations they serve.
  6. Scholar: The framework highlights the value of lifelong learning, research, and knowledge dissemination in the medical profession.
  7. Professional: Students can cultivate a strong sense of ethics, accountability, and commitment to patients, society, and the medical profession.

In summary, the CanMEDS Framework offers premed students a roadmap to developing the essential competencies for successful medical practice. By embracing these roles and honing their skills, future physicians can better meet the healthcare needs of their patients and contribute to the overall improvement of patient care.

Good Medicine: The Art of Ethical Care in Canada
Bioethics

"Great book on ethical behaviour and compassionate medicine" - Ben

We Are All Perfectly Fine: A Memoir of Love, Medicine and Healing
Health care issues

When we need help, we count on doctors to put us back together. But what happens when doctors fall apart?

Funny, fresh, and deeply affecting, We Are All Perfectly Fine is the story of a married mother of three on the brink of personal and professional collapse who attends rehab with a twist: a meditation retreat for burned-out doctors.

"One of the premiere books on what it means to be a physician and the toll it has on the soul. If you want to talk about burnout and the hard truth of being a doctor, read this. Learn from Jillian Horton, a Canadian internist, and her struggles in the Canadian medical system from the outside and inside." - Eric

We Are All Perfectly Fine: A Memoir of Love, Medicine and Healing, penned by Dr. Jillian Horton, is an insightful and candid account of a physician's journey through the challenges and pressures of the medical profession. The book documents her experience at a meditation retreat for burned-out doctors, where she uncovers the systemic issues that contribute to physician burnout and the importance of compassion in healing oneself and others.

For premed students, this memoir provides an honest look at the often unspoken emotional and mental toll that a career in medicine can take on healthcare professionals. By delving into Dr. Horton's personal struggles and those of her fellow retreat attendees, the book sheds light on the rarely acknowledged stresses that can lead to depression and even suicide among physicians. Through this understanding, future doctors can better prepare themselves for the reality of practicing medicine and the importance of self-care and emotional well-being.

The memoir also emphasizes the need for physicians to embrace compassion, not just in treating patients but also in caring for themselves. By acknowledging and addressing the challenging emotions that come with the medical profession, doctors can find a path to healing and resilience.

In essence, We Are All Perfectly Fine serves as a powerful reminder to premed students of the importance of self-awareness, self-compassion, and emotional intelligence in their journey to becoming competent and empathetic physicians. By learning from Dr. Horton's experiences, students can cultivate a greater understanding of the challenges and rewards of a career in medicine and strive to prioritize their own well-being along with that of their patients.

Review other universities to practice across a broad range of scenarios

University of Louisville

Interview Format
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Historic Interview Date

University of Colorado Denver (Anschutz Medical Campus)

Interview Format
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Historic Interview Date

McMaster University – Mohawk College Site

Interview Format
Virtual or not?
Historic Interview Date
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