Medical training is challenging.

From medical school to residency, potentially fellowship.

There are lots of exams, call shifts and notes to write, and yet books alone do not shape clinical reasoning, bedside manner, or professionalism.

The future of medicine is in the people, which makes encouraging and equipping medical students and physicians still in training so important.

Join me for episode 31 for some ideas of how to invest in the future of medicine. 

Then get your work done faster with 10 tips from my free PDF guide, Maximize Your Clinical Efficiency! Click to get your guide NOW!

Today’s sponsor: White Coat Investor courses – Get CME and financial, wellness education today!

(The WCICON 22 lectures will be packaged as the Continuing Financial Education 2022 course by the end of February as another great option too!)

Above are the episode show notes and below is the transcript. Some episode transcripts have been edited more than others, but they are up in the meantime to help those who would rather read and for searchability on the web. Extensive editing has not been prioritized as I seek to both produce regular content and maintain my own wellness. See the website disclaimer if you have questions, since this is all for your education and entertainment only. Enjoy!


Medical training is challenging from medical school to residency, potentially fellowship. There are lots of exams, call shifts and notes to write, and yet books alone do not shape clinical reasoning, bedside manner, or professionalism. The future of medicine is in the people which makes encouraging and equipping medical students and physicians still in training. So important. Join me for the rest of today’s episode or some ideas of how to invest in the future of medicine. Thank you so much for joining me here on episode 31 of the MedEdWell podcast. Thank you so much for listening, for sharing, for subscribing to the podcast. If you are looking to increase your efficiency to get work done sooner so that you can support your wellness, check out, maximize your clinical efficiency, my free PDF guide to help you get stuff done. He’ll also get on my email list where you’ll get reminders about upcoming episodes and add brief stories or reflections related to the episode today, we’ll be talking about encouraging trainees, medical students, residents, and fellows, going through a bunch of the hard things that they face. And we’ll talk about how each of us can encourage and build into others earlier in their journey. Then we are. But before we get you, the rest of today’s episode, let’s hear from today’s sponsor.

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All right, now, back to today’s show, looking back on what is now more than a decade since I started medical school, I think back on how many hours I spent studying, preparing exam questions that I took notes written and shifts completed since I started, it was challenging. A lot of hard work rewarding in the end. Yes, but difficult. I couldn’t do it all on my own. People made such a huge difference for me. Third and fourth year medical students helping this first year with vital signs and history, taking pediatricians willing to give lunch lectures or be on panels to share about their experience as a pediatrician or pediatric specialist, faculty mentors, who told me that you need to love population and general problems that you will address on a regular basis. A department head who walked me through changing my schedule in the midst of burnout, regardless of where you are in training or after you can probably identify a few people who have had a lot of impact on you and your career today, we will talk about a few ways that you can encourage trainees and shape the future of medicine, covering both points of contact and then input that is needed.

So the first area encouraging and interacting with trainees. So the different points of contact and opportunities to be involved first opportunity is in precepting, whether it’s medical students, residents, or fellows, it could be a regular thing, or it could be intermittent, could be a continuity clinic. Maybe it’s one to two residents rather than three at any given time in my clinic, I’ve had opportunities to cover for my colleagues. And three at a time is particularly challenging both for the patient care and providing the education. And I have a lot more respect for those who do it and do it well, next lectures. You could talk about a medical topic about burnout, about finances. I gave one on finances that was well received, and that was part of why I ended up starting this podcast. You could also be involved in simulation days. I had a simulation elective in residency, but anyone with clinical experience could assist the simulation team depending on where you trained or the programs available in your city.

They may be looking for volunteers next mentoring. They could be one-on-one structured or just kind of an ad hoc meeting. You could go and support a group. Maybe it’s a primary care interest group. There were dinners that group at my residency had. That was really helpful for me getting to hear the perspective from both early and later career pediatricians. You could also get involved in program leadership, whether for the residents, for the fellows, maybe the clerkship for the medical students, you can choose which of these that you want to engage with, but don’t let imposter syndrome keep you from stepping out and trying something just because you are comparing yourself to someone else. So first there are the opportunities or points of contact with trainees, but then second and more importantly, what input do they need? First? They need good clinical role models, not only looking at content and medical knowledge, but then illness, scripts, and how you approach particular chief complaints or disease states.

They need examples of how to craft a differential diagnosis, how to prioritize things. What are the most common and what are the most dangerous and what else you might be missing that might be lower down. If something else came out later in the investigation, they also need you to see your thought process, clinical reasoning, critical thinking. These are important skills that have to be learned. And if no one teaches you, they’re very hard to pick up. Trainees also need examples of good communication. It could be motivational interviewing. It could be communication of the days’ plan. I talked about how some of the attendings on my developmental pediatrics rotation really gave me some good feedback that helped shape how I do family centered rounds and instructions. It could be how you consent patients for a particular procedure, making sure that they are able to understand and properly weigh the risks and benefits of that procedure.

Trainees need to see examples of how to give bad or unexpected news, how to do that in a way that conveys empathy and compassion. They also need examples of communication with staff and colleagues, consultants. Additionally, they need examples of how to care for yourself and for others. At the the same time we’ve heard so much about the patient comes first, but if you aren’t caring for yourself, you can’t then have a long term ability to care for others. And maybe it’s modeling these things by letting someone go home early, because something’s more important for life. Maybe it’s letting them go to an urgent medical appointment, or maybe it’s letting them miss most of clinic because the rehearsal dinner it was that evening. And it’s outta town said, this is much more important. I can tell that you already have the developing clinical skills to show that you will do just fine in your career.

You need to go a big part of this is being aware and flexible when these situations come up. So not only is it caring for your own wellness and modeling it, but also talking about it with and ease. It’s really important because without self-care in the long run, you will lose your ability to effectively care for others. When students and residents come to work with me in clinic, I usually ask what’s their plan for their career. They have a plan for their student loans and for getting disability insurance. That’s true own occupation while they’re in residency or fellowship, not in med school, but while they’re in training as a physician, there’s typically guaranteed standard issue policies and often unisex and other discounts available. It’s also important to share with trainees questions that they would want to ask of potential employers or how to negotiate. Since you can’t have a chance to have the things you want.

If you don’t ask for them also important to talk about choosing career options, consistent with your priorities, it may be having the ability to cut to a lower FTE, maybe going part-time. It’s important for them to ask when the benefits kick in and maybe at a different threshold. Some employers will say that if you’re three quarters time, but still considered full-time, or maybe if you’re at least 0.5, then you could at least get health insurance. So these things may be unique to a particular situation, but as more and more of us talk about these things with trainees, they’ll be more equipped to handle these situations once they get out of training. And these definitions of full-time not only affect benefits, but also for loans and loan, forgiveness options, whether national health service or public service loan, forgiveness, or something else. So I want you to take a moment, stop what you’re doing and reflect.

What kind of impact do you want to make on the next generation of medicine, your future colleagues, the physicians and medical professionals who will be caring for you and your family. Imagine if you took one or more of these opportunities to engage, to mentor students or residents, to take the extra few minutes, to explain your clinical reasoning more fully, to give a lecture on that topic that you really enjoy, how would you be remembered your impact multiplied by the time that you retire from medicine. These are individual lives, people, physicians, and patients that you have the privilege of impacting by your choice, reflect on where you are currently involved with trainees. If you like where that trajectory is pointing you and then commit to taking your next step today. Thank you so much for joining me here on episode 31 of the MedEdWell podcast, please subscribe, share these episodes with a colleague and review the podcast. If you haven’t already make sure you get your free guide to getting things done at work, go to guide today’s sponsor is the white coat investor courses. If you looking for some CME and need a course, check one out today. Again, thank you so much for all that you do have a great day.