5 Reasons I Expect Medical Conferences Will Become Obsolete In Ten Years – If They Don’t Change

I just got back from a medical conference -THE- nephrology conference in the world: the ASN renal week. When I left San Diego, I left with mixed feelings.

On the one hand I was glad I went, because I got to present our data. On the other hand I was really disappointed of many sessions, many of them were a complete waste of time.

In my opinion medical conferences could soon be obsolete. And here is why.

Three Questions I Ask Every Intern

(Before I Let Them Touch A Patient...)

On the ICU we get many interns and it is our responsibility to make sure they learn as much as possible. Before I let them see patients on their own or do any procedures I want to get to know them and get an impression on where they are in their career.

That’s why I ask a series of at least three questions: 

Use These Three Tips To Optimize Your Workflow So You Have More Time For The Important Things

One of the first things I do at every internship, rotation or whatever is optimize my workflow.  To do great work you need a good workspace and a workflow that assists you in delivering high quality work.

All day long I hear doctors complaining about the circumstances they have to work under because the computer doesn’t work and it is all so complicated.

But  whining doesn’t help and actually it’s not that difficult to tune up your workflow, just start with these three tips.

Do No Harm – Easier Said Than Done

The most important principle in medicine is pretty simple: “Primum non nocere.” : First of all: Do no harm. People, who go to the hospital and are worse afterwards many times were treated by doctors who don’t follow this piece of advice. Afterwards the patients generally seek legal advice.

So remembering this principle is really helpful. But how do we apply it?

Does that mean that I should refrain from all procedures that imply a risk?

No central venous catheters because of possible pneumothorax?
No arterial cannulas because of bleeding risks? All you have to do is answer two questions.

Three questions you have to answer before planning an internship abroad

An internship in another country can give you insights in other health care system and gives you many opportunities. But odds are you’ll always be recognized as a tourist and will be sent sightseeing after lunch. (One doc in NY told me: “You shouldn’t go to the OR, go to the BAR.”) At the end of your studies you want to avoid the impression of being a great tourist rather than a good doctor.

Photo courtesy of IStockphoto.com

Photo courtesy of IStockphoto.com

So before you start planning, booking and snorkel-shopping ask yourself three questions:

3 Ways To Start Improving Your Writing Skills

As a doctor you will be confronted with different writing tasks: grants, case reports, letters. But what if you don’t know how to write?

Photo courtesy of istockphoto.com

Photo courtesy of istockphoto.com

I had classmates who studied medicine because they don’t like to write. Their writing skills were barely good enough to take a multiple choice test..   But what can you do to improve your writing skills?