The Differential

Below is a listing of articles I wrote that appear on Medscape’s The Differential. Most recent articles are at the top. You will need a free account from Medscape to read the entries.

These posts will also be re-posted on this site as soon as I am permitted to put them up. I am only allowed to do so after at least six months has passed since submission.

Note: In late January 2009, Medscape moved The Differential to their own server. All of my posts submitted prior to the move (before January 26) are still hosted at The Differential’s old address ( You will not be required to have an account to read these entries.

July 10, 2011
If You Had 3 Wishes… – A post about my favorite question to ask adolescents in the psychiatric unit and what I learned about myself from this question.

June 29, 2011
Starting 4th Year – It was surreal to sit in senior orientation and realize I’d be graduating in less than a year.

June 25, 2011
Poor Communication, Bad Doctor – Another post on the importance of communication between patients and their doctors, because poor communication may give the perception of being a bad doctor.

June 18, 2011
GSW to the Chest – I remember clearly the first time I saw a team give up on a coding patient. The second time is just as clear in my memory.

June 11, 2011
Remember Me – It is quite the feeling when a patient personally remembers you after only seeing you for a short while.

May 26, 2011
Learning from Shadows – I recently had a first year medical student shadow me around the hospital — and I think I learned more from the experience.

May 15, 2011
The Ethics of County Medicine – Does the care our uninsured patients receive reveal our feelings unconscious feelings towards this patient population?

May 7, 2011
Did I Let Down a Patient? – I hate feeling like I let someone down — especially a patient.

April 24, 2011
Are We Bad Communicators? – Unfortunately, sometimes I feel like physicians are the worst at communicating with their patients.

April 17, 2011
Transitions: Psychiatry to Surgery – A few thoughts as I go from Psychiatry into Surgery.

April 12, 2011
Failing on the Little Things – Sometimes the little things should count.

April 4, 2011
3rd year, Psychiatry, and Learning About Myself – 3rd year is a time to learn all the specialties. But I’ve also learned about myself — especially through Psychiatry.

March 27, 2011
It Could Be Me – Spending time treating patients with addictions makes me realize they are just like me.

March 19, 2011
Planning the Final Year – It’s time to plan my senior year. Oh, joy.

March 13, 2011
Psychiatry — First Impressions – Some first impressions after the first week of the Psychiatry clerkship.

March 5, 2011
Where Will I Be In 50 Years? – I met an older woman who got me to thinking, where will I be in 50 years?

February 26, 2011
Lessons Through Tears – Sometimes it’s uncomfortable watching patients cry.

February 19, 2011
Lessons From Suffering – Sometimes it is strange when you realize the things you get excited about.

February 9, 2011
Be Nice To Nurses; It Could Save You Money – How being nice to my nurse reunited me with a lot iPod.

January 30, 2011
Lessons From Death – Thoughts after two of our ICU patients died within the span of 16 hours.

January 22, 2011
Mistakes & Questions: Weaknesses or Learning Tools? – Making mistakes and asking questions are probably the best way to learn while still a student.

January 21, 2011
Feeling “Almost” Useful – A short post about the two most frustrating things of being a 3rd year medical student.

January 12, 2011
Can We Really Understand Our Patients? – Can we understand them? Is it really necessary for us to understand the patients for which we care?

January 4, 2011
A Re-Introductory Post – After a hiatus, I am back blogging at The Differential.

March 14, 2009
Mountains Beyond Mountains – My reaction to the book by Tracy Kidder about the life and work of Dr. Paul Farmer.

March 7, 2009
An Atypical Sunday Morning (Part 2) – Part 2 of 2 about an unusual Sunday morning involving a breast and pelvic exam.

February 27, 2009
An Atypical Sunday Morning – Part 1 of 2 about an unusual Sunday morning involving a breast and pelvic exam.

February 21, 2009
A Little Bit of “Good” Stress – Sometimes stress can be helpful. You just need to find the right kind.

February 10, 2009
Med Student Taboo: Admitting Doubt – There seems to be an unspoken rule against admitting any doubts we have about ourselves or the profession we are going into.

February 5, 2009
Role Models and Higher Standards – Why are we held to higher standards? Is it appropriate?

January 30, 2009
The Humanity of Medicine – It’s important for those of us who treat patients to realize that we treat the patient, and not the disease.

January 26, 2009
Lifelong Learning – How do we balance lifelong learning and pursuing other interests? I’m not sure I know.

January 21, 2009
Practice Makes Perfect – Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” I love how that quote is found in the medical simulation lab here at LLU.

January 9, 2009
To Be, Or Not To Be (In Class) – Just trying to figure out whether to attend class or self-study.

December 31, 2008
My First Autopsy – A short post about how my first autopsy went.

December 23, 2008
I’m Trying To Grow Up – Growing up is about trying to find balance between childish naivetĂ© and cranky, old cynicism.

December 18, 2008
Struggling To Be Best – Should we accept the fact that we are not the best? Or should we always relentlessly strive to be the best? I don’t know.

December 9, 2008
My Christmas Rush – Christmas time is a busy season for all. Everyone is rushing to get things done. It’s no different for medical students. We just rush to do different things.

November 30, 2008
My Battle With Time – Struggling with time, procrastination, and focusing… What to do?

November 24, 2008
My First (Standardized) Patient – Just a quick post about my first OSCE exam… Didn’t go too well.

November 14, 2008
My Weekly Anxiety Attack – Almost every week we have a lab session that gives me all sorts of anxiety.

November 11, 2008
My Temporary Insanity – Exam weeks can be crazy. Worse still, they often drive me crazy sending me on cleaning sprees at odd hours.

October 31, 2008
Mind Your Manners – The second of two posts about blood lab. This time I get my blood drawn.

October 26, 2008
Drawing Blood – The first of two posts about a recent pathology lab I had where we had to learn how to draw blood. I write about what happened when I tried to draw blood.

October 17, 2008
An Encounter With Oriental Medicine – Another required visit to see Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Saw some strange things..

October 9, 2008
What is PM&R? – I attended an interest group meeting to figure out what this specialty is all about… here’s what I learned.

October 1, 2008
A Trip to the Chiropractor – A post about a required visit to a Chiropractic school and clinic.

September 24, 2008
I Want to Make A Difference – Sometimes we feel that no matter what we do, it won’t make a difference in the end…

September 18, 2008
A Medical Student Is… – Just a post about what medical students are like — at least from my perspective.

September 10, 2008
No Downtime in Second Year – Second year looks like it’ll be action-packed… but it’ll be tough.

September 3, 2008
Lessons Learned From First Year – Wrote a little post about what I learned during first year of medical school. Although, I did have a very strong comment disagreeing. The comments offer an interesting conversation.

August 25,2008
How Good Do You Want To Be? – Impressed by Olympic Gold Medal Gymnast Shawn Johnson, I wrote a post about pushing yourself to be better.

August 17, 2008
Picture Perfect – Is image everything?

August 13, 2008
What Did You Say? – A short post on the importance of effective communication.

July 30, 2008
Why Bother Learning Something We’ll Lose? – We won’t remember it all, and most of the things we learn won’t ever be used. So why bother learning so much?

July 23, 2008
My Fair Doctor – The changes we go through in medical school is nothing short of a transformation. This post was inspired by the movie My Fair Lady starring Audrey Hepburn.

July, 17, 2008
A Thank You Note – A note of appreciation to one of my professors in medical school. He gave the ultimate sacrifice.

July 9, 2008
It’s High School — With Scalpels – Sometimes medical school feels just like those drama-charged years of high school.

July 1, 2008
Do I Really Want To Do This? – I often find myself questioning whether I really want to become a doctor.

June 24, 2008
Um… Hello? – My introductory post at The Differential