Friday, August 27, 2004

Medical School Admissions 

Years ago I served on the admissions committee. The interview always included some form of the question: Why do you want to go to medical school?

Most of the answers were neutral and long the lines of: I want to help people...

While there are some wrong answers (external motivation, $, etc.) I can only come up with a few right answers after all these years.

One is a variation on:
Q: Why do people go to a stock car race?
A: To see a crash.
In other words, even when I'm having a bad day, at least I don't have what the patient's have. :-)

Another answer is based in childhood. My job could be described as "making messes that other people have to clean up".

The "I like to help people" answer doesn't distinguish between medicine and other service jobs like social work. I think what I do is interpret data and not just generate data.

Sometimes I think the answer is more existential. I often have an office visit to confirm pregnancy and arrange prenatal care. She may have a home pregnancy test that is +, and she may seem pregnant. However, "You are not pregnant until I say you are pregnant." The ability to make a diagnosis is unique.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The VA 

Thanks to threemd for pointing this (Diabetes Care Quality in the Veterans Affairs Health Care System and Commercial Managed Care, The TRIAD Study) out.

I review medical records for lawyers and recently had a case that included a VA patient. I was impressed by the chart over the past couple of years.

My previous post noted the quality gap.

My medical group currently includes a quality audit for HbA1c < one year for my diabetes patients. I hope I can sustain a rate (93%) > = to the VA.

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