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All Posts by James L West, MD

About James L West, MD

Dr West is a graduate of the Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from the University of Florida. He is currently a neurosurgery resident and has written a number of medical journal articles, most recently discussing neurosurgical resident education and resident wellness.

What I Will Be Looking for in My First Job After Residency

close up of a physician searching for jobs with laptop

Ultimately, the factors that you’ll consider as your look for your first job are personal and largely depend on what you value…. In the final analysis, the most important thing to consider is your happiness, because as an early career attending, you will likely be working long hours, and you want to ensure that you enjoy the environment and the people with whom you’ve chosen to surround yourself.

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Resident/Medical Student Burnout and How to Fight It

How to Recognize and Prevent Medical Student and Resident Physician Burnout

Articles describing physician burnout have dominated the medical reporting landscape recently. The problem is widespread, as many as 44% of physicians met the criteria for burnout in recent studies. The consequences are severe – physicians complete suicide at twice the rate of the general population. While this epidemic is being recognized in attending physicians, the roots of the epidemic have not been fully addressed. Often, by the time that physicians have been worn down to contemplating or attempting suicide, they have been dealing with burnout and depression for much longer. The roots of this current epidemic, and the key to effectively preventing it, lie in the medical training pipeline.

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The Road to Residency

How to Transition From Medical School to Residency

The road to residency is long, and for many medical students, it begins within months of starting medical school, allowing little time for rest and relaxation. Once you’ve spent the time to know what specialty you intend to pursue, find a mentor to help shepherd you along the path. Next, do your research and learn what the objective measures for success are to match into your chosen specialty, and then set out to meet or exceed those standards!

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Choosing a Specialty in Medical School

List of medical specialties in word cloud format

Deciding upon a specialty can be one of the most difficult tasks faced by medical students during their training. As if the stress of studying for cardiology was not enough, now you’re being asked to select rotations and to make some of your elective choices based on what your chosen specialty will be. For many students, this added layer of anxiety comes without a clear idea of how to choose a specialty. While we have guides that tell us how to examine patients, how to take tests, even how to grade a patient’s stool, the medical school curriculum doesn’t seem to offer much in the way of a systematic approach to selecting the specialty you will dedicate your life to. What follows are some simple first steps to aid you in this process, and to hopefully help you find your dream specialty.

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Tips for Acing Your Medical School Interview

How to Prepare for and Ace Medical School Interviews

The medical school interview is a time to not only discuss the strengths of your application, but also to address and explain any potential weaknesses. A modest amount of preparation, along with a positive attitude, is all the prospective medical school applicant needs to succeed during the interview process and eventually secure a seat in medical school.

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The Road to Medical School

How to Get into Medical School

The road to medical school is a long and rewarding journey that prepares you for residency and the process of becoming a physician. It is only one part of the journey, but it is the important beginning of the marathon.

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How to Prepare for Residency Interviews

Preparing for Residency Interviews

Consider the specialty to which you are applying, what aspects of the application are most important to that specialty, and be prepared to discuss those in detail during your interview.

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