Medical Education

Inspired by the extraordinary artistry of medical illustrator and aspiring surgeon, Dr. Raf Ratinam, in my piece From Anatomy to 3D Printing: Art Inspires Life, I decided to expand the discussion. Yes, his animations and mastery of anatomy acquired through graduate level medical training and now a PhD pursuit permits endless possibilities for his future career path.

But, it also begs the question: Are there roles for others so creatively or empathetically inclined to contribute to the field of medicine without partaking in the arduous and formal, traditional medical school track? An emphatic yes would be my response.

We tend...

This week a meta-analysis in JAMA Surgery looked at Prevalence and Causes of attrition among surgical residents [1] Here are the highlights:

•    There were nineteen studies of American surgical residencies, involving about 20,00 residents

•    Attrition rate was about 18 percent with a range of 4.4 to 43.6 percent.

•    The primary causes of attrition were ‘uncontrollable lifestyle,' followed by ‘chose another specialty’ – this data did not lend itself to further statistical analysis.

•    The preponderance of attrition was at the end of post-graduate years-one year (PGY-1) (48 percent ) and two (28 percent).

•    Only 20 percent of the residents leaving continued in general surgery residencies; anesthesia, plastic surgery, radiology and...