Improving medical students

Archive for July 31st, 2008

Reaping the Benefits of a Positive Attitutde

Posted by medliorator on July 31, 2008

from Leo Babauta at his blog, Zen Habits.

Practices to Develop a Positive Attitude

3.  See the good in any situation. You’ve heard the phrase, “Every cloud has a silver lining” … and that’s pretty true. Try to see the positive side to any situation, and you’ll enjoy it more, and you’ll feel better. Even tough situations have good sides: When something is difficult, see it as a challenge, as a way to learn and grow and get better and stronger. When there is a loss, see it as a reminder of what is important to you, of a way to cherish what has been lost, as a way to move on to something new, as a way to learn and grow.

4.  Enjoy small pleasures. Every activity has small things that can be pleasurable if you pay attention to them and learn to enjoy them. A difficult day at the office can also be a time for you and others to come together — enjoy those moments with others. Running can be fun for its physical pleasure, for the beauty of the nature around you, for the peaceful time of meditation. Cleaning house can also be a time for meditation, and the pleasure of a clean room or laundered bedsheets cannot be overstated. Notice the small things and take pleasure in them, and any activity can be positive.

8.  Anticipate fun. Go into a situation or activity thinking it’ll be horrible, and it will be. Instead, go into that situation or activity thinking that you’ll have fun, that it’ll be a new challenge, that you’ll learn and grow from it … and it will be much more likely to be true.

The Vast, Unstatable Importance of a Positive Attitude [Scott H Young]

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Secrets of the Doctor-Patient Relationship

Posted by medliorator on July 31, 2008

Today on rounds I “confessed” that I had a huge advantage in the doctor patient relationship – I really like patients.  I do not usually have to fool the patient into thinking that I care – because I do really care.

If we influence our trainees negatively in this regard, then we are not fulfilling our Hippocratic Oath or the Oath of Maimonides.  Maimonides exhorts us: May I never see in the patient anything but a fellow creature in pain.

I can easily blame many external forces on some degradation of the doctor patient relationship, but as physicians we should not let those external forces poison this most important interaction.  We can blame our payment system – which encourages shorter visits.  We can blame malpractice lawyers (always a fun target) for creating an adversarial environment with some patients.  We can blame web sites and chat rooms.  But really we must overcome all these barriers and treat patients as we would want to be treated.

The doctor patient relationship [DB’s Medical Rants]

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Become an Early Riser – Boost Productivity

Posted by medliorator on July 31, 2008

It seems there are two main schools of thought about sleep patterns. One is that you should go to bed and get up at the same times every day.
The second school says you should listen to your body’s needs and go to bed when you’re tired and get up when you naturally wake up.

I found out for myself that both of these schools are suboptimal sleep patterns. Both of them are wrong if you care about productivity. Here’s why:

If you sleep set hours, you’ll sometimes go to bed when you aren’t sleepy enough. If it’s taking you more than five minutes to fall asleep each night, you aren’t sleepy enough. You’re wasting time lying in bed awake and not being asleep. Another problem is that you’re assuming you need the same number of hours of sleep every night, which is a false assumption.
If you sleep based on what your body tells you, you’ll probably be sleeping more than you need… A lot of people who sleep this way get 8+ hours of sleep per night, which is usually too much. …because our natural rhythms are sometimes out of tune with the 24-hour clock, you may find that your sleep times begin to drift.

The solution was to go to bed when I’m sleepy (and only when I’m sleepy) and get up with an alarm clock at a fixed time (7 days per week). So I always get up at the same time (in my case 5am), but I go to bed at different times every night.

if I couldn’t read a book for more than a page or two without drifting off, I’m ready for bed.

How to Become an Early Riser [Steve Pavlina]

Correlate: 10 Tips for Waking up Eearly
Correlate: Achieve Morning Alertness without Caffeine
Correlate: Sleeping Smarter
Correlate: Understand the Mechanics of Sleep

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