As a practicing Emergency Medicine physician, I have spent almost the last decade of my life immersed in a culture of medical education. Actually, not quite accurate, as I have spent my life since middle school years either studying for one standardized test to another, or buffing my CV with medical related volunteering experiences in pursuit of my medical aspirations. Even prior to beginning medical school, I was drawn to the culture of medicine, what I saw as a commitment to altruism, and dedication to preserving patient health and quality of life.
In my actual training, most apparent during those grueling residency years, I was exposed to another culture of medicine; this period of my life was composed of fatigue, imposter syndrome, fear that my actions or ineptitude could directly cause patient harm or death. These emotions and feeling were just as present as my desire to heal and serve. I know that my experience is not unique, but what I didn’t know was the fascinating history of how this culture of medicine, and medical education has evolved since before the original establishment of residency education at Johns Hopkins in 1889. As the famous quote states, “those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it”, which underlies the importance of reading and reflecting upon Let Me Heal: The Opportunity to Preserve Excellence in American Medicine by Dr. Kenneth M. Ludmerer [Link].