Breaking News
November 19, 2018 - Researchers identify molecule to fight myotubular myopathy
November 19, 2018 - Immune cells trigger OCD-like behaviour in multiple sclerosis, study finds
November 19, 2018 - Scientists equip new virus that kills carcinoma cells with protein
November 19, 2018 - Protein in cell membranes of sperm plays key role in finding their way to eggs
November 19, 2018 - Parents who decline flu vaccination for their child may be exposed to limited information
November 19, 2018 - Mirati Presents Data From Ongoing Phase 2 Clinical Trial Of Mocetinostat In Combination With Durvalumab At The SITC 33rd Annual Meeting
November 19, 2018 - FDA warns of common diabetes meds’ link to dangerous genital infection
November 19, 2018 - New methods for preserving shoulder function, quality of life in breast cancer patients
November 19, 2018 - Surprising discovery about BH4 may rekindle interest in once-promising pathway
November 19, 2018 - Nabriva Therapeutics Completes Submission of New Drug Application to U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Intravenous Contepo to Treat Complicated Urinary Tract Infections
November 19, 2018 - Beating breast cancer only to die of opioid use – a sad Appalachian story
November 19, 2018 - Workplace bullying or violence linked to higher risk of cardiovascular problems
November 19, 2018 - Changes in Risk Indicators of MetS Severity Tied to T2DM Risk
November 19, 2018 - ‘Game-changing’ skin sensor could improve life for a million hydrocephalus patients
November 19, 2018 - Alcohol ads on social media sites with pro-drinking comments increase desire to drink
November 19, 2018 - Neural networks could replace marker genes in RNA sequencing
November 19, 2018 - Obese adolescents feel less food enjoyment than those with normal weight, study reveals
November 18, 2018 - Goodbye ‘Gluten-Free’? Celiac Disease Vaccine May Make It Possible
November 18, 2018 - Skin ages when the main cells in the dermis lose their identity and function
November 18, 2018 - Rainforest vine compound makes pancreatic cancer cells susceptible to nutrient starvation
November 18, 2018 - A new mechanism in the control of inflammation
November 18, 2018 - Age-related decline in abstract reasoning ability predicts depressive symptoms over time
November 18, 2018 - Scientists succeed in increasing stability, biocompatibility of light-transducing nanoparticles
November 18, 2018 - Sugar, a ‘sweet’ tool to understand brain injuries
November 18, 2018 - Pharmacist-Led Effort Cuts Inappropriate Rx in Older Adults
November 18, 2018 - Novel discovery could lead to new cancer, autoimmune disease therapy
November 18, 2018 - AHA and ADA launch new initiative to help people with type 2 diabetes reduce heart disease risk
November 18, 2018 - Balanced production of pro and anti-inflammatory cytokines at two years of age protects against malaria
November 18, 2018 - New pharmacological agent shows promise for prevention of heart rhythm disorders
November 18, 2018 - All That Social Media May Boost Loneliness, Not Banish It
November 18, 2018 - Scientists shine new light on link between obesity and cancer
November 18, 2018 - Risk factors for cardiovascular disease closely track with changes in diet patterns
November 18, 2018 - Biogen Scoops Sixth Prix Galien Award with UK Win for Life-Changing Rare Disease Medicine
November 18, 2018 - Detectable HIV-1 in treated human liver cells found to be inert
November 18, 2018 - Using light to control crucial step in embryonic development
November 18, 2018 - Unusual case of father-to-son HIV transmission reported
November 18, 2018 - FDA Approves Aemcolo (rifamycin) to Treat Travelers’ Diarrhea
November 18, 2018 - Poverty blamed on widening north-south gap in young adult deaths in England
November 18, 2018 - Progress in meningitis lags far behind other vaccine-preventable diseases, analysis shows
November 18, 2018 - Consensus Statement Issued on Management of Foot, Ankle Gout
November 18, 2018 - Fine particle air pollution is a public health emergency hiding in plain sight
November 18, 2018 - In-hospital mortality higher among patients with drug-resistant infections
November 17, 2018 - Research shines new, explanatory light on link between obesity and cancer
November 17, 2018 - FIND explores new diagnostic assays for confirmatory HCV diagnosis in community settings
November 17, 2018 - Tracking Preemies’ Head Size May Yield IQ Clues
November 17, 2018 - Scientists call for unified standards in 3-D genome and epigenetic data
November 17, 2018 - Lab Innovations 2018 has beaten all records by attracting 3,113 attendees
November 17, 2018 - New strategy to hinder emergence of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens
November 17, 2018 - Sexuality education before age 18 may reduce risk of sexual assault in college
November 17, 2018 - Reducing cellular proliferation could help deplete HIV reservoir and lead to a functional cure
November 17, 2018 - New model of FSHD could be useful to study effectiveness of experimental therapeutics
November 17, 2018 - FDA approves antibacterial drug to treat travelers’ diarrhea
November 17, 2018 - Lab Innovations 2018 confirmed as a major hit with visitors, exhibitors and speakers
November 17, 2018 - Largest parasitic worm genetic study hatches novel treatment possibilities
November 17, 2018 - UCLA biologists uncover how head injuries can lead to serious brain disorders
November 17, 2018 - Static and dynamic physical activities offer varying protection against heart disease
November 17, 2018 - Obesity significantly increases risk of Type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease
November 17, 2018 - New method to analyze cell membrane complexes could revolutionize the way we study diseases
November 17, 2018 - Researchers show how proteins interact in hypoxic conditions to facilitate mitochondrial fission
November 17, 2018 - People with rare cancers can benefit from genomic profiling, shows research
November 17, 2018 - NIH awards over $1.8 million to husband-and-wife doctors to test new breast cancer approach
November 17, 2018 - Four-in-one antibody used to fight flu shows promise in mice
November 17, 2018 - New approach allows pathogens to be starved by blocking important enzymes
November 17, 2018 - Higher body mass index could cause depression even without health problems
November 17, 2018 - Protein which plays role in sensing cell damage serves as new target to treat pulmonary hypertension
November 17, 2018 - FDA Approves Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) in Combination with Chemotherapy for Adults with Previously Untreated Systemic Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma or Other CD30-Expressing Peripheral T-Cell Lymphomas
November 17, 2018 - ID specialist input improves outcomes for outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy
November 17, 2018 - UT Southwestern scientists selected to receive 2019 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards
November 17, 2018 - New clinical algorithm to help individuals manage type 2 diabetes when fasting during Ramadan
November 17, 2018 - Researchers identify LZTR1 as evolutionarily conserved component of RAS pathway
November 17, 2018 - Heart Disease Leading Cause of Death in Low-Income Counties
November 17, 2018 - Estrogen Levels Test: MedlinePlus Lab Test Information
November 17, 2018 - Research reveals link between immunity, diabetes
November 17, 2018 - Research shows how to achieve improved smoking cessation outcomes within California’s Medicaid population
November 17, 2018 - New study finds less understanding and implementation of patient engagement
November 17, 2018 - New shoe insole technology could help diabetic ulcers heal better while walking
November 17, 2018 - New method to extend cell division and immortalization of avian-derived cells
November 17, 2018 - Australian Academy of Science urges parents to vaccinate children against meningococcal disease
November 17, 2018 - Hot water treatment may help improve inflammation and metabolism in sedentary people
November 17, 2018 - Researchers produce 3D chemical maps of small biological samples
Medicine is a team sport – and that’s exactly how it should be

Medicine is a team sport – and that’s exactly how it should be

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

It’s Sunday, and the clock is approaching 8 PM. Every computer in our team room is still on, and the sound of typing is filling the small space. A spread of snacks, interspersed between stethoscopes and stacks of faxed records, is ignored for the time being.

This scene was a familiar one on inpatient medicine, where call days can stretch long into the evening. Although those days were challenging and draining, I also have fond memories of the experience as some of the best examples of collaboration and support during my medical training.

We’re told even before applying to medical school that teamwork is an essential activity in medicine, but it was hard for me to fully appreciate why until being in the thick of the action. On my inpatient medicine rotation, relatively few decisions were made by only one person. In an academic center like Stanford, it’s common for a patient to be followed closely by three to four layers of people – medical student, intern, resident, and attending. In that setting, it’s easy to see that outstanding communication is instrumental. When one of those four people sees a lab result come back and needs to make a decision, having a solid team structure in place becomes vital.

In this sort of environment, there is an incredible amount of growth that takes place over the three or four weeks you spend together. There’s a common refrain in medical training that one of your main jobs is always to make the other people on your team look good. To that end, a spirit of selflessness prevails during the busiest times. There’s also a critical element of trust that can take time to build. As a medical student, the more that I can show my seniors that I can work independently, the more that I can help out by doing more work on my own. It’s then when the team really starts to find a rhythm; each new admission takes less time, as everybody knows where they can best fit it to the workflow of the group.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, being on a team is about more than just direct patient care. It’s also a bonding experience that constantly reminds you that you are never alone. When the stress kicks up, the fatigue sets in, or the patients are simply sicker, having people next to you who absolutely have your back can be enough to get you through the day. Little things like escaping to the ice cream vending machine or ordering lunch from somebody’s favorite restaurant on a call day became highlights of my week (yes, food is always an important coping mechanism in the hospital!).

In the longer term, my former teammates will always be familiar faces in the hospital, and I look up to some of them as mentors who have helped put me in the best position possible for my own future. Now I can say that I fully understand – and fully embrace – the teamwork involved in becoming a physician.

Photo by Perry Grone

Stanford Medicine Unplugged is a forum for students to chronicle their experiences in medical school. The student-penned entries appear on Scope once a week during the academic year; the entire blog series can be found in the Stanford Medicine Unplugged category.

Nathaniel Fleming is a fourth-year medical student and a native Oregonian. His interests include health policy and clinical research. 

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles