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Book and Media Reviews
September 5, 2007

Becoming a Doctor: Reflections of First-Year Medical Students

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: John L. Zeller, MD, PhD, Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2007;298(9):1065-1070. doi:10.1001/jama.298.9.1067

This compilation of 41 short essays tackles the question of “how and why does one ‘become a doctor’ in the 21st century?” (p 5). The perspectives are unique in that rather than being authored by seasoned physicians, each essay was written by a first-year medical student from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine after the completion of 2 courses comprising the Introduction to Clinical Medicine (ICM) program. The ICM experience couples classroom didactics and group discussions with clinical field work at preceptor sites scattered throughout the New York metropolitan area. The program's curriculum aims to complement the basic science coursework typical of the preclinical years of medical school with first-hand clinical practice in addressing such topics as medical communication, professionalism, ethics, and patient-centered medicine. The essays comprising Becoming a Doctor speak to a variety of the students' memorable experiences that contributed to their understanding of the patient-physician relationship and to the transformation that takes place as students become physicians and professionals.

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