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A Piece of My Mind
September 19, 2017

“The Tunnel at the End of the Light”: Preparing to Attend on the Inpatient Medical Wards

Author Affiliations
  • 1The Division of Hospital Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor
  • 2VA Ann Arbor Health System, Ann Arbor, Michigan
JAMA. 2017;318(11):1007-1008. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.8324

Transitions are a way of life in academic medicine. While much has been written about these changes,1,2 less attention has been devoted to a more common shift: the move between academic work and clinical ward time.3 This gap has important consequences. For example, some faculty dread upcoming ward blocks. When on clinical rotations, they struggle to juggle patient and academic activities—often doing neither well. The resulting perceived lack of efficiency and effectiveness leads to weariness, fatigue, frustration, and symptoms of burnout.4 Regardless of clinical effort, most faculty will face this problem. Unfortunately, limited guidance on how best to overcome this common challenge exists.

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