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July 24, 1996

Life After Medical School: Thirty-two Doctors Describe How Their Medical Careers Evolved and Were Shaped

Author Affiliations

UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School Newark

JAMA. 1996;276(4):334. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540040078040

Dr Leonard Laster's book is a very good idea. Medical students must send out applications for residencies an amazingly short time after they enter medical school, even though they have had minimal experience in clinical settings. Life After Medical School is designed to help the student make better-informed decisions by providing contributions from 32 physicians who describe how they made their choices, how their careers have evolved, and the factors that shaped them.

In organizing his book, Dr Laster has made the assumption that there are five basic medical careers: medicine and pediatrics; surgery and obstetrics; psychiatry and mental health; activities that do not require much sustained patient contact (eg, pathology, anesthesiology, and radiology); and a group of miscellaneous activities only weakly linked to medical care, such as politics or managing a corporation. The idea is that each area differs in the duration and quality of the doctor-patient relationship. Hence