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Physician Work Environment and Well-Being
May 2018

Does More Achievement Make Us Better Physicians?The Academic Arms Race

Author Affiliations
  • 1Traditional Internal Medicine Residency Program, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178(5):597-598. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.0023

I was sitting across the desk from an academic adviser to review the progress I had made over the course of my intern year. I was at the tail end of a dizzying onslaught of weeks without ends and days without nights, an all-too-familiar schedule that my friends and family outside the profession cannot identify with. She politely asked, “What extracurricular activities are you involved in? Are you in any leadership positions? Are you doing any research projects?” In that fragile moment, the weight of that implied expectation added to the already formidable straw stack I carried on my back was almost more than I could bear.