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Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013

For Residents

Weighing options: Starting a family during residency

Finding a good balance between work and personal life is a dilemma faced by most professional women. However, the intense workload and long hours faced by physicians completing their residency training adds another significant challenge.

In a recent article in Virtual Mentor, Kate Treadway, MD, considers the proper advice to offer medical students weighing their family planning options as they enter residency. She proposes the hypothetical situation of a third-year medical student deciding between neurology and neurosurgery—the latter of which includes significantly more arduous training—and how her selected specialty will affect her ability to start a family during residency.

Dr. Treadway writes that while in many respects women have made great strides in the field of medicine—indeed nearly half of medical school entrants today are women—many women still face the reality that their prime reproductive years coincide with medical school, residency, fellowship or the tenure track. She believes this is an opportunity for the adviser to work with the student on clearly identifying important and potentially competing goals and how they can be achieved.

Virtual Mentor is the AMA's online open-access ethics journal. It explores the ethical issues and challenges that students, residents and other physicians are likely to confront in their training and daily practice.

Experts examine benefits of Google Glass in training

Today, Google Glass seems little more than a gimmick. But physicians already are finding ways the technology could significantly improve surgery in the future, says Ariel Schwartz, in a recent article for Fast Company.

Pierre Theodore, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon at University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center, tried out Google Glass during a surgery, using it to compare the patient's CT scan with what he was seeing in front of him.

Theodore also sees potential for Google Glass as a surgery teaching tool. During a live-streamed procedure using the device, he was able to show not just the patient's abdomen but also the endoscopic view in a simple, inexpensive way.

Schwartz explains that for advocates of the technology, the big challenge will be convincing doctors who have set routines that it makes sense to incorporate Google Glass into their workdays. As the slow transition to electronic health records has proven, that's no easy feat.