Medical doctors diagnose and treat patients for injuries and illness. They work with patients on preventative health measures. They examine patients, obtain medical histories, prescribe medications, and order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests. Surgeons are doctors who perform operations to treat injuries, diseases, and deformities.
Medical schools are highly competitive. Most applicants have a bachelor's degree when applying. After four years of medical school, almost all medical school graduates enter into a residency program in their specialty of interest.
"My Michigan Tech education prepared me well for the practice of medicine. Rote memorization of fact will only get you so far, but the critical thinking skills built into the MTU curriculum, with its strong engineering background, fostered a problem-solving ability that I continue to use every day in the treatment of patients."
The branch of medicine in which doctors and other health care professionals treat symptoms and diseases using drugs, radiation, or surgery. Also called conventional medicine or Western medicine.
The branch of medicine in which doctors practice a whole-person approach and focus on looking beyond the symptoms to understand how lifestyle and environmental factors may impact a patient’s wellbeing.
The branch of medicine in which doctors practice prevention, treatment and optimal health through the use of alternative and therapeutic methods. Naturopathic doctors strive to find the cause of disease by understanding the body, mind, and spirit of the patient.
First, choose from the three different types of degrees a doctor can earn. Your decision will dictate what schools you apply to. The application process also varies.
Although you can select any undergraduate major, most medical schools require that you take required classes, or prerequisites, in order to apply. The required courses are different depending on the school.
Students are encouraged to use these resources to check on admissions requirements for specific medical schools. But you should also check directly with the school.
Here is a guide of recommended courses to take at Michigan Tech in preparation for medical school.
Students who wish to apply to Medical School must take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). Students need to do well on the MCAT in order to be a competitive applicant.
The MCAT is only offered during certain months of the year.
Some medical schools may also require the online CASPer test. This is a situational judgment test that can be taken on any computer with internet and a webcam. This test evaluates elements of social intelligence and professionalism, such as empathy and problem solving. Learn more about CASPer here. It is important to check program requirements to see if any program you are applying for requires this additional test.
In addition to a high MCAT score, students should aim for both a high cumulative GPA and a high BCMP (biology, chemistry, math, and physics).
Most medical schools also require a minimum of three letters of recommendation, a written personal statement or essay, and if you are selected, an in-person interview.
Many medical schools expect applicants to have had significant exposure to clinical medicine. This can be in the form of job shadowing, volunteering and/or employment. Medical schools also take your extracurricular activities into consideration, such as non-clinical volunteering, research, leadership experiences and other activities that you do outside of schoolwork.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) offers a premed navigator featuring important topics, resources, and tips to further assist you in your preparation work.
Michigan State University Early Assurance Program (EAP)
MSU College of Human Medicine has partnered with Michigan Tech to provide early assurance of medical school admission for our selected students! This program is for undergraduate students interested in becoming a physician in an underserved region or students interested in working with the underserved population.
Juniors and Seniors are open to apply. Preference for EAP admission will be given to Michigan Tech students who are the first generation in their families to attend college, or graduated from a low-income high school, are eligible for need-based grants, and to those who express interest in a high-need medical specialty area. Students will be selected for interviews in March and can be accepted as early as July.
The conversational AI bot ChatGPT is having a moment, promising to transform the ways in which we produce written text, search the web, and educate ourselves.
The latest ChatGPT achievement? Almost passing the US Medical Licensing test (USMLE).
We're talking about an test known for its difficulty here, one that usually requires some 300 to 400 hours of preparation to complete and which covers everything from basic science concepts to bioethics.
The USMLE is actually three exams in one, and the competency with which ChatGPT is able to answer its questions shows that these AI bots could one day be useful for medical training and even for making certain types of diagnoses.
"ChatGPT performed at or near the passing threshold for all three exams without any specialized training or reinforcement," write the researchers in their published paper. "Additionally, ChatGPT demonstrated a high level of concordance and insight in its explanations."
ChatGPT is a type of artificial intelligence known as a large language model or LLM. These LLMs are specifically geared towards written responses, and through vast amounts of demo text and some clever algorithms, they're able to make predictions about which words should go together in a sentence, much like the big brother to your phone's predictive text function.
That's something of a simplification, but you get the idea: ChatGPT doesn't actually 'know' anything, but by analyzing a huge amount of online material, it can construct plausible-sounding sentences on just about any topic.
'Plausible sounding' is the key, though. Depending on the probability of various phrasing, the AI can seem uncannily smart or come to the most ridiculous conclusions.
Researchers from the Ansible Health startup tested it using demo questions from the USMLE, having checked that the answers weren't available on Google – so they knew that ChatGPT would be generating new responses based on the data it's been trained on.
Put to the test, ChatGPT scored between 52.4 percent and 75 percent across the three exams (the pass mark is usually around 60 percent). In 88.9 percent of its responses, it produced at least one significant insight – described as something that was "new, non-obvious, and clinically valid" by the researchers.
"Reaching the passing score for this notoriously difficult expert exam, and doing so without any human reinforcement, marks a notable milestone in clinical AI maturation," the study authors said in a press statement.
ChatGPT also proved to be impressively consistent in its answers and was even able to provide reasoning behind each response. It also beat the 50.3 percent accuracy rate of PubMedGPT, a bot trained specifically on medical literature.
It's worth remembering that the information ChatGPT has been trained on will include inaccuracies: if you ask the bot itself, it will admit that more work is needed to Improve the reliability of LLMs. It's not going to replace medical professionals at any point in the foreseeable future.
However, the potential for parsing online knowledge is clearly huge, especially as these AI bots continue to get better in the years to come. Rather than replacing humans in the medical profession, they could become vital assistants to them.
"These results suggest that large language models may have the potential to assist with medical education, and potentially, clinical decision-making," write the researchers.
The research has been published in PLOS Digital Health.
If you’re looking for an easy and affordable way to get PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis) for HIV, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will compare PrEP providers and prices, so that you can make an informed decision about where to buy PrEP.
We will also discuss some of the benefits of ordering PrEP online, who can use the drug, how it works, what side effects it has, and how to get started. PrEP is a highly effective way to prevent HIV, and it’s important that everyone has access to this life-saving medication.
So, whether you’re new to PrEP or just looking for where to buy PrEP online, read on for tips on how to get PrEP!
There are many PrEP providers available online, but not all of them are created equal. That’s why it’s important to do your research before you buy PrEP from an online provider.
To help out, we’ve compiled a list of the best PrEP providers online. All of these providers offer PrEP at an affordable price, and they’re reputable and trustworthy.
We’ll summarize each provider’s strengths and weaknesses, so you can decide which PrEP provider is right for you.
All three providers offer both Truvada and Descovy as treatment options. The primary difference between Truvada and Descovy is the form of tenofovir that makes up each medication. Both drugs are effective at preventing the contraction of HIV when taken daily. Descovy was more recently FDA-approved for the prevention of HIV, but should NOT be taken by individuals who engage in receptive vaginal sex as there have not been enough studies yet.
Nurx offers both Truvada and Descovy as PrEP options. You can start a PrEP meds prescription with them in just a few clicks.
The signup process for Nurx is quick and easy, and you can do it all from the comfort of your own home.
Once you’ve signed up, a licensed provider will review your PrEP questionnaire and medical history. If they determine that PrEP is right for you, they’ll prescribe PrEP and send it to the pharmacy of your choice or to your home.
You can get started with Nurx by filling out a PrEP questionnaire on their website.
If you have any questions, you can reach out to their team of experts via chat or email. They’re available 24/7 to help you every step of the way.
Nurx PrEP Pros & Cons
Nurx PrEP service offers PrEP consultations with healthcare providers who can answer all of your questions and help you decide if PrEP is right for you. There is a consultation fee of $25.
If you are uninsured, you can also get PrEP at a lower cost through Nurx’s PrEP assistance program. If you qualify, you may be able to get your PrEP for as little as $0 per month.
The Nurx at-home PrEP test kit includes everything you need to test for HIV at home. The kit is free with your PrEP prescription. If you prefer not to do home testing, you are welcome to have your labs done at local labs like LabCorp or Quest. You can also use the Nurx app to track your PrEP prescriptions, schedule reminders, and view your results.
There are two testing options, basic and comprehensive.
The basic test will test for:
The comprehensive test will test for all of the above, PLUS:
Nurx PrEP is available in 36 states + Washington, DC (see comparison chart above for a list of states not available), and your three-month dosage of PrEP pills will be sent out with free shipping. You can choose to have your PrEP delivered to your home, or you can opt to pick it up at a local pharmacy.
Nurx offers both Truvada and Descovy as PrEP options, and both come in daily pill form. The right medication for you will be determined based on your lab results and in your consultation.
Nurx charges a $25 fee for the initial medical consultation and each time you order a new test kit and evaluation for renewal of your prescription, which is every three months.
For those without medical insurance, the testing kit costs $164 for comprehensive testing or $94 for basic testing.
Yes, the PrEP medication itself is free with insurance, and if you don’t have insurance, Nurx offers PrEP at a discount through the PrEP Assurance Program. This means the price will depend on your insurance coverage. Nurx does state that 99% of patients pay $0 for their medication.
Nurx also works with a range of programs that provide PrEP for free or at a reduced cost, including Gilead’s Advancing Access, Patient Advocate Foundation, and Ready, Set, PrEP.
MISTR is gay owned and operated and offers a seamless online experience to help get PrEP to people who need it.
Signing up for MISTR is quick and easy. You can do it all from the comfort of your own home, and you don’t need to see a doctor in person. All you need to do is fill out a medical questionnaire.
After you complete your health questionnaire, an at-home testing kit will be sent to you. This kit will include everything you need to collect a demo and send it back to the laboratory for analysis.
You can also arrange in-person testing at 2,200 locations across the U.S.
Once the test results are back, you will need to schedule a video consultation with one of MISTR’s physicians. During this consultation, our provider will review your medical questionnaire and test with you, and determine if PrEP is right for you.
If PrEP is right for you, our provider will write you a PrEP prescription, and your PrEP will be delivered via Priority Mail®, FedEx, UPS, or a local courier.
MISTR PrEP Pros & Cons
In addition to the initial video consultation, you will need to schedule a yearly video consultation with one of MISTR’s physicians.
The MISTR PrEP testing kit tests for HIV as well as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and hepatitis C.
Your three-month PrEP prescription is delivered by Priority Mail®, FedEx, UPS, or a local courier anywhere in the US – all 50 states + Washington, DC.
MISTR provides Truvada and Descovy in daily pill form.
The MISTR testing kit, lab test, consultation, and PrEP prescription are entirely free, as is the shipping.
MISTR only uses insurance to cover the cost of PrEP medication, and if you don’t have insurance, they work on your behalf to enroll you in one of the various patient assistance programs, managing the entire process for you.
FOLX is a transgender-inclusive PrEP provider that offers a PrEP concierge service along with treatments and medications for a plethora of other health concerns.
FOLX’s signup process is pretty simple. You create an account and answer some basic questions about your PrEP needs.
FOLX will first send you a testing kit in the mail. The kit includes everything you need to provide a urine demo and collect a small blood spot from your finger using a lancet. You then mail the samples back to their CLIA-certified laboratory partner for testing.
You will then need to have a video consultation with one of their licensed providers. The provider will review the test results and answer any questions you have. If they determine that PrEP is right for you, they will write you a prescription.
Finally, Folx will ship your PrEP medication directly to your door.
FOLX PrEP Pros & Cons
As part of the FOLX subscription model, customers have access to regular consultations with a healthcare provider. Customers can schedule these as needed or on a set schedule, such as every three months.
The FOLX PrEP test kit tests for HIV, STDs, and other infections. It is a simple self-swab test that can be done in the comfort of your own home.
Prescription delivery is handled by FOLX. They will send your PrEP medication directly to your door using discreet packaging.
Flox offers Truvada and Descovy in daily pill form.
Unlike MISTR or NURX, Folx uses a subscription model to bill customers. PrEP starts at $90/month with the option to add on other STI tests and treatments for an additional cost.
Folx does not accept medical insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare, but does accept payment through HSA/FSA plans. The payments will be priced like a co-pay.
Now that we’ve gone over the basics of PrEP and how to get it online, let’s answer some frequently asked questions about PrEP.
From increasing the use of sepsis bundles to streamlining diagnostic test ordering to improving patient satisfaction with consent procedures, medical students at the Ohio State University College of Medicine develop projects to solve real-world patient safety risks in clinical settings.
This coursework is part of the college’s four-year health system science studies focused on safety, quality and how different healthcare professions and specialties collaborate to Improve patient care.
Rather than having health professionals wait to learn certain concepts until later on in their careers, some medical schools are beginning to incorporate patient safety into curricula so graduates enter the workforce more fully prepared.
“Why wait for a physician or a nurse or someone to be in practice for years before allowing them to take a course like this or receive certification?” said Dr. Frank Filipetto, dean of the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. ”Let's not have them develop bad habits.”
However, medical schools must convince students and academic leaders that patient safety is worth prioritizing. Schools looking to implement safety curricula face barriers including student disinterest and uneven internal support for devoting resources to these initiatives.
“The biggest challenge was convincing students that they needed this curriculum and because it’s a change, and they don't see other medical schools doing this,” Filipetto said. “I’ve had students say, ‘I don't need to learn this.’” To counter these objections, professors explain how studying safety advantages students by enhancing their skills, in addition to benefiting patients, he said.
The Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine is among the innovators in this area. The school decided a few years ago to emphasize safety so students understand the importance of preventing harm, Filipetto said.
“My vision back then was: We really need to change the way healthcare is being delivered in this country because we have significant issues with medical errors and patient safety issues that result in death,” he said.
With assistance from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and SaferCare Texas, the college first developed a curriculum and a pilot program to prepare 10 students for an IHI test to qualify them for a Certified Professional in Patient Safety designation. Nine students passed on their first try, exceeding expectations, Filipetto said.
The Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine refined its safety curriculum and now requires a two-week course and the test during the third year of medical school. Ninety-eight percent of graduates depart with patient safety certifications, according to the college.
Students learn about the foundations of patient safety, including hospital leadership, a culture of reporting adverse events, and measuring and improving performance. They also study how to identify root causes of safety failures to inform solutions.
More than 5,000 individuals have earned Certified Professional of Patient Safety designations since the test debuted in 2012, said IHI Vice President Patricia McGaffigan. Since the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine began its program, its graduates represent about 10% of those who have passed the test, she said. The IHI is seeking additional academic partners to expand its efforts, she said.
At the Ohio State University College of Medicine, health systems science students take a four-year course completing IHI quality and patient safety modules and engaging in group work to apply the lessons to clinical scenarios, said Dr. Philicia Duncan, program director of the school’s applied health systems science course.
During their final year, students engage in quality improvement projects that identify areas where care could be improved and work with faculty and others on quality and safety initiatives such as a campaign to reduce vaccine hesitancy.
The university ultimately wants safety incorporated into the entire curriculum, Duncan said. “That's almost looked at as a niche area,” she said. “Once it's demonstrated that patient safety and quality is more a fabric of medical education and medical practice, then that would help the program's success.”
The University of Michigan Medical School takes a similar approach that is personalized for students based on their interests and future specialties, said Dr. Jawad Al-Khafaji, director of patient safety and quality improvement. Students also work on projects emphasizing measures to prevent adverse events, he said.
“We've had quite a few very impactful projects that ended up changing some of the practices even here at the University of Michigan” and at Veterans Health Administration facilities, said Al-Khafaji, who practices internal medicine at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System.
Medical school graduates who are certified in patient safety are attractive to employers because so few physicians have been formally educated on the subject, Filipetto said. Newly minted doctors with this background are prepared to perform duties such as participating in patient safety and quality committees, he said.
Trying to recruit first year medical students to join the patient safety elective over an area like global public health is difficult because most have no idea of what patient safety and quality improvement are or why they are important, Al-Khafaji said.
In addition to persuading students, advocates for patient safety education face skepticism from academic leaders, said Lillee Gelinas, director of patient safety at the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine.
“The two most common questions we get—not just from medical schools, but other health profession schools—are: ‘How much does it cost and where does it fit in the curriculum?’” Gelinas said. “We can't answer that. The schools have to look at their own curriculum and where it fits. But the main message is: You can't just sprinkle the syllabu of safety and quality into other courses.”
Academic leaders often are reluctant to borrow best practices from other schools or from third parties, and contend they must create safety programs in-house from scratch, said Stephanie Mercado, CEO of the National Association for Healthcare Quality.
“One of the big misconceptions that I've experienced working with academic organizations is that they think that there's a benefit to having a custom program built by their organization,” Mercado said. “They believe it represents a secret sauce, that they are bringing something to the market that no one else has," she said.
“Programs who are trying to develop this de novo are going to miss the opportunity to have their students meet their peers where they're at,” Mercado said. “They need to be speaking the same language, the same vocabulary, the same toolkit, and we do that by aligning to a standard.”
Medical laboratory testing is the heartbeat of medicine. It provides critical data for physicians to diagnose and treat disease, dating back thousands of years. Unfortunately, laboratory medicine as a field is poorly understood by both the public and health care communities.
Laboratory medicine, also known as clinical pathology, is one of two main branches of pathology, or the study of the causes and effects of disease. Pathology covers many laboratory areas, such as blood banking and microbiology. Clinical pathology diagnoses a disease through laboratory analysis of body fluids such as blood, urine, feces and saliva. The other branch of pathology, anatomic pathology, diagnoses a disease by examining body tissues.
We are public health and medical laboratory scientists who specialize in microbiology and infectious diseases. There are a lot of steps between when your doctor orders a blood test to establishing a diagnosis. From the bedside to the lab bench, here’s how laboratory testing works.
When you see a doctor, sometimes a physical test and detailed medical history are enough for them to make a diagnosis, offer recommendations or prescribe medications for your condition. There are many instances, however, where your doctor may need additional information to make an accurate diagnosis. This information is often obtained from procedures like imaging scans or blood tests.
The first step involves getting your blood drawn through a practice known as phlebotomy. A health care professional, typically a phlebotomist or a nurse, inserts a needle into a vein to collect a blood specimen.
Multiple tubes of blood may be needed, as certain tests are only performed using certain types of blood specimens. For example, one test commonly used to diagnose anemia requires blood to be collected in a chemical that prevents the blood from clotting. Patients being evaluated for a clotting disorder, on the other hand, often have their blood collected in a tube containing another anticoagulant.
Specimens then make their way to a clinical laboratory. Laboratories can be found within hospitals, reference labs or physician offices, or they can be located in a public health setting such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or a state public health laboratory. In 2021, there were more than 329,000 laboratory professionals working in the U.S. in more than 320,000 federally regulated laboratories. An estimated 14 billion laboratory tests are ordered annually in the U.S., on top of over 1 billon COVID-19 tests during the pandemic. With such a large volume of specimens to test and examine, various sections of a laboratory are automated.
Laboratory tests examine the biological, chemical and physical properties of the cells and molecules that make up a blood specimen. The first step is often to centrifuge a blood specimen into separate components. This divides the demo into one portion that contains solid components, such as cells, and another that contains liquid components and dissolved solutes, known as serum or plasma.
Analyzing the serum or plasma portion of a blood specimen measures the levels of different substances within the body. One of the most common is your blood sugar, or glucose concentration. For the doctors of more than 37 million Americans with diabetes, knowing how high their patient’s blood glucose is helps them establish a new diagnosis or ensure their condition is under control.
If your doctor suspects you have an infection, they will collect specimens to test for the presence of a pathogen. For example, they might collect a throat swab for strep throat or a urine demo for a urinary tract infection. Scientists incubate these samples to screen any organisms that grow and resemble pathogens of interest. They may perform additional testing to identify the microbe. Once an organism is identified, the medical laboratory professional can then test a variety of antimicrobial agents against it to inform your doctor what the best treatment would be against your infection.
The first hospital clinical laboratory in the U.S. was established in 1894. Some of the methods laboratory professionals use to analyze samples have been in use for over a century.
One such staple, the Gram stain, was introduced in 1882. It uses two different dyes and exploits differences in the bacterial cell wall to discriminate between two different groups of bacteria. This helps lab scientists identify the correct antimicrobial therapy to use against an infection.
Another commonly used technology, the Coulter Principle, was developed in the 1940s to identify and sort individual cells based on physical size and resistance to an electrical current. Medical laboratory professionals routinely use this technique to conduct complete blood count tests, which measure unusual increases or decreases in the number of different types of blood cells that could provide insights into a disease or condition, such as cancer or sickle cell anemia.
In 1986, scientists devised the Nobel Prize-winning polymerase chain reaction method to amplify, or rapidly produce, multiple copies of the DNA of a pathogen present within a sample. PCR is widely used to diagnose infections, identify genetic disorders and monitor cancer progression.
An explosion of modern laboratory tools to research and diagnose disease followed PCR. To name a few of these cutting-edge tools, matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization, or MALDI, is one of the most commonly used techniques to identify microbes that are difficult or impossible to culture. Genome editing and CRISPR-Cas9 supply scientists the ability to change an organism’s DNA, aiding in identifying pathogens and detecting dysfunctional genes by adding, removing or altering genes of interest. Next-generation sequencing has become a powerful modern tool to determine the sequence of the genetic material in biological samples and has been extensively used to identify variants and wastewater surveillance of pathogens like the virus that causes COVID-19.
One of the most critical challenges in laboratory medicine is understanding and interpreting test results, because errors can occur throughout the testing process. Specimens must be properly collected and transported to the lab for accurate results. Likewise, at-home tests need to be properly stored. Clinicians and patients need to take into account the chances of false positive or negative results by considering the limitations of the test alongside the patient’s individual case.
Collaboration between clinicians and medical laboratory professionals could help reduce errors in diagnosis and treatment. Laboratory data can and often is extremely useful to patient care, but a holistic approach that takes into account a patient’s medical history, genetics and health habits, among other factors, is necessary for an accurate diagnosis and treatment. While powerful, a laboratory result should not be used in isolation. Clear and accurate communication on laboratory testing is critical for effective patient care.
A photo was replaced to more accurately reflect medical laboratory work
This article is republished from The Conversation, an independent nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts. If you found it interesting, you could subscribe to our weekly newsletter.
It was written by: Rodney E. Rohde, Texas State University and Nicholas Moore, Rush University.
Rodney E. Rohde has received funding from the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science, U.S. Department of Labor (OSHA), and other public and private entities/foundations. Rohde is affiliated with ASCP, ASCLS, ASM, and serves on several scientific advisory boards. See https://rodneyerohde.wp.txstate.edu/service/.
Nicholas Moore previously received funding from Abbott Molecular, bioMerieux, and Cepheid for contracted research work related to the development of laboratory assays. Funds were paid directly to Rush University. Nicholas Moore is a volunteer with the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science, the American Society for Clinical Pathology, the American Society for Microbiology, and the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute. He is a member of the editorial board of Clinical Microbiology Reviews and BMC Infectious Diseases.
High-stakes examinations are an integral part of medical education. To practice in the United States (U.S.), students must pass the U.S. Medical Licensing Examinations (USMLE). With the transition of USMLE Step 1 to pass/fail scoring on January 26, 2022, a worldwide debate regarding how residency program directors will view the Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) test emerged. Here, the authors explore the role of formal, informal, and hidden curricula related to USMLE, with broader implications for high-stakes examinations. Six focus groups of fourth-year students who recently took Step 2 CK and a supplemental curricular content analysis were conducted to explore students’ decision-making and emotions regarding the exam, including how the formal, informal, and hidden curricula influence their perspectives. Participants highlighted how informal and hidden curricula drive the belief that high-stakes examinations are the single most important factor in medical school. Prior experience with Step 1 drives behaviors and attitudes when preparing for Step 2 CK. Pressures from these examinations have unintended consequences on burnout, professional identity, specialty choice, and interpersonal interactions. Both interpersonal interactions within medical education as well as subconscious, unintended messaging can influence medical student approaches to and perspectives about high-stakes examinations. Within the context of U.S. medical training, with the transition to a new era of a pass/fail Step 1 examination, careful consideration to prevent shifting the current “Step 1 mania” to a “Step 2 CK mania” is warranted. More broadly, medical educators must examine the unintended yet potentially damaging pressures institutions generate in their medical trainees in relation to high-stakes examinations.
Copyright: © 2023 Geraghty et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
In the three months since artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT was introduced to the world, workers have already harnessed it to make their lives easier. Professionals in fields including real estate, health care and finance say they save time and work more efficiently using AI.
Here's how these workers described using the tool in their day-to-day jobs.
Mala Sander, a top real estate agent for the Corcoran Group who focuses on the Hamptons, has been using ChatGPT regularly for the past couple of weeks to help her write real estate listings and devise marketing strategies for properties.
"I asked it to write me ad copy about a house in Bridgehampton with a pool and tennis court on two acres and I listed the other features I wanted to highlight," she told CBS MoneyWatch. "And it would weave this fantastic copy into something that you could actually use."
She uses ChatGPT to change the tone of listings too. "I'll say things like, 'write this toward a millennial audience' or 'make it funny.'"
Her routine these days is to have her team write the first draft of a listing "and crunch it through to see if ChatGPT can edit it down and make it more concise," she said.
On a whim, she asked the bot to write her a marketing plan for one of her listings. It delivered. It gave her a breakdown of a campaign that would include digital, print and social outreach, she told CBS MoneyWatch.
"It talked about everything from direct mail to online digital advertising to social media, and it even came up with some percentages that might be ideal," Sander said.
Having worked as an agent for the last 20 years, Sander is quite capable and efficient without ChatGPT.
"But it is useful," she said. "It's like talking to another person, almost like having work therapist to say, 'Am I moving in the right direction with this or should be looking at some other things?'"
Elia Mazor, marketing manager for The Glazer Team at Corcoran, said he also uses ChatGPT to write listings and create other content.
"Sometimes you get writer's block, so I use ChatGPT for a bit of inspiration and to provide a different tone," he said.
Certified financial planner Michael Reynolds uses the chatbot to help him draft blog posts that educate his clients about financial documents like wills and trusts.
He tells ChatGPT the syllabu he wants to address, and enters a prompt like: "ChatGPT, create an introduction on why estate planning is important."
It spits out paragraphs that Reynolds then edits in his own voice.
In a accurate article on estate planning, Reynolds relied on ChatGPT to hook readers by driving home the message that "estate planning is an act of love for those you leave behind."
"I asked ChatGPT to explain that and it put together a few paragraphs on why it's thoughtful and considerate to do these things," Reynolds said.
The process took about 20 minutes. If he'd worked on the article alone, it would have taken closer to two hours, he said.
He doesn't use the tool to help clients make financial decisions — that's still a job exclusively for humans, according to Reynolds.
"Financial planning is so nuanced, individualized and personal. It is hard to envision using ChatGPT to spit out recommendations without it knowing the client. I see it being more valuable in generating educational material to supplement what I am doing," he said. "We don't just crunch numbers; we coach people, listen to their concerns and help them talk through emotional situations. The creative, empathetic work we do as humans is irreplaceable as of today."
Nick Meyer, another financial planner who produces shortform videos on TikTok, said he uses it as a starting point to come up with ideas for new content.
"I use it instead of Google search to get syllabu ideas, or to edit what I have already written," he said. It also helps him make his videos funny.
"I can insert a couple lines of a script and say, 'Make this more comedic, insert a joke on this line, or make it more concise," Meyer said.
Board-certified emergency physician Harvey Castro is advising digital health companies on how to best integrate ChatGPT into the health care sector.
He says one good application is creating and translating patient discharge instructions — rules for them to follow after a medical visit.
An expert in emergency medicine, if he were asked a dermatology-related question he was unsure about, Castro said he'd enter the query into ChatGPT for more information. In the past, he relied on other clinical search engines and resources like MDConsult, now called ClinicalKey.
"I could type it in and it would supply me gobs of information. So it's a supplement," Castro said.
Doctors are also using it to enter a patient's symptoms and have it return a differential diagnosis — a list of possible conditions related to the presenting symptoms, according to Castro.
"That is already happening today," he said.
Rushabh Doshi, a second-year medical student at Yale University School of Medicine, likes to use ChatGPT to create demo questions while he studies for the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination.
Test prep services have limited practice questions, and ChatGPT can generate new ones on any syllabu based on the prompt he feeds it.
It helps him prepare for some patient interactions, too, but uses it strictly for medical education and not patient care.
"If there is a patient coming in with a disease I am not familiar with, I can go to ChatGPT and read up on it," he said.
It also gives him information that helps him conduct more thorough patient evaluations. "I ask it to supply me a guide of the types of questions to ask to make sure I am doing a comprehensive patient interview."
ChatGPT - a recently released AI with the uncanny ability to mimic human writing - has passed some of America's most challenging professional exams, studies have shown, raising concerns it could soon put many white collar workers out of a job.
The artificially intelligent content creator, whose name is short for 'Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer,' was released two months ago by OpenAI, and has since taken the world by storm.
Praised by figures such as Elon Musk - one of OpenAI's founders - the AI-powered chatbot, however, has raised alarms in regards to ethics as students use it to cheat on writing assignments and experts warn it could have lasting effects on the US economy.
Its results, though, are inarguable - with accurate research showing it the chatbot could successfully achieve an MBA, and soon pass notoriously difficult tests like the United States Medical Licensing test and the Bar.
Ethan Mollick, associate professor at Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, highlighted these reports in a accurate post on social media, one of which was carried out by one of his colleagues at the prestigious school.
The report, by Wharton professor Christian Terwiesch, found that ChatGPT, while still in its infancy, received a grade varying from a B to B- on the final test of a typical MBA core course.
Additionally, the research, done to see what the release of the AI tool could mean for MBA programs, found that ChatGPT also 'performed well in the preparation of legal documents.'
'The next generation of this technology might even be able to pass the bar exam,' the report notes.
Mollick, who requires students to use the AI during his courses covering innovation and entrepreneurship, touted the findings Sunday in a post to social media, in which he remarked on their potential implications.
'I think we haven't fully absorbed the fact that careful academic papers have found ChatGPT clearly passes some of the most challenging American professional exams,' Mollick wrote.
The post saw the professor share another study carried out by researchers ay Yale that saw the chatbot earn a passing grade United States Medical Licensing Exam.
Another praised the AI bot's performances on the professional license exam, commonly referred to as 'the Bar Exam', which professors at the Michigan State and Chicago Kent colleges of law found could also be conquered by ChatGPT.
Other posts from the professor similarly tout the progress recently seen from the still young AI, which early adopters have already begun using to draft assignments and write work emails, all in specific tones and styles.
While 'still in its infancy,' as billionaire crypto enthusiast Mark Cuban said in an interview touting the technology this week, the accomplishments of ChatGPT in the few months since its release cannot be ignored.
Andrew Karolyi, dean of Cornell University's SC Johnson College of Business, told the Financial Times this week that while many may have their reservations over the technology - which has become a burgeoning internet fad in accurate weeks - he believes ChatGPT is here to stay.
'One thing we all know for sure is that ChatGPT is not going away. If anything, these AI techniques will continue to get better and better. Faculty and university administrators need to invest to educate themselves.'
As the technology gains popularity, it has reportedly raised alarms within companies like Google, which has sought to adopt the AI to enhance the capabilities of its popular search engine.
Late last week, The New York Times reported that Google execs are engaged in plans to 'demonstrate a version of its search engine with chatbot features this year' and unveil more than 20 projects powered by artificial intelligence.
However, sources have since alleged that brass at the company have embraced the AI technology too fast for its own good, with the search giant on Friday announcing layoffs of more than 12,000 employees amid plans to shift to AI as a domain of primary importance.
The nixing, the largest in the company's 25-year history, stoked fears that services like ChatGPT could copywriters, journalists, customer-service agents, and now even lawyers and doctors, out of a job.
As students and others on social media become the first to embrace the technology, Kara McWilliams, who heads a nonprofit which that offers a tool that can identify AI-generated answers, warns that others will soon need to follow suit or risk being left in the dust by those who embrace such tools, which likely will become more commonplace in the coming years.
ETS Product Innovation Labs' Williams told the Times last week: 'I’m of the mind that AI isn’t going to replace people, but people who use AI are going to replace people.'
While introducing his paper, Terwiesch, noted liken affect ChapGPT will have on the world to that of electronic calculators on the corporate world in the late 60s and 70s.
'Prior to the introduction of calculators and other computing devices, many firms employed hundreds of employees whose task it was to manually perform mathematical operations such as multiplications or matrix inversions,' he wrote.
'Obviously, such tasks are now automated, and the value of the associated skills has dramatically decreased. In the same way any automation of the skills taught in our MBA programs could potentially reduce the value of an MBA education.'Read more
Medical schools are highly competitive. The national acceptance rate is 43 percent, according to data compiled by the Association of American Medical Colleges. Use these top 10 tips from doctors and medical students to help you prepare for your pre-health profession.
Job shadow with doctors and other medical professionals. Admissions committees don't expect applicants to have real experience actually treating patients. After all, you're not a doctor yet. But they do want to know that you've spent time getting to know what your future job would be like. Job shadowing is a great way to get some medical experience but there are other non-shadowing opportunities that may be available to you.
"Med school admissions committees want students to have realistic expectations for what a career in medicine will be like. says Dr. Sarah Carlson, a vascular surgery resident at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, who has also served on a medical school admissions committee. As an undergraduate, she volunteered to file x-rays at the local hospital, then parlayed that into an opportunity to talk with the radiologist. He explained both how to read x-ray films, and why he chose his profession. "It's those types of interactions that are important to have under your belt," she says. "Quite frankly, medicine isn't for everyone, so it's best if you do some soul-searching and spend some time with the people who have the job you want. Most doctors are happy to sit down with students who are considering a career in medicine."
Other ways to get medical experience include becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), a volunteer emergency medical technician (EMT), or as a hospital scribe doing data entry. Some applicants are able to gain clinical experience by helping to care for family members.
Demonstrate your hands-on science knowledge. "Undergraduate research experience really shines through on medical school applications. Most medical schools want students who are interested in research, and the best way to show that interest is to come in having already gotten your feet wet" says Dr. Carlson. She did pipetting and ran assays for Dr. Pushpa Murthy's lab at Michigan Technological University. It was a small part of the research, but she conveyed the overall impact. "I had to explain at my interviews that the larger scope of the research was about inositol phosphate metabolism."
Medical student Carly Joseph did long-term research in engineered biomaterials. "Sticking with it gave me time to learn how to think critically and ignited my passion for science," she says. "I started off simply learning about biomaterials from older students in the lab, then gradually worked up to doing my own experiments and eventually presenting at conferences." By choosing to make research a main priority each semester she was able to form close relationships with faculty mentors and accomplish more during undergrad than she ever imagined.
In addition to college-based research programs, you can investigate summer offerings, including those through the National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates program or check out the AAMC database for summer undergrad research programs
Dr. Carlson volunteered with the Big Brothers-Big Sisters organization. So did Joseph. Rake leaves, build an accessibility ramp, clean the beach, walk a dog. There are lots of non-clinical options for volunteering that demonstrate your willingness to pay it forward and supply back.
"They have many different programs and services." Joseph, accepted into Central Michigan University's College of Medicine, was part of the Forever Friends program, matched with an elderly woman she visited a few times each month. "I 've formed a great friendship with her, and hopefully, helped alleviate some loneliness. It 's a win-win!"
"Doctors are generally pretty altruistic people, and med schools want to see that you care about your community or have some drive to contribute to the greater good," says Dr. Carlson. "Community service comes in many forms, and really anything qualifies, from trash cleanup and mentorship programs to working the concession stand at a fund-raiser for a charity—anything that requires some unpaid time for a good cause."
Ask your pre-health professions advisor about volunteering opportunities on campus or in your community, which could include helping at local food banks or blood drives, local shelters for the homeless or those dealing with domestic violence. You could tutor, deliver good companionship and Meals on Wheels, or walk the dogs at a local animal shelter. Take an alternative spring break and work with Habitat for Humanity or on developing clean water sources for Third World countries. Check with your school for a list of community and global partners it works with who can use your time and talents. The mentors you develop will come in handy when it's time to gather recommendation letters—most schools ask for at least three—and the friendships you develop will last a lifetime.
Grades aren't everything, but they're extremely important. Choose a field of study that will yield a competitive GPA (grade point average). The recommended GPA for medical school applicants is 3.7 for MDs (medical doctors), 3.5 for DOs (doctors of osteopathy), and 3.4 for NDs (Doctor of Naturopathic). While many students who are planning careers in medicine decide to major in biology, Dr. Carlson earned her bachelor's in chemistry. Many of her colleagues majored in even more unexpected fields, including engineering, English, music, and classics.
"It 's OK if you 're not on the pre-med track right away when you start college; pursue experiences that genuinely interest you and rely on guidance from your faculty mentors to navigate your path"
There is no such thing as a pre-med major, says pre-health professions advisor Nicole Seigneurie, who works with students preparing for medical careers at Michigan Technological University. "There are so many different programs students can apply to." You will still need to do well in both your cumulative and your science GPA, classes like biology, physics, chemistry, and math, that are required for medical school admission. If you are struggling in any classes, get help right away.
During her fourth year, Joseph had to take many of the medical school prerequisite classes that were not part of her engineering curriculum and build a Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) study plan into her schedule.
Improve your odds by not placing all your hopes on one school. Do individual research on each school, says Seigneurie; application requirements can vary from school to school and from year-to-year.
She also notes that you can reach out to admission committees with specific questions about the program and expectations. And, she says, don't be bummed if at first you don't succeed. Try again. "If you don 't get accepted into the school of your dreams, it 's OK! Schools have many applicants and can 't take everyone," says McKenzie, who was accepted into the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. "My dad, who has been a family physician for 29 years, often tells me, "An MD is an MD, it doesn't matter where you go to school."
"Don't take it personally when you get some rejections—they happen at every stage of the game. If you cast a wide net, you'll increase your likelihood of getting an acceptance."
Other ways to get noticed among the hundreds or even thousands of medical school applications submitted each year: send supplemental materials beyond your application. For example, "if you've published a paper, consider sending a copy of the publication with a handwritten note to the director of admissions, indicating you really hope to be considered for acceptance," she says.
MCAT scores range from 472-528. Accepted medical students average around 508. Recommended study time: 300-350 hours.
Take a course and buy books and study on your own. Find the method that works for you. Take practice questions many times and don't let your practice scores spook you, says McKenzie. "I used the Kaplan book series, and studied by reading, highlighting, and taking notes. The real MCAT was not as hard as the Kaplan test, in my opinion." The pre-health professions advisor can help you find the resources you need.
You can also join a pre-health professions club or association at your school, including Alpha Epsilon Delta, the national honor society for health pre-professionals. Members help each other get ready for tests, along with hosting speakers and events to help gain knowledge and experience.
"I speak Spanish almost every day at work," says Dr. Carlson. "It 's what I use the most from my premed education." Joseph spent a semester in Chile. "Focusing on language, culture, and people challenged me in a me in ways that technical classes couldn't and was critical in my preparation for medical school. If you 're thinking about studying abroad, do it. Communication and understanding different cultures are crucial skills for anyone entering the medical field, and medical schools look for applicants who make the effort to broaden their horizons culturally."
Medical volunteer programs abroad are another option to gain both life and health-care related experiences. Students are placed in hospitals and clinics in both rural and urban settings where staff is inadequate. Work, with professional guidance, can include giving vaccinations and other tasks interacting directly with patients, as well as helping to make facilities cleaner and more accessible. Programs are normally for people aged 18 and older
Show that you're interested in other things besides schoolwork. Dr. Carlson says having outside interests makes you stand out (she plays violin in an orchestra). "It's OK to indicate some of these personal interests on your med school applications—they supply the interviewers something to relate to you with," she says. "I interviewed one applicant who only got a C in biochemistry, but he wrote lots of letters to the admissions committee highlighting his other strengths. We accepted him, and he turned out to be a star."
"Medical schools like to see commitment in their applicants, be it to sports, work, or extracurricular activities," says McKenzie. "It 's easier to not join clubs and just do homework and relax, but devoting time now to extracurricular commitments is worth it in the long run. These experiences also supply you good opportunities to get to know people who can write the letters of recommendation."
Joseph says to choose activities based on what works best for you. Aim for quality rather than quantity.
"There 's a lot of pressure to have as many leadership roles as possible and be involved in tons of student organizations. For me though, having a few deep and lasting experiences was the way to go. I chose to invest my time in research, improving my Spanish, and volunteering," she says.
Research the schools you're interested in and look at mission statements, so you know something about the institution that you can share at the interview. Practice answering interview questions. When you arrive, be courteous to everyone you meet at the interview, including the receptionist.
"Schools are interested in learning what kind of student and person you are," says McKenzie. Schools invest in students and are looking for a good fit.
If you need help with effective body language, knowing how to dress professionally or for other tips, check out your school's Career Services office, which may offer mock interview opportunities and other techniques to help you present your best self.
Avoid generic answers like "I want to help people." There's no one right answer. Be specific. Tell your story.
McKenzie's dream centers on helping people close to home, in an underserved area that suffers from chronic physician shortages. "I have always wanted to return to the Houghton-Hancock area, where I grew up, and to serve my rural community."
For Joseph, the dream centers on combining a passion for science with helping others in a direct way.
Dr. Carlson 's dream started when she was five years old and her sister was born with cystic fibrosis. She reminds applicants to go beyond that initial inspiration during application interviews and explain how you've prepared for a grueling process that is not for everyone. "After medical school comes residency, and then—for some—fellowship, academic track positions, publications, and navigating an ever-evolving health care system," says Dr. Carlson.
Dr. Carlson has two more important suggestions to help you successfully apply to medical school:
"This is an unwritten rule that everyone does and nobody ever told me until I was several years into my training," says Dr. Carlson. "If you want to go to a particular school, find a way to have one of your mentors or advisors reach out to the admissions committee on your behalf."
For example, if you wanted to go to the University of Michigan ask your advisor or another mentor to call the director of admissions or any other person they know and advocate for you. Email can also be effective, she says. "It's a bonus if your mentor/advisor actually has a personal contact at the medical school you're interested in. "There is a culture of 'I can vouch for this person' that goes very far in the medical world. A phone call won't get you in if your application is terrible, but if you're on the cusp of acceptance and someone makes a call on your behalf, it can supply you the push you need to be accepted."
"It's OK to highlight the accomplishments you're proud of; put these in your required personal statement or find a way to work them into conversation during interviews. The key is to do it humbly but confidently: 'I was fortunate enough to win a teaching award from my time as a chemistry lab TA, and that's something I'm really proud of.' It's OK to be proud of your own achievements! Selectively highlighting a few make your application stand out from the rest."
Medical students must be dedicated and focused. "A significant amount of personal sacrifice comes along with the training, and if you don't have a great motivation, you won't find the sacrifice worth the reward," says Dr. Carlson. If you can answer yes to these questions, or you're willing to find the resources to work to develop any of these vital skills you could improve, you increase your chances of being able to accomplish what it takes to be accepted into medical school.
Compassionate people are kind. They are aware of suffering in the self and other living things, and they want to help alleviate suffering. Mature people are able to accept responsibility. They are considerate of others, patient, and supportive of others, among other qualities. Emotionally intelligent people are aware of their emotions. They can harness and apply their emotions to problem-solving and other tasks and manage emotions—like being able to cheer up yourself, or other people, or to infuse calm into a situation.
Hard-working people are conscientious about correctly performing duties and tasks on time. They are willing to put in the hours necessary to achieve goals.
High-achieving people are motivated to set and complete ambitious goals. They have a passion to excel in the field they choose to work in and are not daunted by obstacles.
Socially conscious people strive to stay informed and aware about the world around them, including how people interact with the economy, education, and both physical and social environments.
People with quantitative skills can perform analyses and other concrete and measurable tasks. Two examples of quantitative skills are data interpretation and math. People with qualitative skills are able to perform broad skills. Resilience and creativity are two examples of qualitative skills.
Michigan Tech's placement rate into medical school is 60 to 70 percent (well above the national average) and is nearly 100 percent for physical therapy school. Choose a pre-health profession and prepare for your future today.
“Clinicians do not — and would never be expected to — implement all of the suggested screenings, counseling services, and preventive medications in a single patient visit,” Dr. Mangione wrote in an email. “When caring for patients, clinicians use both their judgment and the information obtained during conversations with each patient to prioritize which preventive services should be offered during each visit.”
Even that is not easy, said Dr. Daniel Jonas, director of the division of general internal medicine at Ohio State University.
Guidelines can serve a purpose, Dr. Jonas said. “I think they’re incredibly helpful,” he added. But, he said, “deciding what to prioritize in a busy primary care practice is a big challenge.”
Dr. Montori added another complication.
“To assume that patients and clinicians can sort and prioritize recommendations over multiple visits,” he said, “wishes away the fundamental problem that many patients cannot get primary care, see the same clinician or have unhurried consultations.”
Dr. Pignone said that some of the burden should be shared with other professionals, like nutritionists, who can talk to patients about healthy diets. But, he said, that is only a partial solution. He’d like to see current recommendations prioritized by their impact on health and on their cost effectiveness. As examples, he said, childhood immunizations would rank high but existing guidelines to supply tetanus boosters to adults who already had tetanus shots would rank lower.
Dr. Guyatt said guidelines should be held to the same standard as new drugs. Before they are implemented, there should be evidence that they are helpful.
“Somebody might say, ‘Oh, a new drug has side effects but what harm is there in this guideline?’” he said. “But yes, there is real harm. There is a trade-off between doing things that are actually useful and spending time on things that are useless.”