Housestaff Wellness

Jennifer R. Bernstein Jennifer R. Bernstein (3 Posts)

Residency Program Manager Guest Writer

The New Inquiry


Jennifer R. Bernstein is a Seattle-based writer and co-founder of The New Inquiry. She has written essays and criticism for LARB, LitHub, Brooklyn Magazine, Racked, Pacific Standard, Catapult, and elsewhere. She is interested in literature, the arts, sex and gender, psychology, and medicine, among other subjects. She can be found on Twitter @jenniferrenu.




Mismatch Repair: My Journey from Pediatrics to Pathology

On St. Patrick’s Day 2014, New York’s coldest in a decade, I was a grass snake banished from the fair isle of pediatrics. In the National Residency Matching Program, just half of one percent of approximately 2,500 pediatrics slots across 194 programs remained unmatched, something like four total positions nationwide.

Handshakes and Shaking Doubt: Reflecting on Being a Woman in Medicine

In the 1950s, my grandmother wanted to be a doctor. She asked her father for her dowry money, wanting to use it instead to get her medical degree to become the first female doctor in her hometown. She married another doctor and practiced from an office below her home, accepting vegetables and dry-cleaning services as pay.

A Primer on Loan Repayment and Finance Options for Residents & Fellows

Career and specialty choice aside, the debt accrued for physicians is very real. Obtaining accessible and accurate advice on what to do with that debt is, at best, disappointing. My goal for this article is to educate, provide adequate resources that can help alleviate stress, set you — the reader and colleague — up to be financially successful, and hopefully make you “money wise” when it comes to your early career.

Battling Burnout and Our Quest for Perfection

Two months ago, I woke up one morning at 5:30 a.m., as usual. I played my gym motivation playlist in the shower, ate oatmeal for breakfast, and headed out the door, as usual. I swore at the car that swerved into the lane in front of me without signaling, as usual. An hour later, I pre-rounded on one of my favorite patients, a man with wide, childlike eyes who had a great deal of difficulty expressing his feelings.

Resident Wellness is a Lie (Part 2 of 3)

My partner Evan’s third year of residency completed his trajectory toward what is commonly called “burnout.” Two out of the 10 residents in his class left the program. In an already understaffed department, the remaining residents picked up the slack, taking extra call and working longer days. The general misery index among his cohort skyrocketed.

February is the Hardest Month

Overwhelmed and exhausted, a resident recently came to me to ask, “Can we do something about call?” Defeat and despair had taken over his psyche. He felt unable to cope with the tasks of residency, including the seemingly never-ending demands of fielding consults, pages and patient needs. He imagined that the problem could be solved by taking less overnight call.

You Are Not Alone

The faint glow that is the light at the end of the tunnel hits my face as I realize that intern year is almost over. One would think that having been through the personal loss I have — losing two beloved older brothers at a young age — that intern year would be more than manageable. Yet this past year has been, for me, a chaotic roller coaster ride.

Christopher Kuo, MD Christopher Kuo, MD (1 Posts)

Resident Physician Contributing Writer

Children's Hospital Los Angeles


Christopher was born in Los Angeles and raised in Taipei, Taiwan. He is currently a second year resident in pediatrics at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. He received his bachelor of science from University of California, San Diego, and his medical degree from Rush Medical College. He plans to pursue a fellowship in hematology-oncology.