Rounds to Residency

What Harvard Students Get Wrong Burnout and Legal with Amy Fogelman MD

Chase DiMarco talks to Dr. Amy Fogelman, MD. Dr. Amy is a board-certified Internal Medicine Specialist based in Massachusetts. She was a primary care doctor for 18 years before she expanded her career in the medical-legal field given her experience as an internist after seeking a career coach and realizing that she was giving her husband free medical-legal advice. She is passionate about internal medicine and medical education. After close to two decades as a primary care physician in the Boston area, Amy founded MED LAW Consulting in 2018. She pairs expert witnesses to attorneys in legal matters. She also provides training for newbie medical experts who are interested in starting this side gig.

  • [01:06] Burnout in Internal Medicine
  • [03:17] Dr. Amy’s Background and How She Expanded Her Medical Career
  • [06:00] Expanding your Career Beyond Clinical Practice
  • [10:29] Dr. Amy and Her Experience with Harvard Medical Students
  • [14:37] How Medical Students Can Impress Their Preceptor
  • [18:18] Dr. Amy on UpToDate as a Secondary Source in Internal Medicine
  • [20:39] Learning to Love Internal Medicine
  • [22:38] Delay or Failure to Diagnose as a Medical Expert
  • [25:37] The Responsibility in Working as a Team
  • [29:34] Which Fields are More Likely to be Sued?
  • [30:40] Differences of Being an MD and a Mid-Level Practitioner
  • [33:45] Dr. Amy’s Words of Wisdom on the Medical-Legal Field
  • [35:30] Where to find Dr. Amy Fogelman MD
  • [35:58] Rewards and Options in Being a Physician

The biggest challenge facing medical students and residents in Internal Medicine is burnout— with causes that range from increased administrative burden, less time with patients; all while also being aggravated by the pandemic.

During the early stages of her medical career, Dr. Amy thought that options for her future residency would be limited to the rounds she made as a med student. This resulted in choosing and only focusing on Internal Medicine as her area of expertise, eventually leading to burnout. Dr. Amy later discovered the plethora of options with her medical degree as an internist and decided to expand her medical career into the medical-legal field.

How can medical students impress their preceptors under Internal Medicine?

It is vital for med students to know the lab results before the preceptor does. Med students should show a high level of interest and excitement in formulating their theories as the feedback they receive is part of their learning process towards being a proper physician.

When receiving a question, Internists appreciate it when med students have the initiative to research about their question, present their findings and provide reliable primary sources.

Malpractice and Misdiagnosis as Potential Medical-Legal issues in the Medical Field

Depending on state laws, the blame in malpractice or misdiagnosis can be shifted from the physician or surgeon involved instead of the hospital, which can potentially jeopardize their careers. Medical fields that are more likely to face the threat of being sued are neurosurgery, vascular surgery, and OB-GYN.

Differences of Being an MD and a Mid-Level Practitioner

In the legal sense, the definition of “standard of care” differs between MDs and mid-level practitioners. For example, an Internist will only be able to provide a standard of care opinion as an Internist and will not be able to provide a standard of care opinion as a cardiologist. It is about giving patients the benefit of an opinion based on the individual training of an MD or mid-level practitioner.


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Chase DiMarco

Chase DiMarco is an MS, MBA-HA and MD/Ph.D-candidate. He is the founder of MedEd University, a free medical education resource, the host of the Medical Mnemonist & Rounds to Residency podcasts creator of several medical education platforms, and CEO of FindARotation clinical rotations service.

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