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Opinion: Making medical school training more realistic will improve safety in teaching hospitals

New interns should feel prepared for their work in the hospital. So why don't they?
Source: FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images

New interns — doctors who have completed four years of medical school — often don’t order the right treatments for common medical problems. New interns specializing in emergency medicine often aren’t able to place an intravenous line, let alone manage a cardiac arrest on their own. During their first weeks on the job, or sometimes months, interns need another doctor to monitor every single order for lab testing, imaging, and medications.

Yet that’s what I see as the senior emergency medicine resident supervising new interns at two Harvard-affiliated hospitals, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. Interns are especially prone

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