5 Tips for Your AMCAS Application From Someone Who Went Through It

1. Do it NOW. The AMCAS application opened for submission of June 3rd so the good news is it’s still pretty early. Really start focusing on getting your AMCAS in as soon as possible. Highly qualified applicants have been turned away simply because they waited too long to apply. When I interviewed at a school in October (what I thought was an early interview), there were applicants there who told me that this was their last interview and that they had been at several other schools already. Bottom line is, med school applicants are highly motivated and overly attentive – keep up with them!   2. Be honest. There is more to being a physician than being smart. Honesty, and the traits of integrity and morality that generally accompany it, is something you will need to practice for the rest of your career (and ideally, life). An admissions committee will readily overlook at 40 MCAT score and 3.9 GPA if it appears that you have lied on your application. It will also come back to bite you in the butt if you say you’ve done something but can’t talk about it in an interview. There is no need to lie – you’ve done amazing things!   3. Don’t feel like you need to use all of the space. Just because they give you 15 slots, doesn’t mean you have to fill them...

Medical Shows To Remember #9: Private Practice

If you are a person who hates change, but still want to satisfy yourself for having tried something new, then Private Practice may be for you. A spinoff following Grey’s Anatomy, this show highlights some of the finer aspects of medicine by focusing on connecting with patients and understanding their concerns on a personal basis (while focusing on the drama of relationships and such, of course).     Just as depicted in my last collection of articles on medicine in the realm of big screen cinema, television is likewise marked by a wide variety of showings that bring forth the novelty as well as uniqueness of the medical field. While many of us are familiar with a good majority of these shows, some are not so well known (yet still reflect key aspects of medicine worth pondering).   Over the course of 10 articles, I will be presenting you all with some clips from some of the most famous as well as artistically fascinating shows in television history. Fondly reminisce the ones you have come across (and binge watched several times) while starting to get your summer list together for the new ones (that you now just have to watch)!   9. Private Practice Just as a big medical center presents systemic challenges, a clinic likewise comes with a unique set of obstacles. As shown in this show, the...

How POCUS Can Make You Look Like A Superstar On Your Clinical Rotations!

Did you know that point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) can be performed quickly at your patient’s bedside? Performing a point-of-care ultrasound can provide you with important information you can use to help your patients. When you are on your clinical rotations, here are some cool POCUS tips and tricks that you can utilize to help your patient and your clinical team.   1. Is your patient a tough stick? Is everyone having a hard time getting vascular access? Use POCUS to help guide peripheral IV placement. Watch your needle enter the vessel in real-time using ultrasound guidance. Use ultrasound guidance to avoid puncturing through the back wall of the vessel and “blowing the vein.”   2. Does your patient have an area of redness or warmth that may be concerning for an infection? Perform a soft tissue POCUS to determine if the patient has cellulitis vs. a phlegmon or an abscess that requires drainage. Ultrasound can help you determine if an abscess is present, how deep it extends, and if there are any loculations present.   3. Does your female patient have abdominal pain? Perform a POCUS of her abdomen and pelvis to evaluate for intra-abdominal free fluid or pregnancy. You will know within seconds if your patient is pregnant or not and how you should tailor her management plan.   4. Does your patient have abdominal pain and a history...

Quiz: Are You A Pre-Med at Risk for Severe Burnout?

Are you a boiled frog?   Imagine a pot filled with cold water, with a frog peacefully swimming in it. A fire is lit under the pot and the water becomes lukewarm. The frog finds this rather pleasant and keeps swimming, but then the temperature keeps rising. As the water turns hotter, the frog grows uncomfortable, but it also becomes weak, so it stands the heat as long as it can and does nothing.   You can probably guess what happens to our poor, weakened frog. The temperature will keep rising until the moment when it’s simply cooked to death.   But what if it had been plunged into the pot halfway through boiling? The frog could have recognized the intense heat and given a powerful push with its legs to extract itself.   That’s how burnout works. As a pre-med, you become so entrenched in your many obligations and activities that you lose sight of your own well-being. When things get “warmer than desired” (and you realize the problem), it might be too late to escape.     Pre-meds know all about boiled frogs, and they might have even seen fellow pre-meds boiled alive. But they trust in their own ability to withstand the heat, to keep swimming, to somehow find extra strength in their frog legs. Plus, all around them, they see dozens and dozens of frogs...

History Of Healthcare In America #10: The Last Century

Since this is the last article in the series, here’s a quite interesting video depicting the history of American healthcare in the forms of political cartoons. As shown, the growing importance of this topic in the first few decades of the 20th century gave rise to a host of complexities, interactions, inconsistencies, and issues. Given our history, what can we look forward to for the future? Will we be able to strike the right balance between affordable costs and effective care?     Healthcare is one of the hottest topics in discussion today. But how exactly did the American healthcare system come to be? What were some of the dynamic modifications and transformations it went through in order to embody its present form?   Rather than looking at it from a purely chronological and historical perspective, let’s analyze the progression of healthcare from a political viewpoint. The politics and policymaking around this topic has been marked by constant debate and controversy. Our presidents have been some of the most vocal advocates on this matter, shaping the course of healthcare over the past several decades.   Thus, in the course of the next several articles, we will be looking at short clips from presidents, both recent and past (yet undoubtedly notable). My hope is to gain a better understanding of the past, present, and hopefully the future of healthcare. Who...

How to Avoid Sounding Naive in Your Personal Statement

Consider the following introduction to a personal statement: “It’s time to get back on the horse,” Rosie said, referencing her earlier days as champion rider. “I’ve handled bigger hurdles than this.” Rosie winced in pain as she gripped her walker, but her grimace quickly turned into a smile. She glanced down at her knees, and then lifted her head to look around the office. She beamed at me and the nurse, but she reserved the most heartfelt look for Dr. Jones.   Rosie had just taken her first steps in two years. Not only had Dr. Jones successfully replaced her knee, but he had also directed the therapy that gave her the strength to once again move on her own. “Thank you so much,” she said, hugging him. “You’ve given me a second chance.” Months later, Dr. Jones showed me a holiday card from Rosie, posing with her prize horse. Rosie represents the rewards and joy of medicine. To me, nothing would be more fulfilling than to help people on a daily basis, alleviate their pain, and get them “back in the saddle.”            What’s wrong with the excerpt above? There’s plenty to like about it: the use of a personal anecdote, the decent writing, and even the detail. But it makes a classic mistake that you should avoid if you can: the “why medicine” is naive. It only...

Medical Shows To Remember #8: Miami Medical

Imagine working as a trauma surgery resident in a hospital that takes care of the most severe patients involved in horrific injuries. The short-lived series of Miami Medical highlighted some of the most terrific and gruesome aspects of medicine with a focus on the intense life and work of trauma surgeons. If you still want to go into trauma surgery after this show, good luck.   Despite of the many safety measures in place in today’s modern society, traumatic incidents still occur. Trauma surgeons are our guardians between life and death, implementing all the necessary resources with limited information in order to bring the patient back from the jaws of death.     Just as depicted in my last collection of articles on medicine in the realm of big screen cinema, television is likewise marked by a wide variety of showings that bring forth the novelty as well as uniqueness of the medical field. While many of us are familiar with a good majority of these shows, some are not so well known (yet still reflect key aspects of medicine worth pondering).   Over the course of 10 articles, I will be presenting you all with some clips from some of the most famous as well as artistically fascinating shows in television history. Fondly reminisce the ones you have come across (and binge watched several times) while starting to...

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