lifestyle

The 7 Stages of Not-Getting-Into-Medical-School Grief

1. Denial & Isolation First, you feel devastated in such a deep and perfect way it’s almost like feeling nothing at all. http://www.reactiongifs.com/r/dead.gif   2. Pain & Guilt You slowly empty out and then begin to fill with shame at (what you perceive to be) your biggest failure. Over the next few weeks you go over every minute detail of the past few months: what you said in your interviews, the views you expressed in your applications, how long it took you to send thank-you emails to necessary persons. You try to figure out what went wrong.   3. Anger Just pure, unadulterated anger. http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m6anmhM5z01r8gnxa.gif   4. “Depression” & Reflection Why is this happening?! You did everything right. You had research experience, you shadowed five doctors, you got a 42 on your MCAT! Just who exactly do these admissions committee people think they are!   5. The Upward Turn Gradually, almost imperceptibly at first, your anger will cool to acceptance. http://www.reactiongifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/give-up.gif   6. Reconstruction & Working Through You’ll realize maybe there are a few things you can improve, maybe you weren’t quite as ready as you thought, maybe those committee people do know what they’re doing.   7. Acceptance & Hope Most importantly, you realize that you are an amazing individual who is proud of your accomplishments even though you didn’t get accepted this time around. You are strong and...

Harvard Says: Train Residents and Medical Students Like Navy SEALS

Not too long ago, Harvard Medical School held a symposium on learning. The topic of the meeting was “Resiliency and Learning: Implications for Teaching Medical Students and Residents.” Chronic stress, as experienced by physicians, affects the endocrine and other systems causing immune suppression and metabolic disorders leading to depression, cognitive dysfunction and a lot of other bad things. Similar stress follows in the wake of natural disasters, war and severe abuse—again, pertinent to the practice of medicine. The researchers found that these problems can be avoided or reversed by training as that undergone by so-called “stress-hardy groups” like the Navy SEALS. The qualities that help make Navy SEALS resilient are “a social support network, optimism (including faith in a higher cause or power), perseverance (work ethic), responsibility and integrity…” Medical students and physicians can be taught to be resilient resulting in decreased rates of depression and burnout. Makes sense to me. Let’s train doctors in the manner of Navy SEALS. But wait. Not mentioned in the Harvard Medical School Focus article is an important feature of the Navy SEAL culture—Navy SEALS do not work 16 hours per day or 80 hours per week. A major part of their training is centered on performing at a high level even when sleep-deprived. Navy SEAL Hell Week is described as follows: “In this grueling five-and-a-half day stretch, each candidate sleeps only four...

Long-Distance Relationships Mean Always Getting to Say Hello

Starting medical school is difficult. On a physical and biological level, the sleep deprivation and hours of studying and stress can leave you fatigued, and sometimes even physically ill. For some, leaving home means more than leaving the house in which you grew up, the college you attended, the family and friends who have supported you and given you the confidence to understand that through all the applications and interviews, everything would be alright. For a lucky few, that support also comes in the support of a significant other: That significant other who was able to make you feel that you were the number one applicant for the best medical school in the country, who consoled you after you accidentally said the wrong medical school’s name during your interview, and who hugged you when, despite all odds, you ended up with your white coat. But what happens when you have to say goodbye to that significant other and dive into the books?  We’ve said goodbye in driveways, bus stations, and airports, in parking lots and on street corners. Long distance relationships mean always having to say goodbye. I remember the end of the first visit: I watched her walk down the sidewalk as the bus pulled out of the station, yanking me from her receding figure. As the countdown to our next reunion was reset to a dauntingly high...

Med Student Gets Drafted to the NFL

It is not uncommon for undergraduate students to participate in extra-curricular activities, including athletics. Many college athletes sacrifice social relationships, sleep and perhaps other obligations to pursue their passion for sports while keeping up with their school work. But imagine doing this all in medical school. For two years, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif has played offensive lineman for McGill University while also being a medical student! Being that the school is located in Canada, their educational model is a bit different than that of the United States — instead of having to complete 4 years pursuing a bachelor’s of arts or science and then going on to medical school, students are able to matriculate in McGill’s undergraduate medicine programs where they can graduate with an M.D.,C.M.: Doctor of Medicine and Master of Surgery in as little as 4 years. Duvernay-Tardif juggled his medical studies with his football schedule for the first 2 years of medical school. Between morning lifts and afternoon tackle-drills, he tackled biochemistry and constructed mnemonics, just like the rest of his classmates. For 2 years, he seemed to manage – saying that he worked with his coaches and that he always put medical school first. On the day of the 3rd round draft pick, Duvernay-Tardif had every intention of watching, understandably so, for there was a reasonable chance he would be picked. And his name was called – by a neonatal intensive care at McGill’s medical...

4 Great Podcasts That’ll Make You Laugh, Cry, and Maybe Think

4. JAMA Audio Commentary Catherine DeAngelis, Editor-in-Chief of JAMA, summarizes and comments on each issue of the journal. So you get the latest medical news straight from the source delivered right to your tympanic membrane … and your brain, of course.   3. NPR’s all songs considered  For the music lovers out there, all songs considered brings you the freshest new music in a wide range of genres that may indirectly lead to a pissed off roommate.   2. The Johns Hopkins Medicine News Roundup Another awesome source of medical news, this podcast covers the latest medical headlines of the week. It’s perfect for up-to-date, well informed medical professionals like yourselves.   1. Radiolab This is one of my all-time favorites. Hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich craft a show that weaves personal narrative and some fascinating ideas in science for  incredible hour-long podcasts. So take a good long sip of the sweet nectar of knowledge.   Featured image taken from Flickr |...

How to Distinguish Yourself When Applying for Gap Year Jobs

There is a lot of pressure to get a job after graduating college, and it’s especially tough when you are trying to find one for only a year between graduating and beginning medical school. If you’re a recent grad and scrambling to land a job or you’ve been accepted for a position that you don’t think will be worth your while, check out this unique way of developing your resume and it might just be your ticket to the perfect, dream job! The website Sumry allows you to “tell your story” in a non-traditional way and “showcase your personality as well as your goals”. Share your Sumry resume with us!     Featured image...

The 9 Things I Learned During Intern Year

1. The first two times your pager goes off are exciting! …every time after that is progressively more gut-wrenching.   2. Whoever your co-intern is will be your new BFF …or your most hated enemy.   3. There is an inverse relationship between amount of crap in your pocket and level of training   4. When you give a presentation, everyone in the room will know more about the topic than you do.   5. You will never escape the hospital…even in sleep.    6. Free food is the greatest joy in life!   7. White coats stay white for ~5 minutes.   8. There is no such thing as privacy…even in the bathroom..even with the door closed.   9. When in doubt, tylenol or stool-softeners will usually buy you some breathing room.   See the original cartoon and more by Dr. Fizzy.  ...