lifestyle

Is The Need To Feel Productive Taking Over Your Life?

The fact that someone is interested in medicine tells a lot about them. In most cases, it’s safe to assume that they possess a certain degree of self-drive, passion for the human condition, and an urge to prove themselves. However, with this burning fire comes an insatiable need to make the most use of one’s time and a tendency to feel the guilt when that is not the case. Is the Need To Feel Productive Taking Over Your Life? This sense of self-reflection is exacerbated even further as a medical student, a stage where every second counts towards better understanding the basic medical disciplines (and working towards that great board score of course!). I myself will admit being victim to this notion even right now (compelling me to write this article rather than slacking off for an hour or two). However, there are certain steps that you can take to assuage your concerns and obsessions with the need to feel productive. Another way to look at this is by finding ways to make better use of your free time. Laura Vanderkam delves into this very concept in her TED Talk below. For us future physicians, this presents an especially interesting dilemma. Compared to most professions, medicine is one of the few fields demanding a workweek that can quite easily exceed 60 hours. However, at the same time, the concept of...

How To Get To Your Residency Interviews

This post is all about getting ready for residency interviews. I essentially just began interviewing, so much of the information in my next two posts will be based on advice from countless friends, blogs, and attendings, in addition to my personal experience. I’ll follow these up with a post at the end of interview season to add anything I wish I had known beforehand. The very first step in preparing for interviews is setting up your 4th year schedule. This is based completely on personal preference and the requirements of your specialty. I took Step 2 in late June because about 30% of General Surgery programs require a Step 2 score for an interview. I chose an easy rotation in October, so that I could check my email constantly, and I am taking November and December off for interviews. Like I said, this is personal preference. Air travel stresses me out, so trying to arrange flights around an active rotation would drive me insane. I’d rather just have a rotation in April while the rest of my friends are on a beach somewhere. But the beach might be really important to you, so you’ll figure out how to make it work. As for the items below, you should start this process in September, before you actually get invited to any interviews (or even earlier if you have busy rotations in...

8 Films Every Health Professional Student Should Watch

I don’t know about you, but some films can really leave a mark. Over my journey, I have watched many medically related films but these 8 continue to surface to the top of my memory. Next time you need a pick-me-up, choose one of the following:   Hacksaw Ridge is a 2016 biographical war drama film directed by Mel Gibson. The film focuses on the World War II experiences of Desmond Doss, a combat medic who refused to carry or use a weapon or firearm of any kind. Doss was the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor.   Something the Lord Made is a 2004 biographical drama film directed by Joseph Sargent. This film is about Vivien Thomas, a cardiac pioneer, and his complex partnership with Alfred Blalock, a pioneer of modern cardiac surgery.   Patch Adams is a 1998 comedy-drama film directed by Tom Shadyac. This film is based on the life story of Dr. Hunter “Patch” Adams who built and ran the free community hospital, Gesundheit Institute, in West Virginia.   Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a 2017 film directed by George C. Wolfe. The film is based on the best-selling book by Rebecca Skloot and documents the story of Henrietta Lacks whose cancer cells (HeLa cells) changed the course of cancer treatment forever.   The Heart of Nuba is a 2016...

Pursuing Medical School via a Non-Traditional Route

Do you wish to change your career and become a doctor? Pursuing a medical career after staying out of school for a significant number of years or after working/studying in a different field can be quite arduous. Luckily, you can effectively pursue medical school via a nontraditional route as many people do (myself included). As a non-traditional applicant, you can leverage the skills you earned from your previous career to better inform your pursuit of medicine as a career. Regardless of the reason why you wish to change your career, you need to be thoroughly prepared to impress admissions committees and prove your dedication to your ultimate goal. More importantly, you need to be ready to embrace your status as a non-traditional pre-med student. If you are set on applying to medical school as a non-traditional pre-med student, below are some invaluable tips to guarantee your success. 1. Be fully decided and committed. It’s all or nothing. Being a nontraditional student, you are required to show an unparalleled level of maturity and responsibility. You need to ensure that you are making the right decision. Having specialized in another field, you have certain advantages over your younger peers. You have more diverse life experiences from which to draw, which means you have more compelling reasons as to why you have chosen to change things up and pursue a medical career...

How To Remind Yourself Why You’re In Medical School Studying

In the middle of a semester where the days are filled with endless studying, lab work, real work, homework, club responsibilities, and an attempt at a social life, it is very important to remember why you are doing it all. For me, I anticipated this semester to be one of the most challenging – full of three upper-level science classes and an English class, a TA for organic chemistry, two jobs, two leadership positions in clubs, in addition to a slurry of other unnamed obligations that I am thankful I get to do. I admit, though, that my mindset the entire semester has been to just get through it, while maintaining my GPA, friendships and social life, and my mental health. In the midst of studying late nights for physics exams or waking up early to review biochemistry notes, I became unaware of the wave that is carrying me through the semester. I think this is a popular defense mechanism; it is essentially focusing on surviving instead of thriving. However, as I am carried along the wave characterized by work, school, and sleep, I easily lose sight of why any of it matters. I live in the mindset of “just get it done”. If you’re in this type of semester or phase of life, I urge you to find yourself something that will daily, weekly, or monthly remind you...

Personal and Professional Growth: Writing a Physician Biography

Growing personally and professionally enhances success. It’s significant to develop this way since life is a journey. Some of the means of fulfilling personal and professional growth are; having a positive attitude, setting goals for future attainment and having a great bio that clearly shows your knowledge and personality. Looking at a physician biography (in this case) which is not different from any other bios, requires essential tips to write. Writing a doctor’s bio is necessary for career requirements or need to post it on your blog as a way of “marketing your brand” to viewers. You can also write it for presentation purposes and applications for teaching students. Therefore, it shows your extensive knowledge of medicine and who you are. This biography is a vital document that gives a preview of you to the world. All your experiences, qualifications and personality need to appear. Thus, when new in writing it, you may want to go through samples of physician biography examples available online for references.   Tips for Writing an Impressive Physician Bio Know that it’s wise to know what information to include and what not to when writing it. 1. Give a brief background information There are many doctors out there; therefore, only names don’t tell who exactly you are. Consider indicating where you come from. Also, background information entails giving what inspired you to take the...

How Do You Imagine Your Future Career As A Physician?

I’ve done it, you’ve done it, we’ve all done it. Lying down in bed at night right before you’re about to go to sleep, imagining your life after 15 years when you are an independent, practicing physician. We all know what it’s going to take to get there – working your butt off, passion for the field, etcetera etcetera. However, given the people of science that we are, it might be worthwhile to look at it from a more objective lens. In other words, here’s the question that I want to try to answer – what are the factors that contribute to the decision you make when choosing a specialty? Inside the OR vs. Outside the OR vs. Somewhere in the Middle I would encourage you to reference an earlier article I wrote where I described the process that every first year medical student should consider going through, trying to shadow in as many specialties as possible in order to figure out between medicine and surgery. In my opinion, this is the most important decision that you need to make while you are still in infancy for the long road ahead. If you like being in the OR and nothing else, then you should do something in surgery. If you can live without the OR, but still want to do something procedural, then you should look into something along...