medschool

Your Guide as a Medical Student Next Summer

It can be tough to decide what you want to do as a medical student next summer. For me, the natural choice has always been research internships, for a few different reasons. First, I like that you get paid to work and that you get to experience what it’s like to be in graduate school. I also genuinely like research and find that the lab is a very fulfilling place to be (even when everything goes wrong). So, I have always done research. But this summer I am contemplating a few different options and the struggle to decide is very real! There are many considerations whenever deciding how to spend your time as a pre-medical or medical student. There are important considerations and not-so-important considerations. It can be challenging to decide what is important, both to you and to your future, and what is not important. This upcoming summer will be my last one while in undergraduate and last one before applying and interviewing (hopefully) for medical school. Here is my thought process for deciding what to do when there are too many wonderful options out there for students to choose! The important decisions are those that revolve around your own satisfaction and happiness. Will you be happy with the day-to-day expectations that your plans involve? Are you doing this for yourself or for someone else? If you received nothing out...

Five Ways To Keep Your Brain Alert In Medical School

Reading a Fast Company article this morning,  I was inspired to consider the ways I can keep my brain alert for the long haul. As a student, I do study most of the time so one could argue that my brain is constantly alert. It’s true that I do have to make a conscientious effort to relax my brain.  But, the suggestions in the article were very helpful. I’ve slightly modified the five daily habits that were recommended to the general public to be more school friendly. With a schedule as busy as ours, the following five suggestions may not be feasible to do on a daily basis. I think weekly is more manageable. Change your diet. I recently made changes to my own diet by drinking more water. If you’re anything like me, spending money and investing in a more expensive product such as the trendy Swell bottle could motivate you to drink more water. Or, adding fruit like berries, or lemon slices, or herbs like mint, help to change the flavor of plain water. Take inventory of what you could benefit from the most. For example, if you order Domino’s 3X a week, perhaps making home cooked meals would be an appropriate swap to incorporate more greens and vegetables to your diet. I have also found that switching the grocery store you shop for food adds some...

Top Five Graduate Degree Careers and Jobs

If you are wondering what you should ‘get a masters in’ by going back to school, you may want to consider one of the 5 fastest growing careers that require a graduate degree. All five choices represent occupations with the most projected growth between 2016-26 as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), where the typical entry-level education is a master’s degree.i Earning a master’s degree is a big commitment. First, you likely want to make sure it’s worth the investment – of time, money and energy. In addition to considering your interest, it could be important to look towards your future career. Why not match your strengths with some solid data about job growth and salary potential? You could explore topics you love while preparing to pursue a potentially dynamic career path in the future. What Are the 5 Fastest Growing Careers That Require a Graduate Degree? The fastest growing careers that require a graduate degree are: (1) Physician Assistant – PA, (2) Nurse Practitioner – NP, (3) Statistician, (4) Mathematician, (5) Genetic Counselor. ii Just what does it mean to be in this category? Fastest Growing Careers That Require a Graduate Degree Courtesy of gradschools.com   Employment Outlook for the Fastest Growing Careers With a Graduate Degree (2016-2026) The number one factor in determining the top 5 fastest growing careers requiring a graduate degree is the employment outlook from 2016-2026. This is a...

What Happens If You Overuse Antibiotics?

I went to med school in a place where Lyme disease was endemic. So when I was on my Medicine rotation and one of my co-students complained about feeling tired and achy for a few days, our attending immediately said to him, “Get tested for Lyme disease.” The student was reluctant. He didn’t have a rash. Our student health plan was crappy with a huge deductible, so he would have had to pay for the test out of pocket. Also, I pointed out (from a personal Lyme scare) that he could get a false negative this early on. “Well, if you don’t want to get the test,” the attending said, “I’ll write you a prescription for doxycycline and you can just treat it.” And then we saw another attending, who totally agreed with this. Even years later, I still find this offensive. The course of treatment for Lyme is 10-21 days of antibiotics. Would you really give someone up to THREE WEEKS of antibiotics because they were tired and achy a few days? I took doxycycline and it made me throw up… not something I’d personally be excited to take for weeks for no reason. And… hello, antibiotic resistance? I’d like to believe that the attendings were just over-treating because it was a colleague and not something they recommend to all their patients. Originally syndicated from Dr. Fizzy’s Blog...

A Day in the Life of a MD-PhD Student

Physician-scientists are medical doctors who contribute significant effort toward scientific research and play an integral role in the advancement of medical knowledge. They provide a unique perspective to the research community through first-hand experience with patients and the problems they face, but they also have the research skills to directly address those problems. Examples include Edward Jenner, a physician who created the smallpox vaccine, and Frederick Banting, who isolated and discovered the therapeutic potential of insulin. Modern physician-scientists continue to carry on the tradition of excellency established by these earlier physician-scientists, though they are becoming a smaller part of the biomedical workforce. Being a MD/PhD student looking to become a physician-scientist is a time-consuming process that requires both medical and research training. Research training can be done at various times such as during fellowship, in a research year during medical school, or by completing a PhD. The latter is frequently offered in a dual-degree program in which research and medical training are integrated over approximately 8 years. This is an ideal route for those people interested in effectively translating basic science findings into the clinic. Over the past 4 years, I’ve often been asked by undergraduates interested in a career as a physician-scientist to describe my daily life as a dual-degree MD/PhD student. Yet, I have not because my days are so variable that I’ve found it difficult to...

Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Future Doctor?

Everyone – from family to neighbors to friends to fellow airplane passengers – impressed when you tell them you’re going to be a doctor. There has always been, and will always be, a certain prestige associated with being a doctor. “You must be really smart,” is the usual reaction to this declaration of my professional pursuit. But, the funny thing, I don’t think I’m smart. In fact, smart is one of the last words I would use to describe myself. I may be a future doctor, which sounds rather smart and noble, but I honestly do not consider myself any smarter than the average person. I am sure there are a handful in the profession that are truly gifted individuals, in general, my classmates are not brilliant. They are just normal people, some with unique hobbies and interests. There is one characteristic among all of us in this profession that is undeniable. And that is grit. We are all hustlers. We stick with it. We not only work hard, but we push our physical limits. We have unwavering self-confidence. We are willing to sacrifice more than most others. Despite the darkness, we know there will be light at the end. We appreciate delayed gratification. It is these traits that make you a doctor. Anyone can develop and practice these traits. Anyone can be a doctor. I was the hardest...

The Perils of Being a Woman Doctor

As a woman doctor it seems like I can’t book an appointment with a doctor anymore without being asked if I’m okay with seeing a man. OK, they didn’t ask me when I booked an eye doctor appointment. But when I recently scheduled an urgent care visit for a stomach bug that was taking a long time to clear up, they asked me. And the OB/GYN office always asks. Personally, my first pap was done by a man, and I really liked him. My second regular ob/gyn was also a man and also great. Yes, I’m a little more uncomfortable being examined down there by a man, but honestly, it’s uncomfortable either way. It depends on the doctor more than it depends on the gender of the doctor. It’s only a recent thing that there are enough female doctors that patients can even get a choice. What bothers is me is that when they specifically ask me, it makes me feel like maybe I *should* request a woman. Why can’t they just mention the doctor’s name and see if I protest? Also, has a man *ever* been asked if he was okay with the gender of his doctor? At work, I have also been put in positions from time to time where I was pressured to see a patient for no other reason than they had “woman problems,” when...

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