medschool

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...

The 8 Types of Medical School Professors

Going to medical school soon? Here’s a comic from Dr. Fizzy that will tell you just what type of medical school professors you will encounter, one way or another. They are all unavoidable and annoying, but at least they will help you get your medical degree, right? These are the types of medical school professors you will run across in medical school. The Enthusiast: will do your dissection for you but anatomy is not fun! Maybe he should drop the act… The Drone: he’ll allow you to catch up on sleep during class, but you’ll start to miss Powerpoint, even if he reads off it. The Party Animal: you will finally learn the effects of beer on kidney sections, but he will encourage you to drink beer under the table. Talk about peer pressure and second-hand drinking! The Comedian: she’s occasionally funny, but may cry if a pity laugh isn’t given. Might be insecure. The Sexist: great if you’re a female, but you may not be a female. Great if you’re a man, but may not be if you’re a woman. The Dummy: he’s easy at writing exams, but his board exam will be written by someone with actual medical knowledge. The Omniscient: kind of cool how he knows so much; however, the glass will shatter once you see the final exam. The Unmemorable: not memorably horrible and will make up most 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...

What to Do Over the Long Thanksgiving Weekend

The Thanksgiving break is in the air and there’s so much that you’re thankful for, like, perhaps, the break from a stressful semester? Being a medical student is not easy, you’re either constantly working or studying; there are simply no breaks. That means when Thanksgiving comes around, you’re in desperate need to lounging out, stuffing yourself like the turkey on your plate and simply having a good time with the family. Sounds easy? For most students, it’s really not. You’re so accustomed to constantly being busy that staying free simply doesn’t feel right. Thankful for Thanksgiving “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. But all play and no work makes him something worse”- Samuel Smiles The key is to balance it out but don’t worry, the struggle may be real but it’s not the end of the world. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your long weekend: 1.    Take a break Of course your friends are family are excited to have a doctor in the house but you need to give yourself priority first. That means avoid anything medical related, give your mind a break and just lounge out. Don’t: Psychoanalyze Prescribe drugs Diagnose health problems Instead you should read a novel or two, watch movies and put a halt to your medical knowledge for just a short while because you...

Top Three Worst Diseases in the Fall Time and My Experiences with Each

The Fall is a time for pumpkin picking, apple picking, leaf picking, but most importantly; illness.  Here are the three worst diseases I have come encounter with this Fall. Pneumonia Recently my roommate contracted Pneumonia and was hospitalized for 4 days and returned back to New Jersey for a week.  Now for all you doctors and residency students you are probably thinking “yea of course pneumonia sucks,” but it is a completely different thing to have it in a dorm room.  Confined space is where disease thrives, and me walking back into a room smelling of puke, gastric acid and lysol was quite possibly the worst sick cocktail smell of all time.  He stared me in the face said “I have a fever of 103.8, I think something’s wrong.”  Luckily I grew up in a medical household and have contracted every disease you can think of, strep, mono, scarlet fever.  So I knew that he wasn’t doing to great.  After three hours in the ER they finally said I could leave him and I returned back to the dorm.  For the next three days I couldn’t bring myself to enter into the room with the smells and finally got some of the girls down the hall to do a cleansing.  My roommate returned healthy after a little more than a week, and the room now smells of sweet Lysol....

Can We Smell Diseases: An Interesting Correlation Between Illness and Odor

You probably didn’t know this, but research shows that human beings can smell diseases. Most research conducted regarding smells usually involve mice and rats. Consequently, the sense of smell in human beings has been the last in the scorecard of senses. However, a recent study in the area disproves of the belief of the 19th-century scientists that the sense of smell is weaker than any other senses. A study published by Swedish Researchers from Karolinska Institute, Sweden, suggests that one can smell when another person is ill. Scientists who study volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have long established that each has a distinct odor. In that, we have an “odorprint” that is unique as one’s fingerprint. Your smell escapes from the skin, urine, breathe, and blood. Your body smell emanates from compounds that depend on your diet, age, sex, metabolism and most importantly, your health. As you consider an Australian medical residency, go through this article to gain more insight on the sense of smell in humans. Does Infection modify one’s body odor? One’s body odor is a complex combination of variable compounds. Microbes in our bodies play a role in how we smell. When pathogens invade our bodies, they change the level and type of these bacteria which leads to adjustment of one’s body odor. Once your immune system is activated to respond to the pathogens, it changes the...

A Review Of Study Resources For The Big USMLE Step 1

A day rarely passes by without coming across yet another resource that is widely renowned for helping medical students do well on the USMLE Step 1. As soon as I get a chance, I jump onto one of those forums (SDN, usmleforum, etc.) to find out what people think. More often than not, I am left more indecisive than before, confused about who I should trust and whether it will be worth my time adopting a brand new resource to improve my chances for a good score on Step 1. However, looking forward to taking the exam in nearly six months from now, I have compiled a list of resources and would like to share what I think about them in as objective a manner as possible. So strap yourselves in for the ride!  First Aid I’m not going to beat the dead horse with this one. First Aid is a must for you to do well on the exam. It is a comprehensive resource that compiles all content from the first two years of medical school in one book. On the downside, it consists of lists and outlines rather than explanations. While there are mnemonics to help you remember the details, sometimes you may need mnemonics to remember the endless list of mnemonics. Kaplan In my opinion, Kaplan is a great resource for students who would like to...

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