medschool

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....

3 Tips for “Average” Pre-Meds to Stand Out in Their Medical School Admissions Essays

The dreaded “diversity question.”   Each year, as students fill out their secondary applications, they’re bombarded with essay prompts about their “diverse qualities,” “unique insights,” or “unusual life experiences.” Schools will usually ask how these qualities, insights, or experiences will contribute to their campus or environment.   Pre-meds are quick to label themselves as average, normal, or even boring. Every example or topic they can muster sounds lame. What was once a crisis of writing is now a crisis of identity, and they start calling their whole application (and life?) into question.   Does this sound like you? Never fear! We have three tips for helping self-proclaimed “average” students find something to say.     TIP #1 – THINK SMALL A student might profile herself and think, “I’m white, middle class, and suburban. I’ve played on the tennis team, volunteered clinically, and written for my school’s academic science journal. How the heck am I supposed to sound diverse?”   The problem here is that she’s thinking too broadly. But if she narrows her scope, let’s say to one summer or maybe even one afternoon, she has a better chance to find an interesting angle for her essay. She could also choose to focus on one small aspect of her “average” activities.   For example, let’s say she petitioned to change the format of her school’s academic journal to increase...

Specialty That is Right For You

Link from The University of Virginia School of Medicine, Material from book “How to Choose a Medical Specialty”, by Anita Taylor Flickr | steven…ng   Decisions…decisions…every medical student has enough on their plate to begin with so the added stress of trying to choose which specialty suits you best is an unnecessary burden. BUT have no fear; there is a fast, easy and effective test to help you make this decision. Click below to check it out!   Specialty Test   Website from University of Virginia School of Medicine.   This material was originally published in the book “How to Choose a Medical Specialty”, by Anita Taylor. Anita graduated from Bryn Mawr College with an B.A. in Sociology and from Wake Forest University with a master’s degree in education and counseling. She is an Associate Professor and serves as the director of Volunteer Faculty Outreach and co-advisor to the Family Medicine Interest Group for the Department of Family Medicine. The author of “How to Choose a Medical Specialty,”, 4th edition, she is the OHSU Director of Career Advising for the medical students. She also has a special interest in physician and medical family life planning as well as faculty development. She and her husband, Robert B. Taylor, M.D. have 2 children and 4...

Ask The Brain: Should I Use This Study Aid?

I am your brain. Yup, that’s me, the three pound chunk of tissue floating inside your skull. I hold all of your darkest thoughts and your deepest secrets (don’t worry, I won’t tell), and I control almost all of your movements. Right now, I’m talking to you through this computer screen. Or, wait, aren’t you technically talking to yourself? Whatever. Right now, I’m making your eyes move so that they look at the letters on the screen, quickly processing each word, and talking to other parts of myself so that everything you’re reading makes sense. Make sense?   I’m pretty complex, and I do a lot for you, so that life seems nice and easy. But, I’m also pretty sensitive — I can only do so much without being taken care of once in awhile! Let’s take finals week, for example. I know, it’s a tough time for you with an exam everyday but, trust me, it’s a tough time for me too. The endless memorization and the sleepless nights take a huge toll on me. And don’t get me started on all the caffeine! Too much of that stuff makes me crazy.   I get it though. You need all those study aids — whether it’s caffeine, music, or even prescription drugs — to get through tough exam weeks. But, too much of anything can be bad. Let me...

8 Life Hacks To Help Busy Students Do It All

It’s hard to get everything done, I know. What with studying, going to class, seeing friends, remembering to shower, eating sometimes, and saving the world from villains, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Wait, we’re not superheroes. No one can do all of that, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try. Here’s some hacks from my own experiences to help you get all that you want out of life.   1. Use an agenda. Seriously, use a really, really big agenda. For the first 20 years of my life, I had no appreciation of what a glorious tool an agenda can be, but now I have seen the light. Having an agenda can be so essential that you just may not know how you were able to function without it. Top it off with a variety of highlighters, and you’ll never forget to do something ever again.   The secret to getting the most out of your agenda is writing everything down. EVERYTHING. Have a regularly scheduled class? Write it down. Want to study specific book sections on a certain day? Write it down. Have a bill due? Write it down. Getting lunch with a friend? Write it down. EVERYTHING. WRITE IT DOWN. Highlight each event with a coded color scheme for easy identification and cross it out with a single line when complete so you can still refer back...

So, You Want To Be A Research Clinician?

  Stay Current To be competitive in the medical research arena, it’s essential to keep up to date with the current research. Read as much as you can about current research that is coming out, not just in your own field of interest, but also in breaking medical and technology news. Use these strategies from The Almost Doctor’s Channel’s guide to Staying Up to Date on Research in Your Field to keep the news and information flowing straight to your newsfeed.   Publish or Perish Start writing now. Write Letters to the Editors of peer-reviewed journals if you read something that piqued your interest. Get involved in student publications or online blogs. You can even send emails to authors whose research you’re interested in, as this information is often published along with their work. Getting your name out there, and having it show up on a Google search, will prove that you are not only dedicated to medicine, but that you’re able to write about it too.   Cultivate Mentors and Collaborators Make connections with everyone around you. Attend Office Hours, meet with your advisors and find out the special interests of not just your professors, but their RAs and TAs too. Connect with your peers. While medical school can, at times, be ultra-competitive, someday you will all be doctors and you never know who might end up in...

Why I Didn’t Do Research

You may or may not be aware from reading my prior writings that for a time, I was considering a career in research. I worked in labs during every summer through college, and even though I didn’t do any research during med school and not a whole lot during residency, I actually ended up doing a research fellowship. Also, I have research in my blood. My father is a physician who gets a chunk of his salary from research grants. My mother didn’t go quite so far as that, but did publish around a hundred peer-reviewed articles during her career. My father especially encouraged me to incorporate research into my career, saying that it was interesting and also provided extra career flexibility. So anyway, I did this fellowship. And it sucked. I mean, it was pretty much The Fellowship Where Everything Went Wrong. I know what you’re thinking, that it’s not possible for a research fellowship to go that badly. Well, what if your research mentor is arrested and goes to jail midway through the year? I’m not saying that happened. But I’m not saying that didn’t happen either. Bad fellowship aside, I did get a taste of what it was like to do research. There were some parts of it I liked very much. For example, I really liked when the article I wrote came out, and I...

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