medschool

Issues Medical Students Should Be Aware Of #2: Opioid Epidemic

  If you are a medical student who has gone through clinical rotations, you might likely have had this experience (especially on the surgical floors). If you are just starting medical school, it’s something to look forward to!   With this pleasant perspective in mind, I want to actually talk about some of the key issues that you can (and likely should) be aware of as a prospective or current medical student. Beyond the technical medical knowledge, I want to vouch for the crucial importance of being aware of controversial topics that come up repeatedly and consistently in the medical field. As someone who will be holding the mantle as the future of medicine, medical students should be cognizant of current controversies that are garnering attention, forcing us future physicians to take a stand as the appointed leaders.   Over the course of the next several articles, I will be presenting unique perspectives delivered by experts on intriguing medical issues. And to make it even more interesting, they will be TED Talks! My only advice: Take some time to think hard about these topics. Who knows, you might just end up being a leading authority one day!   2. Opioid Epidemic Claiming nearly 30,000 American lives every year, the opioid epidemic is one of the most critical issues today. As medical students and future physicians, this is a particularly...

The 10 Biggest Myths About Getting into Medical School (Part 2)

In our first installment, we broke down myths #1-5 in an attempt to decode the cryptic and overwhelming medical school admissions process. Now we’re back to complete the top ten and put an end to the rumors once and for all.   Medical School Myth #6 Volunteering is all about the hours – the more you do, the better off you are.   What you might think: That all you need is a few hundred hours of volunteering to get into medical school. That you can do that volunteering over a summer or two. That you’re too busy to volunteer during the school year.   The truth: Volunteering reflects who you are as a person: do you only care about serving others when it’s convenient, or does your commitment to service run so deep that you consistently make time for it over the course of several years? Doctors serve their patients and serve the profession for the rest of their lives. There’s no better way to show your commitment to doing the same than by volunteering consistently over a long period of time.   You want volunteering that goes beyond just watching from the sidelines. You want to be right in the middle of the action, getting down-and-dirty. You want the tasks and challenges that sound gruesome, frustrating, or depressing. Real medicine isn’t about the glamor of being a doctor....

3 Pearls For Medical School

It’s been 13 days since the start of my medical career. I had been dreaming of this time for as long as I can remember, yearning to finally join the ranks of the coveted few in medicine. Excitement and anxiety were the two overriding emotions as I finally began my journey as a first year medical student.     For those premedical students out there who are in the same position that I was in a year ago, in the middle of applications and interviews, this is my way of letting you in on the life of a medical student. I want to share some of the most notable pearls of insight on what it means to be a medical student and why it’s probably going to be the best time of your life.   1. Keep up! Yes, all those analogies that you have heard about medical school are true. It really is like drinking water from a giant firehose or eating an inordinate amount of food everyday for four years without break. However, as you probably know, a great majority of medical students have successfully passed the trials and gone on to become excellent physicians.   So, I am here to tell you that it is doable. But without underscoring the difficulty, it is crucial that you keep up. While you may have passed through undergrad by...

Issues Medical Students Should Be Aware Of #1: Abortion

  Med Student: Henry Burton has von Hippel-Lindau disease and a pheochromocytoma. It’s extremely rare, causing blood pressures to skyrocket and it’s treated with alpha blockers. Cristina: Oh look at that. He reads. Med Student: Sorry, should I… Cristina: Med students are like children at the dinner table, to be seen and not heard. – Grey’s Anatomy Season 7 Episode 12   If you are a medical student who has gone through clinical rotations, you might likely have had this experience (especially on the surgical floors). If you are just starting medical school, it’s something to look forward to!   With this pleasant perspective in mind, I want to actually talk about some of the key medical issues that you should be aware of as a prospective or current medical student. Beyond the technical medical knowledge, I want to express the crucial importance of being aware of controversial topics that come up repeatedly and consistently in the medical field. As someone who will be holding the mantle as the future of medicine, medical students should be cognizant of current controversies that are garnering attention, forcing us future physicians to take a stand as the appointed leaders.   Over the course of the next several articles, I will be presenting unique perspectives delivered by experts on intriguing medical issues. And to make it even more interesting, they will be TED Talks! My...

The 10 Biggest Myths About Getting into Medical School (Part 1)

“I’ve heard that medical schools…” “My friend says that…” “I read online that…”   In our work with pre-meds, we hear all kinds of crazy claims. About 95% of the time we hear one of the above phrases, what follows is false. No, you don’t need 400 hours of shadowing to get into medical school. No, it doesn’t help to finish college in three years. And when you get a rejection letter, you shouldn’t call the medical school and plead to be given a second chance.   The myth-making process is completely understandable. Pre-meds are competitive people, so they pounce on any piece of information–no matter how unreliable the source–to help them gain an edge. Medical schools don’t make this any easier; resources about how to get in are often vague, with little to no tangible details about how medical schools ACTUALLY choose applicants. And given that any idiot with a computer can post his “knowledge” to a message board, well… you get a lot of people who have heard a lot of things.   In the following post, we hope to tackle some of the most insidious rumors in the medical school admissions process and lay out our best representation of the truth, as seen from our perspective of working with hundreds of pre-meds.     Medical School Myth #1 The science GPA IS THE ONLY GPA med...

Orientation Week: Welcome to M1

The first week is usually the calm before the storm in medical school (as well as in dental, nursing, and physician assistant programs). While each school is inherently different and will plan your orientation week differently, there are some things I picked up on during my first week that I wanted to share with The Almost Doctor’s community as generalized advice for starting professional school.     Apartment – If you are going to a school in a new city, orientation week is the best time to get settled. I was really lucky to have a quick and easy move into my new apartment. I only had to move in the weekend prior because my apartment was fully furnished; all I had to do was organize my personal belongings and fill my fridge. A lot of my classmates actually moved in weeks prior to orientation week. I completely underestimated this aspect at first and didn’t realize how comforting it would be to come home after a long day to a clean, organized space.   Networking – As one of the oldest students in my class, I certainly have a different perspective on meeting my classmates. I know it takes me a long time to open up and make new friends; I really love my personal space and need time to be alone. Joining a professional school is different because...

TEDx Medical Talks Worth Watching #6: Race-Based Medicine

Is race a legitimate basis for diagnosis? Race-based medicine is not the proper path to medical treatment. Though a certain race may be more susceptible to particular diseases over others, that does not give doctors the license to take shortcuts in the diagnostic process. Still, as Dorothy Roberts points out in her TEDx Talk, many doctors make race-based observations of their patients.     If you’ve been one of the lucky recipients of my ever-growing list of TED talks, you know that I love them. They present novel ideas in a succinct presentation, delivering them with impact and long-lasting impression.   In contrast to my last few series of talks, I want to now focus on the finer aspects of medicine in context of the larger scope of the field as a whole. In other words, what are some key situations and instances in medicine that warrant an in-depth investigation? Additionally, my recent discovery of many more TEDx talks has provided me with a whole new library to work with.   My eventual hope is for you all to appreciate the value of these ideas and spread them along to others, working towards the goal of making human existence more informed.   6. The Problem With Race-Based Medicine – Dorothy Roberts Roberts draws attention to an uneasy reality, that some doctors “make important decisions about things like pain tolerance...