medschool

The Medical Professional’s New Year’s Resolutions

For as long as I can remember, my new year’s resolution was to get straight A’s. Now that I am in dental school, I recognize that I want to aspire to do more than just get good grades. These days, I am perfectly content with passing and getting my degree. And I’m excited to make conscious goals for myself that focus on my life outside of academics. I narrowed it down to 5 things that I personally need to work on to have a more well-rounded, balanced lifestyle as a dental student and future medical professional. Drink more water. I recently got my blood drawn for routine bloodwork. Because I did not drink any water after waking up that morning, the nurse could not collect any blood from my veins and she tried 3 times. After being unnecessarily stuck with a needle more times than one, I finally recognized that I must drink more water. If I can get myself to finish a bottle of water on my commute to and from school everyday, I would consider that a drastic improvement. Exercise. I’m pretty sure exercise or “lose weight” is a common new year’s resolution. Even though everyone knows that routine cardio is beneficial, it’s funny how that is the first thing we eliminate from our daily routine as we start to get busy and increasingly stressed out. Exercise...

Five Medical Student New Year’s Resolutions

Now that 2017 is almost at its end, and the new year is waiting for us, it is the time to sit and reflect on what we have done the past year and what we want to do differently the coming year. For most of us, new year’s resolutions are all about losing weight, adopting more healthy eating habits and exercising, the case for medical students is different. Medical students lead a unique life and thus their new year’s resolutions ought to be different from others too. If you haven’t yet decided about what your new year’s resolutions are going to be for the coming year, here are some the medical student New Year’s resolutions. 1.    Make a Sleep Schedule One thing that tends to get affected the most when you are in the medical school is your sleep cycle. Early morning lectures and late night study sessions lead to irregular sleeping hours. The cycle leaves you tired and you are unable to concentrate, which is the basic thing you need to do when in medical school. As your new year’s resolution for 2018, you should try to sleep well, and most importantly at normal hours. Your mind and body needs rest. Thus, make a resolution that you will make a sleep schedule and try to stick by it. 2.    Preview the Materials before Class We all have made...

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...

The Power of Maintaining Relationships in Medical School

I recently got a talking to from my best friend because I had not talked to her in 6 months. The unfortunate truth of being a student is that you rarely have free nights and weekends. Maintaining relationships (friendship, romantic, or family) can be challenging when school work transcends all boundaries of your life. I always feel like I have something to study and don’t quite have real Saturday’s. Sleeping in, for example, is a luxury. In the case of my friend, she was a student when were in college 6 years ago. I forgot that she forgot what being a student is like. One of the key skills you must master as a student is time management. And that skill should apply to all aspects your life, especially your personal life. The weeks I do not have much time to catch up with my home friends or family are terrible for me. Your relationships outside of school work are critical to keep you sane and happy. They act as a buffer from the daily stress. Being able to talk about your day is such a huge relief, especially with someone who isn’t in the trenches with you. Venting to a classmate helps, but I rarely get as much out of the conversation as I do when talking to someone completely removed from the situation. My relationships also give...

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...

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...

How To Handle Long-Distance Relationships in Medical School

This month alone, I heard about five classmates who recently broke up with their significant other due to distance. Relationships, in general, are hard let alone maintaining a special bond with someone miles away. FaceTime just can’t replace being with the one you love in real life. And each subsequent year of school comes with its own stressors which in turn weighs heavily on the relationship, especially with someone who is not a student. But, despite the challenges, long distance relationships can absolutely last in school. I’ve frequently heard others say that long distance relationships never work. I think this generalization is far too extreme. A relationship, after all, is between two people. And if those two people are both willing to commit and to sacrifice, then the relationship is bound to last. For those who prefer to focus on the positive aspects of a long-distance relationship, it can a reliable source of stress relief and a much needed escape from the monotony of studying and test-taking. Knowing you can pick up the phone at the end of the day to hear a loving, supportive voice helps to make harsh faculty feedback less hurtful, to make a bad grade less important, to make endless studying more manageable. Spending most of your 20’s as a financially dependent student can be defeating. Being in a relationship can give you a strong...