medschool

You Won’t Believe the Amount of Pages You’ll Need to Write for Medical School

“I want this to be perfect.”   Every year, we hear pre-med students say this about their medical school personal statements. And we don’t blame them. The personal statement is the largest essay of the primary application, and it certainly carries a lot of weight.   But consider this: did you know that medical schools will read your work and activities section first? Yep. That means three 1325-character most meaningful essays, along with up to 15 activity descriptions (700 characters each), all before they even glance at your personal statement. Let’s do some quick calculations, shall we?     Personal Statement 5300 characters with spaces 500 words 1.5 pages single spaced   Most Meaningful Essays 3975 characters with spaces (1325 x 3) 375 words 1.13 pages single spaced   Activity Descriptions 10500 characters with spaces (700 x 15) 991 words 2.97 pages single spaced   Total Work and Activities 14475 characters with spaces 1364 words 4.1 pages single spaced   Even if you only have, let’s say, eight 700-character descriptions (as opposed to the full 15), the work and activities section is still nearly twice as long as the personal statement.   So, your perfectionism and anxiety surrounding the personal statement can be detrimental if it stifles your progress on other essays. In a way, your personal statement is like the headliner at a music festival. Sure, it’s a...

Medical Shows To Remember #10: The Knick

I have to say – this show is turning into my new TV romance. The Knick depicts a story about the workings of surgeons when surgery was a young art, unexplored and untouched. In a time when factors such as racism, abortion, and various cultural influences were widespread, some physicians like Dr. John Thackeray trudged on fearlessly, experimenting with the human body and forging new frontiers in the field of surgery.     Just as depicted in my last collection of articles on medicine in the realm of big screen cinema, television is likewise marked by a wide variety of showings that bring forth the novelty as well as uniqueness of the medical field. While many of us are familiar with a good majority of these shows, some are not so well known (yet still reflect key aspects of medicine worth pondering).   Over the course of 10 articles, I will be presenting you all with some clips from some of the most famous as well as artistically fascinating shows in television history. Fondly reminisce the ones you have come across (and binge watched several times) while starting to get your summer list together for the new ones (that you now just have to watch)!   10. The Knick     Video: Source Featured Image:...

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...

5 Tips for Your AMCAS Application From Someone Who Went Through It

1. Do it NOW. The AMCAS application opened for submission of June 3rd so the good news is it’s still pretty early. Really start focusing on getting your AMCAS in as soon as possible. Highly qualified applicants have been turned away simply because they waited too long to apply. When I interviewed at a school in October (what I thought was an early interview), there were applicants there who told me that this was their last interview and that they had been at several other schools already. Bottom line is, med school applicants are highly motivated and overly attentive – keep up with them!   2. Be honest. There is more to being a physician than being smart. Honesty, and the traits of integrity and morality that generally accompany it, is something you will need to practice for the rest of your career (and ideally, life). An admissions committee will readily overlook at 40 MCAT score and 3.9 GPA if it appears that you have lied on your application. It will also come back to bite you in the butt if you say you’ve done something but can’t talk about it in an interview. There is no need to lie – you’ve done amazing things!   3. Don’t feel like you need to use all of the space. Just because they give you 15 slots, doesn’t mean you have to fill them...

Medical Shows To Remember #9: Private Practice

If you are a person who hates change, but still want to satisfy yourself for having tried something new, then Private Practice may be for you. A spinoff following Grey’s Anatomy, this show highlights some of the finer aspects of medicine by focusing on connecting with patients and understanding their concerns on a personal basis (while focusing on the drama of relationships and such, of course).     Just as depicted in my last collection of articles on medicine in the realm of big screen cinema, television is likewise marked by a wide variety of showings that bring forth the novelty as well as uniqueness of the medical field. While many of us are familiar with a good majority of these shows, some are not so well known (yet still reflect key aspects of medicine worth pondering).   Over the course of 10 articles, I will be presenting you all with some clips from some of the most famous as well as artistically fascinating shows in television history. Fondly reminisce the ones you have come across (and binge watched several times) while starting to get your summer list together for the new ones (that you now just have to watch)!   9. Private Practice Just as a big medical center presents systemic challenges, a clinic likewise comes with a unique set of obstacles. As shown in this show, the...

How POCUS Can Make You Look Like A Superstar On Your Clinical Rotations!

Did you know that point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) can be performed quickly at your patient’s bedside? Performing a point-of-care ultrasound can provide you with important information you can use to help your patients. When you are on your clinical rotations, here are some cool POCUS tips and tricks that you can utilize to help your patient and your clinical team.   1. Is your patient a tough stick? Is everyone having a hard time getting vascular access? Use POCUS to help guide peripheral IV placement. Watch your needle enter the vessel in real-time using ultrasound guidance. Use ultrasound guidance to avoid puncturing through the back wall of the vessel and “blowing the vein.”   2. Does your patient have an area of redness or warmth that may be concerning for an infection? Perform a soft tissue POCUS to determine if the patient has cellulitis vs. a phlegmon or an abscess that requires drainage. Ultrasound can help you determine if an abscess is present, how deep it extends, and if there are any loculations present.   3. Does your female patient have abdominal pain? Perform a POCUS of her abdomen and pelvis to evaluate for intra-abdominal free fluid or pregnancy. You will know within seconds if your patient is pregnant or not and how you should tailor her management plan.   4. Does your patient have abdominal pain and a history...

Quiz: Are You A Pre-Med at Risk for Severe Burnout?

Are you a boiled frog?   Imagine a pot filled with cold water, with a frog peacefully swimming in it. A fire is lit under the pot and the water becomes lukewarm. The frog finds this rather pleasant and keeps swimming, but then the temperature keeps rising. As the water turns hotter, the frog grows uncomfortable, but it also becomes weak, so it stands the heat as long as it can and does nothing.   You can probably guess what happens to our poor, weakened frog. The temperature will keep rising until the moment when it’s simply cooked to death.   But what if it had been plunged into the pot halfway through boiling? The frog could have recognized the intense heat and given a powerful push with its legs to extract itself.   That’s how burnout works. As a pre-med, you become so entrenched in your many obligations and activities that you lose sight of your own well-being. When things get “warmer than desired” (and you realize the problem), it might be too late to escape.     Pre-meds know all about boiled frogs, and they might have even seen fellow pre-meds boiled alive. But they trust in their own ability to withstand the heat, to keep swimming, to somehow find extra strength in their frog legs. Plus, all around them, they see dozens and dozens of frogs...