medschool

What’s The Best Part About Being A Medical Student?

How would you define a “medical student”? In the simplest sense, a medical student is an individual (or creature, depending on which attending you’re talking to) who knows just enough to realize what’s going on yet not enough to be entrusted with any real responsibility. While this may seem demeaning to some, I myself find it to be absolutely fascinating. For instance, imagine being in the operating room as a medical student. You know what procedure is going on, why it’s being done, and maybe even what could go wrong (depending on whether you quickly googled the procedure during morning rounds). However, you are essentially free from concerns of making sure that the procedure goes exactly as planned and can instead appreciate the art of it all. You are there to learn and pretty much nothing else. What more could you want! The residents and attendings are there to make sure that the patient pulls through while you are there all scrubbed in to hold the retractor and watch the magic unfold. I recall being in a laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery where I was entrusted with the responsibility of holding the camera and following the surgeons as they did the resecting and suturing. It was at that moment I realized what a cool job this could be. The flexibility and opportunity to figure out what specialty you want to...

The Best Way To Write A Brilliant Medical Statement of Purpose

Writing a statement of purpose is a challenge for many students, but it should not be approached in a stressful manner. Once you have your structure down, you can start working. Achieving high scores is important for students, but the admissions committee also wants to know about why you decided to choose this career. There is more to a person than just test results. This is an opportunity to share a bit about yourself and your interest in the medical field. Here are some of the best tips when you are writing your statement of purpose. Engage your audience This is important because you want to grab the attention of the reader early on in your statement. Let’s say, you are trying to figure out, how to apply for soap residency. You know the course is about completing patient charts and this is vital, because it allows the next healthcare provider to continue. Make it known that you understand the importance and that your soap residency is of great importance to you. Be as human and real as you can be when starting your statement of purpose and allow the reader to connect with you. Best qualities Highlight your best qualities without sounding arrogant. Of course, you should be proud of all your achievements, but it is very important that you do it in a way that shows confidence,...

This is How to Organize Your Medical Studying Successfully

No one ever said that it was a breeze getting through their medical studies and understandably so. It takes a lot of hard work and focus to get through any part of it. To be honest, I do not want medical studying to be easy, because it has to do with life and death. I take my hat off to the doctors, specialists, surgeons and nurses helping the world. Without them, we would be back to thousands of years ago and not have the development we are seeing in the medical field. We forget that there is so much that builds up to students being accepted into these fields of studies and before they can start studying; there is a process that takes place. Students decide early that they would like to go into the medical field and choose their subjects accordingly. Then there is the application process. When you have to write that personal statement nurse practitioner essay, it can feel like the challenge already starts. Do not fear though, as we have the tips to help you stay organized in your medical studies and rise to the top. Apply early Let’s assume you are still trying to get into a medical field and have to apply. Speak to students who have already been accepted and get some advice as soon as you decide that this is what you...

This Is How To Take Time Off During Medical School

Here is a list of a few experiences I’m happy that I did to take time off during medical school my first two years.  Recently I was up late clicking through my old Facebook pictures reliving some of the more fun moments of the past few years. As I was doing this I realized that I have done SO MANY amazing and wonderful things since starting medical school. At the beginning of M1 year, everyone tells you (jokingly or not, I can never tell) to kiss your social life (or any kind of life outside of books and medicine) goodbye. I have not found this to be necessary AT ALL and I want to encourage you all to reject this mindset. While it’s true there were times I spent 14 hour days in the library or when I was so stressed about an upcoming lab practical that I couldn’t bear to do anything besides study, there were also many times when I put other things in my life first. I think this has helped me to be more balanced and allowed me to build up a reserve of emotional strength to draw from when it comes to the tough parts of medical school. By having things outside of medical school to plan and look forward to, I don’t let studying completely define who I am as a person, which...

The Reasons Why Sleep Matters

My personal experience has taught me that consistently getting decent sleep is THE most important factor in my overall well-being—more than relationships, exercise, diet, money, or anything else. Let me list the reasons why sleep matters. Obviously I don’t currently, and likely never will (except maybe during research sabbatical), get 8 hours of sleep 7 days per week. But I always get as much sleep as possible. This means that sleep almost always comes before my husband, family, friends, studying, drinking, TV, and whatever else keeps me away from my bed.  (Of course there are exceptions.) A mentor once told me, “Whenever you say ‘yes’ to something, you’re saying ‘no’ to something else.” Sometimes saying ‘yes’ to sleep means my life appears pretty boring from the outside. For example, when I was a 4th year med student on my surgery sub-internship, I woke up at 4:00am every day and usually didn’t get home until 7pm or later. When I got home, I ate dinner while I talked to my husband, showered, and then got in bed around 8:00pm. This was also in July, so I was actually in bed before the sun set every night. This sounds like a really pathetic existence, but I swear I was happy. Giving up some time with my husband after work in favor of getting enough sleep was worth it because I wasn’t...

Tips For Mastering Anatomy From Both Sides of The Classroom

The human body is beautifully intricate. A rite of passage for medical students, mastering anatomy lab provides an opportunity to explore and appreciate how nerves, muscles, epithelium, and connective tissue come together to form a living being. However, the sheer volume of testable information makes anatomy one of the hardest classes in the first year of medical school. I have had the pleasure to experience anatomy from the perspective both of a medical student and of a teaching assistant for undergrads. I started by tackling the mountain of information alongside my undergrad students as they studied the bones and their markings, muscles (their origins, insertions, actions, and innervations), and nerves. Then I began my own class and from the initial cut to the final dissection, I vastly expanded my knowledge that in turn helped my teaching. In the process, I developed my understanding of how to mastering anatomy, which has made a world of difference. As another school year approaches, I’ve compiled my best tips to help all incoming medical students take on this great challenge. Tip #1: Use the right resources Your professor will likely assign a textbook for the class. Use it. We had Grey’s Anatomy for Students, which was helpful because it had an overview section in the beginning of each chapter that was a good place to start understanding the material. The book also has highlighted...

How To Make The Most Out Of Your Summer Before School Starts

It’s your last summer before college starts, and if you’re like me you do not want to put it to waste.  You have just wrapped up four years of hard work and now get to pack up and leave your hometown, say goodbye to friends and family and go to your new home in college.  But one day, in the beginning of summer, before the big move, you look down at the empty bag of potato chips and sodas at feet, eyes burning after your ninth episode of your binge show that day, and you start to think to yourself that you are not making the most of your summer.  For me, my last summer before college was all about becoming self dependent and learning new things. So to avoid becoming a couch potato all summer and rather becoming more self dependent, here are 3 tips to making the most of your last summer before college:  Find Time to Relax Let’s be real: it’s the summer and you want to be on the beach somewhere turning that pasty year long skin, into a golden bronze.  To me, vacation is the number one step in enjoying your summer, but don’t get confused by my beach analogy, there are many types of vacations and ways to relax. Personally, I love to be outside whether that be at a beach, the hiking...