medschool

How Do I Make Such An Important Decision?

As a fresh first year medical student, every upperclassman I talked to said the same thing: “Don’t worry about Step 1 and residency right now. You still have a long way to go. Just enjoy your life right now!”   Finally looking forward to wrapping up my first year in a few weeks, the feeling of impending doom is slowly encroaching on me. In exactly a year from now, I will be taking probably the most important exam of my life. And in 2 years from that point, I will know where I will be going for the next phase of my training – residency. So the most obvious question is – what do I want to do with the rest of my life? Let’s try to break down this complex, loaded question into a few basic steps.   1. Medicine or surgery? Image: Source   As a growing medical student, this is the first question you need to ask yourself. Medicine and surgery are the two prongs of the medical field. Are you the kind of person who loves the operating room and cannot imagine living outside it or can you survive without ever operating?   It goes without saying that this is a hard decision to make so early on in your career. You have barely stepped into the medical community and you are already expected to...

Quiz! Do You Know Your Diseases?

Do you know your diseases? Take this quiz from Gap Medics Blog to find out! Featured From Gap Medics Blog Featured Image:...

Top 10 Hardcore Grey’s Anatomy Moments – #2

Believe it or not, medicine is a career filled with drama. From the closest of saves to those fastidious concerns for protocol implementation, we are no strangers to the loud proclamations of physicians, residents, nurses, and the rest of the staff in the hallways and operating rooms. Translating this very sense of excitement to the medical TV shows out there, Grey’s Anatomy is one of the notable and long-running ones that fit this characterization in the perfect manner.   For my fellow Grey’s Anatomy fans out there, this is my tribute to you. Join along as we watch some of the most hardcore moments from the show, displaying the rigor, emergency, and adrenaline-rush of our beloved medical profession.   2. The “everyday” emergency Surgery is a field that teeters on the edge of life and death. There is an emergent situation just waiting to pounce on you as you turn a corner. Thus, this profession is not for the faint of heart, but for those who are willing to challenge themselves to the breaking point and face the mantle of saving human lives on a daily basis.       Featured Image:...

What Is The Best Way To Understand The Opioid Epidemic?

We’ve all heard it repeatedly in the news, on the internet, and every which way we turn. The opioid epidemic has been one of the most prevalent issues in the world in the recent past. Our efforts to understand this growing concern are overshadowed by its complexity. We may even be tempted to write it off as irrelevant to us. However, given its expansive reach, it is becoming increasing hard to avoid it. So how do we really wrap our minds around this issue? What is the first step?   As a first year medical student, I started a podcast series to talk about issues in medicine by bringing together a group of 3-4 of my peers every few weeks for discussion. Just recently, we took on the grand task of trying to dissect the opioid epidemic. After the recording, many thoughts rushed to my mind. I knew that this issue was big. I knew that it was real. And I knew that it was important.   However, I eventually realized that beyond knowing all the statistics and treatment modalities, the first step in trying to understand and manage this issue was to develop the right mindset. This is something that stands with specific importance for current and future medical providers. Opioid use disorder warrants an approach that puts the patient at the center with consideration but without judgment....

Med School Teaching Innovations

Until recent years, the whole concept of medical school has remained largely unchanged – 2 years of basic science and 2 years of clinical practice with many teachers working off the experiential education model of “see one, do one, teach one.” But advances in education theory and the shifting nature of the medical profession have prompted medical schools to re-evaluate the standard educational program in order to achieve better learning outcomes and to reflect the experience of being a doctor in the real world. Here are some things they are trying:   Flipping the classroom In a typical course, students go to class, sit through a few hours of lectures and then go home to do coursework such as solving practice problems or writing papers on their own time. In the “flipped” classroom, students listen to or watch lectures on their own time, via video clips online or podcasts, before attending class. This allows classroom time to be spent tackling practice problems through group work, guided discussions or debates. Research has shown that this flipped system results in “significant learning gains when compared to traditional instruction.” One theory is that after watching lectures at home, students can immediately apply what they’ve learned the night before, which increases uptake and processing of the desired skills. It’s also a chance for professors to provide feedback on any questions or misconceptions about...

Benefits of MD/MPH programs

What is an MPH? While medical training emphasizes clinical skills to treat individual patients, training in public health allows students to study ways to improve community health. Students pursuing a masters in public health (MPH) degree gain knowledge about the various threats to population health and learn ways to promote health and prevent disease.   The MD/MPH dual degree has become quite popular, as over 80 medical schools currently offer it. Some medical schools allow their students to complete both MD and MPH degrees concurrently. Others offer their students a leave of absence between their third and fourth years of medical school to complete their MPH degree.   Although an MPH is useful, it costs a lot of money, like other degrees. And, you can explore public health without pursuing an MPH—for example, as an MD student, you can still certainly help out in a public health research lab, if you’re interested. That’s why, before deciding to pursue an MPH, you have to consider how an MPH will enrich your medical education and how you’ll use it in your career. Ultimately, you have to ask yourself: how will I benefit from pursuing an MPH?     Benefit: In-depth training in research methodology As I mentioned earlier, you can do public health research without pursuing an MPH. However, an MPH will provide you with the skills needed to create and...

Making Medical School More Compassionate

For the most part, we study to become doctors because we want to help people. We want to save lives, heal the sick and make the world a better place. But when these dreams come up against the intense pressures of medical school, students can feel helpless and out of control. And in the worst cases, some commit suicide.   Image: Source   To prevent these tragedies, medical schools are taking steps to become more compassionate in their training programs, both to help students succeed and to foster a sense of compassion towards their patients. Studies have shown that medical students start to lose their empathy within the very first year of medical school. This puts a hamper on patient communication and can limit the doctor-patient relationship, one of the characteristics most valued by patients. But it’s no wonder that students are losing empathy amidst the med school grind.   After recent tragedies, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is taking deliberate steps to make their medical training more compassionate. Quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the Dean for Medical Education, David Miller explained that “Medical school is a cauldron,” with residents who “feel very often helpless and hopeless, the machine is intense and churns on relentlessly.” In an essay in the New England Journal of Medicine, Muller describes the compassion he found from colleagues, students and...