medschool

Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Future Doctor?

Everyone – from family to neighbors to friends to fellow airplane passengers – impressed when you tell them you’re going to be a doctor. There has always been, and will always be, a certain prestige associated with being a doctor. “You must be really smart,” is the usual reaction to this declaration of my professional pursuit. But, the funny thing, I don’t think I’m smart. In fact, smart is one of the last words I would use to describe myself. I may be a future doctor, which sounds rather smart and noble, but I honestly do not consider myself any smarter than the average person. I am sure there are a handful in the profession that are truly gifted individuals, in general, my classmates are not brilliant. They are just normal people, some with unique hobbies and interests. There is one characteristic among all of us in this profession that is undeniable. And that is grit. We are all hustlers. We stick with it. We not only work hard, but we push our physical limits. We have unwavering self-confidence. We are willing to sacrifice more than most others. Despite the darkness, we know there will be light at the end. We appreciate delayed gratification. It is these traits that make you a doctor. Anyone can develop and practice these traits. Anyone can be a doctor. I was the hardest...

The Perils of Being a Woman Doctor

As a woman doctor it seems like I can’t book an appointment with a doctor anymore without being asked if I’m okay with seeing a man. OK, they didn’t ask me when I booked an eye doctor appointment. But when I recently scheduled an urgent care visit for a stomach bug that was taking a long time to clear up, they asked me. And the OB/GYN office always asks. Personally, my first pap was done by a man, and I really liked him. My second regular ob/gyn was also a man and also great. Yes, I’m a little more uncomfortable being examined down there by a man, but honestly, it’s uncomfortable either way. It depends on the doctor more than it depends on the gender of the doctor. It’s only a recent thing that there are enough female doctors that patients can even get a choice. What bothers is me is that when they specifically ask me, it makes me feel like maybe I *should* request a woman. Why can’t they just mention the doctor’s name and see if I protest? Also, has a man *ever* been asked if he was okay with the gender of his doctor? At work, I have also been put in positions from time to time where I was pressured to see a patient for no other reason than they had “woman problems,” when...

Reflecting After Christmas: Oh, What A Merry Time To Be In The Hospital

“Blessed is the season that engages the whole world in the conspiracy of love” ~ Hamilton Wright Mabie Don’t you just love driving around the glowing neighborhoods this time of the year? Those magnificent wreaths and garlands, homes adorned with icicle lights, and bright-lit Christmas trees with dazzling ornaments are such eye candies. Christmas is indeed my favorite time of the year. It is truly magical how this month brings a sense of happy spirit and togetherness among people. Be it in your own home or grocery stores or malls, our ears are instantly tuned to the jingle bell. What makes this season even more special is the privilege of family members coming together under one roof as most everyone gets those days off work. However, medicine is one such field that does not take days off in this peak time of accidents as well as other illnesses. As a matter of fact, holidays are often known to surface some of the most emergent cases. Several studies indicate that, in the United States, more people die in hospitals during Christmas, the day after, and New Year’s Eve. As a medical student observing the “future me” from a distant, I see myself being a little more stressed like most physicians around me. Similar to most people, there is of course cleaning, cooking, and shopping to be done apart from being...

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...

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...

What to Do Over the Long Thanksgiving Weekend

The Thanksgiving break is in the air and there’s so much that you’re thankful for, like, perhaps, the break from a stressful semester? Being a medical student is not easy, you’re either constantly working or studying; there are simply no breaks. That means when Thanksgiving comes around, you’re in desperate need to lounging out, stuffing yourself like the turkey on your plate and simply having a good time with the family. Sounds easy? For most students, it’s really not. You’re so accustomed to constantly being busy that staying free simply doesn’t feel right. Thankful for Thanksgiving “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. But all play and no work makes him something worse”- Samuel Smiles The key is to balance it out but don’t worry, the struggle may be real but it’s not the end of the world. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your long weekend: 1.    Take a break Of course your friends are family are excited to have a doctor in the house but you need to give yourself priority first. That means avoid anything medical related, give your mind a break and just lounge out. Don’t: Psychoanalyze Prescribe drugs Diagnose health problems Instead you should read a novel or two, watch movies and put a halt to your medical knowledge for just a short while because you...