medschool

Da Vinci Robot Arm: Never Touch a Patient Again! (Parody)

Ever tried using one of those Da Vinci Robot simulators that are supposed to prepare surgeons for using the real thing? Did you feel like a paralyzed infant with zero depth perception? I did! Students from the University of Alabama College of Medicine got really creative at their skit night and put together this hilarious parody. Worth the...

3 Words that Medical School Will Make You Hate

1) Empathy When it comes to choosing medical students, medical schools begin by selecting specifically from the highest performing students, then proceed to determine which among these individuals actually care about people. What factors do admissions teams care about the most? Grades and test scores. This makes sense considering medical school is cognitively demanding and these objective measures allow for an easy way to cut through the massive number of medical school applications. Especially given that, despite all the good things that can be said about volunteering, the motives behind volunteering and helping others are subjective. (For instance, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that the vast majority of volunteering done by medical students is done primarily to get into medical school.) However, when one takes the time to actually think about the personality traits often required for the pursuit of high grades; such as competitiveness, status seeking, neuroticism and possibly narcissism, it’s easy to understand how the doctor profession has a problem with empathy. So the question Medical Schools constantly face is what to do with a bunch of highly competitive applicants that may or may not be empathetic. Apparently steps 1 through 3 involve taking a ridiculous amount of time teaching medical students how to be empathetic. As a medical student you are going to hear more about empathy than you thought possible. You will be...

5 Tips for Surviving Gross Anatomy

1. Understand anatomy is a relationship-driven class. The biggest struggle for me to overcome in anatomy was grasping how it differed so much from any class I took in college. Whereas biochemistry, microbiology, and genetics were driven by concepts and pathways, anatomy is based on relationship and positions in space. Successful students understand anatomy is one of the rare classes that exists in three dimensions and gear their studying accordingly. 2. Engage in group review. With study guides, mnemonics, and other study strategies that I would have never thought of, my classmates played a large role in my understanding of anatomy. Two particularly helpful strategies we used in groups were crowd-sourcing large study guides in Google docs and engaging in questions and answer review sessions. 3. Come prepared to lab. Anatomy lab can take up to two-four hours two to three time a week, which represents a good-chunk of time you could be studying on your own. Coming prepared to lab with notes, handouts, or practice questions can help you make the most out of these precious hours rather than standing around and waiting for lab to be over. 4. Experiment with different learning resources. In terms of Anatomy atlases, Netter’s, Thieme’s, and Lipincott’s were the three that provided the best illustrations for studying. Your school’s library should have copies of all three on reserve, and I would recommend experimenting with all three before deciding which one...

You’re Graduating Medical School…But Are You Prepared for Residency?

This morning as I was brushing up on my medical news I came across an article in The New York Times’ Well blog entitled, “Are Med School Grads Prepared to Practice Medicine?” As an entering medical student of the Class of 2018 I was immediately drawn to the piece. Is it possible that I will spend the next 4 years of my life buried in books, engrossed by education, surrounded by patients and established physicians and still not be ready for residency? Oh god… The author of the article, Pauline Chen, M.D., recalls a specific occurrence that took place during her intern year. A fellow intern, who attended a school apparently uninterested in teaching phlebotomy, had spent nearly an hour poking and prodding a patient, attempting to find a vein. The patient, as one can imagine, was not thrilled, yelling, “I’ll hit you if you come near me again!” Another intern was able to help and perform the phlebotomy flawlessly, but admitted to being unprepared to prep a patient for surgery. The problem, thus, is the differential focus of medical schools in educating their students. While one school flawlessly prepares their students on oral presentation of a patient, another emphasizes careful reading of images. The discrepancies are unforgivable and highlight an even more important issue than lack of surgical skill: lack of communication. Instead of working as parts of a seamless and...

The 5 F’s for Almost Docs and New Interns

A little ways back, a tweet caught my attention from @JasonYoungMD who stated “My Five Foundations of Feeling Fine: Food, Fitness, Friends & Family, Falling Asleep, Fulfillment.” This seemed like the best advice I had heard for the newbie interns taking teaching hospitals by storm as well as the rising third year medical students who are about to be unleashed on the wards (if they haven’t already). It also is a great starting point for program directors who are wondering how to ensure that their residents are “Fit for duty” according to the ACGME rules. 1. Food – While this is basic part of sustenance, finding food sometimes in the hospital can be challenging, especially at odd hours. Fortunately, this has gotten better, but the choices may not be healthier. In my own hospital, I’ve seen the front lobby transform from a small coffee kiosk (Java Coast which was celebrated when it arrived) to a full fledged Au Bon Pain (ABP as we affectionately refer to it). While ABP was a welcome addition, it is easy to consume a lot of empty calories eating muffins or breakfast sandwiches! To make matters worse, research from one of our very own sleep research gurus has shown that the more sleep deprived you are, the worse food choices you make! Therefore, the thing you will reach for after a night shift is...

Nothing Prepares You To Watch Someone Die in the ER

As I arduously sorted through the endless stack of green papers with lab and exam results scribbled about them, the eerie buzz of the medic radio went off overhead.  “Hospital base, Medic 21, Code 3 notification, CPR in progress, short ETA.”  Only having a few minutes to prepare for an incoming ambulance is stressful enough, but when the patient is under CPR, it adds an additional shot of urgency and adrenaline.  Undoing all my work for the last ten minutes, I shuffled all the papers back together and set the heaping green bundle aside; prolonging the agony for another time. Hastily making my way back towards the resuscitation room, I went through a mental checklist of what I was going to need to do.  Turning into the room I was greeted by an empty gurney, a clean floor, a blank monitor with its numerous cords neatly coiled on their hooks and if it were not for the shrill of the fluorescent tubes illuminating the room from above, there was not a sound to be heard.  In  another two minutes this would all change. Reaching for a box marked “XL,” I grabbed two wrinkled, bright blue gloves, and threw them onto the counter.  After squeezing my hand into the first glove, the unmistakable chattering of an ambulance stretcher rolling over dirty laminated tile crept down the hall.  Moments later it...

ZDoggMD Drops Some Knowledge on the Pros and Cons of Medical Specialties

Featuring pediatrician Dr. Harry. Internal medicine, emergency medicine, surgery, pediatrics, and Justin Beiber…all in there,...