medschool

The 4 Professors You’ll Have in Med School…In Pictures

Professors are…interesting. They are (or should be) ultimately there to convey the necessary information but sometimes their own agenda gets in the way! Have you encountered these professors? Leave a comment and tell us about your favorite/favorite-to-immitate professor! 1. The one who seems to have forgotten the competitive process of getting into medical school.   2. The one who seems to forget the confines of human memory.     3. The one who can’t differentiate between “What you need to know for Step I” and “What you need to know when you’re a practicing physician.”   4. The one who seems to be...

6 Questions for a Med Student on International Rotations

Practicing medicine abroad has always been an interest of mine and when I was recently contacted by Work the World, a program which places medical students in rotations in countries across the globe, I was eager to hear more about the kind of work that can be done internationally. Alison Maclean, a research student at the Liverpool Medical School in the UK whose interest is Women’s Health, took the time to answer some questions I had about her experience doing a 5 week elective in Sri Lanka. I was amazed by the freedom and opportunities she had to really practice medicine and excited to hear about the possibilities for learning and getting truly involved with clinical care. If Alison’s story appeals to you, taking some time to continue your medical education in a different country might be worth looking into. Work the World is just one of many organizations who offer international rotation opportunities. Additionally, many schools have developed global medical experience programs and may offer financial aid to assist you with travel costs. Consider talking to an advisor or doing some research online to make sure you find the right fit for you! Galle Fort, Sri Lanka (all pictures courtesy of Work the World) 1.     What are your interests and passions, what school do you attend, what field are you specializing in, what is your favorite part of...

How Med School (Ironically) Taught Me That Studying Comes Second

You know you have a problem when you can’t fall asleep at night. That’s where I was nearing at the end of anatomy in my first year of medical school. I couldn’t sleep because I was terrified of what the next day held. My sympathetic nervous system was on full alert, ready to handle the next day. The only thing between the next day and me was a night of sleep that seemed harder and harder to get to. In the “Chronicles of Narnia” series, C.S. Lewis remarks that sleep is something that becomes more difficult the harder you try to accomplish it. This was the curse of my predicament. I was exhausted and in dire need of rest at the end of each day, but held captive by what “could” happen the next day. In a follow-up visit with my pediatrician over winter break, I had some testing done that revealed some unanticipated results. Though I had been diagnosed with ADHD in grade school, my pattern of inattention and easy distractibility was more consistent with an anxiety disorder than ADHD. With further questioning and history taking, it became obvious that I was a classic case of generalized anxiety disorder. It wasn’t something that was created from the rigors of medical school; it was something revealed for what it was by the rigors of medical school. I had been able to get...

5 Precise Techniques to Become the Most Effective Learner Ever

If you’re like me, you probably study by going through your notes or powerpoints, perhaps rewriting your notes, but basically making sure that you can regurgitate the information that you are given. You may take practice tests and do well, but then get to the actual test and not do as well as you hoped. You blame it on the questions being of a different caliber than those on the practice test and so you didn’t prepare for that style of questions. You tell yourself that you’ll just study with more brute force next time. You’ll go through the lectures more times, you’ll write out your notes again, and you’ll hopefully do better. But then that doesn’t always happen. What we know about the world is exponentially growing, and it is difficult impossible to keep up. Looking at the sheer volume that we must learn as students can be overwhelming and discouraging. It makes us question whether we are cut out for this path. We live a stressful life of lectures, study groups, and examinations. And yet, there is one area that we tend to overlook that is essential for our success – how to effectively study. The American Medical Student Association recently held a webinar on how to be an effective learner in medical school featuring Jay Phelan from UCLA who helped develop PrepU, a website that creates...

Aunt Hilda from Sabrina the Teenage Witch Discusses OAB

Caroline Rhea, comedian/activist, and Elizabeth R. Mueller, MD, discuss the latest treatments for overactive bladder including oral medications and sacral nerve stimulation. They urge physicians to consider botulinum toxin, which has been shown in studies to treat overactive bladder for up to 6 months, and can be administered as a single shot in the...

What Are We Losing By Not Taking a Social History?

As I am on service, I realized that one thing that can be easily lost in the race to take care of patients with limited duty hours – the social history.  The social history is part of the admission “history and physical” that once included a myriad of information about the patient’s job, life, and habits has now “fallen into despair” becoming little more than “negative for TED”, or in other words “no tobacco, alcohol (ethanol) or drugs.” But, there is so much more to it than that.   How do they afford to pay for their housing, food, and medications?  Do they have insurance?   Where do they live?  Who takes care of them or do they take care of someone else?  Do they have friends or family living nearby?   What do they like to do for fun?  Given that most of the ‘discharge planning’ focuses on these elements of the social history, it seems silly that we don’t include more than just no TED. So, when I was asked by a very astute medical student if I preferred to hear more in the social history, I said yes.   The information that is usually discussed as the patient gets better and we wonder where they will go was now presented on admission, discussed as a problem just like any other medical problem.   In just a few short days, we discerned that a...

Top 10 Ways To Prevent Mistakes When Using Ultrasound

10.  Do not forget to plug in the machine and learn to power on the machine BEFORE you go into the patient’s room.  You don’t want to look like an idiot searching all over for the power button on the machine while the patient is waiting for you to start the scan. 9.  Make sure the probes are clean and the cords are untangled before you walk into the patient’s room.  You don’t want to waste time detangling cords or cleaning off blood and gel in front of the patient. 8.  Warm the gel bottle before you lather up the patient with it.  If you don’t have a gel warmer, you can place the bottle in a hot water bath (eg. Basin filled with hot tap water).  Just make sure you warn the patient that the gel will be cold.  Apologize profusely and help clean up the gel afterwards. 7.  Don’t push harder on the probe to try to improve your image.  Getting the probe closer to the target organ doesn’t give you a better image.  Add some extra gel, change your angle, and redirect your ultrasound beams to maximize image quality. 6.  Turning up the gain may make your picture brighter, but it will wash out some of the important detail.  You will want to see the difference in contrast between the various structures (e.g. liver and kidney...