medschool

The Yelp Effect: Who Are the Doctors We Can Trust?

Once upon a time, I was a chemistry major. When someone asked what my major was I shrugged and sourly responded, “…chemistry.”  Eventually, (I’m sure to your surprise), I realized chemistry wasn’t for me. It looked like everyone in the department, students and professors alike, was unhappy with where they were, and that’s not what I wanted, as fascinating as the science could sometimes be. So, I switched. I reflected my opinion on the negativity I saw. Was that a mistake?   Recently, browsing through medical blogs and web commentary by doctors, I noticed similar negativity in physicians and that they, who seemed to hate what they do, felt like the overwhelming majority. As a pre-med, not even in medical school yet, I suddenly doubted myself more than I ever have in my entire life before. The more I read these posts about how insurance and healthcare policy in America are ruining medicine and about how people hate doctors and just want to squeeze every penny out of their physicians with malpractice suits, the more depressed I got. Were these blogging doctors really representative of everyone who survived medical school and residency? If they hated their jobs so much why didn’t they do something else? Did it really take them until they were full doctors to realize all the horror of it? Was I going down the wrong path?...

The Number One Rule of an Obstetric Emergency

The gift of life is one to behold, It is a blessed story, one to be told. A mother and child sharing a life force, The child is the gift, and the mother the source. Yet complications arise in this natural process, What to do when we encounter possible losses? Obstetrics is a field for the bold and the brave, Handling two lives, a family to save. A normal delivery is an outcome treasured, Though a C-section is also well measured!   The rules of the game are clear for one, A condition to dread, as feared as a gun. Ectopic pregnancy is the name to remember, Adding a spark to a suppressed ember. A woman has it, until proven otherwise, One that surprises and everyone despises. What does it look like, how to manage it? Is there a panacea, or a handy kit?   Ectopia is a misimplatation of the fertilized egg, In the fallopian tubes, uterus, or abdominal keg. The fetus develops and the blood supplies grow, Until the pain rises, and the mother turns slow. Abdominal pain and missed periods are the telltale signs, When the rupture happens, that’s when the patient declines. Symptoms of shock are what to look for, Tachycardia, diaphoresis, and hemorrhage make the gore.   Get help right away, surgery is what you need, Experienced hands delve deep into the peritoneal weed....

Dr. Fizzy’s Declassified Step1 Survival Guide

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Why I Chose a Newer Medical School

The hype in undergrad often circles around attending the “best” and most “well known” medical schools. It is natural to look up to these institutions that have been around for over a hundred years and are positively portrayed in the news almost every day, and for good reasons too. So, why did I move to Scranton, PA, for medical school? Where is Scranton Anyway? NBC Universal  When referring to my current medical school, The Commonwealth Medical College, I often have to talk about the show, The Office. This is only the way that anyone understands where this school, started 7 years ago, is located. To be honest, this is the only way that I understood where and what Scranton, PA, is as well. However, now Scranton, PA, has taken on a new meaning for me, and my fellow medical students. Again, why did you do this? Attending a new school has provided me with the opportunity to not only connect with my class, but my faculty, and on a personal level too. One of my favorite memories from my first year was sitting in the Vice Dean’s office talking with him about the fact that we both played water polo in undergrad. When I say we were talking, I mean truly hanging out and talking. When I speak with my other friends in some more well established medical schools,...

Step 1 Studying: What Works and What Doesn’t

After the National Board of Medical Examiners released a round of 2014 Step 1 scores, reddit user hamm3rhand decided to take a survey of students’ study habits—what books they used, what practice tests they took—and how these correlated to their scores. While the data he gathered did not reveal one particular resource to guarantee a stellar score, he was able to flesh out the better resources and most successful study habits. He concludes that the best resources to use are Firecracker, Kaplan, Uworld, FA, and Pathoma—these were the most popular and recommended—while, as for the best practice tests, you should do at least USWA 1 and USWA 2 along with NBME 15 and NBME because 16—75% of responders felt these were most similar to the test. Ever so shockingly, he found that using any resource was better than none at all, with the exception of DIT. As for the efficacy of the practice tests, hamm3rhand created this plot from his 272 valid responses to demonstrate how well practice tests can gauge the score you may get: For a more details, check out the full study results here:...

Confessions of a Third Year Resident: Life in Labor and Delivery

A fictional adaptation. I am going to make this medical student cry. I don’t know how I know it, but somehow I can sense it. I know it the second she walks into the resident room on Labor and Delivery at Cadence Hospital, her perfect blond ponytail swinging behind her. And I’m certain of it when she holds her slim hand out to me and says, “Hi! I’m Caroline! I’m the new medical student!” No, I am not exaggerating those exclamation points. “I’m Emily,” I say. (Note the lack of exclamation points.) I stay in my seat, but I reach out to take her hand, which is as smooth as a baby’s bottom. And I’ve touched a lot of babies’ bottoms lately, considering I’m working on Labor and Delivery right now. “I’m a third year resident.” My co-resident and sometimes friend, Jill, who also happens to be the chief resident for OB/GYN, looks down at Caroline’s outstretched hand and shakes her head. She leaves Caroline hanging as she says, “I’m Dr. Brandt.” Actually, maybe Jill will make her cry. “I’m so excited to be here!” Caroline says, practically bouncing on the heels of her practical shoes. She’s wearing the requisite blue scrubs—if she weren’t, Jill would be chewing her out as we speak. “I’m really interested in women’s health.” “Do you want to do OB/GYN?” I ask her. Caroline...

Caribbean Medical School – A Reason to be Proud

  Off to Sea It wasn’t excitement that gripped me that early morning in May some four and a half years ago. As far as I could remember it was this vague mixture of anxiety, fear, and optimism I didn’t trust that was swirling around in my bowels as I sat through the commencement address of a large northeastern private university. Some Ivy league banker was giving the typical “you’re a college graduate, time to improve the world” speech. Funny enough this was right after the Wall Street implosion when the government had to bail them out, so in between his words of wisdom were subtle hints at apology and explanation. Maybe he was trying to show us young kids what it was like to be humble. Who knows. I certainly didn’t care slumped in my chair sweating through my shirt and suit [that my parents begged me to wear]. As soon as I would walk off that stage, degree from my dream school in hand, it would be a 3 month march to the day my bags would be packed and sunshades bought. I was heading to medical school in the Caribbean and I couldn’t have been more afraid.   Slow Start A coconut flew across the deck inches away from the balcony glass which my face was glued against. I reacted instinctively and jumped backwards tripping over my suitcases...