medschool

3 Simple Tips to Maintaining Your Happiness Throughout Med School

In her new book, What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect The Practice of Medicine, physician and author Dr. Danielle Ofri writes: “Doctors who are angry, nervous, jealous, burned out, terrified, or ashamed can usually still treat bronchitis or ankle sprains competently.” This is so incredibly sad. And, it is most depressing to realize that the experience isn’t much different for us. The tendency to evade our emotion begins as early in our career as our pre-med life, well before we actually don a crisp white coat and care for patients. We take such terrible care of ourselves. The process from start to finish can feel, more often than not, like a Herculean task, but we refuse to accept the frustration, anger and fatigue that are coupled with the hardships of our professional pursuit. Why do we think we are immune to emotion? Why do we forget that we are so much more than just organs, tissues, and bones? This notoriously difficult pre-MD life can make you feel like you are gripping onto the fraying shreds of a short rope. And somehow, through it all, when we are “angry, nervous, jealous, burned out, terrified, or ashamed” we are expected to keep calm and carry on. After days (okay, fine, maybe months) of carrying on without feeling any calm at all, I had to take a step back to process the...

The Top 10 Gifts for Med Students this Holiday Season

It’s that time of the year again….where families and friends get together to celebrate one tradition or another. It’s also that time where we give and receive presents. So, chances are, you probably know someone (or will know someone) in medical school. Yes, they haven’t called or talked to you for months, but rest assured, they are hard at work and probably going through academic hell. An encouraging, thoughtful letter, or better yet a gift is sure to cheer them up. Here are my top 10.  1. Littmann Stethoscope  It is one of the best gifts you can give to your beloved med student. Its light-weight, durable and most importantly, practical. The product is amazing and quality, they will use it for decades to come.  2. iPad or an iPad mini Anything Apple (besides the edible kind) will do, but these high-end, sleek tablets will let your medical student watch surgical procedures, read medical articles and play fruit ninja while on break. One bonus about the mini is that it fits most pockets of white coats. Perfect companion to double check the starting dose of a beta blocker on Epocrates. 3. Payment of student loans We are medical students. Enough Said. Thanks for the remittance. 4. Personal training sessions Medical school does not allow much free time.  Most of our lives revolve around a computer . Needless to say,...

What if Your Professor’s iPhone App Helped You Cheat?

What happens when technology overstays its welcome? Remember the saying, “too much of a good thing…”? The medical students of King’s College, London could probably tell you about that. The students will be retaking their most recent exam in OB/GYN after it was discovered that their professor took almost 60% of his exam questions off of an iPhone app…which he invented! The app (which is FREE, btw, so go ahead and check it out) contains practice exam questions ranging anywhere from contraception methods to the diagnosis of syphilis. That is, they would have been “practice” had the questions not then been the exact questions on the exam. The problem is, it is unclear which students actually had seen the app prior to the exam so…retake for all! None for you, Glen Cocoa! (Lol, it’s been a long day.) Today’s medicine is all about the latest technology, right? The medical field is making strides due to innovations in technologically based surgical techniques, training tools and even “digital diapers” (tracking your baby’s health by analyzing its poop…pretty genius). How would a rhinoplasty patient ever know what their nose may look like post-surgery without preoperative computer imaging planning? The horror! As the next generation of doctors enters medical school and training programs, we begin to question how medical education will evolve. Most critics of the emergence of technology in medicine cite the possible...

Reimagining the Job Search: A Sumry

Anyone applying for a job is looking for a way to make themselves stand out. The interview is the best opportunity to show what a strong, intelligent, unique candidate you are, but shouldn’t there be a better way to make that point before you get an interview? Why can’t you stand out more in your resume, to make sure you really even get that interview? How come once you send out that cover letter and resume you just get to wait on baited breath until someone decides they’re interested? One website has answered AND solved all of these questions for us:     Sumry is about making a resume that doesn’t just list your skills and accomplishments, but instead tells your story in a unique and engaging format. My favorite aspect of Sumry is the ability to see if anyone has opened your email or read your cover letter or resume. Finally, we can tell the difference between an uninterested employer and a really busy one who just hasn’t had a moment to look over your stuff. Finally, we can break free from the boring overused one-pager and maybe even have a little fun in applying for a job…   Universal...

How to Survive an All-Nighter at the Library

Does this sound familiar? It’s the night before your dreaded histology exam and you have yet to memorize what seems like a thousand slides before the sun comes up. You decide to pull an all-nighter. This will not be the easiest and certainly not the most comfortable of nights. [you will have.] But in medical school [or any other endeavor worth pursuing,] “you gotta do what you gotta do.” You can’t do it in your apartment because you will end up falling asleep or watching infomercials till you’re broke. Therefore, the only safe and sure place is the medical school library. With some provisions and following these tips, you will be able to survive your camp-out at the library. Here are some things you will need (feel free to improvise): 1. Hoodie    2. Starbucks Double Shot Espresso (Low Sugar)   3. Water Bottle (500mL)   4. 5-Hour Energy    5. Some Snacks (Crackers, Cheese, Banana, Apple, etc.)   And for the hard core and gunners: 1. Ground Up Coffee   2. Tabasco Sauce and Hand Sanitizer     You arrive. It’s 10 pm! You don’t know where your children are but you certainly know where you are: the library. You’re pumped, adrenaline is running and you are going to ace that exam. Three hours pass without any problem. You think, wow, cortisol and catecholamines really… are… amazing… But then...

What Happens in Vegas…Can Be Used to Teach Costs of Care

Funded with a grant from the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation, Costs of Care has partnered with medical educators at Harvard Medical School and the University of Chicago (that would be us!) to start addressing this problem. We are developing a series of web-based medical education videos that use clinical vignettes to illustrate core principles of cost-consideration, including how to communicate with patients about avoiding unnecessary care and reducing overused or misused tests and procedures.  As part of the project launch, we released a new teaser video today called “What if Your Hotel Bill Was Like a Hospital Bill?”. The video is a tongue-in-cheek depiction of the challenges patients face in deciphering medical expenses, and their additional confusion when they learn doctors are not trained to consider costs.  – Excerpt from Costs of Care Press Release by Dr. Neel Shah   How does this relate to Vegas? On a recent trip to Las Vegas with my family for the holidays, I was in the Bellagio lobby admiring the Chihuly glass ceiling.  While that was impressive, I was also watching the clerks check in and out the long lines of visitors to the hotel.  The staff explained any charges on the bill, confirmed that the bill agrees with the expectations of the patron and then finalized the transaction, printing a copy on the spot for the traveler before they got in the cab...

How Do You Save a Life with the ABCs?

Imagine you are walking down the street and you see two cars collide head-on right before your eyes. The fronts are crumpled, smoke is coming out of the vehicles, and airbags have been deployed. After confirming that the scene is safe and traffic has been halted or rerouted to prevent further accidents, you approach the two cars and see two people inside of each one. They are all bloodied up and unconscious. What do you do?   As a future medical professional, having a sense of how to deal with an emergency situation is a vital skill to possess. While you may not have all the tools of a paramedic in the trucks or a physician in the hospital, having a basic awareness and understanding of survival can go a long way.   Rather than explain it in a monotonous paragraph format, let’s spice things up a bit!   Walking down the path to the midday crash, You see four patients as you make a dash, You open the doors to the crumpled up cars, And try to look for deformities, wounds, and scars. But wait! Think about the body and its complexity, What should really concern you as a necessity?   Let’s go back to the alphabet that you learned in school, From the A to the B to the C as a rule. A is for Airway,...