medschool

Surgery for Rare ‘Brainy’ Scalp Changes Man’s Life

Ramtin Kassir, MD, Plastic Surgeon, describes the symptoms of cutis verticis gyrata, or CVG, a condition in which the skin of the scalp starts resembling the folds of the brain. The condition is extremely rare, and the procedure to remove the folds is delicate in nature, due to the various factors and complexities involved with removing part of the...

15 Helpful Hints for New Residents

I was a general surgery residency program director for 24 years. I’ve seen them come and go. Here is some advice for those of you who are beginning residency training.   1. Never be afraid to say “I don’t know.”   2. Never be afraid to ask for help. Some of the worst disasters I have ever seen were because a resident didn’t want to bother a more senior resident or an attending and blundered badly.   3. Respect your colleagues and your patients.   4. Until you gain a great deal of confidence, do not manage things over the telephone.   5. A patient who is restless or anxious may be hypoxic. Make liberal use of the pulse oximeter. Do not sedate a restless patient without personally seeing him.   6. Sometimes postoperative abdominal pain is due to urinary bladder distension. Learn how to use the bladder scanner yourself. 50 mL of urine output could be overflow incontinence.   7. Trust, but verify. [Or better yet, at first trust no one.] For example if someone tells you a lab result, say thanks and look at all the lab results in the computer yourself. Many times the nurse will say, “The labs are normal” and later you will find that the serum CO2 was 15. 8. Listen to the nurses (if they seem to know their stuff). They can...

NEW: Doximity Residency Rankings

Doximity, the social network for physicians, has recently launched Residency Navigator, a new online tool that evaluates and ranks medical and surgical residency programs. Through a peer nomination process (view methodology), Residency Navigator is the first-ever national attempt to create a ranking system for programs that train future physicians. University of California, San Francisco and Johns Hopkins University came out as big winners in the process. UCSF placed in the top 10 for 16 specialties and Johns Hopkins placed in the top 10 for 14 specialties across the board. Sorting Through Residency Programs With the annual opening of ERAS on September 15th, Residency Navigator offers students a chance to generate a list of residency programs based on location, training preference, and fellowship placement.  From there, users can view specific programs for affiliated hospital sites, board pass rate, subspecialty percentage, alumni percentage, and percentile ranks for research. Since launching on September 10th, more than 20% of the 15,000 medical students on Doximity have already used the tool to view the data. Ranking the Best Programs In addition to shining light on residency programs, Doximity’s Residency Navigator is also the first nation-wide attempt at create a public formal ranking of training programs. Recent reports from both the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ) have recently issued calls for transparency into the performance of residency programs. This is the first time...

The 5 Best Classes to Prepare Yourself for Med School

It’s the beginning of a new school year and whether you’re a pre-med in undergrad, a post-bac student or a current applicant, it’s time to start thinking about important courses to take to prepare for medical school. Here are a few suggestions that I’ve had off current medical students who swear that these classes helped them to make it through their M1&M2 years unscathed. Anatomy & Physiology Becoming familiar in even the simple basics of the human body structure and function will be invaluable when you’re struggling through gross anatomy and trying to learn how to draw out the nerves of the brachial plexus, I promise.   Statistics/Epidemiology This may actually be a requirement for some of the schools you end up applying to so get it over with early and you won’t have to stress about taking it during the application cycle. Biochemistry Honestly, I feel like Biochem has a bad rap. I really enjoyed the class I took and I think the amount of misery inflicted by this subject is inversely proportional to how awesome your professor is. Choose wisely!   Humanities/Sociology It’s important to be well rounded as a student so you should take a few classes in the humanities or sociology that interest you. Even more important is the valuable practice you’ll get reading, condensing and summarizing large amounts of information. It might not seem...

The 5 Least and Most Expensive Med Schools in the US

Going to medical school is great, but you shouldn’t go broke in the process. Then again, Mom and Dad may be more than happy to pay $250,000 for the right to brag about their child “the doctor” to all their friends, so why not go for the most pricey med school on the planet? Whatever your situation, I can’t decide for you, but what I can do is tell you which med schools in the U.S. are the least, and most expensive. The power of choice, people. Enjoy! Least Expensive Medical Schools (Prices reflect in-state tuition for 2013-2014)  6. (BONUS!)  University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ($19,446) UNC narrowly missed out on making the top five, but due to its number two ranking for primary care medical schools and impressive reputation earned it a spot on AlmostDocs’ canonical list. 5. University of New Mexico ($19,395)  Ah, the Lobos. What is a Lobo anyway? A lobo is basically a timber wolf, but when tuition’s cheap, who cares?! 4. University of North Texas Health Science Center ($19,022)  At the University of North Texas Health Science Center, you can save a bundle and use the extra money to go to some Cowboys games. 3. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center ($17,843)  Texas, again…You don’t say! 2. Texas A&M Health Science Center ($16,404) Texas, Texas, Texas. I think there’s a trend here…  ...

5 Next Gen Study Techniques

If there is one thing a medical student never has in short supply, it is study material. Textbooks, recorded lectures, review books, question banks – heck, with a decent wifi connection and two taps of a smartphone, the modern medical student can study anything, anywhere, at any time. In fact, much of one’s success in medical school comes not only putting in the time and effort to get good grades, but also finding the material and methods that allow for the greatest comprehension with the least amount of time and effort. Thankfully the battle to overcome the mountain of information is not over, and with some programming and scientific research there are new and interesting ways to memorize information. 1) Anki Notecards have been around since the advent of people deciding to cram knowledge into our brains. These notecards were given an upgrade recently with the advent of the Internet and Studyblue.com, where they could be easily made, easily accessed and shared with a variety of other users. Anki is the next step. It takes the openness and aggregate data of studyblue, combines it with scientific research on the theory of spaced learning (e.g. we learn things better when we must recall them repeatedly at increasingly spaced intervals), and creates a program that is surprisingly effective. The way it works is you make flashcards of important points you want to...

The 10 Best Med Student Accessories

New school, new city, new friends… now how about some new accessories? If you’re looking for some cute room decorations, personal accessories, birthday or graduation gifts, or really anything of the sort for yourself or your favorite med student… you’ve come to the right place!   1. When you need some laughs and encouragement…  Nothing like a little orthopedic humor to perfectly adorn your walls and keep you motivated throughout the year. Check out the full collection of funnies at Etsy.   2. Get comfortable with your worst fear… As a doctor, you know you’ll have to keep up with changing technologies, improved therapies, new medications, and ever-changing processes, so perhaps you’re always a student in that respect. However, in the meantime, this saying serves as a nice, friendly, ironic reminder of the seemingly endless road of schooling required to become a doctor. Buy it from Society6 in pillow, tote, clock, or print form.   3. And when you’ve accepted you’ll be a student forever… What better way to dress your wine bottles to disguise the fact that they were $3 from Trader Joes? It would also make a very cute gift for a friend just accepted to medical school or just graduated! Buy it here from Etsy.   4. When your patients doubt your skills… This bag should be your motto. End of story. Find it here at Cafe...