medschool

Five Most Invaluable Things I Did As a Pre-Med

I may not be the premed expert just yet having only two years under my belt, however, I do believe that I have learned some invaluable skills and habits that have helped me tremendously, thus far. That being said, I always like to clarify that just because something worked for me or anyone else doesn’t mean it’s the best solution for everyone. There’s no solitary perfect path to medical school, so on that note, I begin with…   1. Don’t live by the pre-med checklist. Adult Swim Soon after deciding on the pre-medical route, you may find yourself inundated with responsibilities and activities you’ve been told all medical schools expect you to “check off” before applying.* Some of these are valid ideas, like getting some exposure to healthcare outside the classroom before you commit the rest of your life to it. But I don’t believe that you should spend a year in a lab doing work you really don’t care about and really don’t want to do just because some pre-med blogger said you had to. Research experience can be a great asset to an application, but a collection of disjointed activities that check the boxes but do nothing more may even hurt you more than it will help you. Instead, focus on finding activities that you believe showcase and exercise the best aspects of your personality that make...

Dear White Coat: It’s Not Me, It’s You

After diligently shrugging on my white coat for pretty much every single day throughout my entire residency, I abandoned my coat the minute I graduated. I haven’t worn one at all since I’ve been an attending. Here’s why:   1) No other physicians I work with wear a white coat, except for the weird ones… 2) They get dirty so easily. And of course, they show every speck of dirt because obviously they are white. Duh. My white coat from residency retired with a layer of indelible grime on the sleeves and hemline. I have to believe white coats are incredibly unsanitary. 3) If you are a female, you cannot pee while wearing a white coat. If you keep it on, you risk dipping it in the toilet. That is a fact. If you take it off, where are you supposed to put it? On the nonexistent hook on the stall door? On the floor?? 4) While it was nice having the pocket space, I think the sheer number of things I always kept in the pockets was contributing to neck pain. 5) The white coat does absolutely nothing to decrease the number of patients who call me “nurse”.   I do keep my white coat around, mostly in case the air-conditioner goes crazy and I need an extra layer of clothing. But I can’t really see going back...

Five Totally Serious Medical Accessories You NEED

1. Mini Torso Model: 31 pieces, 4.5″ high, and a whole lot of procrastination     2. Brain Shaped Piggy Bank: Perfect for collecting all the spare money you have because education is so reasonably priced!    3. Facial Bones Tee Shirt: Is it cheating to wear your notes?    4. Skull Candle: Perfect to set the lovely mood of studying ALL the time!    5. Ceramic Vertebrae Mug: The two things essential to life = your spinal cord … and coffee.  All products (+ more!) available for purchase at http://www.anatomistapparel.com/products....

Residency Resources: Finding the Perfect Match

Careers in Medicine by the AAMC: A One Stop Shop for your Residency Needs, Wants, and Desires After just finishing my first year of medical school I am certainly far off from residency, but that doesn’t mean it’s not on most people’s minds. If you have yet to check out this very helpful resource, I highly recommend it! Why? First of all, it’s FREE for Medical Students!! Disney   It Includes Three Main Sections:   Choose your specialty This section provides great details on all medical specialties such as, average hours a physician works per week, salary, average USMLE scores, and more lifestyle information. This information becomes more and more valuable as students work to figure out their goals within medicine. There is a common misconception that there is one correct answer in medicine, but really there is not! It is important to honestly analyze and assess this available information to make sure you get the most out of your medical journey. DreamWorks Pictures    Land your residency Land your residency contains great information on the match process, how to apply, and how to assess your competitiveness as an applicant. Once you have chosen a specialty, the next step is to apply. This is another arduous process, but certainly not impossible. You’ve already come this far, so make sure to read through Land Your Residency and make the most out...

Your First Week of Med School in a Nutshell

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Why I Stopped Going to Class… And You Should Too

Had I been told that I would no longer go to class anymore one-year ago, I would have not only been confused, but scared. I mean, what would I do, how would I study, how would I work? ABC Medical school answered a lot of these questions for me. And soon I discovered the advantage of podcasts, not class. The way my school and many other schools are starting to present lectures is via podcast. The teachers pre-record the lectures while voicing over a powerpoint and upload it online.   How is this better than in-person lectures? We have exams about every month, so at the beginning of the month, all of the lectures for the following four weeks are posted. Although this can seem overwhelming, this style of self-directed learning is actually very engaging. Not only can students listen to and take notes on material at their own pace, but they can also schedule days worth of lectures according to their personal schedules. Personally, this allowed me to travel to conferences and take leadership positions, all because I was able to schedule school according to my own needs. NBC   I also never knew how little I really retained from lectures that I couldn’t pause, stop, rewind, or even fast forward. Although I may still zone out and think about food and sleep, this time I am able...

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?...