medschool

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...

Tweet Your Way to Med School

When I first told my former journalism teacher that I was planning on applying to medical school, he immediately advised me to start a blog to document my experience as a non-traditional applicant. His suggestion is one that is becoming more and more common for pre-med students looking to open up a dialogue about the struggles of preparing to apply to medical school. Shortly after beginning journalistdoingscience.blogspot.com, I realized that starting a blog was an amazing way to connect with the medical community. Then, after a few months of blogging, I began a Twitter account that connected to my blog and enabled me to share my posts and find others with similar interests to mine (pediatrics, infectious diseases, medical research). Through Twitter I have been able to “meet” an amazing number of people, organizations, and educational institutions that have been helpful, influential, and supportive. There are physicians who are more than willing to offer advice, other pre-med students who can offer you a shoulder to lean on and informational resources such as the AMCAS Twitter for when you have a question about your application. Also, there are many Facebook groups for hospitals, individual doctors or research institutions that offer advice ranging from what to wear on interview day to how to treat the common cold. On my blog I’ve received feedback from people who I wouldn’t have been able...

Calling All PreMeds: The Key to Med School is EMS

This past summer I took an EMS class in New Jersey and gained my state and national certification as an EMT-B provider. Though I’m not a practicing EMT just yet, I hope to become an EMT for the squad my university runs this year. From my class alone and friends who are already EMTs, I’ve gathered that becoming an EMT (or even at least taking the class) may be one of the best ideas for premeds yet. So, I present my top five reasons for this:   1. Build a Foundation in Medicine Here’s a confession: as an undergrad, so far I haven’t really learned much of anything about medicine from my pre-med classes. Sure, they say that learning about electromagnetism and plant biology teaches you how to think like a doctor and prepare for medical school, but how come there’s only one semester of relevant biology actually required to be a pre-med? Yes, medicine is definitely much more than biology, but how come the only way I could take an anatomy class is as an elective in later years if the nursing school decides I can join the class? Now, I don’t have to worry about trying to squeeze in that extra class. I not only got a pretty thorough anatomy lesson, but I also learned basic diagnostics, pediatric and geriatric trends, simple pharmacology, and a host of...

The Instagram of Medicine: Figure1

What is it? Smithsonian Magazine dubbed it the “new photo app that can help doctors brainstorm what, exactly, that weird thing growing on your leg is,” and it does exactly that. Doctors, nurse practitioners and a variety of health professionals can post photos and comment and categorize to help diagnosis. Figure1 may be even more popular with medical students who can learn from real life examples in fields across the board. Unfortunately, if you were hoping for a quick, perhaps more accurate, diagnosis of that bizarre rash, it’s not the new WebMD. Only verified licensed physicians are allowed to post photos, though everyone can browse the pictures already posted. How does it work? While Figure1 may seem like the greatest HIPAA violation ever, the app has strict guidelines to protect patient privacy including a brief consent form attached to each photo. According to the Wall Street Journal, Co-founder Dr. Joshua Landy says that Figure1 is even more privacy conscious than previous methods of image and knowledge sharing.   Here’s an example of how the app works and just how useful it is to physicians and med students alike:   Figure1 is available as a free download for both iPhone and Android users. Learn more at their website – https://figure1.com/....