medschool

Five Ways To Keep Your Brain Alert In Medical School

Reading a Fast Company article this morning,  I was inspired to consider the ways I can keep my brain alert for the long haul. As a student, I do study most of the time so one could argue that my brain is constantly alert. It’s true that I do have to make a conscientious effort to relax my brain.  But, the suggestions in the article were very helpful. I’ve slightly modified the five daily habits that were recommended to the general public to be more school friendly. With a schedule as busy as ours, the following five suggestions may not be feasible to do on a daily basis. I think weekly is more manageable. Change your diet. I recently made changes to my own diet by drinking more water. If you’re anything like me, spending money and investing in a more expensive product such as the trendy Swell bottle could motivate you to drink more water. Or, adding fruit like berries, or lemon slices, or herbs like mint, help to change the flavor of plain water. Take inventory of what you could benefit from the most. For example, if you order Domino’s 3X a week, perhaps making home cooked meals would be an appropriate swap to incorporate more greens and vegetables to your diet. I have also found that switching the grocery store you shop for food adds some...

Top Five Graduate Degree Careers and Jobs

If you are wondering what you should ‘get a masters in’ by going back to school, you may want to consider one of the 5 fastest growing careers that require a graduate degree. All five choices represent occupations with the most projected growth between 2016-26 as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), where the typical entry-level education is a master’s degree.i Earning a master’s degree is a big commitment. First, you likely want to make sure it’s worth the investment – of time, money and energy. In addition to considering your interest, it could be important to look towards your future career. Why not match your strengths with some solid data about job growth and salary potential? You could explore topics you love while preparing to pursue a potentially dynamic career path in the future. What Are the 5 Fastest Growing Careers That Require a Graduate Degree? The fastest growing careers that require a graduate degree are: (1) Physician Assistant – PA, (2) Nurse Practitioner – NP, (3) Statistician, (4) Mathematician, (5) Genetic Counselor. ii Just what does it mean to be in this category? Fastest Growing Careers That Require a Graduate Degree Courtesy of gradschools.com   Employment Outlook for the Fastest Growing Careers With a Graduate Degree (2016-2026) The number one factor in determining the top 5 fastest growing careers requiring a graduate degree is the employment outlook from 2016-2026. This is a...

What Happens If You Overuse Antibiotics?

I went to med school in a place where Lyme disease was endemic. So when I was on my Medicine rotation and one of my co-students complained about feeling tired and achy for a few days, our attending immediately said to him, “Get tested for Lyme disease.” The student was reluctant. He didn’t have a rash. Our student health plan was crappy with a huge deductible, so he would have had to pay for the test out of pocket. Also, I pointed out (from a personal Lyme scare) that he could get a false negative this early on. “Well, if you don’t want to get the test,” the attending said, “I’ll write you a prescription for doxycycline and you can just treat it.” And then we saw another attending, who totally agreed with this. Even years later, I still find this offensive. The course of treatment for Lyme is 10-21 days of antibiotics. Would you really give someone up to THREE WEEKS of antibiotics because they were tired and achy a few days? I took doxycycline and it made me throw up… not something I’d personally be excited to take for weeks for no reason. And… hello, antibiotic resistance? I’d like to believe that the attendings were just over-treating because it was a colleague and not something they recommend to all their patients. Originally syndicated from Dr. Fizzy’s Blog...

A Day in the Life of a MD-PhD Student

Physician-scientists are medical doctors who contribute significant effort toward scientific research and play an integral role in the advancement of medical knowledge. They provide a unique perspective to the research community through first-hand experience with patients and the problems they face, but they also have the research skills to directly address those problems. Examples include Edward Jenner, a physician who created the smallpox vaccine, and Frederick Banting, who isolated and discovered the therapeutic potential of insulin. Modern physician-scientists continue to carry on the tradition of excellency established by these earlier physician-scientists, though they are becoming a smaller part of the biomedical workforce. Being a MD/PhD student looking to become a physician-scientist is a time-consuming process that requires both medical and research training. Research training can be done at various times such as during fellowship, in a research year during medical school, or by completing a PhD. The latter is frequently offered in a dual-degree program in which research and medical training are integrated over approximately 8 years. This is an ideal route for those people interested in effectively translating basic science findings into the clinic. Over the past 4 years, I’ve often been asked by undergraduates interested in a career as a physician-scientist to describe my daily life as a dual-degree MD/PhD student. Yet, I have not because my days are so variable that I’ve found it difficult to...

Do You Have What It Takes To Be A Future Doctor?

Everyone – from family to neighbors to friends to fellow airplane passengers – impressed when you tell them you’re going to be a doctor. There has always been, and will always be, a certain prestige associated with being a doctor. “You must be really smart,” is the usual reaction to this declaration of my professional pursuit. But, the funny thing, I don’t think I’m smart. In fact, smart is one of the last words I would use to describe myself. I may be a future doctor, which sounds rather smart and noble, but I honestly do not consider myself any smarter than the average person. I am sure there are a handful in the profession that are truly gifted individuals, in general, my classmates are not brilliant. They are just normal people, some with unique hobbies and interests. There is one characteristic among all of us in this profession that is undeniable. And that is grit. We are all hustlers. We stick with it. We not only work hard, but we push our physical limits. We have unwavering self-confidence. We are willing to sacrifice more than most others. Despite the darkness, we know there will be light at the end. We appreciate delayed gratification. It is these traits that make you a doctor. Anyone can develop and practice these traits. Anyone can be a doctor. I was the hardest...

The Perils of Being a Woman Doctor

As a woman doctor it seems like I can’t book an appointment with a doctor anymore without being asked if I’m okay with seeing a man. OK, they didn’t ask me when I booked an eye doctor appointment. But when I recently scheduled an urgent care visit for a stomach bug that was taking a long time to clear up, they asked me. And the OB/GYN office always asks. Personally, my first pap was done by a man, and I really liked him. My second regular ob/gyn was also a man and also great. Yes, I’m a little more uncomfortable being examined down there by a man, but honestly, it’s uncomfortable either way. It depends on the doctor more than it depends on the gender of the doctor. It’s only a recent thing that there are enough female doctors that patients can even get a choice. What bothers is me is that when they specifically ask me, it makes me feel like maybe I *should* request a woman. Why can’t they just mention the doctor’s name and see if I protest? Also, has a man *ever* been asked if he was okay with the gender of his doctor? At work, I have also been put in positions from time to time where I was pressured to see a patient for no other reason than they had “woman problems,” when...

Reflecting After Christmas: Oh, What A Merry Time To Be In The Hospital

“Blessed is the season that engages the whole world in the conspiracy of love” ~ Hamilton Wright Mabie Don’t you just love driving around the glowing neighborhoods this time of the year? Those magnificent wreaths and garlands, homes adorned with icicle lights, and bright-lit Christmas trees with dazzling ornaments are such eye candies. Christmas is indeed my favorite time of the year. It is truly magical how this month brings a sense of happy spirit and togetherness among people. Be it in your own home or grocery stores or malls, our ears are instantly tuned to the jingle bell. What makes this season even more special is the privilege of family members coming together under one roof as most everyone gets those days off work. However, medicine is one such field that does not take days off in this peak time of accidents as well as other illnesses. As a matter of fact, holidays are often known to surface some of the most emergent cases. Several studies indicate that, in the United States, more people die in hospitals during Christmas, the day after, and New Year’s Eve. As a medical student observing the “future me” from a distant, I see myself being a little more stressed like most physicians around me. Similar to most people, there is of course cleaning, cooking, and shopping to be done apart from being...