medschool

This Year’s Match Week Broke The Record Books

Match Week has always been a stressful time for medical students looking for their next big break — after all, why would this many people put in countless hours of studying, volunteer work, and resume building in the medical field if you didn’t think it was for you? Many apply, yet few get in. Last year’s Match Week broke a number of records, but this year broke the ceiling. We break down the numbers and see why we received the most Match registrants in history, and which specialties they matched on. Match Week, By The Numbers 37,103 applicants submitted program choices for 33,167 positions. The number of available first-year (PGY-1) positions rose to 30,232, an increase of 1,383 over 2017. The number of Match registrants was the highest ever at 43,909. The increase was due primarily to students/graduates of U.S. osteopathic medical schools, whose numbers grew by 1,054 over 2017 to 6,054 this year. Seniors Lead The Way In Match Week Every student, regardless of year or experience, wants to get the match. Despite the heavy competition, seniors were able to fill the most positions. According the NRMP, U.S. allopathic seniors filled more than 90% of most positions, mostly in Integrated Interventional Radiology (95.5%), Orthopedic Surgery (93.1%), Integrated Plastic Surgery (92.9%), Radiation Oncology (91.5%), Neurological Surgery (90.2%), and Otolaryngology (90.2%). Specialties with more than 30 positions that filled less than 45 percent with U.S....

5 Things You Need To Get Into Medical School

How do you get into medical school? Below I will go over the top 5 things that everyone medical school applicant should have on their application.   1. A Legitimate “Why” I’m not just talking about your personal statement. To get into medical school, your “why” should be all throughout your application. In reality, not one medical student has only one reason to become a doctor. We’re influenced by a variety of experience to pursue medicine. So the real question is, what are your “whys”? If you first, second, and third answers are “I want to help people”, try again. Everyone wants to help people. You can become a stockbroker and “help people” become rich (or try to). But do you also want to become a stockbroker? Of course, you don’t. (Maybe you do) What is it about becoming a physician that attracts you? Is it the leadership? Is it the lifelong learning? Is it the privilege to work with sick patients and their families? Once you come up with you “whys”, try to convince yourself.  Do you believe it when you hear yourself saying “I want to become a doctor because of X, Y, and Z”? Are those reasons truly your “whys”? Only you will know. 2. Shadowing Experience: Too often students try to get into medical school with limited shadowing experience. You can’t just shadow a doctor once or twice and make a life...

Internal Medicine Rotation Resources I Used To Receive Honors

In my post, I laid out my top tips to honor your internal medicine rotation. In this post I’ll walk through each resource I used to score well on the shelf and ultimately receive honors in the internal medicine rotation! Once you pick your resources, check out my study schedule on how to study for the internal medicine shelf. Internal medicine covers a lot of material so no time to waste. Let’s get to it. UWORLD: (A+) This is the granddaddy of them all. You’ll use UWORLD for almost all of your rotation. But UWORLD for the internal medicine rotation is a must. You can argue, in fact,  it’s all you need. The question bank has over 1400 questions! You’ll be well prepared for the rotation and the shelf if you complete them all. How is it even possible to fit 1400 questions into a busy internal medicine rotation? It’s challenging but doable. My next post about the internal medicine will break down exactly how I studied during my clerkship. I’ll include a week by week breakdown and how I used all the resources. Spoiler alert, expect to do at least 40 questions every day. Some days will be easier than others, but that’s the blunt truth of how to get through them all. After completing UWORLD 1.25 x, I had little anxiety before the test. Make this question bank a...

Is It Time Yet To Redefine Medical Education?

The ins and outs of medical education are hard to imagine as an outsider to the field. However, once you are in it, it’s a rabbit hole with not escape. Even as a lowly first year medical student, I am often embroiled in engaging articles or scintillating conversations about the state of medical education. What have we done that has worked well in the past? Is it working at its optimal capacity right now? What kind of scope do we have to improve it for our future generations of doctors? From the times of apprenticeship as the primary way of learning the art of medicine to the current paradigms of systematized education by the 2+2 model (2 years of basic science education followed by 2 years of clinical education), we have definitely come a long way. However, like everything in the world, the new establishment comes with its own set of drawbacks. While I am engaged in the day and night struggle to ingrain those molecular biomarkers of immunology or those atypical antipsychotics commonly prescribed for schizophrenia, the context of it all often seems out of reach. I constantly question myself: How does this all apply to a patient? This imagination process is often unfortunately left to the individual student, pending future patient contact in 2 years time. So what can really be done to improve the current setup...

Why I Didn’t Do Neurology

Neurology was my last rotation of my third year of med school, and you guys, I Loved It. I found it so fascinating that for the first time ever, I didn’t mind staying long hours at the hospital. When I did the consult service, it was like solving little puzzles all day. And the residents and attendings were my favorites… I fit so well with them (being Nerdy McNerderson and all). So why didn’t I do neurology? I could list reasons, but there was one big reason that pretty much explained everything: In the area of the country where I wanted to live to be near my husband, there were a total of eight neurology spots. Four of them were at a highly malignant program. And I felt that I wasn’t competitive enough to win one of four spots in a very desirable region of the country where I had zero connections. So I didn’t bother to try. That said, here are the reasons I’m glad I didn’t do neurology: 1) The job market is tight right now in neurology. 2) Not much in the way of procedures if you don’t do a fellowship. 3) I think neurologists are much better at diagnosing than treating, especially in the area of stroke. I’m not impressed with the medications prescribed by neurologists. A neurologist friend of mine is convinced that neurontin...

Choosing a Medical Speciality Based on Your Personality

When people ask me what I want to be when I grow up, I tell them I’m going to be a doctor. Then, I have a mini-existential crisis when I realize I’m 22 years old and almost a full-blown “grown-up.” Usually, after that, they ask me what kind of doctor I want to be. And then I have another crisis because I don’t really know what I’m going to specialize in. Sure, there are certain specialties that I’m drawn to. But, isn’t it too early to tell? And, how am I really supposed to know, considering there’s so many specialties to choose from? I know, I know, there’s really no need for me to panic. It’s not until your third year of medical school that you actually start rotations, so there’s plenty of time to find the specialty that suits you. But, regardless, I’m still very fascinated by what speciality I’ll end up in, and I often day-dream about the types of illnesses I’ll be treating as a physician. I’ve asked the doctors I shadowed about what drew them to their specific specialty. One of the answers that really stood out to me was that each speciality has a certain personality type—you’re often drawn to a specific speciality based on whether you possess its distinct personality. It turns out many people use this personality-specialty match to figure out what specialty would...

Does It Sometimes Feel Like I’m Married To Medicine?

There’s so much love in the air this month. Every time I’m on Facebook, I see an engagement announcement. Despite being in a relationship myself, the longest commitment I have had is not with an individual. It’s with medicine. At this point, it would be appropriate to change my relationship status to: married to medicine. I have been loyal to medicine since I was 15. And I’m almost 30. That’s 15 years of pure devotion. I don’t even have the time to be fickle-hearted. Long before I took The Hippocratic Oath on my white coat ceremony, I said my vows to medicine. I didn’t realize at the time but when I declared a pre-medical academic track, my heart whispered to medicine: from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, or poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. I guess my acceptance letter was medicine telling me it loves me, too. On Valentine’s Day this year, I spent 12 hours at school during the day (from 7 AM – 7 PM) and less than 5 hours with my boyfriend. During dinner, I even felt guilty for not studying for an upcoming exam. I work my absolute hardest and concentrate fully on this one relationship to the exclusion of all others. I would love to have some flexibility and freedom to devote to other people...