studybreak

How to Win the Med School Admissions Game with a Few Emails

A hypothetical email exchange to the med school admissions office of every school I applied to: 12/14/16 4:36p Dear Admissions Committee, I am very interested in your medical school. For your consideration I have attached my AMCAS and transcript. Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you. Regards, Rachel     12/21/16 10:32p   Dear Admissions Committee, My name is Rachel and I applied to your medical school. I just wanted to follow up with my application to make sure it had been received and to give you my phone number in case you had any questions about my application. Again, thank you for considering me for a position in the Class of 2018, I hope to hear from you soon. Regards, Rachel   1/12/17 6:32p Dear Admissions Committee, I hope all is going well with the admissions process. I know that decision emails were scheduled to be sent out on the tenth of January and since I never received an email saying I was either accepted or rejected I just wanted to follow up and make sure you’d received my application. If not, I have attached my personal statement and AMCAS application again. Thank you for your continued support in this application process. Rachel   1/15/17 3:12a Wow OK I just saw online that yuou have closed the interview process? Like you’re donee? Which...

The 8 Types of Medical School Professors

Going to medical school soon? Here’s a comic from Dr. Fizzy that will tell you just what type of medical school professors you will encounter, one way or another. They are all unavoidable and annoying, but at least they will help you get your medical degree, right? These are the types of medical school professors you will run across in medical school. The Enthusiast: will do your dissection for you but anatomy is not fun! Maybe he should drop the act… The Drone: he’ll allow you to catch up on sleep during class, but you’ll start to miss Powerpoint, even if he reads off it. The Party Animal: you will finally learn the effects of beer on kidney sections, but he will encourage you to drink beer under the table. Talk about peer pressure and second-hand drinking! The Comedian: she’s occasionally funny, but may cry if a pity laugh isn’t given. Might be insecure. The Sexist: great if you’re a female, but you may not be a female. Great if you’re a man, but may not be if you’re a woman. The Dummy: he’s easy at writing exams, but his board exam will be written by someone with actual medical knowledge. The Omniscient: kind of cool how he knows so much; however, the glass will shatter once you see the final exam. The Unmemorable: not memorably horrible and will make up most of...

6 Books for Future Doctors to Read, Part 2

Medical students and aspiring health professionals may already read their fair share of literature, but check out these books for future doctors. Click here to check out Part 1! “Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic” by Sam Quinones The opioid epidemic is perhaps our greatest public health crisis. To put this in perspective, overdoses claim more lives in the U.S. annually than car accidents. As a doctor, you’ll very likely see patients who are struggling with addiction. In “Dreamland,” Sam Quinones humanizes these patients by depicting how powerful opioids lay claim on our nervous systems. Quinones also delves deep into the forces that have driven the epidemic, including pharmaceutical companies’ heavy reliance on barebones research to support the widespread usage of pain meds. “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi Paul Kalanithi was an accomplished neurosurgery resident, well on his way to becoming a prominent surgeon-researcher. But, his life plans completely changed when he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. In “When Breath Becomes Air,” Kalanithi examines the meaning of life when on the brink of death. Although Kalanithi passed away in 2015, his memory lives on with his beautifully written, insightful memoir. “Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery” by Henry Marsh In “Do No Harm,” Henry Marsh talks about his life as a neurosurgeon. Aspiring doctors will learn a ton from...

The Passover Seder’s 4 Questions Interpreted by a Med Student

Ah, Passover, that one time of year where being a Sephardic Jew seems like the most compelling thing in the world. If your in Jew-town like me, you are currently living a cold and empty life without bread, or all grains for that matter. Despite all of the archaic and seemingly pointless rituals of Passover, there is one that stands strong, the reciting of the four questions at the Seder. One person, traditionally the youngest child, recites one question, “Why does this night differ from all other nights?” followed by 4 answers. As an aspiring doc, I was never quite content with the answers given to these questions. They’re questionable either from the standpoint of a medical student or from a pure medical standpoint. Here’s why: 1. On all other nights we eat bread or matza, while on this night we eat only matza. I’m not sure about you, but my fam and I don’t sit around nomming on matza, “on all other nights.” Bread is our go-to. Also, last time I checked Passover is 8 days, meaning it’s not only that on this night we’re gonna choke on dry, disgusting matzah, but I will also have a whole 192 hours to risk my life eating the choking-inducing food. Thanks a lot, Pharoah. A closer look at those nutrition facts suggests that maybe we should switch over to matzah-instead-of-bread diet....

QUIZ: The Link Between Medicine and Music

Aside from the health benefits of listening to your favorite tunes, there are plenty of links between medicine and music. There’s a long history of band names, song themes and product marketing drawing inspiration from medical terms – this quiz tests how much you’ve been paying attention. Are you a music trivia genius? A medical fact repository? A healthy mix of both? Let’s find out! Test your knowledge on music medicine! The Ultimate Medicinal Music Test Which rock duo recorded the bluesy indie hit “Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine”? What was Robert Palmer suffering from when he sang “Doctor, doctor, give me the news…”? Which dental anaesthetic did alt-rockers Eels think would sooth their soul in 1996? What was the name of the 2009 Marrow track released via a USB shaped like a pill container? Which Gregory Isaacs song shares its name with a popular cold & flu brand? Can you name the 80s band that took their name from the stimulant Dextroamphetamine? In 2017, Dexter Holland gained a PhD for his HIV research; which famous pop-punk band does he sing for? Which beloved rock star famously finished a full set after he fell from the stage and broke his leg in 2015? What percentage of different humans’ brains respond exactly the same way to musical stimulus? Diagnosis: One Hit Wonder Better luck next time. Either you’re not...

Drinking Nescafé: How Strong Is Your Caffeine Addiction?

Today I bought a giant can of Nescafé just to get the free sugar bowl that came with it. We already have a whole set of mugs I acquired the same way. My husband thinks I’m crazy and he keeps hiding the mugs in the deepest recess of the kitchen cupboard. But I like the mugs. I am genuinely thrilled by our new sugar bowl. It’s a cheery red and says Nescafé across the top. I like the stuff and I like Nescafé. You all think I’m crazy now. I mean, it’s not just instant coffee, it’s mediocre instant coffee made by a giant conglomerate. Some people will argue it’s the most disgusting coffee on earth. Why, exactly, would I want it to decorate my kitchen? The thing is, Nescafé is a symbol for me. When I started my aid career, I didn’t drink coffee at all. It was bitter and unpleasant and I usually got enough sleep that I didn’t need the caffeine. Then I moved overseas for my first aid job, and now I don’t just drink coffee. I drink Nescafé. And I LIKE it. It might be the most disgusting coffee on earth, but it’s available everywhere. You’re never without caffeine if you can tolerate Nescafé. Every single time a health official, a nurse, a community member or a colleague breaks out the coffee to welcome their...

Watch Film’s Most Frightening Medics on Halloween

Halloween only comes once a year, but the scariest movies and tales of evil can stay with you long after the dusty decorations have been stowed. From the unthinkable evil acts of Dr. Hannibal Lector, the cannibal psychiatrist, to the misguided misdemeanors of Ernest Menville, the submissive plastic surgeon, the horror genre is littered with downright dangerous doctors. But, characters and crimes aside, why do we even watch horror movies in the first place? The side effects of such viewing in many people include a racing heart, perspiration, goosebumps and even nightmares, so why put ourselves through the mental anguish when we could be watching Scrubs? Dr Linnie Blake (not included in our list of evil doctors!), Head of the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK, answers this question. “Horror cinema offers its audience rather more than squealy thrills. In focusing on what frightens us and pushing our endurance to the limit – though in a highly controlled and essentially safe manner, it opens a creaking door on the workings of the human mind and the cultural norms of our societies. “Horror may make us feel – the racing heart, the laughter of relief, the howl of disgust. It also makes us think – about outsiders and deviants, the monster and those made monstrous by the societies in which they live. It enables...

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