john-silva

John Silva, "Almost" MD

I'm John Silva, I was born, then things happened, and now I'm a medical student at OUWB medical school. I enjoy the internet, working out, writing, travel and occasionally doing absolutely nothing. My motivation comes predominantly from rap music and youtube videos. I run on caffeine and lofty aspirations. Read the rest at tumblr.com/blog/jbesilvs. He tweets @jbesilvs.

http://www.tumblr.com/blog/jbesilvs

What If Medical School Was a Religion?

Medical school is not a religion. Sure it takes over one’s life, colors one’s perception of the world, and makes for uncomfortable dinner conversation, but it’s not a religion. That being said, it is definitely like a religion. For instance:   First Aid This is your bible. I mean that because it is the book that will guide your studying, which for a period of time is your life. In the stressed and uncertain times of learning medicine from scratch, this book will show you the way to a good STEP score, and with it an iota of mental peace. You will memorize this book better than most religious scholars know their religious texts,and its pages will serve as the foundation of much of your lifelong knowledge after you’ve read it.   Hospital This is your church. For the religiously inclined, there is a reasonable chance you will find yourself praying here at one point of your life. For everyone, it is the pinnacle of medicine. Within it’s hallowed halls you will think thoughts and wield powers you won’t anywhere else. Coincidentally, this place will supercede many religious holidays (Emergencies don’t wait for Christmas presents L). Unfortunately, this churches Sabbath can sometimes consist of night shifts.   Coffee You will drink this productivity inducing nectar religiously.   Study Desk This is your pew. This is where you will learn...

The 5 Nuances of Medical School That Will Help You Stay Sane

Streamline your studying Streamlining one’s study techniques is often one of the more difficult concepts to grasp at the onset of medical school. This is because in undergrad you managed to do that thing, it worked, you did it for every test, and boom, now you’re in medical school. Well, in medical school you find out that that thing actually wasn’t very efficient. Flash cards, group studying, writing out notes, even going to class everyday, all of that which seemed to take care of business in undergrad takes too much time to be truly effective in medical school. What becomes abundantly clear is that succeeding in medical school, while simultaneously enjoying one’s life, requires continually refining one’s study techniques in order to learn the most, the best, in the least amount of time. Though the concept is simple: pay attention to material, insert information into your brain, and regurgitate it come test time; as one dives head first into the process, it becomes surprisingly complicated. It requires constantly experimenting new methods, comparing your techniques with others, as well as figuring out what to know as well as what not to know. It involves getting meta with yourself and understanding how you learn, what motivates you to learn, and how to manage your time so that you can best learn. I could seriously go on, but it would be useless...

6 Thoughts You Will Definitely Have in Medical School

1. “________ classmate should probably not be a doctor.” At the end of the day, I am not in any way a judge of who can or cannot be a doctor. In fact, a doctor once told me that I didn’t have what it took to be a doctor, and look at me now (still not a doctor…). That being said, anybody reading this who says they haven’t thought this while talking to one of their classmates is either lying or I guess just a genuinely nice person bordering on naiveté. The situation will be that you’re having what you think is just another blasé conversation at a party, when the person you’re talking to opens up and says something random like, “I don’t believe in vaccines” or you find out that the person is actually seriously prejudiced, or the person is just weird bordering on socially unacceptable. In this slightly drunk moment you will have the epiphany, your eyes will open, you’ll nod a little bit too much to what they are saying, and it will hit you: this person should probably not be a doctor. This thought is by no means a reflection of reality, because you’re in the same clueless position that the person who is talking to you is in, but it will happen, and you’re probably right. 2. “I’m not a fan of people” In...

6 Unique Idiosyncrasies of Medical School

Medical school is an experience that is hard to explain. But that’s not going to stop me from trying. 1. You’re still in high school. Congratulations, you made it into medical school. Prepare to enjoy spending time with the best and brightest from across the land, as you work together in a perfectly intelligent utopia. Just kidding, medical school is almost exactly like high school. There is gossip, jealousy, random and eventually non-random hook ups, clicks – the whole shebang. Medical students as a whole are an intelligent and successful social group, yet suffer from the same petty drama, frivolous competition and unrestrained biological urges that everyone else does. In fact, it can sometimes be worse as many applicants are chosen specifically for being statistical outliers; this includes the ridiculously smart, the surprisingly devout, the hopelessly idealistic, the needlessly assertive, and of course the socially inept. Enjoy as you navigate this weird social milieu while sleep deprived and stressed out, with the least patience you’ve ever had. 2. You have a job, but it’s not really a job. Your job for the most part at this stage is simply paying attention for a really long time. Clerkships, lectures, the cavalcade of material you are expected to memorize, this all requires you to simply be present a lot of the time. Your friends will be like, I worked sixty hours, and...

What Specialties Harry Potter Characters Would Probably Pick

A particularly enjoyable aspect of medical school is thinking about the specialties all of your friends, and not friends, will pursue. The decisions one makes in these games come from horribly superficial personality judgments of the people around you, coupled with equally superficial stereotypes of specialties. Is it right? Maybe. Is it fun? Definitely. Recently I was watching a Harry Potter movie and thought, why not apply these talents to my favorite book series: Harry Potter. The following are the result.   Dumbledore: Neurosurgeon Dumbledore would most definitely be a neurosurgeon. He is single, perpetually busy, knows everything and his life’s work is his work. Moreover, would it surprise anyone if Dumbledore had a little bit of a god complex? That being said, if you had a brain tumor that needed removing, and Dumbledore walked in being like, “Imma take that tumor out of your head” you would be like, “yup, let’s do this”.   Voldemort: Plastic surgeon Voldemort is equally as intelligent and hard working as Dumbledore, but he would probably choose to be a plastic surgeon that specializes in breast implants, botox and face lifts, that he refuses to perform for more than three hours a day. He would be wildly successful too, as he would open up a private practice in L.A., destroy the competition (likely literally), and spend the majority of his days golfing, driving...

5 Fictional Hospitals I Wouldn’t Want To Go To

If one were to aggregate the top three reasons why people want to become doctors they would go: 1. To help people, 2. At least some affinity for science and 3. Because of some hospital show they loved growing up. The reality that many doctors are too vain to admit – myself included – is that at one point we all watched shows about doctors, fantasized about becoming one, and these fantasies influenced our decisions to enter the field more than we would like to admit. Well, similar to my hobby of imagining being an awesome fictional doctor, I recently tried imagining what it would be like to be a patient in these fictional hospitals. This was not fun. In fact, it was somewhat terrifying. What I instantly realized is that much of the attraction of a medical show comes from watching fictional doctors deal with a variety of severe and shocking diseases. This becomes a very real problem for you as a fictional patient, as you are the one with all the severe and shocking diseases. Add to that the fact that you will be treated by a variety of doctors riddled with issues, drama and ridiculous idiosyncrasies; being a patient in these hospitals is in itself a health hazard. Because of this epiphany, I’ve decided to compile the top five fictional hospitals I wouldn’t want to go...

What Makes Medical School Hard? The Work or the Study Anxiety?

As I sit on a train on my way from Chicago, staring out the window as Maple trees and Midwestern suburbs zoom by, I have an introspective moment. I can’t believe how absolutely relaxed I am. Having spent my spring break with old friends and new, exploring Downtown Chicago and Downtown Detroit, I just feel lucky. I then casually look to my right and see my friend staring intensely into a book. What book is that? I look closer and it’s none other than Lilly’s Pathophysiology of Heart Disease. Dammit. I forgot I’m in the middle of Cardio. Crap, the test is next Friday. I really need to study for that. Do I have a book with me right now? No. Dammit. Well I need something. I look at my other friend pulling up study blue on his phone. I feel my anxiety rise. The unspoken truce of no studying has been broken. I am left to worry about all the information I could be learning. The rest of the train ride consists of going over the material in my head, planning out what I will do back home to make up for my apparent lack of work. My spring break is officially over. It turns out that even in Chicago, I can’t escape my study anxiety. What makes medical school hard is that studying follows you like a...

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