ryan-nguyen

Ryan Nguyen, "Almost" DO

Ryan Nguyen is a DO student at the Western University College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific and blogs about medical school at WhiteCoatDO.com. In addition to school, he is a Foundation Scholar for the California Academy of Family Practice and Student Ambassador for Doximity. He tweets @RNguyenMed.

http://whitecoatdo.com

5 Things You Need to Know About First Year

As August begins, all those anxious MS1s are entering into the world of “almost” docs. But what happens after the white coat ceremony? Here are the top 5 things I learned from my first year of med school. 1. Life revolves around school. From the very first day of anatomy lab until the final musculoskeletal exam, my life revolved around the next upcoming exam on the curriculum calendar. There was a certain amount of studying that needed to be done every day, and taking unnecessary days off created multiple dreaded 10+ hour study days. Unquestionably, medical school pushed me to manage my time more efficiently than anything in college. And while life did revolve around school, I tried my best to not make my life become just staring at power points. Just like my classmates and I become more efficient at studying, we squeezed as much fun as we could out of those windows of freedom, no matter how small they were.   2. Medical education is adapting to the digital age. Of all the scheduled class time during the year, I attended less than 25% of in-class lectures. WesternU COMP does a great job of being flexible with different learning styles, and the option to watch recorded lectures fit perfectly into my learning style. Instead of sitting through a 4-hour lecture, I could playback the lecture at 2x speed...

The DO’s Declassified Specialty Selection Guide

Are you looking for more information about choosing a specialty? Fox Network Look no further, The DO Magazine has a great archive of articles that go over the unique aspects of 19 different fields. For medical students, the articles also cover what program directors are looking for in applicants, from interpersonal skills to board scores. From A to Z, here is a guide to help you find the perfect specialty for you.   Anesthesiology– “Anesthesiologists like to joke, “We put people to sleep.” But in fact, the specialty is anything but dull.” “As anesthesiologists, we essentially are doing applied clinical pharmacology,” observes Mike Green, DO … “We’re giving patients medications and watching the changes in realtime as they are occurring in the operating room. That’s what makes it exciting.” What is the real allure of anesthesiology? Read more here.   Dermatology– “The specialty pays well… [but] beyond the pay and manageable hours, dermatologists usually love what they do, points out David L. Grice” “I see patients probably 70% of the time and spend about 30% of my time doing dermatopathology—reading slides, looking at excisions and biopsies. I love this mix of responsibilities.” Is dermatology for you? See what DO Magazine has to say. Nickelodeon   Emergency Medicine– “What other job could I have where I get paid to shove big needles in people’s backs and put a piece of plastic between their vocal cords? I love...

3 Unusual Classes You Should Take Before Med School

One of the most frequent questions premeds ask is “what classes should I take before going to medical school?” The AAMC and AACOM require (at a minimum) a year of biology, English, and chemistry, but there are a few non-traditional classes I wish I took in college. With medical school experimenting with more holistic approaches to admissions, perhaps these 3 classes will be more favorably looked upon by admissions committees in the future. Acting Every few weeks, 1st and 2nd year medical students from around the country knock on doors, ask to come in, wash their hands, and pretend to be doctors for 15 minutes. They take medical histories and perform physicals on real people, but the catch is that these “patients” are actually actors. Standardized patient encounters are increasingly being used as a part of pre-clinical medical education and offer medical students the chance to “practice” being a doctor before heading out to hospital rotations. If the “patients” are trained as actors then, wouldn’t it make sense for the “doctors” to have some training in acting as well? While it won’t help memorize the different cranial nerve exams, a background in acting could help students get into the “character” of a physician and develop “on the feet” thinking. Public Speaking Nearly 75% of people experience some anxiety about public speaking, but it is a critical skill to develop for a successful medical career....

NEW: Doximity Residency Rankings

Doximity, the social network for physicians, has recently launched Residency Navigator, a new online tool that evaluates and ranks medical and surgical residency programs. Through a peer nomination process (view methodology), Residency Navigator is the first-ever national attempt to create a ranking system for programs that train future physicians. University of California, San Francisco and Johns Hopkins University came out as big winners in the process. UCSF placed in the top 10 for 16 specialties and Johns Hopkins placed in the top 10 for 14 specialties across the board. Sorting Through Residency Programs With the annual opening of ERAS on September 15th, Residency Navigator offers students a chance to generate a list of residency programs based on location, training preference, and fellowship placement.  From there, users can view specific programs for affiliated hospital sites, board pass rate, subspecialty percentage, alumni percentage, and percentile ranks for research. Since launching on September 10th, more than 20% of the 15,000 medical students on Doximity have already used the tool to view the data. Ranking the Best Programs In addition to shining light on residency programs, Doximity’s Residency Navigator is also the first nation-wide attempt at create a public formal ranking of training programs. Recent reports from both the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ) have recently issued calls for transparency into the performance of residency programs. This is the first time...

5 Tips for Surviving Gross Anatomy

1. Understand anatomy is a relationship-driven class. The biggest struggle for me to overcome in anatomy was grasping how it differed so much from any class I took in college. Whereas biochemistry, microbiology, and genetics were driven by concepts and pathways, anatomy is based on relationship and positions in space. Successful students understand anatomy is one of the rare classes that exists in three dimensions and gear their studying accordingly. 2. Engage in group review. With study guides, mnemonics, and other study strategies that I would have never thought of, my classmates played a large role in my understanding of anatomy. Two particularly helpful strategies we used in groups were crowd-sourcing large study guides in Google docs and engaging in questions and answer review sessions. 3. Come prepared to lab. Anatomy lab can take up to two-four hours two to three time a week, which represents a good-chunk of time you could be studying on your own. Coming prepared to lab with notes, handouts, or practice questions can help you make the most out of these precious hours rather than standing around and waiting for lab to be over. 4. Experiment with different learning resources. In terms of Anatomy atlases, Netter’s, Thieme’s, and Lipincott’s were the three that provided the best illustrations for studying. Your school’s library should have copies of all three on reserve, and I would recommend experimenting with all three before deciding which one...

Beat Late Night Zombie Eyes With F.lux

Consider yourself a night-owl studier? Medical students’ eyes tend to be fixated on the bright hue of laptop screens throughout the day, producing Zombie Eye Syndrome (not officially on Step 1… yet). With the most study-intensive period of medical school, board preparation, just a few months away, there’s an easy way to help reduce eye-strain during those long nights with your First Aid.   F.lux takes control of your computers display colors and adjusts them to mirror the lighting of the room around you. In the morning, f.lux has your laptop displays its natural bright colors, but at night f.lux adjusts the color scheme to a calmer hue in order to take the strain off the eyes. From a physiologic basis, the theory is that reducing the bright light exposure to your eyes at night can help restore the natural balance of melatonin secreted by the pineal gland, but there aren’t any studies to back f.lux’s effect on this. From a personal perspective, I can’t study at night without f.lux on my laptop, and even briefly switching off the app at night produces a noticeable difference in screen brightness. As a free app, there’s no downside to giving f.lux a try and seeing if it helps benefit your eyes from those long nights of studying.     Featured image from Flickr...

5 Lessons From Medical Student Entrepreneurs

“You have an idea and the company becomes the oxygen for that idea. In these times, a company is the best way to spread that idea” – Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter  Would you take a year off from medical school to launch a startup? For many medical students, the idea of running a business as a doctor, let alone as a student, is a terrifying thought. We are trained in pathology and best-practice guidelines, not spreadsheets and business plans. A group of trailblazing medical student entrepreneurs, however, are breaking the traditional medical career mold. I recently interviewed four entrepreneurs who took time off from medical school in order to run a startup. Each at different parts of the startup process, they had lots to say about the steps leading up to their companies, juggling coursework and running a business, deciding to take time-off from school, and how they thought residencies would view them. The interviewees included: Adeel Yang of Picmonic Shiv Gaglani and Ryan Haynes of Osmosis Craig Monsen of Symcat   1. Launching a startup takes more than a great idea A common misconception about starting a company is that the key to success lies in just finding a great idea. The backgrounds of these medical students shows otherwise. Yang worked for a venture capital firm where he met with entrepreneurs and reviewed business plans, Monsen used his...

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