yash-pandya

Yash Pandya

Yash Pandya is a science writer at The "Almost" Doctor's Channel. He is a rising third-year student at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in Emergency Medicine with minors in Neuroscience and Chemistry. Yash plans on attending the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Fall 2016 with guaranteed admission. In addition to the usual humdrum of academic involvement, Yash loves to play Ping Pong, catch up on the latest "Big Bang Theory," and travel. Having lived in India for half his lifetime, Yash aspires to expand his horizons into international healthcare by practicing medicine globally.

What Is The Best Way To Get The Most Out Of Clinical Clerkships?

It’s been a mere 4 weeks since I started my third year of medical school. I was one of the few brave (or foolish, whichever you prefer) souls to start on internal medicine. I’ll be honest, clinical clerkships are no walk in the park. I’m in the hospital 6 days a week, waking up at 5:30 AM and hoping to trudge back home by 7 PM, grab a little bite to eat, and pass out on the couch. But don’t get me wrong, I would never trade this for the first two years of medical school. The fatigue definitely hits you everyday, but the reward of finally learning what I came to medical school to do in the first place is unparalleled. So now that you are finally a third year, what is the best way to get the most out of rotations? In my opinion, it comes down to three simple rules: 1. Know your patients AND know other people’s patients I know what you’re going to say. I can already see you nodding your head from side to side and judging me. Let me be clear, I’m not that guy who tries to know everything about everything in order to show off, because honestly, I have the attention span of a squirrel. I am, however, a proponent of the principle that you learn by doing. I still...

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...

Is The Need To Feel Productive Taking Over Your Life?

The fact that someone is interested in medicine tells a lot about them. In most cases, it’s safe to assume that they possess a certain degree of self-drive, passion for the human condition, and an urge to prove themselves. However, with this burning fire comes an insatiable need to make the most use of one’s time and a tendency to feel the guilt when that is not the case. Is the Need To Feel Productive Taking Over Your Life? This sense of self-reflection is exacerbated even further as a medical student, a stage where every second counts towards better understanding the basic medical disciplines (and working towards that great board score of course!). I myself will admit being victim to this notion even right now (compelling me to write this article rather than slacking off for an hour or two). However, there are certain steps that you can take to assuage your concerns and obsessions with the need to feel productive. Another way to look at this is by finding ways to make better use of your free time. Laura Vanderkam delves into this very concept in her TED Talk below. For us future physicians, this presents an especially interesting dilemma. Compared to most professions, medicine is one of the few fields demanding a workweek that can quite easily exceed 60 hours. However, at the same time, the concept of...

How Do You Imagine Your Future Career As A Physician?

I’ve done it, you’ve done it, we’ve all done it. Lying down in bed at night right before you’re about to go to sleep, imagining your life after 15 years when you are an independent, practicing physician. We all know what it’s going to take to get there – working your butt off, passion for the field, etcetera etcetera. However, given the people of science that we are, it might be worthwhile to look at it from a more objective lens. In other words, here’s the question that I want to try to answer – what are the factors that contribute to the decision you make when choosing a specialty? Inside the OR vs. Outside the OR vs. Somewhere in the Middle I would encourage you to reference an earlier article I wrote where I described the process that every first year medical student should consider going through, trying to shadow in as many specialties as possible in order to figure out between medicine and surgery. In my opinion, this is the most important decision that you need to make while you are still in infancy for the long road ahead. If you like being in the OR and nothing else, then you should do something in surgery. If you can live without the OR, but still want to do something procedural, then you should look into something along...

A Review Of Study Resources For The Big USMLE Step 1

A day rarely passes by without coming across yet another resource that is widely renowned for helping medical students do well on the USMLE Step 1. As soon as I get a chance, I jump onto one of those forums (SDN, usmleforum, etc.) to find out what people think. More often than not, I am left more indecisive than before, confused about who I should trust and whether it will be worth my time adopting a brand new resource to improve my chances for a good score on Step 1. However, looking forward to taking the exam in nearly six months from now, I have compiled a list of resources and would like to share what I think about them in as objective a manner as possible. So strap yourselves in for the ride!  First Aid I’m not going to beat the dead horse with this one. First Aid is a must for you to do well on the exam. It is a comprehensive resource that compiles all content from the first two years of medical school in one book. On the downside, it consists of lists and outlines rather than explanations. While there are mnemonics to help you remember the details, sometimes you may need mnemonics to remember the endless list of mnemonics. Kaplan In my opinion, Kaplan is a great resource for students who would like to...

So, How Do I Stay Busy In Medical School?

Medical school is hard. There is no denying that hard-set fact. However, in order to make it through with your sanity still intact, you need to look outside the classroom. Here’s how to stay busy in medical school. The time you spend going through those basic science courses, organ systems, and patient cases is undoubtedly going to give you enough on your plate. However, I believe that it is a person’s interest beyond his or her core passion for learning the art of clinical practice that made them want to come to medical school. For most of us, it started when we took a hard look in the mirror and asked how we can make an impactful change in the world. You may have been someone who wanted to improve access to services and volunteered in the community or you might have worked at an HIV clinic to further detection and management of the ailment. For me, health literacy and public education was my calling. As I went through high school and college, I gradually and surely began to witness a huge divide in what health care providers can tell their patients. Be it through counseling or direct prescriptions, there often seemed to be a deficit in receiving that same guidance by the patients. Part of the reason was a lack of clear communication and consideration from the provider...

What I Learned The Last Summer Of My Life…

Feels kind of odd to think about the last summer of your life. You never think the last will ever be your last. However, as a first year medical student, the 3 summer months before your second year are truly the last months of sweet freedom. After that, all you have to look forward to is Step 1 (yikes!) and two glorious years of core clerkships and electives before you start residency. So, I put a lot of thought into my summer plans, which ended up being more of a dilemma really. “Should I be the classic gunner and do research all three months or should I take a nice vacation?” In the end, I made the clichéd middle of the road choice of doing a little bit of research and taking a trip down memory lane to India. After wrapping up my research work, I took a flight out on August 1st and landed straight in Ahmedabad, the hopping city in the quaint, peninsular state of Gujarat. A lot had changed since the last time I was there, but the one thing that truly blew me away was health care. Yes, I know what you’re thinking – I probably went there to shadow. However, I didn’t need to. The sources that informed me about the state of medicine in India were composed of an eclectic cohort consisting of...

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