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.

How Can I Be Successful On My Surgery Rotation?

Surgery is one of the most unique specialties. I remember an interview with Dr. Atul Gawande, one of the most influential surgeons of our time, where he said that surgery was very much like politics. There are characters with different personalities, running things their own way while trying to influence the world around them. After having spent the past two weeks on my surgery clerkship (with four more to go), I couldn’t agree more. But what really does it take for a lowly medical student (like myself) on his or her first time on surgery to be successful? Well, it starts by knowing a few basic facts.   1. Efficiency is key While this is very difficult to achieve when you are overwhelmed with 30 patients on your service on the first day you join the team, efficiency is something that surgeons value very much. There’s no time to sit down and talk eloquently about a patient’s I’s and O’s, their creatinine trend, or the differential diagnosis of low hemoglobin. You give them some fluids or blood and move on.   2. Don’t feel bad if you feel unnoticed Surgeons are perceptive people. Even though it may feel like you are being ignored as the third year medical student, your residents and attendings easily pick up on your competence (or otherwise). This may be during morning rounds when you...

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...

So What Really Is The Purpose Of A Medical Residency?

Going through rotation after rotation as a third year medical student, I often wonder if I’m really retaining anything. Some days prove to be so overwhelming that I often wonder whether I can truly perform as a physician in the field. The sheer volume of knowledge that we are expected to muster in a quick and efficient way is quite jarring. So, I thought maybe residency will help me out with this. As I started talking to residents on each rotation, they all gave me different takes on the value and utility of a medical residency. One description in particular has stuck with me, breaking down our progression as clinicians from the first day of residency all the way to our (hopefully) long tenure as attending physicians.   1. Safe As first year residents, we know a lot, and there’s no doubt about it. However, the importance of establishing patient safety and understanding the concept of “do no harm” takes primary importance. It’s ok to not know what to do rather than doing something unsafe. Our actions are often life changing and you want to make sure that you start off your clinical practice on the right foot by determining the safest approach.   2. Good As you progress further along in residency right as you are entering the median years, the focus is on building on safety and...

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...

The FAQs About Third Year Clerkships

There was some point in your life, either as a young elementary school kid or a senior in college, when you finally decided that you were going to become a doctor. You dedicated every waking moment of your life to that task, preparing yourself in the best way possible to become one of the best. After four years of college and two years of medical school, you finally arrive on the wards, ready to care for patients. So now what? Being 4 months out from my first day as a third year medical student, I can finally reflect back and answer some of the most common questions and concerns I had about doing well on third year clerkships. 1. What’s the best way to prepare for shelf exams? In one word – Uworld. To elaborate on this a little more, if your shelf consists of NBME questions, Uworld is a great resource to start with as you are going through the 4-8 weeks of each rotation. There are also NBME practice exams that can be found online to prepare you more. However, as per my experience, I found Uworld to be more than sufficient for doing well on shelf exams. 2. What resources can I use to study while on the wards? UpToDate, Case Files, Online MedEd. The most common questions you are going to be asked as a...

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...

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