How To Get To Your Residency Interviews

This post is all about getting ready for residency interviews. I essentially just began interviewing, so much of the information in my next two posts will be based on advice from countless friends, blogs, and attendings, in addition to my personal experience. I’ll follow these up with a post at the end of interview season to add anything I wish I had known beforehand. The very first step in preparing for interviews is setting up your 4th year schedule. This is based completely on personal preference and the requirements of your specialty. I took Step 2 in late June because about 30% of General Surgery programs require a Step 2 score for an interview. I chose an easy rotation in October, so that I could check my email constantly, and I am taking November and December off for interviews. Like I said, this is personal preference. Air travel stresses me out, so trying to arrange flights around an active rotation would drive me insane. I’d rather just have a rotation in April while the rest of my friends are on a beach somewhere. But the beach might be really important to you, so you’ll figure out how to make it work. As for the items below, you should start this process in September, before you actually get invited to any interviews (or even earlier if you have busy rotations in...

What to Do Over the Long Thanksgiving Weekend

The Thanksgiving break is in the air and there’s so much that you’re thankful for, like, perhaps, the break from a stressful semester? Being a medical student is not easy, you’re either constantly working or studying; there are simply no breaks. That means when Thanksgiving comes around, you’re in desperate need to lounging out, stuffing yourself like the turkey on your plate and simply having a good time with the family. Sounds easy? For most students, it’s really not. You’re so accustomed to constantly being busy that staying free simply doesn’t feel right. Thankful for Thanksgiving “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. But all play and no work makes him something worse”- Samuel Smiles The key is to balance it out but don’t worry, the struggle may be real but it’s not the end of the world. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your long weekend: 1.    Take a break Of course your friends are family are excited to have a doctor in the house but you need to give yourself priority first. That means avoid anything medical related, give your mind a break and just lounge out. Don’t: Psychoanalyze Prescribe drugs Diagnose health problems Instead you should read a novel or two, watch movies and put a halt to your medical knowledge for just a short while because you...

Top Three Worst Diseases in the Fall Time and My Experiences with Each

The Fall is a time for pumpkin picking, apple picking, leaf picking, but most importantly; illness.  Here are the three worst diseases I have come encounter with this Fall. Pneumonia Recently my roommate contracted Pneumonia and was hospitalized for 4 days and returned back to New Jersey for a week.  Now for all you doctors and residency students you are probably thinking “yea of course pneumonia sucks,” but it is a completely different thing to have it in a dorm room.  Confined space is where disease thrives, and me walking back into a room smelling of puke, gastric acid and lysol was quite possibly the worst sick cocktail smell of all time.  He stared me in the face said “I have a fever of 103.8, I think something’s wrong.”  Luckily I grew up in a medical household and have contracted every disease you can think of, strep, mono, scarlet fever.  So I knew that he wasn’t doing to great.  After three hours in the ER they finally said I could leave him and I returned back to the dorm.  For the next three days I couldn’t bring myself to enter into the room with the smells and finally got some of the girls down the hall to do a cleansing.  My roommate returned healthy after a little more than a week, and the room now smells of sweet Lysol....

Human World Records: The Greatest Achievements of the Human Body

Every year, thousands of people around the world submit their entry for a new world record. From the world’s longest fingernails to the most pints of beer drank in under 5 minutes, many of them show what the human body is capable of when it’s taken to extremes. For many of these people, it is a case of pushing the limits of the human body and mind. Mental barriers and physical hurdles are overcome. When signals are sent from the brain saying “stop”, they break through those, exercising incredible willpower and pushing beyond what they know is capable, breaking records time and again. There have been incredible feats of bravery and endurance. However, pushing mind and body to the limit isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. The challenge though, is to many, addictive and the sense of achievement once the goal is completed gives them unparalleled satisfaction. The “three needs” theory breaks motivation into three, arguing that motivation can be sliced into three: People push forward for achievement, for power and for belonging. This is certainly the case when the goal is more obscure or niche. They may be the only one striving for this goal and pursuing something against the advice of others. As humans, we strive to grow faster and stronger. To say, “what’s next?” and move forward. We enhance our capabilities every day and we all have...

Can We Smell Diseases: An Interesting Correlation Between Illness and Odor

You probably didn’t know this, but research shows that human beings can smell diseases. Most research conducted regarding smells usually involve mice and rats. Consequently, the sense of smell in human beings has been the last in the scorecard of senses. However, a recent study in the area disproves of the belief of the 19th-century scientists that the sense of smell is weaker than any other senses. A study published by Swedish Researchers from Karolinska Institute, Sweden, suggests that one can smell when another person is ill. Scientists who study volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have long established that each has a distinct odor. In that, we have an “odorprint” that is unique as one’s fingerprint. Your smell escapes from the skin, urine, breathe, and blood. Your body smell emanates from compounds that depend on your diet, age, sex, metabolism and most importantly, your health. As you consider an Australian medical residency, go through this article to gain more insight on the sense of smell in humans. Does Infection modify one’s body odor? One’s body odor is a complex combination of variable compounds. Microbes in our bodies play a role in how we smell. When pathogens invade our bodies, they change the level and type of these bacteria which leads to adjustment of one’s body odor. Once your immune system is activated to respond to the pathogens, it changes the...

Healthcare’s Future: What Happened Since The Election

The elections of 2016 brought about a significant change in the way American healthcare was run in the previous years. ObamaCare slowly took a toll as Donald Trump made his way into presidency: “’17 is going to be a disaster cost-wise for Obamacare. It’s going to explode in ’17.” (ABC News) According to Trump, the healthcare system of the United States needed a lot of work and that is exactly what the president was aiming at- a brighter future for healthcare. Over the years, the growth in presidency brought about a growth in the health plans of individual citizens, however, recently Trump raised an uproar in the repealing of ObamaCare. This post will discuss the major changes that have been brought about as Donald Trump took over presidency and whether or not the Republicans insight of ObamaCare brought success. Here we will discuss the aims, challenges and the proposals that was brought in by the elections. However, to understand how the healthcare system made drastic changes in the recent years, it’s important to first understand what exactly the ObamaCare was. What is ObamaCare? To put it in very simple terms, ObamaCare is a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act made in 2010 which simply aims to make health insurance a mandatory option for every individual. Enacted by the 111th United States Congress, President Barak Obama finally turned it into a...

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...