Choosing a Medical Speciality Based on Your Personality

When people ask me what I want to be when I grow up, I tell them I’m going to be a doctor. Then, I have a mini-existential crisis when I realize I’m 22 years old and almost a full-blown “grown-up.” Usually, after that, they ask me what kind of doctor I want to be. And then I have another crisis because I don’t really know what I’m going to specialize in. Sure, there are certain specialties that I’m drawn to. But, isn’t it too early to tell? And, how am I really supposed to know, considering there’s so many specialties to choose from? I know, I know, there’s really no need for me to panic. It’s not until your third year of medical school that you actually start rotations, so there’s plenty of time to find the specialty that suits you. But, regardless, I’m still very fascinated by what speciality I’ll end up in, and I often day-dream about the types of illnesses I’ll be treating as a physician. I’ve asked the doctors I shadowed about what drew them to their specific specialty. One of the answers that really stood out to me was that each speciality has a certain personality type—you’re often drawn to a specific speciality based on whether you possess its distinct personality. It turns out many people use this personality-specialty match to figure out what specialty would...

Does It Sometimes Feel Like I’m Married To Medicine?

There’s so much love in the air this month. Every time I’m on Facebook, I see an engagement announcement. Despite being in a relationship myself, the longest commitment I have had is not with an individual. It’s with medicine. At this point, it would be appropriate to change my relationship status to: married to medicine. I have been loyal to medicine since I was 15. And I’m almost 30. That’s 15 years of pure devotion. I don’t even have the time to be fickle-hearted. Long before I took The Hippocratic Oath on my white coat ceremony, I said my vows to medicine. I didn’t realize at the time but when I declared a pre-medical academic track, my heart whispered to medicine: from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, or poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. I guess my acceptance letter was medicine telling me it loves me, too. On Valentine’s Day this year, I spent 12 hours at school during the day (from 7 AM – 7 PM) and less than 5 hours with my boyfriend. During dinner, I even felt guilty for not studying for an upcoming exam. I work my absolute hardest and concentrate fully on this one relationship to the exclusion of all others. I would love to have some flexibility and freedom to devote to other people...

Your Apple Watch Could Detect Stroke

Stroke comes in at number five at the top ten killers in the US, affecting more than 800,000 people a year in the US alone. The problem is that there are no symptoms of a stroke, until it actually occurs. A large percentage of those are caused by atrial fibrillation. Traditionally, Atrial fibrillation or a-fib could be diagnosed in a laboratory setting with the use of an ECG. But, that’s just too complicated and takes a long time. Plus, all the sensors and wires attached to the body make it an uncomfortable process. But, what if there was a way to skip all the wires and sensors and get a real time reading of your heart right on your smart watch? Researchers think that day could be here sooner than you think. Smartwatches already have heart rate sensors, albeit they are crude and basic. The technology works by shining a green light from the LED into the skin, then measuring how much of it is reflected back through your red blood. The results vary based on the volume of blood, which can give you a pulse reading. Up until now, the main challenge for these smartwatch sensors is that they cannot detect every beat, and intermittently determine the heart rate. By employing a machine learning algorithm, researchers were able to use a neural net to teach the algorithm to...

Here’s How To Study Less And Get Better Grades

Do you want to know how to study in medical school? Interested in knowing how you can study efficiently medical school? More importantly, how do we study less by studying actively in medical school? What study methods help you study less and make higher grades? Keep reading to learn how! Now notice how I said methods instead of method. The truth is different study techniques in medical school will work for different people, but a single person may use many different types of techniques. You must identify which methods will get you the best results with the least amount of time. In this post, I’ve included suggested ways to enhance the effectiveness of commonly used study techniques in medical school. After reading this post you will know many the ways on how to study in medical school. If you prefer a video format then check out my YouTube Video below and my the channel here! This is the first of many to come so be sure to subscribe for weekly videos. Passive vs. Active Studying in Medical School You will hear a lot about passive vs active learning in medical school. If you’re not familiar, passive studying refers to strategies such as reading the syllabus, glancing at the slides, copying your notes verbatim, etc. Active learning, however, includes methods such as practice questions, flashcards, asking questions, and explaining concepts to your peers. While it may seem obvious which method...

The Best Biomedical Research Journals for Staying Informed

In medicine, things are always rapidly changing, and the influx of research often leaves most of us toppling over data, articles, and new ideas to comb through. It’s important for the future healthcare professional and medical scientist to stay up-to-date on the latest advances, changes, and revolutions in biomedical science. For example, the boom of cancer immunotherapies over the past two years has overwhelmed the scientific literature and has been a hot topic of discussion in popular media outlets such as the New York Times. While these articles are often easier to read, highlighting anecdotal stories among interviews with important physicians and scientists involved in the research, they often fail to include primary research and the details of mechanism behind the science. Consequently, reading these articles featured in the media are intellectually interesting, yet lack the “meat” of the primary research. Instead of blasting a search on PubMed to find the latest news in research, I’ve compiled a list of the most relevant, highly esteemed, and trustworthy journals that are necessary in the arsenal of the future doctor and medical researcher. Most of them have highlights sections, editorials, and reviews as well to keep you informed on relevant topics without becoming tangled up in the depths of the original research article itself (though sometimes that is worth it and necessary). This is not a comprehensive list and is influenced...

Reading Before Bed Helps Better Sleep

It’s official: reading before bed has been proven to promote better sleep. Unlike many modern ways of consuming info such as phones and TV, it doesn’t stimulate the brain into staying awake. Discover the benefits of taking a book to bed, and how this can fit in with a good sleep routine below. 6 Minutes to Slumber Infographic by Mattress Online. The Health Scout recounts why sleep matters for pre-med students and medical professionals: A mentor once told me, “Whenever you say ‘yes’ to something, you’re saying ‘no’ to something else.” Sometimes saying ‘yes’ to sleep means my life appears pretty boring from the outside. For example, when I was a 4th year med student on my surgery sub-internship, I woke up at 4:00am every day and usually didn’t get home until 7pm or later. When I got home, I ate dinner while I talked to my husband, showered, and then got in bed around 8:00pm. This was also in July, so I was actually in bed before the sun set every night. This sounds like a really pathetic existence, but I swear I was happy. Giving up some time with my husband after work in favor of getting enough sleep was worth it because I wasn’t exhausted on my days off. I actually had energy to spend time with him. And getting enough sleep helped me perform at my...

The Difference Between Pre-Med and Pre-Dental

Your position on the application waitlist seems to be moving at a glacial pace. And official application decisions begin to trickle in for another group of budding health professionals. Given the abysmal reality of the uncertain application cycle, it becomes easy to develop the “I’ll go anywhere as long as I’m a doctor” mentality. Often students interested in becoming a doctor apply to multiple medical programs (both DO and MD) as well as pre-dental programs with little reflection on how the training and the career trajectory differs. While there is subtle difference between DO and MD program, there is an unmistakable difference between becoming a doctor and becoming a dentist. Students who find themselves in this predicament – choosing what kind of doctor they wish to become – should not make this decision with a fickle heart. As a college student, I remember standing at a career crossroads and genuinely conflicted between choosing medicine and dentistry. I was fiercely passionate about emergency medicine and working as a physician in level 1 trauma center. I was also fired up about medical journalism and so medicine seemed like the best option, allowing me to intertwine two passions into a career. But, the lifestyle and compensation of a dentist was undeniably appealing. Looking back, my rationale for choosing one career over the other was entirely superficial. I wish I was more contemplative...