All the Eerie Glory of Human Cadavers. Without the Formaldehyde?!?

A new video from Slate shows the product of the latest collaboration between computer scientists and biologists at the University of Michigan. The Michigan Immersive Digital Experience Nexus, or MIDEN, “allows students to warp virtual human cadavers however they wish, pulling back flesh and segmenting bodies with the switch of the hand. The futuristic tool could prove essential to anatomy classes.” The possibilities for this type of training technology are...

Does Your Patient Need a Rectal Exam?

Put on the gloves and break out the lube…it’s time to talk rectal exams. Sorry to break it to you, but if you’re a med student, odds are you’re about to become veryyy intimate with Mr....

ZDoggMD Drops Some Knowledge on the Pros and Cons of Medical Specialties

Featuring pediatrician Dr. Harry. Internal medicine, emergency medicine, surgery, pediatrics, and Justin Beiber…all in there,...

15 Steps to Rocking the USMLE I (And Celebrating Afterwards)

It’s a wonderful time of year. Birds are chirping, flowers are beginning to bloom, the weather outside is just perfect for bike rides and patio brunches, but you, my friend, are stuck inside making color-coded flashcards and learning the TCA cycle in preparation for step I. Relax, young medical Padawan. Fear not this beast of an exam and take some time to frolic amongst the daffodils. Here’s some advice from myself and other senior medical students on how to rock the heck out of this exam: Before the test: 1. Buy First Aid early. We’re talking first year, folks. While this may be too late if you’re currently signed up to take the exam, if you are just starting medical school, pick up a copy of First Aid. I’m not saying to all-out gun and read the entire thing within the first weekend of having it, but use it in conjunction with your block textbooks. It’s a good outline that won’t teach you concepts necessarily, but gives you a good idea of the topics you should really understand.  You should know this book inside and out. Also, don’t forget about the errata that is published online since the book does contain mistakes interspersed throughout. Just because it was written by a bunch of really smart people, doesn’t mean that they’re infallible humans! 2. Tailor when you begin studying according to...

5 Tips on How To Be A Gunner

Gunners get a lot of hate in the medical school community. It’s something I have never been able to completely understand, despite my obvious genius; however I have formulated a few theories as to why in the mean time. First, people are stupid. Second, the world is full of haters. Third, and most importantly, I’m the best. Regardless, the point is, being a gunner is amazing. You get to constantly feel better than everybody. Everybody likes you, despite rarely, if ever, showing it. And most importantly, you will probably get the best residency. So, how does one get to be a gunner? Well Gunnees and Gunnettes, I got a list that will help you be as awesome as me. 1. Raise your hand… a lot of the time. Did the professor just say something you know? Perfect. This is your opportunity to ask the perfect question. The perfect question allows you to take the material one step further, but most likely in a direction that doesn’t matter at all, and simply to show how smart you are. For instance, did they just talk about cardiac hypertrophy? Well, you should ask a hypothetical question about cardiac hypotrophy. Bam. Sure it is completely irrelevant. But, just say the opposite of whatever the guy said, use big words, insert pauses where you scratch your chin and furrow your brow to make it...

In Honor of Autism Awareness Month, I Share Caleb’s Voice

“There’s poop on the walls again.” That image of my childhood is forever going to be synonymous with Autism and my brother, Caleb. He was born in 1993, just two short years after me. From his first breath, he struggled. Newborns are born with life-dependent primitive reflexes, one of which is the ability to suck so that they can nurse. My brother had to stay in the hospital after my mother was discharged; he couldn’t seem to get the hang of it. After a shaky start, he did okay for a while. In fact, you might say that he did more than okay: he walked at nine months, which was actually quite unsettling for my mother. A nine-month-old is a very small baby to be on foot, and she had planned on having a few more months before she’d have two kids under the age of five to chase. For Caleb, the regressive symptoms of Autism came just on time: before age two, he seemed to lose developmental milestones. He wasn’t talking, though he could spell things out with blocks and would routinely do math on a magnetic drawing board that he took everywhere. The world seemed to assault Caleb constantly; everything was too loud, too bright. He wasn’t an affectionate child. He didn’t want to be hugged or kissed. What calmed him was lying on the bed for...

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...

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