Beginners Guide to TBL Groups

In this rapidly evolving and high-tech world of medicine, it has become imperative for doctors to be able to work in groups due to the increasingly team-based nature of modern healthcare. More specifically, hospitals are now comprised of specialists that have to work together with not only each other, but also a plethora of workers including Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, Speech Pathologists, Nurses etc. Because the physician profession has a tendency to attract a medley of strong and unique personalities, we need something that will blunt our edges and allow us to work together with regular people. Abracadabra Team Based Learning: a group exercise designed to simulate team-based problem solving. Now to be honest, TBLs should really be called, ”how to deal with people without hating everybody”, but don’t worry it can be fun; especially if you’re aware of the people you’re going to work with. To help you, I’ve compiled a list of quick, easy, and horribly superficial stereotypes that you can use to judge the people you’re going to be working with. The random fact person. Some people will have little to no productive input into the discussions in TBL, which is actually completely fine, whatever, medical school is tough. However, trying one’s best to be a productive member doesn’t mean it’s cool to go spouting off hundreds of useless facts throughout the discussion. Everybody has already...

The Memory Trick Every Med Student Should Know

Anyone studying medicine knows that there is a ton of information that you need to just buckle down and memorize. Sure, you’ve tried the obvious strategies for remembering tricky facts — like mnemonics or repetition — but sometimes you need more than this basic toolkit to get through the next examination. One solution to this problem comes courtesy of Shiv Gaglani, an MD/MBA candidate at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Harvard Business School, who recently wrote for Fast Company about his personal memory trick that has helped him throughout his academic career. Utilizing the principles of association, Gaglani recommends mentally attaching new facts to stories, as they hold more psychological significance than a mere mnemonic. To illustrate the trick, Gaglani explains that he will always remember that one side effect of bleomycin is pulmonary fibrosis because he recalls how then-upstart cyclist Lance Armstrong declined the cancer treatment in 1996 in fear of scarring his lungs. Whenever possible, Gaglani writes, he attempts to marry facts with associations stronger than the average nonsense phrase used by decades of students. And so the idea for Osmosis was born. This side project of Galani’s is a “web-based platform that, among other things, automatically recommends associations” for any topic that a medical student would need to memorize. The online tool is still in the beta phase, but Gaglani writes that he expects it to continue growing. “We’re focusing on...

Tomorrow is My First Med School Interview

Tomorrow is my first med school interview, and I am sh*ting my pants a little. If you’re in med school, you’re probably laughing and reminiscing, taking pleasure in my uneasiness while also sympathizing with me because it was you in my position just a few years ago. If you are applying this year but haven’t yet heard about interviews, please don’t hate me, your time will come. If you’re still a premed, in the early days of intro to bio, cramming over your book, trying with all your might to remember the difference between the xylem and the phloem (mmm…plant bio, so useful…), here’s to there being a light at the end of the tunnel. Cheers. Maybe I’ll have a beer beforehand… So, what have I done to prepare and what is my game plan? 1. Be Honest: I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to speak with a doctor who works for a medical school. He gave me a pointer that I have been repeating to myself all week: “If you are honest, you don’t have to practice. Because you’re speaking the truth.” 2. Be Confident: YOU DON’T HAVE ANYTHING TO APOLOGIZE FOR. If you are sitting in the interview chair, the admission committee saw something in you. Whether that be your academics, your MCAT score, your research, your participation on an athletic team, in a...

9 Questionable Medicine-Themed Trinkets Found on Etsy.

Whether you’re looking for a great gift or just hoping to treat yourself, these Etsy goodies definitely won’t make you look like a creeper. 1. This very steampunk anatomical heart pendant is the ideal gift for that special person in your life who both abhors traditional, hand-drawn renderings of a heart and is also infuriatingly literal. 2. This knitted lab rat…on an actual dissection tray! Before you let your child set out to obtain their first fresh specimen, have them practice on this cute ‘n cuddly toy! Perfect for kids who are not yet confident wielding a scalpel.   3. An actual beaver fetus (how is this a craft; I can’t even). While I’m not sure whether this would fall under the “handmade” or “vintage” category of Etsy, I think this delightful fetus is what my grandmother would call “a conversation piece”: while it may not have practical value, nothing is more likely to get the conversation rolling at your next dinner party than pickled beaver.   4. A crocheted gallbladder (includes gallstones). As someone who has actually smelled the contents of a gallbladder, I wouldn’t be the first to describe this as adorable. However, I can’t deny that it was far more anatomically correct than I would have expected for something made out of freakin’ yarn.   BONUS: Sperm & Egg Playset (I am not joking). Just in...

Dear Nan, I’m Running to Help People Like You

Dear Nan, I’m writing you this letter to remind you how incredible you are and how you have inspired me throughout my life and will continue to forever. This is Sally, one of your many grandchildren, the one who is lucky enough to be named after you and your daughter, Junie. When I was born, I knew right away that I had to live up to an incredibly high standard and be full of life, literally… I was so eager and excited to get into the world as a Sally that it took me 15 minutes, and when I was here I think I tried to take in so much “life” that I could barely be picked up! So I rolled around, smiled, and clung to you and Pop Pop because no matter what anyone said, according to you both, I was the most beautiful girl in the world. Growing up I began to understand what it really meant to take on your name and to be a part of the Ryan family that you and Pop Pop help build. You taught me to always love, to always support one another, to always cherish every moment with my loved ones, to always fight for what I believed in and to always be faithful. You taught me to be kind, to work hard, to be selfless, and to be respectful....

Take a Chance For Once

A common problem that I’ve observed among my group of pre-med and medical student friends is not making time to participate in activities and experiences that are unrelated to school and medicine. Hobbies are forsaken, instruments are neglected and maintaining any semblance of a social life is out of the question. Many will hold off on decisions like moving, beginning a relationship and traveling because they don’t think they can. There seems to be an unspoken assumption that to pursue medicine means to put the rest of your life on hold, and I think it’s kind of bogus. In order to be a good doctor you need to be able to relate to people. Patient populations are wonderfully diverse and over the course of your career you will treat individuals from many different backgrounds, cultures and walks of life. Memorization and rote learning aren’t going to help you connect when it comes to a patient dealing with life challenges, but being able to draw on how you handled your own personal struggles WILL. As for the idea held by many pre-meds that doing anything other than studying, doing research and volunteering at the hospital will be looked upon as a waste of time by an admissions committee, that’s simply not true. Most medical schools are looking for well-rounded applicants who are able to demonstrate that they’ve experienced more than...

Check Your Nads in the Mirror! (Parody of Man in the Mirror)

“Manhood in the Mirror” | A parody of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” to raise awareness of testicular cancer / testicular self-exam. Go to http://zdoggmd.com/2010/11/manhood-in… for links to more testicular self-exam and cancer prevention resources!...

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