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!...

26 Things I Learned During My First Year of Real Employment

Whether it’s your first year out of med school or you’re taking a year or two to work between undergrad and medical school, there is a lot to learn in the real working world. And, for those of you still in school, you can get a head start on some of this insightful wisdom… 1. Bank account balances can be comprised of more than two digits. 2. Once you determine exactly when you need to wake up to make it to work on time, you will get out of bed at that precise moment every day with no time to spare. For example, I get out of bed 31 minutes before work starts. Not 30 minutes; 30 minutes is not enough time. Waking up 30 minutes before work starts is a crisis. 3. Exactly which holidays are federal holidays and which are just the stupid ones. As a doctor, you’ll be working on both but the real ones give you slightly more FOMO. 4. I appreciate my free time so, so much more. When I was an undergraduate in college, I had seemingly inconceivable amounts of free time — when I look back on it, it’s astonishing. I think I actually transcended the space-time continuum with the amount of unstructured, obligation-free time that I had. What did I use it for? I created a fake NFL team in Madden...

Should You Drop Out of Med School for Your Start-Up?

This is for every student with a business idea that could potentially change their life. Halle Tecco, co-founder and CEO of Rock Health, a company that funds entrepreneurs developing technology for medicine, gives important advice to medical school students looking to start a company. She explains the importance of an executive team, the time and dedication required for such an endeavor, and the value of having an MD in business development. Read more about Rock Health.   Featured image from Flickr | Tsahi...

What the Government Shutdown Means to You

It turns out that as medical students, the amount of time we sacrifice to the gods that are basic sciences and clinical rotations is so great that the world of current events can pass us by. But one event that I can’t in good conscience let you ignore is the government shutdown. It’s easy to turn your textbooks into an impenetrable Fort Kickass, but the implications of this quandary reach even into the hallowed halls we construct to insulate ourselves from the outside world. First, a little background. Our country every year must pass a budget that guides our spending. Realistically, it’s like giving an 18-month-old a paint-by-numbers and expecting a masterpiece, but it gives us a place to start. A federal budget is typically proposed by the President and then Congress takes this recommendation, passes a law, and then sends a final version back to the White House for approval. And then unicorns go dancing across the rainbows of Bubblegum Canyon. Since 1997, shockingly, this happy little agreement has failed to materialize. Because of the Antideficiency Act, in the absence of a budget, all government activities must stop (turns out it’s illegal to spend government money without it being allocated, who knew?).  To avoid this, Congress relies on the well-loved stop-gap approach, in this iteration known as a “Continuing Resolution,” that provides structure for the funds and allows...

Many Products Promising Male Organ Enlargement May Not Be Scientifically Proven

In an unimaginable and devastating blow to millions of men hoping to pharmacologically enhance certain reproductive organs, a Daily Medical Examiner SPECIAL INVESTIGATION into on-line advertisements for male enhancement found that the science behind many product claims was somewhat weak.  In a rigorously designed “mass-sample ingestion study” the DME’s Urologic Research Corps (aka Summer Interns #2 and 9) tried over 600 such products and found that the only effect notable from most of these medications was disillusionment.  When contacted, many “scientists” affiliated with product development did not actually have degrees, or labs, or consciences. Public reaction to the study has been violent. “I was shocked to learn that the product I ordered from the advertisement side-bar of a trusted software piracy site had never been clinically tested or approved.  I feel that an inviolable trust has just been violated,” said Howard Rergs, who has been using the non-prescription drug VitaGrande, produced in Hong Kong, for several months with disappointing results.  ”How can I ever learn to trust again?!” Bruce Cliggens didn’t need a study to tell him that his trust was misplaced.  He becomes teary eyed as he speaks of the way he spent most of last semester’s federal student loan money on a product called Extendia which left him feeling bloated and alone. “They said ‘guaranteed results’ and offered an international number that I could call if I...

The DO’s and DON’Ts of Study Groups

One of the most common questions among MS-I students is whether or not they should consider utilizing study groups. Study groups can be an excellent resource during medical school, but be sure to keep the following DO’s and DON’Ts in mind:   DO set a routine schedule for the week well in advance. Study groups work best when everyone knows exactly when they should meet and what topics to prepare for discussion. DON’T be unflexible. Things will inevitably come up that will disturb your meeting schedule. Try your best to reschedule rather than skip meetings all together. On the flip side, if your study partners are taking your schedule into consideration when making plans, it is important to honor your commitments to the group as best as you can.   DO invite classmates to join your study group. No one likes a clique. DON’T go overboard. Group sizes above six tend to make schedule planning more complicated. More importantly, remember that good friends don’t necessarily make good study partners.   DO have defined roles. Knowing who is good at writing on the board, drawing helpful diagrams, taking group notes, explaining complex cases, etc. can be extremely valuable to improving the efficiency of your study group. DON’T take advantage of any single person. For example, even if one person in the group tends to take the best notes during class,...

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