How To Study For Your Next Test Like A Pro

Looking back on my first year, I know now that I had no idea what I was doing when I told myself I was studying. It sounds funny because I have been studying science, and on the pre-health track, for more than a decade. Studying for any health professional school, including medical school is a beast. You can watch every YouTube video after searching how to study for medical school (I did!) and still do poorly on an exam. There is no secret and there is no magic involved. When it comes down to it, you just have to sit at a desk and make yourself understand the material you’re learning. There are a few things I learned along the way that might be useful to a student starting their first day in a rigorous, academic program. Cramming never works. In order to commit material to memory, you really can’t cram. Of course we all know classmates and friends who argue that they just can’t study any other way. Cramming makes me very nervous. I’m one of those people who just can’t recall what I’ve learned on the exam. I completely blank. In some cases – trust me, this happens – you really just have no other choice but to cram through the night. The best way to avoid this is to keep on top of the material as...

What Can Nurses Do That Doctors Can’t?

Patients are increasingly turning to nurse practitioners instead of physicians for a number of reasons. For one thing, they may be more accessible since physicians’ offices are sometimes overcrowded and an appointment is hard to come by. It can also help lower the cost of medical treatments since nurses don’t bill out as high as doctors do. Mostly it’s because people are coming to realize that nurse practitioners are extremely capable and knowledgeable health professionals that can offer a high level of excellent care. In fact, because of their background in nursing, some even say that nurse practitioners have a unique ability to make stronger connections with their patients. As more nurse practitioners open their own practices or become more commonplace in medical facilities, the big question that’s been on the mind of those in the medical community is if nurses can actually replace doctors. There is no simple answer, but there’s no doubt that nurse practitioners are certainly making an impact in the healthcare world. Take a look at how nurse practitioners compare with doctors, and why in some cases, their services might be interchangeable. What can nurse practitioners do NPs have to go well beyond the education and training of a regular RN in order to practice at that advanced level. For starters, you must complete a master’s or doctoral degree program, and then complete advanced practice...

Drastic Times Call for Drastic Measures: The Opioid Epidemic and the Electronic Health Record

The over-prescription of medication has reached epidemic proportions. While politicians give speeches and draft legislature to address the opioid epidemic, the improper use of prescription medication impacts our society in many ways. For example, when a patient presents with a cold virus and is prescribed an antibiotic “just in case,” not only does the antibiotic cost the patient money, but it will have no effect on the cold virus. On a larger scale, these unnecessary antibiotics may encourage the evolution of antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Most medical practices in America have adopted some sort of electronic health record system, but Americans have resisted a national electronic health record database, citing valid concerns about privacy and government overreach. However, Rumball-Smith et al., argue in JAMA that if carefully implemented and used wisely, the electronic health record (EHR) could address systematic problems when it comes to prescription drugs and “be a powerful vehicle for measurement and intervention around low-value care.” Image by mcfarlandmo / CC by 2.0 So why not implement a national database for electronic health records? The main advantage of this system is also the biggest threat – the ability to track information down the to the individual level presents an opportunity to intervene. But at what cost to privacy? A national EHR could show if a patient was soliciting pain medication from multiple doctors and flag that patient’s record. Or,...

5 Different Types of Pre-Med Students You’ll Meet in College

Pre-Med is a jungle of a scholastic program, and you will meet tons of characters along the way — here are 5 of the Pre-Med students you’ll meet in college. The Daddy’s Money You’ve met this kid, whether it be because you see him pulling up to class in his new BMW sport, or because he asked you if his Rolex looked good with his outfit one day in class; you know him. He is the direct reflection of his father’s money. He didn’t earn his way into college like most, his last name just happens to be on each large donation check and probably above one of the buildings on campus. In class he’ll make the witty comments and joke about almost every topic, and that’s simply because he can. He will never really fully understand any of the topics you cover in class and will coast by maintaining low B’s and high C’s. When he actually shows up to class he mostly just plays on his phone or laptop, coasting through life he is a happy kid, that’s only because he knows that daddy’s money will get him a career after college as well. The Brains You have a question about the lecture you just sat through? Don’t understand the topic the old professor just mumbled about for 2 hours? That’s ok, The Brains will help. The...

How To Get Recommendation Letters

Letters of recommendation are fairly specialty dependent, so I won’t get into how to select your letter-writers. Instead, you should just ask your mentor who you need letters from, then introduce yourself to those people and and spend as much time with them as possible. Let them know right away that you’re interested in getting a letter from them—they will pay closer attention to you and have much more to say in your letter. When you formally ask for letters make sure you have proper etiquette. 1) Set up a meeting as far in advance as possible. Many of the people that you will need letters from probably have assistants, so you should set up this meeting through their assistant. Call or email the assistant, explaining that you will be asking for a letter and that the attending should be expecting this meeting. You can also attach your CV and supporting documents to this email, although you don’t have to if they’re not up to snuff yet. Try to meet toward the end of a rotation with the attending, so they have already had a chance to get to know you but you are still fresh in their memory. 2) Add them as a letter writer on ERAS before the meeting, making sure you have their correct name, degree(s), and title. Then print their unique LOR information sheet and bring it to...

Which Country is the Best For Your Medical Career?

It is important to know where you would like to plant your roots in your career. There are so many options, but we don’t always know which one will be the best option. Even though I understand that most medical staff do not choose their career path purely based on financial gain, it is still an important factor to consider. You worked hard in medical school and you deserve to be compensated accordingly. Working abroad is more than just financial gain, as it offers so much more value. After working abroad, you will experience a lot of personal growth as well as new professional skills. This is a life changing experience and should definitely be considered. Remember, how difficult it was to get that cardiology fellowship personal statement done? Well, now you are at the point to find your dream job. Here are some of the highest paying countries for medical professionals. Netherlands The Netherlands are a beautiful country and has so much to offer. With great remuneration for doctors, this is definitely the number one choice. If you are able to secure a position in the Netherlands, you would be living a very comfortable life. The only challenge will be to actually find a job. With the small population, there might not be many opportunities available, but it is definitely worth a try. Australia This is a favourite...

We’re One Step Closer To Identifying Parkinson’s Disease

Researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia have devised a diagnostic tool for identifying Parkinson’s disease (PD) in patients who may not yet display any motor symptoms. The importance of such a tool lies in the fact that by the time motor symptoms appear, there is usually already irreversible damage to brain tissues. Dinesh Kumar, PhD, the chief investigator on the study, says “many treatment options for Parkinson’s only prove effective when the disease was diagnosed early.“ The team at RMIT built custom software that analyzes a patient’s spiral-drawing style via pen, paper, and a digital drawing tablet. Although the team admits to some limitations within their initial studies, the 93% accuracy rate of early PD diagnosis is spurring additional research and hope for achieving a reliable diagnostic method for identifying PD early. We’ve come a long way to identifying Parkinson’s disease. Earlier this year, researchers have developed an instrument that can identify seventeen diseases, including Parkinson’s. A new instrument has recently been developed to diagnose disease in a non-invasive, cost effective manner. Based on the idea of the breathalyzers used to identify and quantify alcohol consumption, this device would allow for specific programmable disease detection in still healthy individuals. Volatile organic compounds are chemicals that are expressed by the body when pathologic processes occur. Currently, seventeen diseases can be identified with breath analysis with an accuracy of eighty-six percent. Researchers were able to...

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