Top Resources I Used for the OB-GYN Rotation

So many babies and contraception! This sums up my OB-GYN experience. In this post, we will take a few minutes away from labor and IUDs and discuss the top resources for the OB-GYN rotation! UWISE (A): I never thought I’d find a question bank I liked as much as UWORLD. But UWISE for the OB-GYN rotation is it. UWISE is an online module which has over 600 questions. The best part of UWISE is the questions are split into their respective sections. The sections are each 10 questions. You can thus do 10 questions on contraception, another 10 on post-term labor, and finally 10 on post-menopausal bleeding. This allows your studying to be very focused. The questions are overall well written and high-yield information. The only caveat I would give is the explanations are at times hard to decipher on which answer choice is correct. But otherwise, the question bank is solid. I highly recommend you schedule in time to complete them all. If you can’t get access to UWISE then try out this Anki cards which cover the topics. Full disclaimer I didn’t know of these during my rotation! Hope they help! At the end of your rotation, it would be helpful to do the random 50 or 100 question tests. They do reuse the questions from each section, but I found them helpful as a final review before my shelf. Case Files for...

The Passover Seder’s 4 Questions Interpreted by a Med Student

Ah, Passover, that one time of year where being a Sephardic Jew seems like the most compelling thing in the world. If your in Jew-town like me, you are currently living a cold and empty life without bread, or all grains for that matter. Despite all of the archaic and seemingly pointless rituals of Passover, there is one that stands strong, the reciting of the four questions at the Seder. One person, traditionally the youngest child, recites one question, “Why does this night differ from all other nights?” followed by 4 answers. As an aspiring doc, I was never quite content with the answers given to these questions. They’re questionable either from the standpoint of a medical student or from a pure medical standpoint. Here’s why: 1. On all other nights we eat bread or matza, while on this night we eat only matza. I’m not sure about you, but my fam and I don’t sit around nomming on matza, “on all other nights.” Bread is our go-to. Also, last time I checked Passover is 8 days, meaning it’s not only that on this night we’re gonna choke on dry, disgusting matzah, but I will also have a whole 192 hours to risk my life eating the choking-inducing food. Thanks a lot, Pharoah. A closer look at those nutrition facts suggests that maybe we should switch over to matzah-instead-of-bread diet....

Physician Suicide and Mental Health

I was talking to a medical student recently who said he didn’t want to do a residency in NYC because “everyone there kills themselves.”  I think that’s a little dramatic, although I do recall several years ago there was a rash of suicides in residents. I just read an excellent article on physician suicide. What’s sad is that if a physician really was feeling suicidal, I guarantee there’s no way they could seek counseling quickly that wouldn’t jeopardize their career and confidentiality–the only effective way would be to threaten suicide, which would take them to the ER and give them a record of suicidal behavior… a fate many proud physicians would consider worse than death. I’m going to take a step further and say mental health treatment in this country is really bad.  This is not a jab at mental health professionals, who are probably fine individually… just saying there aren’t enough of them. The system is bad. If someone is feeling depressed or suicidal, they can call their local behavioral health center and maybe get an appointment in a month or two.  Hopefully they’re alive by then. I had a few really down periods during my medical training, so I can speak to all this from experience. There were no mental health services available. At one point, when I was having a really hard time, I called some student health...

What Does It Mean To Be Successful Outside of Academics?

When I was young and naïve at the beginning of my medical training, I defined success and accomplishment quantitatively – class rank, GPA, exam results. Getting an A meant I was successful and getting any other grade else meant I was not. As students, we are constantly overwhelmed with people telling us how to attain “success.” Following someone else’s expectations can be destructive and counterproductive to your personal goals. One year later, how I came to define succes achievement is entirely personal. Defining what success means to me is important to be able to groom myself as a young doctor. Measurements defined by others are no longer significant to me. And I am not concerned about my grades as long as I am passing. But, even when I fail, I never feel bad about it anymore. Instead, I congratulate myself on trying my best and try to learn from my mistake. I no longer abide by other’s ideas of success imposed on me. And I most definitely don’t compare myself with other classmates. By defining my own standards that I want to live up to, I have actually created higher standards for myself as a person. My life does not revolve around school; it is simply one aspect of my life over all. Previously, success meant doing good in school to the exclusion of all else because that was an...

With Data From “All of Us” NIH Launches Ambitious Data Repository

This month the National Institute of Health (NIH) launched the beta portal for “All of Us,” a project that aims to capture health data from over a million Americans. Born out of President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative, the data collected through “All of Us” will include not just health records or test results, but also lifestyle choices and, most importantly, genomic and biological data analysis to help fuel future medical research. What is precision medicine? Precision medicine, a term that is sometimes used interchangeably with “personalized medicine,” is a medical model that encourages healthcare professionals to customize treatments to the individual patient. Precision medicine takes into account the patient’s unique environmental and biological situation, in addition to the patient’s presenting symptoms. With this information, the healthcare professional may create a treatment plan that is tailored to that specific person, instead of using a standard treatment that is thought to work for the “average” patient. Why 1 Million? The All of Us program is specifically geared to be a broad and diverse program. Minority communities are often underrepresented in medical research, as most research populations tend to be homogenous, specifically white and male (Oh et al, 2015). All of Us aims to correct the gap in research data by aiming for a study population that better reflects the rich diversity of America. Researchers hope that this data will feed into...

Here’s What To Do If You Fail The USMLE Step 2 CK

If you recently found out that you’ve failed USMLE Step 2 CK and are wondering, “What next?”, start by taking a deep breath and trying to calm down. MANY people have failed Step 1 and/or 2 and the majority of those people went on to finish medical school, match into residency, and become very successful practicing physicians. Focus on getting yourself back on track, addressing what went wrong the first time, and making a plan to put yourself in the best possible position for success on the second attempt. Not sure where to begin? Use these five tips: Examine Your Score Report Did you fail by a few points or a lot? What were your strengths and weaknesses? These are going to be important questions to ask as you try to determine when to retake your test and how to go about making a study schedule. If you failed by only a few points, you’ll probably need less time to study than if you failed by a significant amount (though you don’t want to rush back into things). Also, if you were weak in only one or two particular subjects, you’ll have an easier route to improvement than someone who was weak across the board. Regardless, start by taking an honest assessment of where things went wrong and prepare to make the necessary changes to improve your knowledge in...

These Are Five Movies Every Medical Student Can Relate To

Studying medicine is an enormous challenge; it takes more time, dedication, and willpower than almost any other type of academic degree. As such, medical students are often in need of inspiration to drive them to their ultimate goal – and whether you’re specializing in general medicine, psychiatric medicine, orthopedics or even just want to draw inspiration when writing an application to med school, you’ve reached the right place. The world of cinema is a rich seam for medics to mine for inspiration. Although medicine has been the basis for plenty of horror movies (the early Italian horror ‘Eyes Without A Face’ is a particular favorite), it has also brought us several tear-jerkers, emotional journeys, and genuinely astonishing films along the way too. We’ve put together five movies every medical student can relate to. We strongly encourage watching them in their precious downtime… get the popcorn ready, check these flicks out, and remember why you started this incredible journey in the first place. 1) Awakenings (1990, USA), IMDB – 7,8 This movie – starring the inimitable Robin Williams and Robert de Niro – is undoubtedly one of the most admired and widely-loved medical movies in the canon. Based on the fantastic memoir by Oliver Sacks, whose writings have inspired medical students for decades, it tells the story Dr. William Sayer, and his discoveries in the study of encephalitis lethargica – otherwise known as...