Hmm, I really don’t know. Marijuana isn’t legal in my state. But I would think that your medicine would be your business. But you need to look into your school’s and your clinical rotation site’s drug testing policies too.
Your diagnosis is technically your business alone. But if your school notices that your work is being affected by your illness, they may ask you to take some time off to get better before you start back.
Please get help. NOT getting help will do much more damage to your schoolwork and career than actually getting help.
I am all for having a furry companion during med school. I’m pretty sure my cat is what kept me sane sometimes during test weeks. Dog ownership in med school could be pretty tough, but it could also be very manageable. Depends on a lot of factors:
Things that would make dog parenthood manageable:
Things that would make dog parenthood harder:
I love dogs, but the reasons above are why I have a cat instead.
I got no one to help me out with a dog, I travel, I lived in an apartment with nowhere nearby to walk a dog. But my cat is happy to chill by herself in the house all day and can even manage without me for a weekend if I need to go somewhere. And alls I gotta do is feed her, supply her with toys and catgrass, and clean a litterbox a few times a week.
Er uh, someone else wanna take a stab at this question? Like you said, I only applied to one school, and therefore only did one secondary app, so I really don’t know what’s the standard here. I would think you should try to get it back in ASAP, as the general rule of thumb is the earlier you apply, the greater your chances of getting accepted.
Also, don’t write all the same stuff you wrote in your primary app. They sent you a secondary to learn more. Be creative. Write something totally different.
No, we didn’t have a syllabus for our third year rotations. We usually asked 4th years which books helped them prepare the best for rotations.
If I encountered a diagnosis or drug or treatment that I was unfamiliar with or didn’t understand, I usually looked it up on UpToDate or ePocrates. Those can be extremely helpful. It’s a good idea to go home and read about your patients’ conditions every night in addition to your book reading to prepare for your test. That way you’re prepared for your test and your patient presentations and pimp questions and, well…life as a doctor.
I also stuck with 1 or 2 books per rotation so that I could actually get through them and absorb them. It’s been a while so I don’t remember all of them, but I remember I used Blueprints for OB/GYN, Step up to Medicine for IM, and Case Files for Surgery. I liked Case Files a lot as my back-up book for studying. And I usually had some sort of QBank that I would review during the rotation too, like MKSAP or USMLE or something like that.
Your timeline really isn’t a big deal. We had one person in my class who graduated a year early. My only concern would be maturity if you start med school super young. But if you finish early, good for you! Less debt for you!
My advice to you:
All medical schools will offer the 3rd year required core rotations, though they may require you to travel to a different facility for some of them. These would include:
Some schools also require a neurology rotation during 3rd year. Mine didn’t, thank goodness.
Electives vary widely and most people will travel for an elective or two during 4th year. Common electives would include (stars by things most schools will offer):
Part I: What will it be like?!
There will be lots of smart people there. Most of them will be smarter than you, or at least they’ll think they are. Being around smart people all the time will send you into a constant fluctuating state of confidence and crushing self-doubt.
On the first day you will go home and crack open a book, read for 8 hours, and remark to yourself, “this ain’t so bad.” On the 4th day of such reading, you will start calculating how much debt you will be in if you quit on day 5.
You will learn an entire new language made mostly of gibberish, Latin, and acronyms. Get to know your -ologies, your hypers- and hypos-, and always pronounce the word the way your professor does, even if there’s a perfectly acceptable alternative pronunciation.
TAKE THE F%$#&*^@ BREAK!
Why would you shadow now? You’re already in medical school! That’s what all of 3rd and 4th year is for anyway. I mean, unless you’re planning on going into a super competitive specialty and need to do research or get some extra exposure to the specialty (and opportunities to get letters of rec), there’s really no need. Even if you are planning on something like that, you will have time in the next 3 years to snuggle up with attendings for letters of rec. And you’re already a few weeks into the break, so the likelihood of setting that stuff up now is slimmer.
This is your last summer break ever, friend. Enjoy it.
One thing? Hmmm…
I might have told myself to take a few years off and be a missionary first to see if I really needed to go to medical school after all. I probably could have used a few years of maturation before jumping into med school.
I think that advice can apply to a lot of folks - don’t be afraid to take a gap year (or two or five or ten). Use that time to grow in maturity and to broaden your interests, and at the end reassess and see if you still want to go to medical school. You may potentially save yourself a lot of heartache (not to mention money).
Definitely so if I started over with none of the knowledge I have now. But if I had to do it all over again but had the experience I have now, I’d have to really think about it. I love medicine, but I think there are other things I could have done and been just as happy (and relatively debt free).
Actually, that’s something Cranquis and I had in common on our personal statements — we both basically said we could take or leave medical school, and could find other ways to follow our passions without medical school. Maybe that’s the secret to getting in ;)
Highly inappropriate OB attending.
General surgery is fairly competitive and requires above average test scores, but it’s not the most difficult specialty to get into by far. And of course, high scores don’t necessarily mean they’re better (or even smarter) doctors. I think the average Step 1 score for surgery is in the 230 range.
Personality does have a lot to do with it as well. You have to be pretty tough to go into surgery and last through 5 years of torment and long hours. Plus residency programs tend to pick applicants that fit the “culture” of the program.
I’ve been seeing a lot of Step-1 induced panic in my inbox and on my dash over the past few weeks.
I know some of you are super confident in your own abilities and never express the tiniest bit of doubt and are sure that you’re going to blow Step 1 out of the water. Those of you that fit that description should probably check the Step 1 discussion boards on SDN, start pimping your fellow students, and go ahead and start studying for Step 2.
The rest of you have some doubts about your abilities to make it through the last week or so of Step 1 studying. Others of you are starting your second year and panicking at the very thought of Step 1 coming soon. So here comes a little advice/encouragement/empathy from someone who’s been there just 4 short years ago (WHAT WAS IT REALLY THAT LONG AGO? HOW OLD AM I?!).