Um, I’m not sure about anonymous mental health care. Normally, all of your medical records would be private, but if your medical school requires them, then it would be pretty shady to go behind their backs to get care. That sounds like that would be against their policy. And think about this: hiding a medical condition, mental or physical, could potentially put your future patients at risk. Right now, the docs at your school know more than you do. You sort of have to trust them that they know which conditions are worth knowing about.
I’m not sure if “BPD” here refers to Borderline Personality Disorder or BiPolar Disorder. Either way, yes, they could have an impact on your medical career if you go without treatment. Personality disorders are not really treatable by meds (though some docs try and also wrongly label them as other disorders so they can use different meds), but tend to improve with intense cognitive behavioral therapy. BiPolar disorder, on the other hand, generally requires medication. People with bipolar disorder can become extremely unpredictable, take big risks, and exhibit very damaging behavior during mania episodes. Clearly, this isn’t a good state to take care of patients in. But with good treatment and good insight into the condition (and caution around your patients), you could still practice medicine.
Umm… your homework in med school is all the reading / studying you have to do to stay alive. Plus there are occasional papers and projects and such. Thus, when I finished med school (and really after the end of 3rd year), I finished all my homework. I’m a resident now.
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 ;)