OB Clerkship director: Guys, don’t forget about your OSCEs tomorrow afternoon.
Me: When do I do mine?
OBCD: Tomorrow afternoon with everyone else.
Me: But I’m on call tonight. So I’m going home at noon tomorrow.
OBCD: And you can come back in at 3 for your OSCE with everyone else.
Me: What? Even if I’m up all night?
OBCD: Yup. Sucks to be you.
After crawling under my house on my day off…
Attending: I saw your adventures under your house video on Facestagritterblr… Pretty hilarious.
Me: Yeah except it was pretty terrifying.
Attending: It looked pretty clean down there though.
Me: It was cleanish, except it was super dusty so I was coughing and sneezing a lot down there. And pretty much the rest of the day.
Attending: probably from inhaling mouse poo.
Me: Exactly. So if I get some weird lung disease, please take care of me and know that I’m a DNR.
Attending: What diseases can you get from mouse poo?
Me: Are you pimping me? I could have hantavirus right now and you’re pimping me!
Hmm, no, I don’t think I was ever afraid of pursuing medicine. Naive about the challenges I’d face, sure, but not afraid. I don’t know that I ever fully decided to do medicine as much as I decided not to do everything else. Does that make sense?
I loved school in general growing up (except math).
Everything interested me, but I couldn’t see myself following any subject except science to the next level. I always loved mysteries and puzzles, so that made medicine a natural direction for me to go in.
I definitely knew by 17 that I wanted to be a doctor. I probably knew by 13 or 14. It was what I researched and read about in my free time and it was what excited my brain. That being said, though, I know a lot of doctors who still aren’t sure they want to be doctors. We are faced with many challenges that make the career not as fun, but overall, I’d rather be doing this than pretty much anything else.
Med school is HARD. So hard I have a whole tag dedicated to the hardness of it. Challenging private high schools have got NOTHING on medical school. Let’s go with the old comparison of trying to drink from a fire hydrant. There is no possible way to describe how hard it is, because nothing you’ve ever done is like it. High school is like eating a big mac everyday, whereas med school is like eating an entire Thanksgiving feast, 20 pound turkey included, every day. High school is running a 5K. College is a marathon. Med school is running to the moon.
HOWEVER, this is not all to say that you have to be Einstein to get through. A big part of running a super marathon and eating a whole Thanksgiving turkey is endurance and will power. I’ve written more about that here. Very few people go through med school without thinking that they’re not smart enough at some point. You don’t have to be the smartest in your class. You have to be smart, but not a genius. But above all you have to be hard working.
This is both a good and an uncomfortable question, because it something I admittedly struggle with. I manage to read my Bible most days, which does require waking up a little earlier, but my prayer life is often lacking. I find myself praying while I’m doing other things, which is ok to some extent, but I also value being able to sit quietly for an undefined amount of time to work things out with God, which I don’t get to do much. I definitely prioritize church attendance and my Bible study group every week, and I make it to those every week as long as I’m not working. Ultimately it comes down to keeping my priorities straight. I don’t have a hard time finding the time to watch tv or work in my yard or Tumble or read journals when I want to, but I tell myself that I don’t have the time to squeeze God in sometimes (my mama tells me I beat myself up too much…).
Yes, you absolutely can apply to 2 specialties. It’s usually advised that you don’t tell one specialty that you’re applying for the other, because programs like applicants that are all in, so to speak. And yes, you should probably write 2 personal statements, each one specific to the specialty. I read a PS recently that was very generic and the writer just wrote about medicine in general rather than family med specifically. We all had doubts as to whether the applicant was 100% gung-ho family med after reading it. It’s a pain, but it will make your application stronger. Some people tweak their PS for certain programs, too. For example, when applying to an OB-heavy family med program, the applicant might emphasize their love for OB, and do the same for geriatrics in a geri heavy program.
I’ve compiled a bunch of stuff about clinical years here.
Ok, as an incoming third year, no one expects you to know anything. This is for your benefit. You are there to learn, not to know everything yet.
My main advice is thus:
CABG: (pronounced “cabbage”): coronary artery bypass graft, commonly known as bypass surgery. Surgery in which a non-diseased artery or vein is grafted proximal and distal to a stenotic, diseased coronary vessel, thereby bypassing the blockage.
Resident: Mr. So-and-so had a CABG 3 years ago.
Student Wayfaring (in my head, thankfully): Wait, I thought we were talking about his heart. What does cabbage have to do with his heart?
PMTHers, (Pamthers?) feel free to add your own questions to this list. We need to get cracking on recruitment for this year if we expect to get any good residents.
Since it’s Med School and Residency Interview Season, I give you a lil something to help you prepare.
Wow, I just did this 2 years ago and it has almost completely left my memory.
What I remember is that you do your whole application online through ERAS (see their user guide here). They have their own forms for you to fill out. The only thing I remember using my CV for was to send to people I asked for letters of recommendation from so they knew my accomplishments.
When it came to doing my CV, I just looked up templates online until I found one that looked clean and uncluttered. My goal was to keep my CV to 1 page, so as to avoid overwhelming people. I’ll post a template separately just to give you an idea.
Doooooo iiiiiiiit. If you take the MCAT in May as soon as you return from study abroad, you shouldn’t have to get off track for applying to med school. Ask your pre-med advisor about the logistics of it before you plan the trip to make sure all of your pre-med pre-reqs will get done and will count for med school.
I did a fair amount of traveling in undergrad, though not officially with study abroad, but it was definitely an experience I wouldn’t trade for the world. You will learn SO much—academically and about yourself.
The one person I know who was suicidal during med school took time off, but I do know several people who dealt with pretty severe anxiety in med school. Those folks mostly got professional counseling or medication to get through. If you’re to the point where you can’t get out of bed, you need help, friend. I know that the idea of taking time off sounds bad and scary, but so does failing school because you can’t get out of bed. Seriously, find a counselor, a doctor, something.