tnqd

Worth the Sacrifice?

Lately I have been feeling like medicine isn’t worth all the sacrifices in life and I have also lost a lot of confidence since I failed an exam for the first time. Any advice to someone who feels like they’ve lost hope? -anon

I’ve had this question sitting in my inbox for several weeks now. Sorry anon! I had a hard time coming up with a new answer to this question, which I seem to get a lot. TNQD wrote a post on this subject recently with some good questions to ask yourself to find out if the sacrifice really is worth it to you .

In short, I think that if you feel like medicine isn’t worth all the sacrifices, then don’t plunge into it yet. At least take some time and figure out your life.

You will regret jumping in to a pursuit you hate much more than delaying it for a semester or a few years. Plus there’s that whole med-school-is-disgustingly-expensive thing to take into account. I’m not sure why all the pre-meds have got it in their minds that if they take time off to figure out their interests, or if they pursue different paths for a little while, then they never can go back towards medicine. It’s just not true. 

Also, there are SO many options besides being a doctor that allow you to have a career in medicine. All career pursuits will require some sacrifice, so you need to figure out what’s acceptable to you and find the path that fits you best. Cranquis just shared why he might have considered a career as a PA instead of an MD if he had known about these options. 

Now if one failed test is your reason for giving up, that’s LAME. If I had quit after my first failed test, I never would have made it past organic chemistry. Bad grades happen. Learn from them and move on. You gotta put the past behind you. 

And as for losing hope, I have written a lot on how to cultivate motivation and avoid depression and burnout. Take a vacation. If you still feel hopeless at the end, you’re probably depressed. If you feel refreshed and ready to start anew at the end, you were probably just a little burned out. But beyond all encouragement I could give you, I think my best advice would be to just go slow. Don’t rush into medicine. Be absolutely sure it’s where you’re supposed to be. 

anonymous asked:

Hi, I'm just so curious about how hard it is to be in the med school. I really want to go to a med school, but I'm afraid of the rumors that, however, it has a probability of no success rate. Like duuh, I'm in doubt, thinking it over, and over again. Anyway, how hard it is?

I’m not actually in medical school yet, still enduring the application process. However, The Not Quite Doctor is and regularly offers advice for people in MD and DO programs. Check out that blog for more info!

It's 3am-

I should really get some rest. For the last 2 hours or so I’ve been looking through some chem notes, reading some inspirational articles, and planning my studying schedule tomorrow. I’m not going to lie, I’m scared. 6 days left till my compsci final, 8 days left till my chem final, and 9 days left till my biology final. I keep counting down the days till my finals, and keeping track of the hours I’ve wasted….whether it be on tumblr or facebook or an interesting article somewhere. Right now, there is just too much time spent procrastinating, hence why I need to re-evaluate my priorities and flip the switch to finals mode.

I can’t afford to fail my courses again, because I have a summer to look forward to and plans for the future. I’m scared, but compared to last year… I’m not lost. I know I want to major in Computer Science with a minor in Psychology, and eventually med school. It may be the scenic route, but right now this is the path I want to take. I’m still struggling and coming to terms with not ending up in med, but I know I shouldn’t judge my self-worth based on the fact of where I’ll end up in the future cause it really is unpredictable. So, the next week will be stressful, socializing will be put to a minimum, and my fight against social media will be an uphill battle…but until I hear the words “checkmate” I won’t give up. Let the battles begin. 

No one can dictate what you can and can’t do.  It may take several tries, it may take bumping your head against the wall, but if you truly want something you have to fight for it.  If you aren’t willing to fight tooth and nail for your dreams, then you don’t deserve them.

-tnqd

ash over and out

The Untold Life of a Med Student

It’s 6:30.  I have eaten dinner – a microwavable meal – and have half a pot of coffee to get me through the night.  I have been up since about 6 am studying, with bouts of lecture punctuating my day.  I will study until roughly midnight, go to bed, then do it all again tomorrow.

This is my life.  This is the glamour of being a 2nd year med student. 

Some days it really sucks.

I recently caught up with a buddy who goes to another medical school.  We talked about our experiences and the perception people have when they learn we are in medical school.  Non-medical personal might as well be the muggles of our world.  They look in with curiosity and the assumption that, like Grey’s Anatomy, my life is awash in beautiful women, drama, and the type of lifelong friendships one always dreams of.  Unfortunately that couldn’t be further from the truth.  Right now most of my life is spent reading medical texts.

The constant studying would be forgivable if we only studied the interesting parts of medicine.  But on this particular night I have spent an hour reading about different types of transfusion reactions.  Before that I dove into the intricacies of different psychiatric medications, teasing out which double as sedatives, which help with neuropathic pains, and which I can use for an incontinent patient.  The truth is that a good portion of medicine is, well… boring.  Unfortunately most diseases we learn about are not House-like medical mysteries.   

What about the patients I do get to see?  They are far from the idealized patients displayed on T.V.  Many are elderly or in poor health with multiple comorbid conditions.  For every rare presentation there are 20 pneumonias, 15 heart failures, and 10 COPDs (that is probably an understatement).  On T.V. patients appear composed; in real life they are likely to have multiple orifices with fluids coming out.  Needless to say, most patients do not appear like they just got done with their Glamour Shots.  

I love medicine, I honestly and truly do.  But sometimes I hate how much it controls my life.  I have a stack of books that are awaiting my attention, half written stories that need to be finished, and tons of bicycling adventures needing to be had.  Not to mention all of the travel opportunities, friends and family that have been neglected over the last years.       

I don’t mean to complain.  I am extremely lucky to be where I am.  I really do feel fortunate to be on a career path I love, especially when so many don’t end up in medical school.  But sometimes I am frustrated by the completely inaccurate portrayal of medicine.  I feel like these unfortunate stereotypes are only getting worse as people see healthcare costs rising and vilify doctors as the cause.  Half of my Thanksgiving was spent justifying a system that I am not even a part of yet.  

In all honesty, being a doctor isn’t like what’s on T.V.  It is hard work, day in and day out, as is the road to get there.  But for every complaint above there are ten more reasons that I love it.  I am proud to be on this road and I can’t wait to one day help patients.  This is a rewarding path filled with excitement and daily revelations.  

But I’ll be damned if it doesn’t suck sometimes.

How to Prepare for the 2015 MCAT

HOW TO STUDY FOR THE NEW MCAT?! I’ll be the first class/group of students taking it and given that there is hardly any practice material or study tests out there for this new test, how should I go about studying? When is the best time (in terms of how many months before I take the test) should I start studying? What time of year is probably the best time to take the test, given you’ve had adequate preparation? Thank you!

Hey there,

I can see your plight.  Preparing for something no one has taken before can be daunting, especially without guidance.  However, I want to point out that every student taking the MCAT in 2015 will be on the same page.  In some ways it is a more honest portrayal of what the MCAT was meant to be - an assessment test.  With the advent of the test prep industry it became less about what you know and more about how many tips and tricks your could memorize out of review books.  In some ways I think what the AAMC is doing is admirable and will hopefully produce better students in the long run.

With that said, the AAMC is not going to let you head blindly into this test.  They recently partnered with Sal Khan, of the Khan Academy, to produce a series of prep videos for the 2015 MCAT.  Better yet, these videos are free! (You can get them here.)  That is a pretty sweet deals - free prep materials from the people who make the test!

What about your timeline?  I would not start preparing more than 3 months out.  That is how most current MCAT courses are set up.  Any longer and you will risk losing information (i.e. it will be hard to keep fresh on information you studied six months out).  However I would suggest spending time now to really learn the material in your classes.  Many, myself included, breeze through physics by memorizing the equations and don’t bother with the concepts.  That hurt me later because I had to relearn lots of basic physics.  Make good notes now, learn the material well, and strive for more than a grade.  This will make your MCAT study process a million times easier.  

Many will debate the best time to take it, though at the end of your junior year is most common.  I took mine in March so that if I needed to retake it I could and still be able to apply in the fall application cycle.  When you take it will be based on your readiness, study schedule, class schedule, etc.  It would be wise to remember that it takes 4-6 weeks for results.  Make sure you will have it well before you plan to submit your application. 

One final tip: practice tests, practice tests, practice tests.  I am almost positive that the AAMC is going to put out practice tests for the new MCAT.  I would suggest doing as many practice tests as possible.  It may even be worthwhile to do some questions from the current test format, just to get a feel for what their question style is like.  Also, I would guess that shortly after the AAMC releases a practice test many test prep companies will release some that duplicate the question stem format, section subjects, time limits, etc.  It may be worth it to do some of those.  The MCAT is a marathon, you need to practice running the distance before taking it, otherwise you will fatigue.

All the best,

TNQD

How much did his care cost?

The other day I got the opportunity to work in a social security, disability and workman’s compensation clinic.  If you are like me, prior to this experience, it sounds revolting.  Basically the physician I was with was tasked with evaluating whether or not patients had injuries or disabilities and if the employer was liable.  To me that is like being stuck behind a rock and a hard place, someone is going to come out upset.

And yet he did this with the utmost pride, and he did a damn good job.  

I met this physician while attending a state medical society event.  He and I began talking about patient advocacy; he had much to say on the topic.  "Everyday,“ he explained, "I work with patients who think the world doesn’t care about them.  I then have to motivate them to get better, be their advocate when they need it and come down on them when they are malingering.”  Though he was trained in physical medicine and rehabilitation he felt that most of his job was psychiatry.  "Getting people over an injury physically is easy.  Getting them over an injury mentally is much harder.“  Needless to say I was intrigued and took him up on an offer to spend a few days in his clinic.

He really did practice what he preached, speaking to me about the psychology of the patient before and after each visit.  But one exercise he had me do really stood out, both in the lesson and his views.

We saw a patient who had been injured on the job as a firefighter.  By the time he came to our clinic he was well, having had steroid injections for the injury and ample time to recover.  He had been on full duty at work and our job seemed to be mostly clerical; we did a short exam, checked his physical ability and signed a form saying he was clear to work.

As we walked out of the room and back into the physician’s office he seemed miffed.  "What a waste,” he said.  "You know how much they are paying me for that?  In disability we get 100% of billed.  That company will pay me a couple hundred dollars for something his family doc, who treated him, could have done.  In fact his care is rife with waste because he was mismanaged.  How much do you think his care cost?“

He then made his resident and I step up to a whiteboard with a marker.  From there we made a timeline.  The patient injured his back.  Within 5 days he received an MRI.  This procedure was wrong for a couple reasons.  First and foremost back pain should be treated conservatively.  When jumping to imaging it is extremely common to find benign disc herniations that aren’t actually causing any symptoms.  Even if they are, outcomes between waiting and surgery are about the same.  Second, his pain did not descend in a dermatome pattern; it stopped at his knees.  This means it could not have been a radiculopathy.  He had us place "unnecessary MRI” in the waste column.   

“Let’s see what they found on MRI,” he said, picking up the report.  Indeed they had found two small herniations, neither of which could have corresponded to his symptoms (wrong side, wrong spinal level).  Yet, they diagnosed him with a disc herniation and sent him for steroid injections.  "Steroid injections" went into the waste column.  

The patient received an epidural and thought he felt better.  Then, within a few days he started having spinal headaches, which landed him in the ER.  At this point they gave him a blood patch and sent him on his way.  His headaches resolved and he has gradually felt better ever since.  "ER visit" and “blood patch” were placed in the waste column.

His family doctor, who had coordinated the patient’s care, released him to full duty after his recovery.  Unfortunately the primary care physician didn’t do the necessary workman’s compensation paperwork and so the employer’s insurance company sent the patient to us.  "Visit to disability doctor" went in the waste column.

As we looked at the timeline we realized there was a lot of waste.  "Now,“ said the doctor, "what should they have done?”  

He eyed his resident who responded, “nothing.”

If they had put this patient on a rehab program, which probably could have been done at home, chances are he would have followed the same clinical course.  His pain was not indicative of disc herniations.  The herniations on MRI did not explain his symptoms.  Our interventions led to complications and overall we did more harm that good cost-wise and quality-of-life-wise.

So what happened?

This is the problem with the system.  We, as providers who desperately want to make patients feel better, value action over restraint.  More and more we find that conservative measures for treatment are no worse, and in many cases better, as compared to costly and invasive interventions.  Back pain is but one example.

Imagine if we treated back pain the way evidence says it should be treated.  How many less surgeries would there be?  How many less complications?  How many less wasted dollars?

No one was at fault here, they were just misguided.  In medicine it is sometimes best to temper our innate desire to act.  Healthcare is extraordinarily expensive.  We hear everyday about its impact on the U.S. debt.  Regardless of what the news might say, swift action isn't necessarily what we need.  In fact, perhaps we need just the opposite.     

-TNQD

On Doubt and Why it's Often Healthy

If you’re a premed or medical student, and you haven’t gone through the stages of feelings seen in the gifs below at some point during your journey, you’re probably not doing it right.

Everyone goes through these stages of being a premed, in one way or another. Some are better at hiding it than others, but we all panic. We all have these moments of doubt and utter exhaustion where we question if it’s really worth it. If we’ll ever make it. That’s normal. 100% normal. It doesn’t mean that you’re weak or that you are not cut out to be a doctor. In fact, I would be more worried about the people who don’t experience these moments, because it likely means that they either A) are entirely too arrogant and self-absorbed to understand the gravity and sanctity of the work they are about to commit the rest of their lives to or B) have some sort of emotional block going on that comes with its own set of unique issues. 

Doubt also means that you are capable of questioning your own decisions and of self-reflection. Being introspective is a crucial quality in a doctor because we are often asked to make very difficult decisions and are trusted with an enormous amount of responsibility, which is both a burden and a unique privilege. It’s not something to be taken lightly. Consequently, it’s almost instinctive to panic and to have doubts when presented with such a long and arduous path which appears to have little room for error and shows few signs of getting any easier as the years go on. You just can’t let it cripple you and prevent you from moving forward. If medicine is what you truly love and are dedicated to wholeheartedly, you’re gonna make it. You will. It may not be the easiest or most direct path, you may have detours along the way, but you’re gonna make it. And you’re gonna be stronger and hopefully an even better doctor for all the struggles you’ve endured and all the doubt you’ve persevered through over the years.  

I believe in you, and you should too!

-TNQD

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If the road to being a doctor were a disney musical….

The "Why Can't I?" Mentality

When I first applied to my medical school I called them and asked if I could simultaneously do an MPH and MD degree.  I was told “No.”  Within 6 months I was enrolled in both the MPH and MD programs.

I always hear friends, family and peers saying things like “I wish I could do x,” or “I could never be good at y.”  Those types of statements confuse me.  I often wish I could do x or be better at y too, but then I follow that up with a critical question:

“Why can’t I?”

I think in almost every situation that is an honest question to ask.  You may not like the answer, but you should always ask the question.  For example, I sometimes wish I could be in the NBA.  Then I ask, “why can’t I?” and the answer becomes clear - because I am 5'8" and a terrible shooter.  Had I began practicing at the age of 5 the situation might be different, but no amount of practice now (at 26) could get me to the point I could be in the NBA.  That’s ok; that’s called being a realist.

But let’s go back to my original example.  I was told I couldn’t be simultaneously enrolled in both the MPH and MD programs at my school, so naturally I asked, “why can’t I?”  I went through many scenarios: I could fail at one, I could fail at both, etc.  But really those weren’t reasons I couldn’t do it, they were fears.  Could they kick me out of medical school?  If I failed all of my classes yes, but that wasn’t likely to happen.  Certainly they couldn’t kick me out just for enrolling in more classes.  So I tested the waters, got through my first semester of medical school and decided I probably could handle double enrollment. 

If I hadn’t thought to ask “why can’t I?” I never would have dual enrolled and I would have missed out on a lot of opportunities.  This question has led to a lot of successes in my life.  "Why can’t I start a blog for pre-med and medical students?“  "Why can’t I serve on my state medical society’s reference committee?”  "Why can’t I publish an opinion piece in a medical journal?“

This may be the single most important question I have ever asked.

Like I said, sometimes you come up against a real reason you can’t pursue or succeed at what you want.  "Why can’t I fly?”  Well because you don’t have physiologic properties that allow you to do so.  "Why can’t I ride across my state on a bike?“  To that question there may not be a good answer, which is why I rode 500+ miles across my state a couple summers back.  

My point is this: most people quit before they think about trying, let alone before they try.  Many people are content to be corralled by the limitations their peers place on them.  Even more people are corralled by the limitations they place on themselves.  You probably can’t cure cancer.  But you can make a living being an artist, pursue a second career, run a marathon, become a great doctor, etc.

What ever you want to do, just ask, "why can’t I?”

You may be pleasantly surprised at the answer.

-TNQD

“Your thoughts? My dad doesn’t think I should become a doctor because I’m a "girl and it’ll be too hard” and I’ll “never find a husband” and I’ll be better off with a lower paying job and “marrying someone rich.” >___>“

Well, no offense to your dad, but that is some sexist bullshit.  I may not have ovaries but for the remainder of this post I will tuck my testicles back in solidarity.

Apparently you are not privy to the myriad of recent studies talking about the changing face of medicine.  According to the AAMC the medical school class of 2010-2011 was almost 50:50 in terms of gender.  Some schools are actually accepting more women than men, though the recent averages seem to be about 50% of each.  To say that women can’t hack it in med school is completely ignoring the factual data.

Now let me break it down for you.  Don’t ever let anyone, and I mean anyone, tell you what you can and cannot do.  I don’t care if you are a woman or a man with no legs (who just ran in the freaking Olympics!).  No one is going to have your interests at heart better than you.  If you want to be a doctor then do it!  Will it make it harder to find a husband?  I don’t know, several of my fellow classmates are either married or have boyfriends.  Several of the upper class (wo)men have gotten married in the course of school (some even had kids!).  

Med school will be hard, but your brain works just as well as any man’s.  What will determine your success is your drive and determination, not whether or not you have a Y chromosome.  And if you don’t want to take my word for it, check out these links.

Viewpoint: Women in Medicine and Science in 2020: Beyond the Glass Ceiling

Changing the Face of Medicine

U.S. Medical School Applicants and Students 1982-1983 to 2011-2012 

Experience is the Best Teacher

This is a powerpoint that a few other AED (Alpha Epsilon Delta Health Pre-professional Honor Society) officers who applied to medical school this cycle and myself compiled for our chapter in conjunction with a Q&A session. Our goal was to help members with applying to medical school and to remove some of the uncertainty and scariness surrounding this rather long process. I thought I’d share it with you all in hopes it might do the same for our premed TNQD followers.

Topics covered include:

  • Stats for allopathic and osteopathic medical schools
  • Timeline for applying
  • Cost of applying
  • Coursework prerequisites
  • AMCAS tips
  • MCAT tips
  • Tips for secondaries
  • Tips for interviews
  • Strategic planning
  • Resources

“Applicants Tell All” Presentation

The NotQuiteDoctor's Time Management Advice

Can you tell us about your scheduling/time management? Thank you! and Happy New Year!

Sure.  I don’t really know how to answer this because I am not time management wizard, but I have found a few things that help.

First off, this program called Self Control is a godsend.  It blocks websites you find distracting, like tumblr for example.  I use it regularly to make sure I don’t let myself wander.  We all know how that is…. “let me just see if so-and-so replied to my facebook message…” then an hour later after you are caught up on the newsfeed drama you have gotten nowhere on studying.  This program helps with that.

Next, set a timer.  For awhile I would set a timer on my phone and every time I got up for a snack, went to the bathroom, answered the phone, etc. I would stop the timer and then restart it when I went back to studying.  That is an amazingly insightful experience.  It will help you realize how much of your study time isn’t being used for study time.

As a follow up to the previous recommendation, remove the distractions   I now keep my phone on silent or in the other room.  I set goals for my snack breaks (i.e. study for the next hour then 15 minute break).  I also set goals for larger breaks.  Usually there is some show I am into (last block it was Breaking Bad) and so I will make a deal with myself.  Study hard for three hours or until a set time and then allow yourself a longer break to watch your show, or read on a book, or knit or what ever it is you may love.

When you consistently meet that goal, increase it (if you need to, this advice is really for med students who have to increase their ability to sit and study for long periods of time as they come closer to studying for Step 1).  If 3 hours is easy, try 4.  This works really well for me since my tests are every 8 weeks.  That means the closer I get to the test the more I have to study.

I also recommend taking days off.  The biggest goal of time management is getting your work accomplished with time to spare.  That spare time should be used to enjoy life.  If you live inside of books 7 days a week it will be miserable… trust me on this.  Try to find ways to take time off.  Maybe that is only half a Saturday or Wednesday nights.  Just make sure to get away from the studying and have you time. 

Best of luck and happy new year,

TNQD

What you don't know about being premed

Tell me what I don’t know about pre-med. Tell me what I won’t expect and what expectations I should have.                

Well to me this is a bit of a silly question.  I don’t know you, where you go, what your background is, etc.  How do I know what you don’t know?  Perhaps that is where to start - premed is not a major, a frame of mind, a club or anything else that people might allude to it being.  Premed is an intention.  Saying “I am premed” doesn’t indicate anything other than “I want to be a doctor.”  However people use the idea of premed as an identity - like being a premed makes them a med student. 
I am not saying this to attack you.  Your question is valid, though I would be at a loss to answer it knowing nothing about your situation.  However I can give you some advice, the above being where I would start.
At my school people waved the premed flag like it meant something.  I was one of them at first, thinking that being a premed put me into a secret club.  But that is not the case.  Unfortunately about 40% of people who apply get into medical.  Even fewer make it from freshman year to the application phase. 
This isn’t meant to scare you.  It should actually excite you.  The majority of people that leave the premed track don’t do so because they aren’t intelligent enough.  At this point you are probably at the beginning of your college career.  This means there are hundreds of opportunities that lie ahead.  There are dozens of things you will be good at that you may never have heard of at this point.  You are about to embark on an exciting journey and one that may take you to a place you never intended to go.
Most premeds start their respective programs with two interests: science/biology and helping people.  For most, this logically points towards being a physician or nurse or other health professional.  But there are literally hundreds, and maybe thousands, of career paths that would let you fulfill both of those interests - and most of them don’t involve working in a hospital.  
So what don’t you know about being premed?  You probably don’t realize how easy it is to entrench yourself and only see one goal.  I implore you to keep the blinders off.  Remain open minded.  The more you explore the world of health, science, and the humanities (and really any other field you are interested in) the better you will be as a physician.  If you constantly think to yourself “I am a premed,” it will become your identity.  I challenge you to think, “I am not a premed, I just think I want to go to medical school.”  That single alteration will change your perspective immensely.  (I use this same trick in medical school.  If all you think is “I am a med student,” then it becomes your identity.  In my opinion it is much healthier to have your identity be more than medical school.)
If you do this, and you end up in medical school, you will know for certain you belong there - especially since you allowed yourself to explore other avenues.  A good friend of mine recently quit medical school because it wasn’t what he wanted.  He admonished the same path I am advising you against.  In his words, “he hopped on the premed train.” As it sped along he never asked himself if he should still be on it.
I am certain this wasn’t the advice you wanted or expected.  But of all that I could tell you I think it is the most important.  For advice more inline with what you are looking for, check out my premed advice page.
Best of luck, TNQD
First Week of Med School Nearly Complete!

I feel like I’m just poking my head out of the fox hole to glance around at the outside world for a moment. I wanted to give you guys an update on how things are going, but I’m pretty overwhelmed at the moment. Once I get into a solid studying pattern and schedule I’ll hopefully have more time to blog about life as a M1. They certainly waste no time. At orientation, one of our anatomy professors told us not to worry, we were only already 2 weeks behind on studying at the outset of the semester. We thought he was kidding. For the past 4 days I’ve done nothing but go to class, study, eat, shower, and sleep. Studying in groups has helped since you definitely need to be around other people who understand this lifestyle in order to commiserate and get through. The M2s say it gets easier, and I’m hoping they’re right, because anatomy lab is rough. The smell is the worst, and it clings to you all day, sometimes even after showering. We have a 200+ lbs. cadaver that we’re rolling back and forth every day…that hurts your shoulders and back at the end of lab, which are suffering enough abuse from hauling your life (text books, Netters atlas, iPad, 20 snacks for the formaldehyde munchies, various chargers, notebooks, markers, water bottle, wallet, etc.) around with you in a bag all day. Also yesterday I had to be the lead dissector on our lady’s face/neck when looking for the brachial plexus and a bunch of other nerves above the clavicle, so that was a little shiver-inducing. Eventually you learn to distance yourself I guess.

The first day was by far the worst in lab since our cadaver seemed so, well, human. She has pastel pink toe nails and underwent a unilateral mastectomy sometime in the past. Our group calls her Lucy to remind us that she once had a name, and loved ones, and should be treated with respect and care. Sometimes when I’m near hurling and feel disgusted about what we’re doing, I try to remember what our professor said: “This is what they wanted and chose to do with their earthly remains. They want you to learn from them so you can save others. Make their selfless sacrifice worth it.” And I thank her. Not verbally but I just think, “Thank you, Lucy.” And I try to make sure she’s covered properly. The other day I brushed a bunch of flecks of fascia from her hair before re-covering her head. I felt like it was the least that I could do for her, after all she is doing for us.

All Good Things...

I am writing to say goodbye.

Almost 3 years ago I started this blog with no idea what it would turn in to.  Since then I have shared some of my greatest victories and toughest losses.  But due to life circumstances my reign as TNQD is coming to an end.

Don’t worry though, TheNotQuiteDoctor is not going anywhere.  As a blog this will continue.  In fact, the last few months I have been gathering writers to contribute.  It is their hard work that has kept this blog afloat.  Upon my request, one has offered to take my spot.  She will be the next iteration of TNQD and serve as a source of pre-med/med wisdom.  She, and the other writers who have been contributing, will ensure that this blog lives on. 

My life has gotten more complex in the last year as I have begun writing for news outlets and larger medical blogs.  My research has been advancing and I am being pulled into larger projects.  Plus the ever present step 1 looms over all that I do.  This all has happened while I continue to balance being a medical student and graduate student.  There are times in life where you reach your limits - and this is mine.

This also feels like a natural time for me to step down.  I have overcome many of the problems I came here to vent about.  My love life seems in perfect order.  I am satisfied with my schoolwork and I have been exercising regularly.  I honestly feel happy, healthy, and balanced.    

My replacement will be transitioning into the blog throughout March (more likely closer to the end, and I will be around until then).  I know you will show her the same kindness you have shown me.  We have created a supportive community here, for students of all fields and all walks of life.  I sincerely hope you continue to participate and grow this blog in the years to come.

Thank you all for all the support you have given me.  Honestly, you, my faithful readers, have provided some of the kindest words and sincerest well wishes.  I am thankful for each of you.  

All the best in everything you do,

TNQD