advice to med students

I get a ton of messages basically asking the same question: How do I make myself the best applicant to medical school I can be?

1. Most imporantly: Do everything in your power to be a well rounded applicant
- Pick a major your interested, does NOT have to be a science major!

– Just because you want to be a doctor or work in healthcare doesn’t mean only science topics interest you! You can be an art major and still take all the courses required for premed. Ex. I did anthropology and Psychology, I have premed friend who were engineering and music majors. 

- Volunteer in the community with organizations that you are passionate about, NOT just ones that look good on an application

– These should be diverse but should be things you are passionate about, if you get more out of planting trees than volunteering in a hospital gift shop, thats okay! Volunteer in different groups and organizations, some should be medically related but they don’t all have to be! Showing a commitment to life long service doesn’t just mean in medicine. 

- Shadow: different fields of medicine and not just doctors, look into dentistry, nursing, psychology, social work –> figure out what type of healthcare provider you want to be. Contacting people may seem scary but it never hurts to ask, look for positions available, write them an email talking about the strengths and skills you have, maybe you don’t have a lot of experience but you can still be a fast learner and hard worker! 

- Research: if this seems boring to you, find someone researching something you’re interested in so you will actually enjoy it! I appreciated the results of research but always thought working in it would be boring and it was just another thing I had to do to put on my application. I was very WRONG! I found something lab researching a topic I was interested and it consumed me, I now have a greater understanding research and how fun it can be exploring a hypothesis! 

- Extracurricular: again do what your are passionate about, everything does not have to be about medicine, different life experiences teach you different life lessons. I learned different things from being VP of my Doctor Who club vs.  in my medical internship vs. being a ski instructor! 

- Study hard: create study groups, find tutors or be a tutor! If you are struggling in a class, study groups are shown to be a very effective way of studying, or spend the money on getting a tutor because it will be worth it in the end. When you are struggling in a class, especially a premed class, it can be a good time to reflect on whether this is a career for you. Being a doctor means a lifetime of learning, school, and tests. Seriously look into other career you might be interested in, its okay to change your mind about medical school, there are other careers in medicine, or other professions you might enjoy more. Everything in life takes hard work, its finding what you can endlessly work hard for. General Chemistry made me seriously look at whether of not this was the right path for me. After some serious self reflection, there was nothing else I could work this hard for. 

- Time management: Managing work, school, social life and everything else can be hard, don’t take on too much, figure out your limits, remember to ask for help when you need it and to take care of yourself. If you push yourself too hard you will break, we are not invincible. Its okay to say no, to take time for yourself!

Keep a detailed resume of all your actives, exact dates of when they started and ended, who to contact about them and a detailed summary of what you did and what you learned form your experiences! This will help you immensely when filling out your AMCAS 

If your application isn’t perfect or not very well rounded (lacking in areas), I highly recommend taking time off to fill those gaps. The biggest reason people who apply straight out of college don’t get in, even with great applications is maturity level. You may think, I am adult, I am mature! But just because you can act professionally doesn’t mean you are mature. The maturity they are looking for is achieved through life experiences. Many college kids really haven’t had much life experiences other that college, what adversities have you overcome, do you even really know who you are yet outside of your college experience. 

I have take two years off, even though I had a pretty good application before, it has only become stronger and I have lived life, I thought I knew who I was before but I really had explored that until I was out of college on my own.   

Optional: Take time off before applying (Recommended)
- Gaining more life experiences: Maybe move to a new place or Travel 

- Get a Masters Degree: this can help boost your GPA if it is not competitive 

- Work: doesn’t have to be in medicine but if you lack hand-on patient experiences than this is great opportunity to chance that! If you have never worked a job, than I highly recommend taking time off and working for a living to experience what its like to pay your own bills

- Learn about who you are: this will help you appear more mature when interviewing and make you more confident 

The Process of Applying 

- Competitive MCAT Score: you don’t have to pay for a course, do what works best for you. I believe the examkracker books were most helpful, Kaplan tend to have the hardest BS and PS practice test but Examkrackers is the best for VR. If you don’t do well the first time, figure out what went wrong and retake it! Learn from this experience because your future in medicine will require many more standardized tests so figuring out how to best prepare for them now will help you in the future! 

- Picking Medical Schools: pick 15 schools, have a few reach schools and a few back up school and then the rest ones you can reasonably get into. Take into account their curriculums, locations and if you are thinking about a competitive speciality look at the what residencies their students are matching! If you are interested in research, or rural care, looks at schools that over special programs for these paths. 

- Letters of Rec/Committee Letter: hopefully in college you made meaningful relationships with professors you had (you should definitely do this!), you will need a science class professor letter of rec, if you did research you will need one from your PI, if you worked with a doctor for an extended period ask them to write you one or if you worked with a volunteer organization for a long period.  Write them a nice letter in why you are asking them, provide them with your resume and all the information they need to know as well as where to send it to. Its okay to send emails reminding them to write it, they are busy people and reminding them shows it is important to you. Also figure out if your school offers a committee letter and be diligent about keeping up on every thing you need to do for it. 

Primary Application AMCAS

- Personal statement- make it personal, talk about experiences that have lead you hear today, but most importantly what you learned from them. This is about you, WHY YOU? vs. everybody else who is applying. This is a Persuasive essay! 

- Academic Record- make sure to request you transcripts to be sent as soon as possible so AMCAS can verify them quickly 

- 15 Activities - out of everything you have done you have to pick the 15 most important activities you have done and briefly talk about them. Then you get to pick three that were most important 


- Strong Essays- These are your chance to show again why you!? highlight your strengths when you can, make sure they are concise and well written free of grammatical errors. Ask friends to read them over for you. 

- Resume - Remember that detailed resume I told you to about keeping! Many schools allow you to upload addition documents like a resume! Now beyond your 15 they have a list of all the actives you have ever done and what you have learned from them! 

- Headshot- passport photo size, 2 x 2 inches. Dress profession, SMILE, only should show show just below the shoulder and up. Remember this is their first glimpse of you, putting the face together with your application! 

- Research abstract - if you did research, make sure to have a document with just your abstract to upload if the offer additional documents area. 


1. Practice - Practice answering interview questions, use examples, highlight your strengths! Try limiting your answer to two to 3 minute: look up “Elevator Speech” - pitch to the ceo a great idea on an elevator ride of only 4 floors! 

2. Reading - the more you read the smarter you are! Reads books about doctors and their experiences, how to apply to medical school, affordable healthcare act, current events, current events in medicine, NIH, read papers on tough ethical topics, read papers published by people from that school, read everything you can on their schools website! Schedule a mock interview, video record yourself answering questions. 

3. What to wear -
Females - professional fitted pants suit or suit with skirt no more than an inch about knees with skin tone matching stockings. flats or heels no more than 2 inches high, make sure you can walk all day in them. simple jewelry, studs and a necklace, no more than one ring on each hang. nothing big and distracting. suite should be black, navy, or gray. Blouse or profession top not showing cleavage. If you hair is long wear it back. Make up, light. You don’t want anything distracting from what you’re saying!
Males- Well fitted suit, tie (safer) or bow-tie, pick a professional one that is not busy looking or distracting. Suit color: black, navy or gray. business professional shoes. Belt and shoe color must match. 

Don’t wear fragrances (but wear deodorant!), bring a briefcase or similar size professional purse or professional folder (just need something to hold business cards and papers). Look well manicured make sure nails are trimmed and neutral colors only. 

Remember to be professional, have a firm handshake, ask them for their business card at the end to write them a handwritten thank you letter. Sit up straight, smile, be you, and don’t forget its a conversation so don’t be over rehearse your answers. If you don’t know the answer to a question, say “I honestly don’t know the answer to that”. Come up with a list of your 3 strengths and weakness and examples of each as well as what you are doing to work on your weaknesses. 

Good luck! One day your hard work will pay off, there will be bumps along the way but each one will teach you something and bring you closer to your dream of going to medical school! 

anonymous asked:

How can I enhance my chances of getting into med school??

There are quite a few ways.

Let me pass along a couple of articles that you should seriously consider reading:

6 reasons why applicants fail to get into medical school

How to get into medical school

Getting into medical school

Hope this helps you out some! 

Remember to not let the stress get the best of you. Keep a clear and determined mind and you will be fine!

the dos and don’ts of first year med.

Recently, I got a question from @party-shaker about being a first-year meddie and surviving.

Let me tell you about my first-year self. I failed my first exam. Not ‘failed’ as in ‘I only got eighty percent’, I ‘failed’ as in ‘bottom of my class, warning letter from the faculty’ failed. First year med is tough. The content is new, you constantly feel like you’re not good enough and you have no idea what you’re doing, and everyone seems smarter than you.

But I got my act together, and got some really good grades by the end of the semester. Mind you, I made a lot of mistakes in the process. Here’s my dos and don’ts of first year med.

DO get adequate sleep.

DON’T trade sleep for studying. Early in my med school career, I had an anatomy tutor who petrified me. In order to learn everything, I would sleep at 10pm, wake at midnight, study until 4am, and sleep until 6am. I was able to answer some questions in the tutes, but I recall none of that anatomy now.

DO find out how you learn. Mind maps, flash cards, bright colours, lists. Do what works for you and don’t listen to anyone else.

DON’T skip class. Yes, the lecturer may be boring and you may be tired. But you’ll have a head start on your learning by going, and the lecturers write the exams.

DO ask questions.

DON’T assume everyone else knows the answers. They don’t.

DO spend time every day revising. Even ten minutes pays off in the long run.

DON’T cram. In fact, you can’t cram medicine. I tried cramming for my six years in med school – I can guarantee that it doesn’t work.

DO have breaks. Run, walk, see your friends, get some Vitamin D. Being stuck in your study or library all day will inevitably drive you crazy.

DO make a study group. You’ll learn more and make friends. It’s win win.

DON’T be competitive. Don’t tear other meddies down or humiliate them. Be nice to other students, help them, but don’t put them down. Not only is it mean, but medicine’s a small world. The kid you were mean to in med school will not refer you patients when they’re a consultant.

Even if you do everything on this list, you will still be tired most days. You will still have moments where you feel like you can’t make it. But this will hopefully stave off burnout and keep you loving what you do for longer.

Advice for pre-Meds

To keep up during college, it’s really just small amounts of consistent dedication. You can still have free time and maintain a high GPA, work in a lab, and volunteer for an hour a week if you manage you’re time well. 

 Study early- for classes, I rewrite my notes right after class (since memory retention goes down so much over time, the sooner you reinforce the material, the better) and I make flash cards and study guides as we go through the material so that when it’s test time, there’s no need to cram or have extra stress (I really hate stress). And if you get a B (or even a C), that’s really ok too. 

 For the extracurriculars- you have to know that there’s no one route to medical school. You can do a variety of different things and they’ll accept it. For me, I really hated research. I did it for one semester and couldn’t stand it. But I liked teaching so instead, I worked in a teaching lab rather than a research lab and got to help explain the material to the students. 

 For volunteering- find something you like. Don’t volunteer somewhere just because you think medical schools will like it. My main volunteer experiences were being a bible study leader and working with hospice care patients. I spent about 3 hours a week with those two activities and it didn’t feel like work, it felt fun. Pick activities that aren’t a chore. Oh and write down little things about the volunteering and clinical experiences you get as you go.  For the actual medical school application, you have to describe each experience and talk about what they meant to you and it’s much easier to recall why that thing you did 3 years ago mattered to you if you have a little note to yourself that you can look back on 

 Clinical experience/shadowing experience- main advice for this is to start early and spread it out. Don’t wait for the last semester before you apply to try and get 200 hours in a hospital. The stress and pressure will make you miserable. But, if you try for once or twice a semester to shadow a different type of physician, then by the end, you’re application will look really good. For clinical experience, there are ways to multitask. My hospice volunteering also counted for clinical experience and I worked as an ER scribe (which also helped me get letters of recommendation)

MCAT- I know the MCAT is what stops a lot of students from wanting to go to medical school.  I’m not gonna lie; it is long, it is difficult, and it can be scary.  But, if you start studying early and spend enough time doing practice tests and reviewing the material, you can get through it.  I recommend getting prep books fairly early on in college so that after each class you take in University, you can review that subject’s prep book and see what from that course will be important to remember.  Then refresh yourself on those concepts a few times a month/semester so when the MCAT rolls around, there are a few subjects you barely need to study since you’ve been doing it already.  

 Lastly, don’t listen too much to what other people are doing. I know is very tempting to stalk but it will do nothing but make you paranoid. Same with you’re other pre-Med classmates who are bragging about their insanely high GPAs. Do you’re own thing and you’ll do fine.

“Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity”


Okay! So this video is some sort of a motivational vlog about a medical student’s life and how he wants to advice aspiring doctors on what to do before making it to med proper. Honestly, I could relate to this guy since I worked before I had this resurgence of wanting to be in med school. I also picked a few apples from his speech/vlog. And it just makes sense MORE on how I want to spend my year before getting myself into studying again.

This video, just as what he said in the intro, may have an impact on a certain population of would-be med students.

True enough, life unfolds beautifully amongst us in random and surprising ways! He sees it in a slightly similar way. And to all of those who think they are too old for med school, YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD FOR SOMETHING YOU WANT DO! I believe in you even if I haven’t met you yet. Own the dream, make it yours. Throw positivity to the universe and the universe will conspire to fulfill your heart’s desires.

God bless you! Enjoy the video!🏥📚

anonymous asked:

Hey. I love your rivals AU, and you write very well. I have been trying to start writing again, but the words that don't flow as smoothly as I would like. I suspect it is because I am a Physics student, which leaves very little room for writing expressively in day-to-day life. As a med student, do you have any advice for this? There is this cafe AU I have been dreaming up and I really want to do it justice. Thank you.

Honestly anon I’m struggling with this too because after exams, getting back into writing creatively and finding the right style again is proving very difficult. All I can say is just keep trying, write whatever comes into your head even if it’s just planning and keep going until eventually you find your words again. That’s what I’m trying to do! 

anonymous asked:

I got my first residency interview, any tips?

1. Wear comfortable shoes. This is the best piece of advice you will find on this list. 

2. Make your interview outfit memorable. Don’t be crazy – stick with the traditional suit – but be creative with your accessories. 

3. review these questions you might be asked

4. Make your own list of questions to ask your interviewers. Because you’re gonna get the “do you have any questions for me” question a million times.

5. Know the program - know what their strengths are and ask about how they’re improving their weaknesses. Look at their website the night before so you can re-familiarize yourself and come up with some possible questions.

6. Don’t get drunk at the interview dinner. This should be common sense, and yet there is a need for me to write it… If the residents who take you out are drinking, then it’s safe for you to drink too. If they’re not drinking, stick to non alcoholic beverages for the night. 

7. If the interview is in a city you’re not familiar with, do a dry run the night before. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the interview. Being late to an interview (even in family medicine!) is an unforgivable sin.

8. Ask the residents what they would like to see improved on in their program. That will clue you in to weaknesses the administration might not know about. 

9. Assess the residents. Do they look happy (like legit happy, not fake-for-interviewees-happy)? Are they friendly with their attendings, or is there a hard divide between attendings and residents? Do they look exhausted? Do they seem like they get along well? Are they friends with each other? 

10. Tour the town. Take an extra day in your top sites if you can. Check out the real estate and the fun stuff and the schools and the job opportunities for your significant other. You’re not just interviewing for a job. You’re interviewing to move to a new place for the next 3-7 years of your life. Better like the place you’re moving to. 

anonymous asked:

Is there any extensive list of undergraduate schools with the best premedical programs? If not, are there any existing statistics on average MCAT score and number of applicants matriculated by undergraduate school?

You just need to pick a major and program that adequately prepares you for the MCAT.

You should check out these articles and statistics:

And here’s a related question: What does the MCAT test on? Medical aspects or..?? -Anonymous

The MCAT is a 4 1/2 hour exam you have to take to get into medical school.

The MCAT consists of four sections:

  • Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems
  • Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems
  • Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills

The Princeton Review has pretty awesome breakdown of the test here. You should also take a look at the test prep resources on the left hand side on that link.

Here are some other good MCAT resources:

today i got so much advice from med students and admissions about how hard i need to study for the MCAT and everyone is speaking to me in this tone that’s like “ I’m not really sure if you can do what I’m about to tell you (aka lock yourself up and study)” and its low key condescending and its pissing me off. like i know everyone means well but some encouragement would actually be nice

MCAT in retrospect.

It has been almost a year since the dreaded/exciting/awful/rewarding day of my MCAT.  I took it only once and after about 8 months of studying.  I read through the books, made piles on index cards, and recited information aloud in my kitchen for hours.  Now that it’s over, and very over at that, I see it without a veil of fear and anxiety that shielded it since I first knew what the MCAT was.  Here is my list, in hindsight, about useful tips and advice:

  • Think big.  Remind yourself every hour if you have to what kind of consequence this test has.  Picture abolsutely dominating the test: it’s the gateway to your future. Can’t you see yourself in a long white coat, bustling through the hospital, running rounds?  Can’t you see your office, the patients, the diploma on the wall?  Remember that this is the key to what you want.
  • STOP if you’re confused and figure it out.  Yeah, so your goal was to get through 20 pages of material, but you are stumped at page three.  Go over and over the idea until it sticks, even though it’s painful realizing you will only get through five pages after all.  At least you will have a solid knowledge base and didn’t rush through to meet projected timelines.
  • Say it out loud over and over again.  When you catch yourself stuttering or skipping over words and just replacing them with mental notes, you don’t get it.  Be able to explain the concept to your wall, a stranger, your cat, without losing your “flow,” and you know you are ready to move on.
  • Be weird.  Say those strange thoughts out loud and fully envision any unexpected visuals.  This will help you remember on test day.  I reminded myself that calciTONin tones down blood calcium levels, DJ Ileum spins the sick beats in the villi (to remember duodenum, jejunum, ileum in the right order).  I also matched dramatic hand signals to remember physics equations (almost like interpretive dance) and had odd voice inflections over key words.  You’ll keep yourself entertained, too.
  • Pump yourself up.  Associate the MCAT with awesomeness and mastery.  I played by music deafeningly loud and memorized Iggy Azalea lyrics about domination: “I heard the top is lonely, I wonder if that’s the truth” and “I’m what amazing looks like, you’ll recognize it when you see it.” I looked forward to breaks so I could feel cool while rapping in my kitchen and drinking iced tea.
  • Do practice questions.  After content review, you are only halfway through studying.  You need to become almost bored with the question and answer format of the test, the wording, and the pace.  Time yourself, sit on a hard chair, stare a computer, eat nothing, put your water in another room, and be as realistic as you can.
  • Admit your practice score (on AMCAS practice tests) is an accurate projection.  Not much will change on test day.  Don’t assume you’ll get an expert spurt of knowledge at the MCAT computer.  If your physical sciences score doesn’t seem to reflect your efforts (like mine), that’s what will probably happen on the real test.  Review the specific questions you didn’t get, then explain (out loud) the right and wrong answers in a conversation tone until it’s simple and clear-sounding.  Tackle your weak spots wholeheartedly and admit when you have a weakness.

Looking back now, the MCAT looks like a faint memory that did not overpower my summer.  At the time, it felt like it ruled my life and took over my soul.  So if you are in the trenches, rest assured that this one day be only a memory.  Of course, the experience has seriously lasting consequences, but it still only feels like a droplet in the ocean once it is said and done.  Don’t be afraid, be empowered, to take another step on the doctor-journey!  =)

Advice for empathic or sensitive med students:

A couple months ago one of my patients committed suicide. Since I was rotating on the psych wing (which to be honest should be the only wing I rotate on but that’s a whole different mess) I was assigned to him from the moment he arrived at the hospital. After being hospitalized and after creating an arguably deep rapport he was released from the hospital. He would call me every day and ask if I could see him as a fixed psychologist. Since I do not have a license yet nor I intend to play off like I do I told him I would be willing to listen to him and give him support as a friend. This was one of my biggest mistakes. The mistake wasn’t making offering friendship, the mistake was offering a friendship to someone who viewed me as their care taker. Because that’s how we met. I broke the professional bond. I made myself Play a double role. And despite the fact he was no longer hospitalized, he continued to seek my professional help rather than seek me out as a friend. He confided in me. I listened. One day I was on a long shift and I was unavailable to speak to him for over 72 hours. Within those 72 hours he messaged me about how he felt suicidal and he must have thought I was ignoring him. He most of felt very lonely. He ended up commiting suicide. I felt very responsible for him. It’s been very hard to forgive myself.

My advice:

When you go to the hospital you should be prepared for the worst. Some times you’ll be the last one to speak to a dying cancer patient, sometimes you’ll have to break the news to the family, sometimes you will see children cry because they are terminally ill, you will see patients fighting to stay alive and you will hear patients screaming in pain.

Med school often doesn’t prepare you for this but you MUST disconnect. I’m not saying you must be apathetic but you shouldn’t take this all back home. This is in no way your fault.

Psychiatrics must be prepared to take on an environment where patients are suicidal, homicidal, hallucinating and highly dangerous.

Sometimes you’ll have long shifts and see things that will genuinely make you want to drop out or quit and you must be prepared. Meditate before your shift. Get a good night of rest. Get support from fellow students and remind yourself that you are not a magician. You cannot save everyone’s life.

Never give out your personal information or offer help to your patients outside the hospital or clinic. While his one is obvious, sometimes (like me) you just really want to help and avoid saying no. But hey, don’t sweat it! They can always visit on your shifts.

Advice to (First Year) Med Students: Survival Tips
  • get some butcher paper and draw out the giant biochemical pathway chart with everything all interconnected. Hang it on your wall and stare at it for 15 minutes every day until you can see it behind closed eyes. 
  • dedicate a few t-shirts that you are “so over” to cadaver lab. Your good clothes will appreciate it. Goodwill scrubs are also excellent for this. 
  • Keep reading

    anonymous asked:

    Best medical schools of 2015?

    Here they are according to U.S. News:

    • Harvard University
    • Stanford University
    • Johns Hopkins University
    • University of California - San Francisco
    • University of Pennsylvania
    • Washington University in St. LouisYale
    • UniversityColumbia University
    • Duke University
    • University of Washington
    • University of Chicago
    • University of California - Los Angeles
    • University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
    • University of California - San Diego
    • Cornell University
    • Vanderbilt University
    • University of Pittsburgh
    • Northwestern University
    • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
    • New York University
    • Baylor College of Medicine
    • University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
    • Case Western Reserve University
    • Emory University
    • Mayo Medical School
    • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
    • University of Virginia
    • University of Wisconsin - Madison
    • Oregon Health and Science University
    • University of Iowa
    • Boston University
    • Ohio State University
    • University of Maryland
    • University of Minnesota
    • University of Colorado - Denver
    • University of Florida
    • Georgetown University
    Advice to incoming MS3s

    Third year is officially over for me, which is BONKERS. Some quick words of wisdom:

    • Start using UWorld with every rotation. I know, you thought you were free. You were wrong.
    • Have at least 2 white coats and wash with bleach once a week, don’t be nasty. 
    • An ipad mini fits in most white coat pockets. You will have lots of snippets of time- 15 minutes here, 20 minutes there- to study. 
    • Always ask if there is anything you can do to help the team before you sit and study.
    • Your scheduled leaving time is not concrete. Especially on wards. Don’t hang your hat on ‘4pm’ if that is when your syllabus says you are supposed to leave. It’s more like ‘around 4pm’. 
    • However the residents are busy and will often forget to dismiss you when you’ve served your usefulness for the day. Find the right words that include asking if there is anything else that you can do to help the team, and if not asking if you can go home to study for the shelf. YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO STUDY FOR THE SHELF. 
    • Find out on day 1 and with every new team what is expected of you. This will lead to less heartbreak later (ex: team 1 told me that xyz was ok. When team 2 came at the start of the month I asked about xyz and that was NOT kosher with this team and we never recovered. True life story).
    • Schedule internal medicine or family medicine last, so the broad shelf review can double as Step 2 review. 
    • Schedule surgery rotation when the weather is gross. At least you won’t be missing anything when you’re inside from 5am-5pm or later. 
    • Avoid rotating on inpatient peds during January if you can. It’s the busiest and worst month for peds wards. 
    • You will get either a nasty upper respiratory infection or a hideous gastrointestinal bug on peds. It happens to everyone. 
    • Emma Holliday Ramahi has SUPER CLUTCH lectures/powerpoints for internal medicine, surgery, peds, and psych. If you know her stuff cold you will be a-ok on the shelf exams. 
    • Pestana Surgery Review is also great for the shelf and being pimped.
    • Surgeons are always late. You are late if you are on time. Always be early on surgery unless you were scrubbed in a case. 
    • There is no good guide to study for the neuro shelf, but I used Blueprints and Casefiles and UWorld and I passed. 
    • For family medicine, join AAFP and register for their qbank (it takes a week or so to verify your account so do it early in the rotation). 
    • For ob-gyn the best qbank was APGO. Free for students and I felt the comprehensive quizzes prepared me for the shelf. 
    • Blueprints and Case Files were what I used for shelf exams and I passed all of them, but everyone has different resources so just use what you like. 
    • Have multiple pens. A pen is a precious resource in the hospital.
    • If you can, cut back on your caffeine intake before third year, because you’ll need it to do something for you this year. 
    • It is definitely possible to get at least 7 hours of sleep on non-call nights, but you have to cut pretty much everything else out. 
    • Take one day a week off from shelf studying for the love of tacos. 
    • Basic food prep ahead of time is massively helpful. 
    • Good luck going to the doctor or dentist (unless it’s an acute thing) tho, it’s kind of garbage. 
    • Do yourself a favor and put your full rotation schedule, rotation lectures and locations and random quizzes/assignment due dates in your organizer of choice the first day of the rotation. 
    • Forgive the interns, their lives are pretty shitty and that will be you in 24 or less months. 
    • Stick up for your fellow med students. 
    • You have more time than anyone on your service. Spend time with the patients. See if the nurses will show you how to draw labs. 
    • Sometimes you will be stuck with scut work. Scut work sucks but it usually is something that helps the residents and you always want to help the residents.

    AND Here is my Basics for Wards series, hopefully it will be helpful to you.

    Good luck!

    anonymous asked:

    Heyo, med student advice pretty please! I have an exam in a month from now and need to study (essentially) all of internal medicine... I'm really struggling to retain information (maybe I'm burning out - I don't know how I passed the first 3 years of med school) Any tips? Should I focus on the high yield things? Should I go by system? I feel so overwhelmed since internal medicine is so broad! Thanks so much!!!


    Firstly, everyone studies differently. I usually stay back from giving too much study advice (even to friends because in the end each of us take our own risks when we choose exactly what to cover and what to skip; it’s our risk, so it’s best if we can’t externalise that blame onto someone else.

    That said, you need to have a system Here are some tips on what to learn:

    • Most universities have assessment objectives which need to be covered. Find this list, and plan your studies accordingly. Going by the lectures is usually a fairly safe way of covering most of the important stuff.
    • Covering high yield stuff is a good idea, but don’t just dive into a textbook(because let’s be honest, those are also full of itneresting and distracting things you don’t have the time to learn); I’m a fan of doing most of your base learning from lectures, or from ‘short notes’ kinds of textbooks because they are concise if you are in a time pinch.
    • You can supplement this with info from journals, textbooks, internet etc as required. But remember, keep things relevant.
    • Don’t focus on learning everything (that has neer happened for anybody) but on learning as much useful stuff as you can.

    So that’s what to study. Now, about how. Firstly, I have to warn you that I’m rather old-school in my study technique. Anyhow:

    • You need to plan a revision timetable. See my old post for my description of how I used to timetable my subjects. Don’t get distracted into  spending too much time on what you like (or avoiding what you dislike). You can give harder topics slightly more time and topics you are good at less time, but don’t let the hard topics take up more time than you can afford, either.
    • Make sure you have a good study space. Somewhere with as few distractions as possible. Where you can control your environment to be optimal for you. You want somewhere with a decent amount of light, somewhere with enough space for your book or computer, and your notes. Sit comfortably, but not too comfortably; don’t get back pain from poor posture but don’t sit in a way that is just going to make you sleepy (i.e tucked into bed).
    • Contrary to popular belief, coffee shops are not a good place to study. Especially if you are working with limited time.They are noisy, busy and full of distractions. This time of year they are full of other students pretending to study. If you don’t have internet at home or live in the same room as 3 siblings I’d understand, but I stand by my belief that most students ‘studying’ in coffee shops are doing their focus/concentration no favours.
    • Have minimal distractions. Close all your internet tabs. Open one only for your research. Don’t get sucked into other stuff. If they help, use those ‘if you open your phone the tree dies’ apps. Whatever helps you focus
    • This also includes music. Relaxing, non-distracting music is OK, but songs with lyrics (especially music you love enough to distract you or make you sing along) is for breaks. It shouldn’t be interrupting your flow of study too much.
    • Mute all your social media. Turn your phone on silent (or allocate a ringtone to important calls like your mum).
    • For the love of studying, forget the idea of pretty notes. That’s for people who have time to spend all day crafting one perfect page. You’re cramming for an exam not illuminating a scroll. You will study equally well if your notes look like chicken scratches. Whatever helps you learn; highlighting, writing out only key words, etc…
    • Take walks. Rather than ‘studying’ in a packed coffee shop, visit it on your break and reward yourself. Or just take in some sunshine.
    • You need little things to keep you going. Plan little ‘rewards’ for a good job done.
    • Give yourself short breaks every hour or so. Drink some water, eat some fruit, take a walk to refill your glass; do something that gets you refreshed.

    I’ve written a lot of stuff in the seond section because making full use of our time isn’t just about what we’re throwing ourselves into, but how we do it. You still have lots of time to pick up a lot of the basic essentials for your exam, so don’t panic and try your best.

    Good luck and I hope it goes well!

    If you think you can only do this job by having a perfectly rounded acceptance of all the shit in your life and also a complete understanding of the pain of your patients before you can help them with theirs, then dream on

    Professor Tanya Byron, ‘The Skeleton Cupboard’

    A reminder from an excellent book I’m reading at the moment: you don’t have to have the perfect life and have all your shit together to be able to help people. Sometimes we get caught up in the idea of being these invincible, omnipotent super-beings - can’t stop, can’t fail, can’t make mistakes. But it’s okay to be vulnerable, to be imperfect, to take time for yourself. It doesn’t make you a failure. We are only human.

    How to Survive the OR

    (from someone who did it for two months with minimal yelling, puking, and fainting)

    The OR is a very unique experience, and even if you 100% do not want to go into a surgical field it’s kind of a once in a lifetime thing and pretty freaking cool. I personally found the order and rhythm of OR days to be somewhat soothing (I’m weird and really get off on routine). That being said I was extremely nervous going into it and was terrified I was going to fuck up and/or die. So here are some tips I’ve compiled to hopefully make your OR experience enjoyable or, at the very least, tolerable.  


    -GET COMPRESSION SOCKS/COMFORTABLE SHOES. Do not be me. Do not wait until a week of awful leg pain to decide to order compression socks. They were a complete game changer, especially since I’ve been very bullheaded about not buying Danskos so I was just wearing tennis shoes. You will be standing for 2-3 hours at a time if you’re lucky, 6+ hours if you’re not. And this will be repeated for about 10-12 hours a day. Also investing in massages is a great idea. The massage I got at the end of my first month of surgery was the best decision I’ve ever made. I almost cried when she worked on my quads because it hurt so good. 

    -EAT, EAT, EAT. I’m not a big breakfast eater but I made sure to at least get a couple of protein bars in me before the day started. This will greatly decrease your chances of passing out, like my rotation partner did a few times. The resident actually told us to not work out in the morning because that will also get your system revved up and not help the situation if you’re already prone to fainting (not sure how legit this is because there’s no fucking way I was working out at 4am anyways). When it comes to water, keep hydrated but don’t down a liter before you go into the OR, or if you do make time for a bathroom break. And keep snacks on you that you can quickly scarf down between cases because who knows if you are going to be able to get a real lunch. 

    Keep reading

    anonymous asked:

    I want to become a surgeon, idk about the field of surgery rn but it's something i've wanted to do forever. What are the steps to become a sugeon? What major do i have to take? And how long will it take? Thanks!

    Becoming a surgeon requires 4 years of undergraduate school, 4 years of medical school and 4-8 years of specialized residency training.

    1. Get your bachelor’s: Choose the right undergraduate major for medical school
    2. Take the MCAT: Prepare for the MCAT Exam
    3. Complete Medical School
    4. Complete a Residency Program
    5. Get Licensed (USMLE)
    6. Choose a field/specialization

    Other Resources:

    Steps to Become a Doctor: Education and Career Roadmap

    Surgeon Education Steps

    How to Become a Doctor or a Surgeon