True Love in Medical School

Today’s post is by two authors: Mandy Laney and her husband, third-year student Zegilor Laney. Their honesty regarding balancing marriage and family life is both great advice to future and fellow medical students and their spouses, and a realistic glimpse of how not just  students but also their families are laying down their lives for the future of health care. Thank you so much, Mandy and Zegilor!

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On Death and Dying

Nothing had prepared me for it. The beeps of the monitor were slowing down, and the rattle of the last few breaths was making itself heard. Time seemed to stop. The beeps fell silent, and the feeling in the room was solemn. The dark room was empty aside from me and him.

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Content Expert/Context Expert

It’s 11:30 PM on a Friday night. I am running on five hours of sleep, and I still have seven hours left on this shift. No, I am not a resident. I’m not even a third- or fourth-year medical student. I am an M1, a first-year medical student. My white coat is still fresh off the rack, and I am currently helping two paramedics transport a patient who has severely dislocated her ankle. Don’t worry, I am now a Nationally Registered EMT, so this isn’t quite the “Training Day” scenario. This lady, we’ll call her “Mrs. Smith,” was incredibly sweet and had quite a sense of humor. I was completely confounded by her tolerance for pain. Her foot looks like it is hanging on to her leg by a thread, and she is not phased one bit.
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First Times

Med school is a series of firsts.

The first time I sutured a skin laceration on a real, living, breathing human being, all by myself.

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Reflecting on 2018

Starting my third year of medical school brought a mix of emotions: eagerness, nervousness and wonder. Now halfway through, my heart has been touched and molded by some of the strongest and most resilient patients. One particular patient that had an everlasting impression and touched my heart was someone who I will call Mary.  Continue Reading →


As I sit here and procrastinate learning more about neuroanatomy, I cannot help but think about how grateful I am to be a medical student at USCSOMG. At times, it has been extremely hard to find joy and thankfulness through the mounds of endless studying. We spend countless hours learning minutia about how the body is so precisely and perfectly created. Continue Reading →


2.7%. It’s crazy to even think about that number. Almost 4,000 applicants. 300 some interviews. 105 spots. I sat there reflecting on this during our white coat ceremony a couple of months ago. Recently, a couple med school friends and I went out to grab a drink and coincidentally ran into some friends of friends. We talked about the weather, sports, and the other monotonous conversations that are legally required to happen when you meet someone for the first time. Then, right on cue, the conversation turned to careers. “So are you in school with so-and-so?” I uttered a simple yes, only to be immediately followed by “Wow you must be a genius, good for you man.” I awkwardly shook my head no and laughed while quickly returning the question. I got the simple response of “Oh, nothing too exciting, I’m a mechanical engineer and I develop racing tires, just some math and whatnot.” Are you kidding me? I took math the summer after my sophomore year at a college in my hometown since I would’ve most definitely been flirting with the line of failure had I taken it at my undergraduate institution. And here was a mathematical guru telling me I was the smart one? False sir, false.
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Married to Medicine

Medicine is a jealous spouse.
It beckons you at all times of day and night, without end.
It pervades every action, every conversation, every thought, every decision, present and future.
It both builds and ruins relationships and can ask more of you than you ever thought possible.
Medicine is a jealous spouse, but doesn’t have to be yours.

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Failure in Medicine: The Greatest Teacher

Those that know me know I absolutely love Star Wars. From fantastic action scenes to the overall story of good versus evil, I think it represents one of the best film sagas of all time. One aspect of the series that I think is most underrated is the life lessons that the films impart. People like to focus on memorable quotes from the original films like Yoda’s famous “Do or do not. There is no try” or Darth Vader’s infamous revelation “I am your father.” While I love these moments, one of the more recent movies, The Last Jedi, contained a quote that perfectly connects my love of medicine with that of Star Wars. Continue Reading →

Honesty and Hope in Life and Death

2018. For my fellow class of 2020-ers and me, the year of Step 1. The end of the academic years, the beginning of the clinical years. The end of student-ing, the beginning of real learning. It’s a tough transition to be sure, but a welcome one by all of us.
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