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What Studying (Life) Mixed with Kittens Looks Like

This summer, my husband Ethan and I had twins—with fur. We welcomed Mookie Betts & Lola Belle into our little family in July. There was a post in the past on having pets in med school (http://transformingmedschool.com/2014/02/07/to-adopt-or-not-adopt-that-is-the-question/). I was on the skeptical end for a while, mostly because my husband and I are so busy. But now, I am a firm believer. For those of you thinking about it, I highly recommend it. Our thought process behind the decision went a little like this: indoor cats and two cats rather than one (so they can entertain each other)—perfect plan! Continue Reading →

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Embracing Awkward

I love meeting new people. Usually, I have no trouble striking up a conversation with someone. But there’s no guarantee that I won’t end up with some awkward moments. In fact, these moments are pretty normal, whether they are long pauses where neither of us knows what to say next, or realizing that I may have stepped on some toes or stuck my foot in my mouth. These conversations are like trying to find my things in a cluttered house, in the dark. I trip over a lot of things, sometimes it’s painful, but I’m always very happy when I’ve found what I’m looking for. Continue Reading →

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Imprinted on the Heart

To a young man,

I left school after morning classes were finished and arrived home expecting to take a short nap before I was scheduled to begin my first EMT shift. Unfortunately, I had forgotten to pick up my required EMT pants and belt. I quickly drove across town to the store with another medical student to pick up the items. After finally arriving home to take a pleasant nap on the couch, I could not fall asleep with the building anticipation of my night shift. I told myself that the chance of me experiencing anything extremely traumatic was slim, so I did not expect much other than the opportunity to interact with some patients and learn from the paramedics.

Little did I know what would occur that night. Continue Reading →

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Trust

As second-year students wrap up our first module of the year, Ebola rages on in West Africa. It’s hard not to pay attention to world news about infectious disease after spending the past four weeks immersing ourselves in information about all sorts of bacteria, viruses, and parasites. More than anything, it’s yet another reminder that medical school is not a jaunt into abstract learning, but it teaches us about real sickness that causes real suffering and death for real people. It’s a big deal. Continue Reading →

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Sutures, Casting and Labor: A Post-Exam Saturday

This weekend, several medical students from USCSOM Greenville participated in the Rebecca S. Seignious Family Medicine Interest Day in Columbia, S.C. The day’s festivities began with lunch and conversation with medical students and doctors representing the eight family medicine programs across the state.

Students were able to participate in four workshops of their choosing throughout the day. My number one interest for my future specialty is sports medicine, so I went for the casting, suturing and joint injections workshops, and I chose infant delivery as my 4th workshop. Continue Reading →

Regardless of these healthcare conundrums, I really enjoyed my relaxing trip to Brazil. I will never regret my decision to go. If a chance to fulfill a lifelong dream pops up, don’t let the guilt of “time wasted” prevent you from going for it.

FIFA World Cup and the Brazilian Healthcare System

When you finish your first year of medical school, you are filled with an immense sense of relief and an overwhelming need to go lay on a beach for the entire summer without a care in the world. Your soul cries out for that. Your brain needs rest without stress or a feeling of guilt that you aren’t doing something more productive with your time. However, as you think about all of the wonderful, exciting adventures you will embark on that summer, the guilt slams back into place when you realize this is your last real summer. Residencies will want to see that you did something medically and scholastically meaningful. You grumble and fret over how unfair life is before sitting down and begrudgingly mapping out your summer plan for medical success and enlightenment (while wistfully thinking of rolling waves and the sunlight you have missed during the school year). Continue Reading →

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….What Brings Us Together Today

Welcome back everyone!

Alright, you can admit it.  How many of you, after reading that title, just conjured up an image of a small gray haired man in full bishop’s regalia (hat and all)?  Turning sanctimoniously towards the crowd he announces, with impressive nasality, “Mawwage.  Mawwage is what brings us together today.” (A classic Princess Bride scene for those currently staring quizzically at the screen). Continue Reading →

The Grape Dynasty End-of-the-Year Party. What’s better than spending a post-test Sunday with the group, eating delicious food and playing board games? It may be medical school, but we take breaks from time to time. (Granted, post-test weekend generally has the highest vote.)

Grape Dynasty

On our first day of medical school, way back in July, the administrators announced that we would all be split into groups that they would serve as our group for every class for the remainder of the year. We’ll never know how they split us up that day, but I know that I’m glad that they put me with the lot in group 7. Continue Reading →

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Under The Knife

The academic year at USC SOMG is drawing to a close. The M2’s are in hiding, busy studying for the biggest exam of their lives. The M1’s are in their last module, immunology, counting down the days until we get more than one day off of thinking so hard. But being the Type A students that we are, I know many of us in the M1 class have great plans for the summer. Some have internships planned, a trip out of the country, medical mission work, research, shadowing, weddings, and maybe even some time at the beach. My medical experience this summer is going to be slightly different. Continue Reading →

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The Grass is Greener

Students in action! (L to R: Elizabeth Koppang, Bryon Overton, Ben DeMarco, Kim Overton)

Students in action! (L to R: Elizabeth Koppang, Bryon Overton, Ben DeMarco, Kim Overton)

With a longer than appreciated winter behind us, I am more than ready for spring! Last semester I joined “Medical Roots” — the student interest group that founded our school’s garden with the intent of educating the community about the benefits of good nutrition. However, many of us do not have any significant gardening experience; in fact, I don’t have any at all! So when it came time to plant our spring crop, we turned to our advisor and biochemistry extraordinaire — Dr. LeClair. She has been guiding us through the ropes and even gave from her personal compost store to make our soil better. Continue Reading →