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Friend or Foe?

Manning and Brady. Ronaldo and Messi. Magic and Bird. Superstar rivals vying for supremacy. Competition between them is fierce and unyielding, and if we’re honest with ourselves as medical students, it is this same competitive spirit that has enabled us to be where we are today. I mean let’s remove the niceties here and be transparent about this: we all to some degree desire to be the best. That type of attitude is almost a prerequisite to carrying M.D. at the end of your name. Whether it’s class rank, MCAT, or Step 1, we’re constantly being evaluated for how we perform compared to our colleagues; in fact, this can be the deciding factor in our career. Poor scores on Step 1 or the MCAT can eliminate the possibility of certain residencies or even the possibility of medical school at all. Continue Reading →

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Achieving My Unimaginable

September 28, 2014 at 2 p.m. I will never forget the date and time of my white coat ceremony. This moment was not only special for me but for my family. I am the first person in my family (including all of my cousins, aunts, and grandparents) to become a physician. They are still in awe over my career path. They squeal over my Anatomy lab dissection stories and become entranced when I discuss the male and female reproductive system. It is exhilarating to know that I am on the right path to achieving my dream while surrounded by family members who want to be a part of the experience. Continue Reading →

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There’s always time for football

The weather has been getting cooler. A slight change in color to the trees is visible… Pumpkin spice is popping up everywhere! And everyone else who didn’t start medical school in July can now consider this the beginning of the fall season! More importantly, football season is in full effect! Continue Reading →

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A Monday in the Life of an M1

Before starting medical school, I was so curious about what a typical day would look like. How many hours would I study? How many hours would I be in lecture or in lab? Would I have time to work out? Would I have time to sleep? While this post may not explicitly answer every one of these questions, hopefully it will provide insight into what a normal day looks like. Continue Reading →

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White Coat: Walking Office, Washed Frequently

I’ve entered my third year of wearing white coats. You read that right – I have two white coats: one to wear while I wash, starch, and press the other. Since receiving my first white coat in the summer of 2012, I’ve grown more familiar with its wearing and ways. I’ve known a long time about the importance of keeping my white coat clean and proud-looking. I quickly learned about the expectations patients have of people in white coats. This year, I’ve grown more practical awareness and appreciation for my white coat: it holds everything I need. Literally. In its pockets, my white coat holds the difference between my having a great day or a giant struggle of a day. Continue Reading →

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Summer At Orange Mound

This summer I spent two weeks in Memphis Tennessee. I did a two week rotation with Christ Community Health Services (CCHS). CCHS serves 8% of the population of Memphis, one of the poorest metro cities in the nation. In fact 92% of CCHS’s patients live below the national poverty level. Most of the 162,000 patient visits are with the uninsured or with those on Medicare/Medicaid. Christ Community goes beyond treating the underserved: CCHS believes they have the most impact on their patient populations when they live in the communities of their patients, and are active in their neighborhoods. Consequently, all the staff members of CCHS live in the different communities in which they work (there are 8 different clinics in 5 different neighborhoods). I lived in the neighborhood called Orange Mound. As a student, I rotated in the 8 medical clinics while practicing my medical skills and learning how to counsel patients in mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Continue Reading →

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The Beginning of My Journey

From the time that I was little I knew that I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to be the individual with the white coat whose purpose was to compassionately heal and treat others. As a child I would get “goose bumps” when I was in the hospital or doctor’s office knowing very well that I wanted to be a physician more than anything else in the world. With the love and support from my family and friends, I was encouraged never to let go of that dream. Continue Reading →

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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 →