Note: This post by rising M2 Hope Conrad is Part 2 of some of the reflections from the M1s’ Gift of Life Ceremony. If you missed last week’s, be sure to read it here. (Featured Image by rising M2 Raychel Simpson.)

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Gift of Life

Recently our M1 class held a Gift of Life Ceremony to honor the people who donated their bodies to our school in order for us to learn the intricacies of human anatomy. Many of my classmates spent time organizing the beautiful ceremony along with our professor Dr. Shana Williams, and we were all able to reflect on our experiences in the anatomy lab. I wrote this poem for our donor ceremony to express my debt of gratitude to my own donor. (Featured Image by M1 Raychel Simpson)

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Compassionate Care

“Compassion is not a virtue; it is a commitment. It’s not something we have or don’t have—it’s something we choose to practice.” – Brené Brown

Compassionate care. It is something we are reminded to do constantly, but I also think it is something that is easy to take for granted. How many times while listening to a lecture about compassionate care and treating the individual have you had the thought, “Of course I will be kind and considerate to my patients; I will listen to them and remember never to judge. This is all common sense.” Now think back to your most difficult patient. Maybe they had a thousand problems, or they were rude and demanding, or maybe everyone assumed the patient was just dramatic. How easy did true kindness come then?

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How Far Can You Stretch a Chicken: Financial Literacy at USCSOMG

The cost required to become a doctor is not getting any cheaper. Far from it, actually. Medical school (and the rest of advanced education, for that matter) is getting more expensive each year, with tuition costs rising at unbelievable rates. In the video below, I explore this issue further and what one man close to USCSOMG is doing about it. Continue Reading →

Patients: Teachers for Life

Have you ever thought about what type of learner you are? Visual? Auditory? Kinesthetic? A combination of two or all three? Maybe you have different learning styles for different tasks and information. It’s amazing to sit down and think about the variety of different ways that each of our brains work to process and store information. I began considering this concept at the beginning of my internal medicine rotation.  On internal medicine, you get to know many of your patients relatively well. Many of my patients were hospitalized for at least three days. Others were there for much longer. A few were there for the whole three weeks that I was part of the medical teaching service team. One morning, a patient and I got into a conversation and she asked me this seemingly simple question: “How much new information do you learn each day?”

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The Value of a Pause

Pitter patter, in and out, pitter patter, in and out.

What is medicine, but a never-ending race, a constant rush—a marathon.

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Spring Preview and Post-view

This past weekend USCSOMG hosted Spring Preview, which is an opportunity to show our incoming students and their families what our school is all about. I was a member of the Student Life Panel. Four fellow students and I answered incoming student and family questions about daily life as a medical student at USCSOMG. Here’s a not-so-little summary of the most frequently asked questions, most frequently given answers, and of course a smattering of my personal opinions and commentary.

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Match Day: A Love Connection

St. Patrick’s Day has become quite the celebration, a time when everyone seems to find some Irish heritage. But for fourth-year medical students across the country, it is a very special holiday. Friday, March 17th is Match Day!

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Anything Your School Does My School Does Better…

Some people say med students nowadays are coddled. I disagree. We’re not coddled. We’re kneaded. There’s a difference.

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Slump in the Second Year

I am nearing the end of my second year of medical school, and I think it is almost universally true that at this point in our education, students begin to feel existentially weary of school. Many of us have been students ever since we were six. We have been sitting at desks, writing notes and reading books with no set hours for no pay for at least 18 years. It’s understandable that one might tire of it all, wish for something less relentless, more tangibly rewarding, more obviously relevant to “real life.” The way many of us get through this ennui is to reassure ourselves that something better is yet to come: when we become third-year medical students, we will spend our time interacting with real patients. We will see the effects of our actions reflected in the health and demeanor of these real people. Our days will have defined beginnings and ends. Evening meals and early bedtimes will no longer feel like missed opportunities for more Step 1 studying.

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