I have been a student in the classroom my entire life…grades K-12, undergraduate education, first two years of medical school…until this year. Finishing my 3rd year of medical school was a milestone in my education. It was a transition. Studying from books and lectures is very different than learning from patients in a clinical setting. Not only do the patients, physicians and residents keep you on your toes, but you are also learning to work in a new system—the healthcare system. Every day, I find myself asking for help from people who know this system. It’s a humbling experience to ask for help, especially for a perfectionist, Type A personality who has always hated asking for help. Continue Reading →
“What is it?!” I repeat endlessly to myself, pacing around my living room. “Maybe I needed to email someone, or I’m missing an assignment that’s due. Did I need to schedule an appointment with somebody? I hope it’s not mom or dad’s birthday—OH NO. Please don’t let it be my anniversary!”
I’m forgetting something. Something that I need to be doing, or thinking about, or planning…it’s right on the edge of my mind, but I just can’t make out what it is. “It’s in moments like this,” I ponder, “that I wonder if my brain cells just meet every morning to discuss what they’re going to forget—” And then it hits me like a ton of bricks. Meet. Meeting.
THE MONTHLY COMMITTEE MEETING.
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When you walk into a psychiatric hospital on the first day of your M3 psychiatry clerkship, you don’t know what to expect. It’s terrifying and anxiety-provoking for many. On the one hand, you worry about the psychotic patient that hears voices telling them to hurt other people who can be angered by something as seemingly simple as talking about the weather in the hallway. On the other, you worry about being bored to tears as psychiatrists do medicine checks all day long as most of the actual therapy of psychiatric illness is delegated to therapists. It is a great mystery that no one can prepare you for. Continue Reading →
When I meet someone for the first time and reveal that I’m a medical student, the reaction is quite often close to awe. I’ll typically receive an unnecessary amount of attention in the room from a parent or hear, “Wow, I wish I was that smart.” I’ve encountered several conversations with friends, family and strangers in which I visibly sense a feeling of unease due to the fact that I’m a medical student. But the truth of the matter is that I’d much rather be seen as an ordinary human being, not stereotyped by the idealistic view of medicine as a perfect science and therefore a perfect person. That I’m imperfect, medicine is imperfect, and our interwoven relationship may prove an art as much as it is an uncertainty in healthcare. Continue Reading →
I am a second-year medical student at USCSOMG and I want to tell you about my experience. I have been dwelling on this little assignment since it was given to me, because I am an incredibly honest person. I knew I wanted to be as open as possible, but I also wanted to make a solid point. So, here is my best attempt:
This past summer, I had an amazing opportunity to intern at BridgeHIV in San Francisco, CA. I worked alongside doctors and researchers to discover effective prevention strategies that will reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS globally. I also had the opportunity to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS in the community, which included marching in Pride. Marching in Pride was such a surreal experience. It was a day of liberation, a day where men who could parade the streets as Beyoncé without an ounce of criticism or a transman could kiss a loved one in public. Everywhere I looked, there was love and acceptance. It was amazing to witness people set aside their differences and come together to celebrate one cause: equal rights for the LGTBQ community. Continue Reading →
On Friday, September 11, the M1 students at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville participated in a training exercise as a capstone event for our EMT program at the start of our medical school curriculum. This event is unparalleled in the curriculum of other medical schools across the country and gave us a taste of the atmosphere surrounding the response to a mass casualty incident or catastrophic disaster. The faculty set up two different scenarios for us to complete. The first scenario involved a massive car pile-up with around 20 trapped victims. The other scenario was a staged mass shooting in the medical school involving around 170 patients. We were divided into teams of 25 or 26 in which we were broken down into squads of 4 or 5 to fulfill the different roles within the hierarchy of a mass casualty incident response: triage, extrication, treatment, and transport. The patients in the scenario wore make-up in the appearance of their injuries and acted according to a script written out for them. The two scenarios each required unique responses and were a test of the skills we learned over the course of seven weeks. Continue Reading →
Her eyes meet mine and I smile. She smiles back, then looks confused.
“Where are we going?”
It’s not a question I expected to hear on the back of an ambulance, especially not from a 32-year-old. Her husband squeezes her hand and says, “We’re going to the hospital.” Continue Reading →
The practice of medicine is an art and a science. Filled with drama, hope, sadness and excitement, its vocational breadth encompasses everything from the adrenaline rush of an incoming trauma alert to the excruciating bureaucracy of proper ICD-10 coding. Reaching that summit, the privilege of acting as an autonomous licensed physician—that’s mostly a circus. Thus, inspired by this blog’s “Layman’s Guide to Medical School” and the Buzzfeed listicle, GIF-imbued publications that dominate social media, here’s my take on the four-year “Cirque du Stéthoscope” that is medical education. (P.S. It’ll be a lot more fun if you click on the links.) Continue Reading →