md simon

Two Little Letters

M.D. When I was accepted into USCSOM Greenville and committed to attending this school, my mom got me two decorative Scrabble letters – I love board games, and it was an exciting time. They also make a cute wall decoration. These letters still hang on my wall today. M.D. Continue Reading →


The College Program and the College Cup

In between the hours of lecture and study, the patient interviews, lab checks, surgeries and call nights, medical students do occasionally get the chance to have some fun.
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Being Present

As a current second-year medical student, I have found my life to be very stressful recently. With my first board exam at the end of April looming on the horizon, the level of intensity has heightened among the majority of my class. I find myself staying up later than usual to review old material, secluding myself away from others more, and becoming more concerned about my understanding of such a vast amount of material needed to perform well on the boards. It has been difficult to manage time between my studies and personal life, as it appears that “the boards are all that matters” to future residency programs. With such an emphasis on achieving a high score, I have really tried to spend as much time as I can with my head in the books. For the past several months, I have experienced medicine through words, pictures, and lectures, with the exception of our time working with patients in our clinical skills course; however, even that pales in comparison to the days and nights spent studying drugs and diseases. Continue Reading →


Match Day

On March 18, the Charter Class at USCSOMG celebrated Match Day, where we found out where we will be heading to complete residency training! The application process for residency is a pretty extensive one. We all completed an application that was submitted to residency programs back in September 2015. Soon after that, students began to receive interview offers from programs where they applied, and we have been going on interviews between October and January. After completing interviews, students put together something called a “rank order list” that allows them to rank the residencies in order of where they want to go. All of the residency programs complete a similar process with the applicants, and a computer system matches students with residency programs. These lists were due on February 24, and then we began the month-long wait until we found out where we are going. I had to fly frequently to get to all of my residency interviews. This picture is from one of my flights back into Greenville. I looked out my window just in time to catch a glimpse of the USCSOMG school buildings and Greenville Memorial Hospital! It’s been a wonderful 4 years, and it’s hard to believe we are quickly reaching the end of our medical school careers. Continue Reading →


I Don’t Know

“Hey, J, how long could I have had mono before I started having symptoms?”

I stood there, with perhaps the dumbest look on my face, as all my scrambling brain cells gave out a collective, “Uhhhhhhhhhh…”

“Well, what I can tell you is that mono is caused by the Epstein-Barr Virus, or EBV, and it infects B-cells through the CD21 receptor. So, if we looked at your blood in a microscope, we would find atypical lymphocytes. This virus is in the Herpes family of viruses, has double-stranded, linear DNA, and has an envelope around itself. In order to test for this in the lab, they will use a Monospot test. This test uses red blood cells from horses or sheep to determine if your body is making the antibody to this virus. The virus is associated with other things too, like aplastic anemia and Burkitt’s lymphoma.

“But…no. I don’t know. I don’t know how long you’ve probably had mono…but don’t play sports!” Continue Reading →


Spirit Week and College Cup

This week marks the first annual Spirit Week for USCSOMG. Each day, students have the option to dress down by donating money or a pantry item to each day’s designated charity.

Monday: Undergrad Day (Greenville Literacy Association)
Tuesday: Red, White and Blue Day (Upstate Warrior Solution)
Wednesday: Superhero Day (Pendleton Place)
Thursday: St. Patrick’s Day (Harvest Hope Food Bank)
Friday: USCSOMG College Spirit Day (Greenville Free Clinic)

The week will end with the College Cup on Saturday, a day of fun activities and friendly competition between the colleges. Follow along all this week on Instagram!


An Anatomical Paradox

The best and worst attribute medical students tend to possess is that we are often times hyper-focused. While preparing for final exams last semester, I studied roughly ten hours each day for four consecutive days, memorizing everything there was to know about musculoskeletal anatomy, cardiopulmonary physiology and histology. I completely immersed myself in the material by highlighting notes, drawing out molecular processes and consulting faculty with questions. What I failed to realize at the time was that I had not stepped outside in days, I don’t even remember what I ate, and most regrettably, I secluded myself from the people who were making an effort to support me. The paradox that lies within medical school is that we attend in an effort to better the lives of others, but in the process we have to push away everyone in ours. I fell into this trap most of my first semester, and it was not until a few days in the anatomy lab that I was brought back into reality. Continue Reading →


1.21 Jigawatts!! or “How to Stay Grounded While in Medical School”

But First…A Lesson in Time Travel (AKA Medical School Matriculation)

Great Scott!! You’ve just walked into 1985…or is it 1955…or 2015? Don’t worry, everything will work out just fine, you haven’t caused a rift in the space-time continuum or created a problem with the earth’s gravitational pull…but before we make any more covert jokes or pop culture blunders, let’s be clear: this is a virtual time travel machine, so you have nothing to worry about while reading this blog (other than your normal vulnerabilities to the time-suck that is the Internet). Try to think of this as a satirical post written by a medical student who likes Hollywood endings and hopes to briefly entertain you with a light-hearted personal yarn about what medical school is like (albeit from a unique perspective, just to mix it up a bit). Serious readers beware…just remember, laughter is the best medicine sometimes. Ready?…Here we go! Continue Reading →


Emergency Medicine at USCSOMG and GHS: Part 3

Here we go with the third and final part of M4 Maglin Halsey’s series on the new Emergency Medicine residency and interview with Dr. Camiron Pfennig. Here’s Part 1 and Part 2, in case you missed it.

M: Any advice for people applying to EM, here and other places?

DP: …Similar to the charter class here. You all came in and took that risk. You knew there would be some bumps in the road, and you get that self-selected group of students that just shine. I’m hoping that we’re as blessed to have that self-selected group of residents that wants to blaze a trail. They won’t be ranking this program No. 1 because it’s a 1970s, established program…I mean you look around, we don’t have anything on the walls. We’re going to establish our brand. They’re going to be the leaders, and we’re going to leave here and say, “I did that,” “I started that,” or “I fixed that.” Continue Reading →


Emergency Medicine at USCSOMG and GHS: Part 2

Here we go with Part 2 of M4 Maglin Halsey’s series on the new Emergency Medicine residency and interview with Dr. Camiron Pfennig. Here’s Part 1, in case you missed it. Continue Reading →