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 →
This past summer I ventured off for a little six-week solo adventure to Thailand and Vietnam. I wrote a travelogue email to a few friends and family each week, which I decided to condense down to the highlights and share with this blog. I won’t feed you the typical clichés that I went on this trip to “broaden my horizons” or “grow as a person.” Yes, those are wonderful benefits, but I travel because I love to, not to feign that it was for my residency application. I knew this past summer was the only full summer I would have free in medical school, and I wanted to take advantage of it by doing something I knew I may never get the chance to again: travel alone in an exotic place without a family or any other serious responsibilities. Also, the first year of medical school was incredibly stressful, and I knew there was an even tougher one ahead. Burnout is a major problem in the medical field, and I didn’t want to get myself started on that path by signing up for summer research or a clinical internship. Hopefully this blog post can serve as an inspiration to future first-year medical students who may want to break free from the constant pressure to résumé boost, but aren’t sure if it’s an acceptable option. Fear not; several doctors told me that this is exactly what they would have done if they could go back in time. Hope you enjoy. Continue Reading →
Welcome to the 2015-2016 academic year! Our medical school blog is a collection of pieces created by members of the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville’s community. The blog seeks to give you a glance into the variety of personalities and experiences that make our school unique. From poetry to personalized messages, our students are writing in their free time in order for you to see what happens in the lives of ordinary medical students. Continue Reading →
Let me begin with this – I am a wonderer. I am a wonderer and a wanderer.
Last week I wandered outside of the hospital and sprawled (thank you, Test Week) in a cozy patch of grass next to a courtyard of sorts. It was 4:45 p.m. and as always, I was watching, listening, and possibly talking to myself about the mossy fiber versus olive climber pathways to the cerebellum. Continue Reading →
As a native of Nashville, Tennessee, I have grown up around country music. The older I have gotten, the more I have appreciated the words of some songs. Their poetic tunes reach down into my soul, and they send my thoughts deep into my memories. The lyrics take my mind down some backcountry road in my truck with the windows down and the sun shining above. I pass by old memories and witness the love, sorrows, and joys of experiences that I have had over the span of my short life on this earth. This Saturday afternoon has proven to be one of those days. Continue Reading →
Stroll the halls of USC SOMG and you’ll find some amazing life stories. Many have traveled around the world, from Thailand to Argentina. Some have completed mission trips or succeeded at research in the lab or clinical field. Many have had life-changing experiences, in the face of health care or disease, or journeyed through major adversity on their wait to medical school. We have quite an accomplished student body.
I’ve always thought my history was rather unremarkable. After learning some of the back-stories of my fellow students, I feel quite humbled to be in the class of 2017. I feel quite lucky that I was even considered for an interview here. I would say my greatest accomplishment prior to being accepted was being a student athlete – not a very inspiring bit of literature to write on a personal statement. More than a few times I’ve thought to myself, “why am I here?” Continue Reading →
My attending handed me Mrs. Green’s* (name changed to protect the patient’s privacy) chart, led me to the door, and entered the room to speak to the patient. I opened the chart and glanced at the first page: middle-aged female. BMI= morbidly obese. Chief complaint: chest pain and shortness of breath. As my attending exited the room, I entered and promptly greeted the patient, washing my hands, and sitting in a chair next to her bed. Continue Reading →