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As My Patients Die

I anticipated that I would encounter dying patients during my third year of medical school. Every patient has been unique and different, and each one has elicited from me a variety of feelings: the unknown, helplessness, disappointment, numbness, sorrow and even peace. My experiences have been ones that have taken place within multiple specialties and disciplines from the intensive care unit to the trauma bay of the emergency department. My patients have allowed me to be one of the final characters in their chapters of life, and I will be forever grateful for them to have participated in their closing moments.

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Gross Anatomy

Gross Anatomy. The infamous class of the first year of medical school. Everyone must take it, and there is no getting around the fact that it is one of the most challenging courses medical students face.

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The Planets Revolve Around Medical School

Take a hike, Copernicus. You had it all wrong. You see, the sun is not at the center of this solar system. Rather, it’s around MY medical education that the planets revolve. Didn’t you get the memo?

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Confessions of a Non-Medical Medical School Wife

Today’s post is brought to you by Abigail White, wife of M3 Jeremiah White. She offers an interesting perspective about being married to a medical student. Thanks for your contribution, Abby!

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“So what do you do?”

It was July and my fiancé was just starting his first year of medical school. His school was hosting an event downtown for the new students, introducing them to Greenville and to each other. This was our first real med school event and I was excited to be the plus one.

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It’s Hard to Come Down the Mountain

It took me three tries to reach the top of my first mountain.

Coming to Greenville from Charleston I was excited about the prospect of mountain hiking with my new classmates. I love the outdoors, and my friends and family will tell you I have a unique proclivity for walking through creeks and streams, so I was very excited to find a group of students who liked to adventure as well. I consider myself a fairly active person, so I thought I would have no trouble hiking. However, on our first few excursions I found I was quite mistaken.

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The Failure Bow

I am about 17 weeks into medical school, and several things have become increasingly clear to me: how little I know, how little I can ever hope to know, and how I have grown to accept those realizations and feel at peace with them.

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Winter Break Reading List

If you are like me, winter break means you finally get to stop reading textbooks and start reading the books you haven’t had the time to read. My journey to and through medical school has been colored by stories about doctors and their patients. These are my recommendations if you are looking for healthcare-related inspiration this winter break!

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Life After Med School

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you a dispatch from residency! Maglin Halsey-Nichols, M.D., a member of our charter class, is currently in her first year of residency in Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Department of Emergency Medicine. She sent us some thoughts about her first year out of medical school. Thanks, Maglin! Continue Reading →

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Breath of Fresh Air

Stop smelling the formaldehyde and stop to smell the flowers.

Take your head out of the textbooks and get up and take a walk.

Go outside, and in the process?
Take a breath of fresh air. Continue Reading →

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Refuse to be Owned by Privilege

Today, after my 12 hours spent as a third rider with Greenville County EMS, I was confronted with a very humbling and sobering reality.  I have ridden on the ambulance about 10 times at this point, and I have seen a wide variety of presentations, pathologies, and socioeconomic statuses.  I have seen life through the eyes of first responders such as EMS and police in a variety of situations: everything from abusive spouses, to heart attacks, to suicide attempts, to hoarders, etc.  I have seen wealthy and poor, sick and healthy.  These varied experiences are the exact reason why today, I am wondering why my mind is having such a difficult time processing the things that I saw.  I wonder if the tender spot in my heart is a result of the shooting deaths, riots, oppression, protest, inequality, drug overdoses, terrorist attacks, refugees, wars, and political madness that are currently raging in our country and transpiring across our world.  The ubiquitous nature of news media and social media in our world today makes it challenging to find a moment to pause with our thoughts and consider the true gravity of events.  We are inundated by the stimuli of varied thoughts and ideas bound up in often inflammatory rhetoric that has to this point failed to advance the discussion or to prompt any real change.  However, today my mind is captivated, and for the first time I feel as though I need to pause to process the depths of the things I have seen and heard.  Today, I became aware of my privilege. Continue Reading →