We’re happy to announce our new editor for the 2016-2017 academic year: M2 Caitlin Li. She was a regular contributor last year (read a couple of her posts here and here) and will now be at the helm. Read a little bit about her:
Name, age, hometown
My name’s Caitlin Linglong Li. I’m 21 years old, and I was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
College attended, major, minor (if applicable)
I am a proud graduate of Vanderbilt University. I majored in biomedical engineering, and did my senior project on a video game-like simulation training program for NICU residents.
At what age did you decide to pursue medicine?
My interest in medicine was a slow realization, which I don’t think was actually solidified until I was already in medical school. But if I had to pinpoint an age it started, I’d say maybe 17, during my sophomore year of college.
Right now my plan is to become a surgeon of some kind, hopefully in the military. But really my goals are just to live a life in which I help and inspire those around me to pursue happiness and health, and I take great comfort in the fact that my goals can be reached in any number of ways even if my specific plans change or don’t pan out.
I bake banana nut bread occasionally, and baking acts as sort of a study break. I actually don’t snack very often most days, but I do drink a lot of home-brewed unsweetened iced tea.
What do you love about USCSOMG?
The school has a unity of vision at all levels. Every single professor is committed to each student’s success, and puts in the extra work to make it happen. The administration is attentive to student concerns and constantly adjusting all sorts of things to make our experience and education more fun and effective. All the staff is personable and supportive from the admissions office to the maintenance staff. Everyone around us, and every single one of the students is cooperative and dedicated to performing and inspiring excellence in others.
What do you do to take a break?/Favorite hangout in Greenville?
I have an eccentric collection of strange hobbies in which I wish I had more time to indulge: fencing (with swords, not wood), crocheting (especially stuffed animals), and poetry (especially spoken word). I also very slowly play my way through a few video games throughout the year.
Why do you like writing for the blog?
It gives me an excuse for reflection and introspection, which I might otherwise neglect. There’s a deep sense of peace and a very fulfilling excitement in clarifying one’s own thoughts and motivations enough to communicate them to others.
Is medical school what you expected it to be so far?
It’s simultaneously less scary than I expected and so much more intense than anyone could imagine before experiencing it. I—like most prospective students—expected medical school to be dense and fast-paced, but it was still much more information in a much shorter time than I ever thought possible. At the same time, our school and the people in it are great, and I made it through the first year with many more good days than bad and much more joy than despair.
Any advice for prospective students or currents M1s?
There’s plenty of good advice out there worth listening to. Something specific I sometimes struggle with is not comparing myself with others and making value judgements about myself based on those comparisons. By all means ask for study tips and techniques, but you shouldn’t evaluate how or how much you study based on what anyone else is doing. The same applies to any other life practice: exercise, leisure, relationships, etc. Your value as a person absolutely does not correspond to any of those things, especially not how you match up to other people.
I was born and raised in Spartanburg, South Carolina and attended Vanderbilt University for my undergraduate studies. I was heavily involved in Vanderbilt’s fencing club and musical volunteering at the Vanderbilt hospital before graduating in 2015 with a degree in biomedical engineering. I want to become a physician to help people pursue happiness in health and am honored and excited to study medicine at USC School of Medicine Greenville.
Copyright 2014 USC School of Medicine Greenville