Away Rotations

One of the coolest parts about medical school is the ability to go to other schools, hospitals, or institutions to see what medicine is like at their house – to explore a different area of the country, a hospital where you want to match, or just to take a trip. Typically we’ll do this during the tail end of third year and early fourth year (i.e., right now) before residency applications go out in September. I’m doing two – one this month and another in the fall. Continue reading

Eat Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants

Okay I know I stole the title from a Michael Pollan book; it’ll make sense in a minute. Hang on.

When you apply to college, you write your personal statement. It should be powerful, well-written, interesting, full of your personality, and should catch the eye of the reader – and as everyone always tells you, the reader is seeing hundreds of these each day. Be spectacular. Good luck: it is the most important essay you will write in your life. Continue reading

Parents Weekend

As almost-4th years, our class runs an annual “Parents Weekend” where we invite our parents to visit for a couple of days to get a taste of what it’s like to be a medical student here.

Needless to say, the Mom and Dad jumped on the opportunity and flew into town Friday afternoon. Continue reading

“Nate Does Not Have A Career In Critical Care”

Disclaimer: I am especially salty tonight because I have trudged one small step closer to the inglorious age milestone of 30, and have little to show for it except two aborted jobs, knee pain, and a shitty Mazda with an outstanding recall for premature airbag deployment.

Read on.

This month, I’m taking a hybrid course called Critical Illness, which as you might imagine focuses on the unique aspects of caring for the very sick or injured. We spend a week learning “skills” in our simulation center, followed by some combination of an ICU week and two weeks of case-based learning, similar to what we did first year. Continue reading

Step 2 Or March Madness…?

This past Wednesday, one of my closest friends, C., took Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS). You may remember me writing about and taking the 9-hour Step 2 Clinical Knowledge test (CK) back in December… but did you know there was another half to that exam?

Clinical Skills is another lengthy exam, but it’s hands-on. During the test, you “see” twelve standardized patients – actors – who simulate a variety of medical conditions. Your job is to connect with the patient, wash your hands, speak English, and figure out what’s wrong with the actor. Continue reading

Up and Away

I only have one month of research left! Thank god. I can’t wait to get back to clinical medicine.

Medical school is a fascinating place. It’s bound to be; you’re taking 100 or so of the highest-stress, maximum type A personalities that exist and forcing them to attend class, scrap for grades (sometimes), and cohabitate for four years. If we had time for lives and drama, it would make a fantastic reality TV show. Continue reading

Resuscitation! (or, Impostor Syndrome II)

So it turns out that when you are on your research block you have absolutely nothing to write about. Patients are funny, residents are funny, and hapless medical students are hilarious, but there is absolutely nothing funny about research. My project is in the field of medical education, which I find intellectually stimulating and worthwhile but primarily involves attending meetings, reading journal articles that freely use phrases like “cognitive load” and “contextually embedded orchestration of skills,” and sitting in front of a computer. Continue reading