Bright Lights, Shiny Objects

This week I started my emergency medicine month and I am a kid in a freaking candy store.

I’ve loved emergency medicine, or the concept of it, since I was sixteen years old when I first took a lifeguarding class. I did this so that I could spend my summers on staff at jewcamp getting tan instead of shepherding campers around, because I am lazy and vain. Continue reading

Wharton’s Jelly

As I mentioned last week, I’m currently taking a hybrid classroom/clinical duties course centered around immunology and the immunocompromised patient. I’ve just finished a week on the stem cell transplant unit, where most patients have received a bone marrow transplant to treat leukemia. In general, these patients come to the hospital for one of three reasons:

  • To get their bone marrow transplant;
  • Their leukemia relapsed;
  • They developed an awful complication called graft-vs-host disease.

Continue reading

I Forgot Everything

Hello, welcome back to medical school. I hope you had a good vacation after taking your board exams, because guess what YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN EVERYTHING YOU ONCE KNEW ABOUT MEDICINE. It is absolutely shocking how stupid I am. Again.

(I know, I know, sorry Mom but it’s true.) Continue reading

Taking a (Practice) Step 1 Exam

When I started my embarrassingly long trek toward medical school three years ago, I studied for and took the MCAT. That exam was hands down the worst testing experience I’ve ever had – a six-hour MonsterTest covering basic science. I wrote about the studying process while cloistered in isolation in my Charlottesville apartment, where I didn’t see the sun for three or four days at a time. It was often hard to stay focused, which I covered.

Periodically I would take a practice test, a soul-sucking exercise in self-flagellation that I, of course, also wrote aboutContinue reading

Rules for Step 1

I haven’t written in a while because I’ve been in a hole these last couple weeks studying for Step 1, or “the boards” as it is colloquially known. Step 1 is the first of three licensing exams you have to take to become a doctor.

Which, of course, means that Step 1 has almost nothing to do with doctoring. It’s not that bad a test, actually, it’s just incredibly challenging to assess medical knowledge. Step 1, for instance, focuses on the basic science – the science underpinnings to how the body works and what goes wrong in disease. Future exams, like Step 2 and 3, focus on the bigger picture of diagnosis and treatment. Continue reading