Thursday, July 31, 2014
mymedlife:

cranquis:

diarymdstudent:

mymedlife:

Why do you think those two are hugging and crying? my resident asks as we watch our attending embrace a man about his age. It’s because one year ago that patient was given four months to live. I saw him then, he looked like he was on his deathbed.
No one knew what he had
But our attending figured it out. He diagnosed him.
It was a rare form of leukemia.
You know it’s rare when Google’s feeble attempts to help out only turns up a handful of journal articles.
Do you know how he knew?
He read an article about it a few weeks before. 
Everyone laughed at him, but he remembered that article and demanded we run the tests. 
Turns out, he was right.
Never forget, reading saves lives. 
To the first years, just staring out your med school journey, not sure why they signed up for this. To those who just finished boards, and never want to pick up a text book again. To the premeds, who just want to finish up their pre reqs and get to medical school already. To the spouses, who wonder if they will ever see their significant others without a textbook again.
This is why we do it.
This is why we stay up past our bedtimes.
And wake up before the sun.
This is why we memorize overly complicated pathways until we can do them in our sleep.
Why we can name every class of antibiotic, even those no one uses anymore.
This is why we push ourselves to be better every day than we were the last.
Why we put our lives on hold.
Not for more letters to put behind our name.
Not for some number on a score sheet.
Not because mom told us to.
We do it because one day, a day that will occur far faster than we are ready for, we’ll have our own patients.
One day someone will come in and ask you “so doc, what is it.” And you’ll say to yourself, I know this.
So when the tediousness of studying gets you down, don’t forget:
Reading saves lives.

This feels like it needs epic music to go with it. 

Compose the music and I’ll sing this from the rooftops.

(In all seriousness — this is an important reminder for all physicians and healthcare providers, before/during/after school/exams/residency/beyond!)

Quick someone start composing. I’m betting we have enough musicians on here we can get an epic Lord of the Rings-esque piece going. 
I’ll dust off the ol’ flute

mymedlife:

cranquis:

diarymdstudent:

mymedlife:

Why do you think those two are hugging and crying? my resident asks as we watch our attending embrace a man about his age. It’s because one year ago that patient was given four months to live. I saw him then, he looked like he was on his deathbed.

No one knew what he had

But our attending figured it out. He diagnosed him.

It was a rare form of leukemia.

You know it’s rare when Google’s feeble attempts to help out only turns up a handful of journal articles.

Do you know how he knew?

He read an article about it a few weeks before.

Everyone laughed at him, but he remembered that article and demanded we run the tests.

Turns out, he was right.

Never forget, reading saves lives.

To the first years, just staring out your med school journey, not sure why they signed up for this. To those who just finished boards, and never want to pick up a text book again. To the premeds, who just want to finish up their pre reqs and get to medical school already. To the spouses, who wonder if they will ever see their significant others without a textbook again.

This is why we do it.

This is why we stay up past our bedtimes.

And wake up before the sun.

This is why we memorize overly complicated pathways until we can do them in our sleep.

Why we can name every class of antibiotic, even those no one uses anymore.

This is why we push ourselves to be better every day than we were the last.

Why we put our lives on hold.

Not for more letters to put behind our name.

Not for some number on a score sheet.

Not because mom told us to.

We do it because one day, a day that will occur far faster than we are ready for, we’ll have our own patients.

One day someone will come in and ask you “so doc, what is it.” And you’ll say to yourself, I know this.

So when the tediousness of studying gets you down, don’t forget:

Reading saves lives.

This feels like it needs epic music to go with it. 

Compose the music and I’ll sing this from the rooftops.

(In all seriousness — this is an important reminder for all physicians and healthcare providers, before/during/after school/exams/residency/beyond!)

Quick someone start composing. I’m betting we have enough musicians on here we can get an epic Lord of the Rings-esque piece going. 

I’ll dust off the ol’ flute

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Medicine is about critical skills

  • Me: Hey, can I practice my long bone injury splinting?
  • Trainer: Sure
  • Me: I just really want to develop my skills
  • Trainer: ...
  • Me: I want to be good at what I do, you know?
  • After I'm done with splinting his arm
  • Trainer: Listen, being a good medic isn't just about splinting. What you're doing will get you to pass your state exams. What you need is to learn to think outside the box. I'll pick a medic with weak skills but a good mind over a good technician. You're used to a very controlled environment but that's not how the real world works. You'll be in situations that you won't do everything right. I'm not saying that you should cut corners but you may miss some steps because you're focused on saving a life.
  • Me: Yeah...
  • Trainer: So what I want you to focus on is Patient assessment. I want you to figure out if this person is sick or not sick. Are they going to die? And what you can do to keep them from dying. You need to know in under 2 minutes what's going on. You need to get to the bottom of things so that you can save your patient. That's true whether you're a basic, a paramedic, or any other medical field. Medicine is about critical skills, focus on that.
Friday, May 23, 2014

Semester postmortem: 3 things what worked

During the Fall semester I noticed that I couldn’t really remember what I had just read in my textbook or enough information for my tests. I was also terrible at writing lab reports. I felt, mostly, stupid and defeated. I wasn’t sure that I was cut out for the Pre-PA journey.

But when I stopped beating myself up, I realized that I just didn’t know how to study and how to write lab reports. Christmas break was a perfect time to try to figure that out.

Learning As Craft
The first shift I made was to take a craftsman approach to learning; to look at learning as a skill to be acquired like any other. I got the idea after reading sections of Cal Newport’s book So Good They Can Ignore You. Even though it is directed at careers, the core concepts apply equally to school. (I actually have to finish the book). That was enough to get me to focus on improving rather than just being angry at myself.

Spaced Repetition Aka See the information multiple times
The second thing that I did was to look for resources on memory and how the brain works. After sifting through countless YouTube videos and websites a few themes emerged.

1) Pre-read before lecture (and make condensed handwritten notes).
2) Add additional information to your notes, during and after lecture.
3) Review regularly and test yourself on your knowledge (in writing).

Made My Prof. my Mentor
Lastly, I approached my professor early in the semester, told her that lab writing was an area of weakness for me and that I wanted to improve significantly. I also asked if she would be willing to give me a lot of feedback on my lab reports so that I could be a better student. I knew that I was asking her to do more work but I framed it in a way that she would be willing to be an ally in my quest for academic improvement.

As a Thank you, I tried her to make her feel like I appreciated the effort that she was putting in as a professor by working hard and participating during lecture when she asked questions. And when something wasn’t right, I asked “What could I have done better?”

This is a totally new way for me to approach school but I like it much better and I like me much better too.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

mindofamedstudent:

Tutorial: how to make organized notes.

  1. Read the objectives of the lecture. If there aren’t any, flip through the lecture slides and make an outline. This puts into perspective what you need to be learning and what you should get out of this lecture.
  2. Skim the book to get familiar with how the information is divided compared to your outline or objectives. While doing this, you’ll figure out whether or not you need the extra details from the book. Sometimes the lecture is enough and you could keep the textbook just as a reference to things you don’t get.
  3. Write down the first objective and flip to the page in the book that has the information pertaining to that objective. Read the lecture slide then refer to the book for details.
  4. Combine your lecture notes with the textbook information. Do this by rewriting the information in your own words and try to be as concise as possible. 
  5. Keep doing this for every objective. Paste things if it helps.
  6. Make sure that you’re not just copying information. Use visual aids as much as possible. Put the information in a table, flowchart, diagram, etc.. (refer to this post to see how I make my flowcharts).
  7. When you’re done with all your objectives, go through the lecture and your notes to make sure you didn’t miss anything.

General tips on how to keep them organized:

  • Be systemic. Making objective-oriented notes is one way to do that. 
  • Use two (or more colors). Color-coding information helps me remember it + it doesn’t look that bad.
  • Section your objectives according to the topic. Then make sure that when you’re writing out the information, it’s in a sequence that’s understandable.

Disclaimer: this is the way I’ve been making my notes since I started med school. By no means am I claiming it’s perfect or that everybody should follow it.

Hope this helps and as always, happy studying :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Note to Self: Read their Website!

Just called to find out about a shadowing opportunity at a clinic and was interviewed on the spot!

I should have gone to their website to brush-up before calling. Ugh.

Monday, May 12, 2014
People will kill you over time, and how they’ll kill you is with tiny, harmless phrases, like ‘be realistic.

Dylan Moran (via onlinecounsellingcollege)

This.

Good reminder to ignore a friend of mine because her comments have been really discouraging lately.

Sunday, May 4, 2014
So glad I recorded all of my class lectures! It’s helping me with reviewing for Finals.

So glad I recorded all of my class lectures! It’s helping me with reviewing for Finals.

Friday, May 2, 2014 Thursday, May 1, 2014