Day in the Life: Halloween & Babies Edition

Good morning from the couch! I’m taking it easy this morning and watching Grey’s Anatomy while I put this post together. I shadowed labor & delivery last night (omg babies!!) and didn’t get to bed until almost 1am. Wayyyyy past my bedtime, so I didn’t set an alarm and slept in until 8:30, so rare for me! I thought it would be fun to share a little day in the life from yesterday. It wasn’t an exceptionally exciting day aside from shadowing and lots of halloween candy, but it’s a pretty good representation of what MS2 has been like so far!

6:00am I stayed up late last night carving a pumpkin and watching Hocus Pocus with my friends in hopes I would sleep in, but no such luck. Going to need a coffee late to stay up for L&D.

6:15am COFFEE, read the news, and listen to my favorite classical NPR station

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How Medical Students Prepare for Real Patients

I can’t believe we’re nearing the end of October! It feels like just yesterday I came back from summer break. Time really does speed up when you’re cramming your brain full of knowledge. In addition to learning about a lot of disease pathology (we just started renal so it’s all kidneys all the time), this year has really been focused on taking what we’ve learned and translating it into clinical skills. This week was busy with opportunities to practice my skills. I had a standardized patient exercise, shadowed a physician in primary care clinic, and learned how to perform the male exam. Next week, I’ll be practicing my motivational interviewing skills, which come in handy for encouraging patients to make important behavior changes.

I thought I’d share a little bit more about standardized patients, which is one way medical students practice the skills we’ll need in clinic. I won’t divulge many details about the actual scenarios (they are often reused and I wouldn’t want compromise a younger student’s learning opportunity) but I do think it’s important for those interested in medical school to understand this specific way we practice skills prior to clinical rotations. Keep in mind that every school does this differently, so this is based on my own experience.

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My Interview with Accepted

My Interview with Accepted

Over the summer, I was interviewed by Accepted for their “What is Medical School Really Like?” series. I talked about my journey from legislative affairs to medicine and gave some insight into how medical school is going so far! If you’ve never heard of Accepted before, you can check them out here. They offer consulting services for students applying to college and graduate school in addition to a podcast and blog that break down the world of admissions and school life.

In my interview, I shared about being a career changer, applying smart, valuing your story, and why medical students should care and be involved in health advocacy. Yep, I definitely got on my soap box a bit! You can read the whole interview here!

Here are some other great interviews to check out:

I’m Still Here: Life & Photo Dump

Well, it’s been much longer than I anticipated since my last post! I’m still here, just decided to take some time off to enjoy my summer and then once school started again I felt like I’ve barely had a moment to breathe. And truth be told, I should be thinking about starting to study right now but here I am, about to give you a huge life update instead – and tons of pictures that will probably convince you to take a trip out West. Keep reading to see what I’ve been up to since May!

I still cannot believe that my first year of medical school is over already! It really is true what they say – the days are long but the years are short. And that’s true thus far into second year as well. Once I finished up with my last neurology exam in May, I had to do my clinical competency assessment to ensure that I’ve learned how to take a full history and physical this year. It was a lot – you never realize how much doctors think about until you’re the one trying to think like a doctor!

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Why is Saying “No” So Hard?

Hello hello! Wow, it’s been just a bit since I posted. I hope you all had a lovely Mother’s Day! I had the most relaxing weekend at home my mama and minimal studying. I read an entire book cover to cover for the first time in months and it was glorious. I love Alyssa Mastramonaco and the little glimpses she gives of behind the scenes life in the Obama White House! My mom and I did a little shopping, tried out a new restaurant in our downtown area, watched Wine Country on Netflix (it was meh – some bits were really funny but I wanted more), and had brunch with a family friend. All in all, a pretty perfect weekend and another reminder of why I love living so close to home again!

I took my neuro midterm last Monday and I’m actually caught up on lectures from last week somehow. Honestly, there’s not too much to report aside from the realization that I’m way overextended in my extracurricular involvements, which lets be honest, is par for the course for me. I thought I’d take you through why it’s so hard for me to say “no” and what I’m trying to do about it now!

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Staying Motivated in Medical School

Happy Sunday! I woke up early, per usual even for the weekend, and enjoyed my Sunday morning ritual of classical music, coffee, and the New York Times. Anyone else have a weekend ritual? Today is all about meal prep, laundry, and studying. Only one week until our neuro midterm and there’s so much to know – the brain is amazing and incredibly complex!

Yesterday I had the privilege of attending a brunch hosted by my school’s American Medical Women’s Association chapter. Every person in medicine has their own unique challenges, but there are certainly some that women feel more acutely. It was wonderful to meet so many female physicians and learn from their experiences. I’m excited for more events like it in the future!

After brunch, I stopped at Trader Joes for the first time in months and stocked up on my favorite peanut butter pretzels! I picked up all the ingredients to make this black bean, quinoa, and citrus salad. This morning I also made some shrimp to throw on the salad, far too much salsa, and the best carrot salad ever! I put the carrots on a salad with marinated goat cheese for lunch and it might be my new go-to — so many flavors!

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Deciding Where to Apply to Medical School

We’re at the beginning of another medical school application cycle so today’s post is all about deciding where to apply! It’s a personal, stressful, and expensive process but I hope my thoughts can help guide you if you’re struggling to start or just don’t know how to narrow down your list! And a quick caveat to start — everyone has their own priorities when deciding where to apply to school. These were mine and it’s ok if yours are different.

The moment I submitted my AMCAS!
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Post Bacc FAQ: Glide Year & Linkage

Before you reach the end of your post-bacc, there is one big decision you will have to make: pursue a linkage that takes you right into medical school or choose a “glide year” while you complete the full medical school application process. (There was a lot of ice cream and traveling during my glide year!)

Previous posts you may have missed:

Post Bacc Basics & How it Prepared Me for Medical School
Post Bacc FAQ: How To Pay For It & Why Program Advising is Invaluable

Linkage Agreements

Some medical schools have an arrangement with post-bacc programs to conditionally accept some students to medical school for the fall that follows the completion of a post-bacc. Students apply though AMCAS (the medical school application system) in the fall (one year before they intend to matriculate in medical school through the linkage), interview with the medical school if the schools determines they meet specific criteria set forth by the school, and may be conditionally accepted. This conditional acceptance hinges on completion of the post-bacc (and there might be some grade requirements) and achieving a certain MCAT score. Continue reading “Post Bacc FAQ: Glide Year & Linkage”

Post Bacc FAQ: How To Pay For It & Why Program Advising is Invaluable

I posted a while ago about some post-bacc basics and how it prepared me for medical school, but I’ve gotten more questions since then and thought I’d address them here!

Visiting my post-bacc program this fall as a medical student!

Real quick reminder: a post-bacc program allows students that have already attended college to complete all the prerequisites for admission to medical school, physical therapy school, veterinary school, and other health professions schools. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has an extensive list of post-bacc programs. Programs have some variation in extra courses and program length, but they all get you the core basic science classes required for medical school and to prep you for the MCAT.

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Engaging in Advocacy as a Medical Student

I wanted to write this post last week, but I had to play some serious catch-up with school work instead. I shared a little bit about the conference I attended in D.C. and the amazing celebs I met (!!) but I wanted to let you in about why I attended in the first place and why I think more medical students should be engaged in advocacy.

Prior to medical school, I worked at a policy non-profit in D.C. for three years. Part of my job included meeting with Congressional staff and legislators and running workshops to give high schoolers and adults the skills to be an advocate at the local, state, and federal level. I loved teaching about the basics of government, a little bit about a policy issue, and giving some tips for effective advocacy. [I’ll be back soon with my tips for effective advocacy!]

Continue reading “Engaging in Advocacy as a Medical Student”