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”

Meal Prep in Medical School

I love to cook and there is nothing I enjoy more than ending my day in the kitchen with a glass of wine. But sometimes I’m just too tired or have other things going on at night and don’t get around to making dinner, which means I end up without leftovers to take for lunch. And when that happens, I end up at Panera. Now, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Panera — I probably eat it a little too much. But I shouldn’t eat it every day, or really any fast casual/fast food on campus — it’s not good for my body and not good for my wallet. To keep myself from eating tomato soup every day, I try to meal prep, at the very least, my lunches for the week every Sunday. A food blogger I am not, so please enjoy this picture of me eating a delicious dessert instead of the horrendous photos I take of the, albeit delicious, food I cook.

Some tips for meal prep newbies:

  1. Start a note on your phone to save all the delicious recipes you come across — I have so many recipes I forget about until I plan my meals each week!
  2. Choose one new-to-you ingredient each week and try to make two different meals with it! This can be such a fun challenge depending on the ingredient.
  3. Organize your shopping list by the section in the store — produce, meat, canned aisle, etc. It makes the shopping experience far less painful, ensures that you remember all the ingredients you need, and protects you from too many impulse purchases.
  4. Shop the perimeter of the store — that’s where all the good-for-you food is located!
  5. If you eat meat, purchase when it’s on sale. Put it in the freezer and thaw when needed. Honestly, same goes for canned beans, quinoa, or anything else non-perishable!
  6. Frozen veggies > canned veggies. Frozen veggies have far less sodium, last just as long, and hold up better in most recipes.
  7. Be flexible — sometimes you just don’t want to eat what you’ve prepped and that’s ok. But having something already prepped in the fridge means you have fast access to healthier food when hunger strikes!
  8. Grocery shop one day and meal prep the next. This doesn’t work for me every week, but I usually shop on Saturday and meal prep on Sunday. Bonus: by shopping on Saturday you can avoid the craziness of the Sunday afternoon grocery store rush.
  9. Invest in some containers so you can portion out your meals and grab and go each morning. I love these glass containers, I bought mine at Target!

Start your own meal prep tradition with some of my favorite recipes!

This salmon thrown on top of a salad is out of this world.

So much flavor in these red curry noodles and it’s so versatile — use whatever protein you want and whatever veggies you have on hand!

This is the best salad I have ever made at home — chicken, bacon, avocado, rosemary…to die for and delicious all week.

A super simple greek salad, add some chicken, and a pita if you’re into that. Easy to transport and full of flavor!

The more color and veggies in my lunch, the better. This curry definitely fits the bill — I bring some rice add dump in once it’s warmed up for some more staying power.

A bit more work and not particularly healthy, but boy the effort is worth it for this chicken pot pie with puff pastry.

I don’t have a Chipotle nearby but I make do with this delicious one skillet meal. Pro tip: an avocado is (usually) cheaper than Chipotle guac so make your own guacamole!

And here’s a few that don’t need a recipe:

Tuna salad — I use greek yogurt instead of mayo, a squeeze of mustard, and add some chopped pickles and banana peppers. Great on salad or a sandwich!

Pasta with all the veggies. Boil a big pot of your favorite pasta, sauté some veggies with garlic in olive oil (I love broccoli, mushroom, peppers, and onions), and then mix them together in the pasta pot after you’ve drained the water. You can also toss in some spinach and let it wilt down. A little freshly grated parm and you’re good to go! [Sometimes I add shrimp too!]

Rotisserie chicken from the market with some roasted veggies! I’ve been on a sweet potato, asparagus, and broccoli kick lately.

And when in doubt, just do it the Italian way and put together a meat and cheese platter. I’ll just be dreaming about this heavenly meal from last summer in Florence.

I’m always looking for new recipes to try! Share your favorites please!