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Category Archives: Medical School

I Survived my First Week of Med School!

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Lessons learned from my First week:

1. Orientation week is long, and really boring. I’ve hear the word “professionalism” probably over 200+ times this week alone.

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2. You’ll never be ready for medical school. I’m already behind in class, and technically class hasn’t even started.

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3. I’ve a quiz in a week…and this is only a 1/8th of the muscles I need to know by then. Any by know I mean (origin, insertions, innervations, and function). I have a long way to go!

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4. I have 10 weeks to get through this book and learn the entire human anatomy. I’m pretty sure this may be a herculean task. How amazing that we all started off as a single cell, yet we grow to be so incredibly complex.

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(picture from Atlas of Human Anatomy by Frank H. Netter) 

5. This book is awful. I despise it. It’s already my nemesis. (no offense to the authors)

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But seriously…you try figuring out what these pretty blobs come from. They all look the same to me!

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(picture above from Histology: A text and Atlas  by Ross and Pawlina)

6. Be friends with the security guard! Chances are you’ll probably forget your ID badge before orientation week is over, and he/she’s someone you don’t want on your bad side.

The Bull, Head of security for safe World Security Corp.

(image source: http://www.virtuater.com/tag/guard/)

Despite the copious amounts of notes already taken, and late night studying, and spending hours with the cadavers, I’m really excited. It’s definitely a challenge. But no journey is complete without its ups and downs.

Hope y’all are doing well! Thanks for keeping up with me. I do apologize in advance if my posts become sporadic. Med school is kind of running my life. I’m determined to get an A in anatomy!

Wish me Luck! 🙂

Staying Calm and Confident During an Interview

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I love meeting new people, and making new friends and getting to know others. But when it comes to an interview, I just shut down. Especially when it’s something important and can determine where I end up in my future, I can feel the pressure. The butterflies churn away, the palms are drenched, and I start rambling and smiling  like I’ve taken a few shots (*note, I’ve never taken shots before an interview, nor do I encourage you to do so before one. But if you do or have done so before, I would love to hear your stories). Regardless, when it comes to interviews, the best advice I’ve gotten is be yourself and enjoy the moment. Practically speaking, it’s really hard to “be yourself” when you’re trying to sell yourself so what I mean by  “be yourself” is don’t lie. It makes you look silly, and they can tell when you’re lying.  Talk about your strengths, and spin your weaknesses into something that makes you still look strong and confident. It’s okay to be nervous during an interview. At the same time, be proud of yourself. You’ve made it this far, that’s an important achievement. So here’s are some tricks to try before an interview. Sometimes it works for me, and sometimes I’m still left with a bunch of butterflies:

1. Eat a good breakfast. And by this I mean like a real meal, not some yogurt and cheesestick and a banana. These med interviews run long, and they don’t feed you till late or if at all. And they may or may not have snacks. So plan accordingly. Bring snacks, and gum or breath mints.

2. Burn off excessive stress by going for a run before the interview or fitting in a quick crossfit WOD.

3. Listen to peppy/ upbeat music. (some people choose jazz, and country, and other soothing music. Choose what feeds your soul, and makes you confident and calm. I prefer my Backstreet Boys and N’sync, but to each his own 😀  )

4. Call your mom, dad, significant other, best friend or someone whom you love before the day starts. They feed your ego, and make you feel important.

5. Girls: wear your sexiest undergarment; Boys: wear your lucky underoos or charm bracelet or watch or whatever; but take that extra 15 or 45 minutes to look good. When you feel confident, you exude confidence. And confidence = power to success.

6. Right before an interview starts, step into the bathroom, and give yourself a pep talk. Builder statements: absolutely nothing negative. You’ve worked hard, you know you deserve this. Sounds cheesy, but truly effective.

7. Do your research about the school/program. What makes you a perfect fit for that school. What draws you to their program? Let your passion shine through. It’s okay to not know an answer, you can always change the direction of the conversation.

8. Make friends with the other interviewees. Get to know them. This distracts me from my nervousness, and like I said, I really do like getting to know people.

9. Smile. even if you have to fake it. Keep smiling. It releases endorphins…those happy molecules that zaps cortisol (the pesky stress molecules) .

10. Plan something fun for post-interview. Whether it is celebratory shots or  dinner at a nice restaurant or doing something extreme like skydiving; have something fun to look forward to after a long and stressful day.

Facing my fear of heights.

Facing my fear of heights. (*note: this was not done after any of my interviews. Though I would like to do this again soon)

Lastly, take it from me,  it’s probably not wise to drink 4 cups of coffee and a huge bottle of water right before an interview. I don’t know about you, but that coffee just makes me all jittery, and do the bathroom dance. like I said before, “Be yourself”, and have fun! Ask lots of questions to the current students, and get to know the school. See if it really is the right match for you, and whether you’ll be happy there for the next 4 years. You’re the one paying for that hefty price tag, make it worth your money and time! Here’s a great video to motivate you to feel confident, even if you have fake it: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks-_Mh1QhMc)

And enough of this med school talk. I’ll be back with more healthy choices soon. Good luck. And take care! 🙂

Dealing with Med School Rejections

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It’s going to happen. With increasing number of applicants, and only about 100-120 available seats in each medical school, a lot of students are going to face rejections. Last year, according to AAMC, of the 45, 266 applicants, only 19,500 matriculated. That’s barely 43% who got accepted into medical school. More than 50% of the applicants got rejected (1).  It hurts, trust me. Whether the school emails you and lets you know that they just can’t take you even with your super high GPA, and exceptional MCAT score, and outstanding volunteering and research, or they decide to give you the cold shoulder and let you sit anxiously for the entire application year, don’t take it too personally. This is your life. If this is what you want to do, don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise, least of all an admission committee that takes less than 2 minutes to assess you and your application.

This year, I’ve already gotten rejected from several schools after paying my several hundred in secondary fees. I have one acceptance, and I am pretty sure I’m not going to be hearing back from many schools, especially so late in the game. In fact, I got rejected from one of my top schools just a few days ago. I was bummed. It was so perfect for me: close to home and outstanding hospitals nearby. Brilliant professors, great research programs, and exceptional local health outreach organizations. Rejection hurts, but a good workout can help. So can your attitude. I was upset, and talked to the momma. Then I went in to my usual 4pm Crossfit and got a great WOD in, and then did some running while doing some soul searching, where I finally kicked myself for being so hard on myself. I have an acceptance. And I have an amazing family and great friends. I’m lucky I’ve a great support system and incredibly supportive parents. And I have an incredible opportunity to go to India soon. It’s all about perspective. If you didn’t get accepted this year, and you know this is what you are meant to be, then:

It doesn’t matter if you decide to go to med school now, or decide to take a few years off and apply later (I actually took 2 years off…Best decision ever!). Admission committee want to know that you are serious about your decision to pursue this career. They want to see your perseverance. I can tell you that one of my close friends had brilliant statistics: graduated from an ivy league with a phenomenal GPA and well above the average MCAT score, did more than 4+ years of research, and volunteering, and even got published in a well known journal. Rejected from all the schools he applied to his first year. The second year he applied. He nailed it. Schools loved him, and now he has a very difficult decision to make. So be patient. Enjoy life, and do something fun. But don’t beat yourself too much because it didn’t happen the first time around. One of my favorite quotes from the book, “The Alchemist” by Paulo Cohelo is, “when you want something [so earnestly, and for the right reasons], all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

Good luck! And stay safe. And if you have questions, I’ll try my best to answer from my own personal experience 🙂

1. https://www.aamc.org/download/321442/data/2012factstable1.pdf

2. http://imgc.allpostersimages.com/images/P-473-488-90/63/6363/OKE8100Z/posters/keep-calm-and-carry-on-motivational-pink-art-poster-print.jpg