Personal statements (PS) form an integral part of your residency application. It has a citing factor of 78% by program directors according to NRMP data. If you are anything like me, you probably have half a dozen versions of it typed out, with every new draft looking more and more different from the others.
One of the most exciting stages of a medical student’s journey is their first clinical placement. Learning about the theory underpinning the human body and its systems is fascinating, but it’s much more illuminating to see this theory being applied to help real people.
I’ve often been perplexed by this dilemma that is presented to us: On one hand, we as doctors are supposed to be the champions of humanity, the healers supposed to be guiding entire nations through trying times, such as the recent COVID pandemic. On the other hand, we are sometimes poor at managing our own personal connections. We barely have time to appreciate the ones who actually depend on us, the ones who actually derive emotional comfort from us.
Medical school is great. We get to embark on a career that we absolutely love, and we get to help the members of our community for a living. It’s no secret that pursuing this line of work is intrinsically rewarding, but there are some additional benefits of med school that can sometimes go unnoticed. For instance, I’ve found that medical school has improved my own personal, non-medical life too. Here are some of the ways that medical school has impacted my life outside of medicine.
The aspect of medical school that students seem to most universally anticipate are their clinical rotations. When you’ve got your basic biomedical theory down and have practiced one too many cannulations on a plastic model, you know it’s time to see the real patients. However, it’s very possible for the budding excitement you feel at the thought of attending your first clinical placement to be overshadowed by waves of self-doubt and anxiety. Perhaps you now feel you don’t know nearly as much as you thought you did, or maybe you’re terrified of being schooled by a particularly strict doctor. If this sounds like you, don’t worry— we’ve all been there. Fortunately for you, there are a few tips you can follow during each of your rotations to ensure you make the most of your clinical experiences. Keep reading to find out what they are and how you can put them into practice!
It’s not uncommon to hear medical students complaining about how medical school has ‘ruined their life’, but if you look past the melodrama and the whining-for-the-sake-of-it-ness, there actually is some truth to how medical school has ruined my everyday perception of life outside of medicine. I have definitely developed a few bad habits thanks to medical school, which I’ve had to work very hard making conscious efforts to correct. I thought I would list some of these bad habits here so you don’t make the same mistakes.
It’s not a secret that medical students face a lot of difficult scenarios. Some are slow and insidious, like the slow creep towards the next board exam. Others are devastating, like having to break bad news to a patient for the very first time. One particular difficulty in med school that many people overlook though is the ‘awkward scenario.’ Here are some of the most common awkward scenarios med students face, as well as some ways to lessen, or at least work around, some of that awkwardness.
It would not be an overstatement that scrubs are the real skin of healthcare workers and that their other clothes are just off-time fits. Once you enter your clinical years in medical school, there is just no looking back from scrubs. Although scrubs are the established uniform of healthcare professionals, there is much more to them than just being a fashion statement. Scrubs are a type of protective apparel that is necessary to keep cross-contamination to a minimum.
Before you start yelling ‘in other news, pigs can fly!’ allow me to explain my story. Yes, I know that med school is incredibly stressful and draining, it is almost tantamount to going through hell and back and the incredible workload really sucks out the joy from one’s life. The constant pressure, deadlines and long work hours leave behind hardly any time to socialize, let alone date. Trust me, if I can make it out of med school with both a degree and a wife, then so can you! Here are 4 hard-earned lessons that I will be sharing with you that I applied which helped me not only greatly improve my dating life but also tie the knot with the love of my life.