How to Take Notes (& Study Them) in Medical School

In spite of the title, this is not intended to be the definitive discussion of how to take notes in medical school; this is simply a run-down of the method I use. It is a mix of typed notes and hand-written notes; finding the balance between these is essential. It’s important to hand-write certain important…

Don’t ask me when I’m going to run a marathon

“Le soldat de Marathon” by Luc-Olivier Merson, 1869 I have been a runner for over 15 years, and for at least half of those years, I ran competitively. What offends me is not to be called a jogger, but when people ask me whether or not I have run a marathon, and if not, then when. The marathon…

Welcome to Medical School: The White Coat Ceremony

Even before our first day, we were given our White Coats. It was almost farcical, and not a little cruel, the notion of giving an overly eager individual an article of clothing that they would have no conceivable reason to wear for two years. In these early days, we would find little use for our White Coats; it would…

A Weekend in Medical School

I had a shelf exam Saturday morning, which afforded me the rare opportunity to take a guilt free weekend off from studying, before I had to start worrying about my next shelf. April marks a critical turning point in the year; more away rotation applications are due, and it’s time to officially get serious about studying for Step…

Welcome to Spring in the Northeast [aka A Runner’s Hell]

This is what spring looks like in the Northeastern United States. As a runner, it is bloody miserable. Running in the soppy, slippery, slush. Forget about trail running, especially in the parts tucked away from the sun; if they don’t see the light of day, the slush there may stick around until May. And as…

Studying for Standardized Exams

Whether you’re a pre-med studying for the MCAT, a second year studying for Step 1, or a third year studying for shelves or Step 2, the same rules apply for any standardized exams. Standardized exams require two things: a little bit of background knowledge and a lot of practice. Passive Studying: Building a Base It’s essential…

Match Day

Match Day; the day in mid-March when fourth year medical students find out their fate. The match is binding; there are no take-backs, no opt-outs, no second chances to change your mind. The match is an algorithm which determines who goes where; residency programs rank the applicants they interviewed, and applicants rank the programs they…

Reflections on the Third Year of Medical School

When I was in high school, about a decade or so ago, everybody talked about junior year. The dreaded junior year of high school; it was supposed to be the hardest year, or so they said. Indeed, if it was your desire to go to a great university and lead a great life and do great things,…

Exams in Medical School

Exams, exams, exams. If I could summarize medical school in one word it would be this one: exams. We have written exams, which assess our clinical knowledge, and physical exam exams, that is exams which assess our clinical skills. One after another, it’s just more and more exams. I have the good fortune of being…

The Dirty Truth Behind Clean Eating

This rather persistent and tired trend in healthy eating known as “clean eating;” there’s nothing new or novel about it. It’s just healthy eating, plain and simple, with an emphasis on whole, unprocessed foods. While the vast majority of my diet could perhaps be described as “clean eating,” —that is if you subtract the chips,…

a mile a day keeps the orthopedist away

In an effort not to get injured, I have made the executive decision to refine my goal: running 7 miles a week, while being active on only six of seven days. Yes, I know, the prescription is mile q.d. to be taken without exception, but the fact remains that I have endured one too many injuries…