Tag: choosing a specialty

Brent Schnipke Brent Schnipke (17 Posts)

Medical Student Editor, Writer-in-Training and Columnist

Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University


Brent Schnipke is a third year medical student at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in Dayton, OH. He is a 2014 graduate of Mount Vernon Nazarene University with a degree in Biology. His professional interests include writing, medical humanities, and higher education. When he's not studying, he can be found reading at a local coffee shop, training for his next race, or planning an adventure with his wife. Brent is also active on social media and can be reached on Twitter and Instagram @brentschnipke.

Prints, Pages, and Pagers

Prints, Pages, and Pagers aims to look closely at the lives of medical students and doctors, real or fiction, whose lives and experiences are told in novels, short stories, poetry, or any kind of writing. These book reviews are an opportunity for medical students to learn from the many fascinating stories produced by the field of medicine, and maybe to read something other than a textbook.




Hot Lights, Cold Steel: A Review of Residency

For most first-and second-year medical students, residency is only in their imagination, and it is not truly until the third and fourth years that it becomes something they can imagine very well. It is the mystical land of having ‘made it’: getting through medical school, having the title MD or DO finally applied to you, and being thrown head first into the clinical world.

Into the Wild (2016)

My foray into the wilds of Alaska was part a journey that my classmates and I call “the Safari.” While no African wildlife are spotted on the trip, bears and moose are plentiful, and the journey traverses over a quarter of the United States landmass, from four-room clinics serving towns of a few hundred people to the massive edifices of a level one trauma center and tertiary care university hospital serving five states. For those unfamiliar with the program, the University of Washington is the only allopathic medical school in the “WWAMI” region, comprising of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho; the school has clinical sites and regional teaching campuses in each of these states. Come third year, students can request rotations in the multiple hospitals in Seattle, or rotate at the regional sites.

Applying to Residency is Overwhelming, Let’s Start with the Basics, by Sagar Patel, MD

You’re almost through with med school—the exams, the lectures, the rotations—but here’s where things get really real. Now it’s time to apply for residency. Don’t take your foot off the gas pedal yet, though. Residency applications are just as nuanced as medical school applications. They require plenty of preparation and attention to detail to ensure you have a successful match. A key difference, however, is that applicants and residencies are both trying to find an appropriate fit with each other.

After the Autopsy

I went through medical school without experiencing the death of a patient I had personally cared for. In contrast to what may be seen on the trauma service, my surgery clerkship was full of routine procedures: appendectomies and cholecystectomies, port placements, excisions of pilonidal cysts, and miscellaneous “ditzels,” as pathologists may refer to them as. Sure, I have had patients who were quite sick and did not have much time left to live. For example, I once performed a neurologic exam on a comatose teenager in the ICU, whose arteriovenous malformation had bled wildly out of control despite prior neurosurgery. But with the constant shuffling of rotations that medical students must endure, I was always in and out of patients’ lives before they had a chance to leave mine.

Occupational Physicians as Goaltenders

I recently had the opportunity to shadow a local occupational medicine physician over spring break. I arrived at his office Monday morning expecting a brief day of clinic, maybe some conversation over lunch; maybe I get lucky and he pays for my sandwich. Within minutes of meeting him, though, the physician offered to host me for the entire week on a “mini-rotation.”

Why Would Anyone Choose Family Medicine?

Throughout medical school and especially during our clinical rotations, students are often told to keep an open mind about choosing a specialty. This is sound advice, especially since many people change their minds once they are exposed to other fields. However, that does not mean that all specialties are perceived as equal — even in a primary-care focused medical school, third-year medical students often run into prejudice against FM. Worse, they may run into stereotypes about family med which could be enough to sway them away from the specialty they would really love.

Farrah Fong Farrah Fong (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer Emeritus

West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine


Farrah Fong is in the Class of 2016 at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. She is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, double-majored in Exercise Biology and Music Performance (Piano) at UC Davis, and completed her graduate studies at Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. She is a student writer for The DO, and a co-founder of FMStudent, a guide and resource page for third and fourth-year medical students interested in family medicine. Her hobbies outside of school include music, powerlifting, dancing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, cooking, and writing. She will be completing her Family Medicine residency at Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey.