Tag: MS3

Syed Shehab Syed Shehab (2 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont


Fourth-year medical student. Interested in issues around diversity and inclusion, social justice in medicine and looking at health systems and how they can be used to improve access and delivery of care.




Transitioning to the Clinical Years: Be A Duck

“Be a duck,” became my mantra throughout medical school, so much so that my mother had it printed onto a canvas and has it hanging on a wall at home in my honor. As a medical student you might think I would be more interested in having the prowess of a lioness, the elegance of an eagle, the speed of a cheetah or the energy of a dolphin. A duck, as most envision it, does not have much appeal; except, however, when swimming. The quote that led me to emulate the duck is Michael Caine’s, “Be a duck, remain calm on the surface and paddle like the dickens underneath.”

A Third Year Opus — Chapter Three: The Tenant

Delirium is a bread-and-butter presentation. The differential writes itself — stroke, infection, intoxication, electrolyte imbalances, shock, organ failure. The intellectual exercise this invites was practically invented for medical students, even if the final diagnosis (dehydration secondary to gastroenteritis) and its treatment (fluids) were relatively mundane.

Crow’s Feet

There was an elderly man suffering from late-stage Parkinson’s dementia. There was a patient with schizophrenia experiencing a COPD exacerbation. Then, there was Mrs. G, who was admitted for immune thrombocytopenia. She was a retired teacher who spent her time volunteering at her church and caring for family members.

Paging Sisyphus

In my third year of medical school, I was taking care of an elderly patient who had been in and out of the hospital multiple times in one month. Upon his third admission, my exasperated attending threw up his hands and said, “Who am I, Sisyphus?” I understood how he felt. Like the mythological Greek king rolling his boulder up the hill — only to have it roll back down again, ad infinitum — no matter what we did to manage this patient, he always returned to the hospital sicker than before.

Ajay Koti Ajay Koti (17 Posts)

Columnist and in-Training Staff Member

Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida


Ajay is a pediatric resident and a Class of 2017 graduate of the SELECT MD program at the University of South Florida. He is passionate about delivering primary care to underserved populations—specifically, low-income and homeless patients in urban centers. Ajay will be specializing in pediatrics, with a particular interest in child maltreatment.

M.D. or Bust

Numerous studies have documented that medical students lose empathy during clinical years, becoming jaded and pessimistic. This has been linked not only to diminished enjoyment of our work, but also to worse patient outcomes. My goal is to sustain the humanistic values that drive so many of us to medicine, so that, instead of being quelled by cynicism, our idealism can be refined by wisdom.