Students across the country in all grade levels, from preschool to graduate school, had their educational routines upended by the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated lockdown. In medicine, there were special challenges associated with adapting safety protocols to a field that inherently requires human interaction.
Most students recognize Dr. Jason Ryan as the creator of the Boards & Beyond (B&B) video series. His modules have been lauded for being concise enough to target board prep, yet comprehensive enough to strengthen a student’s understanding of (often) some very challenging content areas. While he may be well known for his video lectures, we decided to go “beyond” in this Q&A.
Many of us had careers in medicine before beginning this arduous journey of medical school. We were nurses, technicians, EMTs, CNAs, researchers and more. We enjoyed a few years of steady pay and real-world lessons before we transitioned back to textbooks, lectures and rotations. Although it is easy to be lulled into a sense of security and comfort knowing that we have some medical experience under our belts, we have a duty to ourselves to pursue our studies with an open mind.
The power and beauty of writing rest in a process of active narrative formation. The act of expression helps us make sense of what happened, integrate this into our sense of self, and clarify our values that will influence our next steps. Conveniently, our expression serves as a record of both identity and narrative formation, giving us a glimpse of ourselves more intimately than we typically take time for.
Instead, I was worried that medicine would consume me only to regurgitate me as a mere collection of cells and systems – just like those I would be expected to regurgitate on the test. I was worried that the demands of knowing it all would make me believe that I could know it all, that there is nothing in the spaces between what we know. I was worried that bathing in science would make me stop believing in art.
In this episode we interview coach Mark Dantonio. Coach Dantonio is the former head coach of the Michigan State University football team. He had an impressive career as head coach where he led his team to three Big Ten Championships, Rose Bowl and Cotton Bowl victories, and an appearance in the 2015 College Football Playoff.
I was raised by two physicians who did not “differentiate” until well into their rotational year, and they did, as their generation tends to say, “just fine.” But the reality is that what was “just fine” for physicians-in-training even one generation ago is no longer as feasible.
I remember hearing an important piece of advice: “If you are passionate about something, you will make time for it in medical school.” This advice, however, was soon countered by a snarky follow-up: “It is not that you did not have time for it; you did not make time for it.”
A classmate of mine committed suicide a few weeks ago. Though I’ve heard the harrowing statistics about physician and trainee suicide rates, to be honest, I never expected to personally encounter such a tragedy. The small classes at my medical school allow for a strong sense of community in which we all know each other, celebrate important life milestones, and happily reconnect when we’re together after clinical rotations scatter us throughout the hospital.
In this episode we interview Dr. Tait Shanafelt. Dr. Shanafelt is a Jeanie and Stewart Ritchie Professor of Medicine, Chief Wellness Officer, and associate dean at Stanford University School of Medicine.
I took a quick trip to Target a month ago and browsed for new jeans. I approached the clothing section and was suddenly struck by the overwhelming challenge I had undertaken. From rack to rack, I had to choose from a multitude of different brands (Levis, Wrangler, True Religion and more), different styles (skinny, bootcut, tapered and more) and different colors (blue, black, tan and more). I had to figure out my current exact size and, even then, there are many different ways to size jeans (small-medium-large, waist-by-length and others).
The pressure and anxiety surrounding Step 1 is one of the main reasons cited by the USMLE to justify its adoption of a pass-fail grading system. However, many medical students are met with more trepidation about their future as this major anticipated change in Step 1 takes effect.