Katarina Zahedi (1 Posts)
Pre-Medical Student Writer
Katarina Zahedi is a pre-medical student at Union College in Schenectady, NY. In 2022, she will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and chinese. At Union, she rows for the women's crew team, works as a leadership mentor, and teaches various science courses under the Supplemental Instruction (SI) program. She also enjoys doing research in the biochemistry lab on campus, working out, volunteering with kids, eating food, and hanging out with friends in her free time. After graduating, Katarina plans to attend medical school to pursue a career in orthopedic surgery and clinical research.
Given the staggering time commitment required for a pre-medical student or an NCAA athlete, one may question whether it is smart or even viable to take on both of these roles in college. By giving you a glimpse into my routine, I want to show you that it is possible to successfully pursue both your athletic and academic goals.
I applied to medical school twice. In retrospect, I was unsuccessful the first time for a few reasons: my timing was terrible, I had too much humility about my achievements and I didn’t ask for enough opinions about my application from people who were rooting for me. My trauma was also too raw and recent to write in a way for strangers to understand.
Tanner always planned on becoming a physician, but found himself with a gap year before medical school. During this time, he began teaching different levels of students and soon realized how much he enjoyed tailoring concepts to fit the needs of his varied audience. He told me about his first failed lesson in anatomy, when he learned the hard way that kindergartners can get rowdy and don’t quite know their colors yet.
On my first day volunteering in the hospital, my task is to observe Steven, a more experienced volunteer, as he visits with patients. We begin by meeting Amanda, the first patient on our list.
After our first year of coursework, our LC mentors asked us to write a confidential letter to our “2016 self,” or ourselves at the time just before we began medical school. Right away, I recalled that at that time, I was a nervous wreck.
While it is clear that the issue of depression and anxiety extends well beyond the medical school admissions process, it is important to ask whether it is the beginning of a long and slippery slope to a life of anxiety and depression.
Autumn has been my favorite season since moving to Oregon four years ago from the dry, unchanging desert landscape of Las Vegas, Nevada. The freeway towards my class dips into a valley surrounded by broad-leafed trees with ferns growing near the base of their trunks.
Being a premedical student is largely about the numbers — your MCAT score, your rank in your graduating college class, whether that subpar performance in organic chemistry will lethally impact your medical school application. If you’re anything like me, your time as a premed was spent encapsulated in a crippling and disorienting world of anxiety. I remember scanning Internet posts to confirm just how underwhelming my application to medical school was in comparison to those of other “more qualified” students. I read of students who had managed to four-oh all their prerequisite classes while achieving a perfect score on the MCAT and maintaining an enviable balance of humility and self-confidence, and I was understandably daunted.
In medicine, there is a saying that the training is onerous but the rewards are many. More often than not, these rewards come coated in a myriad of shapes, including lucrative incentives, personal gratification, warm contentment and sated joy. For some physicians, a last wound-closure of the day, a smile on their patients’ faces, or warm, heartfelt regards from the people they care for carry immense significance. Yet, for many others, lucrative incentives seal their fate, becoming a bane to the integrity of the medical profession as a whole.
My initial interest in medicine came from an unlikely source, a stranger I will presumably never meet again. I was volunteering with one of the nurses at a local Healthcare for the Homeless clinic during my first year of college. From my seat in the corner, I noticed with some apprehension a young man whose body was covered with tattoos. Two tattoos in particular caught my attention. The first was on his neck: a five-point crown …
It was just supposed to be a temporary job. At least that was what I envisioned when I started my position as a standardized patient at Albany Medical College. Four months earlier, I graduated a semester early from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama. When I applied to be an standardized patient (SP), I was searching for a way to take my acting career to the next level. …
“If you start feeling lightheaded or faint,” the surgeon told me in the operating room, “just don’t fall into the patient. You can fall anywhere else. Just not into the patient.” This was the first time I had ever shadowed a surgeon, and a dark cloud of fear started to cloak my feelings of excitement. I had never thought myself to be a queasy person, but suddenly I kept imagining myself plunging face-forward off of …
T. N. Diem Vu, MD (8 Posts)
Dr. T. N. Diem Vu, MD is a surgical critical care fellow in the Mayo Clinic Department of General Surgery. She graduated from Mayo Medical School in the Class of 2016. She completed a BS in molecular & cellular biology with a minor in writing seminars at Johns Hopkins University in 2012. Her interests outside of medicine include illustration, writing, singing and playing ukulele, photography, film, food, books, and spending time with loved ones.
Med Student Shadows
As medical students, we shadow physicians to learn about the nature of medicine from them and their patients. In this column, Diem traces her own shadow, preserving and illustrating her experiences--in class, in the hospital, and in between--as a medical student.