Fiona Doolan (2 Posts)
School of Medicine at Trinity College Dublin
Fiona Doolan is a 4th year medical student at the School of Medicine at Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland, graduating in 2023. She holds a B.S. in physiology from Boston University, 2017. She is host of the podcast CXR: Careers x Radiology. CXR is a long-form interview podcast introducing radiology to the medical student. It was inspired by the explosion in virtual connectedness worldwide during the pandemic, and from a deep curiosity about the specialty. Fiona is an avid runner and aspiring radiologist.
Now and for the foreseeable future, providers and patients wear masks. An essential element of the doctor-patient relationship – nonverbal expression – is much reduced. When what is on our faces is anathema, we rely more heavily on narratives. Consider each entry of ‘Write Rx’ a prescription for a narrative medicine exercise that just might help you find the right words to relate to patients in this changed space. Here I hope you will find a bit of inspiration for reflection amidst the rigors of medical school, not in the least thanks to some famous physician-writers, excerpts from whom serve as an entry point for each exercise.
My interest in radiology began, as it does for many, with the thrill of coming to a solution based on imaging and some sparse words on a patient’s chief complaint. Reading radiologic scans is like learning a language — a code composed of axial and coronal views, enhancing and nonenhancing areas and anatomical landmarks. When you dive into the millimeter slices of a contrast CT and the defect snaps to your attention, you are hooked.
As a fourth-year medical student from a new medical school who just finished interviewing for ophthalmology residency, I can credit much of my interview season experience to intentional career planning and preparation early on. The ultimate impact of the upcoming changes to the USMLE Step 1 to pass/fail is yet to be fully determined. However, in my perspective, this monumental shift in medical education will place a greater emphasis on the need for thoughtful career planning earlier in medical school.
These are the subjects / you taught me, but as I sit in this / despair, they don’t comfort me. / I need you to teach me more.
After four years of intensive studying, two years with long hours in the hospital and three years of dating, we made the decision to apply to dermatology and plastic surgery. Recognizing the competitive nature of both of these fields, we quickly realized that matching together may not be feasible. We wanted to take each other into account in the process without either one of us making a large sacrifice in the quality of our training program to be together. Open communication and transparency were critical for us throughout the process.
After submitting the ERAS application, you might let out a deep breath and feel a transient sense of relief. But submitting also means that interviews are around the corner — a reality that can quickly bring about excitement, worry, and anticipation.
Medical schools have an interest in advocating that their medical students pursue research in order to prepare them for careers in academia.
Good times have never passed as quickly as the three months, ten days and twelve hours
I have spent under Dr. ***’s service.
I can only hope that you, my future physician colleagues, and I can understand the greater meaning of the white coat and fulfill its truest potential. That white coat is now our life, and we must not take it for granted.
As I look into the future, my greatest fears dance with my deepest hopes. I may pine for change even while wishing I could stay exactly where I am. I don’t know what I will do yet.
The most stressful part of the medical school application process for me was the last phase, when there was nothing I could do except wait to hear back. I feel most content when I know there are concrete actions I can take to influence an outcome I care about.
Here you are: the place that you have been attempting to achieve for many years. At this point, I am sure you have heard a lot of advice regarding your future. Many of those ahead of you have probably given you the ubiquitous “Enjoy fourth year!” advice before you enter the trenches that are residency.
Dear medical students, I’m sorry. You had just finished two years of didactic learning and couldn’t wait to feel like a “real” doctor. You were finally starting your clerkships, that is, finally working with patients and getting deep in the trenches.
Karen Tran-Harding, MD (1 Posts)
Physician Guest Writer
University of Kentucky
Hailing from Orange County, California, this second year radiology resident at the University of Kentucky found love, education, 1.5 residencies, and two corgis in the heart of the bluegrass.