We are all guilty of it. In fact, it is the most common mistake I see as a student approaches a test question. It doesn’t matter if it’s a practice test, a shelf exam, or Steps 1, 2, or 3. In the fast-paced, high-energy test environment, it is a mistake that is just too easy to make. Thus, we all fall into the trap. I often do it myself and I am not proud of it. But what exactly is it that we’re all missing, despite our best intentions?
Unfortunately, there aren’t many people who actually choose to go to a DO (osteopathic) school for medical school. There still is a stigma about having a DO after your name. There’s a sense that many, if not most, who end up at a DO school go there because they couldn’t get into an MD school. I’m one of the few people I know of who chose to attend a DO school over MD programs. I’ll tell you why I did:
Being an intern is wildly different than being a fourth year medical student.
There is nothing that can prepare you for the shock and awe that is the first 6 months of intern year.
On one of my first shifts of my EM rotation, a tech ran into the physician workroom shouting that she needed a doctor – a patient was having a seizure. The attending was checking on a patient in the trauma bays while the resident was admitting another patient, so all eyes were on me. I approached the patient, who was clearly postictal and confused, rose the head of the bed, and spoke calmly with him and his terrified family until the resident arrived.
Here at MST, we’re always keeping our eyes peeled for new and helpful resources that will aid students preparing for their USMLE and Shelf exams. In fact, we’ve established an entire committee to test these resources and identify those that are worthwhile. (We also sniff out the fly-by-night useless resources and swiftly kick them to the curb.) One that we reviewed recently really had what it took to receive a ringing endorsement from our staff. Enter… Online MedEd.
I have a lot of great memories in my life – graduating medical school, marrying the girl of my dreams, going on my first trip to Hawaii. Sitting in a cold, windowless room waiting to meet with a representative from my state’s physician health program (PHP) for the first time is not one of them. Nothing about the experience is. Looking back, all I remember was thinking what did I do to end up here? Since starting my internship, I had worked hard for my residency program. I covered extra shifts when colleagues were out sick, spent countless hours outside of work teaching medical students, and provided each of my patients with the type of dedicated care that had won me several awards thus far. Now, my entire medical career was in jeopardy because of an overblown reaction to a bad joke.
When I think of bullying, I typically imagine schoolyard behavior amongst elementary and middle school aged kids. At the forefront of my mind are the stereotypical incidents you see on television and in the movies: taking someone’s lunch money, not letting the new guy play basketball, or making jokes at someone else’s expense. Unfortunately, bullying extends a lot farther beyond that and frequently comes up in the medical field. Many medical students and resident physicians are showing up to work eager to learn and help their patients – yet also fearful about interacting with certain colleagues. Maybe it’s a senior resident humiliating you with difficult “pimp” questions in the operating room or an attending physician berating you for an assessment and plan – but if we’re being honest, I think a lot of us can admit to having been in these shoes.
We’re all human, and humans make mistakes, right? Well, that may be true; but in medicine, it’s hard to get anyone to talk about them.
You — who has put so much time and sweat, so many tears, and maybe even some blood into your tenure as a medical student — deserve to match into a residency program that will not only teach you the ins-and-outs of your specialty, but also foster a positive learning environment. But how does one pick the best program for oneself?
Let’s be realistic – not everyone has the perfect application. Plenty of people reading this blog are anxiously anticipating how a failed USMLE score, poor clinical evaluation, or low grade might affect their chances in the match. Moreover, I’m sure a lot of you are wondering exactly how this might come up in an interview and what you should be prepared to say if it does. So, let’s take some time to address the elephant in the room.