Slave, I am not Servant, I may be Arrogant, I am not Ignorant, I may be Un-engaged, I am not However, Quiet, I may be. Your coat is long, mine short Your knowledge mile deep, mine mile wide You have seen 100 patients this week, I have seen 10 You trained for 10 years, this is my first If I look scared, it’s because I am If I seem intimidated, I indeed am If I appear confused, I in fact am If I ...

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At the start of the first week of the medical school at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, students get introduced to the anatomy lab, and by the end of the week, the first dissection occurs. Students study muscles, blood vessels, nerves, and other structures on dead bodies they dissect under the instruction of Dr. Abdo Jurjus, the anatomy course coordinator and instructor. First-year medical students spend around 3 hours a ...

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Many people know that an important part of medical school is choosing a specialty — the field of medicine that you plan to practice for the rest of your career. However, fewer people know just how many different factors weigh on this decision. As my classmates and I navigate through third year, I thought I would share several of the factors that enter the balancing act: Clinical interest: The simplest, yet ...

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I still don’t know how I did it.  I don’t know how I got through life as a lower-level neurosurgery resident.  I vividly remember the horrific call nights and weekends.  There are certain sensations you get when you have gone weeks without more than two or three hours of sleep at a time.  It wasn’t the foggy thoughts that bothered me most, or continually feeling cold, or even when I ...

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When I started medical school, I believed the challenges would be purely academic: a rigorous four-year chapter in my life, with a shiny MD on the last page. I had no idea it would alter the very core of how I approach the world. I came to medical school immediately after undergrad -- a path increasingly less common as admissions committees tout the values of “real life experience.” While I should ...

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My first week on call, I got called in for a code blue. This patient happened to be the sickest patient on our unit. He had a tumor on his brain stem that was affecting his vision, hearing, swallowing, and breathing, so he had received a tracheostomy and gastrostomy tube as most palliative patients in his situation do. After a series of neurosurgeries, he was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments. ...

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Well, I'm officially that old, bitter resident. I had to walk uphill to medical school 10 miles there and back. “In my day,” medical school was fail, pass, high pass, or honors. I recently found out that the medical school I graduated from has changed the first two years of basic science courses to simply pass/fail (while retaining the honors/high pass grades in clinical rotations). I am so annoyed!  Why ...

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Most third medical students look forward to their psychiatry block. After twelve plus hour days and six day weeks on internal medicine, OB/GYN and surgery, the reasonable hours on psychiatry seems like a dream. While my classmates viewed psychiatry as a break, I dreaded it. This was not my first time on an inpatient psychiatry ward. My world and fate forever changed when I was twelve years old. Sometimes depression is ...

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Incoming students, you need to hear this: it’s not all about you. Let me explain. My first hospital rotation was on an oncology floor. I answered a patient’s call light by myself. She asked if we had any extra tissues, I said yes, and as I turned to leave she said, “I just got a phone call from my mother’s nurse.” Her mother was in hospice care, and the nurse had ...

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You submitted your application in July. You completed all of your secondary essays by mid-September. Other than one interview that resulted in a waitlist decision you’ve heard nothing but radio silence. What can you do? Whenever I work with medical school applicants I emphasize that the application process is ongoing because the admissions process is fluid. It is not as if you submit your primary application and secondary essays and the ...

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