In medical school, I’m having a hard time choosing among extracurricular activities. Some of the difficulty comes from the fact that our mandatory classes are hard enough for me to manage. On top of managing coursework, I feel an enormous pressure to question what I should and shouldn’t do to best plan for my future. A little voice inside my head always asks, “How will this look on my resume?” I ...

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From the moment we begin medical school, we strive to achieve the best we can. That ranges from getting good grades to filling our CV with community work and research experience. With the increasing competitiveness of residency programs, this can be aggravating. The striving, although needed, keeps sucking our energy, our souls, and sometimes our health without us noticing. It eventually drains us so much that we can no longer ...

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I’m constantly awed by the fact that I get to be part of one of the best hospitals in the world, especially because as a kid, I grew up without health insurance. These were the days before the Affordable Care Act; there was no penalty for going without health coverage. As a non-citizen, I was ineligible for Medicaid, and private health care was prohibitively expensive for my family. Fortunately, I was ...

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To reach my current position as a general cardiologist, I have taken nine board exams. I have also been teaching medical students for over ten years with several colleagues who write questions for the USMLE Step 1 exam. Through this experience, I have observed a number of themes about what works and does not work for board preparation. I share these with you now in the hopes they may help ...

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President Donald Trump held a rally near my medical school last week. While sitting in a small conference room during a lecture the morning of the event, my professor chuckled while clutching his phone. He looked up and around at all of us, remarking that his friend had texted him about the Trump supporters waiting outside for the rally to start; the message read, “Jesus, the maggots are already here!” My ...

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If you're reading this, you may have a son, a daughter, a family friend, or know of someone who is in college and considering medical school. As a medical student mentor, I share words of advice to my alma mater's American Medical Student Association chapter and thought I would share them here. 1. When preparing for the MCAT, take a diagnostic test at the beginning of your study period, one in ...

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I wish the best of luck to everybody applying to medical school. As somebody who was in this position five years ago, I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on some of the things I wish I had known before I started medical school. 1. Look beyond the first two years, because the clinical years are the meat of the training Many applicants focus mostly on the preclinical curriculum of a ...

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In May 2018, it happened. The American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) opened its floodgates. As we wrapped up our last years in undergrad, we felt a twinge of excitement as we finally began applying to medical school. But we quickly found one thing that wasn’t all-too-exciting: the bill. In 2018, the AMCAS charged $170 for the first school applied to and $39 per additional school. Like most medical school applicants, ...

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Back in the 70s, Dr. Denton A. Cooley would do eight or so heart operations a day often on babies and children with heart defects. One day, he operated on four babies. Three of them died. It was around eight o'clock at night, and as Dr. Cooley walked down the hall with his team, he said, "Today was a bad day, but ...

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I didn't match dermatology the first time. It was a harrowing experience, and I had a chip on my shoulder until the day I opened my match envelope. The reality is that in the last ten years, dermatology has become the most competitive specialty in medicine. Hundreds of extremely qualified applicants are disappointed each year. Therefore, not matching is not a reflection of one's qualifications as a future ...

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