Before I start second year of medical school, I wanted to take this time to reflect on my first year in medical school and use these lessons to ground me as I begin a new school year. When people ask me how first year was, my first answer is that it was a lot of fun. That usually comes off as a surprise. Don’t get me wrong, there were definitely ...

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At lunch recently, a few of us got into the topic of mental health in medical school. The conversation started when someone brought up the fact that a Harvard College senior and a Harvard Law School student had both recently committed suicide. We all worried that the medical school wasn’t doing an adequate job caring for students who may be suffering from mental illness. To be fair, University Health Services ...

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I didn’t expect to bump into "Max" on the streets. "I was kicked out of the house by my wife," he sighed. Max shifted around on his feet, eyes puffy and cheeks pink. "Did you start using again?" I asked. Max looked down and didn’t say anything. In the three years I had known Max, an alcoholic and former drug user, he had been clean. But recently he had started struggling. He lost his ...

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This semester is coming to an end and we are almost halfway done with first year. I say semester, but technically we use the block system. What’s the block system? Here, it refers to dividing the academic school year into single subject blocks. Instead of taking concurrent, year-long courses, we spend several weeks on one course. For instance, we started off with 5 weeks of only biochemistry, then 8 weeks ...

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I had a nightmare last night about anatomy, the very night before my first dissection. I was in anatomy lab and had my scalpel plunged into an unknown body. As I pulled out the scalpel, a piece of flesh came flying out and shot into my gaping mouth. Needless to say, this morning in lab I was very careful about keeping my mouth shut. I admit that I felt nervous and ...

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We’ve started taking a course called the “Introduction to Social Medicine and Global Health” headed up by Paul Farmer and David Jones. This is a course that exposes us to a variety of issues related to the social determinants of illness and health with a different lecturer each week. Recently, we had Nicholas Christakis, this week we have Allan Brandt, and for the next few weeks we’ll have Michael Porter, ...

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