Britta Ameel

Anything but Middle-of-the-Road

I can’t believe we have one week left of our first year! I had such high hopes for writing these blog posts as a record of my medical school experience. Somewhere around February, though, when the weather was at its worst and I was caught in the doldrums of staying on top of my work and laundry, it occurred to me that much of this experience is intensely personal… and hard to talk about. When … Read More

Low Point

Let this be known as The Low Point. I wasn’t prepared for it, much as I thought I was getting used to the feeling of never being 100% prepared and settling for a decent-enough understanding or grade. This weekend, despite all my kicking and screaming, I hit a serious low point in balancing school and the rest of life. A snapshot: I can’t tell which basket is clean or dirty and there are no clothes … Read More

Q: Do I have to know this? A: Yes, yes, you do.

Finally! There are sparkling moments, here and there, very rare, that I feel like I’m on the verge of, just the tip of the iceberg of… (dare I say it?) … being a doctor. Scratch that: there is nothing about my being that is a doctor just yet, but I can feel the gears of my brain clicking into thinking like a doctor. It’s not graceful, it’s full of errors and embarrassing missteps, but I’m … Read More


This much is certain: Medical school is changing my brain. I see this manifested daily in the way my language and understanding of language is changing. A few examples: a couple weeks ago, holding a human brain in my hands in anatomy lab, absolutely dumbfounded and awestruck, I could barely form a sentence. This, as a lifetime talker, a worshipper of language, was a shock. In the same week, while taking a history in a … Read More

Back to school: pencils, snacks, awesomeness

Portland’s school buses were out en masse this morning as I waited for my own bus up to the hill. It’s happening! School has started, fall is here, everything smells like #2 pencils and pink gum erasers. We’re fully ensconced, already 11 days in to our first block of medical school, and I still find myself checking to make sure I’ve packed all my necessary supplies for the day. Snacks, colored pencils (embryology coloring book, … Read More



Ever wondered what life is like as a student at OHSU? What does it take to become a researcher? Just how gross is gross anatomy? Welcome to the blog that answers these – and many other – questions. It’s students writing first-hand about their commitment to careers in science and health care. It’s honest about the challenges as well as the joys. It’s not always pretty. But it is our story. Thank you for sharing it with us. And please, let us know what you think.

Participation Guidelines

Remember: information you share here is public; it isn't medical advice. Need advice or treatment? Contact your healthcare provider directly. Read our Terms of Use and this disclaimer for details.