MD Program

What do you think she meant?

On Monday morning, I was sick. I also had an immunology exam at 8am. Bristling from the cruel irony, I stopped at a Starbucks near the highway in yoga pants, a T-shirt, and my OHSU badge at about 7:30am. Red-faced from sneezing all night and baggy-eyed from attempting to study in that condition, I ordered a black coffee and waited miserably while my cup was filled. As I stood there, pathetic, a well-dressed, middle-aged woman approached … Read More

Bearers of bad news

When your time consists mainly of recycling facts, it becomes surprisingly easy to transition into a binary state – either you’re learning, or you’re sleeping. While that operative mode allows us medical students increased efficiency, it also behooves us to reconnect with our more human sides. Thankfully, once a week, we participate in a course called Principles of Clinical Medicine (PCM), or, as I like to call it, “How To Be a Good Doctor 101.” … Read More

Giving health a voice

OHSU StudentSpeak is pleased to share this post, reprinted with permission from Carla’s blog, Healthvoicepdx. My name is Carla. When I was 5 years old, I remember going out to dinner with my parents in San Francisco. I had lead a pretty sheltered life up until that point and things like homelessness, poverty, and hunger weren’t really on my radar. As my family and I left the restaurant, I saw a man, disheveled, eyes cast … Read More

The art of studying

During my first year of medical school, I looked forward to writing blog posts. Back then, everything was new so I had a lot to say about what I was experiencing—the clinical exposure, the white coats, the late hours in the library, even the studying itself. The amount of information was overwhelming and the hours slowly melted from day to night, but being a medical student was a new adventure I was just beginning, and … Read More

What a journey!

Almost four years ago, we embarked on an adventure that we now know as medical school. Each of us, I’m sure, had thoughts and ideas of what the road to becoming a physician might be like. I was often wrong and frequently surprised! The first two years of medical school were academically challenging as we began to understand the complexities of the human body. In stark contrast to this rigorous experience, we enjoyed numerous parties, … Read More

A little bit luckier

For two harrowing weeks, I experienced the health care system from the other side. My grandmother, visiting from India, had a fall that turned into an emergency room visit that turned into an electrolyte imbalance that turned into an idiopathic neurological problem that turned into a coma that turned into her unexpected death. Less than two weeks after what seemed like a routine fall, she died. The ten days my grandmother spent in the hospital … Read More

Match point

And now we wait. After spending roughly 2,000 hours in a classroom, 4,000 hours in clinics and hospitals and thousands more studying or taking tests, my classmates and I are ready to graduate from medical school. We are moving on to residency, the yearslong apprenticeship that teaches newly minted MDs to apply many of the concepts we’ve struggled for years to learn, to forget others and to subvert a few. We’re ready to take charge of … Read More

Bending, breaking, and building

Not too long ago, I was faced with a choice; do I take undergraduate organic chemistry with the “easy” professor or the professor with a reputation for being incredibly difficult and robbing you of all free time? I chose the latter. My peers with the easier professor excelled with lesser efforts, while I toiled away at Grignard reaction mechanisms in the recesses of the library. Though I did well, the course was so difficult, it redefined … Read More

Hold on just a minute

In the breast pocket of my white coat, I carry the beat-up business card that a patient gave me. Every month or two, when I bend over, the card falls out and I remember one of the most remarkable conversations of medical school: Me: “What do you do for a living?” Him: “I’m a ninja.” He was not joking. I was not in the psych ward. It turned out Mr. P was a martial arts … Read More

Intercultural healthcare: My experience

I am now in the trenches of the second year of medical school. Most hours of my day are spent juggling studying neuro-anatomy and physiology with fending off anxiety about the upcoming USMLE Step 1 boards. It is exhausting to say the least. Rest is not an option. Not only because there is no time, but also because of the associated guilt. The only salvation from this endless cycle is using any extra time I … Read More

StudentSpeak

StudentSpeak

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.

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