MD Program

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

Fireside diagnosis

During medical school, we are awash with a non-stop flow of information. It can be overwhelming at times, and we occasionally wonder whether the material will actually stick over the long term. Our last class, anatomy, finished a couple months ago, but the amount of information we have learnt since makes it seem as if it were years ago. Sometimes, though, life presents opportunities that reveal just how much medical school is actually training you. … Read More

Donor Memorial Service

I want to write about the Donor Memorial Service that we had for the men and women who donated their bodies to further our medical education. I want to write about the sadness and grief we shared, the inspiring families and loved ones who trekked up the hill for the service, and my amazing peers who planned the entire event, greeted our guests in subzero weather, presented thoughtful speeches and musical performances, and stayed late … Read More

Turkey day as a medical student

The transition from the first to second year of medical school is fairly seamless as far as our daily routine is structured. In both years we’re mostly in the classroom, pouring through thousands of pages of medical facts and diagrams, learning PowerPoint slide bullet points and preparing to one day use this information to treat actual patients. Of course, the difference between our first and second years consists of more than that. We’re a year more practiced … 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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