Mario Padilla

It be iddy biddy…

When learning a massive amount of material, it helps to have pneumonics for rote memorization. The crazier the phrase the better. Of course sometimes you remember the wacky phrase but not what it stands for. In our neuroscience class last term, we were specifically told to NOT remember a pneumonic for brain MRI findings that related the age of an intra-parenchymal hemorrhage to the findings on a T1/T2 MRI. But it was just so darn memorable: … Read More


“I’ll do it during winter break.” My wife heard this phrase a lot between August and December. It was used for everything from getting the baby’s room done to washing the car. Really it was an attempt by me to prioritize things without ignoring them completely. . . So naturally, come winter break, my honey-do list was enormous. I managed to get 80% of the projects done: baby room mostly set up, laundry room ceiling … Read More

Over and over again

Learning is repetition. At least that is what seems to be true for us from an early age. As babies trying to stand up on our own, as toddlers testing the boundaries of parental restraint, as teenagers making mistakes that hopefully weren’t too serious: We don’t usually get it right the first time, and that seems to be true in medical school as well. The start of the second year has proven to be repetitive.  … Read More

1 down, 3 to go

Ah, summer. Despite the recent rain, it’s nice that the summer is finally here. Our faculty and upper class people have all been pleasantly referring to this as “The Last Summer Break of Your Life,” complete with ominous music. It’s true; I can’t believe that we are done with our first year of medical school! Looking forward, I’m pretty sure the next three years will pass as quickly as the first year did. Looking back, … Read More


Model patients. That small sentence almost implies that there is supposed to be an ideal that our patients are working towards, but actually it is more descriptive of part the training medical students receive here at OHSU. 3 times a year in our first two years, we don our professional attire and white coats in order to take histories and perform physical exams on actors trained to portray an illness or injury. This training emphasizes … Read More

See one

Earlier this month, I helped out with teaching a class at Roosevelt High school, through the Student National Medical Association / Latino Medical Student Association, with help from the student interest groups for Emergency Medicine and Surgery. I got to watch 6 of my peers, both first and second year medical students, teach this group of teens how to tie surgical knots and how to do basic sutures. As you might expect, the response of … Read More


Context can be difficult. It seems natural and easy to view the world in a way that relates it to yourself, which can also lend itself to viewing clinical situations in that way. Perhaps this is a part of what can lead to patients being identified by their disease and not their name, and the creation of situations where referrals and prescriptions are made without ever being done or filled. The medical, dental, physician assistant, … Read More

. . . Can’t trace time

I remember feeling like this when I was a child, so excited for the special event (Christmas, birthday, etc.) that it seemed like it would never come, and how every day leading up to it would feel like a lifetime despite the weeks passing by so quickly. Well sure enough, even though it seems like it started in another life, our first class as medical students has come to an end. No more Gross Anatomy, … 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.

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