Rachel Seltzer, MD

I love my job, I love my job, I love my job

Remember learning how to ride a bike? I don’t, not really anyway. What about learning how to do long division? Physics? Pulmonary physiology? (I don’t know that I ever really learned this the first time through. Dr. Thornburg, we still miss you!) I ran into Dr. Ciment at the Body Worlds exhibit this year. He was the anatomy course director from first year of med school; and I was a teaching assistant for his anatomy … Read More

MS4 –> PGY-1 Note to Self: What I Wish My Interns Remembered When I Was A Med Student

“Is there anything else I can do to help?” means, “Can I *please* go home now?” Either keep them productively busy, or let them go. Free food and coffee are always appreciated Med students aren’t bad people, they’re just lower down on the learning curve, and might be a little rougher around the edges. Constructive feedback is worth the effort! Med students are people too. Post-call brunch is a great idea. Or end of the … Read More

[Don’t] Trust Me–I’m [Not] a Doctor [Yet]

Are you familiar with those obnoxious t-shirts we med students sometimes wear? Especially the one that says, “Trust me, I’m a doctor.” I’d like to take this moment to address this t-shirt, and discourage you from doing what it says. First of all, we’re not doctors yet; we’re still med students. Physicians don’t wear that t-shirt. And if you see one wearing one, please consider averting your eyes and going the other way. Second, where … Read More

Some Beach vs Clonazepam

Rank lists were due yesterday. Match Day is in Three Weeks. Following is a collection of OHSU MS4 reflections, as understood from personal experiences and facebook postings: October – Shoot. I love the ICU. Is it too late to switch to anesthesia/critical care? December – MS4 A: Done with interviews! – MS4 B: Done with interviews! – MS4 C: Done with interviews! January – MS4 D: Done with interviews! – Interviewer, via email: I was … Read More

How come they let you kids in the operating room?

Rank List. The Match. Residency. (Oh, yeah: and graduation!) Enough about that. Rotation: General Surgery, Community Hospital outside Portland We’re going to do a superior mesenteric artery (SMA) bypass in an elderly gentleman with a long smoking history and congestive heart failure. I visited him this morning with his internist. “Hello, Mr. T. My name is Rae. I’m a medical student who works with the surgery team.” (Then introduced myself to his wife.) “You’re not … Read More

Changing the Grading Scale

You know how our GPA is based on Honors, Near Honors, Satisfactory, and some other options? Remember in college when it was a simple A-F scale? And in grade school it was Excellent, Great, or Satisfactory. (I think that Satisfactory in 2nd grade for Handwriting really affected my elementary school GPA—I studied extra hard second semester. Now the Satisfactories seem to run together.) I’m halfway through residency interview season. I feel confident that everywhere I’m … Read More

Instant Gratification

It’s fall of 2006, and I’m applying to med school. I’ve got my strengths, and my weaknesses. And although I submitted the second week in June, I took the August MCAT, so my application’s not complete till Halloween. I fight for residency status in Oregon. I send email updates, express interest, and go on some interviews, all after New Year’s. At the orientations, many programs explain that by this point I’m interviewing for a wait … Read More

Go With Your Gut

Have you ever had trouble making up your mind? I have. Leaving the personal life decisions out of it (should we make this relationship work or move on?), I’m thinking back on my education and career decisions. Which college do I want to apply early to? (Penn versus Brown.) What do I want to be when I grow up? (Scientist/Health care provider versus Politician/Economist.) Should I transfer colleges? (A fairly confident ‘Yes.’) Where do I … 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.