Recent Comments

  1. I loved reading this Christie! Way to not fart :)

  2. I will miss your posts, Kelly. You are such an amazing person, speaker, and will make an outstanding professor at Reed College!

  3. Congrats Kelly!!

  4. Many congratulations, Dr. Chacon! You have contributed so much and I am delighted you are not moving too far away. Graduate Career Networking event next year, perhaps???

  5. Congratulations Dr Chacon!

  6. Hi Mira,

    You can reach me at Hope all is well!


  7. Hi Kristen!

    I am a native Coloradoan and am also a fellow lover of all sports mountain and more! I am currently wrapping up my prerequisites and PA application for OHSU beginning in 2016 and since it is one of my top choices I was hoping you would have some insight into the application process and any tips you may be able to give me to improve my chances of getting in. Thanks!

  8. Hi Joseph,

    My name is Mira Hager. I am applying to OHSU and also went to Macalester College. I was wondering if you would be willing to share your email with me so that I could ask you a few questions about the program.



  9. Hi Melani!
    I am happy to talk to you about my experiences in the OHSU PA program! Feel free to email me at

    Andrea Kuchler

  10. Hi,
    I loved this story. Up here in Seattle, science grad students compete in a yearly contest to describe their research using “upgoer” language from the cartoon xkcd. My video about their contest is here:

  11. Love the photo of her climbing over your shoulders! So glad you are making it work- our eldest daughter left for college the day after her 18th birthday. They were long days, but short years.

  12. Science requires passion and practice. Textbooks don’t tell you that experiments require delicacy and ‘muscle memory; good hands are developed in the lab, not born. (My experiments also never work if I’m having a bad day already—funny how that happens!).

  13. Remember, we have all been there! However, it only takes a few data home-runs to carry you through the null data months–hope you get a great, positive, hit soon.

  14. What a smart and funny essay! I love the 3MT competition- it is the tense- and terse that I have ever seen scientists. Congratulations for participating- I think walking onto the stage is the hardest part – so good for your legs for getting you up there.

  15. Hi Andrea!

    I am applying to PA programs this application cycle (2015/2016) and am trying to gain some insight into student life at OHSU – a top choice of mine. If you can offer any insight about the applicantion process and/or about your experiences at OHSU, it would be greatly appreciated!


  16. Wonderful post- thanks. I may quote your approach- and will definitely describe your enthusiasm next year when I give the ‘How to give a talk in 3 minutes’ talk!

  17. Kudos on a valiant effort on 3MT this year, David! Also, congrats to the winners – I always gain so much respect for all the participants. Indeed, three minutes is merely a breath in the grand scheme of things and it’s simply remarkable to watch everyone’s talks.

  18. Way to go Eileen!

  19. It’s a beautiful essay Christie. I actually would like to sit in on your talks now :)

  20. I’m right there with you, Eileen. Impressive photo!

  21. Eileen
    We have all been there- not running up a real wall- but grappling with disappointment. Fortunately it only takes one great experiment, one accepted paper or one funded grant to restore the optimism and those thrills can way outlast the discouraging reviews. Scientists sustain their careers with resilience as much as with imagination, insight and intellect.
    Great photo of the curved wall- and kudos for getting over it!

  22. Josh
    I wish you and your wife a lifetime of shared success and joy as you leave OHSU and continue your careers in science and medicine. Thank you for writing for student speak! Congratulations also on your upcoming graduations with 2 new doctors in your family!

  23. Megan, thank you for your fantastic and honest post – I only wish read this back in march when it was posted! I struggled for the first six or so months of the new curriculum to study in the evenings (we seldom have protected study time). My wife was (and continues to be) a saint, doing the lion’s share of cooking, cleaning, bathing the kiddos, and fortunately, all of the breast feeding. But the situation was terrible – the stress was wearing us into the ground, and my relationship with everyone in my family was suffering greatly.

    It seemed like insanity waiting until 9pm to start studying, but something had to change and I just went for it (with more than a little feeling of impending doom). It turned out to be the right decision. I love my protected family time, and I don’t allow myself to feel guilty for not studying while the kids are up. When we get them down to bed, I hit the books and get to dedicated, (almost) uninterrupted studying. My wife does throw me a bone and take the kiddos out most Thursday nights to play while I cram a few extra hours for our weekly exams, but in general, my rule is if the kids are up, they’re my focus. And it works well. I feel like a father and a medical student.

    Do I sometimes feel behind my peers, or wish I could study more? Of course. But I’m still making it through just fine, and I have a great relationship with my wife, my daughter and my son.

    Thanks again for your wisdom, and I’d encourage any new (or old) medical student parents to give it a try. They only grow up once.

  24. Congratulations! I know it can be overwhelming at times (I went back to school after having kids too), but it is definitely worth it. Keep it up!

  25. Yup, obtaining null data is usually a quick route to a downward spiral of self-doubt. It’s hard to remember that it really is informative. Hope you’ve found how it ties in to the rest of your project!

  26. “I think you’re taking this too personally,” made me laugh out loud so hard!!!! I take my data too personally too, because how can you not when you’re the one generating it??? So, so, SO true!

  27. Okay… Where did you get those kitty pants!?!?

  28. Lynne – thanks for posting.

  29. I keep reading this, and it keeps inspiring me. Keep on keeping on, friend. You know I have got your back, and I know you have mine.

  30. Randi, Your experience shows such advocacy for the underserved. Nurses make the largest contribution to the healthcare of humans. In many cases, it is nurses that drive policy. I can see that you will always be an active participant in improving care. I thank you for become a nurse an I especially thank you for becoming a leader. I am very proud.

  31. This might have made me cry a little. Maybe.

  32. NYC? Brooklyn! Might as well enjoy the panache, now we’ve finally got it. People I meet sometimes ask if I grew up in Brooklyn; I respond “not yet”.

    When a supervisee of mine was pregnant, I got her a gift from her registry. My card said “I’m sorry that I couldn’t get you what you really need … sleep.”

    Be careful about doing too much good writing like this; it’s a professional hazard in medicine.

  33. Randi,
    NSWB does make a significant impact on the community as well as on the nursing student experience. I think it is important for every nurse to know where our patients are coming from and the challenges that they face. I am proud to be a part of your nursing education and know that you will be a change agent in future nursing practice.

  34. Well spoken Randi, we’re proud to count you among the many excellent students on the Ashland campus. It’s rewarding to hear first-hand the impact of your exposure to, and perspective of working with marginalized and underserved community members. We know you’ll do great things in your nursing practice!

  35. AAMC President and CEO, Dr. Darrell Kirch, speaks out on this issue:

    “I was pleased to see so many of our medical students make their voices heard in a peaceful and powerful way, sparking dialogue rather than division… By donning their white coats and declaring that black lives matter, medical students embodied the principles of trust and humanistic care that the white coat represents.”

  36. you write beautifully- and remind me that we are all human.

  37. Very interesting piece!

  38. I totally agree, life happens and it is so very important to have that emotional and financial support system in place prior to applying to nursing programs. I’m an OHSU BSN4 student (also from Eugene). I planned ahead but even the best made plans fell through. I’ve had too many “life happenings” in the past three years. I have lost family members through death, faced illness, and experienced devastating financial setbacks but through it all I stayed focused on school while my family picked up the slack. My husband cares for the kids day and night. His mother helps watch our youngest son three days a week. She makes dinners and even plans the birthday parties.
    Support systems are so important to have in place and to nurture as you go through the rigors of nursing school.

  39. David: Excellent post! I will forever think of precision medicine with this very effective analogy in mind.

  40. I love your analogies David. I kept me reading and engaged. Keep up the good work!

  41. Amazing read, and very true.

  42. You’re in PA graduate studies and you have time to write a blog post plus go around Creating Change in the world? Don’t kid yourself, you ARE superhuman.
    You continue to reveal your gifts. Having you as a friend is like having a birthday every month. Thanks for sharing this post, your humanity just keeps shining!

  43. What an fantastic post! Your humanistic approach warrants celebration. I appreciate that you identify and challenge the dichotomy that is so ingrained in our culture and in medical practice. Recognizing each person’s humanity regardless of role identity is imperative! I am so hopeful for the positive impact we can all make with this mindset. Well done!!

  44. Joseph, your insight and articulate expression never cease to amaze me! You are going to be an amazing provider. You are already an amazing student. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with all of us.

  45. I attended your workshop at the Creating Change conference yesterday and I just wanted to thank you for the amazing presentation and for all that you taught me. I think you bring a valuable perspective to the medical field and that you’ll make a great contribution to it.

  46. Awesome article. It triggered some of the algorithms in my brain.

    Beautifully articulated the link between algorithms , medicine and learning.

    Binitha Surendran
    MBI- Clinical Informatics
    Expected date of graduation- June 2015

  47. “My brain feels like a file cabinet that needs to be alphabetized, cross-referenced, sorted based on pre-test probability, and then converted into electronic format.” Every single day!

  48. Hi Kristen, I am looking to start my prerequisite courses to apply to PA school. Like you I have a BA in Environmental studies and have spent the last few years exploring the mountains except mine are in WA. Do you have any advice for me as I work through my prerequisite courses?

  49. Great Verinica ! you play the perfect role of the Physician Assistant. Hope you have a great experience and bright future.

  50. Your excitement and energy are palpable! I’m so glad you are here too,



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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