Recent Comments

  1. Adalie,
    Great to see your thoughts in print.I appreciate your sense of humor and positive attitude. It will get you and your classmates far!

  2. What a great post. Thanks for sharing your experiences. -Kathleen

  3. I know exactly where you were since I just did my first PA rotation there. An amazing experience and I too felt a kinship with the town folk immediately. I wanted to have an hour to talk to some of the patients about their very interesting lives. I admired how the medical providers knew their patients so well and their entire families. And as rural as it was it still had the modern tools and abilities to properly take care of almost any situation. My whole experience was a snapshot example of what rural medicine can be. I miss that place to this day!

  4. I’m glad you enjoyed my hometown as much as I do. – Emily Med19

  5. Hi David,

    Welcome to my world! I have been a solo family doc for over 30 years now. The relationships you develop with your patients are priceless. I am a dinosaur in today’s world of high tech and EMRs. I still have paper charts and I actually look my pts. in the eye when they are talking to me. I am NOT focused on the computer screen entering my notes. Continue to enjoy your rural experience.

  6. Hi Marisa!

    I am applying to PA schools this cycle, and I have been working in Women’s Health as a Medical Assistant, and would like to continue working in that field after becoming a PA. I am interested in OHSU, and was wondering if you could give me some insight into the program and student life. Thank you!


  7. I am a current paramedic considering becoming a PA. I really liked this post, lots of wisdom and insight into the life of a PA student. Keep trecking on kind sir.


  8. Great article.

  9. Well, I can’t disagree.

  10. Josh: this was a great read. Thank you. The impact of Match Day is far and wide.

  11. Nicely said, all of it. Although I no longer work in research or hard science, I get angry and feel hopeless when I hear these stories. Your dying plant analogy is apt, and I hope that we can revive it somehow.

  12. Thank you for writing this.

  13. Thank you so much for writing about this topic. It’s great to hear an opinion on these scandals from OHSU students.

  14. Really enjoyable commentary I loved it, thank you for talking about this very important subject! Keep it up

  15. Thank you for this thoughtful article! You brought in so many of the big examples that have hit home for me, but the most painful experiences are the personal ones that women in science encounter routienly. They may not be as blatant as a Nobel laureate’s comments on an international stage, but they lay the insidious foundation for deep inequity. I am proud that you are one of our graduate students, and that you are challenging the narrative.

  16. Thank you for putting this into words! And congratulations on your publication in Nature!!

  17. Further and equally as remarkable is the fact that male scientists hire “good looking” females in their labs. Actually heard a PI state that he prefers the good looking ones and for this person it is a prerequisite for hiring.

    You are correct that this is an illness and getting rid of the symptoms does not cure. I think it will take a few more generations and a lot of language and attitude training before this is ‘healed’.

  18. Very well written. I liked how you played around with crying! Great thoughts about perception of women.

  19. Incredibly well stated, Christie! Thank you.

  20. Great essay.

  21. Great article, Christie — kept me laughing. You are a very entertaining writer — would like to hear you present someday!

  22. Simply brilliant! On behalf of all (women) scientists, THANK YOU!

  23. Bravo!

  24. I’ve been loving your blog posts, and I look forward to the day when we can truly celebrate gender equality in the sciences by being able to order pink mass spectrometers for the ladies.

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

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

  27. Congrats Kelly!!

  28. 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???

  29. Congratulations Dr Chacon!

  30. Hi Mira,

    You can reach me at Hope all is well!


  31. 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!

  32. 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.



  33. 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

  34. 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:

  35. 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.

  36. 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!).

  37. 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.

  38. 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.

  39. 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!


  40. 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!

  41. 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.

  42. Way to go Eileen!

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

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

  45. 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!

  46. 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!

  47. 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.

  48. 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!

  49. 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!

  50. “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!



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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