Peter Piot and his colleagues were looking at samples from a Belgian nun who had died of a disease in Congo. The question he thought he was trying to answer: Was it yellow fever?
Instead it was a new disease.
Read more and listen to the interview: The Co-Discoverer Of Ebola Never Imagined An Outbreak Like This
The threads where it’s basically a bunch of applicants on Student Doctor Network (a forum for med school applicants) freaking out about applications or GPA or MCAT score or not having been offered an interview or seat at x date. Unfortunately for the poor stressed out kiddos, there are always gunner-trolls to make them feel worse.
My dear sweet summer children, come to me and the Medblr Mommas and we will soothe your fears with funny gifs and internet love!
Q:Hi! I'm a 30 year old freshman with kids and a husband. Over the last few years It's become clear that I can't shake my interest in medicine. I love the use of science for healing. It's absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately I feel selfish and indulgent considering pre-med with the intention of applying to med school. It's a really long road to drag my family through. In your opinion, at my age, am I fooling myself thinking that I could start a career as a doctor?
It’s certainly not too late to start a career in medicine. There’s a guy in my program who didn’t start college until his mid-30s and is now a 2nd year resident! From what I’ve seen, the non-traditional students tend to be the best ones because they’re the most driven and serious about their studies, plus they have some life experience under their belts.
It’s gonna be hard though. It was super hard going through it single, so I’m sure going through it married will be tough. But you have a built-in support system, which is awesome! And people do it all the time, so don’t feel like you’re the only one.
If going back to school makes you feel selfish, you need to have a talk with your husband and kids. More than once. Like before the beginning of each semester. They’re a part of your life, and their opinions count too. If they are fully supportive of your aspirations, then go for it! You still have several years before you have to decide about med school, so y’all have some time to see how things work with you being in school.
Shout Out of Thanks to All the M2s, M3s, and M4s Who Act Like Big Siblings to the M1s
I’ve lucked out when it comes to meeting some of the nicest upperclassmen, both at my med school, in my hometown, and in the medblr world. My “big” sister even left a Butterfinger candy bar and note taped to my locker after our first exam because she’s the absolute sweetest. The words of encouragement and advice y’all give truly is priceless and helps soothe our skittish, newbie M1 anxieties.
Q:I love your blog. It gives me hope. Thank you.
You are very welcome :)
Wishing you the best of luck with all that you do!
Q:I'm applying to med school next year (graduating spring 2015) and planning to take a year off to boost my extracurricular and make a "demonstrated interest" because my GPA is not so great. Any suggestions of what to do with a year?
Oh the possibilities are endless! There are quite a few people in my class who took a gap year, or two, or ten before deciding to apply to medical school. For some of them it was a complete career change and for others more like a slight detour, sort of what it sounds like you’re talking about. Here’s a short list of the most common medically-related gap year activities I’ve heard of from my classmates:
-Masters degree work (MPH and other programs)
-Program coordinators and volunteering for medically-related non-profits
-Teaching/tutoring in the sciences
-Research (NIH programs, university summer research programs, etc.)
My advice to you is to chose something you genuinely enjoy and care about doing, not just something you think will look good on your application; many interviewers can tell when students have simply padded their resumes and do not look favorably upon it. Conversely when an interviewee “lights up” when asked about their volunteer or work experiences because he or she is passionate about them, interviewers often take well to that and make a note of it.
Consistent and regular shadowing with one or two physicians is also a great way to both get a better feel for the medical lifestyle and for demonstrating interest in medicine. Sometimes it can be difficult to find a doctor to shadow if you don’t have physician family members and friends, but don’t give up! I wrote a post here about how to find docs willing to take on shadows and my predecessor also has some words of wisdom about this saved under the “premed advice” tab on our blog.
I wish you the best of luck and hope this helped a bit!
The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.
Q:Any anecdotes/advice for going through a bad day in the medical field? Whether it be getting yelled at by an attending, a patient, feeling like you don't know anything, feeling like you're the only one who knows anything, etc?
Step 1: SLEEP ON IT.
Bad days happen fairly frequently, but you can’t let them stick with you. Sometimes crappy stuff happens because other people are having a bad day and they take it out on you. Do your worrying and fretting for that day only, and then sleep on it. Choose not to obsess over it the next day. However, if you sleep on it and it still really bothers you, proceed to step 2.
Step 2: Complain to someone else about it.
Ideally, this person would be a fellow student who can commiserate, or maybe your mom. Moms are good at giving appropriate pity or telling you to suck it up and move on. Fellow med students can understand your situation better than your mom can (unless your mom went to medical school too) and support you through it. Then, if you are still bothered, move to step 3.
Step 3: Do something about it.
Was your attending just being a jerk? Let it out on your rotation evaluation. Or maybe you got yelled at for a good reason. Examine your own actions. Did you not know your patient’s labs? Work on being more organized so you can keep track of that stuff. Did you make a mistake? Read about the problem and learn from it so you don’t do it again. Ask someone who is getting things right to help you and give you direction. Let that bad day motivate you to do better next time.
Chin up, greyface.
Doc, this patient doesn’t need antibiotics. He has gram negatives and gram positives in his blood, so they cancel each other out, right?