Advice through the Years

So as many of my followers know I’ve been doing a lot of “video blogging” on my Instagram video feed in lieu of some real writing mainly because I’ve been super busy with school! I finished up my family medicine rotation and kicked butt, thankfully. I’ve decided on my specialty and am so proud of myself for successfully retaking my surgery exam and kicking butt on my family medicine shelf. {pat on the back}. I just started my psychiatry rotation this week and have been getting a flavor of what this rotation will be like, more to come soon. In the meantime, I wanted to give you guys some advice through the years and reveal some embarrassing pictures.

The Highschool Dayze

28324_132265156785469_2304768_n

You can laugh, but hey I thought I looked good. Okay, but in all seriousness, if you are a HS student and are thinking about medicine here’s your advice. #1 priority is to have fun, yes you read that correctly, HAVE FUN! It is so important to your growth to meet new people, try different things and laugh, a lot. #2 take some science classes if your school offers them, I recommend anatomy. I was lucky that my HS had an anatomy class in which I got my first introduction to dissection and surgery {saw an open heart surgery hehe}. #3 find someone who shares your passion. See this chicky in the photo – she’s going to be an amazing doctor. She’s currently attending Emory’s med school and thinking about going into Urology, can you say inspirational? She was my HS buddy who shared my nerdiness and love of science. It’s important to find friends who have as big of goals and dreams as you do. #4 Do not worry about getting into medical school. You have time to worry about this later. Focus on determining if medicine is what you are passionate about and focus on gaining entrance to a college that has a major that can support that passion.

Here comes the collegiate 

61235_1461294064791_4775810_n

I was really just a freshman trying to survive dorm life. What are your goals freshman year? First off, survive — college is hard and is a huge transition. Stay healthy and sane. Next, find at least one club/extracurricular that you are passionate about. It doesn’t have to be medically related!! Second, start volunteering and stay consistent {and pro-tip keep track of all your hours, they ask this on your app}! This will help you out junior year when you are freaking out about your med school app, trust me. Sophomore year? Begin to expand your #bosslady and #futuredoc community. Join a medically-related community. That could mean pre-med club, a research position or start a pre-med frat like me. See these lovely ladies below? Both attending medical school at Wayne & Loyola. They are both huge parts of my success within college. I cannot express how important a support system is at basically every point in your life. Lastly, start thinking about applying to medical school. I said think, calm down. Just try to begin talking about what things you need to apply {classes, letters, MCAT, etc}. When do you want to take the MCAT? Are you considering a gap year? All good things to start getting in motion.

10246322_10154038195475106_669234852008580641_n (1)
36624_2101416421357_850962730_n

Junior year, this is a big one. For me junior year brought a lot of my hard-core science classes I needed for medical school. Do well in these courses and maintain a good gpa. Hammer down your plans for studying for the MCAT and applying to medical school, especially if you don’t want to take a gap year like me. Make sure you have a good advisor and are continuing to do all the right things — volunteer, shadow, get letters of rec, etc. A good advisor can REALLY help you out. Also, start saving money for those expensive applications. {sorry, reality sucks}.

Senior year — this will be different for everyone based on their path, but for me I had already submitted my application and was into my interview season, which was hectic! Try your best to balance your current coursework and your interviews. My best advice for interviews is to just be yourself. Why? You are awesome. You got this far and absolutely deserve a spot at the best medical school. Believe in yourself. When you’ve successfully gotten admission to your medical school, make sure to graduate {don’t flunk those easy classes like the Aliens course I took senior year} and CELEBRATE! If you are taking a gap year start thinking about what you will do in that gap year to improve your chances of getting into medical school.

Welcome to the best and worst days of your life: future doctor land

10524587_734237536636452_3242459362633840184_n

M1 year: Treasure all of your firsts. Your white coat ceremony, that first awkward meeting with your soon to be best friends, your first OSCE, the first time you feel legit when you use your stethoscope. These are all important moments that you should be thankful for, because hell you worked so hard for them! Next, don’t be too hard on yourself. Some of the smartest people I know barely passed a few exams in the beginning or were met face to face with their first failure. It’s OK. Buckle down and get back on track, you can do it. Find something you are interested in and pursue it. Very much like your freshman year of college you should find some activity that you enjoy. For me, that was my involvement in AMWA. And lastly, start building connections with physicians you meet!

10428057_10153306463811068_5400622775145407557_n

M2 year: Don’t get complacent, but also don’t be a looney. What do I mean? Studying is important and may come easier to you now that you are a seasoned pro, but don’t forget you’ve got Step 1 coming up. The harder you work through the year, the easier your Step 1 study period will be. That being said, don’t forget that you need to have a life and maintain your relationships. These will come in handy when you see the stress of Step 1 & M3 year. Don’t stress out too much about your M3 year. After Step, you will most likely have no idea what is happening, but it’s okay. You will get the hang of it, I promise.

IMG_2346

M3 year: Be okay with being bad at a lot of things and not knowing a lot of things. Easier said than done, but there will be a lot of situations in which you really feel like you don’t know what the heck is going on. Be on time, it’s important. Work on reading something every night — that’s what all physicians say is the key. But really, working all day is difficult and then studying at night?! It’s just something you need to practice and it will get easier. Pay attention to what you like and don’t like. Pretty quickly you will get a feel for whether you like inpatient work or if you enjoy outpatient clinic. You’ll figure out if kids are your thing, orrrrr not. You’ll begin to see the differences from specialty to specialty and that’s important for when you make your M4 schedule.

M4 year: TBD 

OK guys, I think I’m all typed out. I hope this was useful to someone out there and if you have more questions don’t hesitate to comment below or shoot me a DM on my Instagram. Hope you all have a wonderful week and stay tuned for a fun giveaway on my Instagram soon. 🙂

X/O A