Medical Student

Closer Look Day

Well, I can officially announce that I will be attending the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont as a member of the class of 2021 (that’s a mouthful haha)!! To say I am super excited is a drastic understatement. This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend Closer Look Day up in Burlington which was a great chance for admitted students to see if UVM is the right fit for them.

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My new Vermont swag that I purchased

 

The day started with a continental breakfast buffet complete with coffee and bagels (all the necessities). It provided me a chance to meet and mingle with many of my potential classmates which was great. I was nervous I would come off as super young since many people don’t enter medical school right after college or that everyone would think I was too chatty and possibly insane (a definite first impression when it comes to me). However, I clicked with quite a few people and I’m looking forward to getting to know them all better in the fall.

Quite a few professors spoke including the dean detailing specific aspects of UVM’s program, clinical approach, and hospital patient profile. Then the admitted students broke up into smaller groups. I was in a group of about 15 where we got to rotate around the medical school and discuss key aspects of the curriculum that make UVM different with both professors and current students.

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A row of ‘Dr. Moo’ stress balls we were gifted with

 

The class Professionalism, Communication, & Reflection (PCR) was discussed which meets once a week to discuss important themes in medicine that are not taught in class. Topics include facilitating professionalism and working with patients with special needs. Additionally, we got to explore simulation labs and listen to a dummy’s simulated heart sounds and attend a diversity panel.

For those of you starting the application process, I highly recommend checking out this school’s program to see if it’s as good of a fit for you as it is for me – especially since it is very friendly to out-of-state students (an important aspect to consider).

 

Mood Board Monday

Monday Mood Board 9

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All photos from Pinterest

 

So, this past week was very stressful for me for both good and bad reasons. I had a lot of schoolwork including presentations, tests, and papers and busy travel plans that included flying (something I am afraid of), driving, and meeting lots of new people. As I mentioned last week, I went up to Vermont for Closer Look Day at the college of medicine – a post is in the works detailing more about that later in the week. Overall, it was just a lot.

 

With this in mind, my goal for this week is to relax a bit, while still being productive. Although I still have work to do and assignments to finish, I want to keep a calmer and healthier mindset. Thus, I pulled pictures that naturally slow my breathing down and paint a soft smile on my face including lavender, water, soft textures, and dogs (because what makes you happier than a dog, I ask you?!). I always take a nice long bath when I’m having a tough time with my anxiety so I definitely plan on pulling out some bath bombs this week to help me with my goal.

 

What do you all do when you’re feeling anxious? I hope you all have a refreshing and stress-free week and, as always, check out my friend Kendal’s board too!

 

 

School

Finals Study Schedule

Finals are going to be coming up sooner than you know it… *insert groan here* After four years of college finals, I’ve accumulated some tricks for planning and sticking to a study plan in preparation for exams.

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Write it down

I always either physically write out study schedules in my bullet journal, planner, or I create an excel spread sheet to assign and track hours. I include the day, times, and subjects. I try to assign study times to the morning because I know I work best then. For example, on Tuesdays I don’t have class until 1:00 so I would write 9:00-11:00 immunology, 12:00-1:00 anatomy.

Be realistic

If you know you cannot study for four hours straight, then don’t assign yourself that. It’s just setting you up for failure and that will discourage you from sticking to the rest of the plan. Set realistic goals and if you surpass them, that’s even better!

Alternate Classes

I always study better if I alternate subjects meaning that I work on immunology for two hours, take a break, then study anatomy instead of continuing to overload on immunology. It helps me stay fresh and prevent zoning out.

Be specific

Assign certain classes to your study hours but be even more specific than that – perhaps you write down that you’ll reread chapters 1-3 or will be meeting with a study group to review key concepts from the first month. The more specific your assignments are, the more likely you are to accomplish everything you want.

I hope some of the tips help. Best of luck studying!

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Lifestyle

Recipe: Banana Bread

One of my favorite breakfast treats is banana bread like my mom used to make me as a kid. I have found a fantastic and easy recipe that is my go to whenever I want to treat myself.

banana bread ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup mashed ripe potato
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Optional: mini chocolate chips

Recipe:

  1. Stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites, sugar, and banana.
  3. Add oil to liquid mixture and mix well.
  4. Add both mixtures together. (Sprinkle in chocolate chips here)
  5. Pour into a sprayed 8x4x2″ bread pan.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60.

banana bread 2

A lot of people prefer to add crushed nuts rather than mini chocolate chips but that’s totally up to you!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!!

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Mood Board Monday

Monday Mood Board 8

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All photos from Pinterest

Today is a super big week for me! I have an important immunology test, I am defending my two year thesis project, visiting home, and I will be visiting the medical school I’ll be attending in the fall. I am both super excited and super nervous for all these events. I put the business look and classic scrubs with coffee to reflect the important things coming up and then added in class pink, spring-time images to keep me calm and happy.

The past two years I have been working on an independent research project that I will be defending to a committee this week. Then, I will be heading up north to visit with my family for a few days before driving to Vermont for a ‘Closer Look Day’. I am so so so pumped for this! I’ll be able to tour the school again, get a better look at Burlington, and hopefully meet some of my future classmates. I’ll definitely be doing a post about it next week so keep an eye out for that.

I hope you all have a fabulous week and, as always, be sure to check out my friend Kendal’s mood board as well!

Lifestyle

Origins: A Perfect World

This past weekend, my friend Kendal and I went to the Origins event in Raleigh South Point Mall. It was the launch of their line A Perfect World and it was sponsored by Influenster. Influenster is a free blogger network with tons of product reviews.

 

At the event, we were treated to samples, a fun tea reading (apparently I’ll be taking care of six kids one day?!), and free facials. During the facial, I was allowed to test the A Perfect World line.

origins moisturizer

I’ll preface by saying that I have super sensitive skin. Once, after washing my make up off, my roommate thought I had to go to the hospital due to an allergic reaction – that’s how red I was! This makes it difficult to find products that won’t cause flare ups or discomfort on my skin. With that said, I LOVE this line.

 

I have dry skin but the product is designed for all skin types in mind. I purchased products without SPF just to ensure they wouldn’t cause my skin to freak out. I bought three products: Antioxidant cleanser with white tea, Age-Defense Skin Guardian with White Tea, and Antioxidant moisturizer with white tea.

 

The products felt lovely on my face and my skin did not react to them at all (a first for me)! The white tea smells lovely and clean without being overpowering and after use, my skin felt smooth for hours. I’ve been using this regime now for a week and have noticed a huge change in my skin. It is less reactive and less dry and flaky. I do the routine in the morning and use the moisturizer as a nice base for my make up and then again during the evening.

All in all, I highly recommend trying out this new line!

Book Worm · Medical Student

Book Review: How Doctors Think

How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman, M.D. is on many lists of what to read before entering medical school. Thus, this past month, I thought I would check it out. I was surprised to learn that it was actually not written with aspiring doctors in mind, but rather it was written for patients to hopefully aid them in better interacting with their doctors.

how doctors think

The goal of this book is to provide both patients and doctors better information so that they can make better judgements, diagnoses, and treatment plans together.

Now, as noble as that can sound, it also does not sound like a truly exciting book to read, but don’t be discouraged. I really enjoyed reading this book! Groopman includes multiple stories from his own work as well as from his colleagues that are gripping, heartbreaking, and interesting. Often, you are following the doctor’s thought process and he/she tries to correctly diagnose a patient with an unclear problem. Almost each chapter has a mystery patient and as Groopman goes through it, you learn how  the doctors approach the problem, how their medical training influences this approach, and how sometimes their approach is flawed leading to complications.

 

doctor nothing

 

I found this so interesting because as an aspiring doctor, it is important for me to understand some of the pitfalls that doctors can have in their thought processes when making a diagnosis. For example, Groopman describes a woman who had Celiac disease but was constantly diagnosed with psychological disorders instead due to a cognitive bias the doctors had.

The book ends with Groopman’s advice to patients on how to best interact with doctors including what questions to pose, how to describe symptoms, and how to handle non-ideal doctor patient relationship. I think this advice is useful for any patient and all doctors to consider moving forward. All in all, I highly recommend reading this especially for people considering the health field!

 

 

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Mood Board Monday

Mood Board 7

mood board 7
All photos from Pinterest

The idea of ‘adulting’ has been heavy on my mind. The prospect of graduating in less than 50 days  provides me nightmares of medical school loans, living on my own, and leaving my best friends. So this week, I want to keep all the exciting aspects of graduating on my mind like starting medical school, meeting new people, moving to a hip city, and getting to decorate my first real apartment.

I pulled pictures of apartments and decor that were soothing and natural. I love all the wood and hope I can find a place with hardwood floors like the ones in these pictures. I just love how cozy and organic these rooms look. As I am officially addicted to coffee, I love the mug holder and the coffee corner ideas. I asked for a coffee maker as a grad gift so the beautiful set up in the right corner of my mood board would be a great way to display it 🙂

For those of you graduating, what’s keeping you excited? Does anyone have any apartment ideas because I am loving the brainstorming!

Be sure to check out my friend Kendal’s mood board.

School

Make Studying Colorful

Any of my friends and classmates can tell you that I am OBSESSED with making my notes and study guides as pretty and colorful as possible. I utilize gel pens, fine tip sharpies, and bright cardstock all in the hopes of making my studying a little more exciting – and as a happy addition, making these study guides helps me retain the material better as well.

 

 

I try to do only one cardstock (front and back) per chapter or main topic so I only focus on the truly important details. you have to prioritize and organize to make these and by doing so, you are already studying. I include charts, lists, and key diagrams.

By rewriting and drawing out important diagrams and charts, you are implementing more senses than just listening especially by using multiple colors. This helps reinforce the material so much better than just looking at notes.

 

 

One thing that I highly recommend is color coding your study guides. I pick one color of cardstock per class so when I go to study, I can just grab all of the sheets of one color. Immunology is green, Anatomy is orange, Molec and Cell is pink and so on.

Happy studying!

 

 

Book Worm

Book Review: So You Got into Medical School… Now What?

I was officially accepted into medical school and since then have been alternating between being unconditionally happy and insanely terrified of what the next four years have in store. Thus, I asked for this book for my birthday and, because my mother loves me and knows how anxious I can get, she dutifully shipped it out for my 22nd (Side note – she did call me a nerd for this being on the top of my birthday gift wish list).

This book is designed to read prior to medical school to help accepted students feel more prepared for the upcoming years. I will be reviewing it as one of those students who has not yet entered school so keep that in mind – a current medical student may have differing opinions.

so you got into med school

The first four chapters of this book are all about studying. Topics include the difference between conceptual learning and memorizing, ensuring study efficiency, procrastination, avoiding study anxiety, and the idea of diminishing returns. Diminishing returns in regards to studying means that as your test grade gets closer to 100 percent, the points are harder to gain. I found these chapters incredibly useful – and not just for the future! Although medical school examples are utilized to explain each concept, I honestly believe any college student could benefit from the first half of the book and the approach it provides towards studying and class preparation.

For example, the book explores how to make studying the most efficient. This includes  not cramming for a test which can be avoided by not procrastinating. It also means identifying what the author calls ‘high-yield material’ or material that will be have more test questions than minute details. This is what your studying should be focused on.

One of my favorite concepts from the first half of the book was the idea that “all study hours are not equal.” Often times, people compare how many hours they studied on a test to their classmates, but the sheer amount of time is not a great indicator of the quality of studying. For example, I could study for six hours straight from 8:00 pm to 2:00 am versus my friend who studied for three hours from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. My friend’s studying was probably better because she was more well rested, more focused, and was not burnt out by hour five.

no idea what we're doing

The second half of the book explores the 3rd and 4th year of medical school which include clerkships, rotations, and applying for residency. Stories in this section were not as helpful because one’s experiences is so specific to what school they attend. However, the author included specific questions to ask and who to ask them to so that you may feel more prepared for your transition to 3rd year.

At the start of each chapter, there were little short stories from actual medical students lives which were humorous, honest, and provided great insight into what it is like to be a medical student. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The author had a very casual tone and was reassuring. He explained his reasoning with examples, hypotheticals, and his own experiences.

This book gave me hope that I can actually have a life in medical school so fingers crossed! 🙂

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