Book Worm

Summer Reading Recommendations

There’s nothing quite like reading a great book poolside and summer is a perfect time to catch up on one’s reading list. Today, I thought I’d share some of my favorite summer books that are perfect for an enjoyable summer read!


Outlander – Diana Gabaldon

You may recognize the name from the popular TV show – well the book is incredible as well. It follows the world war II nurse Claire who accidentally travels back in time to 18th century Scotland where she meets warrior Jamie Fraser.

The story is an entertaining blend of historical fiction, romance, and adventure. If you aren’t the biggest fan of fantasy, don’t count this out just because of the time traveling. Other than that, it doesn’t have as many fantastical elements but is more of a historical romance.


The Girl in the Gatehouse – Julie Klassen

Mariah lives in an abandoned gatehouse where she supports herself by writing novels in secret. When a new wealthy Captain leases the estate, he is intrigued by her but also curious as to what dark past forced her to seek asylum in the gatehouse.

This is a beautiful piece of historical romance with a beguiling outcast as its protagonist. An easy read with some interesting twists.

girl in the gatehouse

I’ll Give You the Sun – Jandy Nelson

Twins Jude and Noah are incredibly close and talented artists. At 13, Noah is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door. Three years later, Jude doesn’t speak to her brother and is having difficulty making art until she meets a cocky, broken boy. The story alternates between the two time lines and weaves a beautiful tale about art, family, and growing up.

This book has a lovely and inspiring plot and beautiful writing. There were literally lines in every chapter that took my breath away. It made me want to be a better writer.

i'll give you the sun

Meg – Steve Alten

During a top secret dive into the Pacific Ocean’s deepest canyon, diver Jonas Taylor finds a creature that should be extinct – the megalodon shark. Taylor tries desperately to get the world to believe him but it takes a trip back to the water with a new hotshot female submarine to see if he is correct.

This book is Jaws times one hundred. While it may not be a great read while at the beach (especially if you’re already anxious about sharks haha) it is super entertaining, action-packed, with romance, suspense and a fairly plausible explanation for how the megalodon still exists.

meg steve alten

Selection – Kiera Cass

Think The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games in this riveting young adult novel. The selection is the chance of a lifetime for thirty-five girls to compete for Prince Maxon’s heart and become queen. But, for America Singer it is horrible due to her secret love for Aspen.

This book is an easy to devour beach read perfect for summer.

the selection

Moloka’i – Alan Brennert

Rachel Kalama is seven years old when she is taken to the far-off island Moloka’i due to her leprosy. The novel follows her life growing up in isolation with other sick individuals.

This story changed my life and inspired me to pursue medicine. With vibrant characters, warmth, and humor this story is so heartfelt and will change how you see illness as a whole.



I hope you enjoy some of my recommendations. Please let me know if you have any recommendations for me, I’m always looking for new stories to love!!!


Mood Board Monday

Monday Mood Board 11

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All photos from Pinterest

Ah, I cannot believe I am saying this but this week is my last week as an undergraduate! By Friday, my classes will be over and my exams will be finished. Thus, for this week’s mood board I focused on the two words serene and celebratory.

I picked neutral colors and photos with energy as well as some fun mixed drinks I may try to concoct for graduation celebrations. Now, my actual graduation is not until the 20th but I will probably want to toast with friends after the final day of classes. Besides that, I just want to relax this week and spend time with friends. The school pool is open so I’d love to go there at least once this week since the weather is much warmer and just enjoy everyone’s company. Who knows, I could always study for finals on a pool chair? 🙂

To those of you also graduating, congratulations! What are some of the ways you all are celebrating?

Book Worm · Medical Student

Book Review: First Person Plural

I recently read First Person Plural: My Life as a Multiple by Cameron West which details the author’s personal struggle with dissociative identity disorder or DID (once called multiple personality disorder).

first person plural

I have read quite a few books detailing individuals with this disorder and their life stories. Many involve quite detailed accounts of the abuse they encountered. Although this book does include upsetting details, the focus is not on what Cameron went through as a child due to a sexually abusive mother and grandmother, but rather it focuses on Cameron’s struggles as an adult. I think this makes this a more approachable story for readers interested in DID who are wary of reading a graphic retelling of abuse.

The story starts with Cameron West, a father in his late thirties, running a successful business and happily married. However, as time goes on he finds that his mind starts to jumble and eventually, he finds other personalities – 24 to be exact.

What is truly amazing about Cameron’s story is the support system he has! His wife Rikki is incredibly supportive. The story includes her own struggles as she tries to help the  man she loves through this journey. Also, reading about how the two decide to tell their young son about what is happening is so interesting. Their son, Kyle, explains how he sees his father’s disorder as well and a child’s perspective is great.

I think that this book is a great find for anyone – either people interested in psychological disorders or practicing physicians. DID is a disorder that is often misunderstood and has serious implications on an individual’s physical health as well. Cameron’s story is a fantastic first step to starting to understand DID and its full impacts on an affected individual’s life.



Glam Grad Gifts

As a senior, I have been asked by a few of my loved ones what I may want for a graduation gift. I’ve discussed with a few of my fellow graduating friends and we came up with a pretty solid list of ideas for those of you with no clue what to get for your loved one. I tried to include a wide variety of prices for the items so that everyone could find something to fit their budget. The list is made with college graduates in mind but could definitely still work for high school graduates as well!


Coffee Maker

coffee maker

What is great about coffee makers is you there is such a diversity of prices, colors, and choices that you can personalize this gift to whoever you are buying it for. The one pictured is from Target and is priced at $99.00. This is the first thing I personally asked for because I know I’m gonna need constant access to coffee in med school and it’ll help me save money by making my own coffee more often rather than buying it. To personalize it even more you could include a travel coffee cup or a really cute mug.


Professional Purse

dagne dover

For women entering into the professional world, bags by Dagne Dover are perfect. Although they are a little pricier (the one pictured is $145) there is a wide range of options, colors, and every bag is filled with organizational compartment sand pockets making them ideal for a graduate trying to stay on top of things.


Dinner Ware

anthro plates

Graduating often means moving out and getting one’s own place. A great gift to ensure a grad feels homey in her new apartment is super cute dinner plates. I adore the Anthropology home goods section and fell in love with these plates. They’re so cute and you can buy one for only $10.00 and mix and match colors. They’ll go in any kitchen and add a lot of personality to a new home.


Cute Themed Gifts

grad mug

I absolutely love Francesca’s graduation gifts this year. They have mugs, frames, and wine glasses for super reasonable prices. The one pictures is only $16.00 and I think it is so precious especially with the removal grad cap.


I hope this helps with your shopping needs and to those of you graduating this year, congratulations!!!

Mood Board Monday

Monday Mood Board 10

mood board 10
All photos taken from Pinterest


Happy first day of May! It finally feels like spring to me – I’m wearing shorts, all I want to do is study outside, andddddd my school work is finally slowing down (woo hoo!). I submit my research thesis and a large paper for class in today leaving only finals and a writing portfolio left. What does this mean? Well, I can take some time to enjoy myself this week. I want to spend time outside, catch up on my reading, and maybe get some writing in for fun.

I’ve recently started a writing a new book that I’m super excited to get into once I have the time. I did little character profiles for the two main characters so now I cannot wait to create them. Additionally, I started reading a book last week I could only get two chapters into before needing to dedicate almost all my time to thesis work so it’ll be nice to get back to it. Reading outside in the lovely weather would be ideal!

What are your plans for the week? Any ideas on how to enjoy the beautiful spring season?

Medical Student

Applying To Medical Schools

The 2018 application cycle is about to come under way for medical schools. One of the first steps of the application process is actually deciding where you want to apply to. The average student applies to about 20 schools. I applied to 15 myself and there was a rumor going around my school that someone applied to 75. That may seem like a good idea but applying to that many schools can get expensive fast so you may want to be a bit pickier.

Here are some of the factors I took into consideration when creating my list of schools.

medical school apps.jpeg

Location, location, location

You’ll be spending your next four years here so you want to be happy. I knew that I couldn’t stand being too far from my family even if I liked the school so I decided to only apply to schools on the east coast.

Out of State

When applying to schools out of your state, look into how ‘friendly’ they are to out of state student. You want to apply to schools that let a fairly high percentage of out of state students otherwise you may waste an application on a school that is not likely to let you in.

Review student profiles

Medical school websites often have student profiles from the past few years that include majors, research experience, average GPAs and MCAT scores. Comparing your own profile to theirs will give you an idea if this school is a realistic option for you. You want to apply to schools that match your own profile.

Review with your advisor

After compiling your list, review with both your academic advisor and your pre-health advisor. They’ll help ensure that your list is appropriate and reasonable based on your credentials.


All medical schools will help you become a doctor, but there are a few things you want to consider when investigating programs. Does the school rank? Is class lecture-based or team-based learning? How early will you get clinical experience? All of these options are good but you need to think about what is best for you. If possible, try to get contacts in the school and ask them about their own experience.

I hope this helps and best of luck with the application process!


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.

uvm swag number 2
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.

dr moo
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!




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!



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


  • 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


  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!!