Medical Student Blog
Dive into topics around life in medical school, study tips, and more
For every six children aged 3 to 17 years, one is found to have at least one developmental disability. This might not seem an alarming number, and a developmental illness might not seem like a serious life-threatening condition, but it can be stressful not just
For every six children aged 3 to 17 years, one is found to have at least one developmental disability. This might not seem an alarming number, and a developmental illness might not seem like a serious life-threatening condition, but
Medical graduation might seem like a culmination, but it is actually the beginning of a new journey. Every medical graduate asks “What am I going to do next?” or “Where do I go from here?”
Interpreting an arterial blood gas (ABG) is an essential skill for healthcare workers. So it makes sense that as early as medical school, you’re already asked to master it. However, the numbers can be a bit tricky, and sometimes
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All About the USMLE
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the remarkable students who embraced the challenge and embarked on an exhilarating journey during Lecturio’s Self-Assessment Week (SAW) 2023.
You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. (Zig Ziglar) You can get ready to ace your
USMLE stands for the “United States Medical Licensing Examination.” 💡 Get answers to the most commonly asked questions here!
Med School Life
Interpreting an arterial blood gas (ABG) is an essential skill for healthcare workers. So it makes sense that as early as medical school, you’re already
Do you feel queasy at the idea of oozing blood? Do you get nervous when you receive or give injections? Fear controls many aspects of
We live in a world where information and resources are easily accessible through the internet. At this point, most students rely on the internet more
Residency and Beyond
Medical graduation might seem like a culmination, but it is actually the beginning of a new journey. Every medical graduate asks “What am I going
Applying for medical residency in the US has traditionally been perceived as an exceedingly complex process for IMGs, sometimes discouraging them from even trying. However,
No matter what medical specialty you choose, being an excellent physician means putting your well-being and your patients’ well-being first. To do so, it
Meet our Writers
The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) can be intimidating for any aspiring medical student. Each section tests your knowledge of basic sciences you’ll apply in medical school and as a doctor, as well as your aptitude for learning. Though it may be one of the most challenging entrance exams out there, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to pass.
Many individuals who pursue a career in medicine have been inspired to do so as a result of a personal event, including growing up with family members in the field. Though those with family ties to medicine have a leg up, first-generation medical students (myself included) can certainly forge their own paths to the career.
Have you ever wondered why doctors wear a set of scrubs and a white coat? It always seemed contradictory to me. The scrubs are seemingly worn in the case of spilled bodily fluids or other stains. This would make perfect sense, but adding a pristine, bright white coat on top of them seems to defeat the purpose. I have been clumsy and prone to stains for as long as I can remember, so you can imagine the care I take in trying to keep my white coat free of spaghetti sauce and blood stains. Where did this “doctor’s uniform” come from and why?
Are you considering pursuing a career in osteopathic medicine? The United States is home to some of the best DO schools in the world, each offering a unique combination of quality education, prestige, and affordability. When considering which DO school to attend, it is essential to consider certain factors to select the right school for your specific needs and preferences.
As a medical student fresh off my preclinical studies, I remember starting my first clinical rotation with great trepidation. I had heard horror stories about the endless barrage of questions — referred to as “pimping” — that were coming my way as the “fresh meat” on the team.
Many people see their 30s as the age where you know what you want to be in life. We tend to imagine having a career, settling down with a family, or buying a house and car. Because of that, people tend to think that starting medical school in their 30s is a bit too late – but is it?
Pride Month is all about celebrating the LGBTQ+ community and advocating for their rights—and the medical field is no exception to this. In the world of healthcare, we’ve got some work to do to make sure our care is inclusive and respectful for everyone, no matter their gender identity or who they love.
Osteopathic medicine is a pathway to becoming a licensed physician in the United States. Osteopathic medicine takes a more holistic approach to medicine, and also utilizes a specialized skill set known as Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, or OMM, to diagnose and treat disease.
The hospital is where people can experience their best and worst days of their lives. That’s why medical shows are chock full of suspense, drama, comedy, and even some horror. In that way, medical shows can rake in views unlike any other genre. So here are some shows where you can experience medical life from the comfort of your own home!
Embryology is a challenging topic to master for many students, myself included. Not only are there many tiny structures, but also the structures are constantly changing, folding and being re-named during the development of a fetus.
It’s no secret that pre-medical students need a stellar resume to secure a spot in the incoming class of any medical school. With so many options for extracurricular activities, it can feel overwhelming having to choose between them.
Have you given any thought to advancing your education in the field of surgery? Would you consider urology as one of your options? In this post, I will describe the journey that led me to become a urologist as well as the sense of accomplishment I have gained along the way.
When people think of Emergency Medicine (EM), they think of the rush. It’s one of the most fast-paced, stressful environments in the hospital. That means the adrenaline rush here is unlike any other rotation. But before you can practice in the field, you need to study it, which can be a bit confusing.
Whether you’re interviewing for medical school or writing an application essay, one of the questions you’ll almost undoubtedly be asked is “Why do you want to be a doctor?”
Are you interested in pursuing a career as a doctor? If so, you might wonder what the difference between a DO and an MD is. In the United States, both the DO and MD degree result in the ability to practice medicine. This article will discuss the differences and similarities and evaluate the pros and cons of both medical degrees.
Students are taught physiology as early as high school. They learn things from the heart’s function to the processes in a cell. So when you begin to study this subject, you at least have some understanding of how the body works. Unfortunately, it only gets more complicated from here. That’s where this article comes in.
Cushing’s syndrome (CS) and adrenal insufficiency (AI) are two distinct syndromes characterized by excess or lack of cortisol, respectively. They can be tricky to study, but there are simple tips to remember!
When it comes to emergencies, time is of the essence. Once a patient comes in, you need to be quick and efficient. If you miss something important, the patient could deteriorate. If you’re too slow, you could even lose the patient. It’s a lot of pressure, but with some handy mnemonics, emergencies can become more manageable.
Diseases are essential to studying medicine: if they didn’t exist, we’d be out of the job. So, it’s our task to identify and treat them. Unfortunately, there are several thousand diseases, and you’re asked to learn as many as possible. So, we’re here to help turn one of the broadest subjects in medical school into something more digestible.
Books will always be part of the process when you’re a medical student. You probably have stacks of textbooks in your room, but what about narrative books? The ones written by doctors or students like you. Today, we’re not going to talk about the seemingly endless textbooks. Instead, let’s talk about books that ignite your passion for medicine and for life.
The field of psychiatry can feel different from other fields. People with mental illnesses are stigmatized more than those with organic diseases. But is it really all that different? Are there similarities between psychiatric patients and patients with organic diseases? How hard is it to diagnose and treat psychiatric disorders?
Productivity is all about time and effort, but in medical school, time is the one thing nobody has. As you try to make the most of your studies, sometimes you’ll run out of time before you even realize that you should’ve been wiser with it. Such is the life of a medical student– but does it have to be this way?
Among the most commonly used skills in a medical professional’s toolbox is the ability to educate patients about health and disease. Every intervention, no matter how simple or complex, must be communicated to a patient to ensure their understanding of the benefits and risks before proceeding. Knowing how to educate patients well is a foundational skill that all medical professionals should strive to improve!
Not matching into residency can be scary, overwhelming, and disappointing, but there are many options available to continue your career in medicine. This article will discuss The Match process, the SOAP, and other options available if you fail to match.
We all have this idea of what a doctor is or should be. They save lives, can work under pressure, and even have spicy hospital love lives! But is that really true? Do medicine and media really mix? Or are doctors we see in movies and in media different from what they are like in real life?
Whether you’ve had experience dealing with patients or not, the idea of clinical rotations can spark excitement and instill fear in the hearts of medical students. The leap from the classroom to the hospital can be disorienting, but it’s not impossible to handle. Here are a few tips to get yourself feeling a bit more prepared for what’s to come.
If you plan on going to medical school, it’s important to not only complete all the required medical school prerequisite coursework but also to take the MCAT. The MCAT is a vital aspect of the medical school application and you cannot apply to medical school without it!
With the average student loan debt for a graduating medical student in the United States nearing a quarter of a million dollars, you may be asking yourself the (almost literally) million-dollar question: how do I deal with my debt after medical school?
The United States is a big country, which means there are lots of choices when it comes to finding a place to study medicine. Whether you’re lucky enough to have multiple medical school acceptances or you are just looking for some cool places to visit on the residency interview trail, the best places to learn and study medicine are likely on your mind.
When you first start interviewing patients, the list of questions to ask can seem endless. One of the first mnemonics you’ll learn as a medical student to get you into the rhythm of asking the history of present illness is the OLD CARTS acronym. The list of questions can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. Let’s go through a couple of tips for taking a comprehensive, patient-centered history.
Humanity came a long way from when Leeuwenhoek first described microorganisms in 1677. Even then, the idea of fighting invisible enemies was scary. For any medical student, it’s almost as terrifying having to study it all. So let’s figure out how we can make the most of your microbiology classes!
In learning anything, it’s always best to start with the fundamentals. But why do the fundamentals have to be so difficult? While the other subjects are hard, biochemistry is a different monster altogether. So, let’s dive into the boss monster that is biochemistry together and equip you with some things you can do to survive.
A common analogy for medical school is that it is like drinking from a fire hose: a flood of information is constantly washing over you, and you have to try your best to learn and remember as much as you can. Most of the information washes over you and is forgotten quickly. This can often be frustrating when you find yourself reviewing the same material over and over. However, if you learn just how to learn – what tricks and tips to use to make your brain remember – you’ll find yourself retaining and recalling much more information. This can help you succeed in medical school, residency, and beyond.
The USMLE® Step 3 exam is the final examination in the series of licensing exams required to practice medicine without supervision in the United States. This two-day exam focuses primarily on patient management. It tests your understanding of biomedical and clinical science, and assesses whether or not you are able to apply this knowledge to patients. This includes the ability to collect a patient’s history, perform a physical exam, order diagnostic tests, select initial therapies, and overall to manage a patient from start to finish. Read on to find out everything you need to know about taking this final USMLE® exam!
One of the most difficult parts of starting medical school is getting familiar with a whole new vocabulary. At some point, the words clerkships, clinicals, attendings, and shelf exams will be second nature, but it can be confusing when you’re first starting out! Fear not, though—this article tackles one of the more unfamiliar types of tests you’re likely to take in medical school: the shelf exam.
Being a medical student feels like a full-time job. When you’re at school, you’re studying. When you’re at home, you’re still studying. Yet, even that doesn’t feel like enough. So, working while studying can seem impossible. But with the expenses of medical school, it’s unavoidable for some of us.
What is considered a “good” MCAT score? What is an “average” MCAT score? Or, what MCAT score do I need? It is important to note that the MCAT is not the only thing reviewed by medical school admissions, but it is an important part of the application. Given it is a high-stakes test, such questions run through almost every applicant’s mind.
Especially since COVID-19, more and more services in many areas of life have been going digital. Medicine is one of them, with med students studying from home, hospitals trying to minimize the number of potentially infected people coming in if not necessary, and patients themselves trying to isolate. The buzz word in this context is “telemedicine”: But what is it, and is it really the solution for everything?
It is no secret that medical school is challenging and time-consuming. And yet, here you are – you made it into medical school! Congratulations! You are taking the necessary steps to become a fully-fledged physician. You have completed the hurdles of applications and interviews, and now you are well on your way to success in medical school and beyond. Even though you’ve overcome the initial hurdle, there are still plenty of challenges to come!
Just the words “Summer” and “Break” together make me feel excited. But can medical students really take a break? And if yes, how can we make the most of it?
Moving from the preclinical to the clinical setting is one of the most difficult transitions in a young doctor’s career. Now that you’ve spent years learning basic science and memorizing countless drug names in a classroom, it’s time to take that knowledge and apply it to the everyday care of patients. This task is far easier said than done! To excel during your clinical years, you’ll need a different set of skills than those that bring success in the classroom. Here are a few tips that will help you stand out in the clinic.
Medical school has the reputation of being a long and lonely road. You’ll spend a lot of time by yourself studying, but is it really as isolating as it sounds? Actually, medical school is just like any school in the sense that it’s a place where you can meet new people and make memories with them.
Successful residency graduates often have their choice of jobs when they finish, but how do you navigate the challenge of deciding which one is right for you? This guide will tell you all about your career options in general internal medicine.
The Internet is full of study tips, tricks, hacks, and resources. However, not all of them are created equal. One great resource at your disposal is Lecturio’s Question Bank. Let’s dive into why this Qbank is a cut above the rest.
Growing up in school, I was always an excellent student. Well, almost always. Amidst the straight As and other top marks on my grade school report cards, there was always the perennial stain on my near-perfect record: from Kindergarten through eighth grade, I never received better than “needs improvement” in handwriting.
Don’t know which blogs you should be reading? Don’t know how to navigate through med school? Here’s a list of blogs that range from what pre-med you should be taking to your life in residency. In no particular order, we’ve selected them according to their relevance to medical students, their range of topics, activity level, and what makes them special.
When I started medical school, there were many challenges I encountered. One of them was my first few days of anatomy lab. As I stood in front of a blue body bag atop a long silver table, I wrestled with my own unsettling feelings about meeting my first ever patient.
The United States Medical Licensing Examination is a rite of passage for any student hoping to practice medicine in the United States. As the first of many licensing exams in your medical career, the USMLE® Step 1 exam can seem particularly overwhelming. Fear not! Lecturio is here to help, with all the information, tips, and tricks you’ll need to succeed.
With the recent coronavirus pandemic, people are increasingly saying, “I don’t trust doctors anymore.” With conflicting viewpoints presented on all sides, charged conversations, the availability of high- and low-quality evidence at the click of a button, and the ability to rapidly spread information, both true and false, from one person to another, it might seem like trust in doctors is at an all-time low. But is it true that people trust their doctors less than they used to? What might be the reasons for this lack of trust, and how can we, as doctors, improve the trust our patients have in us?
Medical school can get overwhelming, so it’s no surprise that at some point, we become hesitant to study or we avoid it altogether. Imagine wanting to get started on work and saying, “I’ll get started in an hour” and one hour passes after another, and your work is still untouched. This is the terrifying phenomenon of procrastination.
Let’s face it, studying isn’t the most exciting task. Even if you do find studying fun, the amount of studying in med school will make pretty much anyone tired of it. In this article, we’re going to go through a few tips and tricks that may help you and give you a few ideas along the way. But first, let’s look into what makes medicine so hard to study.
Studying alone can sometimes be daunting, especially with the heavy workload that comes with med school. While there is no right or wrong answer in choosing what’s right for you, that’s where study groups can be helpful in changing things up.
Figuring out how to pay for medical school is daunting. The first time you look at the cost of school and see an alphabet soup of loan repayment options like PAYE, REPAYE, IBR, IDR, and PSLF, it’s enough to give anyone anxiety! Thankfully, there are plenty of options for aspiring doctors both to save during medical school and to pay back their loans as a physician.
As medical students, we study day and night, trying to learn how to save and improve the lives of our patients. Because of this, it can feel like we always have to be perfect. But today, we’re going to look into the big bad ‘F’ word that many students fear: Failure.
Medical school can be hard enough to get through, and it’s even harder to get through alone. Mentors have been recognized as a key to success in medical school. Despite this importance, not all schools have mentorship implemented in their programs.
So you’re thinking about becoming an emergency medicine physician? We sat down with Jill W., MD, MS, FCEP, FAAEM, DABT from Jacksonville, Florida to talk about what it’s like to work in this specialty. Learn about her experience and gain general insights on working in the ER.
What is residency like? For the average internal medicine resident on a ward rotation, it’s always a jam-packed day! In sharp contrast to medical school, you’ll be getting paid for the hours you’re working, but it probably means working quite a few more hours than you’re used to! Here’s what a typical day in the life of an internal medicine resident was like for me.
Studying for hours at a time in a hunched over position can take a toll. Instead of normalizing unhealthy habits, let’s talk about how to stay sane and in good health during intense study periods!
As patients, none of us want to be treated inconsiderately while we’re suffering. So, the least we can do as doctors is lighten the load as much as we can.
When it comes to practicing medicine, no skills are more fundamental than history taking and physical examination. In the hands of an experienced practitioner, a thorough exam is a virtual arsenal of tools to use to arrive at a diagnosis. Developing your physical exam ability seems daunting, but with practice and dedicated time, you will find yourself surprised at how quickly you can master this essential skill.
So you’re thinking about becoming a dermatologist? We sat down with Jeremy G., MD from Georgia to talk about what it’s like to work in this specialty. Learn about his experience and gain general insights on working in dermatology.
Have you ever felt that you were not fit for a job even though you had trained for the position for a long time, earning your own credentials, and putting in hard work, only to be swamped in self-doubt? If so, you may have been experiencing imposter syndrome.
Your scores and letters of recommendation speak for themselves. Now it’s time to present yourself in person at your medical school interviews!
So you’re thinking about becoming a psychiatrist? We sat down with Young J., MD, child and adolescent psychiatry fellow at the University of Florida, to talk about what it’s like to work in this specialty. Learn about his experience and gain general insights on working in psychiatry.
From taking the MCAT to preparing for the USMLE® and earning a place in your dream residency program, thousands of resources and tips and experiences are easy to find. But what happens after residency? Take the next step in your path to becoming a practicing physician.
Med school is hard enough, but having to complete clinical clerkships during a pandemic is even harder! Learn how Bianca, a medical student from the Philippines, still found creative ways to learn.
So you’re thinking about becoming an OBGYN? We sat down with Suzanne J., an MD from Cleveland, OH to talk about what it’s like to work in this specialty. Learn about her experience and gain general insights on working in obstetrics and gynecology.
A medical degree is something that many people consider to be hard to obtain because of the time and effort it takes to earn. But did you know that there are programs for other degrees you can take with it? You might be thinking you don’t have the time for two degrees, and you might be right. This path isn’t for everyone.
So you’re thinking about becoming an internist? We sat down with Lindsay J., MD from Washington State to talk about what it’s like to work in this specialty. Learn about her experience and gain general insights on working in internal medicine.
You passed the MCAT or the medical school entrance exam of your country. Congratulations! Just because you passed doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods just yet… After passing my country’s National Medical Admissions Test (NMAT), I was relieved. But at the same time, I felt like I couldn’t rest because there was still a lot I had to do. So let’s get into some of the things that still need to be done:
Obtaining hands-on, United States-based clinical experience (USCE) is a difficult and financially straining goal. Clinical electives and clerkships for international medical graduates (IMGs) are vital parts of their resumes when it comes to matching into residency. What should a student expect when s/he finally manages to obtain one? I was lucky enough to be admitted to a clinical elective at Mayo Clinic as my first experience in the US, back in 2019. Little did I know that I would be faced with difficulties I couldn’t imagine during my regular courses.
Nicolas Kioko, a fourth year medical student at Moi University School of Medicine working toward an MBBS degree, had to develop his own type of coursework when his classes were put on pause for almost a year because of COVID-19. Discover how he adapted to his scenario and what COVID has taught him about being a doctor.
With all the information floating around on the internet about how hard the USMLE® Step 1 is, a lot of people dismiss Step 2 CK as just another, much easier, step up the United States residency ladder. This assumption is entirely false and I’ve had the misfortune of experiencing the negative effects of making this assumption personally. This is my USMLE® Step 2 CK experience and how it shaped my path toward residency.
Most of us spend a lot of time thinking about our decisions before and after we’ve made them. We constantly ask ourselves “What if?” and “What comes next?”, making sure that we don’t regret the next step we take. Going to medical school is no exception. Some people eventually realize it’s not for them. So, we ask ourselves, “What’s the next step?”
The ability to maintain motivation while keeping up with assignments was an important lesson learned by Giorgi Maziashvili, a fourth-year medical school student at Tbilisi State Medical University. Learn more about how he worked to overcome both academic and mental well-being challenges.
Are you preparing to take Step 1 as an IMG? Learn about the test day experience from someone who has gone through it – and excelled.
If you’re thinking about becoming a medical student, then great! The world could use more doctors. You may have heard that medical students give their best years, and acquire mountains of debt, just to study hours on end about diseases affecting people they’ve never met. A lot of it is true, but that’s only part of the story. It’s time to dispel some hesitations and answer some of the most common questions about the medical school experience.
Getting a good score on the USMLE® is one of the most important steps on your way to gaining a competitive residency position after medical school. What is a good Step 1 score anyway?
The USMLE® has always been an important and pivotal exam during your medical school years. In 2021 and 2022, though, the Step exams will change to help students be able to succeed beyond just exam scores, as well as to adapt the exams to the times of COVID-19.
Discover how to study for medical school more efficiently and effectively by prioritizing long-term retention over short-term memorization.
The impact of COVID-19 on medical education cannot be understated. Learn how Paulina, a Polish medical school graduate, navigated her final year of medical school being disrupted by the pandemic.
Due to COVID-19, medical students around the world have had to get creative with their studies. For Eduardo, this includes improvising clinical scenarios. Learn how he has adapted to try to keep up with his studies from home.
Getting into medical school is a tricky process, but with the proper preparation you can have a strong application. Discover how to get into med school and what med schools look for.
Your future medical residency choice(s) will be determined by a combination of a strong application and strategic choices. Figure out the important strategies that can play an important role in your future placement.
Starting med school? Success in medical school is about more than just attending class. Learn about study strategies, finding a mentor, and more.
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