Thursday Born

The everyday life of a medical student (who was born on a Thursday).

Self Reflection, the price of Free Food

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Free Lunches (and sometimes Dinners) are a fairly common occurrence during Medical School. Usually at least one a week (and during interviewing season, there’s free pizza every night before a school day). But free food is never completely free, and is generally tied to a talk of some sort (~1hr long). In the beginning of the year they’re mostly the introductory meetings of student groups, but as the year goes on, the balance shifts to Career Interest talks/panels and informational talks sponsored by student groups (none sponsored by Pharma companies).

I tend to go to most of these, for the food but often for the talks themselves. Especially the career interest talks*. I missed the Neurology panel, but so far I’ve made it to the Psychiatry and Pediatric panels, and the Internal Medicine one with fourth years who matched into IM. There’s also been two separate single speaker talks by the Anesthesiology Interest Group, and Student Support Services has talks that focus more on medical school itself (one was by our career counselor person, a sort of “You shouldn’t really need me yet, but just wanted to let you know I’m around” talk; the other was a panel of second years giving us a heads up for what to expect next year).

I’ve gathered a fairly random grab bag of advice from these talks so far. Some immediately valuable, some to be stored for later. Some of what I remember off the top of my head:

Second Year
Know how you study. Don’t worry about what others are doing. Do what works for you.
Start studying for the boards early. Get First Aid. Go through it in parallel with whatever class you’re taking at the time.
Grades still don’t matter maybe sort of? Don’t kill yourself over not getting Honors/not being able to make junior AOA.
Hit the ground running at the beginning of Second Year; it starts off intense.

Picking a Specialty
Don’t pick based on who you like. Pick based on whose job you’d enjoy doing/life you’d enjoy living.
The interesting, rare stuff is always interesting, but which specialty’s daily boring stuff is interesting to you? Can you be happy with the “bread and butter” of the specialty being what you mostly see day in and day out? That’s the right specialty for you.
Also consider patient population. Who do you want to work with?

I really need to get better about writing these things right after they actually happen, because that’s when I have more interesting, concrete thoughts about them. There’s four lunch talks this week though! Maybe at least one of them will be worth writing about. 🙂

*The career interest talks that are the panels with Doctors actually don’t have any free food, just free (non-alcoholic) drinks.


Written by Aba

April 26, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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