4 Things You Might Miss from Undergrad

As I’m writing this on my last day of spring break, I realize that I’m so close to finishing my first year of med school! It feels like yesterday when I received my first stethoscope. I was thrown into a new state, new friends, and so many other new things. After 8.5 months, I’m used to my “new” schedule. I’m finally used to the long days filled with libraries and desks, my new-found love of coffee (I still drink it super sweet and super diluted because actual coffee tastes gross but… caffeine), books, and google searches.

With graduation season approaching, I’ve been reminiscing about my Buckeye days. I loved my college experience. So with my new med school lenses, I’d like to look back and share 4 things you might miss from undergrad:

Having classes with hundreds of people you’ll never meet.
100ThomasBackSmallOkay so this is weird, right? Maybe you actually hated those huge lecture hall classes. But looking back, I sure do miss those. I was a freshman when I took bio and chem with 600 other students. I miss those days where I literally knew nothing as a wide-eyed freshman and felt so proud to say I was a biochem major even though I had not yet taken a ochem or pchem class.

Late night pizza excursions. 
16864501_10154393677675835_8694097149061886611_nMed school version might be late afternoon coffee excursions. It gets wild during exam week. Okay maybe I just miss college pizza.

When gen chem was hard.
a2eb4b5cac868495770db4bf458d9bd4.1000x714x1HAHA this cracks me up. I used to think gen chem was so hard. Why would I miss this?! Looking back, I remember being stuck on unit conversions. UNIT. CONVERSIONS. But maybe I’ll look back from now and laugh at myself being stuck on skull foramen and nerves… maybe. I miss the simpler days 🙂

Summer breaks !!!
13335805_10153705316530835_5355887075228009704_nI actually never had a true summer break! The first summer I took an online English course. The second one, I took a few classes like nutrition and sociology. The third summer I took an anatomy dissection course where I was first exposed to a cadaver!! But anyways, these summers were still great and relaxing and everything I needed. This summer coming up will be my last one 😦 But I’m so fortunate to be doing something I’m super excited about during it!!

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Life Update: spring break edition

Hi guys!! So much has happened in the last week that I decided to write a blog post to share all the fun details!

One week ago, Monday, April 3rd, was my last day of gross lab EVER! I finished the practical with a grade way better than I expected because head&neck just isn’t my thing. I think the teachers made the practical a little easy on us because they could tell the whole class was pretty burnt out from the longest semester ever.

My semester consisted of both anatomy and histology. Anatomy and Histology had four components: histo lab, histo lecture, gross lab, gross lecture. There were three blocks: musculoskeletal, thorax&abdomen&pelvis, and then head&neck. We were in the lab 3-4 days a week, 2-3 hours at a time. It was SO DRAINING. Also, we never had a complete day off because most exams finished on a Monday afternoon, so we only had Monday night to completely relax before new material started Tuesday.

Next was Tuesday, April 4th. I had an eye practicum, shadowing (cardiology), and Girls on the Run. The eye practicum thing was pretty cool but was at 7am so I was just a little tired. We got to look into classmates dilated eyes with an ophthalmoscope and view the arteries in the back on the eye. This was my first time using an ophthalmoscope and I never realized how close you have to get to the person who you are viewing. I felt like I was way too close and invading their space when in actuality, I was still too far away.

I loved my shadowing experience on Tuesday. I got to see a cardiologist do a transesophageal ultrasound to view the valves of the heart. My school has a large emphasis on ultrasound so I’ve been exposed to it before this experience. I was able to follow along and correctly identify the chambers and directionality of the heart that was on the screen.

Finally, I had Girls on the Run. This literally made my day. At the end of each practice, the coaches nominate a girl for an “energy award” meaning that the girl went above and beyond that practice whether by running or displaying our class values. The girls also nominate one of their peers. But this day, the girls decided to nominate me, a coach! It was the cutest thing ever and it really touched me knowing that I am making a positive impact on these girls.

I attended my first OBGYN Grand Rounds on Wednesday, April 5th. The residents and faculty had a lecture on cleft lip/palate deformities and the plastic surgery that is done afterwards to correct them. There was a little segment that described how these nasocranial defects can be seen on ultrasound super early, which will help the plastic surgeon make plans ahead of time on how to perform the surgery.

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yay for cute breakfast

After grand rounds, and friend and I went to a local cafe that was SO CUTE. I got my first little latte in a coffee cup there and a cute breakfast! We studied for our shelf exam there for a few hours before we had to go back to school for CLG or clinical learning group. The rest of the day was spent studying for shelf, but I made sure to study outside on my new patio furniture because it was 70 degrees!

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cinnamon roll latte

The shelf exam was at 9 on Thursday, April 6th. After this was finished, I went home and took the best nap ever. I was just so happy and relieved to be done with anatomy!! Next was Girls on the Run which taught the girls an awesome lesson about empathy. As I was waiting for the last girl to get picked up, I checked my email. I saw an email that I wasn’t expecting until Friday, so I was initially confused. When I clicked the email, the main body was loading while the subject line read “Research Fellowship Offer Letter“. It was right then when I realized I received my dream research position!!!!

As soon as I got in the car to go home, I called my boyfriend to tell him the amazing news. He was SO excited for me and it was the best feeling ever. I interviewed for this position during test week, driving 6 hours for a 30 minute interview. I’m so glad this sacrifice of time paid off because now I get to work in a field I am super interested in.

This will be my first time being involved with clinical research and I’m eager to see how the experience unfolds. I’ll be living close to my family which is so needed after living in a new state for med school. One of the better things about this research fellowship is that it’s paid! Super helpful because ya know: poor med student probs.

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celebrating with tacos!

Anyways, I drove home Thursday night, the first official day of spring break. A snow storm awaited me but now all the snow is gone as I type up this blog post (thank goodness). Since break started, I started 13 Reasons Why on Netflix, started reading When Breath Becomes Air, and have been sleeping so much. Also, I’m trying to get back on my workout game since exam weeks are always brutal on me. I spent a day exploring my dad’s new office and a day celebrating my summer plans with my boyfriend! The celebratory day consisted of tacos and a walk on the beach 🙂

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dad’s new building

Sorry for the long read, hopefully the pictures made it more fun 🙂 I’m off to enjoy the rest of this sunny, no school or homework filled Monday!

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The Medical Tag; Q&A!

All that stands between me and spring break is a gross anatomy shelf exam! This semester was a grueling one for me. So many hours spent in the lab and not a full day off made it seem never-ending. But now, I am so close to spring break! My girl Anne (@loveandscrubs_) tagged me to do a Q&A with some frequently asked questions. Now that I never have to go into the gross lab again, I actually have time to answer them!

Who are you and where do you study?

My name is Madison and I am a first year medical student in the midwest!

When did you start studying medicine or premed courses?

I went to undergrad at OSU where I was a biochemistry major with a pre-med focus. I started taking medical school prerequisites right away as a freshman! I just started medical school in fall of 2016.

What made you choose the medical field?

This will sound so cliché but I’ve known ever since I was a kid that I wanted to be a doctor. I loved science, math, school, and learning ever since I can remember. Growing up, my parents didn’t have stable jobs. So from a very young age, the stability of being a physician was very appealing.

How did you come up with your blog name/username?

LOL I tried so hard to think of a blog name for a while. I really do say “oh my gosh” or type “omg” all the time. I thought OMG, MD to be had a nice ring to it and showed my excitement and enthusiasm for starting med school!

How would you describe your blog?

I would describe my blog as a work in progress. I picked 3 subjects that I am super passionate about that I could further delve into through writing.

  • Medicine – I love mentoring people, especially those who are following a similar path as me. When I was going through undergrad, I didn’t have anyone to give me advice or tips with applying to medical school. My boyfriend and I were figuring everything out for ourselves and learning from our own mistakes. It would have made life so much easier to learn tricks about applying or resources to use when struggling through undergrad.
  • Life – I chose this subject because life right now is hectic. I want to share some more personal things that I am going through that aren’t exactly related to medicine. I hope that by sharing my experiences, I’ll be able to relate to some people on a deeper lever.
  • Girl power – I wasn’t always passionate for feminism/equality (I blame this on being uneducated before college). However, since undergrad this passion of mine has grown and grown. As a woman in a predominantly male field, I want to be a representative for those behind me and show other girls and woman that they can enter this field and tackle and of the obstacles that are associated with it.

What’s your favorite quote?

“If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever”

Best memory in medical school?

This is a tough one. But the first thing that comes to mind is finding out I passed my first exam. I had put so much pressure on myself and was so nervous about my grade. What if I didn’t pass? Was I not good enough? Was I not smart enough? Did I have what it takes to pass med school? ALL THESE QUESTIONS. They were all flowing through my head as I went online to see if I passed. I was actually visiting my boyfriend at this moment and I told him to leave the room incase I would breakdown crying. I did end up crying because I was so relieved that I passed. I felt validated and I felt that I was here to stay.

What’s one course you struggled with?

Literally the last block that I just finished yesterday: head and neck anatomy. I don’t know why, but I found the material to be so boring. It made it way more difficult to study and I dreaded going into lab. Maybe it’s because last block (thorax, abdomen, and pelvis) was so awesome that I just wasn’t ready to leave it behind hehe.

What’s your favorite book?

Oooooo. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I actually love to read but haven’t had much time since school started up.

What do you do in your free time?

Netflix! I’m a sucker for sitcoms and movies. I’ve also been trying to live a healthier life and workout more consistently so you can also find me at the gym or on my exercise bike 🙂

What do you want to major or specialize in?

It changes all the time. Seriously, like every month at least. Right now, I like the idea of OBGYN or internal med. I also could see myself doing peds or emergency! But tune in next week for 4 completely different answers.

Who do you look up to?

Oh this is tough. I feel like I look up to a lot of people, people I haven’t even met. I look up to a lot of the women I follow on instagram that are both ahead and behind me on the medical journey. I look up to strong women that show they are vulnerable but still stay strong despite all the adversity they face. I look up to my mom. I look up to my dad. Both have led difficult lives, have gone through so much, but still always support me and always show me that hard work is so very important. I also look up to my boyfriend because his kindness towards others in unmatched and his work ethic is so admirable.

How do you study (productively)?

My study habits have changed many times throughout the last 8 months of med school. I think the best way I study productively is by setting a timer for 30 minutes and doing work with no distractions during that time. Then I’ll take a 10 minute break, relax, move around, and then come back in for another 30 minutes.

How do you stay motivated in medical school?

This might be a weird way to stay motivated, but I love watching medical shows. Even though some may romanticize medicine, these shows make me say “omg am I really going to be a doctor?!” and I feel super cool watching them during my breaks. Sadly, House is no longer on Netflix and as of May 2nd, Scrubs won’t be either 😦

During first year, my school sets up shadowing experiences with 9 different specialties. This forces you to be reminded of what lies at the end of the tunnel, which is an awesome motivator.

What are your best tips for future medical students?

Never give up! Determination is key to success. The road can be long and torturous and it may seem never-ending. I didn’t get in the first time but didn’t let that stop my dream from coming true. If you work hard, good things are bound to happen.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. This even goes for your gen chem class of 500. If something doesn’t make sense, don’t sit there struggling by yourself. E-mail your teacher, even if they scare you. Ask a classmate for help. Go to tutoring. Besides class, it goes for real life too. If you are feeling down, ask your family for help. State what you need! People are kind and will help.

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Thanks again, Anne, for the tag!! I’m tagging @beingfranke, @swatchesandstethoscopes, @nicolet.life, @purelypositivitea, @medstudentsaga, @hellorobinblog@asocalgirlsjourney, and @dpm2be to do this Q&A too! Make sure you check out their blogs for their unique medical experience.