Second Year So Far

I started my second year of medical school one week ago today. Before starting, I had made so many expectations of myself and had many ideas for how the school year would go. I was so ready to get back to work and get in a routine. Also, I never had taken any of the courses that I was about to take, so I was super excited to learn all new things.

But over this last week, I’ve dealt with something I haven’t experienced yet in med school.

In case you didn’t know, in medical school, there is a huge board exam called the USMLE Step 1 that students take after their second year. This test sort of determines what specialities you can choose to go into once you graduate. So it’s very important to do the best you can on this test to make sure you can choose a speciality that you want rather than be pushed towards one you don’t. So before classes even started, I knew that doing well on this exam would be a priority.

The thing about Step 1 is that there are so many resources out there for students to use. Day 1 of classes had everyone in my class talking about the different resources available and which ones they were planning on using. So many people had different study plans and methods, using different resources and study aides… it was beyond overwhelming.

It’s been stressful to be overwhelmed by resources. I have never experienced this stress so far because all of first year was pretty self-explanatory and simple. All you had to do was study your notes! But now, with Step 1 in the picture, everything seems so different. But I’m taking second year one day at a time and always accepting study tips!

So on that note, if you mastered second year or Step 1, please share some secrets below 🙂


Spring Semester Shadowing: Family Medicine

YAY my last shadowing experience blog post! Family medicine was actually the first specialty I shadowed way back in high school so I was excited to shadow it with my new med student lenses.

Family medicine does exactly what the name implies: treat the whole family. Family med docs see all genders and ages and treat a wide range of disease and problems. One thing that I loved about my experience this past spring was how well the doctor knew her patients. She had been their doctor for over 10 years, developing a very unique yet sacred relationship that not many people share. I love this part of medicine, the continuity of care. She treated one patient for 10 years and then takes care of that patient’s children!

I also had the impression that family med doctors don’t have much time with each patient. During my hour, I only saw two patients! This was plenty of time to address the patient’s needs, treatment plans, and also include some education.

Well this concludes my shadowing recap! Shadowing has been an awesome way to see a day in the life of different specialties. If you have any questions on how to get involved with shadowing, comment below!



Spring Semester Shadowing: Emergency

I have only two posts left to finish my little spring semester shadowing series! First, I want to remind readers of why I did all this shadowing. At my med school, we are assigned different shadowing experiences each semester, only for an hour each, to get a little glimpse into different medical specialties. We also had to shadow different health careers to see how medicine acts like a team and how doctors work with all different types of medical professionals.

The last two shadowing experiences are with emergency and family med, so keep an eye out for the family med experience coming soon.

Emergency medicine is actually an extremely popular field right now due to the shift work, lack of call, and a great lifestyle. The whole fall semester, emergency medicine was my #1 because I like fast paced things and acute care. Spring semester, I actually wasn’t sure if I’d like the lack of continuity of care, so emergency slipped a few spots on my ever-changing list.

This past spring, I had a great shadowing experience that bumped emergency to a top contender once again. My school is somewhat unique in that it really emphasizes ultrasound! We have an ultrasound course we take during anatomy and end the course with a patient practical. In my shadowing experience, the doctor let me use my ultrasound skills to ultrasound a patient’s heart! I love doing things that are hands on so this experience was so amazing to me.

I hope that whatever speciality I go into, it is one that I can use ultrasound! I believe it is such an effective and useful tool. Does anyone else like ultrasound or has had practice using one?!

This actually was not my first experience in emergency, however. I did shadow before I matriculated into medical school and it was that experience that made emergency my #1 in the first place. It was the first time I saw the death of a patient. It was very eye-opening and memorable for many different reasons. Despite the poor and unfortunate outcome, the medical staff, including the doctor, nurses, residents, all worked in a team. It was such a group effort and this fact really stood out to me. They were able to cope together, grieve together, and then pick back up to face the next emergency together.

Let me know if you like emergency medicine because of the team atmosphere, too!