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!


Med School 101: Best Note-taking Tool

Hiya guys! Today, I will officially finished my summer research experience so yay. I’m writing on what I use to take notes in med school and how to use it. In undergrad, I never used my laptop to take notes but it seems it is the thing to do in medical school. I was so afraid to step away from handwritten notes, colorful pens, and printing out slides. After using the program, OneNote, I am SO much more comfortable with taking my notes on the computer.

OneNote is a part of the MicrosoftOffice package. It has a purple icon that looks like this:

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Think of OneNote as a virtual binder. In the binder, you can have different notebooks for each year of your class. Within each notebook, you can have different sections for the different subjects you take. Within each section, you can have different pages for different lecture notes.

It sounds complicated, but let me walk you through the organization.

When you open OneNote, you first need to create a new notebook. I suggest either creating one for your whole year as an MS1 or for fall semester of MS1 because it helps to keep things condensed and not have a million folders. Screen Shot 2017-08-04 at 9.18.15 AM.pngI’ve named my folders MS1 and MS2. Within each folder, there are sections. I have a section for each block of my classes.

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So in my MS1 folder, you can see I have a ton of sections. There were three blocks of Neuro so therefore I have three sections of Neuro labeled Neuro 1, 2 and 3.

Within each section, I have a page for each lecture given. I title each lecture with the number of the lecture and the date it was given. So on 4/17, I had three lectures. The first was an orientation, second was intracranial compartments, and third was CNS development.

Keeping these pages titled in this way is helpful when making to do lists. I have naming method that keeps things organized, clear, and consistent. Screen Shot 2017-08-04 at 9.32.56 AM.png

From one of my old Instagram’s, you can see that I literally call my lectures by their number – this makes it easier for me to stay organized!

In OneNote, you are able to download a PowerPoint lecture and write directly on the slides.

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This feature is something that you can’t do in PowerPoint. Here, I can literally point to structures I’m making a note about which is super helpful when reviewing.

Another bonus about OneNote is that if you have an iPad, you can use this program, too! You can sync up your notes and easily use your iPad or laptop.

There are so many preferences that you can customize and change which makes OneNote even greater! If you have specific questions about OneNote, comment below 🙂

Happy studying!

Med School 101: Top Books to Buy in Med School

Here is one of the most requested Med School 101 topics: top books to buy! I’ll attach an Amazon link for each, but I recommend waiting to buy the book until you start classes (unless stated otherwise)!!! A ton of second and third years may be selling books or have great deals to offer. Also, your library might offer an online access to some of these books. Let me know if you’ve come across some awesome books you think I should share!

General – First Aid
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Definitely buy this book! This is a staple for med students. It offers a condensed review of the most highly tested material of step 1 (that big board exam between second and third year). Lots of second years recommend annotating this book as you learn the material in class that way when you start to review for step, this book has everything you need.

Biochemistry – BRS Biochemistry
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– This book offers multiple choice questions with explained answers at the end of each chapter. A great review source for NMBE shelf exams!

Physiology – BRS Physiology
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– Probably the best BRS book out there! Material is condensed and nicely laid out in each chapter with questions at the end. This was my most used book besides First Aid.

Anatomy – Netter’s Anatomy Flash Cards
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– I used these flash cards SO much. But I also received them from a second year for free! These are pretty pricey otherwise.

Anatomy – Lippincott’s Illustrated Q&A Review – Anatomy and Embryology
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– I loved this book because it is literally just questions with question explanations in the back. I used this throughout the semester and especially for the NBME shelf exam at the end. There are pictures in question stems and every question is a clinical vignette which is really good practice for boards.

Anatomy – Gray’s Anatomy
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– I only used this book a few times for really difficult topics but some of my classmates LOVED this book. It has awesome pictures and lengthy explanations that helped me understand tough points.

Neurobiology – Lippincott’s Illustrated Q&A Review – Neuroscience
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– This is exactly like the other Lippincott, just tailored for neuro! Super helpful in shelf studying.

Physical Diagnosis – Bates’ Guide to Physical Exam
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– I bought this book because I heard it was a staple! But I’ve heard there is a pocket version which may have been a little easier to navigate.


Well there ya have it! Those are the books that I used during my first year! Again, I’m always looking for suggestions, so please share if you have any book tips – especially for pharm, path, or micro (taking these this next year!!)

If you have any questions, comment below!