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!

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Spring Semester Shadowing: Neurosurgery

Hi guys! Today I’m writing about my experience shadowing Neurosurgery and how I was shocked to find I actually enjoyed this specialty.

Sad news is that I didn’t shadow on a surgery day. Instead, I shadowed on a clinic day where the doctor saw patients either post-operation or if he was consulted to see a new patient. I can’t wait until the day I get to scrub in during a brain surgery!

The doctor saw about 6 patients in the hour that I was with him. One patient was post-op and was there to review her brain scans after her previous surgery. The other patients were all referred to him from other physicians. Neurosurgery deals with surgically treating issues of the spinal cord, brain, and other parts of the nervous system. All of the patients I saw had issues dealing with the brain specifically.

Anatomy really prepared me to see structures on a variety of modalities! I feel way more comfortable viewing MRI’s and CT’s than I did before med school. I was able to actually recognize arteries and structures on the patient’s MRI’s and CT’s which made me feel connected to the patient and helped me understand the depth of their disease.

I think I liked this experience so much because the doctor was SO passionate about his specialty. He really loved his job and that made it so appealing to me. He told me that balance between his work and home life is sometimes difficult, but loving his career makes it easier.

Have you ever seen a brain surgery!? I’ve heard that it’s so hard to distinguish healthy brain from diseased brain! Eek.

Check out my past shadowing experiences herehere, and here!

BIG NEWS: I Drink Coffee Now

Okay so this isn’t the biggest news but it’s news nonetheless. As of last week, I have officially changed my drink of choice from the pricey and sugary iced caramel macchiato to an iced vanilla coffee with cream and sugar. You may have seen the news on Instagram because I was just so excited to share that I drink coffee now. I didn’t have one sip of coffee before med school started and now I enjoy drinking it?! Who am I?!

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I received a tip in the comments that I’m sure to try sometime. The tip suggested using coconut milk instead of cream and sugar because it sweetens the drink without adding as much calories! Has anyone else tried coconut milk in their coffee?

A lot of people also noted that one day I’ll move to straight black coffee. I would have never believed them a year ago but now, I can definitely picture it. I went from almost gagging when I would take a sip of my boyfriends coffee to purposely driving a different way home to grab some Starbucks. If anything this blog has provided readers, it has been my coffee journey (LOL)!

Last night I tried another drink for the first time, a piña colada! Only thing that could make it better would be if I was drinking it on a beach next to the ocean 🙂

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I hope everyone has a great Wednesday!!!