June 2014: I’m actually now a doctor (HAH – an intern), and still blogging. But I’m pretty proud of blogging all 4 years of medical school – so I’m gonna keep my ‘about’ page the same for now. Stay tuned.
Hi, I’m a student at Metropolis Med.
I write about medical school. This blog is partly intended to be an absurdly long answer to the question “What’s med school like?”, and partly intended to be a way to store any and all the mnemonics and resources I’ve found helpful so far. Hopefully they’re useful. (And if not useful, I’ll settle for entertaining.)
It’s also intended to be the small commitment that keeps me writing during med school. This is probably the goal that’s worked out the best.
Of course, nothing I write here is intended to be medical advice. You probably arrived at that conclusion on your own by noting that I draw pictures like I’m 7 years old, and may in fact actually be a 7 year old masquerading as a medical student on the internet. So I clearly can’t help you there.
But I could definitely have a drink with you and discuss exciting types of transcription inhibitors, or the latest episode of Community. I’m good for either.
My current A&P course is truly testing my abilities to tap any learning resource I can find. Even if it means sending random emails to the creators of my favourite med blogs! Do you have any tips for memorizing origins and insertions? I’ve searched for mnemonics but not finding much. To give you an idea of the level of complexity, (or not, since you are way ahead of me), for example I need to remember that the pectoralis major originates from the medial half of the clavicle, body of sternum and cartilages of ribs 2-6, and inserts into the greater tubercle of the humerus.
I’d love to get any advice. For some reason this aspect isn’t reaching my long term memory.
Hey Nikki! Yeah, sounds like your teacher is asking you to memorize them at a medical school level of difficulty (is it med school? If it’s undergrad and you’re pre-med, you’re going to own medical school anatomy when you take it.) Haha, and flattery is always appreciated! 😉
I have advice, but it ended up being way too long to fit in this space, so I’m just going to post it as a blog entry later today if that’s cool with you. (It might also be too long for a blog entry, but oh well, I’ll throw some pictures in there and call it good.)
Aww, you’re awesome. I couldn’t find a direct link to your email so I feel kind of bad for shoving this into your “about” page.
This is A&P that I’m taking as a prerequisite to apply to nursing school. And, wait for it……this is at a community college! There is nothing “community college” about it. Well, except for the lack of cadavers which I think is a major fail in preparing students, but that’s a rant I could go on all day about.
So Glee, huh? It’s good to know med school isn’t killing your Glee time! (By the way, I’m one of your subscribers.)
Haha, thanks! 🙂
Hey A+P – I’m officially obsessed with your site and I’m not even in med school. But it’s really funny and relatable and I am actually working with someone who wrote a book about med school that I’d love your thoughts on. Could you shoot me an email if you’re interested? firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks! My anonymized e-mail has been acting up lately, so I sent you an e-mail from my regular address – just thought I’d confirm it’s from me.
Good job. Impressive and keep up the good work. Don’t get medical life ruin your interest in writing 🙂
Great site! Thanks for taking the time to post despite your hectic schedule. I have a request.
You refer to your study habits in a few different posts. Your method for taking notes in class, revision of those notes, summaries, whiteboard diagrams, &c. Could you post the patented AP Study Method? I am just finishing a Social Sciences degree and beginning a heavy anatomy degree (undergrad). From what I have seen ahead of time I will need definitely need to change my current study process!
Hey S., sorry this is so late! I’ll try to address it in a post soon!
One of the most unique and fresh voices I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a long time — regardless of the genre, online or not.
Thanks for the wonderfully human and honest writing.
This comment made my day. Thanks so much for the compliment.
I hate to seem like a needy reader, but do you by chance have a twitter feed so that I know when there are new posts? Or have I just missed the obvious and there is a giant button labeled “FOLLOW ACTION POTENTIAL HERE” somewhere?
Good point! I’m @medinmetropolis. I’ll try to plug my blog entries more often there. 🙂
(btw, I’m a neuroscience major, so this fills me with quite a bit of glee)
I actually have a pre-med question to ask you, and I was wondering if there was a way I could contact you? Would you even be comfortable with/have the time for that?
Sure, you can contact me at email@example.com. 🙂
I just wanted to give you an update (erm, I’m the same person who wrote that comment last year…and it’s a GOOD NEWS UPDATE)… But I couldn’t email you at the same email address! (It said “Delivery failed”… ) Did you change contact emails?
The TL;DR to my email is…I basically got into medical school with a scholarship, haha (but the email has more ‘thank you’s!)..
Great blog – on my list to follow! Thought you might be interested in my blog wellnessrounds.org
Have to say it… Your blog is the best med student blog I’ve found! Great writing style, interesting topics and a perfect blance between medicine, fun and everything in between 🙂
I tried to e-mail the address you provided above, but it wouldn’t work so here it goes (airing my life out in public, yikes)
As the subject reveals, I just read your article (http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2011/07/medical-student-anxiety-depression.html) today. It was rather serendipitous, to be honest. I am a first year junior in college. I have had “becoming a great physician” at the top of my life goals for about 4 years now. I have also been struggling with finding myself to be ‘mentally interesting.’ These mental quirks as they were have, however, really tried throttle my medical school ambitions. I am terrified of talking to a physician about my problems. I am afraid of needing a ‘crutch’ to survive the rest of college, medical school (if I got in) and the rest of my life, possibly. I try to convince myself at every opportunity that I’m just melodramatic. But the truth is just thinking about certain events make my hands sweat profusely. I get so panicky I can’t think, I start crying, I lose control over my mind and body. I have “toughed it out” as it were for years now, mostly since I started college. I am afraid I can’t do it any longer. I feel like a failure for even thinking about getting “help.” You managed to get into medical school before finding what worked for you. Does this mean I am just not up for it? I have tried to avoid this question for several months now. I really want to go to medical school, but my thoughts are “How can you possibly survive medical school when you have these anxiety problems NOW?” I was just curious as to your thoughts on my situation, if you have any words or advice for me, I would really appreciate it.
I’m sorry this e-mail was so stream of consciousness, but I’ve had this urge to get this all off my chest for awhile and no one that would listen. Not that you’re guaranteed to read this!
-Someone ‘mentally interesting’.
P.S. Thank you for your wonderful article, It gave me a little hope to know that there are people with anxiety/depression that are conquering medical school as I type.
Thank you for writing this, it means a lot to know that my article got to the sort of person I was hoping it would get to.
I have an awful lot to say about this, so I’m going to address this comment in a post tomorrow, if that’s all right with you.
That would be perfectly fine by me, I am very interested in what you have to say! Can’t wait to read it.
Thank you for your time!
hey, I am a first year medical student suffering from depression. It got so out of hand last year, that right after the first semester, in which I did well, I had to take a leave of absence and I will be continuing the second semester of first year in january. The problem is, although I feel better, I am scared of falling back into the same pattern when I go back in January, plus the fact that I havent studied for more than 9 months scares me a lot. I do not exactly know what I want to get out from writing to you, but I guess it would be nice to hear from someone that has been challenged in this way and is coping with it. Thank you (btw, my first language is not english, so sorry if there are any mistakes)
Hey! I’m just a undergrad student but I really enjoy reading your blog & find everything you say to be insightful & wise beyond measure. Plus it gives me a sense of hope. Thank you for letting me know that despite my preliminary setbacks making it is not as impossible as it seems. (ps. would you mind if I shared you on my personal blog?)
I’m in my fourth year right now, and blogging for my poetry mostly. But medschool being the old man from the Sindbad story, it’s pretty much grabbed on never to let go. Your blog is so, so reassuring! Omg another person! Who’s studying and writing and freaking out!! And over caffeinated too! It’s like a revelation lol.
Also your blog is incredibly hard to follow, for some reason. There’s no links anywhere and I went and liked someone else’s blog, just so I could find the follow on yours. Or maybe my blood caffeine levels are below the legal limit.
May I send you a digital copy of my novel, Reluctant Intern, to read and possibly review on your blog?
Addison Wolfe never wanted to be a physician. He wants to be an astronaut. NASA turned down his application, forcing him to seek employment as a doctor. The problem with obtaining a physician’s license is the need to complete an internship to acquire one. Wolfe finds himself in an undesirable rotating internship in a very busy public hospital. Inexplicably, the Director of Medical Education seems to have developed an instantaneous dislike of him and the remainder of the internship class. Another mystery is why an attractive female physician expresses a romantic interest in him on the first day of internship.
“The absolute worst time to go to a teaching hospital as a patient is the month of July. Recent medical school graduates, known as doctors, start their real training on July first. They don’t know anything. They don’t get any sleep. They are underpaid and overworked. Their stress is at catastrophic levels. Is it any wonder they make mistakes?” – Anonymous
“In local news today,” the reporter said, “state and federal authorities are in the process of taking into custody the entire intern class at University Hospital in Jacksonville. Officials cited the number of deaths attributed to this class as the reason. It seems that wrong doses of medications, inappropriate surgeries, failure to diagnose lethal conditions, and other mistakes have led to hundreds of deaths….”
“The overdose?” Wolfe asked.
“Yes,” Dr. Rubel replied, “that will be her legal cause of death, of course. The real cause of death was the autopsy. Barbiturate overdose, followed by refrigeration outside and then here in pathology, slowed her metabolism down. She was actually alive when they started the autopsy. The flexing of her limbs when the saw touched her brain happened because of nerve conduction, brain to extremities. But it was too late; we cannot put her back together. A hard lesson for those poor boys to learn. You, too, gentlemen. It is also true for those who are clinically dead from exposure or drowning. Remember this: a patient is never dead until he is warm and dead. Don’t forget that!”
The senior resident started his description, “EMS responded to a report of a cardiac arrest at 1:07 a.m. in Junior’s Topless Bar, on East Bay Street….”
Figueroa again jumped to his feet. “What is this, a bad joke?” he asked. “Two EMTs walk into a bar…. Let’s be reasonable, guys. The most likely reason for needing a paramedic in a bar at 1 a.m. is a knifing or a gun shot wound, not a heart attack.”
The autopsy and x-rays were condemning. The thirty-nine year old, black male had no history of heart disease. No medical history of any kind. He did have a bullet entrance wound to the back of his head with no exit, bullet still in his brain.
The patient was a massively obese woman who complained of a headache. The intern knew only that she was complaining of a headache and had requested aspirin. Extremely busy, and assuming the nurse would let him know if it were not a good idea to give the patient aspirin, he quickly flipped to the order page and signed the order that had been written by the nurse. Figueroa asked the intern if he had talked with the patient. No. Had he examined the patient? No. Had he even skimmed the chart? He had not. He asked if he knew what allergies the patient had. The intern did not know. At the time he approved the order for aspirin, did he realize the patient was on warfarin, another clotting inhibitor? No. Did he know that aspirin also inhibited platelets and clot formation? Yes. Did he know the patient had a history of blood clots? No. Did he suppose that a blood clot in someone’s brain, or a ruptured berry aneurysm in the same area might cause headaches? Yes, he knew that. The autopsy pictures revealed stenosed carotid arteries, two small clots in the patient’s brain, and massive bleeding from a ruptured berry aneurysm.
One of my friends is a follower of your blog and recommended that I reach out to you. I am a current medical school student at Johns Hopkins and, along with some of my classmates, have started a mentoring website where premed students can talk to current medical school students for advice about being premed, the application process, life in med school, etc. Our goal is to help level the playing field and provide an alternative to high cost admissions consulting companies. I was wondering if you would be willing to help us out by writing a short post about the site or by posting the link in a list of premed resources. I would be happy to talk to you in person and tell you more about the site and mission.
Student Mentor Network
I’m a dental medicine student, and I was reading one of your articles regarding anxiety and how it affected your academics. I am currently struggling with anxiety, and right now, am at a loss of what to do. I would really appreciate your advice, and medical knowledge with respect to my situation.
Could you please email me , thanks again.
AP! Great site! Very useful. I keep coming back to it for some tips and they have helped me a lot! I would like to ask if you know what surgical specialties will require competencies in renal, endocrine… Kinda like a mix of surgery and critical care? I really like anatomy a lot and I’m kinda interested in surgery but I also like the intricacies with electrolytes, acid base, hormones. Thanks! 🙂
As a 2nd year med student recently coming to terms with getting help for my anxiety and depression (apparently failing an exam as an overachiever causes breakdowns) your kevinmd article helped point me in the right direction, especially as even as a preclinical student my concerns about impacts on my career and being the student who couldn’t handle it and therefore shouldn’t be there were the same. Thank you!!
Side note: hilarious blog in the 5 seconds I’ve been here
Hi there, I used to read your blog during your first year (I think) in med school and I just found it again, I’m glad to see you’re still writing! Congrats on getting through it!
Some very interesting posts, congratulations on surviving medical school! I couldn’t find a contact us page so I have posted here, I hope that is ok and that you see it. I am looking for people with medical blogs who might be interested in reviewing our medical gifts/stationery. If you would be interested then please take a look at our website medinc.co.uk and let me know which products you like.
On a google search of “How to navigate 3rd year of medical school with panic disorder, – blog post you wrote 5 years ago popped up. I have been living with panic disorder since I was 7. I got to the point in my late teens where that meant I would have one bad attack every six months or so, but otherwise no one would ever suspect me as that person. The June before I started medical school I had a major attack that somehow I never really gained the footing back from. Now halfway through my second year of medical school, although I am managing, (my grades are fine and I’m involved in 101 different extracurriculars) I’m extremely worried I am not ready for the wards. I’ve redeveloped some agoraphobic tendencies and sometimes have to retreat to my house. Do you have any advice for me or words of encouragement? I’m pretty desperate here. Feel free to email me back! Rcohen5@tulane.edu