A 37-year-old female presents to her family physician with recurring abdominal and flank pain. She mentions her mother suffered from kidney problems but doesn’t know many details. Examination reveals a blood pressure of 170/110 mmHg and proteinuria is present on dipstick. Laboratory tests show an elevated hematocrit, microalbuminuria, and microscopic hematuria. A CT scan later reveals the findings seen here.Which of the following conditions is most commonly associated with this patient’s likely diagnosis? Continue reading “What’s causing this characteristic appearance on CT?”
Mentorship–both giving and receiving–is a crucial part of being a resident
Short Coat Podcast veteran Keenan Laraway, MD (CCOM ’15, Internal Medicine), returns to the microphone to give his insights into one of the most important parts of residency–finding and being a mentor. As you listen, note how much credit he gives to his mentors for their influence on him, and how much emphasis he gives to teaching medical students himself. Medical residency (and undergraduate medical education, partially) operates on an apprenticeship model, in which the experience and advice of one’s colleagues is integral to one’s own development. Seeking out those relationships is therefore vital. Continue reading “Night Float: Finding Mentors, Being a Mentor”
When you receive your score report, you will receive five scores—four scores for each of the multiple-choice sections of the exam and one total score. As you prepare for test day, you may wonder how the AAMC calculates your scores. Or perhaps you’ve heard some theories about how we do it. To help dispel any myths, we’ve answered three of your frequently asked questions about how the MCAT exam is scored. Continue reading “The MCAT Scoring Process: Your Questions Answered”
As essential as it is to know the pathophysiology of various diseases and the pharmacological and surgical interventions used to treat them, it is also necessary to understand the social and psychological aspects of illness in order to effectively treat patients. Physicians must situate their treatments within psychosocial parameters that best serve the individual patient, asking questions like, “What will motivate this patient to take his medication as prescribed?” and “How do the social supports of this single parent influence his or her ability to get his/her child to well-visits with the pediatrician?” Continue reading “3 Study Strategies for the Behavioral Sciences on the MCAT”
Unless you’re one of those people who wins every scholarship you apply for, you’ve likely had to take out student loans to pay for your medical degree. In fact, if you’re like most doctors or medical students, you’ve likely had to take out many, many student loans. After all, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, doctors graduate with an average of $190,694 in student debt.
I was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, went to UC Berkeley for undergrad (go Bears) and studied linguistics, then made a sharp left turn and decided to go to medical school. Now I’m a fourth year at the University of Chicago applying into pediatrics.* I’m a middle child, a West Wing fanatic, and a knitter! I like to knit (obviously), but I also like other things, like writing/reading, cooking/eating, other forms of production/consumption, and hanging out at cafes listening to music and doing crossword puzzles. Continue reading “Daniel Lam: Medical Student & Study Aid Knitter”
A 70-year-old smoker presents with a four-week history of dyspnea, cough, and facial swelling that is exacerbated by bending forward. A physical examination reveals venous collaterals on the chest wall, and imaging is ordered. What is the most likely cause?
Everyone gets anxious about tests. And med school features a lot of tests.
The news that students at Oregon Health and Science University will now be subject to ‘compassion tests‘ in order to graduate got Dave thinking about test anxiety. As schools pile on the examinations, how do students deal with the stress? Dabin Choi, Gabe Conley, Claire Casteneda, and Erik Kneller discuss meditation, sleep, prayer, and eating habits that keep them from letting the fear derail them. Continue reading “Tests, Tact, and Turpentine”
Ask any doctor, in any specialty and of any age, and they will remember their training in medical school. It is full of learning, new experiences, new friends, and major strides in both personal and professional development. With so many changes, dozens of obstacles in each student’s life must be confronted and overcome. Fortunately, medical schools have extraordinary people who devote their time and talent to guiding and supporting medical students through their four years. This column interviews these people at medical schools around the country to help students learn more about the resources they have available during their years in school.
In our fifth installment, I interviewed Ms. Ginny McCarthy. Ms. McCarthy is the Director of Health Sciences Division Ministry at Loyola University Chicago. She is currently working toward her Master of Public Health. Ms. McCarthy is married and has three children, enjoys running and cooking, and is grateful for continued opportunities for learning and growth.Continue reading “Q&A with Ginny McCarthy, Director of Health Sciences Division Ministry”
You’ve likely heard the rumors about the dreaded Intern Year. It’s the worst of the worst. Say goodbye to your partner and hello to lonely days and nights. But are the rumors really true? And if they are, what can you do about it?
I remember when my husband was a few months into MS3, and we were feeling the med school blues. Third year was particularly challenging for my family, so I already felt like my life and relationship were struggling. One day, I happened to attend a “Baby and Me” yoga class with my nine-month old, and the mom sitting next to me started a conversation by asking me what my husband did. I replied “he’s in medical school,” and she just laughed and shook her head. She replied, “My husband is an intern. I wish someone had told me how horrible it was going to be. If you think it’s bad now, just wait. It gets so much worse.” Continue reading “What To Expect: Intern Year”