Ending Premed Naivety: Understanding the Realities of a Medical Career

The only real recollections I have of visiting the hospital before college were once as a child undergoing a tonsillectomy and once as a preteen to visit my newborn cousin. Fast forward ten years or so and suddenly I was a freshman in college shadowing a medical professional and trying to decide if I wanted to commit the rest of my life to medicine. It was the first time I really saw medicine for what it was, and it was nothing like I had imagined.
As someone without any relatives or close acquaintances in a health profession, I grew up with a lot of misconceptions about medicine as a career. Like many of you, I will be the first in my family to attend medical school. On many fronts, I have had to discard my preconceived notions about medicine for an understanding borne of proximity and experience. Before beginning the premed journey, I was blissfully unaware of two components of the medical field: the realities of daily work and the lifestyle demands.

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ShirlyWhirl, MD: The Life of a Med Student in Comic Form

Shirlene Obuobi draws the life of a medical student in her comic ShirlyWhirl, MD. See more comics on the ShirlyWhirl, MD  Facebook and Instagram.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Shirlene; I’m 24 and go to Pritzker School of Medicine. I was born in Ghana and have lived in Chicago, small town Arkansas, The Woodlands, TX, and went to Washington University in St. Louis for undergrad. I enjoy writing, drawing, and long walks along the lakefront. I recently adopted a cat. His name is Kahlo. 

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It’s Real: The Sophomore Slump

Chronicles of a Med Student

I strolled into second year, fresh off the plane from my South American adventures and ready to hit the ground running, expecting another experience like first year. It would be smooth sailing as long as I stuck to my schedule and my friends. I was good to go. Little did I know, the “second year slump” was about to hit me like a ton of bricks. I had never before experienced such a feeling in my life—I was accustomed to challenges, pushing through whatever stood in my way, always making it through to the other side. But to be honest, few things in my prior academic experiences have challenged me as much as medical school. Before medical school, most of the challenges I faced seemed far less daunting to me than what came in the second year of medical school, even the first year of medical school. So imagine my surprise when I found myself having my first meltdown of medical school just a few weeks into my second year: Wasn’t I supposed to be good at this by now?

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Five Tips for Staying Healthy and Productive in School

staying healthy and productive

While your dream of getting accepted to medical school probably involves countless nights studying, hundreds of volunteer hours, and a very long application process, taking time for yourself may not always be at the top of your priority list. What many aspiring doctors tend to forget is that taking some time to relax can actually boost your productivity once you get back to work.

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Chronicles of Med Student: A Summer to Remember

Chronicles of a Med Student

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to meet some of our incoming first years at a meet and greet event. They came in with wide eyes and big smiles, just waiting to sink their teeth into medical school. Their curiosity always got the best of them, and my classmates and myself were bombarded with questions like “What’s it like?” and “Do you have a life?”. I remember feeling that way one short year ago (and yes, even though our school year is a stretch of eleven months, it does feel short). One of the questions that they should have asked but didn’t is what they should do this summer.

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