Guide to SDN Resources

SDN Resources

When most people think of Student Doctor Network, they think of the SDN Forums, where … Read more

How To Choose Your Testing Center

choosing your testing center

Last year, as the summer was nearing its end, I started preparing to take the … Read more

Self-Care Is Not Selfish

Medical Spouse

We’re a few months into the new medical year and wherever your spouse is at … Read more

Are Professional Medical Associations Worth It for Students?

professional medical associations worth it for students

In the US alone, there are literally thousands of state, regional and national medical associations that represent providers in every major area of healthcare. While millions of the healthcare providers in the United States can consider themselves members of one or more of these organizations, there are millions more who are not. As a student you’ve got enough on your plate, so it can be difficult to determine whether or not joining one of these professional associations is worth your limited time and resources. This article will look into whether or not association membership still makes sense in this day and age, and if so, how to determine which association(s) are right for you.

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An Introduction to Student Loans

Consider these three questions. First, what is a loan? Second, how is it typically is structured? Third, do you know how much you will be paying back if you borrowed x amount? I always wished someone had personally educated me and answered these very questions.
It has been almost 20 years since I chose my college (an expensive one), and almost 10 since I made my decision to pursue a career in pharmacy (a smarter choice, but still expensive one). I consider myself fortunate because my profession (for the most part) allows me to pay back the student loan I have accumulated and still enjoy a lifestyle I had imagined.

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Managing Bipolar Disorder in Medical School

Two days before interviewing at the medical school I now attend, I couldn’t get out of bed. At the nadir of my eighth major depressive episode in eight years, I seriously considered whether I could make the trip. Thankfully, I did. And thankfully, six days after that interview I met the psychiatrist who would finally piece together my long and steadily worsening psychiatric history.

I sat in his office, quiet and dulled compared to my spring and summer self, and began recounting my story – the weightiness of my current depression, the semester in college marked by a mere two to four hours of sleep a night (“insomnia” according to my doctor then), and the clockwork nature of my mood changes each year. Within ten minutes, he stopped me mid-sentence and said, almost casually, “You know, you show a lot of signs of bipolar disorder.”

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The Key for Student Doctors to be Debt Free

paying off student debt

With loan debt for students in graduate health professions rising exponentially, the conversation around choosing the right  student loan repayment option  and/or opting for the  public service loan forgiveness (PSLF)  program is becoming much more popular. Instead of focusing on what repayment plan gives a graduate the lowest monthly payment or whether or not he/she should pursue loan forgiveness, why not focus on  minimizing expenses  and working hard to pay off the debt as fast as soon as possible? This will allow for moving on to other financial goals with more intensity and focus such as buying a home, saving for retirement, and giving to name a few…all without any student loan debt getting in the way. 

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Study Smarter, Not Harder

Occasionally when I am browsing the online forums on SDN, I come across an unfortunate statement like this: “I studied so hard for my chemistry final and did horrible.” I’ve come across this problem for classes other than chemistry as well. A lot of people say they studied hard, but did they really? Until I really understood the other principles of studying, I didn’t realize that there is a lot more than just the act itself.
Some of the variables I’ve been able to come up with that impact studying are sometimes things we don’t analyze. A couple examples are sleep patterns, intrinsic motivation, breaks, contacting your professor, repetitive intervals, studying like it’s your job, remembering the ultimate goal and of course having fun when your not studying. I personally have to constantly remind myself to remain vigilant of everything I do and how it will impact my studying. Just remember that every test counts, so make the best possible outcome for yourself by following some of these tips.

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