By Jocelyn Compton
More and more, research productivity is becoming a cornerstone of the medical student experience. Dedicated research can shape your future in profound ways. Since this time of year presents deadlines for summer research (such as the NIH T35 research grant) or yearlong opportunities (such as HHMI Medical Scholars) it’s timely to discuss the topic of optimizing your research experience!
1. Know thyself.
This is important in all things, but there are several questions that you should consider asking yourself before approaching a mentor. For example:
Where do you wish to go in your career? Academia, private practice, or business and consulting each lend themselves to a different type of research. This also applies to which specialties you are considering. There are a variety of ways to publish your work, such as case reports, original research, or opinion articles. Each type of publication will carry different value when you’re applying to residencies. Of course, publication in a well-known journal within a field or in a popular journal like Nature will always grab attention.
By Fady Akladios
As I pointed out in my previous post, Going to America: the IMG Journey, there are some important questions to consider as an international medical graduate seeking postgraduate training in the US. IMGs tend to fall into one of four main categories, each of which highlights some relevant factors to consider when answering the five questions I listed.
Recent medical graduates: You just graduated from a medical school in your home country. As an applicant from this category, one of the big ‘whys’ is that you have fresh medical knowledge and lots of energy to surpass the many hurdles you may encounter along the way. One of the difficulties for this group is that you are fully immersed in the study of medicine in your country, and you may find it challenging to plan to finish your USMLE exams and to submit ERAS application on time.
By Molly Lewis
“No battle was ever won according to plan, but no battle was ever won without one.” –Dwight D. Eisenhower
You can find many different Step 1 test taking strategies online, but here’s what worked for me. Pick and choose the parts you like, mix in your own favorites, ask advice from people you trust, and, voila: your own Step 1 plan of attack!
By the First Aid Team
‘Twas the shift before Christmas, when all through the wards
Not a creature was stirring, they were studying for boards;
The stethoscopes were hung by the front desk with care,
In hopes that the First Aid Team soon would be there;
The med students were waiting all snug in their scrubs,
As they took a few minutes to inhale some bad grub;
And doctor in her ‘kerchief, and I in my mask,
Had just settled in for a long surgical task,
When out in the parking lot there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the OR to see what was the matter.
Away to the pit I flew like a flash,
And ran into a big guy with a skid and a crash.
His eyes — how they twinkled! He breathed a deep sigh!
His face was so red, his BP clearly too high!
Still, behind him soon did appear,
An ambulance-sized sleigh loaded with Step study gear.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to the ED,
And asked the head nurse to refill his ARB,
Then, laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the elevator he rose;
He strode through the wards, passing out Qmax and Flash Facts galore,
While gunners ran beside, shouting wishes for perfect Step exam scores.
The rest of us gaped and grinned as we grasped,
A free, three-month subscription to Step 1 Ultimate and Express.
This guy was laughing and happy, a right jolly old elf,
And I knew when I saw him, I’d pass my next shelf;
With First Aid for the USMLE books, I’d have knowledge in my head,
And with such great study guides, I had nothing to dread;
He passed out his last batch of study tools, and sprang to his sleigh
Turned on the siren and fired up the bay;
I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!
By Fady Akladios
“Do you smoke, Mrs. Z?” I asked my patient. She was recently diagnosed with small cell lung cancer.
“No,” she replied without hesitation. Her answer sounded very unlikely though.
“Well, have you ever smoked?”
“I quit after they saw the cancer in my lung.”
The National Board of Medical Examiners® (NBME®) has developed a new way to implement the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) examination. To test the new formats and measurements, the NBME® is looking for students willing to participate in a field trial.
Although you will not be compensated, and you have to pay for your own travel and lodging, you would have an opportunity to “practice a clinical skills examination administered under standard USMLE conditions” at no charge.
You have to have taken and passed the USMLE Step 1 exam and you must be a senior/4th year/6th year student or graduate, but there are certain restrictions.
Find out more about the trial and how to participate by visiting the NBME® website.