Second Year Is (Almost) Over

In a little more than a month, the new interns will arrive. Much like last year when I wrote “Intern Year is Over,” I greet this milestone with joy and relief – not because I am thrilled and excited for the interns to roll in, but because I am thrilled and excited to be DONE. WITH. SECOND. YEAR.


“Why?” the interested reader/grandma may ask. After all, if intern year is when you learn the byzantine system that is medicine at two different academic centers, second year is when you focus on your actual medical knowledge. Your procedural skills. Your team-based communication. Continue reading



Let’s start with a throwback to my surgery rotation.

Allow me to describe, briefly, the scene before a minor surgery. Like a lipoma excision, or a skin graft. The room is sterilized about fifteen minutes before the patient is wheeled back; no one is allowed in without a mask. Once the patient comes in and is put under anesthesia, they’re sterilely draped. You can’t even touch the lights without a special sterile holder, and anyone near the sterile field has to wear a ridiculous-looking full-length gown and specially-sized gloves. Continue reading

Show Me Something

A couple of weeks ago, the program director for my postbac program sent me an email asking if I’d participate in a panel discussion for this year’s current inmates (the kids going through the wringer like I did last year) about the interview process. It dawned on me that my cohort is exactly a year removed from when we began the application process last year.

If you’ll remember from my timeline post, The Long Haul Begins, the primary med school application doesn’t even open until June. On the advice of this same program director, we were told to start our personal statements over winter break – for me, just over a year ago. Continue reading

The Reservoir of Nice

For as much general vitriol I spew forth on this blog, I like to think I’m a pretty nice guy. I like people. I am friendly to gate agents when my flight is delayed. I used to send a “daily dose” of internet humor around to co-workers every morning.

At an interview, you’re supposed to be yourself, and I generally am. But I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon: the night of and day after an interview, particularly one for which I’ve had to travel, I am not nice. For lack of a better word, I am an asshole. Continue reading

Why Does Flying Suck So Much?

After spending the better part of a month flying to and from medical school interviews, I have one overriding question: Why does flying suck so much?

Flying used to be fun. A trip flying the friendly skies was an event where the airport was an exciting place, you complimented the pilot on a good landing and the flight attendants smiled and said “sure!” when you asked for the entire can of Sprite.

When did that vision die? When did airlines become cattle car operators with a dull coat of paint, and when exactly did we allow our fear to scare us so badly it’s recommended we arrive at the airport two hours early to sit through Security Theater? Continue reading

21 Reasons Why 21 Reasons to Become A Vegetarian Stinks

A while ago, a friend of mine sent me a link to an article published on a website called “21 Reasons to Become a Vegetarian.” It was oddly posted on an adopt-an-animal website; I tracked down the origin of the article to a doctor named Vernon Coleman, who wrote a vegetarian book “Food For Thought,” as well as other books on politics and, apparently, cricket. He is also an outspoken opponent of vaccinations (hooray, polio!) and “conventional cancer treatment.” Yeah.

My friend, by the way, was a vegetarian and on her way to becoming a full-blown vegan.

Below is the article, with each bullet point from the original article in black answered by my annotation in red. Before you read, you should know that I think vegetarianism is perfectly healthy if done right and not an intrinsic bad. I do take issue with vegetarians trying to convert me, a top-of-the-food-chain steak eater, to vegetarianism. It’s like a Mormon trying to convert dead Jews: a lost cause. Give it up, people. And enjoy the skewering (ha!) of the article below. It starts with a couple of concessions: Continue reading

Bromo Sapiens

That… did not go well.

We just got done with a pair of midterm exams – first physics, then biology. I thought I did okay on physics yesterday and terrible on bio today, only to come home and find my second consecutive unacceptably bad physics grade waiting for me online. Awesome. I can’t wait for biology’s grade to come out. A text message conversation with a postbac friend, “L,” went as follows: Continue reading

UPDATE: Traffic Law


It appears a cop in Shady Side, Maryland has taken my Rule 2 to heart! I was driving home from the Chesapeake Bay (vacation between classes, woo) on a two-lane rural road and I was stuck behind a long line of cars. Of course, the guy at the front was driving an Oldsmobile about 15 miles an hour below the speed limit. It’s one thing to drive under the speed limit when people can go around you, but when there’s only one lane and no passing areas for miles? FUCK YOU, MAN! At least have the decency to pull over every ten minutes to let the thirty-six cars behind you go by.

Sorry. Anyway, upon passing a funeral home (searching for a metaphor, searching…), I was jolted out of my seething reverie when an unmarked, jet-black Crown Vic pulled out directly next to me and turned on its lights. I was jolted by this because there was oncoming traffic, and this cop was heading right for it. Luckily, people pulled out of the way, and the cop sped off down the centerline as pickup trucks scattered into ditches on the sides of the road. About six minutes later (honestly, that’s how far back from the lead slowpoke I was), I see the cop looking in the window of the offending Oldsmobile.

JUSTICE! THERE IS JUSTICE IN THIS WORLD! I don’t care if the guy had a taillight out or if the ticket he was about to get was actually for holding up traffic; all I care about is that he’s off the road.

So here’s to you, Mr. Unmarked Police Car Operator Camped Out In The Funeral Home. The People salute you.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention: I’m now writing for a site called Tobacco Road Blues, dedicated to the UNC-Duke rivalry. I’ll be writing mostly pro-UNC pieces (obviously, considering my alma mater) on a regular basis. The place is brand-new but has some really good content and authors on board. Check it out. My most recent piece is here.

Less than a week left…