“Elegant” is Med School for “Really Hard”

It’s been entirely too long since I’ve last posted. It turns out that when you are actively learning and studying neurology, you are too consumed with confusion and self-hatred to write narcissistic posts on the Internet.

But not only are we free from the tyrannies of the unit called “Brain, Behavior, and Movement,” we are done with the first year of medical school altogether – with practically zero responsibilities for a full month. Which, importantly, means I can a) indulge in my false belief that people not named Grandma read this blog and b) write a lot about the last two months and the year more generally. Prepare yourselves.  Continue reading

The Exam That Shall Not Be Named

This post is not PG. Just… yeah.


Up until this point, most of what we’ve done in medical school could have been taught as part of some unusually advanced undergraduate human biology or physiology major. Yeah, the heart and lung exams were probably out of scope, but learning about how the body works is still in the realm of possibility for someone not in medical school.

Until this week. The Exam That Shall Not Be Named. The genitourinary exam.   Continue reading

A Strong Assessment

One of the coolest things about going to school here is that we are constantly supported, advised, and mentored by faculty interested in our medical education. The experience is so extensive here that it sometimes verges on too much. For instance, here are the titles of the people involved under the general category of “advisors” to first-year students:  Continue reading

Impostor Syndrome



We have a test coming up next week, and it is a huge one. Normal and abnormal stuff for hearts, lungs, kidneys, and blood. There is a lot of stuff that is supposed to go right and a lot of things that can go wrong. (See? I’ve been studying!) The test is three days long, starting on Tuesday.

Vomit. Continue reading

The College Cup! (About That Noncompetitive Thing…)

Part of my school’s central mission in educating medical students is to keep its students well. We have built-in retreats, access to mental health resources, and a variety of clubs designed specifically to promote wellness. The capstone of the program is this: once a year, the entire school comes together to compete in an almost-two day competition called College Cup. As I’ve mentioned before, we’re divided into four “colleges,” Hogwarts-style, primarily for the purpose of small group learning and logistics. But during College Cup, people don their colors, swag out with Thunderstix and tanks and masks (?) and Braveheart-style body paint, and yell themselves hoarse. Continue reading

A Lifetime Prescription

My dad spent last week, beginning the day before Father’s Day, sailing around the eastern shore of MD as a “crew” on a sailboat owned by his obsessive-compulsive friend. It’s called the Delmarva Rally.

When he told us that he was going to spend a week – a week! – on a forty-foot sailing boat with no running water, six middle-aged strangers, and one captain who orchestrated watch rotations with an Excel spreadsheet, I thought he was kidding. Continue reading