Medical State of Mind

Sep 01

Anonymous said: As a European non-med (Faculty of Medicine - Speech and Hearing Pathology) student, I was wondering if you have any thoughts about the European system of not having pre-med, high school graduates going straight into 6-or-7 year med school instead.

I think there are pros and cons to both systems. I feel that it certainly streamlines the process for people who already have an inkling that they are going to pursue medicine in the future but I feel that it comes at the cost of exploring other experiences, youth, and just overall maturity level. 

Medicine is a physically and mentally demanding field. I think that having a certain amount of life experience and maturity that only comes with age can give you some level of resilience. 

While the more indirect admission system can take longer to complete, I think it works to the benefit of people who may not have realized they were interested in medicine until later on. The age demographic for my class is quite broad, with some members being in their 40s. That level of flexibility and that understanding that not everyone has that epiphany at a young age normalizes the experience. In addition, their added wisdom and experience becomes quite apparent once the educational journey begins.

Aug 31

Catching Up

Yesterday was special. A classmate and dear friend of mine who has been out of province for her residency came back for a weekend getaway. We had an opportunity to meet and catch up on how our respective residencies have been thus far.

While war stories were exchanged, the focus was never about the medicine side of things. It was more about how life has been and what we were up to. It was a nice change of pace from my regular conversations nowadays.

For four hours, we were able to disarm ourselves of our ward personas and talk about regular, “normal” things. From the movies we watched, to my recent vacation stories, to her relationship challenges.

At four hours, that mental vacation seemed too short.

Aug 29

The Dangers of Working within Paediatrics

Just when I thought I was out of the woods, I was re-exposed to the most dangerous paediatric affliction of all:


Contrary to its name, this troubling and traumatic condition is just damn hard to let go. It infects the motor and memory recall systems and results in people unconsciously humming or singing to its tune. It has the potential of infecting other people. Prognosis: Very contagious. A full recovery is possible but in the order of weeks so long as you are not re-exposed to it.

Aug 28

Whoever thought of…

…Embedding a Starbucks store right inside of a hospital is a genius.

These stores are make a killing of my wallet.

Aug 27

Two Schedules on Shared Time

The challenge of my current schedule is that I must juggle my responsibilities between my core rotation and those of my clinic, to which I am obligated to spend time as well.

Sometimes it means missing out on some good learning opportunities due to conflicting schedules. Other times, the days off of one schedule coincide with the days on of another. I can be particularly hit hard if, like today, the day could have been spent sleeping post night shift.

Thankfully these scheduling anomalies are few and far between. However, when I think about how well established the challenges of balance are in residency, having an awareness of these issues can go a long way towards improving resident resilience.

Aug 26

Anonymous said: I'm 19 and I'm on the track to becoming an RN. Do you think having nursing experience will help me become a better general surgeon. That's my ultimate goal

I think that your nursing background gives you a different perspective on health care and that is always to your benefit. Adding new schools of thought into the culture of medicine helps breeds progress and change. It allows others to consider approaching a problem differently. Ultimately that is a good thing.

Aug 25

The Paradox.

The Paradox.

(Source:, via diarymdstudent)

Aug 24

How Do You Cope With Stress?

In my last community survey, I asked how you assess your stress level. The responses demonstrated just how diversely and how uniquely each person’s stress manifests.

This time, I would like to ask a follow up question and allow everyone to share how they deal with stress.

Beyond identifying and dealing with the source of the stress, I personally take more time to spend with my wife. I try to sleep earlier to catch up on rest. I take a step back from studying at home and instead take up sketching and drawing again while listening to music to help me relax. At work, I try to meditate during my breaks.

How do you cope with stress? Share your tips with everyone.

Posterior anatomy study of skeletal muscle articulations of the body, hands, and feet by Albinus, 1879.

Posterior anatomy study of skeletal muscle articulations of the body, hands, and feet by Albinus, 1879.