SouthEast’s mission is to provide medical and dental care to Lancastrians who have no insurance, and little or no income. They see a whopping 16,000+ medical patients annually who make approximately 90,000 visits (not including about 18,000 annual dental visits). And all on a shoestring budget. “We make dresses out of drapes,” Kedren has told me. “Dresses out of drapes . . . it’s an informal motto around here.” Like Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind, SouthEast is short on resources, long on resourcefulness. Out of necessity, they get creative . . .
“What I'm not clear on is what I'd actually do with a degree in public health”. . . This is a sentiment I hear pretty frequently in my line of work. A Masters in Public Health leads to a wide variety of career options, so wide that students often have a hard time imagining their future professional lives . . .
At the center of nearly all of Dr. Ofri’s work is the doctor-patient relationship. It is a common thread running from her most recent book, What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine, and you can follow it back through her other titles as well (Incidental Findings, Medicine in Translation, Singular Intimacies). It is in fact the reason we place Dr. Ofri among a small, unique class of “doctor-writers,” writers who both criticize and celebrate the complexities of clinical medicine and remind us—quite powerfully—that caring is a big part of curing . . .
Let’s see, what do I want to say about grades? Hmmm . . . A better question might be, what don’t I want to say? Or better yet, what should I say and what should I keep to myself? There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t engage in a discussion with pre-health students about grades. Some professors think pre-health students are overly grade-conscious. Not entirely true. In my office, I see the overly, the underly, and the in-between. When it comes to grades, no two pre-health students are alike. Kind of like the snowflakes falling outside my window as I write this . . .
Winter break is here . . . Between naps and meals and spending time with your family and friends, you might find these glimpses into medicine interesting, even moving.
Winter break is coming . . . a chance to catch up on sleep, beat siblings at games of Wii and grandparents at gin rummy (or vice versa!), reconnect with friends from high school, and hopefully enjoy some home-cooked meals. At my house, I’ll be getting frustrated over tangled strings of holiday lights, getting the inexplicable need to watch football out of my system, and getting excited for Santa’s arrival with my seven-year-old son. My pre-health advisor hat will be hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that I’ll be suitably refreshed by the time I put it back on in 2014. It did occur to me this morning, however, that the break might also be a good time to do some things you haven’t had time to do during the semester. Pre-health things . . .
AAMC = Association of American Medical Colleges. For anyone aspiring to allopathic medicine (becoming an MD some day), the AAMC is the governing body of the U.S. medical schools you’ll apply to for that important next step in your education. There are many reasons to spend some time on the AAMC website. Here are just a few. . .
If you’re a sophomore who attended the recent pre-health meeting then you heard a version of this little speech of mine before. Still, it bears repeating. As a pre-health student, you are no different than anyone else in that you think long and hard (most of you, at any rate) about your choice of a major and the possible consequences of that decision. The most commonly heard questions among pre-health students are “should I major in a science?” and “can I major in something other than science?” You also grapple with what criteria to use when choosing between two or three of your favorite subjects . . .
“It’s never too late” . . . “Think when, not if” . . . and “Hey, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over” . . . These are things I hear myself saying on a fairly regular basis. To be candid, I sometimes wonder if I’m building up false hope. Is the end goal of admission to health professional school really possible for all F&M graduates as long as they’re fully committed? Is “it’s never too late” a helpful reminder or a mere platitude? It could only be a meaningless cliché if everyone already knew it, I suppose, and given the number of pre-health students I see who are ready to throw in the towel, “it’s never too late” is far from a universal belief. So is there a way of getting from college to health professional school for nearly everyone, really? Yes. How do I know? Because post-bac programs make it so.
This week has been rough. Last week, too . . . This whole time around the middle of the semester is always this way. Pre-health students become frequent, harried visitors at my drop-in hours, each with a unique situation, each with a cause for frustration, anxiety, and disappointment, sometimes to the point of tears. . . Today I think it’s important to remember a few basic tenets of pre-health existence. Hopefully these will cheer up those of you who are stressing out. They may be helpful points to return to in the coming months and years as the pre-health workload piles high. They’re especially crucial to recall during rough patches.