Writing Your CV

Creating your curriculum vitae can be daunting, especially if you have never made one before. As requested, I have decided to make it a little easier and walk you through making your very own CV!

Before we begin, I wanted to explain the difference between a resume and a CV. A resume is a quick summary of your work experiences, it shouldn’t be longer than a page and highlights your strengths related to what you’re applying for. On the other hand, a CV is far more in-depth, for it covers your education, work experiences, and awards/honors in chronological order; therefore, it will be much longer than a resume.

Here are some of my personal tips on creating a successful CV:

  1.  Don’t use the word “I” when describing what you did. Since your name is already front and center, they already know who you are.
    1. Wrong: I worked with Dr. Bob to collect data on participants during a check-up
    2. Right: Collected data on participants during a check-up (I took out Dr. Bob because you should have already mentioned the individuals you worked with)
  2. Maintain the same tense throughout your CV to describe your roles and responsibilities- don’t use past tense and then switch to present!
  3.  Only include items that will help the reader understand who you are. Avoid making it too wordy because the reader will know when you’re making things up.
  4. Avoid adding items far in the past that aren’t prevalent to what you’re applying for.
    1. If you’re applying to Med School, what you did in high school doesn’t matter
    2. If you’re applying to residency, what you did in college doesn’t matter (unless you were published).
  5. Keep it simple and concise. Make sure to check for grammatical errors, for they can take away from your CV.
  6. Keep the font professional and constant throughout! Times, Arial, Calibri and Georgia are personally the best ones.
  7. Before sending your CV over technology, be sure to save it as a PDF and double check the format.

I personally have always stuck to a CV just because it covers everything I have accomplished. When applying to research or a job, I usually just add in a small sentence above my education highlighting why I’m qualified for the position. Some people opt to add their hobbies on their CV. This is optional, but I recommend doing it only if you feel you need more content.

I have attached a copy of the template I made for my own CV, feel free to use it or refer to when making your own. Again, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to e-mail me or comment below! I wish you all success in your future endeavors!

CV Template

 

Much love,

Preety 🙂

How I studied for my NBME Final’s

Hello There!

It’s been a long time! I’ve been quite invested with medical school, and it’s been difficult leaving some brain power to write a blog post in the meantime, lol. Anyways, now that I have completed 3 semesters of coursework and am preparing to conquer my 4th semester followed by everyone’s “favorite” nightmare- USMLE Step 1, I thought I could write about how I have studied for my NBME’s- this time for Physiology, Pathology, and Microbiology.

For those not familiar with NBME- these are old, previously used USMLE questions that schools can buy and use for examination. My school’s curriculum is such that our final exams are cumulative NBME questions selected by the professors. Therefore, all the protocol and the software is exactly the same as the USMLE.

With that said, let me share how I decided to prepare for these exams. I decided to stick to the following resources:

  1. USMLE RX
  2. Pathoma
  3. Goljan Rapid Review for Pathology
  4. Sketchy Miro
  5. BRS
  6. Physeo

For professor written exams, I solely focus on class notes and flip through my First Aid to make sure I understand everything high yield. When finals roll around, I place my professors notes to the side because they are usually more detailed, and I don’t have enough brain space to go through all the detailed notes for my classes. Therefore, I first make a list of all the topics covered in each class throughout the semester, and split each topic into a few days of studying. Then, I watch the RX videos and annotate my first aid. I then do the flash facts related to the videos after covering all the material I wanted that day.

Pathology:

I watch Dr. Sattar’s videos that accompany the Pathoma textbook and annotate as I go. Once I complete the chapter, I read the blue indexed notes in Goljan Rapid Review. If I struggle grasping onto specific topics, I read the specific section in Goljan. Finally, I add all my notes into my pathoma textbook, for this will be my primary source. If I have time, I’ll watch some RX videos for pathology, but I usually just skim through the first aid for the specific topics.

Microbiology: 

SKETCHY MICRO. I can’t emphasize it enough, the creators of Sketchy are God-sent to all medical students. With all the information you need to remember for each of the microorganisms Sketchy  does a fabulous job condensing it into a picture story line for each one! In all honestly, during my exam I would figure out the organism being questioned, think of the sketchy picture, and then look at the answer choices to see what matches the picture. I also plan on using sketchy pharm for my pharmacology course this semester!

Physiology: 

I’m so thankful that I found Physeo before starting physiology, it’s like Pathoma for physiology, and they do a wonderful job explaining all the intricate details associated with system physiology, especially those graphs and tests! After watching the videos, I would skim through the BRS just to make sure I understand everything and finish off by doing the respective practice questions in BRS.

 

Week before exams:

A week before my exams, I focused on doing only practice questions from USMLE RX. I was able to finish all the Microbiology, Pathology, and most of the Physiology questions this time around. I usually create a test of 10 questions at a time, which is about 15 mins timed. Once I complete the ‘test’. I review all my correct and incorrect because sometimes I get something right but don’t actually understand how. What I love about USMLE RX is that it shows you the page in First Aid where that topic is covered so you can reference it while reviewing rather than wasting time flipping through pages. I created a word document where I started listing everything I was getting wrong. For example, I forgot Entamoeba histolytica engulfed red blood cells- so I wrote that on my document and attached a picture of how it looked under the microscope (P.S. This was a question on my exam, and I only knew it because of this method)! My document ended up being around 20 pages once I had completed the questions. I skimmed through it, and whatever information didn’t seem to stick even after reviewing it, I re-watched those specific videos for that topic.

I made it a goal to watch Pathoma and Sketchy at least 3 times (more for topics I was struggling with). I only did one pass of Physeo videos, but physiology just sticks quicker than other subjects for me. I’m not a fan of sharing my grades on social media because I want to avoid creating a competitive environment, but I will say I performed phenomenally on my NBME’s- better than my midterm averages! Even though I walked out of each exam thinking I bombed it, I was proven otherwise!

I would like to say that whatever studying method work for me may not work for others. I know some classmates that can’t understand Sketchy regardless of how many times they try watching it, and others studied only our class notes rather than board prep material. Everyone has their own method of studying that helps them become successful. I have shared my resources and my method but, by no means, am I saying this is the ONLY way to study.  This semester was one of my most challenging ones yet. I had to move apartments the day before my first midterm due to mold growth, and then my washer decided to flood my apartment the weekend before my 2nd midterm. I was faced with a ton of organizational commitments and meetings, which I couldn’t put to the side because I signed up for it. Followed by several celebrations in my group of friends. It was a hectic schedule that required major time management skills, but I managed to pull through and figure out how to organize my commitments best. I hope this helps gives a good idea into studying for NBME’s, it’s kind of like studying for a mini step!

Stay tuned for more Med School related posts! I’ve been tossing around ideas for vlogging or writing. I tried vlogging during my studying, but I noticed I didn’t enjoy editing the clips afterwards. Therefore, I’ve decided to stick to my blogging and instagram because I enjoy sharing my stories on these platforms.

Stay Motivated,

Preety 🙂

 

10 minute Healthy Pizza

The words healthy and pizza never go together, especially if you’re in medical school. For the love of pizza, I’ve been experimenting a few recipes and finally found one that I enjoy and can make during a short break between studying!

 

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup Chickpea flour
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (optional)
  • 200g Tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • pizza toppings of your choice
    • I used peppers, onions, pineapple, and feta cheese

Directions:

  1. Pizza Crust
    • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
    • In a medium bowl, combine the chickpea flour, water, olive oil, sea salt, and garlic powder
      • you may add garam masala and cumin seeds or any other spices, I like putting an Indian twist on my pizza
    • mix the ingredients, it won’t look like dough, it will have a little more liquid consistency
    • Place the “dough” on a pan and use a spoon to create a round, even layer
    • Allow the dough to bake for 5-7 mins until it turns a light brown along the edges
  2. Pizza Sauce
    • In a pot, add the tomato paste, basil, oregano, chopped garlic and allow it to cook for 5 mins to allow the flavor to soak
      • it’s advised to do this while the dough it in the oven to save time
  3. PIZZZAAAA
    1. Allow the dough to cool for a little bit while you chop your toppings of choice
    2. Add the Pizza sauce and store the remaining
    3. Add your toppings
    4. Sprinkle your cheese of choice
    5. Place back in the oven for 5 minutes
    6. After 5 mins, allow the pizza to cool
    7. Bon appetit!

 

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Paneer Tikka Masala – Med School Friendly

Time: 10 min Prep, 15 min cooking. Total: 25 minutes

 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Tablespoon oil (Olive or Vegetable)
  • 1/2 Large Red Onion
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped Garlic
  • 2 Large Tomatoes
  • Paneer/ Tofu/ Chicken (Literally whatever you please)
  • 2 cups water
  • Tikka Masala Paste/ make your own paste (recipe below)

Directions: 

  • If cooking with Paneer, warm a bowl of hot water and allow the paneer to soak the water
    • If cooking with Tofu or Chicken, be sure to cook in oven or pan beforehand
  • Chop Onions and Tomatoes
  • In a large pot, add the oil and allow it sizzzllleeee
  • Once the oil is warm, add the onions and garlic until the onions are starting to turn a little brown
  • Add all the tomatoes, and cover the pot with lid
  • While the tomatoes are cooking, remove the paneer from the bowl of water and slice into cubes
  • Occasionally stir and crush the tomatoes until it creates a paste
  • Add the paneer, stir until all the paneer is covered in the paste
  • Add the tikka masala paste and 2 cups of water, stir
  • Cover the pot for about 10 minutes, occasionally stirring, until everything has mixed together and the curry looks nice and creamy
  • Serve with Garlic Naan, tortilla bread, or Rice!

 

Tikka Masala Paste ( make only if you don’t have pre-made)

  • Tomato Paste
  • 1.5 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1.5 tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • ** For Vegans, use vegan butter and pureed tofu to replace the heavy cream**

 

Bon appetit!

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Med School Essentials

You’ve just been accepted into medical school, you celebrated, cried, laughed, and reminisced about your journey to gain that acceptance letter. Once you’ve finally taken in that you’re going to be a doctor, you have that “Oh Crap, what do I need for Med School” moment. We have all had it.

Professors provide an extensive list of textbooks, the school provides an extensive list of materials, and you’re looking at your bank account going ” Well, I’m too poor for school”.

Through my post-bac and my first year of medical school, I’ve accumulated a list of important supplies for medical school. If you have any questions, feel free to send me an e-mail!

Technology: 

  • Apple iPad Pro 
    • I have everything on my iPad from class notes to textbook PDFs. Especially during class, I can highlight and mark my notes when my professor does on my iPad without having to re-write my notes. I have a lot of classmates that learn better if they re-write their notes, and they also use their iPad. It eliminates the piles of paper you will accumulate in one semester, and your notes will be saved on all your devices.  I have the 10.5 inch because I already have a 13-inch laptop where my notes get synced to, but some prefer the 12 inch iPad.
    • NOTE: Other classmates have the Surface Pro or other laptops that are integrated with a touchscreen, they all love their own technology for it works best for them. Just be sure to have a stylus with whichever choice you make.
  • Apple Pencil
    • Necessary to write all over your notes on your iPad.
  • Laptop/ keyboard for the iPad
    • You will find yourself needing to type notes frequently, be sure to have a laptop or add a keyboard to your iPad.
  • Noise Canceling Headphones
    • I prefer Bose just because the material is lighter on my head and prevents me from getting headaches, but any brand you’re comfortable with works!
  • External Hardrive
    • DON’T BUY YOUR TEXTBOOKS! You can most likely get access to supplemental material from upperclassmen if you ask! This applies to literally every medical school, regardless of where you attend. I have everything on my hard drive, and if I happen to need something I’ll open it on my laptop and airdrop to my iPad.

Supplies:

  • Highlighters
    • I prefer Stabilo or Zebra Mildliners as my go-to highlighters. Sometimes I need to write out pathways on printer paper just to organize my thoughts and condense my notes, especially for biochem and immunology. Any brand of bright highlighters work, but the ones I’ve listed don’t smear which I find as a huge plus.
  • Colored Pens
    • Like the highlighters, I have my go-to brand- Muji colored pens and Stabilo fineliners. Again, if you have a brand that already works well for you buy more! Colored ink is a must in medical school, especially during pathways.
  • Planner
    • May it be Google Calendar or a physical planner, be sure to have some form of planning and organizing. In Medical School, it’s vital to plan ahead and stick to your schedule.
  • Adjustable Laptop Stand 
    • You will find yourself sitting  majority of the day studying, constantly looking down to your laptop is really bad for your neck. I recommend getting something that adjusts your laptop screen to eye level.
  • Water Bottle
    • If you don’t have time to eat, at least stay hydrated- LOL. That’s my motto in life! I have the Hydro Flask 40oz Waterbottle, which does a good job keeping my water cool for long periods of time.  A little on the pricey side, but I found it worth the money. Just for a reference, I got my 40oz Water Bottle for around $36.

Textbooks/ Supplemental 

* I use these to supplement my learning in these classes w/ class notes unless the exam was NBME.*

App’s

  • Goodnotes
    • my go-to to open PDFs of textbooks or notes
  • Osmosis Med
    • My school provides us with a premium subscription to this, so I use it to take my notes. It does a really good job of scanning my class notes and providing links from the internet prevalent to the material if I need extra help!
    • When it comes to studying for Step 1, I’m planning on using their step 1 custom schedule creator!
  • Essential Anatomy 5
    • Get this when you take Anatomy!
  • Firecracker
    • Pre-made flashcards and practice questions for every subject! I love it!! You can get a 60-day free trial through AMSA if you’re a member.
      • I have  Promo Code for AMSA if you’d like a discounted membership in order to take advantage of all their discounts– e-mail me for more information!
  • Forest
    • Plant tree’s during your dedicated study time and avoid distracting yourself!

Medical Supplies 

  • All the medical supplies on your school’s list you will need throughout your studies. As for the stethoscope, it doesn’t matter what kind you get or even the brand, as long as you’re clearly able to hear heart and lung sounds.

If you have any questions in regards to medical school or life in general, feel free to e-mail me using the form below!

Follow me on Instagram if you aren’t already @foodiewithscrubs!

Stay Smiling,

Preety 🙂

 

 

Why the Caribbean?

Hey Guys!

As many of you know, I am now a first year medical student and will be starting my first day September 6! I have been hesitant to talk about my medical school journey, where I’m going to school, and defending my decisions. I seem that it’s so easy for others to judge me incorrectly by looking at my decisions, rather than the story behind them.

It occurred to me this summer that there are few people that earn a seat in medical school the non-traditional route voicing their story on a social media platform. I found myself, at times, saddened and often deterred from my goals because others achieved something I worked so hard to get and didn’t.  The past year has been filled with ups and downs, emotionally and mentally. Thoughts constantly eating me inside “what will I do in my life”, “I don’t see myself doing any other profession”, or “Am I built for this career”.  A girl who was once so optimistic, goal- orientated, and professionally driven entered the storm of self-doubt. I’ve had 4 months off school, spent time with the people I love, and helped others grow out of their shell. In the past 4 months I found myself, that optimistic girl that’s out to change the world. I realized that I may not be the only individual in the world that has felt that way, so I decided to write this blog today as inspiration to someone that feels that they are stuck. Here is my story:

Becoming a physician has been a life-long dream, not because my parents forced it onto me, but for the lives I can change. As a child, one visit to the doctor’s office would make my fever or cold go away in a few days, it was magical! Obviously, growing older you learn that magic is called antibiotics- haha! I wanted to be that magician in a white coat that makes all pain and suffering go away with a smile and lollipop. In middle school and high school, I was your typical pre-med wannabe. Loaded up on AP courses, volunteered at health clinics, interned at family practices, national honors society, and competitive Bhangra performer (Punjabi folk dance)- perfect was never enough. In college, joining organizations, keeping up grades, having a social life, continuing dance, creating organizations, traveling abroad, researching and acing the MCAT all became a priority. Now, a practical individual would be like “impossible”, and it was. Making everything a priority made my performance horrible in every aspect. I decided to do a B.S in Psychology with a minor in Biology, if I could back I would change that- but that’s a different story. My resume was very strong but in the midst of making that my grades slipped and my MCAT score wasn’t competitive enough.

I took the MCAT a total of 3 times, the second being my best. I approached senior year of college knowing that my grades made getting accepted into medical school difficult, but not impossible. Therefore, I applied to a post-bac program associated with a medical school. My MCAT was on par, the extracurricular’s above par, but my GPA subpar, and I just had to meet the minimum GPA requirement for the post-bac program to be admitted into their medical school- I could easily do that, or so I thought.

To my surprise, the coursework in the program was actually first-year medical school courses, along with clinical based exam questions under a time limit. Expecting a program to help me transition into medical school, I fell into a trap of being in medical school but not actually a medical student. I barely passed my first course during the first semester, but I grew and learned how to study for medical courses and ACED that final exam to bring my grades up. The second semester was much easier for me because I knew how I learned best, that’s something I failed to understand the first semester- What works for others might not work for me.  For 8 months, all I did was study all day, every day, during every second, and it wasn’t enough. After receiving scores from the second-semester cumulative final, I learned I was 1 exam question, just 1 point, away from achieving the minimum GPA to enter the program. 1 point determined my future for me, 1 point.

I returned home depressed; sat on the couch all day watching Netflix, didn’t talk to anyone, and had a difficult time sleeping through the night. I kept thinking to myself what do I do now? Should I apply this cycle and wait a year to see if I’m accepted? Should I pick a new career where I wouldn’t be happy but could move on with life? Should I broaden my scope and try for the Caribbean schools with a good reputation in the US?

After a lot of researching, and self-reflection I decided to apply to Caribbean Medical Schools for several reasons, here are a few:

  1. I would get experience practicing medicine outside the US and be exposed to medical cases I probably would never see in the US
  2. I’ll learn about other cultures, as an aspiring family physician, I find it vital
  3. My clinical rotations will be in the US, so only 1.5 years on the island
  4. An MD is an MD at the end of the day

Will my path to residency be difficult compared to US graduates? Yes. Will I be able to fulfill my life goals and become the magician I’ve always wanted to be? Yes. Do I have any regrets so far, not at all. In fact, I feel blessed that I’m able to attend medical school in an environment where I won’t be snowed in all day, or won’t be able to enjoy nature, good food, or a different culture during my breaks. I’m excited about this new journey.  Where am I going you may be wondering? The American University of the Caribbean located in Sint Maarten, and yes I will go plane watching on Maho Beach!!

 

If you feel stranded or lost please, PLEASE, PLEASE, e-mail me. I would love to hear from you,  maybe lend a helping hand, and watch you succeed as well. My journey has taught me to never limit myself, never exclude possible situations, for life may have something else planned for you- so just go with the flow.

 

So there it is, that’s my story. Feel free to follow me on Instagram @foodiewithscrubs

 

Much Love,

Preety

Chickpea Tikka Masala

Ingredients: 

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 jalapeños, chopped (or any hot pepper of choice)
  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
  • 1.5 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • A pinch of cayenne powder
  • 1.5 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas (also known as Garbanzo beans)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Cilantro (optional)

Directions 

  1. In a large pot, warm the oil over medium heat
  2. Add the onion and salt, stir until onion turns golden brown
  3. Add the jalapeños/ hot pepper and ginger-garlic paste, cook until the smell of ginger-garlic subsides (about 2 minutes)
  4. Add the garam masala, cumin seeds, curry powder, paprika, and cayenne powder. Stir for 1 minute
  5. Add the crushed tomatoes and vegetable broth, stir and cook for 5 minutes
  6. Reduce the heat, add chickpeas and  coconut milk.  Cover the pot to allow steam to cook, stir occasionally for 5-7 minutes.
  7. Add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice, stir
  8. Garnish with Cilantro (optional)
  9. Serve with rice, naan, or soft tortillas

 

Check out my Instagram page @foodiewithscrubs 

Enjoy,

Chef Preety 🙂