Homemade Everything Bagel

Woke up one morning craving bagels, so I made them. I was surprised to learn how easy and quick making bagels at home can be!

Ingredients:

  • 4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour **
  • 1.75 tsp rapid rising yeast (can use 2 packets of active dry yeast)
  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 3 tablespoon white sugar ( I used Monk Fruit sweetener)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Seasoning: Equal amounts– you can use anything you want to season
  • Garlic Powder
  • Basil leaves
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Taco seasoning

Directions:

  1. Combine the flour and yeast in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix the water, 3 tablespoons sugar, and the salt. Combine with the flour and yeast
  3. Mix with hand for about 5 minutes or until the dough is stiff
  4. On a flat surface, knead the dough until smooth (~8-10 minutes)
  5. Cover the dough in a bowl with plastic wrap or a towel and let it rest for 15 minutes
  6. Cut the dough into 12 pieces and roll into smooth balls. Poke a hole in the center of the ball with your finger. I spun the dough on my finger to make the hole larger, but you could shape it with your hands as well
  7. Cover the 12 bagels on a plate and allow them to rise for 20 minutes
  8. In a pot, fill it with water and add the 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and mix. Allow the mixture to come to a boil
  9. Pre-heat oven to 375 F
  10. Add seasoning into a seperate bowl
  11. Prepare greased baking sheet with wax paper
  12. When the bagels are ready, place 4 bagels ( depending on your pot size) into the water and boil for about 30 seconds
  13. Drain the water when removing the bagels, season the bagel right after draining the water by placing it into the bowl with seasoning and then onto the sheet– Repeat this step for all the bagels
  14. Bake bagels for 25 to 30 minutes
  15. Enjoy bagels hot or cold, bon appetit!

** you can make these bagels with whole wheat flour as well**

IM, WK 2-7: Inpatient

Oh hey there friends,

I’m back with a short 7-week update, lol.

I’m a little over halfway done with my internal medicine rotation and man have I learned so much in this short period of time. Trying to balance life with studying and rotations has been a challenge, especially in regards to keeping my sanity and mental stability but things eventually fell into place.

In the past 7 weeks, I’ve completed 2 weeks on the floors, 2 weeks in Nephrology, and 3 weeks in Ambulatory (outpatient medicine).

The 2 weeks on floors, I requested to be placed on the family medicine inpatient team because I’m really interested in family and thought it would be a great chance to show my face and get to know the residents in the program. Compared to the other “teams” on the floors for IM, the family medicine team took on a few more patients and was on call longer than the others, so I saw how overworked interns are in this aspect. I also noticed how robotic medicine has become due to the EMR. The residents wanted to check up on their patients more than just rounds, but their notes kept them busy way past sign-out. This is where medical students come in handy; since the residents had to work on paperwork, we would check up on the patients, contact the nurses, and collect blood for labs. I learned how the hospital functioned and where everything was mostly during these 2 weeks. I also really enjoyed working with the family med residents, felt like I belonged! I’m looking forward to my family medicine rotation in November when I get to work with them some more, but in the clinic!

After completing 2 weeks on the floors (AKA patients admitted in the hospital), I chose to do an elective in Nephrology. If I want to make myself seem like a studious individual, I’d say I chose Nephro because the kidneys aren’t my strongest system. But, if I’m being honest here (which I am), I chose this elective because it had the best hours and allowed me to catch up on all the studying I fell behind on during the floors lol. The attending expected me to be there from 11am-2pm (with a lunch break from 12-1:45), but I chose to come in around 9 to follow some of the patients with the residents so I could present. I actually enjoyed my time in Nephrology because the attending REALLY loved to teach. He would lecture us after our lunch on different topics but make it interactive, so we were engaged too. When I say we, I mean me, the 2 residents, and the 4thyear medical student that was also on the service. I walked out of Nephrology finally understanding how to calculate acid-base disorders, how to interpret lab values and the conditions/ concept of dialysis. Thus far, nephrology has been the most academically challenging and fulfilling- honestly worth my time.

Now I’m back on Ambulatory. I started off in the clinic when I first started rotations, and I’m back on until the end of this week. Coming back after completing inpatient services really showed me how much I LOVE the outpatient setting. Preventative medicine is something I’m extremely passionate about, and I feel the most fulfilled with the patients coming in for their primary care visit. The clinic has two aspects to it, the first being a med-student run clinic where we see the patients ourselves and present to the attending who has the final say. The second being a resident-run clinic where the medical students just shadow the residents. I obviously prefer the med student-run, but we have to do both every day. My favorite part of the clinic is being able to actually explain to the patients what is going on in their bodies so they can understand why compliance is so important- the hugs and kisses I get from them remind me why I chose this field every day. Also, knowing other languages have come in handy SO MUCH! I’ve had patients that I’ve spoken to in Punjabi and Hindi. Since I am able to communicate with them in their native language, it’s easier for me to convince them to take preventative measures (getting vaccinated, and lifestyle modifications). I’m working on learning some Spanish since we have a huge Spanish speaking population- let’s just say I have a loooooong way to go LOL. Also, working with AUC alumni is so much fun, we really look out for each other at this school, it’s no joke.

Outside of medicine, life has been chill. I’ve been getting time to relax and just enjoy life in New York… a part of me doesn’t want to leave this state-but that’s a story for some other day. Besides my indoor plants dying, life has been good. I see myself growing in different aspects every day. There have been bad days leaving me to cry in bathrooms to great days resulting in a random Amazon shopping frenzy. There have been days where I jump out of bed excited to get to work, and then those days where I just can’t do it anymore. Medicine truly is a challenging marathon that knocks you down every time you get back up, but it’s worth it.

So my first shelf is in about 4.5 weeks, I don’t know if I feel prepared or not, but I’ll just say that I’m not LOL.

Till next time…..

Stay Happy,

Preety 🙂

IM, WK1: Ambulatory Medicine

Hey all!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here, but I believe it’s a great time to get back to writing! You will hear a lot more from me now that I’ve started my 3rd year and would like to document as much as I can during this phase of my career! I can’t believe I’m finally seeing my OWN patients (well kinda, lol, still have to report to the attending who then finalizes the assessment and plan). 

This week has been short because of Labor Day weekend, but man was it exciting. I’m starting my first rotation in Internal Medicine. I currently have 2 weeks of outpatient (and for those that know me, you know how much I love outpatient primary care LOL). I’ve been having a blast finally applying the knowledge I attempted to drill into my brain for the past two years to a real patient, an actual human being looking to me for comfort and answers. It is extremely daunting at first because in the back of my head I wasn’t sure if I was ready for this especially throwing me into a patients room on my first day with no knowledge about how the clinic works, no access to the electronic medical records, and an immense amount of doubt in myself and my capabilities. I couldn’t sleep properly 2 nights in a row because of the nerves… 

On the first day, my classmates and I went up to the chief resident to check-in and receive our assignments. We then proceeded to the clinic and [thankfully] ran into a few upperclassmen that gave us a quick rundown of the outpatient clinic and what to expect. This is one (of many) things I love about my school, regardless of where you are in your career, a fellow AUC student will ALWAYS have your back and help you, there is no competition or trying to outshine your colleagues. It’s a quality a lot the US med students we work with notice and admire. 

Upon reaching the clinic, we were fortunate enough that the attending allowed us to shadow the current students for a bit to get a feel of how the clinic works before we ventured out into the patient rooms on our own. This is where I quickly realized the difference in training between medical schools- it may have been a bit too evident on my facial expressions (oops). 

On the island, our ICM ( introduction to clinical medicine) curriculum emphasized the importance of patient-centered interviewing- let the patient tell you what’s going on. The attending straight up told me we have a 15-minute time limit to take a focused HPI and conduct a focused physical exam (doesn’t seem like a lot of time at first, but it’s more than enough). Shadowing the other students, I noticed that their training seemed to be very much doctor centered. Asking yes/no questions, not sitting down while taking the interview, and asking pertinent questions to complete the visit rather than hear the patient out. I’m not saying one method of interviewing is better than the other, but as someone who has been a patient before I’d prefer to be seen with a doctor that doesn’t seem to be rushed on time, but rather seems to genuinely care for my concerns and listen to me. Your body language can tell a patient a lot more than you think. Sitting there, it didn’t feel like we were able to get the entire story from that patient- and that bothered me. 

I’m also learning medicine isn’t perfect. Everyone seems to be overworked while providing the best care they possibly can. Being able to observe a lot of these factors put into perspective my goals for the next year and going forth into my career. I love the hospital I’m working at, being able to care for those coming from a lower SES to a higher SES. From native English speakers to those that need an interview conducted via a translator, and even providing care to inmates that have stories of their own. The diversity in care is unbelievable, and seeing all of these patients (regardless of their background, religion, and ethnicity) as just a human being that is vulnerable and counting on us, me, to listen to and tell their story to help them is a wonderful blessing. 

Due to the hospital social media policy and HIPAA, I won’t be sharing too many details, but I would love to share some memorable cases that I’ve seen this week. Especially for those of you still in basic sciences or about to start, I know I’ve always said to myself “the chances of me seeing this pathology are highly unlikely” but man did I prove myself wrong, and I hope this motivates you to learn that extra tidbit of information as well. 

Memorable Cases: 

  1. Chlamydia trachomatis
  2. Granulomatosis with polyangiitis
  3. Severe Iron-deficiency Anemia
    1. hammer down the differences in lab values between iron deficiency and anemia of chronic disease- huge pimping question from the attending 
  4. Helicobacter pylori 
  5. Chronic Kidney disease secondary to Diabetes Mellitus Type 2
  6. Osteoporosis 
  7. Varicose veins 
  8. GERD
    1. may have progressed to peptic ulcer disease :O
  9. non-compliant Hypothyroidism
    1. Goiter was evident and palpable

Keep striving for your dreams, you’re capable of achieving them. 

Sending you all good vibes, 

Preety 🙂

MEDICAL SCHOOL TIME-LINE

Hey there!

Many have asked what the typical medical school timeline looks like, and I wanted to do my utmost best  to provide some insight on this. In every country, the route to becoming a doctor varies and since I’m familiar with the US system the best, I will be discussing that below. If you’re from another country, and your system is different please feel free to share in the comments below!

In the United States and the well established  Caribbean medical schools,  you are required to have completed your pre-medical requirements with a bachelor’s degree and an MCAT score to apply for med school. Just like how your  pre-medical coursework was targeted to prepare you for the MCAT, the same goes with your coursework in medical school and board exams.

Medical school is 4 years,  two of those years are dedicated to basic sciences and the other 2 are dedicated to clinical rotations. In your 4th year of medical school, you prepare to apply for the Match, which, if qualified, places you in a hospital for a real job. This is when you finally start getting paid, after 8 years of higher education! Here’s the breakdown:

Years 1-2

  • Basic Sciences, in classroom learning
  • Subjects
    • Anatomy
    • Molecular biology
    • Cellular biology
    • Genetics
    • Histology
    • Embryology
    • Biochemistry
    • Immunology
    • Physiology
    • Microbiology
    • Pharmacology
    • Pathology
    • Biostatistics
    • Behavioral Sciences
  • Towards the end of your 2nd year, you will begin preparation for the USMLE Step 1, which is an accumulation of all the knowledge you have attained in your first 2 years of medical school (subjects listed above)

Year 3

  • Clinical Rotations
  • Once you have passed your USMLE Step 1, you are permitted to enter the hospitals and begin your clinical training.
  • Each school is different, but every school integrates the CORE rotations into your schedule
  • The CORE rotations have shelf exams at the end of each one. You are required to pass these exams to illustrate you have gained the necessary knowledge.
  • CORE Rotations
    • Family Medicine
    • Internal Medicine
    • Psychiatry
    • Surgery
    • Pediatrics
    • OB/GYN
    • *** Rotations beyond these vary b/w schools ***
  • Towards the end of your 3rd year, it is a good idea to Take the STEP 2 CK and STEP 2 CS, for it’s beneficial to have these scores in before ERAS opens (the Match application)
    • Step 2 CK tests your clinical knowledge, it will be another multiple choice exam taken at a testing center
    • Step 2 CS tests your clinical skills, and this will be taken at various locations around the US (depending on the test date you choose). This is NOT a multiple choice exam, instead, you will have 12 patient encounters in a 8 hour time span (with breaks of course). You will be examined on your interaction with the patient, the diagnosis, and of course, the patient notes.

Year 4

  • Apply for residency (ERAS)
    • Opens September 15, you want to submit your application as close to this date as possible!
    • You are able to work on your application earlier, but can’t submit until Sept. 15!
  • Residency interviews
  • ELECTIVE ROTATIONS
    • take advantage of getting your foot in the door at hospitals you’d like to work in, for if they see your face and positive work ethic you’re more likely to match!
  • Upon graduation, you finally will have a Medical Degree and can be titled Dr.

MATCH DAY

  • This occurs on the 3rd Friday in March of every year, it’s the most exciting day for medical students because they find out where they will continue their medical education!

Residency 

  • A DOCTOR’S FIRST JOB!
  • A resident is still being trained by attending’s in the specific field, but you finally get paid for the work you do- AKA start paying those students loans!
  • USMLE Step 3
    • usually taken after your 1st year of residency
    • The test spans the length of 2 days
    • It’s 500 questions testing everything you know about medicine
    • FINAL USMLE exam!
  • After the completion of USMLE STEP 3, you are on the road to finally being able to practice medicine without supervision (after completing your residency and passing your state licensing exams).

 

Medicine is long, hard journey filled with examination every STEP (haha) of the way. That is why it’s important to enter this field for the right reasons. If you’re thinking about medicine because you’ll be making money, sorry my friend, with the amount of schooling required- med school doesn’t really pay off as much! I hope this helps to provide some perspective on the road of becoming a Doctor in the United States.

 

Happy Studying,

Preety 🙂

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