Cardiac electrophysiology is a medical sub specialty of Cardiology. They treat rhythm disorders of the heart. Why do we need a subspecialty just for rhythm disorders? Shouldn’t a regular cardiologist be enough? Does the rest of the world have as much specialization as the United States medical system? Does increased specialization even increase patient outcome?
One of my fellow students was arguing that there are too many subspecialties in the US medical system. They mentioned that the rest of world relied more on general practitioners with a larger breadth of knowledge as opposed to specialist with a more narrow focus. I would love to see studies about this topic.
In general females have better bedside manner than males. They just have an aura of caring. Maybe they are more comfortable in expressing emotion. Maybe it is the nurturing instinct. I have noticed that many male physicians are very competent, but they seem too stoic in the presence of an emotional patient. Society discourages emotional displays in men. Sometimes that emotional touch is all you can do for a patient. They just need to know that you care. Displays of empathy from the physician also greatly increases patient compliance. As men we need to take a playbook from the women and master competence and compassion. Some times we need to tone down our machismo. Check out the link below http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/6618603.stm
This is a fascinating speech on discipline and self control by Dan Ariely at TED talks
I have to admit that medicine might not be so bad after all. I absolutely HATED and DESPISED the first 2 years of medical school. This should be obvious to you judging by the early content of this blog. Medicine is not too bad. The reason it is getting interesting is because of the patients. Once you get to interact with patients you feel like you are their advocate. I know this sounds mushy and cliche but it is true. You picture these good people in an epic battle against the unfairness of the universe. The universe dealt them a bad hand by making them ill. Now you want to help them fight back against the unfairness of life. You start to bond with them. They make you laugh. Sometimes their pain makes you want to cry. But at the end of the day you want to be the most competent healthcare provider you can be in order to give these good people a fighting chance at correcting their illness. Dont get me wrong. I would have still gone into a different profesison but medicine is not the hell i initially made it out to be. I will probably change my mind back to hating it by the time residency comes along ( if i even make it that far). But for now its ok. So hang in there all you pre meds and basic science student.
I just completed my first week of clinical rotations and i have noticed something. I have noticed that careers are determined by a persons connections. I would argue that gaining the favor of your superiors is a slightly more important skill to learn than actual mastery in a field. In third year medical school your recommendations depend on what your attending and residents think of you. If you get a bad recommendation because you are not a team player then you are screwed. Luckily i have really friendly doctors teaching me and my fellow classmates so it is easy to work with them.
Getting a job is increasingly becoming a game of networking as most organizations are hiring from the inside of the organization. What people refer to as networking is really just being part of the inner circle. The work force is not always a meritocracy. It’s often who you know as opposed to what you know that will land you a position. Networking and nepotism rule the day. While i will NEVER kiss ass to get accepted, i am starting to realize the power of “networking”.
the ability to control one’s feelings and overcome one’s weaknesses; the ability to pursue what one thinks is right despite temptations to abandon it.
Discipline is the essential element to self improvement. Most of our problems in life are due to a lack of discipline. We could be in great shape. The reason we are not in great shape is because we lack the discipline to drastically restrict caloric intake and to run 4 miles a day. We could be bilingual except we lack the discipline to learn 50 new Spanish vocab words a day. We could be in a great relationship but we lack the willpower to fix our flaws. We have the power to make our lives awesome if only we had the discipline to not quit after a few days. Discipline is power. The people with the most messed up lives are the people that lack discipline the most ( barring external circumstances that ruin a persons life).
Our own bodies sabotage us in our efforts to be disciplined. Every cell in our body wants to take the path of least resistance. Laziness is encoded in our DNA. Even the laws of physics reward laziness. Electrical current takes the path of least resistance. This is why the majority of people break their New Years resolution. Nature does not want us to keep those resolutions! We must transcend nature.
How much control you have over your life is proportional to how much discipline you have. Life is hard enough. It is even harder when we are sabotaging ourselves. My goal is to develop discipline in all aspects of my life. Not just a few. People are often highly disciplined in one arena of their lives but lazy in another. I am tired of living like that. I want it all.
Contrary to what they told me when taking the MCAT years ago, it does not predict your USMLE Step 1 score. The rationale for taking the MCAT is that it is a good predictor of how you will perform on the medical boards. This is not true at all. It is very possible to not do well on the MCAT and to do well on the USMLE and vice versa.
It is possible to game the MCAT. At least it was when i took it way back in 2009. If you do about 5 thousand questions you will have seen every possible way they can ask those questions. Berkeley review and Princeton review had the best representation of the types of questions on the test. I saw physical science questions on the MCAT that looked exactly like the questions in the Berkeley review books. There were no real surprises on the MCAT.
With the Step 1 there is a certain level of uncertainty. A person can not prepare for about 30% of the test. These are often experimental questions. These questions cover things that you could not have anticipated. They are also purposely obscure questions that are not covered in review books. The medical board test writers do this on purpose. They do not want to know how well you can memorize a review book. They want to know if you have critical thinking skills.
So if you are struggling with the MCAT just take comfort in the fact that it does not indicate that you will be a bad doctor. Just do every question you can get your hands on multiple times and you will be fine on test day. So do Princeton, Berkeley, Exam Krackers and Kaplan question banks at least twice and on test day you will see repeats.