What is it like for a non-doctor to marry a doctor?

This question was posted on Quora and answered by Carla Kayani:

I just married a doctor about three weeks ago but we have been together 8 years. She was at medical school when we met.

The downsides are that you can feel starved of attention sometimes. My wife has just finished an 80 hour week. Even when they are home, they must constantly study, prepare presentations and do compulsory online portfolio work. These responsibilities will only increase as they get promoted.

They can often struggle to understand your problems especially when it comes to difficulties in your own job. They deal in life and death as a job where you don’t. My wife resuscitates babies and such so they can invalidate your feelings when you’re upset about something you experienced at work. This can be extremely distressing on a lot of levels.

You will always feel inferior in the relationship. Sometimes in anger, they will remind you of your lack of worth for being ‘just a chef’ or ‘just a performing arts student’ or ‘just a now and then actor’.

You have to listen to some quite boring work stories that you can’t possibly understand because your highest scientific qualification is an O-Level in Biology as you took linguistic and theatrical subjects.

Their parents may resent that they married you instead of another doctor.

You feel embarrassed by being around their doctor friends because you feel like a mere mortal especially if you don’t have a degree. You find yourself overcompensating by exuding wit, vivacity, loquacity, self-taught knowledge and then hate yourself.

The upsides include feeling very safe in medical emergencies or during sickness unless it’s mental health problems where you’ll often get no understanding at all. They have a profession which is not actually as well paid as people think but the pay steadily rises over the years. You can survive off one income comfortably providing neither of you are particularly materialistic. Also, their doctor friends tend to be interesting, intelligent, friendly and have impeccable manners. They would never make you feel excluded or inferior. Largely, it probably wouldn’t cross their mind to think of you in that way.

You might feel validated in your intelligence and attractiveness. You must be those things if an attractive doctor genius married you.

If you have a fetish for doctors like me, you feel you’ve won the jackpot.

You get to play sexy doctor games with a real doctor. This is sexual heaven.

Sometimes they come home wearing scrubs looking all heroic and important.

You get to hear some really juicy stories about strange doctors, nurses, patients, crazy baby names, funny interactions, general gossip.


The Upside:

1. No threat or ego issues: Ever saw your friends resenting their spouses who are in the same line of work, and have become more successful? Here, I know that eventually doctors tend to earn more, and hence am fully prepared for it mentally. There is no scope of jealousy or resentment, and we both can be as successful as we can without hurting each other’s feelings. Further, we both get equal opportunities to appear more intelligent in front of each other.
2. Interesting conversations: She tells me about the curious cases that come to her, I tell her about the new marketing campaign I am working on. We exchange work talk, not really expecting expert opinions, but interesting ones nevertheless.
3. Network: I know I can count on a dentist, a pediatrician, a surgeon and many others whenever I need them because of her. She knows who to call if her computer crashes or she needs life hacks or she needs to find good pubs around 😛 . Also, typically medical students are too engrossed in their studies to really get to know outside life, so my circle of friends prove to be a good break from that for her . 😛
4. Understanding: She understands when I get really busy, or not able to take her call, or get to work at wee hours, cause that’s what she expects from me.
5. Min level of intelligence expected: Think about it. Doctors are anyway intelligent. Intelligent enough not to fall in love with idiots. Hence both parties get the benefit of no-stupidity-no-frustration factor.

The Downside:

1. Patience: Chances are, your doctor spouse was standing non-stop 6 hours assisting surgeries, hasn’t had anything since morning and has slept only 6 hours in last 48 hours. In such cases in whatever you speak or breathe, please tread carefully, very carefully. Be patient and considerate, and remember, ‘This too shall pass’.
2. Doctor Ego: Fact is, doctors had to study more and grill themselves for longer hours doing harder work than any engineer will ever do. This might lead them to think that doctors are better than engineers or anyone else. Again, a delicate topic to stir up.
3. Family awkwardness: You might end up feeling a bit ignored in case your family members get more interested in discussing their minute health issues to get free consultation than pampering you like you were used to. I, however, enjoy the peace. Then there is also the pressure of standing up to the expectation of ‘how can a doctor and non-doctor work it out together?’
4. The doctor vs the spouse: Often when you will hold her hand, she will suddenly observe some weirdness in the bone structure of your hand and start cautioning you against medical conditions you have never heard that affect body parts you never knew existed.

Bottom Line:
Be Understanding, Kill the ego, understand that your backgrounds are different and you both will never ever understand each other’s career completely. Enjoy the diversity, and make what time you get together count.

3 Highly Effective Study Habits

3 Highly Effective Study Habits

Students confront many issues in their lives, and because of all of the challenges you deal everyday, it’s very difficult to concentrate on studying. And yet if you are in school, you have to do at least a little studying in order to grow from year to year.

The gold to effective studying it’s not in studying longer, but studying wiser. You can start studying wiser and smarter with these 3 proven and truly effective studying habits.

1: It matters how you approach your studying

So many people look at studying as a mandatory task, not an pleasure or opportunity to learn. That’s ok, but experts have found that how you approach something matters as much as what you do.

Sometimes you can not “force” yourself to be in the right spot, and it is during such times you should simply dodge studying. If you are (maybe) distracted by a relationship issue or finishing an essential project, then studying is just going to be a frustration for you. Come back when you are not obsessed by something else going on in your life.

2: The place you study is important

A lot of people make the mistake of studying in a place that don’t give you the right focus. Place with a lot of distractions makes it a poor study area. For an example,If you try and study in your dorm room, you may find your TV, computer or your roommate more interesting than the reading material you are trying to master.

The library is quiet area and good place where you can settle down and study. Search for multiple places on or of your campus – do not pick the first spot that you find “good enough” for your needs. Finding an perfect study place is very important, because it’s one you can count on for the next few years of your studying.

3: Start using memory games / mnemonic devices

Memory games known as mnemonic devices, are good methods for remembering pieces of information using a transparent association of some common words. Often people twist together words to form a nonsense sentence that is easy to remember.

The first letter of each word can then be used to stand for something else – the piece of information you’re trying to remember. This method don’t work for everyone, so if they start making you trouble, don’t use them.

Mnemonic devices are truly helpful, because you will start using your brain more to remember visual and active images than you do to remember only a list of items.

Image credit: Photographer:Wavebreakmedia

How many hours do medical students study daily?

Also, you should be careful with taking advice from people who have always done well. Correlation =/ causation. Take care that some people are simply better at memorizing/learning or using more time than you (including prior knowledge), but using less-than-optimal strategies. You should actively test and track your strategies including their efficiency.

The first thing is you have to invest in the time and know you have been given a great opportunity to do what you love. Don’t squander it with a half-a** effort.

I grossly underestimated the amount of time needed to study on the first exam. I tried studying effectively (meaning no distractions) 3 hours a day for the first exam. Big mistake. I bombed it pretty bad, but not hopeless.

Now I’m studying effectively 8 hours a day (12 hour cramming week before exam) with at least 7 hours of sleep consistently. My scores and retention shot to the moon. Despite what some “bros” who tell me to “f*** sleep”, it will hurt your retention and make your study effort 2x less effective.

Next, you want to study smarter.

Here’s some tips I’ve procured that are from consensus studies or data that are at least suggestively (not necessarily sweepingly conclusive, because these scientific fields can change) good advice:

  1. Minimum information principle. Try to structure your knowledge to the bare minimum needed. Prioritize. Use symbols and abbreviations. Be careful of going less than minimum though. Again, you shouldn’t try to learn more than needed. I know this sounds rather short-sighted, but you are better off in the long-run, simply because you seriously cannot remember everything in medicine, unless you are a savant with photographic memory. A simple way to verify this is to calculate the amount of knowledge, make it into a deck, calculate your personal forgetting curve (with your own factors adjusted for it), and the amount of time you have. The amount needed is generally more than the time given to get close to 100%. You will specialize later anyways and get the sufficient training needed. Then rarely ever use anything else. Consider that you have a time limit and it is good to know your limits. Note that redundancy doesn’t necessary violate this minimum information principle. I know it sounds confusing, but try to summarize/centralize everything in one sheet of paper and memorize. Then try several layers of knowledge (clinical relationships etc) on top of it.
  2. Mnemonics (visual and verbal) and understand what you are learning before memorizing. I’ll let you figure out the best mnemonics strategies since there are too many. There should never be memorization without understanding. You will forget meaningless knowledge quicker. Evoking unique emotional connections, especially the “dirty” ones, generally work better. Also, beware of similarities of materials spilling in and confusing yourself.
  3. Running sleep basically sleep when you feel like it, but wake up (don’t toss and turn or hit snooze) when you’ve had enough – for most that is biphasic: 12am–7am and take a siesta 1–1:25pm. It varies by person.
  4. Be in the right environment. The “prime time” to study is first thing in the morning and after your siesta. That means no distractions. No music with lyrics, no TV, no social media. Pure focus. I complete all my dumb admin work at night. Seek convenience when it makes sense – $20 could run a long way if it saves you 1 “prime” hour.
  5. Spaced repetitions, active Q&A recall, (a TON of) practice problem tracking – don’t let your ego fool you into thinking you remember what you study – track your retention meticulously and isolate “memory blocks” – parts that suck your studying time, with little to no retention. Doesn’t matter what you use Anki, Memorang, Firecracker or simply old school flashcards etc. Basically the same principles. Personally I use Firecracker because it syncs with my individual school’s coursework, then off to never-ending Qbanks.
  6. Be brutal about your weak points. Ego or fear will set you back. Don’t waste time on stuff you’ve mastered or easy questions. Revisit your weak points much more often. It is one of the hardest to admit your own weaknesses and just do it, but once you get past the initial barrier, you will see results. Failure on difficult questions or weak points will make you progress the most. Remember, if you do what is hard, your life will be easy. If you do what is easy, your life will be hard.
  7. Get the right material and (re)sources – despite some recommendations of studying together, IMO I advise against having fellow students teach you – get an upperclassman, TA, tutor, professor. Get it right the first time (especially with their thought process after completing the course), so you NEVER get the wrong information or low priority information (generally unintentional). Unlearning mistakes will suck up double your time. Some prep books are filled with mistakes and will hurt you. First Aid book recommendations are solid. You just have to discriminate the source of knowledge and hierarchy of information.
  8. Eat right, exercise right, sleep right. These will make your circulation and sleep quality better and thus better retention/brain blood flow. Your brain constantly needs the right amount of nutrients on demand – no more no less within a range. Avoid simple carbs and sugar like the plague, and turn off all sources of blue light at least 1–2 hours before bed. Find out your optimal ratio of carbs:fat:protein. Eat a good amount of protein and fiber to avoid hunger pangs. I also recommend buying a tub of high-quality whey protein powder to save money on protein. Also remember that getting really sick or getting injured during exercise will set you back really far on studies, so guard your health!! I could go on about hGH secretion, sleep quality and memory formation but you get the idea.
  9. Supplementation is fine, but don’t go crazy on supplementation, especially herbal extracts can hurt your liver. I just take small amounts of high quality GMP/USP grade caffeine, green tea extract, and fish oil (well, also creatine for workouts) – generally stuff that’s available in food already with strong evidence, but simply time or cost prohibitive to get good amounts. The BEST supplement is water. Be careful of nootropics or study drugs. I tend to avoid them besides caffeine because of lack of research or quality/cost-prohibitive.
  10. Don’t burnout. Get some fresh air and take SHORT breaks from the computer screen. You should take some time to network too, and have a life. At least 10% of your time. Vacations are necessary. Being a top student because of too much studying, and then burning out will not get you anywhere.

I could go on about tiny details about memory, learning, sleep science, supplementation, exercise physiology and nutrition, but I’ll save it for your own research, especially since I’m too lazy to reference a massive amount of articles (probably over 100). I am a certified NASM personal trainer and nutritionist, I’ve doing sleep/learning/biochemical research and meticulous self-experimentation all my life, and managed to get into a good medical school, despite the odds of running 2 businesses at the same time, while in school. I welcome skepticism, especially since I haven’t referenced anything, so please let me know if you find a better strategy than what I’ve already presented.

This question was originally posted on Quora, and we selected the best answer, which was written by:

Why are lab coats and physician coats white colored?

The white coat gives a specific emotional response from patients.

Traditionally, they were beige, but white is synonymous with innocence, being trustworthy, cleanliness and life. In the past, doctors wore their street clothes most often or black, reflecting the mortality and frequent deaths seen in their chosen profession.

Today, the coats lend an air of professionalism and evoke feelings of a doctor’s superiority and intelligence in patients.

Recently, my sister received her white coat in a ceremony held at her medical school. Many medical schools do this as a rite of passage, symbolizing beginning a physician’s role. Some hospitals use the white coat to differentiate between nurses and doctors.

The white coat is currently being debated. In 2009, the American Medical Association voted to stop using the white coat Because it can harbor bacteria and germs, being worn from one visit with a patient to the next.

Essentially, today, the white coat evokes a feeling of confidence in patients. It says, “I’m a healer, a scientist, a trustworthy person with lots of school and training.”

Older people especially tend to like the white coat but more doctors are moving to just their everyday clothes or scrubs and a stethoscope draped around their neck.

Posted by Michelle Roses on Quora

Why do I feel sleepy when I start studying? What can I do?

This question was originally posted on Quora. Answer 1 by: Alaka Halder, Princeton University ’15

A2A. Studying for the SAT wasn’t my favourite task in the world either, so I’ll share some of the things I did:

  • Get away from your computer and other distractions. You’ve already pointed out that having all those soft copies of SAT guides is pretty useless if you’re on edX all the time. So print out those soft copies, or better yet, buy some hard copy SAT guides. I think they smell nice 😛
  • I hated reading the SAT guide. You’re being tested on what you learned in high school anyway, and I didn’t feel that I was benefiting from reading/passive reading. So I took a lot of practice tests instead of “studying”, and checked my answers against the answers manual. If I got something wrong, I tried to figure out why. It’s hard to get distracted when you’re actively engaged in something like test taking.
  • A technique that you might find helpful for building your studying stamina is the very simple Pomodoro method (Lifehacker: The Pomodoro Technique Trains Your Brain Away From Distractions):

    Developed in the 1990s, the Pomodoro technique uses a timer and a simple concept: write down a task, work on that task for 25 minutes without interruption, and then take a break for five minutes. It takes the pressure off the task, and discourages multitasking. The goal is to pace yourself through the task, while still maintaining progress. This method enables you to concentrate without distractions, and encourages deep thinking,

    Lifehacker

    Anyone can concentrate for 25 minutes. After you’ve worked for four 25 minute chunks, give yourself a longer break (e.g. 15 minutes). I know people find this helpful if they’re procrastinating a lot, or if they find themselves retaining too little of what they’re studying. The remain answers are here.

Top 10 Things Your Doctor Wants You To Know

It may surprise you to know that doctors, in fact, get our most up-to-date medical knowledge from the National Enquirer (Man Gives Birth to Baby With Wooden Leg, Hospitalized With Splinters!), Sports Illustrated (Swimsuit Edition) and Reader’s Digest. The “I am Joe’s Pancreas, Kidney or Ovary” series personally got me through first year medical school.

A recent issue of Readers Digest discussed ten things that doctors wish they could tell you but were too diplomatic. Included were admonishments such as: call if you’re canceling your appointment, wash up, be honest about taking your medications blah blah. But nobody has ever accused me of being tactful and in fact few have accused me of being a doctor.

And so here are ten things we’d really like you to know for your visit.

1. Please turn off cell phones. While listening to your heart I get alarmed when I suddenly hear a strange galloping musical techno-tonic rhythm. So before I apply the paddles to your chest I suggest you turn off the phone. Some actually insist on taking calls. “Excuse me doctor but I should get this. Hi, snookums! Listen, I’m in with the doctor right now and judging by his red swollen face he looks busy, so let’s keep this to five minutes. Yes, his waiting room is full but I guess that’s why they called them patient, eh?”

2. Please don’t tell me the color of your pill.  “I need a refill for the white one, smaller than a breadbox, you know…round, I often take it with water.” Perfect. Narrows it down to 38 million medications.

3. Please do tell me your symptoms, not your diagnosis. “Well my friend and I were studying Reader’s Digest and I know we both have the rare form of Eastern Moldavian pseudohypoparathyroidism. We need a referral right away to the best specialist in town. Oh, and if you could fill out these disability papers.”

4. Don’t play with your tongue stud while talking. I swear I am so distracted by watching this marble flicking out at me, that you start to morph into a Komodo lizard testing the air. “So I (clickclick) was wondering if you could check my (clickclickclick) ears. I keep (clickclack) hearing this strange noise when I swallow. Kind of a clicking sound.”

5. Please don’t turn a child’s visit to a busy doctor into a field trip growth experience. “Tell the doctor what’s wrong Aniston Moonchild.” Three minutes of girl playing with shoelaces, “Go on now. Tell him when you’re ready.” Three minutes of silence as she explores the blood pressure cuff. “Perhaps you could tell me, Mrs. Bloggins.” “No, no just give her time.” 29 minutes later, “You tell him, mom.” This is the same parent who, just before the child is about to get a vaccine, warns, “Now don’t move a muscle or this will REALLY REALLY hurt, OK lovepuffin.”

6. Please notice those two really large earplugs called a stethoscope that I wear when I take your blood pressure or listen to your chest. I know you’re talking because I can see your lips flapping and hear some muffled noise from your lungs that sounds like Chewbacca with a sinus problem.

7. Please don’t try to sneak an extra patient in. “Oh and since we’re here could you take a look at Ron’s prostate, it’s been acting strange lately.”

8. Please don’t call and ask for medication refills without giving me any information. If I had a Nortel nickel for every message on my answering machine like “Hey doc, it’s Bill. I need a refill of my pills. Could you call that in to the pharmacy?” OK, Bill but what pharmacy, what drug and I realize you are the only Bill in your family but… who are you?

9.  Don’t spit into a Kleenex to show me, (gag) just before lunch. “It’s green doc, wanna see?” “I believe you Bloggins.”  “No wait, here.” (hairball choking sound). “Thanks for the diet idea, Bloggins.”

10. Don’t expect me to remember your problem from three years ago. “You remember, the rash I had on my left elbow in ’87. Can you give me the same thing you gave me, the white pill, kinda round… smaller than a breadbox.”

Funny Moments of Doctors during their shift

1. A man comes into the ER and yells, “My wife’s going to have her baby in the cab!” I grabbed my stuff, rushed out to the cab, lifted the lady’s dress, and began to take off her underwear. Suddenly I noticed that there were several cabs -and I was in the wrong one.
Submitted by Dr. Mark MacDonald

2. At the beginning of my shift I placed a stethoscope on an elderly and slightly deaf female patient’s anterior chest wall. “Big breaths,” I instructed. “Yes, they used to be,” replied the patient.
Submitted by Dr. Richard Byrnes

3. One day I had to be the bearer of bad news when I told a wife that her husband had died of a massive myocardial infarct. Not more than five minutes later, I heard her reporting to the rest of the family that he had died of a “massive internal fart.”
Submitted by Dr. Susan Steinberg

4. During a patient’s two week follow-up appointment with his cardiologist, he informed me, his doctor, that he was having trouble with one of his medications. “Which one? ” I asked. “The patch. The nurse told me to put on a new one every six ours and now I’m running out of places to put It!” I had him quickly undress and discovered what I hoped I wouldn’t see. Yes, the man had over fifty patches on his body! Now, the instructions include removal of the old patch before applying a new one.
Submitted by Dr. Rebecca St. Clair

5. While acquainting myself with a new elderly patient, I asked, “How long have you been bedridden?” After a look of complete confusion She answered…”Why, not for about twenty years – when my husband was alive.”
Submitted by Dr. Steven Swanson

6. I was caring for a woman and asked, “So how’s your breakfast this morning?” “It’s very good, except for the Kentucky Jelly. I can’t seem to get used to the taste,” the patient replied. I then asked to see the jelly and the woman produced a foil packet labeled “KY Jelly.”
Submitted by Dr. Leonard Kransdorf

7. A nurse was on duty in the Emergency Room, when a young woman with purple hair styled into a punk rocker Mohawk, sporting a variety of tattoos, and wearing strange clothing, entered. It was quickly determined that the patient had acute appendicitis, so she was scheduled for immediate surgery. When she was completely disrobed on the operating table, the staff noticed that her pubic hair had been dyed green, and above it there was a tattoo that read, “Keep off the grass.” Once the surgery was completed, the surgeon wrote a short note on the patient’s dressing, which said, “Sorry, had to mow the lawn.”
Submitted by RN no name

8. As a new, young MD doing his residency in OB, I was quite embarrassed when performing female pelvic exams To cover my embarrassment I had unconsciously formed a habit of whistling softly. The middle-aged lady upon whom I was performing this exam suddenly burst out laughing and further embarrassing me. I looked up from my work and sheepishly said, “I’m sorry. Was I tickling you?”
She replied, “No doctor, but the song you were whistling was, ‘I wish I was an Oscar MeyerWiener’!”.
Dr. wouldn’t submit his name

5 kinds of Doctors you’ll come across in a hospital

So after graduating from the Medical school I realized that it wasn’t so bad. Just kidding. It was bad. But then again I had loads of fun too. Anyways so when I looked back at my five years as a medical student I realized that both the fun part of a rotation and the misery was almost entirely dependent on the doctor I was rotating with. So based on my observation I categorized my mentors into five groups.

1. THE REALLY COOL DOC: “The name’s Bond, James Bond” .. Seriously, did you lose your way to the theater and end up in a hospital? As you watch this spic and span doctor enter with everything in place and a smile to top it all up you realize this is who you want to be. During his rounds he is empathetic and caring and knows his stuff well. Wow. Could it get any better? Best of all he gives you a chance to speak and make your point without passing any unwanted remarks or judgments. So by the end of your rotation you are all confident, you have gained some knowledge about the rotation and you are still yearning to learn more from this guy. Best time ever!

2. DOCTOR FRANKENSTEIN: “You rang?” When you first see this guy all you can think of is Lurch from The Addams family. I mean did you sleep well in the mortuary last night doctor? Or maybe say hello to the cadavers sir. This doctor looks totally shabby and is definitely sleep walking half the time in the hospital hallways. Now there is a 50/50 chance of him teaching you anything during the rotation depending upon his sleep deprivation status. But the best part is that he won’t notice your absence so all the more to be late on a round or take a tour to the cafeteria without getting into trouble. All in all, fun but not exciting.

3. Le MISERABLE DOCTOR: His wife left him, the system doesn’t care for him, the worlds coming to an end and medical students should never have graduated are the lines you keep hearing from this one. He will be least interested in teaching you any constructive stuff. All you’ll hear will be complaints and more complaints until you realize that people like him are the reason for the high suicidal rates among the doctors. This rotation passed slower than the rest and by the end of it you may have probably ordered yourself a .45 pistol on Ebay. Terrible time of the year this one.

4. THE SARCASTIC ONE: This guy will keep you on your toes 24/7. Leaving no opportunity to make you feel like crap and passing snide remarks each time you get something wrong you realize why people hate doctors so much. Now there is an 80% chance that this one will be a surgeon (not that I have anything against the surgeons. Purely my personal experience. No offence) God complex, perfectionism and constant urge to humiliate someone are some of the weapons he’ll carry around. By the end of this rotation you’ll be turning in a Le Miserable Doctor yourself and wondering whether to shoot him or yourself with that gun you purchased from Ebay.

5. THE OPPRESSED ONE: This guy will remind you of your childhood days. When there was this kid who everyone used to bully for no apparent reason. And he wouldn’t stand up for himself rather always act like he had Stockholm Syndrome. So during your rounds you’ll realize that instead of looking up to him as a mentor he is looking up to you. He is just sad. At first you get a thrill at getting the authority (Hmmm.. So this is how you end up becoming “The Sarcastic Doctor”) but then you get a feeling of guilt and try to cheer him up and act helpful during rotations. You should probably carry a pack of tissues just in case an emotional scene erupts between you two. But this rotation will teach you how to use authority and yet remain humble.

Photo credits:Hand image created by Jannoon028 – Freepik.com

23 things NOT to put on your CV – Resume writing for doctors

Is my resume ok? Is it what is expected?
We hear from many doctors who work with us as locums, or those who are wishing to work in the Australian medical system that they are not confident about their CV. They fear it is too long, too short, in the wrong format, the wrong font, doesn’t include the right information, or is not what is expected in Australia.

For the most part, their fear is well founded.
Having recruited to a number of different professions, I can say with absolute confidence that medical CVs are among the very worst I have ever seen. Somehow, amazingly, many doctor’s CVs seem to really hit every mark of ‘what not to do’. Rest assured, though, that it is certainly a problem you can fix.

Why is it so?
The short answer is ‘market forces’. Did you need to supply a CV to get an intern job? No. When you applied for your next job as an RMO/HMO, did it really matter what your CV looked like? Probably not – there were plenty of jobs.

There is a huge surplus of medical jobs in Australia, so by necessity, you haven’t had to learn the skill of writing a CV. Just a few years ago, you could most likely get a locum job with half a CV written on the back of a banana leaf.

What has changed?
Slowly, the medical employment market is becoming more competitive, and regulated. Many colleges are not increasing the amount of training places available and most employers are heavily formalising selection and employment of locums, even for short term jobs. There is now a need to really master the skill of getting your CV right.

What not to do, in a nutshell
First, forget everything you learnt at school about writing CVs. It was a waste of time. Second, never include any of these items in your CV. You may laugh at some of these, but most of them we see every single day on resumes, some are rarer – but are real examples of what I have personally seen.

1. Photograph
2. Marital status
3. Health status
4. Hobbies or interests
5. Details of children
6. Any paragraph longer than 40 words
7. Sporting achievements
8. Anything negative
9. Anything untrue
10. Your race or colour
11. Date of birth
12. Referees names and contact details (Why? Because you want to control access to your referees)
13. Religion
14. Political affiliations
15. Height or weight
16. Weird or offensive email addresses (such as hotpants69@sexylady.com)
17. Irrelevant jobs
18. Irrelevant education
19. Salary/income expectations
20. Anything spelt incorrectly
21. Irrelevant rants about your life, travel, desires, etc
22. Lists of every single procedure you have ever done, or considered doing in your life
23. Detailed background of your Medicare fraud activities

There are some exceptions to these rules – for example, when an employer or college specifically asks for certain information to be included.

Your homework

Open up your CV right now, identify anything that should not be in there, and delete it. For some of you, you may have only a blank page left!  You now have an excellent starting point to a killer CV.

How do you motivate yourself to keep studying in medical school?

Medical school overloads you with content and you often have insufficient time to cover the materials required but you must keep going on, day after day, being on the ball always. Medical students might be the selected people who can take all the stress, etc but how do you keep yourself motivated always?

This question was originally posted on Quora.com, and below are some of the best answers:

Drew Young, works at Boston Children’s Hospital

The most successful students share something in common. There’s no technical way I can say this other than:

There’s a fire in their belly.

In my first year of medical school, I signed up to be a “big brother” to a 6-year old boy with congenital deafness and chronic renal insufficiency (I am reasonable in ASL so it was a natural fit). I was able to sit with him during his clinic visits and renal ultrasounds. We read together during his 3-hour dialysis sessions trading comic books. I sat with him as the anesthesiologist was prepping him for his much needed kidney transplant. I remember trying wildly to distract him with bad jokes during his IV placement. I saw him buckle on the ventilator while nurses hastily tried to sedate him. I learned of not one, but several medical errors during his hospitalization. I saw how happy his family celebrated his home-coming followed by their desperate struggle to administer the numerous immune-modulating medications. He refused. His family felt overwhelmed and unprepared. When we learned his body was rejecting his new kidney, I couldn’t believe how much I would be affected.

Having this experience as a student lit a fire in my belly. In class, when we were taught about the clinical manifestations of renal failure, the role of hemodialysis, and the peri-operative management of transplant medicine: I was goal-directed in my learning. I was desperate to learn more about mechanical ventilation and how to make patients more comfortable while recovering from surgery. When we encountered child psychology, the content wasn’t elusive – it was familiar and revealing. When we disussed quality and safety in healthcare, I viewed each lessons through the eyes of my paired family and my little brother. I challenged my instructors and I remember believing we, as a medical community, can and must do better.

Take a stroll through the halls of a medical ward, observe a surgical operation, or regularly chat with a would-be mentor. And if the opportunity exists, connect with a patient who sits in the middle of everything we do as a medical community.

The most motivating influences are to find ways that brings focus into your journey, the very fires that lit your passage to medical school.

Peter Wei, Monkey with a pen

Let’s do a quick back of the envelope calculation. Assume that you’ll be practicing for 30 years – although many physicians practice well into their 70s and beyond. And let’s give you a leisurely clinic schedule of 10 patients a day. This means that you’ll have 75,000 patient visits over the course of your career. Many of them will be sniffles and scrapes – common problems that anyone with some training can manage. But some of them will be more challenging, testing the limits of your skills of diagnosis and management. And this is where the depth of your knowledge will make a difference.

Maybe one in 50 patients – 2% of them – have an unusual presentation or require unconventional treatment. They’re the rare “zebras,” the ones where you have to go above and beyond cookbook medicine. Over the course of your career, the number of such patients you will encounter is 1,500. Throughout medical school, residency, and the lifelong learning beyond, how well you learn your craft will have a massive impact on 1,500 lives.

Medical students already been selected by a process that rewards diligence and perseverance. And medical school uses the normal array of academic carrots and sticks – grades, evaluations, and standardized test scores. Most of the time, this is enough reinforcement to study obscure biochemical pathways and the intricacies of human anatomy. But at the end of the day the realization that this is not just an academic game – that how effectively one learns the important stuff will have far-reaching future consequences – can be a powerful motivator.

How To Save A Life: 10 Most Disgusting Medical Procedures That Could Be Life-Saving

Medicine has evolved from the development of lab-grown body parts to fecal transplants, shaping the way patients receive care. Despite their growing advancement, some medical procedures are bizarre and have yet to become accepted. Alltime 10s’s video, “10 Disgusting Medical Treatments That Could Save Your Life,” compiles a list of the most disgusting medical procedures ever performed that may make your stomach turn, but can actually save your life.

Nearly seven out of 10 Americans take at least one prescription drug, and half take two or more, with antibiotics being the most commonly prescribed, according to a study in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings. These statistics reflect Americans’ great dependency on prescription drugs to treat health ailments. While these medications can help alleviate pains and aches, and combat illnesses, the U.S. and other countries have also resorted to animals and other weird sources to treat a variety of health conditions.

Drinking pulverized frogs blended with herbs for asthma and fertility issues is a common practice in Peru. Many natives also drink frog smoothies as a remedy for a low sex drive, but this has yet to be scientifically proven. Animal ingestion for asthma is also practiced in India, where asthmatics swallow a 5-centimeter fish in herbal paste. Thousands visit the one family who administers and claims the fish clears the throat.

The usage of human body parts also tops the bizarre medical treatments list that can save your life. Doctors have practiced natural orifice surgery by having their patients’ abdominal organs removed through their mouths or vaginas to avoid incisions. The first operation involved a gall bladder extracted through the mouth.

Another unusual yet fascinating medical procedure is a tooth transplant into a patient’s eye. Removing a tooth from a patient and placing it in the eye can restore sight. A hole that is drilled in the tooth holds a prosthetic lens that can correct corneal scats once implanted in the eye.

While some cultures swear by them, and others look away, these bizarre medical treatments have been able to save lives.

Click on Alltime 10s’s video for more disgusting medical cures, and see if you can stomach getting through the complete list.

What’s it like to perform surgery for the very first time?

Sure you’ll know what you’re doing and had plenty of practice on things that aren’t people. Sure you’ve watched others doing it. But what’s it like the very first time you cut somebody open to make them healthy? Is there extra fear of messing it up? Were you fairly confident?

(This question was originally posted on Quora, and below is a selection of the best relevant answers.)

Answers:

Robert Gluck

You’re one year old and taking your first steps. Your mom holds your hand as you waddle along with your little padded tush and she let’s go. You’re walking! Yeah! It’s all heavily scripted but what do you know? Mom makes sure that you’re well protected. No stairs. No sharp corners. You fall, you get up.

Training as a surgeon, the first few times you think you’re flying on your own…hopefully you’re not. But, what about that very first time when you’re really flying solo? On the other side of the blade, the scalpel, the lancet, the knife…on the receiving end of your services, is someone you were talking to a bit earlier. Or maybe it was their family. Or maybe not. Maybe it’s an emergency and you’ve never even met! One way or another, on the other side of the knife is someone who feels, who dreams, who lives a life. Someone with a past, a present, and a future that you will help shape…or un-shape. Someone who trusts. You.

They trust you. To get it right. To do your best. And maybe your mom’s not around. Or…you are the mom. And there’s no one else to ask. The buck stops here? So, through your exhilaration, your apprehension, your fear, you need to focus…your life depends on it. Well, as it so happens, not your life. Their life! Their pleasure, their pain, their existence. You deal. You are the house. Focus. Plan. Stay a step or two ahead. Biological systems are complex. Shit happens. Shit like unexpected bleeding. Like weird anatomy. Like infection. And later…Scarring. Recurrence. Metasteses. Wet and dirty bandages. Bandages that fall off. Are too tight. Patients who don’t listen. Patients who are scared and in pain. Your first surgery doesn’t begin and end in the OR. But for now…stay focused…cut sharp and think sharp!

Laszlo B. Tamas, Neurosurgeon with ties to the Bay area and Silicon Valley.

Memory is a filter, and I think mine is more of a filter than most. Frankly, I don’t remember my first surgery as an event. I remember trepidation, clumsiness, slowness, having to think about every step, and sometimes impatience and even hostility from the supervising surgeon.

And since then, a slow, steady growth in ability, understanding, of conscious movement becoming subconscious, of befriending margins without passing them to normal brain, of having an intuitive “feel” for the brain, gray and white matter (subtle), arteries, veins, arterialized veins, and now no longer having any anxiety about cases except for the most unusual and risky. And, looking back at the “surgeon” of 20 years ago, recognizing what a dolt I was! (and maybe not being so hard on the other young dolts I come across). Read all the answers here.

Average salaries for physicians depending on their specialty

According to the American medical group association “AMGA” report in 2006 this is a list of average salaries for physicians in USA. This list may help you if you are medical student or young doctor so you can choose the most suitable specialty for your capabilities and needs.

Orthopedic Surgery – Spine : $688,503

Orthopedic Surgery – Joint Replacement : $605,953

Neurological Surgery : $592,811

Cardiac & Thoracic Surgery : $533,084

Orthopedic Surgery : $500,672

Diagnostic Radiology – Interventional : $478,000

Orthopedic Surgery – Hand : $476,039

Transplant Surgery – Liver : $454,287

Diagnostic Radiology – Non-Interventional : $454,205

Radiation Therapy (M.D. only) : $447,250

Orthopedic Surgery – Pediatrics : $425,000

Trauma Surgery : $424,555

Pediatric Surgery : $419,783

Urology : $413,941

Vascular Surgery : $413,629

Gynecological Oncology : $413,500

Gastroenterology : $405,000

Cardiology : $402,000

Colon & Rectal Surgery : $394,723

Perinatology : $394,121

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery : $390,142

Oral Surgery : $380,500

Dermatology : $375,176

Anesthesiology : $370,500

Otolaryngology : $368,777

Transplant Surgery – Kidney : $365,125

General Surgery : $357,091

Pathology (M.D. only) : $354,750

Nuclear Medicine (M.D. only) : $331,000

Hematology & Medical Oncology : $320,907

Reproductive Endocrinology : $317,312

Intensivist : $313,152

Pulmonary Disease : $306,829

Orthopedic-Medical : $297,348

Neonatology : $280,771

Gynecology & Obstetrics : $275,152

Obstetrics : $275,152

Pediatric Intensive Care : $272,000

Emergency Care : $267,293

Critical Care Medicine : $264,750

Hypertension & Nephrology : $259,677

Allergy & Immunology : $249,674

Pediatric Gastroenterology : $240,895

Ophthalmology : $238,200

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation : $237,628

Neurology : $236,500

Pediatric Cardiology : $233,958

Gynecology : $232,075

Sports Medicine : $231,540

Infectious Disease : $227,750

Rheumatologic Disease : $224,000

Occupational / Environmental Medicine : $223,750

Urgent Care : $222,920

Pediatric Neurology : $219,561

Endocrinology : $218,855

Psychiatry – Child : $216,360

Hospitalist : $215,716

Psychiatry : $214,740

Internal Medicine : $214,307

Pediatric Hematology / Oncology : $212,577

Pediatrics & Adolescent : $209,873

Pediatric Infectious Disease : $209,680

Family Medicine – with Obstetrics : $209,565

Family Medicine : $208,861

Pediatric Pulmonary Disease : $201,841

Pediatric Nephrology : $198,686

Pediatric Allergy : $198,458

Pediatric Endocrinology : $187,957

Geriatrics : $187,602

Photo credit: People image created by Kues1 – Freepik.com