Lion Scratches

When I was 15 my legs were itchy. I couldn’t sleep. I writhed in agony, with no rash or bumps or any other symptoms. I went to my pediatrician, urgent cares when I couldn’t stand it, and even the emergency room once. No one could figure it out. I had a whole cabinet full of lotions and creams to numb and soothe. Eventually I got a referral to a dermatologist with a 2 month wait before her next appointment. When I finally saw her, she told me about another over-the-counter lotion and sent me away to come back in 2 weeks. Still no relief. When I went back she found a few goosebump sized bumps on the back of my thigh and she squeezed them until I cried to see what would come out. The best she could figure was that it was some sort of keratosis. She prescribed Triamcinolone acetonide cream- basically what I now know to be the steroid cream of choice for itchy skin. She didn’t just give me the little toothpaste sized tube either. She gave me a 1 lb. tub with two refills on it. I was instructed to rub it all over my legs and butt at night and anytime after I showered. I followed the instructions; I got less itchy. And then it went away all together. I forgot all about the cream when I quit itching and then the itching would come back, so I used it again every night. The tubs of lotion lasted about six months and I used all of them, along with OTC CeraVe. With three tubs of...

My Personal Statement

Caution: Post with heavy reading! Since I have a lot of friends that just finished their junior year and are applying to medical school, I thought I would share my personal statement. If you’ve been applying then you already know the basic guidelines they give you and some of the more google-able tips you can find on what to put in it- and what not to. For example: About a page in length. Highlight your good qualities. Duh. Say what makes you unique. Things like that. But, the thing is. In all my searching, people rarely share them. I mean yeah, you can find a couple of examples, but I’m pretty sure they’re professionally written so as to be unrealistically bad, or “ideal scenario” good. Is mine perfect?  No. Is it real? Yes. So here it is. The personal statement of a real, imperfect student that really really really wants to be a doctor. I didn’t have all the right connections, I didn’t have the perfect grades, I didn’t have a stellar internship working for the dean of the medical school. I’m an average student that worked my butt off, and never felt like I was going to get in. And now I did. I wrote it myself, but like I said here, many many people proofread it for me. Just to have people read it and tell you different points of view on how it comes across is valuable, I think. You should see how many drafts of it that I have on my computer. It’s a little ridiculous.   “Dear Admissions Committee, As I begin medical school,...

Doctor Patient Relationship

I read this article today. I have often thought about the kind of doctor I will be. Its hard to not know about how terribly our health care system is failing us- it seems like all it is about nowadays is the bottom line, malpractice lawsuits, and the affordable care act. All of these have strong opinions associated with them. The doctor patient relationship is something that I think most people can agree on. You want to have a nice relationship with your doctor, because its built on mutual trust. But the broken health care system we are a part of, isn’t fostering good, trusting relationships, its hindering care. In order for a primary care doctor to make a doctor’s salary, they have to carry a load of 2,500 patients, seeing up to 24 a day at clinic’s I have shadowed at. In this article, which focuses on the emergency room setting, those docs are also prone to the pressure to see more patients, who are often in more critical situations. One thing I’m glad they focused on was the changes in medical education. Since obviously we aren’t doing something right, it is a good idea to look to who is teaching our doctors and see what we can change there. I think teaching social skills is sort of impossible though. Some people have it, other don’t. What they can teach though, is the psychology. What do people like? More specifically, what do patients like in a doctor. I think focusing on how your behavior comes off, and getting feedback on your bedside manner, are excellent and extremely valuable...