How to Spot a Med Student

Med StudentHow do you spot a med student? They look just like everyone else. They smell just like everyone else. They act just like everyone else. Or do they????

1. A staple of every med student is the black circle under their eyes from lack of sleep.(Technically this isn’t always caused by fatigue so don’t feel too confident they are a med student).

2. Messy hair, sweat pants and a general lack of style or fashion sense in public.

3. Extreme interest in others bowell movements, illnesses, sicknesses, or injuries.

4. Abnormal addiction to coffee.

5. Habitually writes down a to-do list or over-schedules unnecessary or frivolous events, such as dinner or showers.

6. Borderline hypochondriac.

7. An obsession about germs and washing hands.

8. A faint smell of formaldehyde on the person in question.

9. The person in question gets wayyy to excited about buying school supplies such as highlighters, mechanical pencils, binders, etc.

10. Finally a childlike exuberance for classes or seminars that provide free food!

Bonus: Subject in question always seems to be connecting imaginary dots in the air. As if they are making some great connection.

What it takes

My brain was not built for science. Instead it was built for sports knowledge and trivial facts about the Civil War, pirates (don’t ask) and movie quotes. My wife makes up for my lack of science based knowledge which is a good balance in our relationship. For any pre med students or anyone thinking of entering into med school I want to give you a list of observation I have noticed in med students I hang around and what it takes to get that white coat. So here it goes….

1. A strange nerdy passion for science. (I don’t have it like I said but you really have to get excited about all the different areas you will be covering and have a real thirst to learn because your nose will be in many books…I mean a lot)
2. Passion for people. Why are you becoming a doctor? Money? I hope not. You really have to love helping others and it will give you great satisfaction at the end of the day.
3. Coffee (just kidding but seriously you will)
4. Competitive mindset. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen my wife and her friends push themselves to beat one another on their test. Having a mind set that you want to do well and not just get by will go a long way trust me.
5. Rigorous study habits. If you think you studied a lot in undergrad you haven’t seen nothing yet. (Anybody get the BTO reference? Anyone? Ok moving on) If you have a day where you study 6 or 7 hours you got off easy or you aren’t trying hard enough. Late nights, all nighters, and long periods staring at books and a computer screen listening to lectures will be in your future.
6. Sacrifice. A some point you are going to have to sacrifice the bulk of your social life and much of your social activities.
7. Tough skin. You might have educators and doctors who yell or criticize you at times but it is a learning process and you have to learn to not take it personal.
8. Check your ego. You may have been the top student in the past or think you know everything about everything but you will be mistaken.
9. Flexible. Your hands should be able to touch the floor when you bend down. No I am kidding. I mean things are in constant flux and you will have to adjust to different doctors, environments and teaching styles.
10. Humor. You gotta laugh. Life is too short and you will lose your mind if you don’t find the humor in having 3 tests in one week.

I hope I didn’t scare anyone off. What do I know the closet I have been to being a med student was watching a marathon of Scrubs reruns.


Stress!Hey everybody just wanted to share an article I came across about Med Students Handling Stress. A couple parts made me chuckle. Med Students tend to “neglect their own health”. (Hahaha, how ironic) Thought this would be good to share with anyone interested. I think this goes back to my previous post about taking some time out for yourself and relieving stress. (I have a strange feeling this will be a reoccurring theme…hmmm). Anyone here ever tried Yoga?  (I know this goes against man code…but) Yoga is a kick ass workout and I promise you it will relieve stress. Any macho dudes who think this shit is easy I welcoming you to come try it. Takes a ton of strength and balance.

On another related note disconnecting from school is important. My wife and I have a bunch of shows we like to watch to take a break from the whole school and life thing and just zone out to a show. I just got my wife into Arrested Development on Netflix. (If you haven’t seen the show drop everything you are doing and go watch an episode immediately). This time to disconnect gives you that little 30 minute to hour vacation to just think about absolutely nothing. Trust me it works…and not just for med students. Now if someone can give me a technique to relieve my stress from watching the Spartans
this year, that would be great. I”ll be back soon!

Saturday Nights

Most college students are allergic to studying on weekends it seems. Students avoid studying on Friday and Saturday nights like the black plague. If you are a grad student and particularly a med student you have no choice. I am not sure how everyone else spends their Saturday nights, but I have a stack of books to prove that I spent my time reading (lame I know). When my wife has to study on a Saturday night (aka every Saturday night) I use it to my advantage. I don’t spend my time watching TV or twiddling my thumbs. I like to use that time to improve myself as well. Join a gym, learn to love reading, take up a hobby, learn a new language, I am. Hola! I have gotten very far as you can see. Studying ALL THE  TIME is a part of being a med student and you will have to get use to giving up your free time for your studies. If you are a loved one of a med student don’t feel sorry for yourself or your loved one. This is a chance to expand your mind while they are studying. When my wife found out I was taking a mostly online course this year she was ecstatic proclaiming “Now you can study with me!” Indeed I can. I strongly suggest shutting of the TV and making a list of things you would like to do to improve yourself. I have a couple suggestion below:

My mission

My wife and I before medical school started

My wife and I in Utah

Hey everybody this is my first voyage into the world of blogging. Pretty excited and I usually don’t shut up, so please tell me when to stop. If you go to my about page you will see that I am an MSU grad and a husband. I have been married for close to a year now and have had some unique experiences in my first year of marriage. The reason I say that is because I have had the opportunity to watch my wife make her way through the rigors of medical school. I have been there for that anatomy class and that first test. I have seen the dedication and time consuming hours it takes just to get by. I have become a dummy and a walking experiment for my wife and her med school classmates. I understand the stress and pressure that students are constantly under and I am constantly amazed by my wife’s work ethic, dedication, and passion for what she does. So here is the mission of this blog….think of it as a journal. My goal is to reach out to anyone in the medical school community that is dating, engaged, married to, or otherwise related to a medical student and understands the challenges that are loved ones face. Use it as a place to vent, to ask question or seek support or just see how your experience compare to mine as a medical student spouse.  Hope I can entertain you a bit and if you want to connect with me further hit me up on twitter @philipgolas.