This face sums up my feels about top tier medical schools.
I’m a realist, and I didn’t have the grades, MCAT score, research, publications, volunteering, trips, or tragic backstory that might have made a top tier med school look at me twice. If I’d been granted and interview I might have had a shot- I’m wonderful in person- but you have to have the numbers and stats they are looking for to get an interview.
I wouldn’t change my undergrad experience for the world. I’m so grateful that I had to work two jobs at all times to support myself, that I majored in photography and experienced that world, that I had so many misadventures with boys and true adventures with friends, that I got to figure myself out a little and live some before med school.
If you are shooting for the top tiers, best of luck. It just wasn’t in my cards, and that’s ok.
My mother says, “It doesn’t matter where you go. It’s what you do when you get there.” So it does not matter where you are educated. If you do not perform well on your USMLE or COMLEX (wherever you go to medical school), do you think anyone cares where you went to school? No, because you failed.
I hope people who ask questions like this find their focus. If my only option for a medical school was to be educated in a forgotten, back woods part of the US I know damn well I would be there with my books and stethoscope, ready to learn.
Ermargerd and all around me
Truth! Whenever people “hang out” or “study in groups” all I hear are wild stories and details I hoped that I would never learn about people. Two first years are already engaged. How? They met at orientation. How are they engaged? The drama doesn’t end there…
I’m on cardiology right now, and yesterday the fellow taught us some basics for interpreting EKGs. The trick is the have a thorough algorithm and do it every time so you don’t miss anything.
Disclaimer: Obviously this is just a cursory intro so folks won’t look like…
Back in the “good ol’ days” (as recently as 10-15 years ago or so), American ER’s could be staffed by pretty much any doctor that wanted to make some extra $$ and who could jump through any applicable state licensing hoops (Family Med, Internists, Surgeons, DERMATOLOGISTS?). Then, as the ER Specialty became better defined and more attractive to medical students, the ER’s started requiring their doctors to be board-certified ER-residency-trained physicians.
At the same time that this change was occurring, ER’s were getting slammed with larger and larger hordes of patients who were using the ER as their primary care provider (“I have a runny nose, I need my diabetes medication refilled, I need a note for missing work yesterday”).
The Perfect Storm: Lots of primary-care doctors looking to work in an ER (shift-work) setting, either full-time or part-time — PLUS lots of patients needing “urgent” medical care in a way which won’t clog up the ER. And thus, Urgent Care was born.
Optimally, in UC we deal with patients with issues that can’t wait for a scheduled primary-care appointment, but which aren’t serious enough to require an ER visit or hospitalization.
Realistically, we get the same crazy mix of patients that an ER gets, except that unlike an ER, we can turn people away for certain medical or financial reasons (large unpaid bills from prior visits, medical condition requiring emergent care, etc.). We don’t get any ambulance transports. My particular urgent care isn’t physically attached to/located in a hospital, so we can’t admit patients to the hospital ourselves (those patients either go to the ER or we contact their primary-care physicians to arrange an admission). Patients DON’T know when their condition needs an ER vs. UC visit, so we often end up “triaging” patients to the appropriate setting.
We get to do lots of minor procedures (my favorite!): splinting fractures, removing foreign bodies from ears/noses, draining abscesses and cysts (gag choke splutter), pelvic exams, suturing lacerations, treating simple burns.
The level of services provided by Urgent Cares varies. Some locations just have a doctor with a prescription pad; others have attached radiology and lab services, can provide IV fluids/medications, and/or can do cardiac monitoring.
I work Urgent Care full-time, because I like the pace and variety (and I like NOT carrying a pager or having to take call!). But you can do a traditional Family Med practice, and work a few shifts a month in an Urgent Care (to keep your sanity, haha).
From the Archives: The History and Nature of Urgent Care clinics