You can get closer to AMBOSS than ever before by following us on Instagram, where we are dedicated to sprinkling medical humor and knowledge into your weekly routine. Our handle is AMBOSS_Med, which can be found here.You can also get involved! Our new campaign, #AnatomyOfAMedStudent, features medical students like you on the AMBOSS Instagram platform. The objective is to provide a space for medical students to voice their opinion on the many issues facing medical education. If you would like to participate, please contact Kristy at email@example.com.
Meet some of the medical students we have featured thus far.You could be next!
Laura Henry, UPenn
Q: What motivated you to become a physician?
A: "I was a late comer to the medical field. I majored in Political Economy at Williams College and went on to New York City after graduation to begin a career in finance. Fueled by a need for purpose, I started volunteering an hour per week at the Hospital for Special Surgery. After a few months of uncertainty on how to proceed, along with the rock-solid support of my family and friends, I took a leap of faith. I left my job in finance, started volunteering for full mornings at HSS, helping out in a homeless shelter’s medical clinic in the afternoons, and babysitting at night to pay the rent. The following year I completed a pre-med post-bac and am now a third-year med student at Penn. I haven’t looked back once." Read Laura's entire answer on Instagram at AMBOSS_Med.
Armaan Rowther, Johns Hopkins
Q: What are some difficulties you've faced during med school?
A: "The most difficult aspect of training to become a physician is not relinquishing your humility along the way. Education is defined as much by what we learn to forget as by what we learn to remember. In med school, while memorizing dizzying amounts of information, I am afraid we too often unwittingly learn to forget our limits - the limits of not only our own knowledge and abilities, but also the limits of our own importance. This is evident every time we think ourselves too busy and our time too precious to speak with our patients rather than at them."
Michael McClurkin, Harvard University
Q: What was the driving force behind you choosing to study medicine?
A: "I grew up in Buffalo, a rust-belt, post-industrial town in western New York. We were quite poor, but at the same time, I didn't know any better. My Mother always stressed the importance of a good education and encouraged me to do my best in school. As a teenager, I started to realize that poverty, through stress and lack of resources, can have a negative impact on health and I wanted to make sure that those who are in poverty had a voice in healthcare. By the end of secondary school, I had committed to studying medicine. By the end of university, I began to realize that public and private forces exert a large influence on the well-being of all members of society through the development and implementation of policy, and that I should be familiar with how these forces work in order to protect the patients I aim to serve."
Abby Goron, University of Maryland
Q: What are the most difficult aspects you've encountered in med school?
A: "My first year of medical school was a roller coaster of emotions. I learned so much, more than I ever thought I could cram into my head. I'll be honest - it's a lot of studying, especially since I'm in my didactic years and not yet on the wards full-time. There are days where it feels like I'm just in a cycle, repeating the same things over and over again and that my life is pretty mundane. I think that's the worst part of medical school so far - that when you have a huge exam, or a weekend of studying, all other parts of your life just stop. It's tough to focus on anything. But, there are ways that I stay motivated and keep things in perspective. One, I just remind myself that it is such a privilege and an honor to have the opportunity to study medicine, something that really fascinates me. Many would kill for this education, so I always need to express gratitude. Two, I remind myself why I'm doing this, which I've come to appreciate, not so much for myself, but for my future patients. I've learned it is much more important to treat a patient and not a disease - to go above and beyond for them! And those thoughts are what keep pushing me forward."
Negin Karimian, Charité
Q: What was your deciding factor in choosing to study medicine?
A: "Since I was a child, I have always dreamt of being a singer. Then, my mother got breast cancer when I was 12-years-old and I decided that I want to fight diseases because they seem so unfair. Sickness tends to strike when you least expect it, or at least that has been my experience. Thankfully, my Mom got better, but it made me realize how precious life is, which led me to study medicine. Similar to many other doctors, I have a 'helper' mentality. Having experienced nearly losing someone I love, I want to help others going through the same thing. I hope to show them that anything is possible and you have to keep fighting! Additionally, I think the creativity I gain as a singer will make me a better doctor. And no worries - I still sing!"
Gina Aeckersberg, Goethe University
Q: What is an important lesson you've learned in medical school?
A: "I think one of the most valuable things we learn in medical school is the importance of teamwork. During my last year in med school, a family from Afghanistan came to the hospital with their sick child. The parents only spoke Farsi and we had no idea what was wrong with their daughter. Luckily, one of the guys that worked in patient transport spoke Farsi and he agreed to help us out. We ended up admitting the child and from that day on he would round with us every day until the family left the hospital. This experience really taught me how incredibly important it is to have a great team that goes above and beyond for their patients. To me - this is what makes medicine such a great field to work in!"
Amna Iftikhar, CUNY School of Medicine
Q: As a medical student, what are some important things to reflect on?
A: "I reflect on why I wanted to study medicine in the first place. I picture myself seeing patients and being the doctor that they trust their lives with. This is the biggest motivation because I realize that although what I am learning now is going to show up on the boards, it is also going to show up in how I treat my patients. I remember it is vital for me to get a good understanding of the material if I am going to help heal patients and be the best doctor I can be."