Dr. Pauline Chen blogs on medicine for the New York Times, and many of her posts are of interest to premeds. Her most recent post is on the culture of bullying in medical school, a problem that is of obvious relevance to premedical students. The url for her blog is the following:
and the url for the post on medical school bullying is:
Sobering, but worthwhile, reading...
Are you planning to take the MCAT this year? If so, you should take a careful look at the preparation materials available from the AAMC, the organization that produces the exam. These materials include the very first book that you should read about the exam, The Official Guide to the MCAT, an exceptionally useful volume that includes information about the medical school application process as well as information about the test itself. Other AAMC materials include online practice tests that are based on real MCAT items; students tell me that the scores they earn on the practice tests are reasonably good predictors of the scores that they earn when they take the actual MCAT.
Now, the AAMC has produced a useful package of self-assessment tools that will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses at the beginning of the MCAT preparation process. It includes hundreds of real MCAT questions. You can buy a full package that includes questions for each of the subtests, or buy materials for the subtests that most interest you individually. You can even buy a discounted package that includes the self-assessment materials, a practice test, and The Official Guide to the MCAT. See www.aamc.org/mcatsap for all of the details.
Given yesterday's Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, premedical students will need to learn more about the law's provisions in order to be ready for medical school interviews. Here are some useful resources for students:
1) The health care reform background information on the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation website, available at www.kff.org. In particular, the short video describing the provisions of the law, available at http://healthreform.kff.org/theanimation.aspx will help students understand the basic provisions of the law quickly.
2) The book Health Care Reform: What It Is, Why It's Necessary, and How It Works, by Jonathan Gruber et al, clearly explains the problems afflicting our health care system and the ways in which legislators have addressed these problems, both in Massachusetts and nationally via the ACA. Gruber is an economics professor at MIT who helped develop both the Massachusetts and national legislation, and his graphic novel-style book is a quick and accurate read.
3) Atul Gawande, a surgeon and author whose work is very popular with premedical students at the College, wrote a thought-provoking essay for The New Yorker in response to the Supreme Court's decision. The essay, "Something Wicked This Way Comes," is available at http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2012/06/something-wicked-this-way-comes.html .
Here's yet more summer reading relevant to the health care reform debate. Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist, has been writing about health care reform for many years now. In a recent column, he talks about the reasons that he thinks that the free market cannot be used to fix the health care system. Here's the link: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/25/why-markets-cant-cure-healthcare/ His 2006 article in the New York Review of Books on the virtues of a single payer system is also worth reading. Here's the url: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/18802
Every year, the Remote Area Medical group conducts a three-day health clinic at the county fairgrounds in Wise County, VA. This year, teacherken, a contributor to the Daily Kos site who also teaches AP Government in northern Virginia, volunteered with the clinic's dental group, and he posted this passionate diary about his experiences on July 25. For those of you who have not visited Daily Kos before, it is a progressive Democratic site, so teacherken's diary is not nonpartisan- but it is still worth reading.