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Preparing for Finals

It’s that time of year again, football season is in full swing, the leaves have fallen, snow is on the ground, and finals are looming. This is usually a good time to start gathering your notes together, and getting into finals mood so you aren’t going through a mad rush finals week trying to find everything and cram it in. The goal of this post is going to be to outline a few techniques that I’ve found helpful over the last 4 semesters.


This is in caps because that’s how important I believe it is, there is a very good reason the semester is spread out over 16 weeks, and you have multiple exams...

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The House of God: A Review of a Lifetime Must Read

“Samuel Shem has done what few in American medicine have dared to do—create an unvarnished, unglorified, and amazingly forthright portrait revealing the depth of caring, pain, pathos, and tragedy felt by all who spend their lives treating patients and have dared to stand at the crossroads between science and humanity.” - New York Times.

I’ve been sitting here for over two hours with a blank screen trying to come up with good enough words to inspire you to not only go buy this book but read it. What can I say? You’ll laugh too much, you’ll cry a little; and you’ll be disgusted, aroused, and amazed at times. The House of God is a book written by Samuel Shem who portrays an intern’s first year at one of the best teaching hospitals in the country. Roy G. Basch and his five intern friends go through one of the hardest, most memorable years of their lives. His girlfriend, Berry, and mentor, Fat Man, are there helping him every step of the way. Shem uses his quick wit to reveal the processes of the medical system’s hush, hush secrets: doing everything possible to turf patients to other units, doing nothing for a patient and buffing the chart to save their lives.

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Review of Hot Lights, Cold Steel

Hot Lights, Cold Steel is a novel written by Dr. Michael Collins who is an orthopedic surgeon living in Chicago with his lovely wife Patti and twelve children. In his book, he talks about his four years of residency at the Mayo Clinic. I know it’s coming up on the middle of the semester now so I will keep this post short and sweet.


I like that there are short chapters because I usually finish a chapter before I set a novel down. It has many stopping points which are great for pre-meds so we can do a little at a time, especially if we’re reading during the semester.

There are points in the book where Dr. Collins writes absolute poetry and I wonder how he could possibly articulate a feeling or a thought about a patient’s case and make it so relatable.

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My own Dante's Inferno...or Applying to Med School: Jon Edition (Part 1)

Welcome back to PMH! As you probably noticed, we've been taking a bit of a hiatus recently. I've been super swamped applying to med schools all summer, Mo's been working his tail off and hyperstudying for the MCAT, and Brian is doing triathlons. On top of all this, all three of us are now back in the swing of school, living our (stereotypical) overcommitted lifestyles. So, yes, we apologize for lack of posting. But soon we hope to start posting regularly again!

Ok, that being said, onto the post. DISCLAIMER: any and all of the following are strictly MY experiences, MY opinions, and MY PERSONAL advice. Aka: They should not be taken as gospel...unless you choose to worship me as some sort of cult leader. In that case, shoot me an email so I know I have disciples.

Anywhooo, so as I've stated before, I literally spent almost all of the summer working full-time in a lab and applying to med school. "Whoa, Jon," you're thinking, "did it really take you ALL summer to apply? Why?!" Well young Padawan, lemme start from the beginning.

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Book Review: The Happiest Kid on Campus

This is the newest book by the author of “The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College” a great book about various tips to survive and succeed in your first year as a college student. Harlan Cohen’s back with a great book for parents and students, his new book “The Happiest Kid on Campus” the book is chock full of tips for parents and students to come into a great college experience. We were sent copies of this book from Cohen’s publicist a few days ago, and have been going through it since then.

Cohen writes in a very entertaining style, his books keep you reading while filling you with information. Unlike some of the other books I’ve read about the college experience, this book isn’t dry. I wouldn’t suggest reading through the whole book flip through the contents and read issues that apply to you directly. This is a great book for both parents and students to keep on their shelves. Cohen backs up his points with stats and other tips to help you and your parents have a smooth transition in to the college life.

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Going Back To School: Here’s Your Motivational Speech

I’m sure you’ve heard a hundred different going back to school ads already and I’m sure by the time you actually go back to school you will have seen thousands. If only the sales were a 100% off? You’re getting those feelings in the pit of your stomach every time you think about the first day of school. The lab reports that you’re going to have to write, the hundreds of hours of studying, the unforgiving midterms, the club meetings, and the many other directions we’re going to be pulled in from everything else. Let’s face it, we’re all dreading it. But, we have to go back, right? This is the only way we can get to where we need to go, medical school. So, here are a few motivational words before you start the school year.

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Exercise 101: Five Tips for a Better Pre-Med Work Out

We have all the time in the world study, we have time to go to class, and we have a little time to hang out with friends. The only thing we don’t have time for is ourselves. We don’t have time to eat, we don’t have time to cook, we don’t have time to sleep, we don’t have five minutes to breathe, and we certainly don’t have a few minutes to exercise. Plain and simple: exercising will give you enough energy to make it through eighteen hour days, will get rid of all that pent up stress and frustration, and will double the memory storage you have in your brain. Credentials? Working out for six years now; I’ve run/walked a marathon, few half-marathons, and numberous 5K’s; I’ve learned just about everything the hard way. Let’s learn how to work out.

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