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The Health Care Summit


The health care summit is currently being broadcast live and liveblogged on the NYtimes website here. We have embedded the video feed above in this post. We highly suggest that if you have the time that you watch it, we will be writing a short summary of the summit and topics discussed later today, or sometime tomorrow.

EDIT: The health care summit is now over, we will be posting a overview soon.

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Interesting Read: Top 5 Reasons to Dislike Pre-Med Students

In our never ending quest to find interesting materials relevant to pre-med students, we came across this gem. Published in Wired Science, by Aaron Rowe, in April of 2008, this article is titled Top 5 Reasons to Dislike Pre-Med Students. After reading this article all we could say was, come on guys, cut it out, not cool; sadly we can apply all 5 of the points mentioned to pre-meds we all know, and unfortunately, we can't say that most pre-meds don't fit this mold. We know quite a few that don't behave in anyway like the pre-med mentioned in the article; but the fact that there are a large amount of our brethren that behave in such manners is disturbing.

 Rowe writes on the current system, and reasons for such behavior:

Pre-med students may be victims of a broken system. Medical school admissions should be competitive, but the standards have become so stringent that scholars must nearly abandon their individuality to ceaselessly study.

Which leads us to ask, does he really have a point? Has the pre-med atmosphere become too cutt-throat? Are we throwing people under the bus, and climbing over the bodies of our fellow pre-meds to reach our goals? If we are do we need to sit down and think about what we are doing?

Lets get a debate going, we want to see what you guys think.

Top 5 Reasons to Dislike Pre-Med Students [via Wired Science]

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Giveaway Update

Over the weekend we hit our 100th twitter follower, and we held another raffle to see who would win the second prize in our ongoing giveaway. The winner was:

Alex Brown
University of Michigan
Class of 2012

We used the same methodology as in our last drawing, a spreadsheet was created and a random number generator was used to pick a number; the number was the number 48, which was Mr. Brown.

Enjoy the book Alex, and we wish you great success on your path to becoming a doctor.

For everyone else, there are still multiple chances to win, we are not anywhere near finishing this giveaway, visit this link to learn more about this giveaway.


Interesting Read: Health reform requires listening to doctors

Dr. Kevin Pho from KevinMD recently published his op-ed piece titled Health reform requires listening to doctors for the New York Times, about why any health care reform will have to gain the support of physicians. Dr. Pho writes about all of the aspects of medicine that have not been addressed yet in healthcare reform, and how they must be addressed before any notable healthcare reform can occur. Dr. Pho writes:

For reform to succeed, the problems facing most patients today, ranging from their deteriorating relationship with doctors to the consequences of medical malpractice, have to be better addressed.

Dr. Pho does a great job of drawing from his experience as a primary care physician, and the frustrations and complaints he receives on a daily basis. He mentions liability reform a major inefficiency in the current medical system, that 1 in 6 injured patients will receive any recompense for their pain, and of that more than 50% goes into legal fees. Dr. Pho brings up the various flaws in the current bills before congress, and then talks about the necessity for reformers to convince physicians, Dr. Pho writes:

A recent Gallup poll noted that 73 percent of patients trusted their doctor’s opinion on health reform, surpassing the trust they had in health policy experts, Congress and even President Obama himself.

This was a great piece by Dr. Pho, as usual, his blog was on our top 5 medical blogs list, and we highly suggest, you keep up with his blog. He provides a vast amount of quality information on healthcare reform and other related public policy issues. 

Health reform requires listening to doctors [via KevinMD]

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Interesting Read: How to Work with Pre-Health Advisors and Committees

After we posted a recent editorial piece by one of our readers on "Pre-Health Committees" one of our readers Emil Chuck an actual Health Professions Advisor at George Mason University, linked us to an article he wrote a few months ago in November about working with these "Pre-Health Committees"; titled How to Work with Pre-Health Advisors and Committees originally published in November of 2009 on the Student Doctor Network

He starts out this wonderfully written article by explaining a little bit about the history of pre-health advising and how they can help you as well as their areas of expertise. He also talks about when to approach your advisor and start working with them on crafting your application, and resume.

Then Emil Chuck writes about the committee letter:

While it is expected that regular solicited letters of recommendation frame the applicant as an exceptional candidate – as I put it, “has superhero powers” – committee evaluations are written at a higher standard of honest evaluation, including a realistic assessment of an applicant’s deficiencies and strengths in comparison to successful professionals.  Finally, the pre-health evaluation committee letter often discusses other qualities of an applicant that are not often emphasized or brought up in typical reference letters. 

He does a great job of explaining the various types of committee letters, their importance, how to interact with the committee, and the importance of this letter. He provides some great tips for dealing with your pre-health advisors.

We would highly recommend reading this article before going in to your advising office, and meeting with your advisor. Emil provides some great suggestions that will surely help you get through your advising process smoothly; without any snags. 

How to Work with Pre-Health Advisors and Committees [via the Student Doctor Network]

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Welcome to HackCollege Readers!

We would like to welcome all the readers visiting from HackCollege, due to our recent post on finding summer science internships. Check out some of our best posts:

Thanks for coming by for a visit, make sure to follow us on twitter (@premedhellblog), or fan us on facebook, and please subscribe to our RSS feed in your feed reader or via Email.



Editorial: Pre-Health Recommendation Committees

Note this post is an editorial submission, the views expressed within are not the views of Pre-Med Hell, or any of the Pre-Med Hell editorial staff, the views expressed in this post are those of the author and the author alone, for this submission the author has chosen to remain anonymous. This submission is not from within the PMH staff.

Recently I’ve had a bunch of my close friends, going through “the committee”, what is this committee you ask, it is essentially a group of professors, who look at an application you submit to them, you interview with them, and the sit down for 10 minutes discuss your application and write a so called “committee” recommendation letter. I for one think this mechanism is flawed, and that the letters that come out of these committees are fairly useless in describing the individual’s motivations, character, and personality. I have not been through a committee yet, almost everyone I know has had a good experience with the committee but I still have an axe to grind with it.

Who sits on this committee, the pre-health advisor, a couple liberal arts/social sciences professors, a few science professors, maybe a doctor if your school is super lucky. Chances are you have had classes with maybe 1 or 2 of the professors, if you are extremely lucky you will have had a reasonable amount of interactions with one of the professors beforehand. Chances are you will probably never have met any of them, save, the pre-health advisor, nor will any of them know you.

Now tell me what kind of letter 5-7 people who really don’t know you, and only interact with you for a few minutes write. I cannot see a single way that this letter could describe anyone or any of their accomplishments, the point of letters of recommendations is to provide an insight into the applicant that isn’t expressed in the transcript or the application, and it is to get the views of a person that has had sufficient interactions with the applicant. When I think to get a letter of recommendation I think to ask professors that I have had for multiple classes, or professors that have advised me, or for those whom I have TA-ed for or researched under; professors who have interacted with me for a large period of time. Professors who know my abilities, habits, weaknesses, and potential.

I see no rhyme or reason, in the concept of the committee, to write a letter about a person they don’t really know. I think that letters of recommendation should come from those familiar with the student and those with prior experience with the students. To me a committee letter means almost nothing, good job, 5 people that don’t really know you said your awesome, try to get 5 people who know both your good and bad sides to tell you that your awesome, now that’s impressive. 

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