So, along with the cornucopia of questions we have all received/ seen out there in the medblr universe, community college seems to be a popular subject. There’s quite the insidious rumor that has been around in the pre-med world for eons, quite possibly before the advent of the telegram. Who started it you ask? I have no clue (gives a sassy glare at student doctor network)
The rumor is that taking any type/any amount of pre-requisite coursework at a community college, will look hurt your med school app and more you appear less qualified/competitive/competent/blah blah blah…
Let’s address summer classes at community colleges. HAVE YOU EVER TRIED TAKING A SCIENCE CLASS OVER THE SUMMER!? IT’S FREAKING HARD! You’re taking a course that was meant to be taught over an entire semester and condensing it into five weeks. That’s just a lot of crap to learn in a short amount of time. Taking these courses and doing well in them are not going to harm your application. It’s challenging (to say the least) and it takes a great deal of stamina to be able to complete these courses, especially if you’re doing a course like organic chemistry.
Most people who take pre-reqs over the summer do so because it’s difficult to fit all the pre-reqs into their fall/spring semesters, especially if you’re a non-science major (like both AspDocs and me). That sounds like a pretty good reason to take summer classes, unless someone wants to lend me Hermione’s time-turner so I could get an extra 4-5 hours in for class/studying?
No? That’s what I thought…
Granted, you might have to give a reason for taking your pre-reqs over the summer, and you better hope it’s a better reason other than an attempt to take the easy way out (SURPRISE, it actually isn’t all that easier). You’re not going to be penalized for being unable to alter the quantum mechanics of time travel in order to get that extra class in, none of has have a Tardis at our disposal (BUT…if you do, sharing is caring)
Honestly, I had never heard this ‘community college credits/summer credits are teh suckzors and will ruin your life’ stuff until like… this summer. Seriously. In my world, it just appeared out of nowhere, but has apparently been around for a long time.
Since I started the pre-med track after my sophomore year was completed, taking as many pre-reqs in the summer as possible was a necessity for me. I took a full course load every summer for two straight years. Summer classes are freaking hard; but, if anything came close to giving me a taste of the med school pace, it was that wretched June when I took Ochem I, Physics I and Physics I lab at the same time (add this to my ever-growing list of less than brilliant ideas).However, this did not seem to hurt my application, even though I did not get all A’s. No one even asked me about it, but my prepared answer was that I had to do it because art classes were only offered in the spring/fall semesters and not every class was offered in the spring and fall.
Continuing on to the questions about community college classes being frowned upon in favor of university classes…. Stop. Just stop.
Personally, I don’t think it matters if your Ochem grades are from Podunkville Community College or from Harvard. What matters is whether or not you have a full grasp of the material. Now, granted, some courses may be more or less thorough or well taught than others… but the basic principles in these introductory courses haven’t changed much in the past few years so it’s not like you are really missing out on some university-level instruction on electron orbitals. This is why standardized tests like the MCAT exist- to level the playing field (because America is, theoretically, all about leveling the playing field).
So, regardless of where you got your instruction, you will get the same questions about biology, chemistry, physics, and verbal reasoning as everyone else. Want to prove that your diploma from Tinytown Community College isn’t glorified toilet paper? Know your stuff and kick ass on the MCAT.
In summary, no one is going to look akimbo at your summer classes, and no one is going to care about your community college credits provided you proved that you know your stuff by excelling on the MCAT.
Waiting for the beep- Med school parody
I was at a friend’s house when I saw this contraption: a treadmill with a stand big enough for books and a laptop. My first thought was that this would be perfect for med school students
Retained surgical instrument on chest x-ray
This reminds me of the time we discovered that a cardiologist left a guidewire in a catherterization patient when doing a CTA
Whether you love the show or not, House has made an impression, especially in the medical world.
So here is my humble submission of thanks to the show that has been with me during long nights of studying, fun weekends, and in the classroom.
Top 10 things House MD taught me
- It’s never lupus (except for in one episode when it was!)
- The do’s and don’ts of being a female medical professional. Because there’s no question that it’s got challenges of its own and the show has created wonderfully real, complex, flawed, strong female doctors who struggle with real life issues. Also, my business wear definitely has a few nods to Cuddy (blazers, scarves, and dresses) and Thirteen (boots, multi-functional tops that can be dressed up or down). I highly recommend the episode “5 to 9”; a must for any female medical professional!
- That insurance companies would kill me if I practiced medicine like House.
- Medicine is an art, not a science.
- Everybody lies.
- Everybody lies. And when you start to talk to patients, doctors, your peers, and even yourself, you’ll be humored, shocked, and humbled by the truths these lies are trying to hide.
- It’s okay to like immature stuff even if you’re a doctor. It’s awesome!
- The purpose of a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate). As House perfectly stated, a DNR doesn’t mean you give up on a patient. Rather, that you do everything in your power to help the patient until no options are available. This is a very critical medical ethics issue that deserves greater discussion in the medical community.
- Never date your colleagues. Cute Australian accent? Working on a clinical drug trial for your genetic disease? Witty repartee, unresolved sexual tension, and feelings harbored since medical school? JUST SAY NO.
- The pain you are afraid or ashamed of, can change lives. Pain is an integral, central theme in the show. House himself is constantly wrestling with pain versus sedation, physical and mental pain, just to scratch the surface. Many physicians search for redemption, meaning, or better understanding of their personal pain through their profession. There is no question that the doctors of House do just that as wounded healers, especially House. Starting as an adolescent watching the show to a medical student now, this message has touched me deeply. So thank you. Thank you for being there for me when I was hurting. Thank you for teaching me that my wounds make me a better, stronger person, not a weaker one. Thank you for showing me that my past injuries can help others who are injured, too. And that, ultimately, while we may all be in pain, that doesn’t mean we should ever give up on others or ourselves.
Love from a long time fan,
IT’S NEVER LUPUS