Improving medical students

Archive for the ‘How-To’ Category

Nasopharyngeal Specimen Collection – A Guide for Medical Students

Posted by medliorator on June 8, 2010

The New York City Department of Health has prepared an excellent guide for nasopharyngeal specimen collection that describes both nasopharyngeal aspirate and nasopharyngeal swab methods.  This concise review will prove helpful for those medical students beginning outpatient medicine rotations or family medicine.

Nasopharyngeal Specimen Collection for Viral Respiratory Pathogens [NYC Dept of Health]

Posted in Diagnostic Examination, Family Practice, How-To, Infectious Disease | Comments Off on Nasopharyngeal Specimen Collection – A Guide for Medical Students

How to Earn Money Online During Medical School

Posted by medliorator on May 23, 2010

  • BuyMyTronics: Since students are usually huge gadget freaks, it is likely that they have a lot of unused gadgets lying around. The best use of such gadgets would be to sell them to BuyMyTronics. Yes, this is a site which purchases old gadgets and also offers free shipping. It couldn’t get better.
  • Ether: Here’s another unique site that could help you make some extra cash. Known as Ether, this site lets experts share their knowledge for a price. If you consider yourself well-versed in any subject or a field, you could sign up for the site and start taking calls at your will.
  • Crossloop: If you like helping people with their computer troubles then you might as well make money doing that. On Crossloop, you could create a profile, set your hourly rate and help people from all over the world in resolving their computer issues.
  • Pickydomains: Pickydomains might probably one of the best ways to earn $25. You just need to come up with a domain name for a client that isn’t registered yet. Yes, there are a ton of domain names that are yet to be taken up. Just fire up your imagination and get started.

10 Sites Where You Can Earn Some Extra Cash While You Are a Student [Dumb Little Man]

Posted in Finance, How-To | Comments Off on How to Earn Money Online During Medical School

How to Manage a Negative Clinical Evaluation

Posted by medliorator on November 9, 2009


Sometimes personalities can clash and an attending may write an overly harsh evaluation that isn’t indicative of your performance. If you feel that this is the case, it’s usually a good idea to speak with the clerkship director and express your concerns. At some institutions, the burden of proof lies with the attending to demonstrate that he or she gave the student constructive feedback and allowed for a chance to improve. If the evaluation is determined to be unjust, it may be removed from your record.

However, if the clerkship director does a thorough investigation and strongly feels that the evaluation is accurate, it’s usually a good idea to stop there

Will a Negative Evaluation Ruin My Residency Options? [Medscape]

Posted in Clinical Rotations, How-To | Comments Off on How to Manage a Negative Clinical Evaluation

How to Find Free WiFi with your Mobile Device

Posted by medliorator on August 31, 2009

Windows Mobile: WiFiFoFum


This is the latest version of WiFiFoFum – the best WiFi scanner and war driving software for Pocket PC 2003 and Windows Mobile 5 Pocket PC and Smartphone editions.

iPhone/Touch: JiWire’s Wi-Fi Finder
With more than 200,000 locations in 135 countries, JiWire’s Wi-Fi Finder makes it easy to search for free- and pay-access Wi-Fi hotspots wherever you are or plan to be.

Android: WeFi


WeFi is software loaded onto your laptop or mobile device. It automatically detects and qualifies all Wi-Fi access points within range and connects you to the spot with the best Internet connection. If the WeFi software detects a new access point, it allows you to be the first to map it. WeFi also provides you with Instant-Messaging tools, allowing you to create a buddy list, and to see where your friends are currently connected.

Posted in How-To, Software | Comments Off on How to Find Free WiFi with your Mobile Device

How to Start the Day Right

Posted by medliorator on August 5, 2009

Get Enough Sleep:

  • Going to bed earlier (set an alarm to remind you to go to bed, if necessary!)
  • Avoiding caffeine and alcohol in the evening
  • Switching off the computer and television and reading for an hour or so before bed – bright screens can prevent you from getting sleepy

Drink Water and Eat (a Healthy) Breakfast:

  • I’d suggest holding off on the coffee for at least a little while after waking up, and drinking a big glass of water instead: being slightly dehydrated will knock your concentration levels right down.
  • healthy breakfast like baked beans on wholewheat toast, or oatmeal, will give you slow-release energy to see you through the morning.

How to Get Your Morning Off to a Great Start [Life Optimizer]

Posted in How-To, Productivity | Comments Off on How to Start the Day Right

How to Use Medical Literature to Solve Patient Problems

Posted by medliorator on February 9, 2009

When using medical literature to solve patient problems and provide better care, consult this guide for appropriate use of an article dealing with therapeutic interventions and preventive interventions.

Table 1: Users’ Guides for an Article About Therapy

I. Are the results of the study valid?

  • Primary Guides:
    • Was the assignment of patients to treatments randomized?
    • Were all patients who entered the trial properly accounted for and attributed at its conclusion?
    • Was followup complete?
    • Were patients analyzed in the groups to which they were randomized?
  • Secondary Guides:
    • Were patients, health workers, and study personnel “blind” to treatment?
    • Were the groups similar at the start of the trial?
    • Aside from the experimental intervention, were the groups treated equally?

II. What were the results?

  • How large was the treatment effect?
  • How precise was the estimate of the treatment effect?

III. Will the results help me in caring for my patients?

  • Can the results be applied to my patient care?
  • Were all clinically important outcomes considered?
  • Are the likely treatment benefits worth the potential harms and costs?

How to Use an Article About Therapy or Prevention [Centre for Health Evidence]

Posted in Evidence Based Medicine, How-To | Comments Off on How to Use Medical Literature to Solve Patient Problems

How to Learn a New Language

Posted by medliorator on February 1, 2009

If you were a student of English (though the list can be adapted to most languages), [the top 100 most common written words in English] would deliver the greatest ROI per hour invested for the initial 1-3 weeks of study

Content and vocabulary selection beyond the most common 300-500 words should be dictated by subject matter interest. The most pertinent questions will be “What will you spend your time doing with this language?”

Once the framework of grammar has been transferred to long-term memory, acquiring vocabulary is a simple process of proper spaced repetition

How to Learn Any Language in 3 Months [Tim Ferriss]

Posted in Communication, How-To | Comments Off on How to Learn a New Language

How to Transfer as a Foreign Medical Student

Posted by medliorator on January 21, 2009

To find out which schools accept non-LCME students, I went to the AAMC’s website for transfer policies by school. I asked to search by policy then narrowed my search by selecting ALL schools in ALL regions and selecting all the boxes accept for the first four (LCME-accredited applicant, Osteopathic applicant, Dental applicant, Oral and Facial surgeon applicant). This generated a list of 54 institutions accepting transfers into the second year and 73 accepting applicants into the third year. There is some overlap.

[I] called every single institution to ask about their transfer policy for non-LCME students. This is important to do if you are serious about transferring and this level of effort will separate you from your peers.

There are several schools that often have spaces available

  1. Drexel University
  2. George Washington
  3. New York Medical College
  4. Northeastern Ohio University College of Medicine
  5. SUNY Upstate
  6. Tulane University
  7. University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey (UMDNJ)

In addition to this list, I was able to confirm that eight [additional] schools would accept non-LCME applicants.

Transferring from the Caribbean: Which Schools Accept FMGs? [the rumors were true]

Posted in How-To | Comments Off on How to Transfer as a Foreign Medical Student

Creating & Editing PDFs

Posted by medliorator on January 19, 2009

the days where you needed Adobe Professional to manipulate files are quickly receding.

Mac users have the advantage when creating PDFs, with the ability to print any document to PDF from within the print menu… [For] Windows, I use CutePDF , which is free and small.

Preview, the PDF viewer that is bundled with Mac OSX allows basic PDF editing.  [For Windows,] you can try online services such as PDFHammer, which allows similar basic editing.

PDF Undo Online converts PDF files to Word documents. There is no registration required, but copy protected or scanned PDFs can not be converted.

How to manipulate your PDFs [AppleQuack]

Correlate: How to Fax Smarter

Posted in How-To, Software | Comments Off on Creating & Editing PDFs

How to Write a Note

Posted by medliorator on January 8, 2009

The basic format for a note is the SOAP note

S – Subjective: any information you receive from the patient (history of present illness, past medical history, etc)
O – Objective: any data, whether in the form of a physical finding during your exam, or lab results
A – Assessment: diagnoses derived from the history and objective data
P – Plan: what you intend to do about the diagnoses from your assessment

The H&P should include the history of present illness, past medical history, past surgical history, allergies to meds, current meds, relevant family history… and social history… For HPI, a helpful mnemonic is OLD CHARTS:

O – Onset: when the problem began
L – Location: what area of the body is affected
D – Duration: how long has it been hurting, is the pain continuous or intermittent
CH – Character: words to describe the problem (dull, sharp, burning, stabbing, throbbing, itching, etc)
A – Aggravating / Alleviating Factors
R – Radiation
T – Temporal: is there any pattern to the pain, such as always after meals
S – Associated Symptoms

How To Write A History/Physical Or SOAP Note On The Wards [Scrub Notes]

Posted in Clinical Rotations, How-To | Comments Off on How to Write a Note