Improving medical students

Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Optimize Netbook Note Taking with Microsoft Word

Posted by medliorator on October 26, 2009


There’s a cool feature from Word 2003 which is buried in 2007 for true fullscreen viewing. You can get the button by going to the Word Orb > Word Options > Customize > look under “All commands” and select “Toggle Full Screen View”

I realized you can save a ton of battery life by dimming the screen, and taking notes with a black background and a white/gray font color, the contrast is much better.

Click Esc on your keyboard to exit full screen mode.

Taking Notes with Netbooks [LifeHacker]

ScreenHunter_01 Oct. 24 14.22

ScreenHunter_02 Oct. 24 14.22

Posted in Software, Tools, Writing | Comments Off on Optimize Netbook Note Taking with Microsoft Word

Personal Statement ‘Don’ts’

Posted by medliorator on April 7, 2009

  • Don’t rehash all the entries of your CV.
  • Don’t get too fancy with the fonts, style and paper.
  • Don’t tell life stories. This isn’t autobiography.
  • Don’t try to be too dramatic or poetic, this isn’t English assignment.
  • Don’t run of pages, residency directors want a concise statement.
  • Don’t uses clichés to describe why the specialty appeals to you or why you are suited for that specialty.
  • Don’t apologize for bad grades, etc; you may simply call their attention.

Dos and Don’ts of Personal Statement [DoctorsHangout Forum]

Correlate: How to Write a Personal Statement

Posted in Residency, Writing | Comments Off on Personal Statement ‘Don’ts’

Spruce your CV with Free Fonts

Posted by medliorator on March 28, 2009

  • 1001 Free Fonts – free fonts for Windows and Macintosh organized categorically and alphabetically
  • Dafont – Comprehensive database with detailed categorical organization.  This is a good stop if you know what you’re looking for
  • Font Squirrel – Free fonts all with commercial-use licenses
  • – over 13,000 free fonts organized by category and user-rating
  • (Themed Fonts) – Free fonts from TV shows, movies, and brands
  • Urban Fonts – Free fonts organized categorically and by age.

via Lifehacker

Posted in Tools, Writing | Comments Off on Spruce your CV with Free Fonts

Resume: Creating a Medical CV

Posted by medliorator on March 13, 2009

Laura Brammar:

Being able to provide evidence of skills and abilities is vital in order to produce an excellent CV… It is not enough to simply list your experience; instead you need to provide examples of when you have used the core skills required for the post. Many applicants fail to provide the best example of the highlighted skill as the information gets lost in a long chronological record of previous roles and rotations.

Below is an outline of the common sections, in order, found on a medical CV

  • Personal details – Name, Contact details—telephone; email, General Medical Council registration number and national training number, Medical Defence Union number
  • Career statement – Focus on the goals that you have for yourself in certain aspects of your professional life and keep it short and simple.
  • Education and qualifications – University (medical degree, awards, prizes and scholarships, intercalated degree)
  • Present position
  • Career history (ensure that any gaps in employment are accounted for)
  • Clinical skills and experience
  • Management and leadership experience
  • Interests
  • Referees – Always secure agreement from your proposed referees before listing their details on your CV, and provide them with a job description and recent CV to help them to write a focused reference.

Take care with dates and make sure any gaps are accounted for.

Medical CV writing skills [BMJ Careers]

Posted in Communication, Interviewing, Writing | Comments Off on Resume: Creating a Medical CV

How to Write a Personal Statement

Posted by medliorator on October 20, 2008

Jessica Freedman, MD:

  • Start with something catchy to engage your reader. The first one or two sentences are pivotal. If the opening of your essay bores your reader, he or she may stop reading.
  • End with a strong conclusion to leave a lasting impression.
  • Do not use cliché phrases such as “I like internal medicine because I enjoy working with patients.”
  • In general, it is better to “show” through example or anecdote rather than “tell.” Instead of writing “I am empathetic and hard working,” illustrate with examples how you have demonstrated these qualities.
  • With every paragraph, ask yourself if someone else could have written it and, if the answer is yes, go back and make the paragraph more distinctive.
  • Do not regurgitate your CV or write about something that can be read elsewhere in your application.
  • Do not repeat yourself. With each sentence, ask yourself, “Have I already said that?” If the answer is yes, hit delete.
  • Use an active rather than a passive voice.
  • Your essay should be authentic.

Getting Into Residency: Part 1 [Student Doctor Network]

Posted in How-To, Matching, Writing | 1 Comment »

Free Graph Paper Templates

Posted by medliorator on August 17, 2008

Free selections of printable lined and graph paper templates, logarithmic included.

Free Printable Paper

Posted in Tools, Writing | Comments Off on Free Graph Paper Templates

Medical Abbreviation in Action

Posted by medliorator on February 2, 2008

67 yo H M c/HTN & DM, dx c/PCa (init PSA 5, Gleason 3+3) s/p RRP 3 yrs ago. PSA:0, DRE: neg. No c/o. No LUTS, mild ED. RTC 6mo with PSA.


67 year old Hispanic Male with hypertension and diabetes, diagnosed with prostate cancer (initial Prostatic Specific Antigen of 5, Pathologic Gleason grade 3+3), status post a radical retropubic prostatectomy 3 years ago. PSA today is zero, digital rectal exam is negative (for new nodules or mass). No complaints. No lower urinary tract symptoms, mild erectile dysfunction. Return to clinic in 6 months with a follow up PSA.

Abbreviations [Urostream]

Posted in Communication, Tools, Writing | Comments Off on Medical Abbreviation in Action

10 Basic Medical Definitions

Posted by medliorator on November 18, 2007

These words are worth sorting out. A mix up can compromise your chart/testimony.

1. Abrasion = A superficial injury to the skin or other body tissue caused by rubbing or scraping resulting in an area of body surface denuded of skin or mucous membrane.

2. Incision = A cut or wound made by a sharp instrument or object.

3. Laceration = A wound produced by the tearing of body tissue often from blunt impact that is distinguished from a cut or incision.

4. Avulsion = The tearing away of a structure or part often seen as a partial avulsion.

5. Patterned Injury = An injury resembling the object or mechanism that caused the injury.

6. Pattern of Injury = Injuries in various stages of healing, including old and new scars, contusions, and wounds.

7. Contusion = A Bruise. An injury of tissue without breakage of skin. Blood accumulates in the surrounding tissue producing pain, swelling, tenderness, and discoloration.

8. Hemorrhage = The escape of blood from the vessels, bleeding.

9. Petechia = A pinpoint, nonraised, perfectly round, purplish red spot caused by intradermal or submucous haemorrhage.

10. Ecchymosis = A small haemorrhagic spot, larger than a petechia, in the skin or mucous membrane forming a nonelevated, rounded or irregular, blue or purplish patch.

Posted in Pathology, Writing | Comments Off on 10 Basic Medical Definitions

Grammar Refresh: Who vs Which vs that

Posted by medliorator on June 5, 2007

1. Who refers to people. That and which refer to groups or things.
Anya is the one who rescued the bird.
Lokua is on the team that won first place.
She belongs to an organization that specializes in saving endangered species.


2. That introduces essential clauses while which introduces nonessential clauses.
I do not trust editorials that claim racial differences in intelligence.
We would not know which editorials were being discussed without the that clause.
The editorial claiming racial differences in intelligence, which appeared in the Sunday newspaper, upset me.
The editorial is already identified. Therefore, which begins a nonessential clause.
NOTE: Essential clauses do not have commas surrounding them while nonessential clauses do contain commas.


3. If this, that, these, or those has already introduced an essential clause, use which to introduce the next clause, whether it is essential or nonessential.
That is a decision which you must live with for the rest of your life.
Those ideas, which we’ve discussed thoroughly enough, do not need to be addressed again.


NOTE: Often, you can streamline your sentence by leaving out which.
Example: Those ideas, which we have discussed thoroughly, do not need to be addressed again.
Better: The ideas we have discussed thoroughly do not need to be addressed again.
Example: That is a decision which you must live with for the rest of your life.
Better: That is a decision you must live with for the rest of your life.
You must live with that decision for the rest of your life.

Who vs. Which vs. That [The Blue book of grammar and Punctuation]

Posted in Writing | Comments Off on Grammar Refresh: Who vs Which vs that

Collaborative Composition Tool

Posted by medliorator on May 25, 2007

Do you produce documents with others? WriteWith is a powerful online tool for collaborative composition. See its potential first-hand with this video tutorial.

Start using WriteWith.

Posted in Software, Tools, Writing | 1 Comment »