Need Some Back to School Gear?

Lenovo is having a giveaway for this back-to-school season. Now I’d normally encourage others to go with Apple unless they absolutely must run windows (even though I know about and use Boot Camp). But if I were to get a PC, I’d definitely go with these guys.

You can enter every day from now until September 14. They are also running some online sales for the next few days. So if you’re in the need, stroll on over to But be sure to click the widget below and see if you win anything. Go ahead.. you can thank me later 😉


A Short History of Medicine

Complaint: “Doctor, I have an ear ache.”

2000 BC – “Here, eat this root.”

1000 BC – “That root is heathen, say this prayer.”

1850 AD – “That prayer is superstition, drink this potion.”

1940 AD – “That potion is snake oil, swallow this pill.”

1985 AD – “That pill is ineffective, take this antibiotic.”

2000 AD – “That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root!”


Found on Facebook


Back to Blogging

After a long hiatus I am finally back to blogging. The last few months have been quite hectic. It’s been full of questions. Those of you who have been following me on twitter know that I have been on a leave of absence since sometime around March.

But before I went on a leave of absence, I had actually planned to withdraw. Here is an excerpt form a post I was working on:

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a while. Well at least I’ve been thinking about it shortly after I came to my decision.

My decision: withdraw from medical school.

It’s a weird feeling. It’s also a bit scary. But I’ve concluded that medical school and me are not a good fit — at least not right now.

After writing that post I went to see my dean, fully intent on following through with my decision. At that point I had already skipped two midterm exams because of my decision. But an hour after I walked into my dean’s office, I left with a signature for a leave of absence.

He asked me why I wanted to quit.

My answers were simple. I had been struggling to stay focused and concentrate on what I needed to do. At the suggestion of another dean (we’ll call him Dr. A), I went to see someone who could serve as a coach to get me motivated. That was in November. By March he told me that if I couldn’t get myself focused by now it probably would not happen. Furthermore, he mentioned that maybe it just wasn’t a good fit. He also said that others in my position had benefited from withdrawing and then re-applying in a couple years if they still wanted to. If they got in again, they usually never had any issues staying focused.

A few days later, Dr. A said the same thing.

And so, I strolled into the office of Dr. B to ask for his signature for a withdrawal (Dr. A and Dr. B must both sign the slip). And as I wrote above, I walked away an hour later with a leave of absence.

The leave didn’t guarantee anything. Dr. B said that if I wanted to return I’d have to begin my second year over. I’d also have to go before the Academic Review Committee and make a case that I should be allowed to do so.

Well I saw the committee on Monday (2 days ago). A couple hours later Dr. A called me to let me know that they had decided to allow me back.

Looking back, I am glad that Dr. B stopped me from withdrawing. Between getting my leave and asking the committee for another chance I had to do quite a bit of questioning. I had to examine myself and figure out why I had a problem focusing, concentrating, and staying motivated.

It was never an issue of whether or not I wanted to be a doctor. The problem was the training part. I don’t like studying. I don’t like spending hours with textbooks in a cool, windowless library. But it is a necessary step to reach that goal.

I believe I now know what was wrong… More importantly, I am hopeful that I now have the tools to fix it… (I may write about it some other time… but not now…)

And so the countdown begins. I will have to start my second year over again right after Labor Day (September 8, I believe) and join the Class of 2012.

As far as residency goes, a committee member told me that it would be extremely hard (if not impossible) for me to get into certain residencies as I would have to explain all of this. (And I wonder how wise it is for me to detail these things on a public blog like this. After all, it isn’t exactly anonymous — at least not the way I have done it.) I would have have to do very well on Step 1.

As my journey once again continues, I will continue to write about it here (I no longer write for Medscape’s The Differential blog). I’ve taken a strange path — definitely not the typical medical school path. And maybe that will provide for some interesting perspectives. And in the end I hope to achieve what I set out to do when I applied to come here: tacking on that “MD” onto my name.

No, I didn’t apply to medical school just to add a couple initials to the back of my name.