As we enter the summer months, the rest of the world rejoices in the warm and sunny weather while a cohort of medical students skip buying sunscreen in lieu of extra highlighters to prepare for the long slog of board studying.

Of all the boards I’ve taken (and by the way I am currently studying for another set), I believe the biggest and most stressful was the USMLE Step 1 exam. 

It’s that time of year: January.  Maybe you’re a third year medical student on an inpatient rotation never seeing the sun, or an intern that is worn out from doing too many discharge summaries. Or maybe, you’re a senior resident or an attending or anyone for that matter and the cold weather is getting you down.


It’s 6:00 PM, and I just barely finished my last progress note for the day that should have been signed ten hours ago. I have discharged three patients, accepted two ICU transfers, assisted with two cases in the OR, helped in clinic for an hour, responded to a code, and wrote orders for the emergent trauma patient. I am completely exhausted, but by some miracle everything is tied up and ready for sign out.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Although part of me wants to leave the writing of this type of post to someone else, or just allow it to not be written altogether, there is a larger part of me that wants to make sure that everyone who is thinking of pursuing a career in medicine has access to the experiences of many different people to help them to make an informed decision.  So, here we go!