Recent Posts

So, You’ve Declared Yourself a Pre-Med Student…

Posted by Viemma on 3/20/19 5:44 PM

Whether you knew you wanted to be a doctor since you were born, or you just sort of fell into medicine by chance, you have declared yourself a pre-med student. Welcome. You are about to embark on the journey of a lifetime. These next few years as a pre-med student will only be the beginning. The beginning of the road to becoming.

Now that you’ve committed to becoming a physician, below are some helpful tips to help your pre-med experience go smoothly.

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Tags: college, MD

How to Get Letters of Recommendation for Medical School

Posted by Viemma on 3/13/19 6:32 PM

Letters of recommendation are an integral component of the medical school application. Anybody can speak highly of themselves, filling pages on why they’d make a great doctor. What makes letters of recommendation so valuable is that each one represents someone else who believes that you have what it takes to pursue a career in healthcare. Each one represents a person who believes in you so much that they are willing write an essay about the remarkable qualities you possess in an attempt to convince the multiple admission committees who will review your application. This is no small thing. You can do a fine job of explaining why you need medicine all by yourself. A great letter of recommendation will explain why medicine needs you. It could very much be the reason why you get an interview invitation. Thus, acquiring letters of recommendation should be done with care and strategy. 

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Tags: medical school admissions

Things to Consider on The Medical School Interview Trail

Posted by Viemma on 2/25/19 6:45 PM

Whether you’ve dreamed of being a doctor since you were three years old or this doctor thing only recently started seeming like a good idea, your days of being “pre-med” are almost over. You dodged getting weeded out by Organic Chemistry, you got through the MCAT. You shadowed doctors, you maybe even worked in a research lab. You carefully crafted your personal statement and you powered through that primary application. You slaved over those secondary applications and now you are finally receiving interview invitations.

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Tags: medical school admissions

Imposter Syndrome in Medical School: Recognizing What It Is and Overcoming It

Posted by Viemma on 2/22/19 7:02 PM

I don’t deserve to be here. These people are actually smart. 

If they really knew me, they’d know that I have no right to be here.

One of these days, people will realize that I’m a fraud.

The admissions committee must have made a mistake. 

If you’ve had any of these thoughts since matriculating into medical school, congratulations. You are a normal human being. 

So, you’re afraid of being “found out”. Nice! Did you know the Maya Angelou found herself feeling the same way? She once said, “I have written eleven books, but each time I think, 'uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.'” 

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Tags: MD

Growth Mindset: Things to Remember on Your Clinical Rotations

Posted by Viemma on 2/20/19 7:11 PM

It’s finally that time of your medical school career. The moment you’ve been anticipating since you matriculated. Upwards and onwards. The wards. Up until this point, you have been incubating in your safe and familiar classroom building, only dibbling and dabbling at patient care every now and again. Now you’ll be going through a year, the year, of clinical rotations. 

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Tags: MD

Complex Solution Composition Problems: Knowing Where to Start

Posted by Viemma on 1/4/19 3:12 PM

Thanksgiving dinner conversations can be uncomfortable…

But solution composition problems don’t have to be. Recall that a solution is a homogenous mixture of two or more substances. Chemists have come up with many ways to describe the composition of a solution. Some ways are more appropriate than others depending on the situation. 

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Tags: chemistry

Guide to Limiting Reactant Problems...Using Sandwiches

Posted by Viemma on 12/26/18 4:51 PM

An everyday limiting reactant problem

You’re expecting company and totally forgot to go grocery shopping. What on earth will you feed your guests? Sandwiches! You have some ingredients to whip up some sandwiches. So, let’s assume you are going to go through with making these sandwiches. You need 2 slices of bread, 3 slices of meat (can’t be stingy), and 1 slice of cheese for each sandwich. After raiding your refrigerator, you discover that you have 8 slices of bread, 9 slices of meat, and 5 slices of cheese. You worry that this won’t be enough. How many sandwiches can you make?

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Tags: chemistry

Dimensional Analysis: Why the Factor Label Method is a Life Saver

Posted by Viemma on 12/14/18 2:22 PM

Ever lost points on a test because you forgot to write the units?

Rightfully so! Numbers have no meaning without its unit of measurement. Two can be greater the 12. Three can equal one. This is all dependent on the unit of measurement being used. In your general chemistry class, you will encounter measurements of all sorts. These measurements include time, length, mass, volume, and many more. Units of measurement are used to conceptualize the magnitude of these measurements. Gram, kilogram, pound, ounce, metric ton, stone, slug, microgram, atomic mass unit, carat… these are all units of measurement for mass alone. Why so many? Some units of measurement are more appropriate depending on what thing is being measured. Using an inappropriate unit of measurement may result in a number value that is too large or too small. When this happens, it becomes very difficult to wrap your head around the magnitude of the measurement. 

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Tags: chemistry

Electron Configurations: A Must Know Hack

Posted by Viemma on 12/12/18 3:15 PM

Imagine this…

You’re taking your general chemistry midterm and you’ve decided to shuffle through the exam and complete all the hard things first. You’ve totally underestimated how much time those problems were going to take you and now you have three minutes left to write the electron configuration of 10 elements. Untimed, this would be easy to do. It’s systematic and straightforward but still requires a decent amount of thought based on how you were taught to do it. Your palms get sweaty. These are supposed to be easy points and there’s a possibility that you won’t complete it. If you do complete it, there’s a possibility that you’ll get them wrong because you were rushed. Your throat is getting tight at this point. You’re trying to recall if you were confident about the other questions you have already done, wondering if you can afford to lose these easy points in front of you. Your teacher announces that there are two more minutes before he starts collecting exams.

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Tags: chemistry

Formal Charge: What They Didn’t Tell You in your General Chemistry Class

Posted by Viemma on 12/3/18 10:14 PM

Formal charge is the charge that a bonded atom would have if its bonding electrons were shared equally

  • It is not an actual charge but rather a form electron book-keeping
  • The sum of formal charges should equal the compound’s actual charge
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Tags: chemistry