An Informal Meet and Greet
After some pondering, I've determined that there's no good way to be self-referentially thorough yet concise, and still avoid sounding vain, so I'm going to do what med students often do best: make a list. There are lists for everything in medicine and medical school: patients' medications, contents of the ischiorectal fossa, bugs and drugs left to study in the 2 hours remaining before an exam, to-do items to accomplish when you return to your "real life" if ever so briefly, and so on. (Most lists' contents will soon be forgotten, yet another skill for many medical students, and the aforementioned items are certainly no exception, especially those that are purposely forgotten as a matter of removing them from one's mental imagery. I think you can probably figure out which one I'm referring to here.)
So without further ado, behold my list of things:
1. I went a little crazy once and decided to put off med school for a while to do a PhD. That's where I stand now. The formidable Step 1 is fortunately behind me, and I'm working in a lab full time studying receptor tyrosine kinases in lung cancer. You may have to take my word for it when I say it is AWESOME. Sometimes.
2. I attended the University of Illinois and studied physiology and chemistry there. I also was a singer in a jazz a cappella group for a while, a time about which I fondly reminisce, not for the singing itself, but for the wondrous free time I had back then! I don't currently sing, but I'm considering it. Stay tuned.
3. I recently got engaged to my high-school sweetheart, Abbie.
4. Starbucks, and the speed with which it empties my wallet, will be the end of me. But, it keeps me awake and provides me with much people-watching fodder, something without which I really can't study. I'm weird like that.
5. There are a few things that I'm really passionate about: the intersection of medicine and technology, smoking cessation and prevention (I'm a lung cancer researcher -- what do you expect?), Macs, and making people laugh as much as possible.
I think that's enough for now. For more about me and my past, visit my personal blog, where I write about anything that comes to mind.
The Medscape thing is a side thing.? :)
i hope not. :)
Posted by: vanja | Sep 26, 2007 10:50:04 AM
You said you had ''put off'' medicine for a while,means you're going to continue medicine later?!
Are you still a medical student?
Posted by: Innocence_e1 | Sep 26, 2007 12:56:43 PM
Hi all, thanks so much for the welcoming comments.
Innocence, I am technically a medical student still, but I am not studying medicine proper at the moment. Instead, I'm pursuing the PhD exclusively for the next few years, and then when I finish, I'll return to medical school and complete the remaining two years of clinical work. That said, I work in the same hospital where I've been a medical student previously, and I still have a great deal of contact with my former classmates and physicians I know, so it's not as though I'm completely separated from the medical school side of things.
Posted by: Ben | Sep 26, 2007 1:38:12 PM
hey there :-}... well, i hope you will go and get your MD degree soon... i mean, won't you lose the momentum if you go back too late?
Posted by: ninette_umpa | Sep 26, 2007 7:34:56 PM
Welcome to the Medscape gang! It's nice to have ya. I also sold my soul to Starbucks. Although for the time being, there are no Starbucks on my island. However when I return to the States I will resume spending my life fortune (aka student loans) at Starbucks.
Posted by: Kendra | Sep 27, 2007 5:23:50 AM
Thanks a lot Ben,for answering my questions.I didn't know one could persue PhD in the middle of his/her medical school,I don't think it's like that in my country.
Anyway, goodluck with your PhD.
Posted by: Innocence_e1 | Sep 27, 2007 11:00:40 AM
hi.welcome to medscape.you should be so wondrous if you can make people laugh!plz show your art and make us laugh too.i wait for this in your next blogs.have a good time.
Posted by: sara omidi | Sep 28, 2007 2:15:16 AM
Most of you guys don't seem to know too much about the MD-PhD thing. What Ben is doing is fairly standard. They usually have re-orientation to clinical medicine when you finish up your PhD so you're not totally out of it when you start back in the clinics. And most people do finish both degrees. It just takes a while (try 7-8 years).
Posted by: Sydney | Oct 2, 2007 3:26:06 PM
i need to see pple when i study too, i guess we're just wierd eh
Posted by: seun | Oct 2, 2007 4:44:48 PM
Yep, Sydney is correct. Most medical schools in the US have a handful of students that enter as MD/PhD students (the vast majority of these are in Medical Scientist Training Programs, or MSTPs), so typically at a given institution there will be several dozen, if not over a hundred, MD/PhD students at various points in their training.
Luckily for me, many schools also have the option of entering PhD programs after already having started medical school, and many of these programs have similar funding schemes (at least proactively, as opposed to retroactively) as the MSTPs.
Posted by: Ben | Oct 2, 2007 5:51:23 PM
Let's meet up and discuss the future of medicine over a fine cigar sometime.
Posted by: Anony-mouse | Oct 9, 2007 2:23:54 PM
Make it caramels and you're on.:)
Posted by: Ben | Oct 9, 2007 8:47:11 PM
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