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About The Differential: Medscape Med Students

Welcome to The Differential, a constantly evolving feature about life in medical school. Follow the lives of our featured medical students as they chronicle the ups and downs of medical training. This blog is updated frequently, so be sure to check back often! We hope you enjoy their personal stories and we invite you to share your own comments, experiences, and thoughts with other readers as well.

The Differential is coordinated by the Medscape Med Students site editors, with entries by medical students currently in training. For questions, contact the Medscape editors:
Christine Wiebe
Susan Yox

Ben Bryner

BenbrynerI grew up in Utah and went to college at the University of Utah, where I officially studied sociology but essentially majored in skiing. I’m a fourth-year student at the University of Michigan Medical School, currently doing research in the department of Pediatric Surgery, where I eventually plan to specialize. During medical school I’ve had some great experiences working with an advocacy group to improve access to essential medicines in the developing world. I also love a good (or not very good) rock concert, discovering new music, playing Rummikub, and vegetarian cooking. Beyond that, I spend my time singing karaoke versions of ABBA songs, making s’mores, constructing dot-to-dot puzzles, and doing whatever else my two wonderful daughters have planned. Global health is a strong interest of mine, and my long-term goal is to make documentaries about international health issues alongside my day job. This has replaced my childhood dream of being a contestant on “The Price is Right” and winning at Plinko.

Anna Burkhead

AnnaburkheadI grew up in Charlotte, NC, and graduated from Duke University with degrees in mathematics and chemistry. I always knew I wanted to go to medical school but I wanted to experience some other things first. So, after graduation I taught math at Butler High School in Matthews, NC, and absolutely fell in love with teaching. But, medicine was calling, loudly, and so off I went to UNC Medical School. (Yes, Duke and UNC are mortal enemies. I watch my back during basketball season :). I am now a 4th-year student at UNC, thinking about dermatology or ENT. My interests include learning about gender and age disparities, volunteering at the student-run clinic, substituting medical jargon for everyday language, and taking manic notes during class. Outside of medical school I like to bake elaborate cakes, talk to my cat, think about ways to help homeless cats, make crafts, and try to motivate myself to go to the gym. I also like taking day trips (but not flying!), Wheel of Fortune, and playing the piano.

Kendra Campbell

KendracampbellI am a non-traditional medical student across many dimensions. I began my medical education at the age of 27; I match my hair color to my earrings; and I’ve devoted a portion of my ever so precious study time to writing about my experiences in medical school. Although I worked for almost 4 years at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), I made the somewhat controversial decision to attend Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica; I'm currently in my third year. I grew up on a dairy goat farm in Luray, Va; obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va; and lived in the Washington, DC area for 8 years. During college, I worked for a state psychiatric hospital, where I learned just as much about myself as I did about medicine. I am a life enthusiast. I talk to strangers, cut the tags off of my pillows, and I don’t carry an umbrella with me because I prefer to get wet. By the power of espresso, I also manage to maintain a Web site, which chronicles my daily life, Island Med Student.

Ben Ferguson

BenfergusonI am a medical student at the University of Chicago pursuing an MD and a PhD in cancer biology. I also am, or have been at some point, a vocalist, an athlete, a drummer, a comedian, a poet, a teacher, a researcher, a bunch of grapes, a neologist, a guide, a banana, a volunteer, an inventor, a world traveler, a brother, a son, a confidante. In 2004, I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in molecular and integrative physiology and a minor in chemistry. There, I was a member of No Strings Attached, a student-run and -directed jazz a cappella group. For more about me and my past, visit my CV page and my personal blog.

Lucia Li

LucialiI am a medical student at Downing College, Cambridge University, England. I’m starting the 5th year of a 6-year medical course and loving the rollercoaster ride that is clinical medicine. I can’t really remember a time when medicine didn’t interest me, though there were periods when other professions seemed equally attractive, like hairdressing; I think I’ve just about put that one to rest now. I was born in China but have been educated in England my whole life, so I presume no knowledge about other systems and I’m here to learn from other bloggers as much as to share my own experiences.

Thomas Robey

thomasrobeyPacific Northwest flora and fauna, cardiac extracellular matrix, wonder cabinets, Thomas Kuhn, bad puns, science policy; these are my extra-medical affairs. In the midst of the third-year medical education at the University of Washington, I find myself one of those students who enjoys every clinical rotation. A career that balances science, medicine and public policy is what I’m after. I completed a PhD in bioengineering in 2007 as part of a combined degree program, and previously studied the history and philosophy of science and engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. Before joining The Differential, I wrote at Hope for Pandora. You can still find my opinions about science, religion and politics over there. My posts here will include general observations about clinical education, statements about health policy, and an occasional poem.

Colin Son

ColinsonI am a fourth-year student at the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio, which also happens to be my hometown. For undergrad, I attended film school at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, graduating with a BFA in Writing for Screen & Television. Halfway through film school I realized that I loved screenwriting but probably not enough for a career of waiting tables and taking meetings with B-list producers. While considering my options for the future, I had the privilege of shadowing a pediatric cardiac surgeon and became hooked on medicine. Away from the hospital I'm very interested in health policy and am involved in organized medicine, I'm a political junkie, I have trouble putting down a good history book, I still try to make time to work on my screenplays, I love to travel, and I'm an avid college football fan. Besides writing for The Differential, I also opine on issues of interest to me at my personal site, From Medskool.

Jeff Wonoprabowo

JeffwonoI was born and raised in the Los Angeles area. I attended Walla Walla College (now Walla Walla University) in Washington State where I received a bachelor’s degree in Bioengineering and a minor in Mathematics. After a short 4 years away, I am now back in Southern California as a second year student at Loma Linda University School of Medicine in Loma Linda, California. I am often asked what kind of doctor I would like to be, but because I really don’t know yet, my answer is just that I would like to be a good one. When I am not busy doing something related with school, I enjoy reading, working on my computer, watching TV and movies, playing Playstation 3, basketball, ping pong, and martial arts. I also write here and on my personal blog at JeffreyMD.com.

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