Hello, everyone. The office in our clinic was eerily quiet this
morning. Everyone seems to be still waking up from his or her
4th of July holiday, and I'm definitely one of
them. It's a tradition here in Florida to hit the beach on the
4th, and far be it from me to break a tradition.
Tuesday night my buddies and I took off to The Friendly Tavern on
Reddington Beach to sing some karaoke with the beach locals, and on
Wednesday, we fried on the beach the majority of the day. I wasn't
finished with the beach, so my buds and I went back out Friday
after work and stayed out till Sunday morning. Fun in the sun will
definitely take it out of you, but it's important to have some time
to unwind and clear your mind every now and again so not to get
burnt (pun intended) out.
Sand Key Beach
Starting at National
I always get a kick out of receiving emails from prospective and
current students about what's concerning them, or what they're
taking from the blog, plus it gives me a direction to follow. After
all, this blog is for you guys.
This past week a prospective student sent me a killer email
asking what he could expect when starting at National, how he could
prepare, and how he could be sure that he and his future classmates
would be eventually ready for the next step of their education. I
wrote the student back, and today I'd like to paraphrase what we
discussed, just in case anyone else out there has the similar
In my opinion, preparing for this program is more of a mental
game than anything else. Too often I see students enter this
program with the mentality that they are still in undergraduate.
Please realize that you will be entering a doctorate program
equivalent to med school and quite a bit of work and responsibility
will follow. I made this mistake myself my first trimester, and I
had to work twice as hard in subsequent trimesters to make up for
it. So please, learn from my mistake in this regard, and work hard
from the beginning. Aside from being mentally prepared for this
program, I think the next best thing to do to prepare for Trimester
1 is to review basic anatomy, as it will be a large part of your
1st year and provides a solid base for further
Fellow classmate Sue studying.
The first year or phase at National is dedicated solely to basic
sciences. I still don't understand why it's called "basic"
sciences--microbiology, biochemistry and pathology are anything but
basic--but anyway. This is done to ensure that each student is well
versed in the framework of being a physician, and so that in the
second phase of your education, a clinical thought process can be
applied to this foundation. I know this can sound pretty
intimidating, but in actuality it is very doable. Everyone here at
NUHS wants you to do well, and the school takes a ton of steps to
The Florida campus currently has a 20-student cap on its class
sizes, which ensures a unique almost 1-on-1 learning environment.
In addition to the smaller class sizes, there are peer tutors
available (I'm your guy for radiology, shameless plug), professor
office hours, and open lab times for practice. The key to having a
successful education here is to allocate enough time to study every
day, keep current with the material, and like what you are
There will be a ton of work ahead of you, and there should be.
With the title "doctor," comes a lot of prestige and even more
responsibility and it's our duty to be prepared for whatever is
thrown in front of us. The workload has chilled out quite a bit
since making it to clinic, and looking back on it, I would do it
all over again. When that first patient thanks you for helping
them, it makes all those hours in the library in front of books and
notes worth it.
I hope this entry was more inspiring than intimidating and sheds
some light on what to expect when entering NUHS. It's not all work;
there is definitely time to play also. I'll be the first to tell
you that. I hope everyone has a great week.
Catch ya on the flip side,