Category Archives: Student Tips

Your checklist for securing stellar letters of recommendation


What’s the most stressful part of applying to medical school? You may be surprised that many medical students say it wasn’t securing the MCAT scores or nailing an outstanding transcript—what really made them sweat was getting those precious letters of recommendation.

Why did getting a professor to write a letter of recommendation become, at least for some, a crazy nightmare of missed deadlines and sleepless nights? Because the students didn’t plan ahead. As a result, they risked their application being rejected as incomplete.

You’re already one step closer to your letters of recommendation

By taking the time to read through this checklist, you’re already getting ahead of many other medical school applicants.

This checklist is based on feedback from students, professors and medical schools. While we can’t guarantee that following these steps will secure you a place in the medical school of your choice, you’ll be helping give yourself the best possible chance of achieving that ambition.

Continue reading Your checklist for securing stellar letters of recommendation

7 top tips for your first day at medical school

Well done on getting a place at medical school! Your MCAT and GPA were good enough, your application was successful and now you’re about to start out on the exciting journey to becoming an MD.

Here are our top tips for getting the most from your very first day at medical school, setting you up for the busy weeks and years ahead.

Continue reading 7 top tips for your first day at medical school

Best Nursing Programs for Supernurses

It’s never too early to start looking for a nursing school. And the sooner you do your research and apply the better, because nursing is one of the most popular jobs in the U.S. and college spaces are quickly filled up.

Ready for nursing school? Which one is it going to be?

Ready for nursing school? Which one is it going to be?

Getting into a top nursing school guarantees you the best chance of getting ahead of the competition and enjoying better employment conditions upon graduation. Below I have selected four nursing schools that will do just that.

The list comprises of college and university programs that have been either consistently rated high, or ones that have recently improved quickly. Continue reading Best Nursing Programs for Supernurses

4 Ways Busy Nursing Students Can Save Time and Money

Surviving medical school is something that should be admired. The sheer amount of material you have to go through is close to impossible to learn and remember. With exams, practice, and expenses also in the equation, and you need serious help to make it out alive.

Time and money are two of the biggest worries of nursing students, but by being clever you can make things easier.

Time and money are two of the biggest worries of nursing students, but  there are clever ways to avoid these obstacles.

It’s only logical to turn to the internet and see how other nursing students deal with the stress, time-management, and financial matters, but how reliable are their methods? And besides, why limit yourself to tips from students only? Let’s see how other experts in these issues deal with them, too. Continue reading 4 Ways Busy Nursing Students Can Save Time and Money

Ideas for Medical Student Gifts that Will Rock Their Socks off

If any friend of yours deserves a good present, it’s most certainly your medical student buddy. Medical school is one of the biggest challenges one can face and a nice, well-thought-out gift will probably be met with much appreciation. Shining a little light into a med student’s life can give them the motivational boost they need to get through their tough exams.

Making these kind geeks happy isn't rocket science, but there are some things to keep in mind when choosing a present for medical students

Making these kind geeks happy isn’t rocket science, but keep the following in mind when choosing a present for a medical student

Here are some ideas to consider when you are struggling to come up with something original and not wish to spend endless hours in the shopping mall.

Gifts to Keep Medical Students Well-Equipped

Practical presents are an absolute must for overachievers

Practical presents are an absolute must for overachievers

Let’s start with the obvious, medical education takes a lot of dedication and much appreciation for the science. You want to pick the best gift for a medical student? Well, simply appeal to their main interests. To improve your chances or scoring some extra points, be sure get them something useful, meaningful, or symbolic to their journey in the professional field. Here are some ideas to help you choose a present for that special med student:

  • Personalized Littmann Stethoscope: This is a brand every medical professional recognizes and is not likely to collect dust on a shelf somewhere. Apart from being extremely useful, you can add a personal touch by including a witty message or their name to help prevent it from getting lost in the chaos of their busy life. Once you know what message you want to convey, simply add “laser engraving” to your purchase and it’ll be shipped to you in no time.
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: A controversial book following the legacy of a poor tobacco farmer and what happened to her cells after her death. Collected after her death from cancer, her genetic material was used for research, which led to major medical discoveries such as the development of the polio vaccine, advanced HIV understanding, gene mapping, and more. This unbelievable story will surely spike the interest of someone in the field of medicine.
  • Colorful new scrubs: It doesn’t sound exactly like a gift, but considering the students’ hectic life you may guess that shopping for clothing is not always a top priority. With a variety of colors and sizes to break out of the cliche of the boring blue, you can get them something fresh and new to brighten their workdays.

Gifts to Keep Medical Students Alive!

Very few gifts beat the perfect cup of coffee

Very few gifts beat the perfect cup of coffee

The lifestyles of medical students are notorious for the constant struggle with sleep deprivation. 24 hours are hardly enough to squeeze everything in, so a major concern for all students is staying energized.

And so, the first gift idea on this list is reserved for coffee makers. They’re the very source of the rejuvenating juice that medical students crave so much. Be thoughtful, though — medical students don’t usually have the time to deal with the whole coffee making process mechanically, so a good automatic coffee maker is the best decision. In the rare case that your medical student friend has taken coffee-making seriously and wants to stick to a more expert ritual, the coffee enthusiasts of Gizmodo may have a few ideas you’d like.

Next stop — a juicer. Buying juices can be costly or even not an option at all, if your friend ends up studying till late. So do the birthday boy or girl a favor, and get them a juicer. Choose wisely, though, as not all juicers are created equal. Fresh juices will keep medical students stuffed with vitamins, and with just a bit of the pulp back in the juice they can become their top choice for a fiber source on the go.

Gifts to Keep Medical Students Happy!

Throw in some artifacts from your friend's favorite show and you are good to go!

Throw in some artifacts from your friend’s favorite show and you are good to go!

No list that covers happiness can go without mentioning Game of Thrones. We’ve just seen the beginning of season 4, but let’s face it, everyone likes to look back to the earlier episodes of this main-character-killing, dragon-featuring TV series. The first three seasons are available on Blu-Ray and can be bought online.

If the medical student in question can’t make up their mind on what they want to watch, and are a bit queasy when it comes to bloody swords, a Netflix subscription is an alternative safe choice. They’ll get to watch whatever they want each days, and Netflix fits flexible budgets, too. At $7.99 per month it’s up to you whether you get them a month or a full year of TV time.

Number three on our list is a cheeky gift that will actually come in handy, and might even bring a smile on your medical student buddy’s face. Drumroll… a t-shirt explaining why they’re not coming to the party. Why not? But remember that the rule of thumb here is to choose a gift that shows how well you know them.

Exciting and Unexpected Gifts

Every green head will enjoy a gift in support of Sea Shepherd

Every green head will enjoy a gift in support of Sea Shepherd

There are a host of awesome gifts for the environmentalists among medical students.

If your friend has mentioned the U.N.’s recent orders to Japan to cease whaling, then supporting Sea Shepherd, the modern day pirates that have raised awareness about the problem, is probably their dream. This conservation society has fought a long battle with Japan’s whaling fleet. It has run its own TV show on Discovery and is staffed primarily by volunteers. Sea Shepherd offers a range of DVD, clothes, and books in their webstore that will help them continue to fight for animal rights. Any of these will make for a thoughtful gift.

If instead (or in addition) your med student buddy is into new tech and style, then consider the Moto 360 – it’s a smartwatch from the future that everyone is buzzing about. It’s coming out soon, and I’m sure medical students will find it useful.

The one thing to always keep in mind when looking for a gift for medical students is to be considerate. Think about what they need and what they have. If the gift is planned for a big event, like a birthday or a graduation, it’s a good idea to coordinate things with other friends or family and invest together in something a bit more special.

Have any funny or touching stories about gifts you’ve given to your med student friends? Share them in the comments below.

The 2014 Short Guide to Medical School Applications

Walt Stoneburner / Flickr / CC BY

(Guest post by AIMS Education)

Before you apply for medical school, and even before you start an academic pathway that will help you transition into a medical program, consider medical school applications from the perspective of the admissions board. What qualities and characteristics make good applicants stand out? What would you want from an applicant’s recommendation letters? How can you demonstrate your aptitude while also committing to the things that you’re truly passionate about? Continue reading The 2014 Short Guide to Medical School Applications

Top 5 Medical Blogs to Help You Survive Med School

Losing valuable time in search of quality, up to date information online is something few can afford. Be the clever medical student and go where the professionals are.

Medical blogs can be the source of that one thing to help you get ahead with your work in medical school

Medical blogs can help you get ahead with your work in medical school

There’s more to being informed than keeping current with news websites, though. Medical blogs offer valuable analysis of current news that can prove quite helpful during your med school years. Here are the top 5 medical blogs every student should follow: Continue reading Top 5 Medical Blogs to Help You Survive Med School

Top Websites for Learning Medical Terminology

Med Abroad
We all have the web at our finger tips. It’s time to take advantage of it.UC Irvine / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND

What’s more disturbing — borborygmi or the pronunciation of this word?

Borborygmi is the rumbling sound in your stomach. Learning words like this is part of the fun of popular medical terminology, but what happens when you stumble upon a term without an easy-to-find definition? Continue reading Top Websites for Learning Medical Terminology

How Medical Students Can Avoid Sleep Deprivation

366 • 149 • Last day before final exam
Getting through medical school without being sleep deprived is possible! – SveinHal / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND

Is getting enough sleep during medical school mission impossible? For the vast majority of medical students it seems so. And at first glance, juggling lectures, studying for exams, and medical practice, it is indeed something that’s not humanly possible.

Actually, this is a nationwide problem so pressing that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted an extensive article showing worrying trends. Americans are so badly affected by sleep deprivation, more than a third aged 25 and above fall asleep unintentionally at least once  a month. Continue reading How Medical Students Can Avoid Sleep Deprivation