“The young physician starts life with 20 drugs for each disease, and the old physician ends life with one drug for 20 diseases.” – William Osler
This would undoubtedly reduce the number of smokers long-term. A short-term accomplishment would be a reduction in the number of teenage smokers due to increased difficulty in obtaining cigarettes. I think it would be interesting to obtain the opinions of longtime smokers. This is much easier to advocate being a non-smoker myself, but I would like to see more feedback from smokers. It seems logical that many smokers would discourage teens from succumbing to the same ill-fated habit as them. If this is the case, raising the age to 21 could only be deemed unjustified by a minority. Realistically, I wouldn’t think that a large number of teenagers revel at the idea of buying a pack of cigarettes so the only people truly affected would be those between the ages of 18 and 21 at the time the ban is instituted. Appease them by instituting a clause that provides exceptions to those born before 1994 and everyone is happy. I see no reason not to institute this nationwide in all honesty.
This post can also be found on the Premed Advice page.
The real benefit of volunteering in a clinic, hospital, nursing home, etc. is more than just clinical experience. To be honest, many volunteer opportunities don’t provide the immersion into medicine that people tend to think they’re going to get. However, I highly recommend volunteering for several reasons:
a) If you’ve never experienced a clinical setting, this is a good starting point to “get your feet wet”. Usually, you won’t be exposed to anything terribly unsettling. If you find situations that are uncomfortable or make you queasy from volunteer work, you should probably consider a career other than medicine.
b) Volunteering opens the door to more interactive opportunities, and better yet, opportunities that you can get paid for! By no means do I advocate taking an opportunity based strictly on financial gain, but most premed students will be less than financially stable for several years, so it definitely helps to have an income. There are several jobs in hospital settings that require little to no education, but a big selling point on obtaining a position is your clinical experiences. By completing volunteer activities, you’ll have the clinical experience that employers are looking for from interviewees. My very first clinical experience was volunteering in a hospital twice a week with very little responsibility. However, my next accomplishment less than a year later was a job as a patient sitter where I was able to interact with patients and observe the nurses and physicians in action.
c) You might meet someone who opens the door to better opportunities and/or is able to answer any questions you may have about medicine. From my experience, doctors and nurses are generally happy to talk with students interested in the field of medicine so take advantage of an opportunity to talk with them! Volunteer opportunities that provide you with chances to talk to medical personal are highly encouraged. You could create lasting relationships with nurses and physicians, and you may even see them years down the road when you’re in the medical field yourself.
d) The most obvious and simple reason to volunteer is you make a difference! I would hope anyone aspiring to be a physician has an innate desire to help others. Volunteering is an opportunity to do just that! Even if you get stuck with mundane tasks that don’t seem like you’re doing much, trust me when I saw that you are, even if indirectly. Each task in a clinical setting has a specific purpose and every employee and volunteer makes a difference. Just a few examples include: a patient greet can ease patient anxiety, cleaning leads to a more presentable establishment that patients can trust, stocking supplies saves the nurses’ time so they can treat patients more efficiently, and many more. Not only do you get more clinical exposure for your resume, but you help others along the way.
I will officially be attending medical school in the fall! I received my acceptance to my #1 choice on March 19 and could not be more excited. It’s a huge weight off of my shoulders for sure. Obviously I’ve been neglecting this blog the last couple months, but I intend to update more frequently from now on.
For any premedical students who go through the late application process like I did, there is still hope of getting in with a late application!! However, I do highly recommend sending in your application as soon as possible. I’m sure it is a lot less stressful to be part of the first few batches of students who get accepted rather than hearing others get accepted while you sit around waiting for months on end.