A Day in the Life

So You Want to Attend an Academic Conference…

So You Want to Attend an Academic Conference…

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Academic conferences are an integral part of a graduate student’s training. They are not only a window into the life of a professor but also help you to connect with colleagues across the globe. Even better, you get to spend time outside of the lab with your lab mates while still learning new things about(...)

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The Hidden Joys of Medical School

The Hidden Joys of Medical School

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I finished my first marathon last week, a personal mental marathon that took hundreds of hours to complete—my first year of medical school. Our last lecture on that final Friday afternoon was followed by a barrage of claps, applause, cheers, celebratory pictures for Facebook and Instagram photos, and a general sense of urgency to leave(...)

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Spreading Hope to Those Deemed Hopeless

Spreading Hope to Those Deemed Hopeless

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Still half-asleep, I woke up at 4 a.m. to hit the highway for a four-hour drive. I had retired from “moving weight” (selling drugs) to moving words—ones of experience and inspiration. I was headed back to prison. I had a conversation with my mom the night before about me going “back to prison.” After her initial(...)

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The Selfless Act of Mentorship

The Selfless Act of Mentorship

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I recently lost a mentor of mine. Jeff Nye, vice president of neuroscience innovation and scientific partnership strategy at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, passed away in March, due to cancer. I’ve known Jeff since I was born, but it wasn’t until I was in college, seeking a career path, that he became my mentor. Jeff(...)

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Inside a Med Student’s Mind On a Patient Visit

Inside a Med Student’s Mind On a Patient Visit

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(Disclaimers: Although much of the following comes from my medical education, it should not be generalized to all medical students. Certain details — name, identifiers, complaints — have been modified for privacy reasons.) 7:59 p.m. I am standing outside the patient’s room in the hospital. She has just been transferred from the emergency department (ED).(...)

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Stop and Smell the Pages

Stop and Smell the Pages

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As a child, my mother would take my siblings and me to the local public library. I would check out so many books that the librarians would often ask if I was sure I could read them all. I met their challenge, however, to the point where I would sometimes get in trouble at school(...)

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A Medical Student Finds Beauty in Studying

A Medical Student Finds Beauty in Studying

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I am sitting in one of the most beautiful architectural marvels I have ever seen: the iconic Rose Main Reading Room of the New York Public Library. A thoughtless turn of the head while stretching my neck and I catch a glimpse of centuries of knowledge in their primordial form — first edition journals and(...)

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5 Tips for Preparing for your Ph.D. Candidacy Exam

5 Tips for Preparing for your Ph.D. Candidacy Exam

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The oral exam. The candidacy exam. The comprehensive exam. There are many names for it, but all pre-doctoral graduate students come to fear it. At different universities, this pivotal exam happens at different points in your Ph.D. At Johns Hopkins, most students will take their candidacy exam after their main courses are finished, but before(...)

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