Student experience at Stanford School of Medicine

Student experience at Stanford School of Medicine

November 25, 2019 24 By Stanley Isaacs


[MUSIC PLAYING] Quality of life was
very important to me in why I’m choosing schools. And coming here, I knew
that I would be happy. When I was looking
for med schools, I was really looking
for a school that would allow me to grow
professionally and let me do what I wanted
to do and go where I wanted to go professionally. [MUSIC PLAYING] Why Stanford? I needed to do a little bit
of everything in my life. I needed to be able to do other,
non-medically related things at the same time. The big component for me
was the ability of Stanford to recruit people who are
really interested in the types of things I’m interested in. I thought it was the best place
for me in terms of research and in terms of
life experiences. It was important to have
that spectrum of things that I could engage in. [MUSIC PLAYING] I think one of the biggest
thing about Stanford was that you just get
to be who you are. There’s no specific track
that you need to be on. It’s really choose
your own adventure. In the med school, there’s
so many opportunities to excel– clinically, in
basic science research, on health policy. But even outside the med
school, just being part of a bigger university
is huge because you can connect with the
School of Education, the School of Design, the Law
School, the Business School– to really build your own
little niche at where you’re going to excel. I was taking cost
effectiveness classes over at the Business
School that had focuses on health and
hospital management and nonprofit management. And that was fantastic for me. And I’m actually doing
neuroimaging research, mostly with stroke and
hemorrhage and outcome analysis. I did Summer Institute
for Entrepreneurship where you learn how to start
a company, essentially, over the course of four weeks. And then I was working
for an economist on anemia and Chinese
schoolchildren. Being a clinical student
is a little different in that you really
are an apprentice. You are learning the
culture of medicine. You’re learning how to present. You’re learning how to
categorize information. It really does take interacting
with 20, 30, 100, 200 patients. When I’m coming
to school, I come for the “Practice
of Medicine” course, which is my favorite course. I think it’s the
most relevant course. It’s a course that we have both
first year and second year, where by the very first day or
the first week of med school, you’re already learning how
to interact with patients. And it’s really developing
the clinical skills that you’re going to need
throughout your career. My favorite rotation
so far has actually be my pediatric surgery month. I got to make a
difference right away. I got to be able to
be in a room and do a procedure that within
24, 48 hours made a difference in someone’s life. And I got to see the kid before. I got to see the kid afterwards. And I got to see
how we helped out. And that was actually
very, very rewarding. Arbor Free Clinic is a
student-run free clinic that runs weekly on Sundays. And it’s a great
opportunity for students to practice the skills that
they’re learning in class. In addition, it’s
just really inspiring to get out into the community
and really remind yourself why you’re in med
school to begin with. Because sometimes
you just get lost in the minutia of the
science of the medicine, and you really just
want to remind yourself that you’re in it
to care for people and to really make an
impact on the community. I think the new Med School
building is a great resource. It’s wonderful to always
have your classmates around. It really shows you that
Stanford cares about you when they’re willing to do this. And to give us the penthouse,
where we have a gym. There’s a kitchen
and study spaces. And it’s great to
always have that. All of my friends from
college are in New York. They’re all on the East Coast. But I’ve formed an
amazing community here. If I ever need any
support, they’re here– via my classmates, via
mentors at the University. I was very scared coming in. But with my classmates,
they’re so amazing. Everyone’s very friendly. Everyone emails each other what
we need to do the next day. Everyone checks on each other. There’s also
someone that you can talk to if you have
difficulties studying. I went to talk to
someone, and they’re teaching me how I learn. And so that was a
great experience because now I’m making
better use of my time. [MUSIC PLAYING] I feel like you would get
a great education no matter where you went. But what sets Stanford
apart is the people that you’re going meet and
the professional network that you’re going to build here. And so the social
things that we do is really to build
that community, so you can really get to know
your classmates so that you can develop the bonds that
are going to carry you through the future. First and second year, you
have a surprising amount of free time. The pass/fail system affords
you the option to do a lot. My first two years,
I would go to class. I was also one of
the social chairs and so organized events with the
medical school, the law school, all the other
professional schools. They organized a surfing
trip, and it was amazing. I went surfing
for the first time in my life in very cold waters. But it was very exciting. I go up to Tahoe. I often will go up for a day
trip if I don’t have time. Which means you wake up at
4:00 AM and you ski all day, and then you get
home at 10:00 PM. And then you have your
Sunday to do all the homework that you need to do. They actually make it up to
San Francisco quite a bit A lot of my friends
from undergraduate live up in the
city now, and it’s great to spend a Friday night,
Saturday night up there– either stay up there or take
the train there and back. And you can even get
off campus a little bit and see the rest of what
the Bay has to offer. [MUSIC PLAYING] The best advice that I would
give to students choosing medical school right
now is to firstly speak to older students
that are there. It’s really important to find
students who are like-minded. You go through the whole
logic of the check boxes. Does this place
have this or that? But at the end of
the day, you need to ask yourself do
I think I fit here? Are these people sitting
with me on Admit Weekend, can I see them as my classmates? And you really have to pick
a place where you don’t just grind it out, but you
actually enjoy yourself while you’re doing it. There is not a question in my
mind that when I leave here, I’m going to be incredibly
happy with the five years that I spent here. And then it won’t
just be something I did to get a degree. It’ll be something that
made me a better person. [MUSIC PLAYING] The preceding program
is copyrighted by the Board of Trustees of
the Leland Stanford Junior University. Please visit us
med.stanford.edu.