Med School Uncensored: The Insider's Guide To Surviving Admissions, Exams, Residency, And Sleepless Nights In The Call Room by Richard BeddingfieldMed School Uncensored: The Insider's Guide To Surviving Admissions, Exams, Residency, And Sleepless Nights In The Call Room by Richard Beddingfield

Med School Uncensored: The Insider's Guide To Surviving Admissions, Exams, Residency, And Sleepless…

byRichard Beddingfield

Paperback | July 25, 2017

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 125 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Available in stores


An entertaining insider's guide to the good, the bad, and the ugly of med school--with everything pre-med and med students need to know, from day one, to maximize opportunities and avoid mistakes.

Cardiothoracic anesthesiologist and recent med school grad Dr. Richard Beddingfield serves as an unofficial older brother for pre-med and incoming med students--dishing on all the stuff he would've wanted to know from the beginning in order to make the most of med school's opportunities, while staying sane through the gauntlets of applying to and succeeding at med school, residency, fellowship, and starting work as a new physician. With advice from additional recent Ivy League med school grads and top-tier hospital residents, this all-in-one guide is a must-have for everyone who dreams of becoming a doctor.
RICHARD BEDDINGFIELD, MD, is a practicing cardiothoracic anesthesiologist at a busy community hospital in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. After cofounding a technology firm and managing corporate insurance tax accounts, he headed back to medical school at the University of Minnesota Medical School, completed an anesthesiology residency in...
Title:Med School Uncensored: The Insider's Guide To Surviving Admissions, Exams, Residency, And Sleepless…Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8.2 × 5.5 × 0.8 inPublished:July 25, 2017Publisher:Potter/TenSpeed/HarmonyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0399579702

ISBN - 13:9780399579707

Look for similar items by category:


Read from the Book

INTRODUCTION  Interview with a Pre-Med It was a typical January evening in Minnesota. The air was biting cold, with temperatures well below freezing. The sun had set hours before I was done with work on my ICU rotation. I left the warmth of the hospital to meet a pre-med student at a nearby coffee shop to talk about my experiences in medical school. I’ve long since forgotten his name, but I remember he was a young undergrad at the University of Minnesota, studying biology. He was bright-eyed and a bit nervous about meeting a real live medical student, that being me. On a whim, I had responded a few weeks prior to an email from a pre-med interest group asking for senior medical students to meet with randomly assigned undergrads to impart to them our vast array of experiences and wisdom gained in the four torturous years of becoming a doctor. As I knocked the snow off my boots, I thought I’d rather be home cracking open a beer than bracing myself for an hour of questions from an overly eager pre-med. He immediately recognized me by the Minnesota sweatshirt I’d told him I would be wearing. It felt a bit like a blind date, though not one I would have been excited about. He was armed with a small notepad and pen. I paid for his coffee, but in retrospect I’m not sure why. Being a senior medical student, I had by that time accumulated massive amounts of student debt, so I’m sure he was better off financially than I was.  We picked a table in the corner, and he immediately recited a well-rehearsed introduction. He asked how far along I was in my studies, whether I had chosen my specialty, and if I knew yet where I would be going for residency. I answered his questions and kind of got into the whole thing. I felt like a B-list celebrity, interviewed by this eager young student listening intently to my every word, recording it in his black notepad. I hammed it up a bit, waxing poetic about my circuitous decision to become a doctor, how I’d selected my medical school, what led me to my chosen specialty. After a glowing self-introduction, I opened the floor to my interviewer. “So, what do you want to know about medical school? I’m just a few months from graduation, so I can tell you all about it, from the first week of gross anatomy to the final rotations and residency match.” I was ready to share my treasure trove of knowledge and experience. I tried to imagine his most pressing questions. He might ask about the workload in medical school, the material covered in our preclinical years, the diverse and eye-opening experiences of rotating as a student in the wards or operating rooms. He began: “So here’s what I really want to know about medical school: What MCAT score guarantees that I’ll get in?” Are you freakin’ kidding me? I couldn’t believe it. I was in my final year of med school, just months from graduation. I had been through it all! I had dissected a full cadaver, taken countless exams on everything from pathology to physiology, memorized every muscle and bone in the body, admitted homicidal patients in the county psychiatric ward, scrubbed in for twelve-hour heart surgeries. I had countless interesting experiences and myriad advice to impart, and this was his question?I gave him some BS answer, and he continued: “What topic did you choose for your admissions essay? Are there any topics that will help someone get in?” And the next question: “Right now I’m volunteering at a hospital. Do you think helping at a research lab will help my chances of getting in, or do you think volunteering is enough?”On and on he went. Every question was some variation of how do I get into medical school? Finally, I interrupted the young student: “Look, I get it. You’re focused on getting into medical school right now. But don’t you have any questions about what med school is actually like? Aren’t you curious about what awaits you once you start medical school, choose your specialty, apply to residency, and become a real, practicing physician? How do you know being a doctor is actually a good fit for you? What other career options have you considered?”He paused and looked at me like a deer in headlights. Finally, he responded: “Yeah, I do wonder about those things. But to be honest . . . I don’t even know where to begin. Getting into medical school is such a tall hurdle that it’s tough to see past that sometimes. It’s hard enough to figure out what I need to do to get in—much less what happens after that. I don’t know any doctors personally, and real information about what it’s really like to become a doctor is hard to come by.”He paused again, cleared his throat, and asked me, “So . . . what is med school really like?”  And that’s when the idea to write this book first hit me.There were enough books, internet forums, and seminars about how to get into medical school. Pre-meds have been devouring such information for decades, even more so as getting into medical school becomes increasingly competitive.I decided to instead write a book that frankly describes what it’s like getting into medical school—and beyond. I would write an exposé about being a medical student, a resident, a fellow, and a brand-new attending physician—all from the perspective of someone fresh out of the process.They say you should always know your audience when writing. This book is written first and foremost for those brave souls immersed in the continuum of medical education. This is for pre-meds who are still trying to decide if med school is for them, as well as those already in the process of applying to medical schools, anxious to learn more about what awaits them. This is also for the young medical student just starting his or her journey, a guide for what to expect and how to navigate the sometimes murky waters of med school and residency. Finally, this is for the seasoned medical student, resident, fellow, or fresh attending who wants to commiserate or borrow experiences and advice from someone else in their shoes. (Attending is one term for a physician who is done with training—a bona fide doctor, with all the status and remuneration expected with that position.) Of course, all readers are welcome. I hope this book will be enlightening to friends and family of young doctors-to-be, nostalgic for practicing or retired physicians, or at least entertaining to the curious general public. To ensure a variety of opinions and viewpoints, I’ve included stories and advice from over a dozen other young physicians from medical schools and residency programs throughout the country. Most contributors were gracious enough to provide their real names; others (whose pseudonyms appear in quotation marks) preferred to remain anonymous.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Interview with a Pre-Med | 1


1. Why Go to Med School?: Time for Some Soul Searching | 6
2. Getting Into Med School: Easier Said Than Done | 19
3. Med School Flavors: M.D., D.O., and Caribbean | 38
4. Accepted: “It Costs How Much to Become a Doctor?” | 49


5. Starting Med School: First Day of Summer Camp! | 60
6. Relationship Advice: Med School Years | 66
7. Stereotypes and Specialties: Jocks, Nine-to-Fivers, Geniuses, and Do-Gooders | 73
8. Gross Anatomy: Coffee and Formaldehyde | 80
9. Preclinical Years: Drinking from a Fire Hydrant | 84
10. Last Summer of Your Life: Research, Missions, Travel, or Booze? | 91
11. USMLE Step 1: Choose Your Career! | 98
12. Short White Coat: Now You’re a Real Doctor (Almost) | 110
13. Dual-Degree Programs: Outlets for Overachievers | 118
14. Medicine Wards: Rounding, Admissions, and Discharge Summaries | 122
15. Surgery and the OR: Life as a Sleepless Human Retractor | 131
16. USMLE Step 2 CK: “But I Really Want to Be a Dermatologist!” | 138
17. USMLE Step 2 CS: “It Costs How Much to Prove I Speak English?” | 142
18. Applying to Residency: Black Friday for the Airline Industry | 146
19. Match Day: Beginning of the End | 155
20. Graduation: Now You’re Really a Doctor (Almost) | 158


21. Tricky Terminology: The Confusing Language of Residency | 162
22. Starting Intern Year: Shit Just Got Real | 168
23. USMLE Step 3: Nobody Cares—Really | 174
24. Starting Residency: “Now This Is Really What I Want to Do! Sort of . . .” | 176
25. Relationship Advice: Residency and Beyond | 186
26. Sleep and Hobbies: Apparently Not Required for Life | 191
27. Jolly Good Fellows: “Yes, Ma’am; May I Have Another?” | 198


28. Get a Job: Light at the End of the Tunnel | 206
29. Doctor Beware: Scams, Shams, and Shady Groups | 226
30. Specialty Boards: “It Costs How Much to Prove I Know Stuff?” | 233
31. Starting Your First Real Job: “Where’s My Attending?” | 237
32. Your First Attending Paycheck: “What Do I Do with This?” | 242
33. Continuing Medical Education: “It Costs How Much to Prove I Still Know Stuff?” | 250
34. When Things Go Wrong: Guilt, Sleepless Nights, and Malpractice Attorneys | 254
35. Occupational Hazard: Dealing with Death on a Daily Basis | 262

Epilogue: Many Grains of Salt | 269

Editorial Reviews

“Med School Uncensored is a superbly crafted how-to-do-it manual for those contemplating a career in medicine; a detailed road map for those currently navigating the system; and a compelling narrative for anyone interested in the making of physicians.” –Gerald Abrams, M.D., Professor Emeritus, Department of Pathology, University of Michigan“I wish this book had been around when I was applying to med school! Next time I am asked for advice on becoming a doctor, Med School Uncensored will be the first book I recommend.” –Thomas Kurvers, M.D., Midwest Internal Medicine Hospitalists Group