Academic Burnout: Taking Breaks and Breaking Habits

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” — Muhammad AliThough this saying has been around long before Muhammad Ali, I think this sentiment explains the ways we forget about what's really important to us during bigger endeavors. It's very relevant to burnout that students and … Continue reading Academic Burnout: Taking Breaks and Breaking Habits

"What’s in a rose? That which we call a name": Semiotics in Science

"What's the use of their having names," the Gnat said, "if they won't answer to them?""No use to them," said Alice; "but it's useful to the people that name them, I suppose. If not, why do they have names at all?""I can't say," the Gnat replied.-Lewis Carroll Through the Looking-Glass Did you know that quarks and gluons … Continue reading "What’s in a rose? That which we call a name": Semiotics in Science

The (Wrong) Reasons to Become a Doctor: A Medical Ethicist’s Perspective

This post is written from the point-of-view of pre-medical students, but I believe the issues and topics that I discuss can be applied to any undergraduate student who has a desire to learn. As we search for meaning in our lives, we worry most about "Why do we want to become a doctor?" Indeed, as our … Continue reading The (Wrong) Reasons to Become a Doctor: A Medical Ethicist’s Perspective

The Unspoken Harm in the (Pre)-Medical Experience: On History and Education

When the United States established its medical school system, we could have easily chosen to mimic Europe and create an alternative to the undergraduate degree for students who specifically wanted to become doctors. Instead, we created an idea of a "pre-medical student" who would finish a four-year bachelor's degree in addition to pre-medical requirements before … Continue reading The Unspoken Harm in the (Pre)-Medical Experience: On History and Education

Rhetoric and Models of Learning: Memorization vs. Application, Bloom’s Taxonomy

I'm only four weeks into my internship at the Conte Center for Computational Neuropsychiatric Genomics at the University of Chicago, and I've already heard about three different people tell me the mathematical aphorism, "All models are wrong, but some are useful." Of course, it would be ridiculous to suggest that a model, graph, or diagram … Continue reading Rhetoric and Models of Learning: Memorization vs. Application, Bloom’s Taxonomy

Re-imagining the Self and Freedom from Distraction

Last Thursday, I visited the Ryerson and Burnham Library of the Art Institute of Chicago where I meandered the solitude granted by the bookshelves of cultural theory. Away from the hustle and bustle of crowded exhibits, I sat against a wall with a book on American History sitting in my lap. I savored the academic … Continue reading Re-imagining the Self and Freedom from Distraction

Drawing Value from our Stories; The Mark of the Mature Man

I wanted to share a small story that I recently had which sheds some light on the way pre-medical students (and undergraduates in general) perceive their education. For our medical school admissions applications, we are required to write personal statements that show more about who we are and why we are each amazing candidates for … Continue reading Drawing Value from our Stories; The Mark of the Mature Man