I’m finishing up my third year of medical school at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, which means that many dear friends in the class below me are about to make the plunge. Right now, some of them are probably soliciting as much advice as possible from every upper class student they run across. Simultaneously, some upper class students such as myself feel a (nonspecific) drive to help them get a strong start. Perhaps making a blog posts isn’t the most direct route for me to share a few bits of advice, but at the moment I’m still pretty busy with my internal medicine rotation, so this is how it’s going to be.

This will be a multiple part series, since there’s no way that I’ll have time to write this all out at once, and if I waited until it was all together it might not get published to the blog in time to do any good. (It will be difficult at times to spare time and energy to read, even if you’re interested in the material, so I think it’s best to try to get as much as possible out before rotations start for the class of 2014.) I’ll do my best to make the recommendations in a logical order so that if any of them build on others, they’ll be published accordingly (therefore, it may be of benefit to read them in the order published). As I go, I intend to update this introductory post with links to each individual post. Additionally, each individual post will have links to the posts chronologically before and after it, as well as a link back to this post.


With regard to content, I intend for my recommendations to be specific and concrete. I am pretty sure that is actually a word. When I entered third year, I was saturated with well-meaning advice proffered by philanthropic senior students. Unfortunately, much of this advice was not “actionable,” meaning that I could never really be sure if I had done it or not. Tips like “the most important thing is to keep a good attitude,” and “study whenever you have free time” make for excellent advice and are likely true, but personally I have not found them helpful in directing my minute-by-minute decisions. I hope that the tips I give in this series will be almost exclusively “actionable,” so that you’ll know with absolute certainty whether or not you’ve given them a shot. FWIW, I highly recommend David Allen’s Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, which has been a revolutionary book in the business productivity world (and spawned countless “GTD” spinoffs and software implementations).

Conflict(s) of Interest

Honesty is one of the principles most precious to me. For the sake of complete transparency, be forewarned that this site is “monetized” by any advertisements you see. If you use an “ad blocker,” please consider disabling it for this site by adding n8henrie.com to the whitelist. As unpalatable as ads may be at times, advertising funds the free web. Additionally, most Amazon links on n8henrie.com (such as the one above) are routed through my affiliate account, and a very small percentage of purchases made through these links goes to me. As of today, April 06, 2012, I have published 67 posts over ~2.5 years, and my total income from advertisements on my blog, YouTube videos, and Amazon, have earned me $3.38 USD (around a penny every three days, if my math is correct). Regardless, I encourage you to be skeptical of any products that I recommend, since I might benefit if you make a purchase. In return, I promise to be honest about my recommendations and experiences with each product. Hopefully it won’t be too difficult to make objective and unbiased recommendations; it’s not like this blog is going to pay off my medical school debt anytime soon :)

Concluding Thoughts

Finally, I want to take a minute to emphasize that everything will probably turn out just fine for all of you. Third year has its ups and downs for everyone, and pretty much everyone eventually makes it through. Hundreds upon hundreds (probably thousands?) of students have graduated from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, and so far they’ve all done it without my help. I won’t be offended if you don’t take any of my advice. I will be there to congratulate you on the other side.

Part One: Use a Tasklist
Part Two: Comp books and Amazon
Part Three: Checklists and @Simplenoteapp
Part Four: Penlights, Protein Bars, and @Instapaper