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Posts by Nathan McConkey


The final summer

As we come down to the last med-school-free week of our summer, my fellow DO’14s and I will soon resume our busy lives as second-year medical students. With boards awaiting us at the end of this coming year, it’s a distinct possibility that this will have been our last truly free summer before starting our […]

— Nathan McConkey

Reach out and T.O.U.C.H. someone

Like most osteopathic medical schools, Des Moines University participates in a national volunteer recognition program called T.O.U.C.H. I completely forgot what that acronym actually stands for, but the idea is that T.O.U.C.H. is a system designed to reward students who go above and beyond the requirements of their curriculum and use their time in medical […]

— Nathan McConkey

The calm in the storm

While the new class of talented and eager P.A. students has already begun their first year at DMU, we D.O. students are enjoying a much needed break in our training as our summer gets into full swing.  As we all step out into the real world for the first time in months (on the second […]

— Nathan McConkey

Top ten things I’ve learned

Well, another term has come to a close, and I, like many of my fellow classmates, have been reflecting on all the growth, learning and progress we’ve achieved in the past year. Second-years go on to rotations, fourth-years go on to residency, and residents become fellows and attendings. Whether you’re celebrating the success of a […]

— Nathan McConkey

Health care fix: “smoke the whole pack”

Finally, just a few days ago, I at last managed to complete the last class for my master’s of public health degree here at DMU. This explains why I haven’t posted in a while – it’s been tough working on two professional degrees at once. I figured that I ought to make it up to […]

— Nathan McConkey

The little things

The road to becoming a physician is a long one indeed. In my personal case, since I’m leaning towards the field of cardiology, I have three years of internal medicine residency followed by three years of cardiology fellowship after finishing my four years of medical school (which, of course, I could only begin after four […]

— Nathan McConkey

Free SPALing…

One of the cardinal signs of obsession is when the object of one’s focus begins to play a prominent role in their dreams. In the case of medical students, it’s not unusual for us to have haunting nightmares of exams on subjects we’ve never studied, or peculiar fusions of reality and fiction in some medical […]

— Nathan McConkey

The big, bad, scary winter in Iowa

A few weeks ago, my classmates and I celebrated another major milestone in our academic pursuits. Having concluded our first semester, we are now 1/8th, or 12.5%, finished with med school! This achievement marks a brief pause in our studies during which we might reflect upon the progress we’ve made since beginning in August. Again, […]

— Nathan McConkey

The Shift before Christmas

Today, in the spirit of the season, I’d like to share a piece of poetry that I’ve just concluded as a departure from my usual blogging style. In recognition of the men and women who continue to work in EMS and emergency rooms across the country this holiday season, I’d like to present my latest […]

— Nathan McConkey

TGI Black Friday

As soon as the Thanksgiving festivities were concluded this past Thursday, I immediately rushed home to begin my preparations. Time was of the essence, and an opportunity awaited that comes not but once a year. Late that night, after scouring the internet to plan my course of attack, I fished out my winter wear and […]

— Nathan McConkey

Instant doc, just add med school

With Thanksgiving break rapidly approaching, I feel as though I ought to share a peculiar observation with my friends and classmates before they return home to visit with loved ones. Though we still have quite a ways to go on our quest to become doctors, many of our friends and family members believe the change […]

— Nathan McConkey

Like a great monster panting for breath…

Dr. William Child, a surgeon in the civil war, once wrote that “After a great battle, the whole Army is like a great monster panting for breath.” The same could be said for a class of medical students after a difficult exam. Indeed, I like to think that Dr. Child drew from his own experience […]

— Nathan McConkey

Behavioral med in video games

So med school has definitely started picking up at this point – we’ve already had several exams, with three more to come in the next two weeks (including our first anatomy exam, which consists of two parts totaling four hours combined). I must say, they’ve certainly begun to lose their novelty. In undergrad, tests are […]

— Nathan McConkey

So wrong & yet so right….

It was wrong…it was scandalous…it may or may not have been some incarnation of evil itself. And yet, I still couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try it. On one hand, it was the most diabolical creation in all of the culinary arts, and it might single-handedly oppose all that I work for as a […]

— Nathan McConkey

Victory and a look ahead

We’ve finally done it. We survived high school, we made it through college intact and endured one of the most rigorous academic selection processes in history. But now, all of that’s behind us. Now, we get to enjoy our reward – four years of mind-ripping semesters packed with 26 credits each, a rapid immersion into […]

— Nathan McConkey