This edition of 5 question features a fellow medical school blogger, The Hero Complex. A (pseudonym for anonymity) writes about acing the MCAT, getting into medical school, earning a sizable scholarship, and studying in medical school. You can connect with him on twitter via @theHero_Complex.
Where are you in your medical education and how did you get there?
I am currently enjoying the last couple of weeks of freedom this summer before starting my second year of medical school. I like to remain mostly anonymous, but I am enrolled at a big state school in the Carolinas. Over the last 10 weeks, I participated in a paid research program that my school offers, so I was exposed to clinical research and the Emergency Department. However, now I am really happy to have a few weeks of zero responsibility and catching up with family, friends, and a good book.
I am kind of looking forward to second year. I have heard there is a TON of information, but that it is interesting and actually useful material. Plus I hated anatomy lab, and there is none of that during MS2.
What’s the story behind The Hero Complex? Why did you choose that name for the blog?
I actually started my blog because I was inspired by the writings of someone else: Dr. Zac, an Emergency Medicine physician, who writes for Agraphia: Medical Tragicomedy. I love his writing style and stories, and wanted to emulate him. However, once I got started it became slightly addictive to know that people were actually reading (and enjoying) my writing. I wanted to keep blogging useful and interesting material, so here I am over 1.5 years later!
To answer the other question: the name of my blog has to do with my personality. I am a nerd and love all things superhero (I wanted to be Batman until I was like 16 years old). A part of me thinks I chose medicine as a career because it is the closest I can be to becoming a real life superhero. I think having a “hero complex,” or wanting to help people just for the sake of helping people is a common characteristic of medical school applicants/students, so hopefully my readers can also relate.
How do you balance writing for The Hero Complex with your medical school course load?
To be honest…writing for my blog gets put on the back burner more often than I would like. Medical school requires more work and time than I ever imagined, and I want to do really well, so it is my first priority. With Step 1 looming, I can’t imagine these priorities changing. I do want to work on balancing the two a bit better during my second year.
I am also not the strongest of writers, so posts take me a couple of hours to research, develop, edit, and then publish. People also don’t realize how much time goes into answering emails and comments associated with blogging. All this being said, I do love writing and interacting with my readers. On weekends, I usually try and take at least an hour or two to write a post and plan the next one.
What plans do you have for the blog in the next year?
During my first year of medical school, I loved using Anki to memorize large amounts of information. So this past winter, my big idea for The Hero Complex was to start selling Anki MCAT Flashcards. It has been a huge success, and people have loved the low price for such a useful product.
This year I want to continue to grow readership, and start offering a monthly newsletter. I am going to chronicle my study plan, and experience with the USMLE Step 1. I also have an idea for an eBook that may or may not get written sometime in 2013 or early 2014. Time is always the limiting factor in rolling out the next big thing, but there is so much potential in blogging in the medical field.
What advice do you have for premeds or medical students who want to get into blogging?
Just do it! Start writing. Write about what you know. Write about your experiences or aspirations. Offer something useful or interesting and people will read your blog, I guarantee it. I can’t imagine going through medical school without blogging on the side. I have met and interacted with so many cool and interesting people, and my writing skills are so much better than they used to be. The Hero Complex has kept me sane, and become fairly successful. It is definitely something I am proud to own and operate.
Connect with The Hero Complex via twitter @theHero_Complex
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[Featured image via Flickr user ~C4Chaos]