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Lisa M. Blacker 2010 March 3


My! How time passes!

December 10, 2009 Leave a comment

There has been so much happening in my life since I last posted on this blog – much of it very purposeful and some rather serendipitous. Thanks for your patience and your continued interest (or is it just curiosity?!)

I began interviewing schoolmates whom I perceive to be successful. The video and audio quality was terrible, so I decided to wait until after this trimester of school is over and do it right.

Also in the time I’ve been away from this blog, I’ve been doing a tremendous amount of work on myself. That has been the most resource-consuming and rewarding of all my efforts. I intend to share with you elements of my journey and especially how it relates to those of us in medical school.

First, I intend to write two terms papers and prepare for my last final exam, then finishing packing and be out of this dorm apartment before 12/21.

I’m also in the process of taking lessons on how to enhance a blog, so look for some nice changes in the next month or so.

Until we meet again, happy holidays and holy days, whichever set you celebrate.

Peace, Love and Blessings to All.

Resource Review: Learning Strategies for Success in Medical School

October 27, 2009 Leave a comment

As I search for material related to what I want to share with you, I keep finding resources I wish I had seen while I was in undergrad.

Learning Strategies For Success in Medical School is a 49-page grant-funded PDF guidebook published by Pamela Houghton DeVoe, M.A., Curriculum Development Consultant at Hispanic and Native American Center of Excellence.   While the book was written specifically for students of University of New Mexico School of Medicine, most of the material is applicable to students of all medical schools and should be required reading for ALL pre-med and first-year medical students! Those of us who have already begun will probably benefit from reading this guidebook, also.  It’s emphasis is on understanding our own learning style and adopting appropriate learning strategies with specific suggestions. It addresses some educational psychology for adult learners including characteristics of medical school and how to approach each for successful outcome.

Life balance, stress, spirituality and time management are also addressed.

The guidebook also offers motivational and inspirational tidbits, such as the quote, “Once you believe you are the agent of your success, you begin to behave in ways that will produce that success.”

Worth a thorough read!



Video Journal – 2009 October 27

October 27, 2009 Leave a comment



Journal Entry and Success Strategy: 2009 October 25

October 25, 2009 Leave a comment

I’ve had an amazing eight days but have been too busy to write all about it.  Tomorrow and Tuesday I have midterm exams, and I just completed a paper for a naturopathy foundations class.

Significant points I want to share before I get back to studying radiography:

1) Darren Hardy posted a quote on Facebook today that was an eye-opening reminder for me:

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”-Albert Schweitzer

Today, I watched and listened to Steve Edwards, a man who was my dear friend during our youth, now a guitar virtuoso who performed with a symphony orchestra with beautiful talent and passion.  He appeared to be in love with the music and having tremendous fun, too.  While I do not know the details of his recent life, with regard to his music career, this man is a success!

2) I re-discovered this week that I love what I am doing – being a medical student and becoming a physician. I INTEND that the unfinished business I have to attend will be but a brief detour, and not a distraction from my long-term goal.

Strategy for Success: Do something every day that will move me toward my goal.

I choose to go back to studying, now.  I’ll be back after my exams this week.



Journal Entry and Success Strategies: 2009 October 23

October 23, 2009 Leave a comment

It seems to me one of the most important strategies for success – as defined by either definition 1, 2 or 3 from a previous blog post – is “be prepared.” This strategy is one that seems to go without saying, but as I learned from a sage years ago: “That which goes without saying is too important not to say.”

Recently I have become aware that being prepared includes not only being committed to completing the tasks that move us toward our own goal, but also to have resolved unfinished business so as to eliminate any foreseeable distraction. Perhaps this is why it seems so much easier for traditional students – those who began college soon after graduating high school, then started med school right away without having children, being married, or owning real estate – to focus on medical school at an accelerate pace. Non-traditional students, on the other hand, have a never-ending supply of life situations tugging at our gaze, pulling our focus from our studies. For me, tending to a piece of out-of-town real estate is often on my mind, especially when the weather is wet. Other more pleasant distractions from school are grandchildren and other loving family members. Certainly my younger classmates have distractions, but of those they share with me, most are fleeting even if emotionally significant at the moment.

Also part of this being prepared is having a strong academic foundation on which to build. As I have shared in an earlier post, my less than stellar scores in organic chemistry have held me back from successful completion of biochemistry. I know I passed, but passing alone is not my definition of success.

My decision to enter medical school was made many years ago – decades ago, in fact.  My preparation for medical school, however, is still in progress. Now, I feel the need to step back to resolve for some unfinished business, after which I can re-evaluate my preparedness based on these last nine months.  What did I do right, and where is there room for improvement?  That is a rhetorical question, but for those of you who have experienced something similar, I’d appreciate your input.



What does success mean to you? An Invitation to Comment

October 16, 2009 1 comment

In the context of being a medical student, what does success mean to you?  How do YOU know if you are successful?

Which of the three definitions of success discussed earlier this week is closest to your definition of success?

  1. “Passing each required class, clinical and Board exam and subsequently  earning a license.”
  2. “Striking a healthy balance between academics and clinicals, maintaining one’s own whole health, family obligations, and financial responsibilities.”
  3. “A successful medical student is one who is able to strike a healthy balance between (a) academics and clinicals, (b) maintaining one’s own whole health, (c) family obligations, and (d) financial responsibilities, with gratitude and enjoyment  while exceeding each requirement along the way toward earning a license and establishing a thriving practice.”

I am interested in your perspective and will appreciate your comments on this subject.