"The Doctor Is In!"

Dr. Srinivas offers advice and tips for medical students.

Dr. Srinivas is in her first year as a surgical resident and offers invaluable advice for those wishing to pursue a career in medicine. From her BS to her MS and ultimately to her MD, Dr. Srinivas walks you through the journey of what to expect on your journey of becoming a doctor and getting through residency. 


SPEAKERS Brooke Smith, Dr. Srinivas

Dr. Srinivas 00:00
Any surgical intern, they'll tell you, if they have time, they'll sit there and they'll suture a banana, they'll suture an orange. They'll suture with whatever they can because the more experience you get, the better you get at it.

Brooke Smith 00:18
And on behalf of MDF Instruments, I would like to introduce you to Dr. Srinivas.

Dr. Srinivas 00:23
I'm a first year foot and ankle surgeon resident and I currently do my residency in Pennsylvania. So it's kind of a crazy time to start my residency in the midst of like a pandemic. But it's been a truly like fast pace and humbling experience so far.

Brooke Smith 00:40
Wow. So when when did you officially begin your residency?

Dr. Srinivas 00:43
So like all residency programs, we start usually in July. So we started our training in June, but different states kind of have different regulations. So like after graduation, I went straight to studying for my board exams for part three, because Pennsylvania law requires that we take it prior to starting our training. So it was kind of like we graduated online, and then I went straight to studying and then I jumped right into residency right after that.

Brooke Smith 01:13
Wow, you're just go go go. Interesting period. Where did you get your bachelor's from? Can you tell us a little bit about your medical journey to get to residency?

Dr. Srinivas 01:22
Yeah, of course. So I actually grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. So I ended up going to the University of Pittsburgh for undergrad. And then after I completed that, I always knew I wanted to do medicine. So I ended up going to Georgetown to get my master's degree, seven masters in physiology and biophysics. And I was in turn to kind of start med school at Georgetown right after but life and circumstances happen. And during that period, I ended up deciding to kind of take a break. And I went into working as a healthcare consultant for about two to three years when I kind of met my mentor through there who kind of put me onto the path of like podiatry and foot and ankle surgery. And I ended up doing my medical school after meeting her at Barry University in Miami, Florida.

Brooke Smith 02:13
For everyone watching that sounds like four years to get your ba. Yeah. Okay, so then you did your masters for a year and a half, then you took a little break?

Dr. Srinivas 02:22
Correct? I've worked for two years before going back to medical school, which is another four years, another four years on top. 

Brooke Smith 02:27 Okay, yeah, is that typical student to go from getting their bachelor to go to getting a Master's? Or can you get your bachelor and then go into medical school.

Dr. Srinivas 02:40
You can go definitely just from going from undergrad to going to medical school, actually, a lot of students tend to do that. But even in recent years, I have noticed, like a lot of my classmates and myself were considered non traditional in the sense that we didn't follow that path. So we didn't go straight from undergrad to medical school to residency. And I think it kind of helps in a way like even though it's like not the ideal path, I feel like if I had gone to medical school directly after undergrad, I don't think I would have been the same student or the same like clinician, I would be now cuz you kind of grow up in your 20s like and working in the real world. And even like going through like an intense master's program at Georgetown and kind of like shapes you to know like, what works for you what doesn't. And I think like going into medical school, it was a much easier transition for me in regards to like studying and stuff because I kind of had a routine that worked for me at that point.

Brooke Smith 03:39
Absolutely. And I think that's really important for people to understand is that not everybody's journey is going to look the same. And not that one is better than the other, you have to really do what's best for you. Some people want to take, you know, time between when to travel or to relax, because what you guys are learning and what you're doing. And once you're in your field, you're it's it's a lot. So it's good to kind of really focus yourself and figure out what it is you want and take your time.

Dr. Srinivas 04:08
And I feel like when you're in college, you have advisors, but they have so many students so they kind of pressurize you to like you if you don't meet certain scores, or certain like requirements, they're like, oh, maybe medicine isn't right for you. And I know like a lot of like my friends now who are like also in medicine, they've heard that. But I think instead of like deterring people kind of focusing on different avenues to get to the same clip, very important because like I said, If I could have gone to med school right away, but I don't think I would have valued medical school or valued my education as much as I do now, because I had like a different path to get there.

Brooke Smith 04:45
Absolutely. And I think there's just things that you learn in life, that kind of mature you and grow in a way that kind of helps when you kind of have that reset button and realize that you've grown and you've changed and And then you can go and really focus and put all your energy in something because you're, you're 100% committed, because you've taken time and you've been in the world learning lessons life lessons.

Dr. Srinivas 05:11
Yeah. And I think it's important to why I kind of started Instagram or like my profile was kind of based on that, because a lot of my younger classmates would reach out and they'd be like, Oh, I didn't do well on this exam, or do you have tips on like, how to get through the next phase. And it's really hard when someone's struggling to just say, you'll get through it. And I feel they know that other people struggle through, like what they see is just like a highlight reel sometimes. So it's okay to like, not have the same path, it's okay to like not pass every exam, you'll still get to where you need to go. But you might just have to work at it differently, which was kind of what motivated me, our school does kind of like a big little program. And my little always reaches out to me. And same thing, like I reached out to my big and it forms like a little community where you have mentors to kind of guide you. And I think that's super important. Because otherwise you feel like you're in it alone. You don't know if you're doing this, right.

Brooke Smith 06:07
Yeah. And I think that's incredibly important. Because you know, if you have a dream or a goal, if something and you can look down the line and see someone's already gone through what you are going through currently, and you can see, oh, there there a year and a half there two years there four years down the line, where am I going? How do I get there? How did they get there, and then also kind of sending the elevator down and doing that for people who are a couple years behind you, it really kind of connects everybody and helps everyone realize that it's a journey. And we're all kind of just in different spots on the journey. We're not alone. Everybody can connect and understand each other. And I think that's the great thing about social media. And the great thing about this podcast is because we really want to like connect people and make them realize they're not alone. It's not the end of the world. If you fail the test, you can fail something over and over again. And that doesn't mean you still can't reach your dream. Because it's not the in the feeling it's in the rising and it's in the it's in the learning from the feeling that you grow. 

Dr. Srinivas 07:05
And, for me social media, even though my point was to help others I feel like I find found like a couple of mentors myself through the think world attendings now who have social media to kind of highlight their cases or their workload or how they manage it. And it's such a small community, even though like medicine is very vast and advanced that everyone is connected in some way or another. And especially in the field, like we're in like podiatry and foot and ankle surgery, we have only nine schools in the nation that specializes in that we're even more tied and using the platform has actually introduced me to different attendings on the West Coast that I might not have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. So I think it's like a great way for you to learn as an individual, but also to help others below you. Mm hmm.

Brooke Smith 07:52
Absolutely. And I think you also hit on a really great point, which was just that it's a highlight reel. A lot of social media is a highlight reel, I think it is moving a different direction where people are trying to be a little more real about the struggling and about how hard things are and that people aren't alone. But yeah, I think it's really important to to remember that people are usually posting their highlight reel, and they're not posting the struggle as much as they are the victories.

Dr. Srinivas 08:16
Because I'm guilty of that, too. Sometimes I look back and like, Oh, I actually had a really bad day that day. But if you see a picture, you're probably like, Oh, she's having a great day. residency is not that hard. But it's not for learning. Sometimes you have 15 hour days, and you just want to go home and sleep and other days, you might have a lighter load, but it comes with a learning process and not going to pass everything or you're not going to have a perfect day every day. Because that's completely unrealistic. Doesn't matter what profession you're in, like, even if you're in medicine or not, you're not going to have a great day every day. It's just the reality of it.

Brooke Smith 08:51
Yes, definitely. Definitely. I would love to talk a little bit about how you found this career, how you found this niche. What drew you to it? Can you tell us a little bit about that journey and how you how you started to pursue this?

Dr. Srinivas 09:04
Yeah, so like, I've always wanted to actually be a physician. I was born in India, and I was there till I was five. So every year when I used to go back, there's a huge discrepancy in the class system there. So you see a lot of like people who are poor who can't afford basic medical care. And being here, you kind of take advantage of that. You're like, Oh, I go to a yearly dental visit, or I go to my vision visit. It's just a requirement. I was very sick when I was younger. And then when I was in grad school, I actually got diagnosed with a vision condition called amblyopia. And my surgeon who diagnosed me after so many years, kind of like enlighted and invigorated my passion again that you go there for preventative care with a lot of people don't get so I kind of was always toying with I want to be a physician I want to give back like that's my goal, but I didn't know like what exactly would be the perfect field for me and After grad school when I was working as a healthcare consultant, like I mentioned, I used to be on different floors in different hospitals around the country. So I had clients in California as well as New York and one of the physicians in the New York hospital I was that kind of just pulled me aside one day, and she was like, I see you're so passionate about it, why haven't you considered medicine, and he was a podiatrist. And she kind of put me onto this like little Avenue. And I didn't really know, to be honest, what a podiatrist does when you think podiatry are like, Oh, it's just be like nail care. And then I had the opportunity to shadow one of her colleagues in Georgia when I was visiting. And then it just, I saw that they not only take care of surgery, but they take care of population, like diabetics, which have like a lot of comorbidities and issues. And in the long term, I kind of wanted to do mission work. And I felt like it would combine the both the best worlds, and there are podiatrists around the world. And especially if I wanted to start something in India, in the future, like doing mission trips, there's a huge diabetic population, they're not served at all. And there's no preventative measures. So I felt like it would combine my passion of giving back but also kind of combined my passion for medicine in the best way possible. And that's kind of how I got on to that field.

Brooke Smith 11:23
Well, I know I can say from myself, and for everybody watching, just want to thank you for your service, because it is not an easy path. I know it takes a lot of hard work a lot of dedication, and you have to be extremely intelligent as well. And I think most medical professionals, they have very empathetic hearts, they want to give back, they want to bring health to people because it doesn't matter how much money you have, or where you live, if you don't have your health, you're not going to be able to enjoy your life. And I think that it's really beautiful, when you have experienced and seen something that a lot of people may not have experienced themselves, that kind of makes you gives you a different perspective on Wow, how incredibly lucky am I to even be here, you know, where, where I can go to the dentist twice a year or I can just, you know, go to the doctor, even though you know, medical care still hard here for some for four, there's still that discrepancy between people who are uninsured and everything here, it's still not going to be on the same level as what you experienced in India. And I think it's also really beautiful that your your medical condition, when you are five, having some health problems that kind of lead you into this beautiful kind of journey of now being on the other side and having that health back and wanting to give that back to others. It's really, really beautiful.

Dr. Srinivas 12:56
I feel like it like I mentioned, there's a lot of physicians that I've like met or like who I've personally helped me. So you see how they treat their patients or how they treat their day to day. And as like the next generation of physicians, you kind of want to emulate their standard of care. And especially like for my surgeon, she still works in Pittsburgh, and I had my surgery, my first year of medical school actually. And after going to her I literally make it an effort to go visit her every year just because I just trust her and she genuinely treats all her patients like their family and treats them and things like that I don't think you can necessarily learn just by going to a class and you have to have like mentors like that. And I think that there are so many physicians in America like that want to give back and treat their patients so well. And I, I felt blessed I met her on my journey because she really impacted how I want to see my patients in the future as well.

Brooke Smith 13:58
And I think that's a really powerful thing, too, is loving kindness, and coming from having that altruism and just coming from that place of wanting to help. It spreads like it just spreads, it spreads so much joy in it and ignites in us I want to do that to you made me feel amazing. You helped me so much. I want to go and help other people. And it just kind of keeps trickling down like that, which I think is incredibly beautiful. And we do that with. With MDF. We love getting involved in medical missions and donating supplies. So please let us know if you if you end up doing some medical missions. 

Dr. Srinivas 14:33
I mean, yeah, I was like after my training, I would love to do that in the future, like work with companies like that who want to give back because it's not going towards like a person or brand. It's going towards helping others which I think is super important.

Brooke Smith 14:48
Absolutely. Yes, but definitely let us know about that because we love to sponsor those kinds of things as well. So that's awesome to know. Can you also tell us a little bit about so I know you're in your residency now and you've been doing For a few months, and I know you talked about on social media, you talked a little bit about blocks in residency. And I was curious what, what that was, how many blocks are there. And I think I read about you were going into your second block. And I thought that was really fascinating. And I'm sure a lot of the people watching are not familiar because they're not in the residency yet. So can you talk a little bit about that?

Dr. Srinivas 15:22
Yep. So just like when you're a third year medical student, you're required to do different rotations and rotations or like different specialties that you kind of go visit to kind of get a hands on experience on what might be the right fit for you. So rotations are examples or like anesthesia, you might have internal medicine, you have general surgery, you might have like a clinical one. So it's like different providers, you go and kind of shadow them and work alongside them. And it's your first exposure to like clinical experience as a medical student. And that kind of determines what you pick as like a for residency, like what you want to specialize in. It's usually dependent as a third year when you go through that you kind of were like, Oh, I really loved my emergency medicine rotation, I think I want to be an emergency medicine specialist. So the interesting thing is, when you go into residency as a first year, you're considered an intern. So you kind of do all the specialties again. So you start on service. So since I'm a surgical residency, when I'm on my inservice, they're typically I work with my team of surgeon. So meaning, it's my the patient that attendings and the program that I'm going to graduate with, that's what's called in service, when you're out of service. It's those other rotations like your anesthesia, your internal medicine, your infectious disease. So right now I'm on my anesthesia block. So that's for like, two weeks where I rotate with the anesthesiologist kind of learning how to like certain things that they do and get practical and clinical knowledge from them kind of training from them. So overall goal of your first year is to be like a well rounded physician. So if I go into residency and say, I'm an internal medicine resident, I might have blocks where I still do general surgery, I might do infectious disease. So we all rotate through the same type of rotations, just to make sure we're like well rounded physicians, because medicine is holistic, it's not like if your specialty is say dermatology, you might you still need to know medicine, even though from year two, you'll be just in clinic or specializing in that. So your first year as a resident is considered like your intern year where you go through these different blocks, and you go through like in service and off service rotations.

Brooke Smith 17:44
Okay, but because I was going to be my follow up question was the interning year because I know that you also mentioned that it was a difficult time, and very stressful.

Dr. Srinivas 17:52
But you get thrown into it because like you're not a student doctor anymore. You're a physician. So like, it's a steep learning curve, that people ask you for decisions regarding patient pay, do you want this order placed? Or like hey, like, what do you want to do for this patient? So I think that's a huge learning curve in regards to going from being just a student to being a physician. When someone looks at you and they're like, hey, Doctor, like, do you want to order this for your patient? And you're like, wait, Me Like You I don't like sometimes I like introduce myself accidentally, after so long. I'm like, Hi, I'm student doctor, and my attendings always make fun of me. They're like, no, you're a doctor. Now. You're no longer a student. But it's a learning curve in that like your intern, you're you. You're making the decisions for your patients and your attendings believe in you to manage their patient care. So you kind of have to like, learn very quickly. And one thing I've noticed is, if you don't know you just ask like you ask your upper residents, you ask your attendings and most times someone is always there to help you because they know what's like they went through it. So like, I find that I'm lucky in the sense that my upper residents are so helpful when I was on call my first weekend, and it was a holiday weekend. Like we got so many like console training. So many people came into the emergency room for like specialty, and my co residents spent the whole weekend with me, helping me write notes, helping me see the patients helping me make the decisions. And I think it's very important to kind of have that when you're starting off because it is scary to go in. And when someone asks you what do you want to order? Where do you want to go? Like, what do you want to do? You have to kind of have a plan. And that's something like that you learn as you go on that it's your decision how you want to proceed?

Brooke Smith 19:51
Yeah, I think you bring up such a great point about just, you know, using people that are around you that can help you and that's not a bad thing. You know, you should never be afraid to ask questions because that's how we learn. And we all have to, you know, the doctor has been a doctor for, you know, 30 years specializing in something they've been through. They were where you were, you know, at some point. So it's really important to not be afraid to ask those questions and to ask for help.

Dr. Srinivas 20:18
I personally like to not shy away from asking just because I would rather do it right than ask someone then like, pretend like I might, because I don't know everything. And I know that my attendings and my seniors know that I don't know everything. So they're there to help me. So that's one of the steepest like learning curves is like when people come up to you, and they're like, what do you want to do for this patient. And sometimes you don't know because you haven't seen this patient population, or you might not have seen what they have. So I always believe I'm on like, my upper years, and how using utilizing them as a resource, because they've been through this and it's crazy, when you're going through it, you don't really know that you're learning a lot. But even within one month, I can tell you that I know way more than what I came in with. So I can see, like, if they're a second year, how much they learned, because they're willing to like, sit down and tell you all these things. And sometimes you're like, wow, you know, so much. And they're like, Don't worry, you'll get it too.

Brooke Smith 21:16
Exactly. And I think you brought up a good point, too, that people don't expect you to know everything, you know, they don't expect you to know everything, you shouldn't expect that of yourself, there's going to be a lot of different isn't a lot of different things that you don't know that you're going to learn. And that's going to happen forever. When you're a doctor for 30 years, you're still going to be learning things, there's still going to be cases of things you might not know the answer to. 

Dr. Srinivas 21:39
And that's okay, that's just you, there's room to grow. Because I've noticed a lot of attendings like the newer generation they have, they use their platform, and they highlight cases. And it kind of becomes like an open forum for discussion and how they do certain. Okay, so like, My specialty is surgery. So like when we have our surgical day, we get assigned cases. And that's usually done by the Chief in our program. And every program does it differently who assigns it, but typically, someone gives you cases for the day. So I feel like the best way to know instead of going blindsided, even if you're a fourth year student, when you're like doing these addition interviews is to reach out to your resident. And if you're a resident reach out to your attending and be like I'm assigned to this case, like just talk about their surgical approach because there's so many ways different people do the same thing. And you'd be surprised. And the best way to like become unprepared is kind of know, hey, this might be where they might place the incision. And like knowing that in certain things like when you go into an or, especially for surgical cases, you have to prep the patient and you have to drape them, you have to have like a tourniquet, you have to have certain things lined up because you don't want to waste the attendings time. And also you don't want to waste the nurses time or the patient's time. So when you go in prepared, it really helps as far as like training beforehand. I always read up for my cases in the sense that we have different textbooks that I use to kind of prepare for the cases, I talked to my attendings and then I kind of have an idea on how they'll approach it. And the craziest thing is all there's a lot of YouTube videos from different like facilities that kind of go through like surgical procedure. So if you were to a YouTube a certain procedure, I bet you it's someone's done it. So kind of just watching their approach and seeing how they do it, it makes you feel a little more confident, you have an idea, like I read up on it, I talked to the attending, I know what I'm going to do. And then this is when you go in, you're prepared to do that. And I also think it helps like for me personally, when you're a surgical intern, I feel like you should know how to suture really well. And that's something that comes with practice. And everyone will tell you that. And suturing is not as easy as it looks. You have different layers in your skin that you sutures different ways. You use it using different suture types. And you kind of have to be familiar with those things. And that comes with practice. So if you ask any surgical intern, they'll tell you, if they have time, they'll sit there and they'll suture a banana. They'll say turn orange, they'll suture with whatever they can because the more experience you get, the better you get at it. And I they attendings know it's your first couple of weeks and you're new and they understand they're patient with you. But for me, I feel like I get more confident the more I do things. So I just like to practice it's kind of therapeutic for me when I sit there and I do a couple of stitches to kind of like be like, Okay, I know what I'm doing. I kind of have an idea.

Brooke Smith 24:39
Yes, and practice does make perfect that is one thing that you do talk about a lot is preparation is key and just preparing yourself if even just to make yourself feel confident to help just kind of bring that calmness to you like and by watching the YouTube videos. You know, you kind of know what to expect and then that kind of eases your mind a little bit. 

Dr. Srinivas 25:04
And you can prepare and just kind of center yourself think preparation for me is key. Because if I go in and I didn't call my attending or I didn't read up, I can tell you that one day would be very unhappy and to the case would take much longer than it needs to be. And your goal is to be prepared to be efficient for everyone involved. And that's something any surgical resident will tell you like, it's kind of something you have to do. And even if you're not a surgical resident, if you're like an internal medicine, they look at their patient list so many times that they can tell you from the back of their hand, like what's going on with each patient. And it kind of comes with like learning like you kind of have to go in knowing this is my job. And if someone's asking you to do it, I should be aware of what's going on.

Brooke Smith 25:48
Yes, absolutely. Can you tell us a little bit more about what the rest of your journey is going to look like down the line and kind of where you see yourself headed?

Dr. Srinivas 25:59
Yeah, well, I think that our surgical residency is unique. It's three years, every surgical residency program is kind of different. So ours is three years. Ideally, I would like to do a fellowship, which is like another additional year in training. And that's when you can like specialize in specific things like sports medicine, or wound care or things like that. So I'm still trying to find like, what I want to do a fellowship in, but I'm also keeping my options open to kind of like, also joining a practice are working for a couple of years since I have been in training and school for so long. So I'm, it's like a work in progress. But ideally, I would either like to have a fellowship after my three years of residency, and then join a practice, or join a practice. So that's something I feel like as I go along, I'll kind of realize, like, what more I want to do with it, since it's so early in the game, I, I'm just trying to like get my feet wet right now.

Brooke Smith 26:56 Absolutely. And that's, it's a great advice as well, because you don't really know what's going to happen in you know, you, it's great to have an idea where you want to go because that those take steps to get there. But it's also great to stay so open minded like you are, and knowing that, you know, you're kind of just gonna feel this out get through, you're just you know, beginning with residency, you're getting your feet wet, and then you kind of just maybe you want to take some time and go go work, or maybe you don't, you know, you're kind of just going to see how it goes. And I think that should alleviate a lot, a lot of pressure that people feel like I have to know the answer right now I have more I'm going to be in five years, I have to know, you don't have to know. Because even if you think you know, it can change.

Dr. Srinivas 27:36
Being a non traditional, you can make so many plans being like I'll graduate college, I'm going to go to medical school, and then I'm gonna get like personal things like I might want to get married, I want to do this. And like, if anything it teaches you going through this is like life doesn't really go according to plan. And you might not be in the specialty you want it to be in, you might not be in the location you want to be in for residency. And it all comes with like learning so you kind of just have to have an idea, but at the same time, be flexible. Because a lot can change between now and three years from now. Like your goals could be different, where you want to end up could be different. So you just have to have an idea, like you said, like, Oh, I want to do this ideally, but your path might be a little different.

Brooke Smith 28:20
So yeah, you enjoy the journey. Enjoy me because it's life is the whole all life is just a journey and you just got to enjoy.

Dr. Srinivas 28:28
Live, I feel like the best advice anyone can give, just enjoy the process. Because even four years of medical school, it's tough, but it's probably the best four years I've ever had. I made such great friends, I lived in a great city, I got to enjoy the and I feel like that's really important because people get so bogged down by like, Oh, I have to get past this. I have to get the top grades. I have to do this to get where they need to go. And they often times forget to enjoy the journey because it goes by really quickly you I felt like I just started school. And sometimes when I look back and seeing all the first year start like medical school this this year, a couple of days ago, I was like wow, that flew by really quickly.

Brooke Smith 29:12
I think it's it's so so powerful and true. And don't let people put pressure on you don't put pressure on yourself and enjoy the journey because it is a long one. But it is a fun one in it. It does have a lot of rewards with friendships and with life lessons. Exactly.

Dr. Srinivas 29:29
I think that's what people also forget when they're going through this. Like they just forget that this is part one part of your life like it's their career, but there's life outside of it too. So I think that's why a lot of physicians like even on social media, they discuss that length like physician burnout and I think that that's also a key like we in this profession are so like moved by like doing different things to achieve our next goal and there's so many expectations we tend to forget That, like, we also need to take time for ourselves or time for our family, because the time continues to go. So it's like, sometimes great to like interact with like even this conversation, you're like, wow, I should do things that I wouldn't normally do. Because I'm so tired, I'm stressed out. So it's kind of great to like, be like, let's take a step back. Because we also have other things we do outside of just work.

Brooke Smith 30:23
It's so important to just be able to recharge your batteries and find whatever self care that is for you. And I know you're a huge proponent of that. Just saying, Listen, you want to take time for yourself, self care is key. You know, it's great that this is such a huge part of your life, but it shouldn't be your entire life, you have to stay balanced as an individual, so that you have more to give back.

Dr. Srinivas 30:43
If you get stressed out right now, by everything thrown at you, you're going to burn out between like two years, three years when you're working 15 hours a day for like maybe a week or two weeks straight. So I think it's like really important. And that's something I feel like, you'll find out what works for you. But like I said, being a non traditional, I kind of knew going into medical school, what worked for me, so I had a set schedule to study. And then I would spend time, like exploring Miami with my roommates or my friends and are just like going out to eat. And that's just how I functioned. And like, I remember studying for my part one board exams, it's like very stressful. So I had a set schedule, I would study from like 7am to 7pm, I would take one hour for lunch break, and then I would work out before but after those, like I told myself, like two months of studying so hard. I was like, it's my time. So I took a vacation. So I think like different people deal with it differently. But for me, I was like, when I need to do work, I have to have something to look forward to at the end of it. So I always find that as my bounce, have it be like what everyone deals with things differently. Like have it be take a trip or have a have, like you have a spa day, whatever it is, I think it's really important that when even as a student, you kind of implement that into your like schedule.

Brooke Smith 32:02
It sounds like you iplemented a great schedule where it was like, this is the time to work. And when work when I say okay, I study for 12 hours, that's enough, I'm not going to think about this anymore. Now from seven till the time I go to bed, I'm going to go out to dinner, I'm going to, I'm going to let my mind turn off because I think what can get happen in a lot. And I feel like even now with COVID and people having to stay at home a lot more is the kind of data kind of just drags on where it's like you just feel like you're doing it forever. And there's no kind of start and stop because you're you're studying studying at seven. And then it's midnight, you're still studying, but maybe you didn't actually study for even as long as you did, you maybe didn't even actually study for 12 hours, but it feels longer because you didn't sign just to say, okay, from this kind of this time I'm doing this. And that's it. And then after that I can turn this off, and I can go de stress with my life and relax and give back to myself.

Dr. Srinivas 32:53
I agree. And especially like with COVID, like I we graduated, we didn't have a graduation celebration or anything. So like everything was virtual. And then I went straight into studying for my third board exam. And I was still in Miami, but everything is closed down and can't go anywhere. So it was very difficult to like kind of like motivate yourself to study because like, there wasn't much to do, but I was like, You know what, if I study like, six hours today, then I'll go for a run on the beach. Or if I'd study six hours today, then maybe I'll just like go for a walk, something to look forward to. And I think it's so important to kind of implement that into your daily routine or even like your study schedule, because oftentimes, I feel like it's not if you study for 12 hours or six hours, it's how productive you are in that time. And like I remember a lot of my classmates wouldn't be like, how did you study 12 hours, it's like, what works for me might not work for you. And I always say take it with a grain of salt, like do what works for you. You would know that by now. But make sure you take breaks. And I was like for me that always was like at 7pm when I left the library, I was like I'm not studying anymore. Like I'm done.

Brooke Smith 34:00
Thank you so much for joining us on our podcast today. It's been such a pleasure.

Dr. Srinivas 34:05
You It was great talking to you. It was a nice break from my day. So I appreciate you inviting me to talk with you today. 

Brooke Smith 34:12
Oh, well, we appreciate you so much. And for everybody who's watching. I know that you are a great advocate and please follow her. I know that it's okay if they asked you questions. Her entire Instagram page is dedicated to helping students through their whole medical journey and she has great advice and I know that she wants to be a mentor for everyone. So please, please use that.

Dr. Srinivas 34:37
I appreciate it. And I like I said I feel like it's the open door policy for having the platform because I want to use it to meet others and help them along the journey doesn't matter if they're in college or even high school because everyone's path is different. So I just wanted to keep it open and if I personally don't know like in the specialty that you want, I'm sure it can connect you with some One who does because I feel like I'm friends with a lot of people in different aspects of medicine and they helped me get where I am today. I'm sure I can find someone to connect you with if not.

Brooke Smith 35:11
Thank you so much for having you. It was great talking to you.



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