Osmosis News

OMEF Alumnus Spotlight: Giuliano Scaini

Osmosis Team
Published on Aug 25, 2020. Updated on Sep 15, 2020.

Each semester, Osmosis invites a new cohort of students to join the Osmosis Medical Education Fellowship program—and it's back in full swing! Today, we're posting an interview with Giuliano Scaini from back in 2018, the year we launched the OMEF program. Giuliano is now a fourth-year medical student at the University of New England in Portland, ME. Learn how he got involved with Osmosis and his medical school experiences in today's throwback interview!

How did you discover Osmosis, and why did you want to get involved?

I discovered Osmosis through my good friend and fellow medical student, Amir Abidov. He had great success using Osmosis and spoke very highly of it, so he encouraged me to give it a try, and the rest is history.

What advice would you give to incoming first years?

Medical school is a marathon, not a sprint. There will always be a lot going on but take it one day at a time and try not to burn yourself out. When things get tough just take a step back to try and see the bigger picture.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in medicine?

Some people have really interesting and unique reasons for deciding to pursue medicine, but I’m definitely not one of those people. Becoming a physician is just something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember (though when I was really little my heart was set on becoming a Paleontologist, which unfortunately didn't pan out).

What is your best study-tip?

When studying, it’s important to take frequent breaks. I’m a big believer in the Pomodoro Technique where you study for 25 minutes, take a five-minute break, and repeat. Again, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t expect to be able to be productive for eight hours straight; pace yourself! I also find that I tend to be more productive after I exercise, so if I’m not feeling as productive as I’d like, I’ll take a break to go to the gym, and then get back to studying afterwards.

Osmosis illustration of the Pomodoro Technique.

What’s been the most challenging part of your med school journey so far?

Without question, the most challenging part of medical school so far has been dealing with all of the anxiety that comes with being a medical student. Thinking about doing well on board exams, matching your top choice for residency, or just passing your next block exam can be a lot to handle at times. Two things that make this much more manageable are having a good support system and understanding that this is something all medical students go through. 

Osmosis illustration of a quote detailing the importance of the Pomodoro technique.

What’s been the most rewarding part of your med school journey so far?

It’s been very rewarding to see the progress I’ve made in my standardized patient encounters. Our encounters are all recorded so we can watch them later, and watching how awkward I was during my first one was pretty embarrassing to say the least. The more I learn and the more practice I get, the more comfortable and proficient I become, which is an awesome feeling.

Can you share the journey you took to get into medical school?

I initially applied to medical school as an undergraduate, with no intention of taking any time off. At the same time, I began working as a medical scribe, just as a backup plan. I ended up not getting accepted, but fortunately, I was really enjoying my job as a scribe and decided to continue to do that and gain as much clinical experience as possible before reapplying. I ended up taking three years off before starting medical school, and in hindsight it was the best decision I could have made! I worked full time, traveled as much as I could, and really felt refreshed and ready to start medical school.

How do you balance school and personal life?

One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given was to treat medical school like a job, and that is exactly what I do. During the day I try to be as productive as possible, but after 5 PM I put my school stuff away and unwind by going to the gym, catching up on my favorite cartoons, or playing video games. I know many of my friends do the same thing and it’s something I would definitely recommend.

What tips do you have for undergraduate students currently applying to medical school?

Don’t be afraid to take time off before applying, whether to study for the MCAT, to gain more clinical experience, or just to take a break. When I got rejected initially I was extremely upset that my journey to becoming a physician would be delayed, but the three years I took between undergrad and medical school ended up being extremely memorable and rewarding, and I can’t imagine doing things any other way.

What changes would you like to see in our current medical education system?

This may be wishful thinking, but I’d like our board exams to change so that there is less emphasis placed on the rote memorization of random facts. One of my Osmosis flashcards today was “Deletion of p16INK4a gene on chromosome 9 is involved in non-invasive urothelial carcinoma.” I guess I just struggle to see how memorizing obscure facts like that is supposed to make me a better doctor, but it feels like a lot of what I do as a second-year medical student is exactly that.

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Interested in becoming an Osmosis Medical Education Fellow? We accept new applicants every semester. Learn more about the program and get the wheels turning for your application by visiting our OMEF program page.