Student Stories is a collaboration between The Merck Manuals and real medical and nursing students. Our team of bloggers offers insights, tips, and a glimpse into what it’s like to experience medical school today. Meet our current contributors below. If you are a current pre-med, nursing student, or a first, second, or third-year medical student and are interested in becoming one of our bloggers, please visit our Blog For Us page to learn more.
Avani Patel, MD, MHA is a PGY-2 psychiatry resident at the University of Mississippi Medical Center with plans to pursue a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry fellowship in the future. Over the course of her medical school training, she has discovered her passion for advocacy, policy, media and marketing, health equity, and healthcare administration, graduating with her Master’s in Healthcare Administration with emphasis on executive-level leadership. She has lived in Mississippi her entire life, and it has taught her true community. She also enjoys traveling, professional development activities, and serving as a leader locally and nationally. Dr. Patel currently serves on the Mississippi State Medical Association Board of Trustees, and was selected for the American Medical Association and the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine Medical Justice in Advocacy Health Equity Fellowship. Outside of school, she enjoys nurturing friendships, spending time with family, meeting new people, public speaking, organizing events, and writing. A few other noteworthy passions of hers are hiking, painting, cars, beauty, and fashion.193 Articles
Resident pathologist at Northwestern. Before medical school he studied the History, Philosophy and Social Science of Science and Medicine at the University of Chicago and received his Master of Bioethics degree from Harvard Medical School. His written work may be found in journals including Hektoen International, the HMS Bioethics Journal, the Pathologist and JAMA Cardiology with additional work found on Student Doctor Network and the Merck Medical Student Manuals. His professional interests include Microbiology, Hematopathology, Education and Global Health equity and infrastructure.94 Articles
Niki K. Patel, MS is currently a 4th-year medical student at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. She is former Southern Region Chair for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and currently serves as an Ambassador for the American Medical Association (AMA). Niki received her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Mississippi College and her master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Over the course of her medical school training, she became heavily involved in research and various leadership roles locally and nationally, where she discovered her passion for advocacy and health equity. Her interests stemmed from growing up in rural Mississippi as a first-generation American. Outside of medicine, Niki enjoys meeting new people, experiencing new travel destinations, getting outside in the great outdoors, and drawing!10 Articles
Cidney is second year medical student at the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine in Sint Maarten. Before attending medical school, she received her B.A. in Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology from Drake University. Growing up in rural Wisconsin, her passion lies in aiding small communities as an aspiring family medicine physician. She wishes to help individuals overcome medical resource barriers, which she has experienced first-hand living and studying medicine in the Caribbean during COVID-19. Her other passions include health justice, serving as a Student Judiciary Committee Member for her medical school and received a Health Justice Scholars Program Certificate through the American Medical Student’s Association. In the past, Cidney has worked as a First-Aid provider in the mountains of California, ER Scribe in downtown Des Moines and English Teacher in Naples, Italy. During her spare time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, and listening to true crime podcasts.9 Articles
Shiv K. Patel is a first-year medical student at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Shiv received his Bachelor’s degree in Biology at Mississippi College. Prior to starting medical school, Shiv researched in clinical anatomy and microbiology. Over the course of his life, Shiv discovered a true passion for medicine, but he has also cultivated a passion for business administration. Shiv is a true native of Mississippi and hopes to bring his passion for medicine and business administration together in order to provide better quality of care for patients in the future. Outside of school, Shiv enjoys spending time with friends and family, meeting new people, traveling, repairing cars, biking, kart racing, and white-water rafting.6 Articles