The Grind

I’m finishing up my teaching service internal medicine month, which is arguably the hardest month of a third year medical student. It requires a lot of hours- including weekends,- a lot of work, and most importantly for a student- a lot of learning. The learning curve is steep and its sink or swim. It’s not the teaching service grind I’m talking about here though. I’m talking about the grind I have coming up. The study grind. Step 2 While its nothing compared to Step 1 boards, I do have boards coming up. Again. 🙁 Two of them. One is in Pennsylvania and it is a full 8-hour day of seeing fake patients and writing fake notes on those patients and tthe examiners watch you on video and read your note and somehow decide if you are fit to move on in this thing we call medical education. That’s in June. The day after which, I get to see my bestie in D.C. The other is a multiple choice 8-hour test in a testing facility much like Step 1/COMLEX. Mine is in July. The day after which, Dru and I fly to Cancun for our honeymoon. I think its pretty obvious I like the idea of “TREAT YO SELF” after a big test. 😉 Below is the beach I get to look forward to  👏🏻 Source For next month’s big grind, I will be staying 2 hours away from Tulsa on my surgery rotation with what I have heard are pretty decent hours- perfect for studying. Unfortunately this means I’ll be away from my distractingly perfect husband and distractingly hilarious...

So much more to give

I have a cold. No doubt from puttering around the ICU trying to learn something without getting too overwhelmed. I’m tired. I would have much rather slept in and spent a lazy Sunday in my jammies than wake up at 5:30 with my eyes crusted shut and a kleenex still up my nose from when I woke up and tried to extract mucus from my erythematous, swollen sinuses at 1 am. I walked around the hospital this morning seeing my patients, trying not to cough in their rooms-  feeling like I was sicker than most of them on the general medical floor. “Why don’t they all just go home so I can go home?” I thought. I’ve heard people refer to “compassion fatigue” in the medical field. Where you get so tired of feeling sorry for everyone and wishing you could help, that you pretty much stop feeling anything for anyone, no matter how sad their story. I feel like I was there this morning. I was selfish. I wanted to cough and blow my nose all over anything I could and then run home and sleep. I wanted hot tea and to watch You’ve Got Mail and I didn’t want to learn or see patients or offer any kind of sympathy to anyone. And then I watched a procedure on a young man dying of AIDS. He said he was scared multiple times before and during the procedure. I didn’t say much then and neither did anyone else. Honestly, I was too busy stifling my coughs so that I didn’t break sterile field. After though, I was watching...
Love in Medicine and Loving Medicine

Love in Medicine and Loving Medicine

Oops. Its accidentally been six months since I posted. I notoriously only post during or immediately following life transitions, usually on the nights I can’t sleep and mostly for journaling purposes. Since I don’t have the balls to post my 30 million word draft laying the facts out to these crunchy-granola-essential-oils-non-vaccinating moms and I don’t really have any real earth-shattering-career-in-medicine-advice for anyone, I will continue to just post my actual life for my own therapeutic benefit. Such is the case tonight, holed up in a hospital call room at 3 AM Tonight I’m up because I finally was able to sleep all day preparing for this night shift, but in general recently, I’ve been kept up at night for two very big Big BIG things coming up shockingly soon. 1) I’m getting married in 54 days 43 days. 2) I’m feeling self-induced pressure to pick a specialty. So that after 20-something years of school, I can finally decide what it is I’m going to be when I grow up. Numero Uno I feel like no one will be shocked to find out that I find wedding planning to be stressful. I’ve dreamt more than once that whoever does my nails right before the wedding, manages to stain my entire distal phalanges black with that soap they make you dip your fingers in. At times I feel like spending the money and doing this big show and party is something I could take or leave as long as I have Dru in the end. Like everything else I worry about, it will be here before we know it and I’ll...

10 Things Vol. 6

Back to our regularly scheduled program, here is number 6 in the 10 Things series. Now that I have a whole, whopping 1 rotation under my belt I thought I’d share my top ten things I love about seeing patients. Sa far… Hearing and seeing the abnormal- in school we were taught to know what “mom” is. “Mom” is normal. You know everything about “mom”. “Mom” is the way the human body is supposed to be. When something is different with “mom” you immediately know something is wrong. Every exam I practiced on a classmate has been normal and not pathological, but seeing real patients means there is real pathology. I am actually hearing real atrial fibrillation and seeing enlarged adenoids, instead of just reading about it. Their stories- each patient has a complicated story of what got them to that point. Some visits are more simple than others, but no two cases of strep or heartburn are the same. You learn to listen for key words and subtle nuances that lead you to a diagnosis but it isn’t always cut and dry and though its frustrating, its much better than class 8-5. Kids- Pediatrics is still an option for me, but I don’t know if I could see kids all day everyday for the rest of my life. Still, whenever there’s a kid I get to go see, especially for a sick visit, I get really excited because they are so sad and vulnerable. They only want one thing- to feel better and its very gratifying that I get to have a small part in doing just that....

I’m Back– Close Calls, Boards, and the Start of Third Year

My life looks very different now than what it did 5 weeks ago. And, 5 weeks before that, I was in another galaxy. I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but these last couple months have been more of a startling transition than going from college and a summer off to matriculating the first year of medical school. I will say though, this transition has brought much more enjoyable changes. So let’s start back at the end of April/beginning of May during board exam preparations when I deleted every social media app and other time-sucking things from my life and moved in with my best med school friends; it simultaneously became a huge load off my back having awesome roommates and being in a more nurturing place at home, but then it got a whole lot more stressful because Macy and I needed to buckle down and study. Hard. This was 6 weeks before my big test, and classes were already over to give us time to study for boards on our own. (Before I go on, for all you non-medical people- passing this test is crucial to moving onto your “clinical” years of medical school and an absolute necessity for getting the big D.O. after my name. Residency programs look at this test score and assess your worthiness, and if getting into medical school isn’t hard enough, I daresay this was about 437 times harder than anything I had to do to get in.) Anyway, I took a practice test that the school required we take to make sure we were ready to take the exam and pass it. I was...