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 Â đŸ‘đŸ» 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...

Olympic Years and Boards Fears

You guys. It’s an Olympic year. Rio 2016. I don’t know how many of you know this, but I friggin’ love the Olympics. I’m not really that patriotic any other time, there’s just something about the USA’s best of the best going to compete against the world. And- even better everyone gets to see the runners that I love perform on the world’s stage. It always surprises me that the best of the best of America’s runners train together. You would think they would hide in their respective corners of the country and conceal their earth-shattering workout times and world class coaches and not let anyone know their secrets. In reality, its quite the opposite. They gather in Flagstaff like Amy Cragg and Shalane Flanagan, or Portland, or Boulder and take training trips up to altitude together. They run their tune up races stride for stride with each other. Its a pretty great example of how no one truly succeeds on their own. They push each other, help each other come back from injuries and pregnancies–yeesh!- faster than anyone would think possible. Once they make it to the World Champs and Olympics these runners face the reality that they are now competing against their best friends, sometimes roommates, and running partners for the gold metal. But, they all know they never would have qualified without their teammate pushing them there. My class is freaked out about boards. So freaked out, in fact, that our school cancelled a previously mandatory class this semester to make room for a mandatory board review class. Today, during that class, one of our professors told us how the last class...
The Chinese Dragon

The Chinese Dragon

In cross country, there is a hill we referred to affectionately as THE CHINESE DRAGON (all rights reserved, just kidding.)   Much like the Chinese Dragon traditional in the Chinese New Year parade, this hill is long and ssssslooooooowwww. It. Is. Rough. From my house, the closest entrance to the running trail involves running down the Chinese dragon. Which means on the way back, I must run up it. The jolt of each foot strike makes my quadriceps quiver, absorbing the shock. I can feel the power they hold in reserve. Goosebumps come up from my feet, until even my arm hair is standing on end. Like most runners, I get a lot of power on the uphill from the pelvis. I feel my hip flexors and glutes engage. They’re the engine here forcing leg after leg after leg as if I were pedaling a bike on the easiest gear. No effort, my legs practically fall to their target one after the other. My arms pump involuntarily. But suddenly, I feel nothing. No pain. No emotion. I don’t even hear my breaths anymore reminding me of the strain I’m under. There is simply the pavement in front of me. While at the beginning of the hill, there was that thought in my mind “you can stop if you need to”- stopping is no longer an option here. I am powerful and invincible. If a wall were to suddenly appear in front of me, I would plow right through it. While so many things escape my grasp and I fall short- this, right now; this, for such a short time- this,...

How A Random Run Reminded Me How to Med School

Its been a pretty hellish week. Last week, I think I was operating on the fumes of a month long exhaustion situation and just got flat out sick. I was nauseous, my back hurt, I had a headache, I couldn’t eat, I had no energy and no amount of coffee was helping. I was falling asleep anytime I sat still. I went home early one evening for a dentist appointment. And oh goodie, I have TMJ! Guess what causes it? STRESS! I told my dentist my situation with medical school and all got the “bless your heart” look. He knows what it’s like. Anyway, I had a huge Friday test in Histo and then another one on Monday in Anatomy that I didn’t do well on at all. I could blame it on many things: Not feeling good, having too much material, the awful Friday/Monday test situation, etc. But, I’ll take the blame for it and just say that I was not ready for that test. Still, I know myself well enough to know that I won’t get them all. So I took the good with the bad. I did pretty well on Biomed, I just didn’t get the anatomy one this time. I stepped outside on one of the first truly chilly nights we’ve had this October. Some generic Pandora hiphop station starts up in my earbuds and I start to feel freedom in my very first steps off the porch. I didn’t bring a watch. Didn’t need one. This run isn’t for time. Its for clarity. By 16 seconds in- I guarantee you- its not school on...

10 Things Vol. 3

10 Things that have changed since medical school. 1) The amount of sleep I get- Pretty obvious; I like my sleep. Now, I don’t get so much. First I get cranky, then I just fall asleep in random places (like class), then I wake up and I’m slap happy. Then I’m grumpy again. So I give in and nap. Then I hate my life because I’m so behind. Rinse and repeat. 2) The amount of caffeine I consume- I used to be an occasional coffee drinker. And every once in a while, I would crave soda. Now I’m flooding myself with coffee at least twice a day and I always want pop! Its not like it makes me feel better, either. I just need SOMETHING to give me any kind of pep most days. Caffeine is not without its side effects, friends. Acne, heartburn, poorer sleep, inflammation. I get it all. Really just the junk food in general has me feeling like a big blob of blah. Chips, sugary goods, and frozen things that you microwave are easiest to come by and it makes my tummy hurt. 3) The camaraderie- It wasn’t until senior year at OBU that us science majors got into the nitty gritty and bonded as friends and as a group even though most of us didn’t hang out outside of class. In medical school, though, one of the things we came into quick is togetherness. Its not like I talk to everyone everyday, but everyone is approachable and friendly, helpful and nice. Even if we never hang out, there’s always someone to chat with and...