Health Medical School Medicine Science

Doctor Patient Relationship

I read this article today.
I have often thought about the kind of doctor I will be. Its hard to not know about how terribly our health care system is failing us- it seems like all it is about nowadays is the bottom line, malpractice lawsuits, and the affordable care act. All of these have strong opinions associated with them. The doctor patient relationship is something that I think most people can agree on.
You want to have a nice relationship with your doctor, because its built on mutual trust. But the broken health care system we are a part of, isn’t fostering good, trusting relationships, its hindering care. In order for a primary care doctor to make a doctor’s salary, they have to carry a load of 2,500 patients, seeing up to 24 a day at clinic’s I have shadowed at. In this article, which focuses on the emergency room setting, those docs are also prone to the pressure to see more patients, who are often in more critical situations.
One thing I’m glad they focused on was the changes in medical education. Since obviously we aren’t doing something right, it is a good idea to look to who is teaching our doctors and see what we can change there. I think teaching social skills is sort of impossible though. Some people have it, other don’t. What they can teach though, is the psychology. What do people like? More specifically, what do patients like in a doctor.
I think focusing on how your behavior comes off, and getting feedback on your bedside manner, are excellent and extremely valuable ways to make sure that the care we take a lifetime to master, come off in the best possible way and is received well. Everyone can improve on little things that are so important- the eye contact, the introduction, body language etc. And I hope that I am taught these things at my school, or at least get to practice and get criticism from standardized patients, doctors, and professors.
A doctor has to walk a delicate line in a short amount of time. We, myself included, want our doctors to command respect, but not be arrogant. We want competence perfectly dosed with compassion. We want fast results and answers but not hasty conclusions. We want someone that listens but knows all the answers. Its almost impossible to be that balanced all at once for a less than 30 minute appointment.

Family Life Medical School

Why I am an A Student Without Straight A's

Call me an underachiever.
I’m perfectly fine with that.
Because, while I love science, there are many many other loves of my life. I did not get straight A’s through college. I did not attend every lecture, over prepare for every exam, or dedicate enough of my time to each project to get the best grade.
IMG_1549See?? I study!
I have made conscious, calculated decisions about what I will and will not sacrifice for my studies. I left padding for bombed tests. I did well enough. I did my best. But my best comes with an asterisk. My best is what I can do and still be happy and sane. I’m not one of those gunner robots. I don’t live and die with my grades. For a recovering perfectionist like me, this was a hard lesson to learn.
I know that I could have gotten a 4.0 in college. But would I have enjoyed it? No. Some people can do a 4.0 and enjoy their life. I am not one of those people. It would require more studying for me than anything else. Studying I was not willing to do. Parts of my life I was not willing to give up for an A.
I gave up some points to tuck my favorite girls in their beds on the weekends.
IMG_0424Precious moments with sleepy girls!^
IMG_0375Julie fell asleep in my lap
IMG_0305Loved getting to eat with them at their school!
IMG_0242Playtime before bed with Addie
I did poorly on some exams so that I could drive to other states, see a show, and drive back instead of studying.
DSCN0447LOVE my road trips with Dani
I skipped class so I could go home and have my parents hug me and tell me that I was enough no matter how badly I was getting my butt kicked in college.
I stayed up late watching shows and browsing Pinterest and eating popcorn because that’s what I have to do to still be a pleasant person.
I ran and laughed and played and slept in instead of reading every last assigned page of organic chemistry.
Sure, it made for some pretty high pressure “buckle down and study” days than if I had been more diligent the whole way through. But I kinda liked the highs and lows as opposed to a moderate amount of studying each and every day.
I don’t regret what I did. As a Pre-med, I knew it was going to be a long road. If you don’t find a way to enjoy your life in between, you can easily start to see becoming a doctor as putting your life on hold for 10+ years. And who wants to do that?
So, going into medical school- I love medicine. Probably even more than I love science in general-because science includes geology and physics and organic and I just have no interest in that crap. I love medicine and human health so much, that I will not fail at whatever direction I go.
But….The Life in Between
I still love so many other things. I do not have a desire to be a gunner. I do not want to be the top of my class. I don’t want the best score on my boards.
I want to take walks with the people I love, build relationships, and learn even more about the human experience. I want to see every school program and dance recital my girls are a part of. I want to stay up all night and flunk a test the next morning to watch a meteor shower with my friends. I want to drive across the country on a whirlwind road trip to see my favorite band.
I’m going to love medical school, but I’m going to love the life in between even more.

Family Health Life Quotes Running

Safe Running

My niece was with me last night and today during my classes. I have since realized my life is pretty boring for a six year old. And that’s with having gone to the park during one of my breaks.
She woke up this morning before my alarm, thankfully knew better than to wake me, and was “Ready to start the glorious day of high school. Wait, are you in high school?”
“Nope, Kate. I’m in college.”
And yes she really did say glorious.
20 minutes into my first class she said “When is it time for a rest?”
Basically I am a granny. We still had fun though. We went rock climbing, played racquetball and went to an intramural futsol game.
She dressed this little doll up on my iPad. She said “Look a swimsuit!” Sweet, modest, little Katie.
One thing I do have in common with a six year old is that we both eat all day long, mostly a well-balanced diet of goldfish, apples, Easter candy, and pasta.
After many people begging and pleading with me to not run by myself at night, I have come up with some safer compromises that can be used as safer running tips.
I like night because its cooler, more peaceful, and the sun is not in my eyes. My face is really sensitive to sunburn and I’m a big time squinter.
But, especially in Shawnee I do not always feel safe.
1) For starters, a more obvious one- I usually wear a light colored shirt or something reflective.
2) I carry pepper spray on a little wrist band. You know- for rapists, serial killers, robbers, and more likely, big dogs.
3) If I run with music, I leave an ear bud out and lower the volume.
4) At each intersection, when I’m checking for cars, I take stock of my surroundings and look around behind me too. Not just as a paranoia thing, but for feral cats and skunks and weird kids trying to talk to me.
5) I only run in an area I’m familiar with. In Shawnee, I only feel comfortable in like a 2 square mile area. Its not always the most entertaining run, but I do zig zags like I drew in this picture of the beautiful city grid system to get to the mileage or time I want before I turn around. This usually works in neighborhoods best because you more than likely will have tiny blocks to go up in down each way. The example I have is in a square mile area but you can easily get 6 miles in.
6) This might be the most paranoid tip, but I don’t make my Nike plus account viewable nor do I use the apps that post where I run on my Facebook. My nike plus account is hooked up to my GPS watch and keeps track of my pace and mileage, which are handy, but it can also show you my running habits like where I like to run, how long it takes me, and what time of day I went. So I keep both of those things private.
7) If at all possible, I take someone with me. My roommate rides her bike with me when she can and she has a bike light, giving us extra visibility. And if Zach comes with me, he has a head lamp and I don’t even have to bring my pepper spray. Boys are safe like that 🙂
Like I said, I’ve never had anything serious happen to me, but people walking in the dark sometimes do scare me. I’ve been chased by (and had to kick) a dog. And some places give me the heebie jeebies. So these are just the things I don’t take chances with.
How do you stay safe on a night run?

Funny Life Running

Whole Milk Two Mile

Oklahoma Baptist University is such a wonderfully weird place. I never felt much school pride in high school, but attending my last OBU events is definitely making me sad. Ka-Rip
There is a tradition at OBU that I have never participated in but I go watch every year. The Whole Milk Two Mile. 
Drink a cup of vitamin D whole milk, run a lap around the Oval. Repeat for 8 laps (2 miles).
Its a glorious thing to watch. Glorious and stupid and dumbfounding and gross and sad. But glorious.
Everyone is fine the first few laps. But around lap four it all goes to crap. People start gagging and spitting long, thick strands of milk mucous.
Laps 5-6 people have large fountains of vomit spewing forth. The weirdest part is, when someone vomits everyone claps and cheers.
The most disgusting thing I have ever seen happened though. Some people dress up in costume to run it. This one guy was wearing swim trunks, a snorkel, and a swim mask. I saw him come through a couple times and you can see the struggle hit each runner at around lap 3. So this guy slows down but never stops running. Right as he passed us, he vomited WITH HIS SNORKEL IN HIS MOUTH. You didn’t read that wrong. Vomit went up through the tube and rained down on his head and all over the street. I gagged. Everyone gasped, then cheered.
I took a little video. There’s milk puke on the ground and people actually throwing up so if you don’t want to see those things I recommend not watching it. Sorry about the blurriness at the beginning.
Whole Milk Two Mile
Anyway, I had a lot of fun. It was one for the books, that’s for sure. God bless OBU.

Medical School Medicine

Medical School Scholarships

I didn’t really think much about scholarships being a part of paying for medical school but my school made it really easy.
I submitted my FAFSA which was easy because I didn’t have to file taxes and as a graduate student you no longer need your parents’ income taxes to file.
Then, I went through a slew of scholarships, selected the ones I qualified for, filled out one generic scholarship with a couple paragraphs explaining my goals in becoming a physician and then turned it in.
I haven’t heard back about the internal scholarships yet (the ones OSU itself distributes), however one external one got back with me.
Its a scholarship that requires a service commitment in a rural setting. The state-run scholarship pretty much covers all the tuition.  One year for every year you receive the scholarship. So, not a bad deal. Its an incentive the get more doctors into primary care in rural communities.
The thing is, I want to keep my options open and it requires a pretty hefty commitment for something I’m not totally sold on. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against it and I want to serve in an underserved area of medicine. I’m just not sure I want to nail anything- like a specialty or where I practice- down before I actually experience any real medicine.
I went to the interview and it went well. But, if you end up not practicing where they want you to, you have to pay back triple the interest and it just doesn’t sound like fun.
Also, if I do end up wanting to practice in a small town and in a primary care specialty (including internal medicine, ob/gyn, family practice, emergency) there are other programs that the state can offer me like signing bonuses, loan repayment contracts etc. The need here in Oklahoma is really dire, I’m just not sure of where I will be in four years and if it matches up with where they want me to be. So, I’m leaning towards turning it down, if I should be chosen.
Of course, since you have to reapply for it each year, I could always wait until next year and see if rural/primary care are still things I am interested in and maybe make a more educated decision.
Now I want to hear from you guys… Do you think I should take it? Go ahead! Even if you aren’t a med student or anything close! I’ve had so much trouble deciding what to do. I want to know what you would do
[polldaddy poll=7989242]
Did any of you get scholarships? Did they require a commitment?

Health Running

Summer Race Schedule

Though my running has been lacking lately, I’m using the lull in school activities and nice weather to get back out there. I’m shooting for at least 3 5K’s and I want to do a 10K as well if I can stay healthy. A PR would be great in the 5K! Zach also suggested we run some Tulsa races this summer so here it is!


The Full Moon Run

May 17th, 7:00PM

I’ve been as a spectator to this one to watch some friends run. I like it because its in the evening in downtown Tulsa. This will also be a fun one since its the day after graduation. It’ll be a great way to start off the summer.


The FireCracker 5K

July 4th 7:30 AM

Never done this one but its one of the more popular races in Tulsa so it’ll be crowded.


Porter Peach 5K

July 19th 8:00 AM

I’ve run this before and glory hallelujah IT IS HOT! But flat, so that’s nice 🙂


June is sort of lacking in road races in my area and there are no 10k’s posted yet. If it comes down to it I can just mark out my own course and do a time trial! I’m used to running by myself anyway.

Now, I just got to get out there and train like a beast!bd5aaf4327fdbb58ec1b4809dc968138


Blogging Family

Blog-gy Surprises

I’ve only had enough time to pull drafts out this weekend and haven’t been able to write this new post of something cool that happened Friday, Apr 18.
I received a blogging award nomination for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award from a blogger that is a fourth year med student about to enter residency. You can see her post of her favorite blogs and the award details here.
Its been cool to see my brand spankin’ new blog slowly grow each day, to watch medical student blogs find me just as fast as I find them, and to keep following my favorite home improvement, recipe blogs, and running blogs for ideas and to see how they do things.
At first it was just my Facebook friends and family but now I see at least one new blogger following my blog everyday just from WordPress or wherever. And, since I can see where people find my blog from, like Facebook, Twitter, or from another blog such as the references from The Honest Doctor.
Anyway, just wanted to share with you how great everyone is in the blogging world and how neat it is to see other people interested in the things I have to say. And, to have my followers follow the other great blogs out there.
Also, Happy Easter!

Family Life

My Family

You’ll see me refer to “the girls” or “my girls”. I’m talking about my nieces. 5 perfect little girls from ages ~2 to 8. But I’m getting ahead of myself….
My parents – Geoff and Debbie.
They’re adorable. Been married for 36 years. They’ve worked really hard ever since they were teenagers and give of themselves and their means constantly for my sisters and I.
My dad is a business owner/contractor for home remodeling. If you live around Tulsa and need a kitchen/bath remodel or anything like that, his contact info is here.
My mom works for the school district I grew up in, doing everything administratively imaginable for the board of education.
My sisters- Melissa and her husband Steve. Mel is a nurse and Steve is a youth minister in the Oklahoma City area. They are ten years older than me but we are very close. (Good thing too since I’ll be Melissa’s boss someday! Ha!) They are the makers of four of the offspring that I am so fond of. Stevie, Macey, Katie, and Julie.
Stacie and her husband Daniel. Stacie is a part time deaf ed teacher and Daniel is a teacher and web and graphic design/marketing guy. They live in Arizona and you can find his freelance work here. They have our most recent beloved baby girl, Addie.
I wouldn’t be where I am without these people.

Application Process Lists Medical School

3 Things to Try to Avoid as a PreMed

Not because I think I have all the answers but because simply going through it is a whole-life-encompassing process, I feel like I have learned some things that would have been better for me had I just steered clear of it.
1. Comparing your “application” to others’ applications- by application I mean you as an entire package. Your personality, grades, extracurriculars, work experience, etc. There is more than one way into medical school and you don’t have to fit the proverbial bill to get in. Say somebody has an amazing internship opportunity that you know. Just because you don’t have that, doesn’t mean you don’t have what it takes. Find your path into medical school. Chances are, you’ll have something in your life that no one else will have.
2.Not resting- You need to take a break. Even if it means you say no to a study group. Resting can mean sleeping, playing frisbee, or simply passively studying without freaking out. It’s easy to say now that I’m in but I look back and see that I really could have thrown the book on the floor and gone and played raquetball a little more or fully focused on having family time instead of trying to study and missing out.
3. Having a job-I guess this is a personal preference/need but I tried working a part time job during undergrad a couple times and just never could make it work. I found myself going without brushing my hair and eating regular meals just so I could “maximize my time”. Bad idea. I just ended up gross, tired, and hungry, which isn’t a good state in which to study or live for that matter. So I applaud you if you can have a job and make it work, but I would advise against it.

Life Science

You're hot then you're cold

I’m going home today! I get to see my dog and my mom and my best friend- and, no those aren’t all the same person! Shame on you.
I have an interview for a medical school loan repayment/scholarship this morning, and then a dentist appointment and a doctor’s appointment.
I will then be meeting up with my friend Dani to shop for something to wear to needtobreathe because we take it seriously and it’s a big freaking deal!
I’m also going car shopping to try to find a nice, reliable vehicle to get me through the next big chunk of my life. I’m looking into like a compact SUV. Think jeep compass, subaru outback, etc.
So yay! A long, busy, fun Easter weekend with my family! I’ll be sure to try to post things when I can’t find anything else to avoid homework with.
Anyone else have trouble regulating their temperature?
Something’s wrong with my hypothalamus.
I’m the first person to start flat out shivering when its chilly in a room. The thing is, I’m not even like this fragile being that everyone counts on to be cold all the time. I don’t always bring a an extra jacket with me because unfortunately, I’m also the first one to start sweating when it gets a little toasty. Not like a little moisture either; I mean I pit out T-shirts on the reg and have to change clothes three times everyday when it warms up. Basically I sweat like a Mexican.
I’ve had this theory for a while now that when I’m forced to wake up by alarm instead of on my own, my thermoregulation is off all day and I get hot or cold more easily.
Then again maybe it’s just because when I’m awoken by alarm I’m cranky and find things to complain about all day like being too cold.
Someone needs to do a study correlating lack of sleep to being abnormally hot or cold, so that I can be right.
Of course all of this could be due to the freakish cold front we had on Monday where it snowed momentarily and then it was 60s-70s the rest of the week.
Join me next week when I talk about my constantly clammy hands and freezing toes. Just kidding. But really, this post has nothing to do with anything. So I’m sorry about that.