Catching up and Slowing Down

The blogging was slow throughout my neuroanatomy block. It was easily the roughest time since first semester when my class took our foundational science courses along with anatomy. Now the year is winding down. We are in our psychiatry block, or as we like to call it- “Psych-cation”. This is my last full week as a first year medical student. I had high expectations for this year. Nothing went as expected, but that’s not to say it wasn’t one of the greatest things I have ever been a part of. It continues to be my desire to wake up and learn and do medicine. I also continue to struggle each and every day to work my hardest, dig deep, and put my best forward. Some days are easier than others. I struggle to this day with the discipline to study for a full evening with no distractions. Time management- and the guilt that goes along with making tough choices- will always be tough for me. Whenever I choose to run and meal prep, I feel guilty for not studying. If given the the chance to watch my niece for an evening or be with my family, it is always my first inclination to pick them, and then spend my time with them rushing through it or worse, resenting them for pulling me away from studying. Yet, the same is true on the rare occasion I decide to continue studying- I start to get down on myself for being the studious, uncaring robot I never wanted to be and cursing my choice of medicine for making me betray my family....

Motivation

I don’t have anything important to say. No advice or devastating or devastatingly exciting news. Only this. If I had a nickel for every time I needed a medical school pep talk and a deep sigh with my mom, my classmates, my doctor mentor or anyone that will listen- I could fly my piggy bank and I to Hawaii. This medical school thing is hard, but It. Is. Flying. By. And summer is on the...
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,...

Second Semester Classes

I’m a little over 2 months deep in my second semester of medical school. I have finished my cardiovascular block, and am now a week into neurology/neuroanatomy. Its a doozy, but it’s nothing compared to last semester. I got an email to talk about the classes I have, and I wanted to do it before Neuro gets too crazy, so here it is! The second semester of medical school: My school is in its second year of switching to systems-based learning and we officially start the systems in our second semester with cardiovascular. That basically means we go through every system in the body and cover everything that entails in about 6 weeks per system. We learn physiology, normal function, and review some anatomy, then we dive right into everything that can go wrong with it, what the symptoms are, the diagnostic tests you run, how to diagnose, and then finally the drugs to treat it. The only thing is that there are so many different things going on now that I get a little overwhelmed. In addition to our systems block (which is the heaviest part of our lecture hours each week), we have Clinical Problem Solving, Clinical Skills Class and Lab, OMM Class and Lab, Developing the Physician, and now a Neuroanatomy Lab each week. Clinical Problem Solving gives us a clinical case each week and is incorporated strongly into our systems courses. We learn to write SOAP notes and discuss diagnosis and treatment in small groups with a practicing physician. Easily my favorite time in class each week! Clinical Skills teaches us how to perform physical...

My Blog Interview is Up!

This is my face when I find out my blog is published on a well-known website after a long day at school! Just wanted to let you guys know that my interview with accepted.com is up! I had a lot of fun answering their questions. Go check it out!...

Not for a Lack of Trying and Summer Plans

There are so many issues I want to talk about. Things I’m passionate about. In medicine and in life. Vaccines, mental illness and mood disorders, nutrition and exercise, pregnancy and childbirth, medical school admissions, preventative medicine, geriatrics, malpractice, thoughts on caring physicians, managing chronic illness, and of course this era of mistrusting our physicians and reliance on the internet. Big things are coming and happening and the future of medicine. I simply do not have the time to research and delve into these big issues and write the well-written pieces I know I can write while being true to my studies. The hard truth is, being the best physician I can in the future be means I need to give my all to the cardiovascular system right now. It means I can’t dive into those side issues I care so much about just yet because I need to know paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea, bread and butter pericarditis, and Kerley B lines. I haven’t even had the spare thought-processing energy to figure out exactly where I stand on so many of these things. I sift through these thoughts in spare moments- spending time on my runs and in the shower deep in thought. When I’m done, I have a lot of little half-ideas and nothing really hashed out. Still, I write all my ideas in a note on my iPhone and save them for later. “Summer,” I promise myself. I’ll get down and dirty with these ideas this summer. It’s coming. Also in the summer, a myriad of opportunities have come about since being in medical school- and I’ve been really...

10 Things Vol. 5

10 Things to Think About When Selecting a Medical School Some of you lucky premeds that are applying this year may have multiple acceptances by now, or will have them by the summer. I just wanted to share some things that you should consider when picking which one you ultimately go to. Having gone through the first semester, some things matter more than you think! 1) The city its in! It’s true, you’ll spend a great deal indoors and won’t have the most interaction with the whole city, but even more than what there is to do there- the city matters for demographics too. The city’s population can largely determine what your school puts an emphasis on. My school is largely geared toward preparing us for primary care because of the needs of the region. For me, this was a good thing. So check that out before you pick! 2) Touring the school. You should get a tour of the school with your interview of course, but I also went to a couple recruitment events and those visits were valuable in my considerations too. What is the environment like? Is it bustling and busy in the school? Are the lecture halls comfortable? You can tell a lot about what the school emphasizes by what kind of environment they foster. 3) What the students are like. Do you get along with the students that are there? What do they emphasize about the school when you interact with them? Think about whats important to you, and ask them about the school’s best and worst attributes. They should give you an honest answer....

2014

It was arguably the biggest year of my life. The toughest too- with the most changes and adjustments. I got accepted to medical school. I started this blog to document the transition into and through medical school. I graduated college. I deep cleaned, organized, and re-did my room. I travelled across the country with my best friend. I spent time with family. I said goodbye to someone I never thought I would say goodbye to. I started medical school. My world got bigger. I studied. I formed deep bonds with people I didn’t know half a year ago. I turned 23. I finished my first semester. I celebrated and relaxed into the new year. Here’s to you, 2014! I am blessed.    ...

Long Overdue!

Woah! I sorta fell off of social media unintentionally. Things got crazy the last month of the semester. But I have made it! We made it. I have finished my first semester of medical school. I had so much help and support. Seriously could not have made it without my classmates. We fought through so much information and talked and argued and learned so much together. I walked out of my last final and seriously did not know what to do. So I waited around for everyone else to finish. I didn’t want to go home. I wanted to relish in the moment with those people who got me through. Compared to college where I had my bags packed to head home straight from my last test and didn’t look back; it’s quite a change. There’s so many feelings surrounding this semester, I don’t even know how to sum it up. I know what I sacrificed personally to make it, but I’m realizing the sacrifices my family has made as well as a result of my being in medical school. Most noticeably, I felt like I wasn’t as available to them. Not that any of my sisters or parents are dependent on me, but I was only able to talk on my schedule, my terms. And I heard the majority about everyone’s lives from bits and pieces talking to my mom. I know it required more effort on their part to stay in touch with me and all my conversations were word vomit about studying and the fast food, sleep deprived delirium I spent my last 5 months in....

Health

From time to time, while stuffing chips and cherry coke down my throat, I wonder how I am supposed to convince my patients that its easy to be healthy in the midst of their busy lives. Exhibit A. I sit down for most of my day. Standing up in lab makes me angry. I eat cookies and brownies and coffee full of cream and sugar and whatever else I can find to shove into my face. I don’t run most days. The healthiest things I eat are when I bring my lunch and thats usually microwave pasta or a turkey sandwich with yogurt and apples. And Lord knows I don’t get enough sleep. But eating healthy on a quick stop to Quiktrip is really hard. Their “naked” juices cost 4 bucks and I’m never really sure what all they put in it. So, today, instead of popping out out bed and studying anatomy like I should, I decided to try something. Ya’ll know I love my juice. It makes me feel good, lotsa vitamins and all. Its pretty filling and energizing too. But my dang juicer that I love so very much is a little high maintenance. You have to clean it right away because fruit beaten to a pulp rots pretty quickly and its really sticky. So I juiced everything all at once. Fresh pressed juice can be stored for up to 5 days in an airtight container. I made six bottles. All I have to do is shake it and its good to go.  So now I have delicious real juice all week and it took like 20...