Powder Puff, Migraines and NOS

No, these things are not related, or their relation is me. I joined the Med (vs Vet) girls flag football team because exercise is good and more fun than running on a treadmill. I think I've had my 5th migraine since arriving on the island today, I'm so sick of them. And my path group has a name. Midterms are Friday and then it is just three short weeks until the start of 4th term, I'm a bit nervous but am trying to live in the present. So go Cow Tippers, go away migraines and NOS, well I'm not ready for you yet!


Other Talents

Well rounded, diverse, interesting people, these are some of the reasons that I love medicine. My colleagues are amazing. I went sailing today and was too sea-sick to take pictures but I did have a few interesting conversations and it is always nice to be on the water... 

My path group is formed and I am very excited about my group but we are having a hard time coming up with a name. If you have witty ideas please feel free to comment, suggestions are welcome!

In the search for a name a member sent me this fun video. 
Which reminds me, Doctor Boyfriend was in a band during medical school. There is a grand piano on campus and in the search for playing privileges and key I was asked to join the campus Choral Group. I'm not really that great of a singer but it might be fun to be in a Grenadian choir. Bourne Lecture Hall 5:30pm Fridays if you are interested, they are looking for 40 voices.


What's that word?

As a medical student it keeps happening. Whatever subject we are studying, whatever new word or disease I decide to Wikipedia, it shows up in my every day life. Or something like that. I think there is a theory or word to describe this phenomenon but my search of the exact title of this definition seems lacking. Synchronicity? Maybe but it is not as magical or dispersed as that. Confirmation bias, selective recall? Perhaps, but I do not really refute or notice a bias AGAINST anything else, just a heightened awareness of the thing, theory, idea, subject, etc. And I guess that is all that it is, a coincidence though I don't attribute any meaning to it. But I would like to know what to properly call it. If you know, please do comment and enlighten me.

Okay, let me illustrate. Last week we were studying psychiatric disorders and health care systems including policies in different countries. What do I read in the New York Times but this piece: The Americanization of Mental Illness.

I remember last term during my super short two week parasit course I came across this lovely picture of vericose veins caused by Schistosomiasis

Another example. During the last two weeks of immunology I read a blog and stumbled across a newish cytokine: IL-33 and then found this in my inbox: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/444383_3

Of note, I have not come across any other immuno or parasitology links, info, etc. SINCE I finished those classes, but maybe I just unconsciously stopped looking for them? Anyhow, this week we are studying biostatistics so I guess my next project is to calculate the p value for all of these occurrences being random chance versus statistically significant. So, if I read the NYT everyday and scan an average of 28 articles and read 50 blog entries a week and I am studying 4 given medical subjects at any one time....  (Study design and results will be forthcoming.)


MS II (Medical Student Year Two)

I'm here. Medical School year two is in session, Term 3 is off with a bang. Almost a week in and four hours of class a day but at least we don't start until 8am and are in the lovely Charter Hall. The first termers are starting to appear on the island looking lost and excited and anxious and eager.

The Good- I am still in a great room on top the hill in married housing with my favorite view just steps from my doorway. The weather seems cooler this term, there is a breeze and I have yet to feel too hot. It has been great to catch up with friends and our path group is formed and ready to go, that is once we finish Term 3 (2.5 weeks until midterms and 5.5 weeks until finals.)

The Bad- It is strange to be here and removed from events happening in the world. Haiti. I wish I was done with my training and could go there and help. Here is what you can do. Donate to a well known and established group. Some suggestions:
Paul Farmer's Partner in Health Clinics that have been working in Haiti since 1985 and already have staff and supplies in the area.
The Red Cross which has already released $10 million in aid.
Heifer International which is another established group that will work with families and provide long term assistance to those affected.
My thoughts are with those in Haiti.

The Ugly- Our health care system and learning in detail how in trouble we are compared to many other developed nations. Health Policy is part of Term 3 and it is fascinating and scary to learn so much about Medicare, Medicaid and health care in the US compared to other systems around the world. I only wish we could take the class after Health Care Reform was passed so that we might better understand the legislation and what it will mean for us as future physicians.

However, so far, so good. Now it is time to bake some brownies, welcome my neighbors and go for a run. Cheers to MS II!


M is for...

M is my mentor. M is a Mother in Medicine. M is an NP. M was a witness at my wedding and I am forever grateful for her presence. M  has two amazing children and a wonderful Father in Medicine husband. M is the best multi-tasker I know. M is an educator. M understands patients and has touched countless lives. M embodies a good listener, when talking to her she makes you feel like you are the only person that exists.

M has taught me many things: how to interview a patient, how to build rapport with the family, how to get informed consent, how to navigate alone time with teen and parent without making either one aware of the separation, how to listen without being noticed, how to measure head circumference and how to assess Tanner stage nonchalantly. M told my about the Tuskegee syphilis experiment long before I learned about in medical school. M suggested I read "The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down" and I am only sorry I waited so long. I finished the book last night in one sitting upon returning home from a visit with M.

I started a draft about M for Mothers in Medicine Topic Day: Our Mentors. But being the busy first term med student studying for my first exams I didn't finish or submit it. I have meant to thank M many times for her impact, for her friendship and simply for being the MiM I hope to someday be. I know this blog entry does not begin to do M justice, but I wanted to make an attempt to put her impact on my life into words.  I wanted to do this before I got caught up in MS 2 and forgot how privileged I am to have worked along side with M and learned so much from her, before I go back to Grenada where it seems I am in an alternate universe. I may not come back to New York for awhile as I am returning to California after fourth term but I don't want to forget this chapter in my life. I am so lucky to know M. If I turn out to be half the MiM that she is I will count myself blessed. Thank you M!


Holiday Fun, but Packing is NOT [fun]

What do Minnie Mouse, Santa, Michael Jackson, the Rockettes, Cinderella's carrriage and the nativity scene all have in common? Give up? Just go to Pelham Parkway in the Bronx to find out.... (Or see my pics below.)   They are all part of the mannequin holiday display. I saw it last year and didn't feel my holiday season was complete until I saw it yesterday. So having completed my holiday ritual of seeking out the most outrageously decorated homes I am content. (We also made it to the Grinch House.)  So now the Christmas Tree is down and decorations have been put away. At least THAT box is ready to go to San Diego.... one packed, a few dozen to go.