For Dr Boyfriend and Sancho

Dr Boyfriend is my love. My rock. My best friend. My biggest supporter and as of late also my editor, personal assistant, travel manager and pep-talker. He married me and then I promptly left for medical school. (Thank you boyfriend!)

Right now our is a marriage via Skype, but it works. We have an amazing foundation and we know that we have the rest of our lives together so he supports me in what I want/need/have to do right now which is finish medical school. Even if it means we seldom sleep in the same bed or occupy the same time zone.

He loves Christmas as much/maybe more (is that possible?) than I do. We are so different and yet we share enough that we are happy together. I am sad when we are apart and cry often because I miss him. He is the romantic but I am the emotional sap. These last 3 and 1/2 years have been hard but I am lucky because I never once doubted our relationship, our ability to make it through. And now the end is in sight.

Dr Boyfriend is on a plane and on his way to meet me in NYC for New Year's and we will run our 5K in Prospect Park and cross the finish line before 2013. It is our new tradition and I cannot wait. 2013 awaits and I am in love with my husband...

And we both love our puppy. Sancho is probably the most significant thing to happen to us as a couple in 2012 and it was more rewarding and more fun and more stressful than I could have ever imagined or hoped. I never knew it was possible to love a dog so much. But we do. 

Dr Boyfriend and Sancho do their best to make me happy. And it is enough. So this is for them. The last of my virtual ornaments and an adieu to 2012....

The answer I SHOULD have given....

     Are either of your parents physicians? 

     Who else in your family is a physician?

     What do your parents do?

These are all questions that I that got asked at my last interview.... I was a bit taken aback. But I answered in brief.

Are either of your parents physicians? 

Who else in your family is a physician?
No one. I will be the first. No one else has a graduate degree. Just me.

What do your parents do?
My mom is a nurse. Right now she works to help manage an Assisted Living Home. In the past she has worked in home health care, private practice and as a floor nurse in different settings. She has done a little bit of everything.

My dad is the Safety Manager for an Oil Supply Company. He does all of the employee safety training and is the first responder when someone in the field gets injured and needs to be taken for medical care.
Yep, this is what I said. Boring... True, but my responses pretty much answered the interviewers questions and they had little else to ask or follow with.
However, I have been thinking.... Why was I asked this? What did the interviewer really want to know?

Maybe she really meant....Do I have a role model that was a physician? Do I have any sense of how difficult training will be or what it is like to be a physician? Am I smart enough? Why do I want to become a doctor? Is this a family career or something personal? Why did I choose this career?

I have no idea why I was asked this (repeatedly) during my last interview but it bothers me... It bothers me enough that I will not rank this program as high as perhaps it deserves.

I applied and was granted an interview so someone had to think I was worth the time. So why then should I be made to feel as though I am not up to the task or not good enough to train at this program? Obviously this was not explicitly stated to me, but this is how I ended up feeling....  But I think, no, I KNOW, that I AM capable and worthy and so I am stuck on the WHY???? What was the purpose of this line of questioning? What does it matter? Do my parents define me? If my father had walked out when I was 3 or my mother had died when I was 13 would this change who I am enough to affect what kind of doctor I am going to be? Or was this just a stuck up NewYork style interview?

If you, dear reader, have a different perspective or think maybe I was over-reacting or misinterpreting this line of questioning I would love to hear your thoughts....

Otherwise, this is what I SHOULD have said.

Are either of your parents physicians? 
No. But they were both amazing role models to me. I learned how important it is to care and give back to the community from my dad and I was inspired to enter the medical profession by my mother who worked in many different settings as a RN.

Who else in your family is a physician?
No one. I am PROUD to be the first.

What do your parents do?
My parents do many things.

My dad is a Safety Manager for an Oil Supply Company.... But it was he that taught me the importance of community service. My earliest memories of him are helping to construct a homeless shelter/temporary apartment in our church basement. It was to be a place for an out of luck family to stay in while the parents sought work and got back on their feet. The apartment had a kitchen stocked with food, a desk for the children to sit and do their homework. A living area. Two bedrooms. It was sparsely decorated and very basic but it offered a chance for a family that would otherwise have to separate with dad at one homeless shelter and mom and the kids at another. I remember how much it meant to my dad to be a part of something bigger. My dad cares about people and has made sure that I always thought about others too. He made sure that I not only appreciated the resources and family that I was lucky to have but also that I did something to help those who were not as lucky.

My mother is a nurse. I remember hearing lots of stories about doctors of all kinds from her. She loved some and thought others were rude, arrogant and not good for their patients. She taught me what she knew of medicine and instilled in me a basic love of taking care of people.

My parents do many things, but first and foremost they love me and have done a good job raising me which is why I am  here today. So, have I answered your questions?

Yes, these are the answers I SHOULD have given...



Care. Because you have to. Otherwise what is the point?

Interconnected. We are. And here is my proof.

In 2009 I started this blog. In 2010 I went to medical school and started reading other medical blogs. In 2011 I found Grady Doctor's awesome blog. In 2012 I found "a moon..." via Grady Doctor's blog roll. In 2012 I posted a comment on "a moon..." which became a post and generated far more comments that I could have ever hoped, dreamed or imagined.

Today Grady Doctor wrote this post and to me its essence was caring.... I then worked on a project for Elizabeth of "a moon" and realized that it simply came to down to caring... And so this is my reminder that what started at a selfish on-line travel journal for myself has led me to an awesome community and gives me daily reminders to care. And we should all care. About something. About ourselves. About one another. For one another. Just care!

Reset, book reviews and the interview trail

First of all, a belated Holiday wish for all my readers! I really did mean to wish you a Merry Christmas but someone I go stuck in a serious funk and just didn't feel like doing much of anything for most of the past few weeks, including blogging. So here are some random Holiday lights, since it is still December I hope you will accept these as penitence and know that I actually was thinking of you.
December has been exhausting but I really should not complain because it was all good. Coast to coast with stops and stays in seven different cities in the span on two weeks as I went from one new place to another just got the best of me! I am so grateful for the interviews I have been given but it doesn't make it any easier to be away from home and living out of a suitcase once again. I am not yet done but my rank list is shaping up and although Interview A is still at the top there are a few close contenders.

In any case, with all the traveling I've had some time to read on plane trips across the country and the latest is "Behind the Beautiful Forevers" which is heartbreaking, sad and depressing but also strangely uplifting too. And I finished Andrew Solomon's "Far From the Tree" which really was a great read. Depressing at times but definitely thought provoking with the ultimate message that in the end the human capacity to love triumphs over all. And isn't that a nice thought for a New Year?


For his mother

Nancy Lanza, 52

Mother of gunman

Another virtual ornament and moment to reflect on another life lost and the cost to all of us when we shy away from talking about mental illness and those affected by it, we are not immune.

Please read this article and think twice before you blame his mother. We do not know the specifics but mental illness has no easy answers....

For the babes

In memory of these children and the too-short lives they lived...

Charlotte Bacon, 6

Daniel Barden, 7

Olivia Engel, 6

Josephine Gay, 7

Ana Marquez-Greene, 6

Dylan Hockley, 6

Madeleine Hsu, 6

Catherine Hubbard, 6

Chase Kowalski, 7

Jesse Lewis, 6 

James Mattioli, 6

Grace McDonnell, 7

Emilie Parker, 6

Jack Pinto, 6

Noah Pozner, 6

Caroline Previdi, 6

Jessica Rekos, 6

Avielle Richman, 6

Benjamin Wheeler, 6

Allison N. Wyatt, 6

For the teachers

A virtual ornament to remember those that perished on Friday, the teachers and educators that dedicated their careers and ultimately their lives...

Rachel Davino, 29


Dawn Hochsprung, 47

School principal

Anne Marie Murphy, 52


Lauren Rousseau, 30


Mary Sherlach, 56

School psychologist

Victoria Soto, 27



no lights or trees today

I normally love this time of year and I want to enjoy it but with children dead in CT and being far away from home the joy of the season seems elusive...

I have pictures of brightly lit and decorated trees from all over my interview trail that I fully intended to post. Yet they are not doing much to brighten my spirits at the moment.

It is too much to ignore. It doesn't make any sense and I am sad. Yet I have to smile and go on another interview. I have to answer the same questions for the 100th time and get on another airplane and sleep in another-not-mine-bed. And as grueling as these things may be they are blessings because I am here and I am well and as we saw yesterday there were children who simply went to school and had their futures erased, leaving parents behind, mother and fathers that will never be the same.

I don't have answers but I do think we as a country have to come together and actually talk about gun control and do something. Having a hunting rifle is NOT the same as having a semi-automatic and if today is too soon to talk about this, then when will be the right time? Call your senator or representative. Do something! I didn't mean to rant or ruin the holiday spirit but it seems that it is already gone.

I hope that we can remember the 26 victims and spend less time talking about the shooter. I hope that we all appreciate the blessings we have and love those we have in our lives because the future is uncertain and love in the present is one of the only things that we can do.

Wishing you peace and love~


For Sophie

and Elizabeth over at a moon, worn as if it had been a shell
This virtual ornament is the idea that inspired virtual ornaments. I was at the American Epilepsy Society meeting last week and came across this ornament which I knew I had to have. I was originally going to send it to Elizabeth and Sophie but then realized that they live with epilepsy EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. and thus really don't need an ornament to remind them... but I do love me some purple and so why couldn't I have the ornament for my tree? And so I donated some money and took it home... where it now resides.

As you may know I am applying for residency in Child Neurology and a large portion of my future patients will have epilepsy. This is no cure. There are medications and diets and surgeries that sometimes work, for some patients and there there are those like Sophie who are somehow above any treatments the medical world throws their way. My heart breaks, it does. I don't know if we will ever have the ever-elusive "cure" as there are so many reasons for and varieties of epilepsy but I do know that part of my career will be interacting with the families affected. Elizabeth and other bloggers have opened my eyes to the lives that are lived beyond the walls of the hospital or medical clinic. The world of IEPs and wheelchairs and affected marriages but most of all the world of love that they (Sophie,  Calvin, Max, Pearlsky) create as part of being. The compassionate siblings and more patient parents. The better world. And so to Sophie and Elizabeth I dedicate this ornament. One for my tree, one for theirs....

For S

This ornament is hung on my tree at home but today I am virtually hanging it here for S, over at A Thousand Times Over.

Way back in December 2008 when this blog was still only an idea I found her blog and was inspired: by her writing, her dedication and her passion for medicine. It was present then and it is present now. These past four years may not have culminated exactly as S had planned, but she still has a passion and desire to enter medicine and she will make a damn good doctor when she is given the chance. I am thinking of her this match season and I am hoping/wishing that 2013 allows her to finally fulfill her dream and match into IM so that she can show the world what I know is true.

Life does not always work out as planned but I do believe in persistence and I know that S does too. So  to S, please don't ever, ever, ever give up!


Virtual Ornaments

I am not sure exactly why, but I've been thinking of people that I only know because of this blog lately... And well, while we may not be meet-for-coffee or call-up-on-the-phone friends we share a world and we share a community and so this holiday season I've been thinking of them...

And if you know me or have been following this blog for any length of time you know how much I LOVE all things Christmas.

Ornaments are especially one of my Christmas time favorites and so I give you virtual ornaments.  (Ornaments that I would very much like to find wrap and send but I don't even know the addresses of any of these bloggers, just their web addresses.) I will dedicate these ornaments to those fellow blogger that have inspired me this year. Those bloggers that made me laugh or cry or just make me think.

Happy Hanukah, Merry Christmas and good cheer to all this Holiday Season!

Spice Queen


Frosty and lights

I'm status post my NICU rotation and I'm glad I did it. The learning curve was steep and I missed Dr. Boyfriend terribly but it was good.

I'm now back in sunny San Diego and volunteering in order to attend the American Epilepsy Society conference. I've slept only 8 hours in the past 2 days and am thus being sustained by caffeine but life is good. I never posted an appropriate thankful post in honor if the last holiday but I an grateful of my life, health and  privilege to be a physician in training. December is filled with interviews and I'm thankful for that. I'm happy to have time off and time at home. It's my favorite season and Holiday and if there is anyone that lives Christmas more than me it is Dr. Boyfriend. So to decorating our tree and listening to carols and searching for the best light displays in the area... I'm excited and as cheerful as a 5 year old on Christmas Eve!


fourth year funk

So it has been a couple of weeks. I am now half way through my NICU sub-I and finally feeling okay about calculating TPN's and presenting my patients on rounds... (tiny, sick, premature babies are different than any other patient. It is a whole new world! But I'm sure come next year I will be very happy to have had the experience of being in the NICU. Not enjoying the 5:30am wake up time but then again, it could be worse. I could be taking care of adults! I do love the babies...)

I feel like fourth year is stretching out and will never be done. I'm in a funk. There is really no other way to put it. I should be excited to interview and I am. But I'm also just so tired. It is exhausting to be "on" and answer the same questions over and over and while I am oh-so-grateful that I have double digit interviews lined up I'm exhausted by the thought of the process of traversing the country again and again... I'm already "done" and it is WAY TOO EARLY to be in the that mindset. I think being away from Dr. Boyfriend and not knowing exactly what I'm doing after February is weighing on me. Fourth year was "set" and then my schedule was thrown off and now I'm waiting for things to be scheduled and I hate having things up in the air.

I have interviewed twice since A. Neither B nor C compared but I think that nothing will... they were both good alternatives and certainly rankable. I could probably learn to be happy anywhere, I have that ability but neither B nor C spoke to my soul like A. Then again I've always struggled with high expectations but really I am going to be at a place for the next 3-5 years so I want it to be right. However, it is too early to torture myself now, after all, there are plenty of other options. Interview season is far from over so I should feel encouraged and hopeful. And thankful, it is November after all!

But honestly, at the moment I'm just here. Fighting the fourth year funk and wishing it was March 15th already. I think I need to go bake something, drink wine and try to get into the Thanksgiving spirit... wish me luck!


sunny in california with random thoughts of life and pics of my cute puppy

i feel guilty that i can wear a sundress and walk with sancho under a blue sky while the eastern seaboard floods as sandy approaches...

i'm enjoying being home with dr. boyfriend... it is so nice to have time to read, cook, bake, go on walks and just enjoy life. i'm still giddy from interview A. my thank you's have all been sent and now i just wait and count the days until my next interview.

yesterday we carved our pumpkins, which is always one of my favorite fall things to do.

my dog likes to sleep in the strangest positions. case in point!

it is so strange, because 5 months ago i wouldn't have considered myself a dog person but dr. boyfriend really wanted one and i felt guilty that i was leaving him yet again so i gave in... and now i can't imagine life without him. he requires a routine, you have to wake up in the morning, even if you'd rather sleep in. he requires walks and exercise. he won't let you ignore him for too long and he is the sweetest and most stubborn puppy ever. he has never destroyed a single shoe or anything of "ours" but he does a number on his toys. he sleeps in his own bed and can potty on command. he is cute and doesn't mind being dressed up or paraded around. he is a good dog. unfortunately he is is part pit bull and thus often misunderstood and may prevent us from living is certain places but we think he is worth it.

i'm super excited and a little scared to start my NICU rotation next week.

i'm a bit nervous about my dad's upcoming mitral valve repair but glad that i'll be able to be there for the surgery and his immediate post-op period.

and right now i'm just thinking of friends and family in NY and surrounding areas. be safe everyone!


Interview A

A most perfect interview.... No delayed flights or lost bags. An on-time shuttle shuttle and easy ride to the hotel. Fun, good dinner with happy residents, followed by day of interviews with super nice,  down-to-earth faculty and then the afternoon off to explore and relax before doing it all again.

Today and the residency program seem too good to be true. I'm smitten and wish I could simply profess my love and sign on the dotted line. It is so strange, this interviewing for a spot. Well 2 spots. There are at least 30 applicants that have/will interview and then they will rank us and ultimately take just 2. (Hey A- pick me!)

Interview A is half-way over and at this point I don't think they could tell me anything that would change my mind about this place. Community- check. Education, research, travel- check, check, check. Beauful facilities, seemless electronic medical records, state of the art everything! Matching here would be a dream.

Yes, it may be a tinsy weeny cold in the winter. And yes, the nearest size able city is an hour + away but these hardly seem like sacrifices when given the opportunity to be at a world class institution. At least this is my thought process at the moment. 

I'm looking forward to tomorrow. Now time for sleep while I dream of A.



So... yesterday I blogged about how I just didn't "heart" medicine, or at least adult medicine and while that may still be true so much of how I feel on wards is a product of the team dynamics.... Today our team got a new resident and new attending and both are great, rounds were extensive, exhaustive but invigorating... I got a new patient and kept my old one and learned and thought more today then perhaps in all of the past 9 days combined. Today I was actually a sub-I and it felt good. Being a "kind of sub-I" was boring... Too bad that tomorrow is my last day. Of course! But I do have to come back and finish my sub-I, two more weeks of it, so hopefully those two weeks will be closer to today than the last week and half.

In other new, three more rejections today. Yes, the tide has turned and my interview to rejection ratio is now skewed more toward the later.... But I'm still waiting to hear from 30 Child Neuro programs and a bunch of general peds programs so I'm okay with my 9 scheduled interviews thus far...

Time to pack my bags and head back to San Diego and Sancho and Dr. Boyfriend and I can't say that I'm sad about that in the least. :)


crickets here...

Welcome to my silence here in blogworld. Not because I don't have anything to say but in perspective all I've wanted to write about seems small and not really worthy of complaining about.

I am just about done with what is a 2 week medicine sub-I rotation (it was suppose to be ambulatory care but due to paperwork snafus it was decidedly not.) I don't have any great love for adult medicine (hence my going into peds) and I haven't been at my best these last two weeks but it is almost over and back the peds world I go (NICU) after a short break for my first interview and my dad's upcoming mitral valve repair.

I am nervous to start interview season but feel good about the number of programs I've heard from and interview offers thus far. It is still early but I hope others are feeling the same. Best of luck and positive thoughts to my classmates starting the interview season.

Hopefully I'll be more inspired to write soon.



What a wonderful day, Dr. Boyfriend and Sancho are on their way to meet me right now and we will be camping for two nights by a lake in the mountains. I love camping, there is just something about being outside with nature that is soul-inspiring. And it is Dr. Boyfriend's first camping trip, so that will be a first for "us" too. I'm very excited!

In other non-related news:  I'm still at two interviews but they are both booked, confirmed and on the horizon. I have been reading a new-to-me-blog that is informative and relevant to my future job as pediatric neurologist. I owe this find to Grady Doctor. If you have any interesest in child neuro, epilepsy or raising a special needs kid then a moon, worn as if had been a shell is worth checking out. And in ode to my new find (the author likes poetry) I am posting one of my favorite poem's of all time. Because it reminds me of being outside, enjoying the moment and also everything I still need to do with respect to this year, matching, life, etc.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep. 
-Robert Frost


better than one is two, aka my happy dance

Interviews that is! So far I've applied to 92 programs: 49 child neuro, 53 peds and have received one rejection, four thank-you-for-applying-we-will-let-you-knows' and one plus one (TWO!!!) interviews at places I would be very happy to go! One is for an over-the-moon amazing place and I feel honored to even get to interview there, the other a solid university program, both are for child neurology. I'm sure the tide will turn but I'm quite happy with my 2:1- interview:rejection ratio at the moment. Amazed, excited, surprised and very, very happy. I really didn't think I would get interviews so early or at such great places... It may be that child neuro is an open field with very few applicants or that I have an amazing letter writer or that research matters and I happen to have that, or who knows? Whatever, I'll take it. I didn't go into the application cycle very confident so this week has done wonders for my self-esteem. So here is to the two!

And in celebration of applications being in and my month of child neurology being over I am in Park City, UT with my parents enjoying a week filled with hiking, cards, kayaking, biking, swimming, hot-tubs and whatever else we decide to do. Life it good.


Life Updates

I found a new great spot in the city to lounge/read and free WiFi. Color me happy!

ERAS applications are due Sept 15 so that is exciting. My list is currently at 86, not sure if it is growing or shrinking at this point. I'm applying to general Peds and Child Neuro and that's about all I have to say about that.

And speaking of child neuro, tomorrow will be the end of my first week on my child neuro rotation and  I NEED TO STUDY! So far this week I have seen, Becker's Muscular Dystrophy, Global Developmental Delay,  Failure to Thrive, Febrile Seizures,  Plagiocephaly, GBS Meningitis, Recurrent E.coli meningitis, and some other stuff that I'm forgetting at the moment. It has been a good week. I heart peds and child neuro and clinic and babies and cannot wait until this is what I get to do with my life.

Oh, and I'm going camping this weekend. Very fun!

And my bike ride is 10 days away. You should sponsor me, see last post.

And that's my life at the moment. Life is good.


Yesterday, I fell off my bike

Yep. Fell. Off my bike and onto my face. At a red light in the middle of traffic.

Embarrassing? A little.
Painful? A bit.

I actually was attached to my bike (blame the clipless pedals) so I ended up landing on my bike and my chin hit something and split wide open. Good thing my dear gypsy girl was with me to help me pick myself up, clean my wound and get back on my bike.

Yep, I got back on and rode some more. Gauged in chin and all. I'm hoping the butterfly closures work, as I really don't want stitches.  But now my face looks a bit interesting, almost if I got beat up, or well fell on my face (oh yeah, I did that!) Dr. Boyfriend is calling it my face tattoo. But I'm fine. And I'll ride on.

You may be wondering why I am riding a bike "clipped-in" and that is a good question. I have decided to ride the MS 150 in a month. My good friend was nice enough to loan me his super fancy road bike. But it has clipless pedals, so I got myself some biking cleats and I will learn. Yesterday was ride #1 and from what I've read and been told there is a learning curve. I will fall. It was going to happen and it did. And I'll fall again. But I will master this and ride on Sept 9th. 

And I'm asking for your support. This cause is extremely important to me. If you've read much of this blog at all you know that I go to Teen Adventure Camp every summer and I use to work at the National Pediatric MS Center. And well, I heart those teens with MS.  I'm riding for them. So please, donate what you can. $3, $5, $15, $50. Its a great cause, you'll make me super happy and it is tax deductible too.

Click here to donate or find out more about the ride.

I've long kept this blog semi-anonymous since the start but feel this cause is worth disclosure. So please support me if you can. And if you want to join my team, volunteer at the ride or otherwise get involved, that is awesome too. Me and my face tattoo thank you!


On second thought...

There will be no additional entries for my child advocacy elective journal.

Child advocacy is sad, depressing and I have cried enough tears these past three weeks without reflecting and writing about it. This will be all.

But I do want to say that I have the utmost respect and appreciation for those who work in the field day in and day out.

To the 18 full time detectives in Brooklyn whose sole job it is to investigate child abuse cases (both physical and sexual), I raise my glass to you.

To the medical doctors and nurse practitioners that act as consultants, giving up their nights and weekends to review pictures, talk to the detectives and perform physical exams and complete rape kits for forensic evidence when needed, I applaud you.

To the lawyers and judges that sit in court and review the cases and sentence the perpetrators, my thanks.

To the social workers and others that visit the homes and interview the parents, my hat goes off.

It is a difficult, sad, situation when a child is abused. Sometimes these children have no one else, their parents have failed to protect them and so they require an advocate. I don't know that we always get it right, the entire field is shades of gray to me... but to those who spend their careers as advocates I am grateful.

I suppose I am glad for the opportunity to witness these dedicated individuals hard at work. It has been educational and enlightening to meet and talk with them.  And while it is heart-breaking to meet the children and hear about the cases I am glad to now know a bit more about what happens once a mandated reporter call the state registry.

It has been a good but emotionally difficult elective. I won't be sad when it ends... I've cried enough tears already. I cannot wait to go back to the hospital and the smiling happy children in clinic.


Child Advocacy Elective Journal- Entry 1

Yesterday I met Dr. Ajl and got orientated to Child Advocacy in NYC. And by Child Advocacy I mean child abuse and neglect. Sure as a physician you may see or suspect abuse and you are a mandated reporter to the state. But there is SO MUCH more that goes on. A phone call is simply the beginning. And so this month I will learn about ACS, CPS, Family Court, legal guardians, Special Victims Unit, forensic evaluations, foster care, the Medical Examiner's Office, etc.

There are three of us in the elective this month and I actually know both of the other students so that is nice. Yesterday we toured the Brooklyn Child Advocacy Center and met the NP that has devoted the last 16 years of her life to Child Advocacy. And she truly is devoted, like most of the people I think we will meet in this field.

We were given a packet with numerous agencies and contacts and thus I spent most of the morning calling and emailing to set up appts for the month. So far I don't have much booked but I'm sure people will call back, eventually. In the mean time I have a lot to read. And learn. Did I mention I'm so glad that I am doing this elective?

At the end of the month we have to put together a group project to reflect on what we have learned and while I am happy to contribute to something for the group I also want something for myself. I think this month will be hard emotionally and I need a place to process those emotions and think about what I get to see and experience. So this blog will be my space. I will not post cases here or discuss what I see in details because these children must be protected. But my feelings will not be censored. Here what I share will be my own. So stay tuned.

And if you have any reading suggestions, feel free to let me know. I'm taking all suggestions for serious fiction and Child Advocacy related topics.


Summer in the city, Sancho updates, Camp is Magic and other random things...

Don't you just love NYC in the summer? I do. I took this photo shortly before I left the city on one of those hot, humid nights when all the hydrants were open to cool off the kids and city.

Anyhow... I'm back from my whirlwind of Teen Adventure MS Camp and trip home to NM to visit my family. It has been quite the two weeks and everything was great but I have to say I am happy to be back in NYC and back in my bed. 

I start my Child Advocacy elective tomorrow and am looking forward to it...

I have so many things to share, it has been a busy couple of weeks but for now I just want to say I'm home (well my temporary home) but once again separated from my husband and puppy. Its hard to be away after a week together. I miss them both but they are also home and Sancho has claimed the living room. Literally. He personally unpacked all of his toys and spread them out as seen here.  He also seems to have perfected the stretch. He really isn't THAT much bigger than when we got him but he seems to take up so much more space (when he wants to.)
My little guy is growing up. Tear.


Camp blog check-in

I'm at Teen Adventure Camp, aka The Best Place on Earth and realized how long overdue this post is. Quick update: I moved up my CS, so that's done. Woo hoo! And I recieved my Step 2 CK score yesterday... so now I'm happily into fourth year, one elective done and just 36 more weeks of electives and subI-s to go! Oh, and an ERAS application, residency position to match into, you know, minor things. Anyhow I'm at camp! So that means time to get ready for another awesome day of beach and sailing in Newport, RI with some of the most fun,amazing teenagers and people I've ever met, the fact that they happen to also have MS is just a minor detail. Happy day to you, I KNOW mine will be great!


questions and answers

I am half-way through my first elective of 4th year: Inpatient Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.The following was overheard or asked of me during the week....

Q: Am I in trouble? (asked by a 10 year old new admit who we were about to interview)
A: No, you are not in trouble and no one here in is trouble. We just want to talk to you so that we can get to know you and figure out how to help you. (So that you will stop listening to the voices in your head that are telling you to cut yourself, or at least tell an adult that you are hearing these voices before you do what they suggest.)

Q: Can I have a piece of gum? (asked numerous times throughout the day by pretty much every single patient on the unit)
A: Yes, would you like mint or strawberry?
Q: Can I have one of each?
A: Yes. (Which reminds me I'm almost out of gum, better stock up before Monday.)

Q: When you were a kid did you ever stay in a the hospital like this? (asked of a new patient shortly after I introduced myself and welcomed him to the unit)
A: No. (And I'm so sorry that inpatient psychiatric stays are the norm in your life and that at age 13 you have already had three admissions. I wish I could tell you that you everyone stays in the hospital when they are young and it is normal, but I can't and so I just try to distract you with another subject. But you are too smart and you ask me again, and again until finally I tell you that I was very lucky because I was healthy growing up and my first time in a hospital was when I was working in one. And then you say, "oh" and seem a little sad so we talk about baseball and other things...)

Q: Am I enjoying my child and adolescent psychiatric elective?
A: Yes, but it is bit depressing and I remember why I decided to go to medical school instead of pursuing a PhD in psychology.

Q: If your parents are illegal (aliens) and they brought you here can you be sent to jail?
A: No.
Q: That's good because its not your fault that your parents brought you to the US so that you would have a chance at a better life, right?
A: Right.

Q: Why do I have to stay here? Why can't I go home?
A: Because we want to keep you safe and help you. (And right now you are either a danger to yourself or others.)

Q: Will you color with me?
A: Yes. Always, yes.

Needless to say I have given away a lot of gum, colored numerous pages of batman, spent hours talking about everything and nothing. After a a week I've pretty much decided that these children are simply trying to survive. Children of young, single parents and broken homes. Children that are products of domestic violence and sexual abuse. It is no wonder that they are depressed, defiant, angry, scared. I know that many will never recover but for some I hope that this is simply a respite and that ACS or a new foster family or a new counselor will finally get through or provide the needed structure. My hope is that some of these children may begin to live life and move beyond the depression, the voices, the hurt. I know that many will forever be scarred by their childhoods but I hope that some may show the resiliency that children seem to have and that often amazes us. I have to hope this for them because the alternative is too depressing to contemplate. (I just read this NYT article regarding the adult inpatient psychiatric treatment state of affairs, I think pediatric resources and options are slightly better but still, very sad.)


Meet Sancho the puppy!

In case you are wondering this is a very non-medical school post ahead. So if you are looking for some SGU insight feel free to come back another day. However if you have any new puppy advice or want to just kill some time please do continue.

In developing news the big Bday surprise for Dr. Boyfriend was a huge success! We are now proud new furr-parents of a 3 month old American Staff Terrier/Boxer/Mix.

Meet Sancho!
We picked him up this afternoon and he is home and adjusting very well. He likes his crate and is semi-okay with being confined to the kitchen for now. Housebreaking will start in earnest in the AM but he quickly learned to use the WeeWee pads we put down and has demonstrated great love, playfulness and his personality is really starting to show. For the most part he seems like a happy-go-lucky guy. No whining or crying (yet) and he seldom barks. Although he seems to have a bit of an URI and a cough. We thought maybe it was just the Bordetella vaccine administered nasally but as the night goes on I'm becoming more and more certain he has a doggie cold. He sounds kind of congested, poor thing.

I haven't had a puppy since I was in middle school so I'm a bit new to all of this. We walked him around the neighborhood and despite his initial fear of cars, stairs, other dogs and the airplanes flying overhead (we live pretty close to the airport) he did very well. Everything is of course new to him but it was kind of funny to see him refuse to use the stairs or step off the curb. It was definitely one of the more entertaining dog walks I've ever experienced.

Anyhow after his dinner and our several attempts to have him potty outside failed we let him use the WeeWee pads inside and the he curled up and fell fast asleep. That was at 8:30pm. Dr. B and I made dinner and had chance to relax for a minute but by the time we were ready for bed Sancho was awake and looking concerned. But we put him in his crate and he allowed us a few hours of sleep before Dr. B heard him stirring around midnight. After a quick pee he went right back to bed and sleep. What a good dog!

But I didn't... insomnia kept me up for awhile and then I heard a commotion and found Sancho staring at the Wee Wee pad corner so I let him out of his crate. He didn't want to go back in so I allowed him a quick playtime and then left him with free reign of the kitchen. After faking me out and settling into his bed I left him. But then he promptly decided to use the WeeWee pad again, this time leaving a rather smelly mess (but at least he did it where we asked him to). By the time I had cleaned up Sancho was wide awake and wanted to play, and play, and play. So we had some puppy playtime at 2am. I left him after a few minutes and started to blog from the other room where I could still see him. And I think he just fell asleep as I hear a very congested snore.

Yep, he's asleep. So maybe now I should try to do the same... I have a feeling he'll be awake in a few short hours. Oh the joys of multiple night awakenings. But it is all part of the process. And a fun distraction from Step 2 studying.

Home pictures of Sancho will be forthcoming but in the meantime you can read about him and his family via Petfinder and the amazing work of The Barking Lot rescue group.

Welcome home Sancho, welcome home.


Insomnia- take 2

I'm not sure that this post has a point. I'm wide awake, SUPER wide awake and have been since 4:30am this morning, which considering I didn't fall asleep until after 1am is kind of odd.  I feel strangely hypomanic, this is my third night/day of not needing very much sleep: 3 hours, 5 hours, 4 hours. And this from a girl who is normally vary happy to sleep 8 or 9 or more. So yeah, insomnia is weird.

If I didn't have my exam in 8 days and I wasn't busy with a super B-day surprise for Dr. Boyfriend*** I'd be more concerned. But I think this is my way of displaying stress, or something like that. Not that I feel stressed, I fell strangely calm and ready but at the same time like my heart is pounding and my fingers are trembling and I just don't need to sleep. Or eat. It is all very odd. If this is what bipolar or hyperthyroidism feels like than I totally have new respect and sympathy. Not fun. Or maybe this is like ADHD. My attention span has been whack the last few days as well. Which makes studying and doing a block of 44 questions rather cumbersome. Oh well. Hopefully the exhaustion kicks in and I go back to normal for a day or two before I have to sit for Step 2. I don't feel very confident to sit in a chair for 8 hours at this point. I can't even sleep in my bed for 8 hours right now. Something has got to give!

**** We are adopting a dog! Dr. Boyfriend has been asking me for some time and I kept saying no, well anyhow I decided that it was time. I'll be away at rotations for most of next year and if a dog would make him happy and keep him company than who am I to deny him that? He let his wife move to Grenada and has put up with marriage via Skype for three and half years now. It is my time to do something for him.

Future Fido- I know you are out there... we are looking for you....

(We have an appointment to see some American Staffordshire Terrier puppies at a local dog rescue today and I'm feeling confident.)


This I Know...

I DO want to be physician.  I chose this career, or it chose me?  Either way, I'm doing it.

But sometimes, just sometimes the path is long and wandering and so I start to wonder... not is it worth it exactly, because I believe it is, or I wouldn't be doing this, but sometimes I pause. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I see friends who have families already (kids, careers, homes) and I wonder if what I'm sacrificing is what I truly want. I see young athletes at the height of their careers and can't help but think that they are going to retire before I even get to "practice" my profession. The path is long and the sacrifices great. I think they are worth it, I know they are worth it. But sometimes, just sometimes I wonder what if I had taken a job teaching first grade or actually traveled around the world after college instead of getting on the MCAT/pre-med train if I wouldn't be just a happy as I am today.

I have no regrets. I don't. I fully understand that I chose this life, I CHOOSE this life and in the end it will be worth it for me. And don't feel bad for me in the day-to-day. Sure medical school is "hard" but really what in life isn't hard? And what I get to do and the people I get to meet, those are things that I do not take lightly. I love my life and I love medical school (well now, maybe not so much in Terms 1-3) but overall medical school is an amazing time. I got to live in Grenada and meet some really good friends. I get to see illness and pathology and health up close every day. I have to travel a bit but that just means I get to see a variety of hospitals and different patient populations. I am away from Dr. Boyfriend but I am lucky I have a husband that is so supportive and that we have a strong marriage so that this is possible. So I don't ever regret going to medical school or choosing this life. But still I wonder what might have been....

And yes, I'm know residency will be fine. It will be hard and long and I'll sacrifice some more along the way but that is what being a doctor entails and I signed up well aware of these facts.

I suppose some of my "pause" comes from the fact that Dr. Boyfriend is about to start the last year of his fellowship thus his journey is almost over. I've experienced residency and two years of fellowship vicariously so I almost feel like I should be done too. But I haven't even started. And I don't even have a residency yet. Or a personal statement written to apply. Or all my letters of recommendation completed. So here I am, about to start fourth year and I have a LOT to do.

And right now I'm in the middle of studying for Step 2 (test date is just 10 days away) and Dr. Boyfriend is out of town at a conference so I'm alone with my books and so maybe that is making me morose. Reflective. Pondering. Whatever.

But this I know....

I am lucky. I do want to be a physician. It is/will be worth it. This I know! (along with lots of random medical knowledge, some actually important and plenty of arcane facts that I'm sure I will promptly forget as soon as I take Step 2.)



I am feeling as if I need to write but I'm not sure if I have anything to say, profound or otherwise... Third year is officially over. I'm in limbo land as I study/take Step 2 and then move back to New York to start fourth year electives. Most of my schedule is figured out but I'm still waiting on out of network Peds stuff. (Note to fellow SGU students that are contemplating out of network rotations: allow the school at least 8 weeks 3 months to get your paperwork together and signed off on and submitted, it does take that much time!)

It is kind of nice to be back to studying again. Of course I studied while in my core rotations but it is different to wake up and have the entire day to study whatever you want (or need) to in any order or place you desire. And of course I love being back at "home" with Dr. Boyfriend and have been not 100% focused on studying as I had jury duty for two days and then dentist appt, etc. All the stuff you don't have time to take care of when you are flying around the USA for a year kind of adds up. But home is good. Schedule, or lack there of is good. Life is good.

In any case... I have to get back to studying. Happy Wednesday!

P.S. Here's a nice neuro article for any of you thinking of going into neurology. I thought it was an interesting read. Of course child neurology is a bit different but the sentiments are the same.



And of course, I'm wide awake. Hello insomnia, you really aren't a friend of mine. May as well blog a little, not anything else going on in the middle if the night. Tomorrow is my last long call/admit day for Medicine. Wednesday is post call and my oral exam. And then I'm down with third year. Kind of crazy how fast it went. Seems just like yesterday when I was standing in the OR and pondering how little I knew. Now I'm almost a real big grown up MS IV. The plan? Napa first and foremost. See family. Drive South. See more family. Settle and study for Step 2. Head to New York. Do a peds sub-I... somewhere, this part is difficult to schedule. But sub-I. Somewhere. Get amazing letter. Head back to Cali. Do some medicine electives. Apply for residency. Yada, yada... Anyhow, it's all good. Napa is in sight, just two days to go... Cheers!


swimming pools and spoons

Sometimes you just need a swimming pool. They are doing construction on the hospital and I snapped this picture on my way in today.

The pools were filled with gravel and dirt and I have no idea where they are taking these... You would think they there would be a more sophisticated way to move around the excess dirt and gravel but the plastic pools seemed to be doing the job.

Which reminds me of the spoons, way back in my first rotation, during Neurosurgery. Let me explain. If a patient had a subarachnoid hemorrhage and we needed to remove the clotted blood from the brain we used... a spoon. Again you'd think there would be some tool or special device made for such a procedure but if there is I have no idea what it looks like because we always used spoons. Just plain, regular tea spoons.

This post has no real purpose I don't have anything profound to say. I'm just reflecting on simple things that somehow get the job done. I'm 10 days away from being done with third year and I just emailed my final patient write-up to my preceptor. It feels good.

Now if you excuse me I'm going to enjoy a glass of wine and ponder the simple things in life. Like swimming pools and spoons.


Happy Easter- links

Happy Easter.  Happy Passover. Or simply Happy Spring, whatever you may or may not be celebrating I hope you have a wonderful Sunday.

Here are just some links for the day from my early morning reading before I head to the hospital in my Easter socks. The Easter egg hunt and decorating has been postponed to next weekend when Dr. Boyfriend will be visiting (and also it will be Greek Easter then.)

-A "Good Friday" post  on death, but beautiful all the same. Grady Doctor often makes me cry.

-Reflecting on my non-zebra patient and wondering if/when he'll get his kidney. Here is a story of love and hope. 

-Call for all of us to do our part and fight childhood obesity. That means you, dad/dude!


missing you

I don't know if its the ho-hum of rotations (8 weeks into IM) or the fact that I'm away from truly good friends for so long but I've been missing Grenada lately. I miss the warm breeze and the chance to go swimming in clear blue 80 degree water. I miss my friends on Friday nights when we would chat over a bottle of wine about our week and our plans after Grenada. I miss the study breaks and the ability to go kayaking on a random Tuesday morning before class. I miss the island time lifestyle and all the awesome Grenadian people. I miss Prickly Bay Pizza and I miss my path group. I've taken to wearing my Path Group NOS scrub tops to the hospital lately... I just miss it all.

I don't miss being an MS I or MS II (being and MS III, almost IV is much better) but I do miss the people and island and good times.

I randomly started talking to one of my favorite clinical assistants at the hospital yesterday. He was born in Mexico City and was telling me how beautiful his home country is and how I should go on vacation there... (and I'm sure he is right) but all I could think was, I'd rather go back to Grenada!

I do like California and where I am and what I'm doing. But it would be super nice to be sitting on the beach looking at St. George's with a good friend calling me to join her for a swim in the warm, sun-kissed aqua water....

Happy Friday!


Ode to an Attending

Get curious! This is what Dr. M would write on a sign which she would then display and point to, each and every time she asked a question re: your pt that you couldn't answer. And there was always a question. During the middle of your presentation it seemed nit picky that she would want to know if your pt's knee Sx from 18 years ago required hardware since you had no plans for your pt to get an MRI and her knee hx was in no way relevant to her CC of SOB or HPI... But the point was, Dr.M wanted YOU to know. Ditto for alcohol drink of choice, where your pt was born, what motivates your pt, LMP, current Hep C status and so on. Dr. M would say, "I am interested in all of your pts and their problems and want to hear about whatever you want talk about." And the thing was, she WAS interested and although she had already looked at the labs and read the PT report and seen the CXR she still let you fumble through your presentation, because that's how you learn and because she knows you need the practice. Dr.M would spend 45 mins to discuss the case of a pt in a vegetative state. A patient that had no chance of ever improving. But she wanted the team to help the patients family prepare for his eventual demise and she wanted everyone involved to feel comfortable with end of life issues. Dr. M would tell you exactly what you were doing wrong but she would also tell you when you did a good job, and you just had to accept that the ratio was closer to 10:1 than 1:1. Dr. M would answer her own questions and order consults when she already knew the answer. But she also admitted when she had her facts mixed up. Dr. M made you aspire to be better, and in the end, isn't that the point?


In case you were wondering...

IM is a little more than half over and most days I still like going to work. I may not want to go into adult medicine but somehow I manage to connect with my patients, even if they are 1. homeless,  2. suffer from mental illness 3. are sadly addicted to alcohol + street drugs + cigarettes +/- pain killers  or 4. all of the above. The patient population is definitely "challenging" and the adults often act like kids but the medicine and pathology is amazing. I heart my preceptor and had a great month with an attending that may pick apart every single thing you say but only because she cares about her patients and wants you to become a good and capable doctor. So how can I complain about that?

All in all, I can hardly believe that 3rd year will be OVER in less than 7 weeks. I am a bit anxious about next year and matching and everyone I still need to do: Step 2 CK, CS, personal statement, ERAS, interviews. I am saddened by my upper SGU classmates that did not match this year but am so happy and proud of those that did. I wish I could fast forward and be there already but at the same time I genuinely LIKE being a medical student and wouldn't mind staying right here for awhile longer. I have so much still to learn, I wish time would be slow down and speed up simultaneously.

Most of all I try to be thankful for where I am in life. I am truly blessed that I get to do what I want with my life. Medical school is hard, but it is also very rewarding and I wouldn't change a thing...


Match Day 2012

Happy Match Day! If you are looking for the SGU list, you've come to the right place. Of course it usually takes SGU a little while to get the complete list up. But keep checking. To all my matched classmates, congrats! If you are wondering what exactly this "match" that I keep referring to is than let me direct you here. I'm sure I'll have thoughts/opinions and more comments once I see the list and hear where people are going but for now I just want to congratulate everyone and reflect for a moment... In one year I hope to be preparing to find out my fate. Oh the things we do for love (of medicine in this case.)


Three Hugs

It was a good day. It was a very very good day! The kind of day where you wake up before your alarm clock goes off and you actually want to get out of bed. The kind of day for you know exactly what you want to wear. A polka dotted dress with a yellow belt. And who could have a bad day in a polka dotted dress with a yellow belt? Today was a good day. The kind of day when you can't decide on who is your favorite patient. The kind of day when your patients give you hugs and thank you for taking good care of them. Today was a good day. It was a very very good day.


no words

I never considered myself as having a problem with words. I love to write, and it has always seemed to come easily for me. But then I get to IM and my H&Ps seem on the skimpy side. For someone who was regularly told her emails were too long and that the essay only needed to be 500 words not 2000 this is an odd place to find myself. I should be able to write paragraphs about my differential diagnosis but I tend to focus on the most likely and leave out the obvious details because I think they are obvious, or written two sentences above in the labs, or I just talked about it in the HPI but I guess repetition is okay if it is important. I think I'm just modeling what I've read but just because your resident does it doesn't make it right. So I'm working on this. Also, I don't know if I just have an extra attentive Attending or if my pronunciations have been awful lately but I've been corrected when I say words too.
Random examples:
-Rhales is British so the a is an ah not a hard a.
-Triamcinolone (antibiotic) in my head has an extra syllable. And why is this called tack cream? I really don't get it.
-Petechiea (the ch is pronounced as k not a ch)

So I vow to be more thorough, more verbose and work on my pronunciations. And maybe learn some medicine while I'm at it.

I was reflecting on the patient's I've seen so far and I think I've hit all the major organ systems.
Here is the short list:
HTN (only essential)
CHF (right and left sided)
Valvular Heart Disease
Afib vs Aflutter
Renal Failure (acute and chronic)
Liver Cirrhosis
Hepatitis (Hep C, Viral, Tylenol OD)
DM (but all type II so far)
Reynaud's Syndrome
Panic Disorder
Bipolar Disorder
Substance Abuse (cocaine, alcohol, narcotics)

Not bad for one month into IM... I wonder what I'll see today? Whatever it is, I'll try to use my words.

*On an completely unrelated note- Happy Match Week to my SGU colleagues and other MS IVs that are anxiously waiting for Friday. Here is a link to the list. Right now it only has pre-matched students but the Canadians will be added soon and then everyone else on Friday or as soon as SGU updates it... Fingers crossed for everyone. I feel nervous this year, I can't even imagine the suspense of next year.


the zebra that wasn't

what if your patient has the worst diagnosis. not because it is something rare and horrible but just because it is.  my patient from day one of IM is still in the hospital and if he's lucky he'll leave tomorrow but still... he walked into the hospital and although he'll walk out his life has drastically changed. i'm sad for him. sad for his family. i was there. he was my first H&P of IM. i won't forgot him... he taught me not just about medicine but about being there. and about how the nicest patient's have the worst diagnosis.

IM is a quarter over which is kind of amazing. tomorrow is the last day with my resident and she's taught me a lot. i've gotten to work with three different attendings and they all had different styles. i've seen a variety of patients. mostly the basics but some interesting cases too.

i'm feeling reflective but its a good feeling. third year is winding down and mostly i feel like i still have so much to learn. but every day i hope i'm making progress.


I'm not taking this for granted

"This" being medicine.

"This" being a chance to be a medical student. Which if you really think about it, is a pretty awesome job. I get to spend my days learning about things I find interesting. I'm on my feet, talking to patients and practicing skills I hope to spend the rest of my life doing. I am not really responsible for anything. Nothing is expected of me beyond being interested and showing up.

"This" being a part of patients' lives when they are at their most vulnerable. As a medical student I have time so I can spend an hour talking to and educating my patient about whatever disease and treatment is relevant. I have time so I can talk about life or anything really... and I like this time.

I can spend half the day in the library reading. Or I can spend it in the cath lab, or GI suite or wherever else my patient may need to go. I get to see medicine from the perspective of someone who knows a little but has the time to absorb it all.

I'm only 10 days in but so far I've see the textbook come to life.
Ascites with a fluid wave. Gout with tophus nodules. Stephenson-Johnson Syndrome. Hypertensive retinopathy complete with arteriovenous nicking, cotton-wool spots and flame-shaped hemorrhages.

This is medicine and this is me getting to do it.

I love this time in medical school. Third year is nearly over and I'm just happy to be here. This is good.


Day 2 and my (first) zebra = I heart medicine

So I'm only two days into medicine and so far I have a very interesting patient. I can't go into details because HIPPA and stuff but he's younger than I am and in multi-organ failure without a known cause. The obvious and regulars have been ruled out so now we are looking for something more exotic. Sucks for him, cool for me. He's an ICU patient and being only an MS III we are not suppose to follow ICU patient's but somehow I got him anyhow and I'm so glad I did. I actually want to be at work and am reminded of why I went into this, medicine is interesting, the human body is downright amazing and I am SO LUCKY to be living my dream.  I just hope that my patient's zebra is something reversible and/or treatable and that he will go on to live his life and I'll learn much in the process.

Yesterday was also interesting as it seems the "flavor de jour" was cocaine abuse. Maybe it was the patients tribute to Whitney's passing as my Attending postulated... but whatever it was we had no less than three admits for some type of cocaine related complication. Lesson of the day, love your heart, don't do cocaine and happy Valentine's Day.

Also the residents are great. We have noon conference and/or med student lectures pretty much every day and we get to do stuff but are still told to go home early/ go study and given minimal scut work. So all in all, I'm two days in and very happy to be here. Medicine rocks. San Francisco is great and I live in the same state as Dr. Boyfriend once again. All in all, life is good!


Anatomy of a 6 week Rotation

Week 1: excitement, meeting new people, figuring out who's who. this is going to be great.
Week 2: still excited to be in a new rotation, settled and ready to learn, call is fun.
Week 3: tired. time is going by so slowly....i can't believe i'm only half way done. call is exhausting.
Week 4: omg. am i still on this rotation? very tired. call is dreaded. did i mention tired.
Week 5: the end is near. i kind of like this rotation. i'm sad i only have two weeks left.
Week 6: exams, done. that was great! i can't believe how fast time goes by....

I'm just about done with OB/GYN. It was fine. I liked the OB part and tolerated the GYN... clinic and L&D were great. The OR, not so much.... but then again I already knew surgery wasn't for me. It was a good experience and I'm glad to have another rotation behind me.

IM is up next and while I'm ready to learn and excited to be going somewhere that I have autonomy and actually contribute to patients care I'm a little apprehensive about working 6 days a week for 3 months on the wards. But regardless I'm going. And then fourth year will be here so ready or not, here I go...

Cali is just 8 days away, so long New York!


My break-up with coffee

It became my New Year Resolution so to speak. It wasn't planned, it just kind of happened.

Now this was kind of a bid deal because I absolutely LOVE coffee. Latte. Cafe au lait. Regular cup of joe. I don't care just give me anything fresh roasted, organic or simply non-instant and I'm happy. I probably drink 2-3 cups of coffee on any given day and sometimes much more. There is the obligatory morning cup and then another one sometime in the afternoon. There are countless cups to drink while reading the NYT on Sunday mornings or while studying at whatever coffee shop I choose on the weekends. Coffee is my study buddy, my comfort drink, my friend.

But I was over it. And on January first I had my last real cup of coffee. I switched to black teas for a few days so in an attempt to prevent withdrawal headaches. Then I went to decaf teas only. And I survived. Now there were a few afternoons in clinic when I was convinced all I needed was a shot of espresso to make my headache disappear. (And I did get one migraine, but I think it was probably the dehydration, skipping lunch and a busy overbooked clinic that did it, not the lack of caffeine.)

Somehow I made it, including one night on call without a single cup of coffee. And I didn't miss it as much as I thought I would. However the hospital coffee leaves very little to be desired and there are no good/convenient coffee shops between home and work so that probably helped. But in any case, I now know I can live without coffee, and it isn't even that difficult. But I like LOVE coffee...

And so yesterday for the first time in almost two weeks I drove 10 minutes out of my way and ordered a grande nonfat latte. And it was wonderful. Coffee and I are back together, at least for now.


Oh, yeah, I write a blog....

Hi dear readers !I didn't forgot about you, although my lack of posting may make you think otherwise. Insert normal excuses here- busy, nothing interesting, blah, blah, blah. Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed the Holidays, Happy New Year to you!

So, what have I been up to? If you are keeping track at home I'm in my second to final rotation of third year. I just have four weeks of OB/GYN left and then I'm headed back to Cali for IM and then I'm a grown up MS IV! Crazy how time went by so fast.... Of course things are not quite THAT easy because I do have to take those little things called the Step 2 CK and CS, and arrange my schedule for next year, etc, etc. But I'm marching on....

Peds was amazing and everything I could have wanted in a rotation.  Great teaching, interesting cases, cute kids, good diversity and basically confirmation that I was born to be a pediatrician. Every day was fun. I heart babies, teenagers and all those in between. I was even able to spend several days in peds neruo clinic and that was amazing too. So all in all I am happy and ready to get to fourth year already so I can hang out with those kids again! Last night I was on-call on L&D and just down the hall from the nursery so I made a few trips (to check on the deliveries of course) and just because babies are way cuter and more fun than moms' in labor. Or at least I think so.

So OB/GYN. Well I started with clinic so I've gotten to see a little bit of everything and then last night on call I scrubbed for one section and helped with one NVD so all in all I'm getting to see what I'm suppose too. I feel like I'm missing the gene that makes one wax poetic about the miracle of life and witnessing a birth. I suppose I am more upset by how cold the anesthesiologist is to the patient in the C-section, how scared she seems and how horrible it must be to have a baby brought into the world this way. The patient was alone, Spanish speaking and clearly scared. Not a single person in the OR spoke Spanish, or if they did they kept quiet. It broke my heart to see her sitting there, her eyes trying to hold back tears and her entire body shaking (from cold or fear or both). I held her hand before I scrubbed in and a caring nurse or two did the same but during the actual C/S it was only the anesthesiologist behind the curtain with her and he most certainly wasn't comforting her.... but the baby was fine and patient's family appeared shortly thereafter to be with the patient and see the new baby so maybe I'm getting more upset about this than I need to be.

Of course normal vaginal delivery doesn't look like a piece of pie either. Oh my goodness, the crying, the screaming, the mess, the (seemingly) never ending labor. The vaginal delivery I saw was a bit better in that mom got to breastfeed and hold baby within five minute of the actual delivery and the family was in the room, cheering, and celebrating. So maybe magic for them, not so much for me. But babies were born and life begins anew so I'll try to focus on that positive as I sign off today.

Hopefully I'm back to regular scheduled blogging in this new year.