Saturday, September 28, 2013

Day 2417: Insanity

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

This is how I feel today. My iPhone was apparently no where near ready to be updated to iOS 7. As a result. I lost EVERYTHING. Don't get me wrong. I am an IDIOT. I synced my computer (not a backup). But then it resynced and I lost the last sync with all my photos, texts, etc.

This post is going to look extremely random, no linear thought. I AM LOSING MY MIND. I have tried backing up my old iPhone from a Time Machine backup (which, for those of you that don't have a back, this all just sounds like gibberish). But my iTunes keeps losing it's mind and resyncing and basically screwing me over.

You know the most pitiful part? I don't think I care all that much about the lost texts or lost pictures (especially because I just backed up all my photos before I updated iOS). I lost all my Nike Training Club minutes! 2000+! I lost all the fun bonus workouts that come with said minutes. And you better believe my new schedule doesn't allow me to get those 2000+ minutes back quickly!

Okay. Done ranting and raving. Hopefully I won't have to bang my head against a wall repeatedly in the near future. Hopefully.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Day 2409: What a day.

Today, I interviewed applicants for my medical school. That was in the afternoon. While trying to come up with questions to ask and figure out how I wanted these interviews to go, I was feeling a bit blah about going in to my psych rotation that day. My attending was gone for a conference and I was basically following people around like a puppy for the past few days. However, while working with a bit of a terse, no-nonsense attending (who sassed me and made me feel like an idiot...on psych of all things), I had the opportunity to sit in on a family session...which everyone but the patient knew was going to be an intervention.

Have you ever seen that show, "Intervention"? I haven't. After telling people what I sat in (which I will tell you about in one precious moment), apparently, what I experienced was just like the show. So what happened? I was sitting in with a heroin addict and his family, and what transpired was this...each family member read this beautiful, touching, heartfelt letters to their addict family member. "This is to my younger sibling, who I built forts with as a child, not the monster called addiction who has taken my sibling from me." Things like this. And then more. All beautiful. All from the heart. All so personal. And all heartbreaking. All I could think was, what am I doing here??? I felt like I was intruding on something so important and life-altering and moving What a way to end the week.

Then, I had to interview 4 applicants in the afternoon. I am a person, as you all know, ready to crush dreams and, surprisingly, I liked 3 out of the 4 applicants. I ended up accepting all 4 of them because my interviewing partner (an MD or PhD) was really wowed by this blah-applicant's academic credentials. To be honest, I wasn't all that impressed with this applicant as a person. I didn't think s/he would be a huge asset to the school. S/He could have gone anywhere and been perfectly plain at whatever school s/he went to, you know?

All in all, it was a pretty exciting day. Intervention, check. Fulfilling dreams, check. I can't say it enough but third year is 85 million times better than my first two years of med school.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Day 2407: Track Liaison

As I mentioned in this previous post, I was voted to be the liaison for my clinical track. All that means is, if there is any complaint or praise for a particular rotation, I will be the person to report it to the chair. The chair then contacts clerkship directors with the feedback.

Did I forget to mention I am also the chair? Whoops. It happened rather haphazardly but there it is. I'm the chair of something. (Ruh-roh Raggy, am I right? Me. In charge of something. Run for the hills, people.)

Anyway, our first meeting was brief (which everyone appreciated) and organized (so I was told). It took me about an hour or two to get all the comments together and forward them to clerkship directors. But now I am reeling in the aftermath of 8 emails. People want to meet with me. They want more explanations concerning the feedback. They want to, God forbid, talk.

I'm just being a melodramaphobe. It's nice to feel like I'm helping and contributing and other related words. I just didn't realize it actually took time out of my already-super-not-busy-life ;)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Day 2405: My first grade of the year!

Okay. It's time for some honesty here Team Jess. Today, I received my first grade of my third year. And. It was good. So good, that I didn't even know what the letter meant when I received it (because apparently that's how little I do well in med school haha).

Background: My med school doesn't give As, Bs, or Cs. It gives Honors, High Pass, Pass. (So the same thing essentially.)

This is what I saw this afternoon:

What does this mean? Honors! High pass! THEY BOTH START WITH H!!! (Wheels turn in my brain. Wheels still turning. ...still turning (I am actually this slow people)) I THINK THIS IS AN HONORS!!! (back flip, forward flip, and now I am suddenly Ariel from Little Mermaid twirling through the ocean)

Then, four hours later, while texting a classmate, he informed me that they actually break down the grade for us. And, all you, my pretties, have to know is that I was on the low end of honors but I am pretty sure an honors is still an honors! Suckers!

In addition, we also got feedback. Here was mine:
Jessica was very self directed and was an obvious leader among her classmates. She always made herself available to see patients, participate in deliveries and surgeries. She demonstrated an increase in her knowledge base throughout the clerkship. She sought feedback and, importantly, listened to the feedback. Her questions reflected good insight into the topics at hand.

Very pleasant, enthusiastic, hard working smart student.
Look here Team Jess. I like myself. I think I'm pretty a-okay. Would I call myself a leader? Uh, no. I just ask questions that no one else wants to ask, because for lack of a better way to describe it, I don't really care how it reflects on me. Which makes me sound all James-Dean-too-cool-for-school, but all it really means is I don't care if I look dumb. My Dad told me this when I was in high school and it has always stuck with me. "Don't ever feel afraid to ask questions. How else are you going to learn things?" So. Here I am. On my clinical rotations, asking (probably dumb) questions, but how else am I going to learn? Apparently asking (dumb) questions is a pro on the clerkships.

Starting off the year strong! It's nice to know that what I was doing was (kind of/essentially) working. I have been so freaked out this past month because, at this point, I have gone through two clerkships and, until today, received zero grades. I could be passing or I could be honoring and not know it! I need to be getting honors, people! Luckily this fear has led me to study way more for my current psych clerkship (whose exam I heard is very nitpicky so I will be all ready in two weeks for those pesky details) and hopefully will motivate me to do well in all my future clerkships.

I have more stuff to blog about so look for it in the near future! Until then, friends ...yay me! ;)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Day 2402: Lunch with my attending

Things that are fantastic:
  • Having your attending take you out to lunch to thank you for your work and just shoot the sh!t
  • Talking about things you find interesting (race relations, racism in the US, international medical students/doctors, different cultures)
  • Feeling like you've learned more about other people (colleagues and superiors alike)
I had a really rewarding lunch with my child psychiatry attending and child psychiatry fellow today. We ate crappy Chinese food, which put me in to a food coma later that day, but we got to talk about a lot of interesting things (see bullet points above).

I don't know if I've said it yet but I am really enjoying my clinical years of learning thus far. It's been wonderful to interact with different people everyday. It's been gratifying to feel like I am actually learning something, little by little, day by day. And, it's really splendid to feel like you have helped (and not hindered) your superiors.

A win for child psychiatry.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Day 2401: On psychosis

While on the phone with a dear pal of mine today, I had an interesting thought on psychiatry. Well, two interesting thoughts.

1) I may not want to do psychiatry, but seeing it has pushed me more toward a possible career in family medicine.

2) Psychosis is one of the most rewarding ailments to treat in psychiatry. I currently have two psychotic patients on my child/adolescent psych service. One is purely psychotic, which doesn't bode well for her future as an adult. She sees things that aren't there, hears voices that no one else hears and is quite paranoid. My second patient had something resembling a first-psychotic break. It may have been substance-induced, but boy was it a doozy of a psychotic episode. Hearing things. Seeing things. "Flipping out," as the patient put it. BUT. When you give these psychotic patients the proper dose of the proper medicine, it is amazing to see how quickly these patients improve. Kid #1 is showing very slow improvement each day, but improvement nonetheless. Kid #2 is looking really good and will most likely go on to lead a fairly normal life.

Psychiatry isn't all mumbo-jumbo and talking about feelings. It's a pretty fine art to differentiate between depression or a medical condition causing depression (like hypothyroidism) and other things of that nature. Psychiatry isn't for me, but it has been an interesting rotation to be a part of.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Day 2400: On child psychiatry

As if learning embryology and going through my ob/gyn rotation wasn't enough, my two-week stint on child psychiatry is showing me that making normal humans is tough noogies. On top being freaked out your baby will be deformed or mentally underdeveloped or any number of things that can happen in utero, you have to hope and pray that your baby is normal, whatever that means. I have seen kids as young as 4 on my in-patient floor and kids of varying ages in day treatment. I have teenagers on my in-patient floor who have strong suicidal thoughts, straight up psychosis (audio and visual hallucinations) and a lot of aggression and ADHD.

Seeing these kids...I'm happy to know they are getting help but it's a little intense to see a 7-year-old on 4 medications! Honestly, seeing these kids freaks me out about having children. I want some (probably, eventually) but the fact you have to try to keep them sane and normal for their entire lives is a little overwhelming, wouldn't you agree?

All in all, I have learned a decent amount. I am getting bombarded daily with psych meds, which is good to refresh what I learned last year in pharmacology. Apparently, you can use clonidine (which is typically used to treat hypertension) to treat hyperactivity and impulsivity in kids with ADHD. Huh. Whodda thunk?

I really am going to try to post more regularly. I have more time to write, but I'm actually living life a little and socializing so that has taken away some of my motivation and drive to post. My posts are so boring most of the time anyway. But I digress. Here's hoping there are more posts! With pictures at some point too!