Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Day 2809: 2013 in pictures

I returned to my heart (NYC) in March

My sister came to visit in April (here we are at a Brewers game)

Danny's family took me to Disney World in June/after Step 1
Then I went to Canada/Banff/Lake Louise with my family

In July, my friend married her best friend in LA

In October, Danny and I explored buildings in Milwaukee

Also in October, my pal came to visit me and we explored corn mazes,
among other things like jazz concerts and pumpkin-carvings!

I was quite busy in October! I flew to California to hang out with
my cousin and his family, including his adorably grumpy son.

Also in October (I was not kidding about busy-ness), Danny, Alex
and I hung out at Disneyland and ate at Club 33 (yum!)

I worked in rural Wisconsin for my November family medicine rotation.

My parents and my friends' parents all got together for Thanksgiving weekend

My family and I went to Reno for Christmas (for the buffet, not the gambling)

Adios 2013!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Day 2807: Reflections on 2013

I have talked to several people about my struggle to decide between family medicine or urology and, it's actually been to most of you so, I won't bore you with any of the details. Instead, I will give you the highlights. Can I handle the five-year residency that urology entails? Do I want to be a surgeon? Will urology provide me with the work-life balance I need? Lots of questions, with not many answers. Hopefully I can find some in the next two months before I have to submit my schedule for next year.

Family things have calmed down a bit, but everything isn't "back to normal," whatever normal looks like. I think it will keep taking time, on everyone's part, to find some true peace. Gosh I sound so much more touchy-feely than I mean to. Anyway, my maternal grandmother (Ama) is coming back to the states in February 2014. managed to get some time off to fly back to California to see her so I am super pumped about that. This woman played a huge role in raising me, and I can't wait to see her.

I feel very grateful to have made it more than halfway through my medical schooling. The first two years were a challenge, to say the least. The breadth of knowledge expected of me month after month was exhausting. Preparing for Step 1 was one of the most stress-inducing times of my life. I learned a lot about myself during that period and I am taking that knowledge in to Step 2 CK and CS (my final two board exams in medical school to obtain my MD). The hospital, the clinics, interacting with patients is where I am most comfortable. I work well with others and I like talking to people (do not confuse this with my dislike of people. That is still the case.). I am finally where I need to be to succeed in this hell-hole (only half-kidding) that is med school.

I have a beautiful second family here in Milwaukee courtesy of Danny and his family. I feel incredibly lucky to have such a supportive partner and as supportive a family as his. I am sure that I would not have been able to handle the stress of medical school without his and his family's unending support. Now is the time to hashtag things like #lucky and #blessed.

OH MY GOSH. New calendar years make me so touchy-feely.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Day 2788: Can I Kick It?

I instruct you to be the obeyer
A rhythm recipe that you'll savor
Doesn't matter if you're minor or major
As promised, a second post in December! Praise be!

Yesterday, Day 2787, I met with the clerkship director of urology. He is an honest man, which is something I appreciate more than a good serving of fries. I went in with my transcript, my Step 1 score, my extracurriculars, and said "Do I have a shot?" (Actually, I wish I said that. I think I actually said "I wanted to meet with you to get an idea of what my chances are of doing urology" or something in that vein.)

He was not terribly impressed. But, he didn't shut me down either (like he has another classmate, per rumor on the street). I have worked (aka shadowed) him before and he seems (shocker) to remember me and (bigger shocker) like me. He said that he would have liked to see more As on my third year transcript (I have more Bs than As thus far (no more twirling Ariels since this post)), but said that if I could do well on my final three rotations (the big, important ones that I get tested on for my next board exams), I should be fine. "Fine" meaning he laid out what I need to do to be considered.
  1. Improve significantly on Step 2 CK.
  2. Get As in the rest of my rotations, including urology.
  3. Do urology research.
  4. Do more urology research.
  5. Do a sub-internship at my med school.
  6. Do an away rotation at a med school of my choosing.
  7. Do more urology research.
It's manageable because I say it is. I shan't let it overpower me. I shall learn to overcome. (I went to church with Danny this past Sunday for funsies, do you think it rubbed off on me at all? :P)

So, at this point, I am working towards applying to a residency in urology. Am I actually going to do urology? Who knows? Worse comes to worse, I realize I can't give up 5+ years of my life and I do all that work to do family medicine (something else I also (equally?) enjoy).

Here I am. Still ruminating. Still wondering if I can kick it. Constantly trying to be still.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Day 2787: Inspirations and Ruminations

My two lovely friends have coincidentally updated their blogs on the same day (today!) inspiring me to do the same. This post has been about two weeks in the making with about twelve solid minutes of writing, here she blows.

Last month/November was my family medicine rotation. I am not sure how much I have talked about my desire to pursue family medicine (it probably got lost in my effervescence about penises urology), but in case I haven't told you, family medicine is on my short-list of careers...right up there with urology.

I had the opportunity to do my rotation in the Northwoods of Wisconsin -- 3.5 hours away from Milwaukee, with only one Asian family in the town where I worked. Surprisingly, everyone was not impressed by my perfect American English or strange almond eyes. Not so surprisingly, everyone was very warm and welcoming. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed working in a small town (of 3,500 people!). I got to do so much. I did every pap smear and pelvic exam on my own. I diagnosed bacterial vaginosis, and treated it no less, on my own. I did my own obstetric prenatal exam. I sutured (7 beautiful sutures) a kid's thumb together. I froze off moles. I injected cortisone into an elderly man's knee. I did a lot. Way more than my classmates did here in Milwaukee.

Even though family medicine is a lot of chronic problems, and people not understanding why they are still obese/a diabetic/have high blood pressure when they don't make positive changes in their life, family medicine is just that. Getting to know a family. In my case, I got to know a 50-year-old daughter and her 80-year-old mother, but that's besides the point. I could reference Joe Blow's mom when Joe Blow came in a week after her for an acute problem. It was really exciting to feel like I knew patients, even though I was only there for three weeks.

It seems the ruminating so far is just expressing how much I enjoyed family medicine and remembering that while I am on my urology rotation. Can you believe it? By 2014, I will hopefully have figured out what the heck I am doing with my life.

I really have so much to tell you all! I think I will stop here and pre-write some stuff to post tomorrow so that I actually have more than blog post for the month of December.

I love you all dearly.