Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Day 3150: Flight pictures

One of my favorite things to do is take pictures of the landscapes I traverse to get to my destination. Here is a smattering from my million flights these past two months.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Day 3145: Reflection

As I descend into Chicago, after my final interview for 2014, lucky number 14, I have realized a few things about the interview trail and myself. If you're interested to find out what they are, clickity click click.

The program director at my final December interview noted I had participated in Student Assembly and Wisconsin Medical Society. He asked "do  you see yourself as a burgeoning (or related word) leader?" That really surprised me. Truthfully, I participated in these extracurricular activities (initially) to plump up my CV. But of course I wasn't going to say that. What I said was, I believe that every person has a voice. And being the loud, outspoken individual I am, I think it is extremely important to speak and be heard. Then I related it to telling your high school crush you liked them and how freeing that feels, no matter the outcome of that confession. The more I kept spouting words, I realized they were actually true. I would love to be a voice for people. And I think I can do it. I just have to figure out what I want to talk about and how I can make people listen and, more importantly, act.

Anyway, this interview cycle has been exhausting. I was pretty much done interviewing after number two, so I went on 12 more interviews, which is a totally sane and normal thing to do when you are pooped from pimping yourself out to programs (half true, half false). The interview trail has shown me, 1) I know my CV, 2) I've actually done a thing or two, 3) I am quite desirable and splendid.

While I take the next six weeks to figure out where the heck I want to end up come July 1st, I also plan to write several posts on surviving interview season. I figure I might as well get some good Google search keywords in these posts to boost my online persona. Shameless self-promotion. Is anyone shocked?

Thanks to each and every one of you reading for being a huge part of this process. From letting me crash in your bed or on your couch, to reading my posts that come too far and too between, thank you. Thank you. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Day 3137: Greetings from my flight!

I am currently in Chicago, awaiting a plane to take me to New York, my first love. I am 9 interviews in to my interview cycle. Before I can return to Milwaukee next week, I have to endure 4 more interviews. Endure sounds melodramatic but all this traveling has really taken a toll on me. I just want to sleep in my bed and stop meeting strangers. Is that too much to ask? Oh my gosh, we're finally leaving! Write more later!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Day 3127: So many interviews

Oh my gosh. Since I last posted, I have had five more interviews. I should have been blogging about each program as they happened but a lot of the time I was processing what the heck happened that day and to figure out if I would fit in, etc etc. 

So, I suppose what I will comment on now is how exhausting it is to travel so regularly. On top of the hecticness of getting to and from every place is having to be "on" for so many days at a time. We are all on our best behavior, trying to make a positive impression, it's a little Bachelor-esque if you ask me. Please please please pick me! I want the rose! It is both desperate in how hard we are all trying and necessary because how else am I supposed to get a job if I don't make a good day-long impression.

My last interview in November was mid-November in California so I have been spending time with friends and family. It has been relaxing and also annoying. Annoying because Southern California traffic is about as enjoyable as an incarcerated hernia (very painful because your bowel is dying). I will be spending Thanksgiving with my family and then it is back on the interview trail December 1st. 6 more to go until 2015 rolls in! Yowza!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Day 3103: Happy Halloween!

From Tetris, Reverse Superman, and Jess the disgruntled Bob's Pretzel's employee!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Day 3099: My second and third interviews

Numero 2:
I love this place. It's got a ton of residents, a ton of great fellowship placement, a ton of fringe benefits (like free health/dental/vision insurance), and one of my most darling friends lives here. I can't be too specific because I want to maintain the anonymity of this place, but boy was it grand! The facilites are beautiful, the program director is a boss, and so on. More reasons why this is so: there is strong support from the categorical programs (which, as previously mentioned, is important to me). I realized on this interview that program director support is also important to me and this director has gobs of support to give. Everyone did a good job of assuaging my concerns about the fine balance between resident autonomy and resident support (support = super sick patients trying to die on me in the middle of the night and knowing I have a senior resident/fellow/attending I can call without fear of retribution). All in all, number 2 is topping number 1.

Number 3:
This was one of my less desirable programs. Less desirable meaning not in the specialty of my choice, but in a specialty that provides Danny and I more chances of ending up in the same city. So, this place didn't blow me out of the water, but what was surprising was how I liked the applicants more than my desired specialty. Maybe it's due to the number of applicants interviewed, or maybe I came in on a good day, but I was quite saddened to learn I liked these people more than I liked the people in the profession I hope to enter. Nevertheless, it is a categorical program so I suppose I do have the chance of working with them at some point. I guess there is a silver lining to everything. All in all, I wouldn't mind matching here but there are other places I would rather be.

Another interview this week team! I will keep you updated!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Day 3088: My first interview

I had my first interview for residency this week. It was wonderful! It is a program in the South, not as prestigious as others, but the residents seemed really happy and they liked each other. The program has good working and social relationships with the categoricals (aka only internal medicine or pediatrics), which is important to me. The intern/first year schedule seemed a little babying. They only rotate once in 16 months through an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of some sort (pediatric, neonatal, or medical). On one hand, it's nice to get a handle of being doctor those first sixteen months. On the other hand, it's nice to get thrown in to the thick of it -- "welcome to being a doctor! May the odds forever be in your favor." All in all, this program set the bar high for what I am looking for in future colleagues and a future curriculum.

I hope to blog after each interview in hopes of fathoming a must-have list for my ultimate program (and it guarantees blog posts which keeps people *coughJesscough* happy ;P) and figuring out which program is the best fit for me.

Blog soon! xx

Friday, October 10, 2014

Day 3082: Interview offers & a rejection

Hey all!

My schedule of "self-study" on my new rotation has me lacking in things to tell you. Oh, I mean, I guess I have interviews, but school-wise, nothing to report.

So. INTERVIEWS. I got my first one September 19th and I nearly collapsed from joy. As an extremely average test-taker, I was worried as all get out that I would not get a single interview. Never mind my excellent clinical grades and my advisor telling me I am "such a strong candidate." Never mind all those things. I am clearly too in my head to believe what anyone else tells me and I was deathly afraid I was going to be one of the sad few who did not match come March and had to participate in the ever unwanted Scramble (now called SOAP). FYI, the Scramble occurs the week of the Match. You are informed Monday of that week that you did not match at a residency program and your week is comprised of scrambling (hence the name) for a program with an open spot who will accept you for the year while you figure your ish out. Anyway, back to my inner dialogue. So, since September 19th, I have had a steady roll of interview offers and I could not be more thrilled/overjoyed/shocked.

Today, October 10th, I have had 17 interview offers. I am happy with the mix of programs I have so far, and all I can say is, keep 'em coming! I want to see as many places as financially and temporally possible. It is amazing how quickly November and December (my vacation months aka interview months) fill up when you take in to consideration no one interviews applicants the week of Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year's. I am interviewing all over -- lots of Midwest programs, a couple on the East Coast, a couple in the South and a couple on the West Coast. I can't name names to protect myself and the programs, but I will be so very happy to share with you all where I end up come March 20, 2015!

Last but not least, I received an interview from a program this evening telling me I was rejected. You know what program? I don't want to go to your program anyway. Hmph! Surprise, I am smart enough to figure out that if you do not contact me, you do not want to interview me and I am therefore rejected. You don't need to get my hopes up with an email, only to have them doused in a torrential downpour of rejection. K? THX...NOT.

Ha, bitterness is not a quality I like to demonstrate, and truthfully, I'm not all that bitter. This is my first rejection of the season and it wasn't pleasant. I wasn't dying to go to this program anyway, but I did not appreciate being told that I am not "worthy" of your program. On to next week where more programs will hopefully be sending me offers and I can start to pick and choose! :)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Day 3075: Thank You

While looking for my passport today, I came across all these cards you all have sent me over the years. I can't thank each of you enough for all the support and love you have given me, but I'm sure going to try in the coming months. Here is just a tiny sample of all the love I have received in my 3+ years in Wisconsin.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Day 3072: A Lesson in Humility (also known as Pure Embarrassment)

I fainted today. In the operating room of all places.


I got pretty wicked sick Sunday afternoon/evening. I had a sore throat, was coughing, had body aches, and an unpleasantly painful headache. I asked for yesterday/Monday off, and I spent most of the day asleep and horizontal. I consumed two cans of chicken soup, two servings of multigrain Cheerios with almond milk, and I drank gobs of hot water+lemon+honey.


I awoke this morning, ready to go to the operating room since clinic did not sound appetizing to me. Well, I ate breakfast (multigrain Cheerios and almond milk) minutes before the case and within 30 minutes of standing there, I think three things. 1) I am really sweaty. 2) Good, sweat all this sickness out of me. 3) I have not stood this long in 36 hours. Fifteen minutes later, whilst standing over this 7-month-old, I turned to the surgical tech and asked her to retract the organ for me because I was feeling light-headed.

Next thing I know, I am dreaming about something. I open my eyes and see surgical techs, nurses, and anesthesiologists looming over me. My pediatric urologist attending is pumping my legs trying to get blood flowing to my brain. Hospital staff are ripping my gown off me because I am a sweaty mess. A damp towel is placed on my forehead. I am blinking over and over. I finally speak and the first words out of my mouth are, "I'm sorry." I was so embarrassed! "I'm sorry...I know better...I'm so sorry." They help me sit up on a roll-y chair, they hand me apple juice, and I am subsequently rolled out of the OR while my attending re-scrubs back in to the case and I am apologizing profusely as the door closes on my damp, embarrassed frame.

What a way to end my surgical sub-I!

Thursday, September 25, 2014



Sorry for shouting. I almost peed my pants from joy!

Background, my second computer-based, 9-hour exam went ...okay. I had done so many questions, had repeated 1000 questions, and was so far removed from new questions that I honestly had no idea how I did on that exam. So, to have passed, and to have improved at least ten points (as most people do between Step 1 and Step 2), I could not be more pleased.

Here's to this crazy path coming closer to fruition!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Day 3066: Pediatric Urology

Hello hello!

I apologize for the 6-day delay! I was doing so well last week!

This month, I am on pediatric urology for my surgery sub-internship. This is a pretty cush gig -- no notes, no presentations, and no weekends! This is actually easier than my medicine sub-I! Shh, don't tell anyone!

I am in my final week of rotating on this rotation. (My last day is 9/30.) It has been fun-ish. I don't love the OR -- it's hot, I can't itch any of my itches, and I rarely get to do anything as a student. Snip some suture string here. Clamp something there. Pull this retractor. I have the most fun when I have the chance to sew! And I love to sew! The residents and fellow are great. The kids are cute. The cases are interesting. Nevertheless, I am ready to move on. Mainly because once this month is over, I don't have any real work for the rest of the year. Woo-hoo!

Blog soon!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Day 3060: Riddles, my nemesis.

Is there a way to make me good at riddles? Because I read this riddle on a blog I follow and I was extremely disappointed with my "answer" (what's the word for this -- an "answer" to a riddle?).
A father and his son are in a car accident. The father dies instantly, and the son is taken to the nearest hospital. The doctor comes in and exclaims, "I can't operate on this boy." "Why not?" the nurse asks. "Because he's my son," the doctor responds. How is this possible?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Day 3059: D-Day Explained


I hope my D-Day post made sense to you all. I was basically live-blogging while I was waiting for every page to go through (and I refreshed each one at least 3 time). To clarify anything that was clearly unclear...

The online applications for residency have been open since July. Since then, we have all been diligently working on our eighth draft of our personal statements, collecting our numerous letters of recommendation, inputting all of our extracurriculars, etc. September 15th, therefore, was D-Day. The day we could finally apply. Well, clearly (and I mean crystal clear), every single continental medical student (at least) had the same idea of submitting their application the second the programs began allowing submissions. The only problem is, this application service is clearly not run by anyone with any tech-savvy because the website crashed within 5 hours. Like Nuremberg crashed. To the point where they did not re-launch the website until the next day.

Why all the drama to submit on Day 1, Minute 1? The rumor on the street is, top programs only download applications once. And typically, within the first week of applications opening. So, for the people with crazy good test scores and AOA (Alpha Omega Alpha, the medical (student) society that recognizes the top 10? 15? percent of every class) and all that crap that I so evidently was not, this is their chance to a) stay at Harvard, b) get in to Harvard, c) Harvard Harvard Harvard. In addition, when you submit can be seen by programs (supposedly) and this apparently means something? That you can get all your schtuff together? That you are timely? That you are Type A, anal-retentive? Who knows with these programs? All of medical school and residency is so nebulous. It would drive a person insane attempting to figure out the annals of what makes these institutions tick.

So, the moral of the story is, I submitted before the website crashed. So, I will expect Harvard to call me personally to congratulate me on my ability to press refresh tenteen times. ...and then offer me an interview. kthx.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Day 3057: D-Day

07:35 CST

 07:37 CST

07:57 CST

08:30 CST: This has been my morning thus far. I have managed to actually access my account, but am having a buttload of trouble trying to submit my application and then actually apply for residency. Today, as I'm sure you can gather, is D-Day -- the day residency programs begin accepting submissions. This feels very Apple-iPhone 6 to me, meaning, students are allowed to submit at 9am EST and I am assuming every medical student from here to Timbuktu is trying to submit/apply as we speak, hence the server overload and 10-minutes to get from page to page. Sigh. I wish someone had told me to submit my application this weekend so I wouldn't be at Step 1 of this fifteen-million-step process (I am overexaggerating a tad).

08:46 CST: While reviewing my application (woo-hoo! Thirty minutes to make it through three pages!), I noticed a tiny grammar error. I made the executive decision to let it go (I forgot a possessive adjective; 'my' to be exact) because everything else was perfect and I need to get this thing SUBMITTED.

08:47 CST: Application submitted successfully!

08:51 CST: Trying to access the Programs tab to begin applying.

08:53 CST: This is about the sixth time I have seen this page. The link varies each time, but this is where I end up.

08:55 CST: I have to pee. But I am afraid to leave my computer. These are #medicalstudentproblems.


09:06 CST: I am so close.


09:10 CST: So. So. Close.

09:12 CST: WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO NOW?! Go 'back' and possibly be charged $1590 instead of $745? Re-access the website?


Friday, September 12, 2014

Day 3054: Chicago

My classmate N, Danny and I went to Chicago this past weekend. Danny has never been, so it was exciting to do tourist-y stuff and walk around the city. We will be applying to programs in Chicago so it was nice to get a feel for the city from a local (my classmate).

Anyway, here are pictures! (Jess G. I hope all these posts are satiating you ;P)

First stop -- Eataly! Look at these yummy treats!

Who is this stud muffin?

Navy Pier

Chicago skyline from Navy Pier

El Bean

Looking up within the Bean. Trippy.

The Bean = Perfect for #Selfies

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Day 3052: Medicine sub-I reflections

I had my medicine sub-internship (aka sub-I) in August. As mentioned, this is where I played actual doctor all month. I would see patients on my own, come up with my own plans, and then I would go through admission orders and whatnot with my senior resident since I didn't have access to any of the important stuff. The hours were long! I got there at 7am every morning (sometimes earlier) and stayed until 5pm at the earliest. I went 12 days between days off. I worked four 28-hour shifts. I lost track of time...a lot.

I think the biggest part of surviving the clinical years of medical school is the people you work with. I had the best medicine team. Initially, I was worried. One of the interns went to medical school here and I was never the biggest fan of him. He was a pretty cocky guy and love-love-loved to pimp other students. I was sure he was going to show me how smart he was, all the damn time. He kind of did that, but he was mainly a fun(ny) guy who enjoyed picking on me. Then, my other intern, was frickin' hilarious. We have similar senses of humor so we were giving each other a hard time and griping on aggravating patients, staff, etc. The two interns together just riffed off each other like crazy. Whenever the two of them were together, I was sure to lose points. (We had a point system to create some team camaraderie and one week in to the month, it built camaraderie by having everyone take points away from me.)

Then, there was my senior. I love him. He is so smart, and such a great educator. He really gauged my knowledge daily and took the time out of his day to teach me something. He has this wonderful personality that just calms the room. Have you ever met people like that? Smart, composed and calming. Their presence only enhances those around them to elevate everyone to their level. He is such a great guy and I am so happy to call him a friend.

Overall, working 27 days in a hospital, despite the long hours, was extremely rewarding. This past month continued to solidify my decision to pursue med-peds. The breadth of knowledge required to be a kick-ass doctor is daunting, but also exhilarating. I love the idea that I will be able to take care of any patient who walks through my door. From the 9-year-old who had a stroke to the 54-year-old suffering from a congenital disease, I'll be ready.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Day 3050: House-town

In early July, I flew to Houston to take my clinical skills board exam. Basically, fake patients came in with fake complaints and I had to treat them like real patients. Ask the "right" questions, perform the "right" physical exam, write the "right" (love the rhyme) note. I, of course, overexamined every aspect of that exam afterward and was truly worried I might have failed the exam. Luckily, these results have come out and I have passed!

The moral of this post, however, was to provide more pictures! I chose to take this exam in Houston because my old college roommate lives there. I haven't seen her in more than 4 years so it was a visit that has been a long time coming. It was great to see her, catch up, and experience the woman she has grown in to since we were last in-person together.

Just like old times--giggling over drinks.

Funny faces at the Houston Aquarium

White tiger pals at the Houston Aquarium

Is this her prince?

Outside the Houston Aquarium

Happy gals and marlins

We went to the Osteen Church so I could experience a televangelist service.

Mr. Joel Osteen, himself. This man is well-dressed!

Celebrating the end of my board exam!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Day 3048: Summer Sisters

Happy Birthday, America!

Exploring Summerfest

My two favorite people.

Brazil-Germany semifinals at a local soccer pub

Tacos + Soccer = YES.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Day 3047: This is absurd.

I am referring to my inability to post when my life has actually entered a place of no exams! To explain, I was studying for my boards in July (with visits from my sister and to see my old college roommate in Houston). I was on my medicine sub-internship in August. What that entails is working like an intern (aka newbie doctor) without an MD so I can't actually kill people haha. None of these reasons should make my voicelessness okay. So (Jess!) I hope to post at least once every two or three days for the foreseeable future!

Anyway, boards are over! Phew! We will see how everything went in the next few weeks. My medicine team last month was just to die for. My senior resident and I were like two peas in a pod. My interns were like the two knucklehead brothers I never had. We had great junior medical students. All in all, it was a really lovely month of working my butt off and learning a lot.

This is just a teaser, I promise. I plan to write more in-depth entries of my medicine sub-I and post pictures of my visits/trips!

Until then!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Day 2985: A year and a reflection

One year ago today, I started my first-ever 24-hour shift. I was young and bright and so excited to finally be in the hospital. It was a long night, filled with lots of coffee and scrub-wearing, but I survived. 7am July 4th 2013 arrived and I chatted with my friends who were on for that shift about how my night went.
Friends: How did it go last night?
Me: Good! I delivered a baby!
Friends: Seriously?!
Me: Yes! It was crazy! And slippery! Okay, I'm exhausted. Have a good shift you two!
I went home that morning, slept until 11am, and tried to bake this for July 4th festivities. It failed and I burst in to tears. Clearly sleep deprivation made my emotions even more labile.

That would be the first of various 24-hour-calls, night shifts, and 6-7 day work-weeks. In a journey that has brought out a great deal of shouting, screaming, crying, and doubting, this past year has provided me with solace from all the dubiousness. I feel at home conversing with patients, wearing the short white coat, playing the role of doctor. It is equally frightening and exhilarating to realize that in less than one year (315 days to be exact), I will no longer be playing a role. I will actually be a doctor. This past year has shown me that I am capable of being one. I have a considerable amount of knowledge to acquire, but that's why there is residency. Some real responsibility with some much needed supervision and even more education.

I look forward to my final year of medical school. It is a year of no exams (except my pesky final two board exams), learning for the sake of learning, and a lot of practice at "playing doctor." I will keep you all posted, as always.

And, I can only express my deepest gratitude for your support these past three years (and earlier for most/all of you). It has done more for me than I could ever properly put in to words. I hope to show you all that gratitude in the coming months.

All my love!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Day 2979: I made it!

I took my final Shelf exam of my medical school career today! And it was...fine. Ha! Aren't they always? Who cares? It's over and I am 322 days away from commencement and the coveted MD!

I hope to will make a post in the near future reflecting on this past academic year. Until then -- off to watch some TV, work on some personal statements, and relish my few days off before I start studying for my final two board exams of medical school! Ahhhh! The future is now!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Day 2976: Consented pictures

Our first picture together!

Found a new little park by the river and across the street from MKE Public Market

Tiff loves Moscato

Behind this guy in the red shirt was the stage for Jazz in the Park

Danny was here too ;)

Kandinsky & Tiff, two of my favorite things

Hanging out at the Milwaukee Art Museum

With the Milwaukee Art Museum

Lakefront gals

The big ol' beer I never saw on previous tours

"Ladies, why settle for a six-pack when you can have a keg?" - John, our tour guide