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!