Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's Interesting What Brings People To My Blog

You may know this already if you have your own blog, but on Blogspot, you can see statistics about who visits your blog, etc.  You can see what websites/URLs refer people to your blog, as well as what search terms ultimately lead them to it.  One search term that has always lead people to my blog is "university falls" or "georgetown falls".  These are a set of natural waterfalls pretty close to Sacramento that are easy to hike to, and you can safely slide down them into pools of water, which is really fun.  They are a well-kept secret, though, and most people only know about them by word-of-mouth - which is why I think a lot of people end up at one of my old posts about them when they try to google it.  

Recently, a new search term has been leading people to my blog.  And when I first saw it, I was quite confused.  Apparently, a few people per day are lead to my blog when they search "stepped in dog shit".  At first I had no idea why this would lead anyone to a blog about being a medical student, but then I tried google-image-searching it, this came up:

Picture of my sister cleaning dog shit off her shoes from a long time ago


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I'm 3/8 A Doctor!

    I've been wanting to write a post for a while now, but Block 4 got the best of me.  It was particularly time-consuming and difficult, especially since I was feeling really burned out, but I made it through, as usual!  Block 4 was one of those "semesters" in school where you 'half' understand everything most of the semester - and it's not until the end, when you are studying for finals, that everything really comes together and that lightbulb goes on in your head.  I ended up doing surprisingly well on all my finals, so I'm feelin' good.  It's funny because during Block 4, I didn't feel like I had a lot to blog about, so I just never did, but now looking back, there are definitely some highlights I could have mentioned.  Better late than never!

    I went to Baltimore, MD with the other MSFC officers for the Annual National Meeting.  We had a blast, met a lot of extremely impressive people, and left feeling recharged and re-inspired.  One of my favorite parts about the conference was that we got to take home plastic uteri and IUD insertion kits (Mirena and Paraguard!).  You're probably wondering why anyone would be so excited about something like that, but I was so giddy, so judge all you want!  My plastic uterus has a very nice home, displayed out in the open on my desk now.

Contraception Workshop

Manual Vacuum Aspiration On a Papaya

Plastic Uterus For IUD Insertion Practice

I like this picture, even though almost everyone is blinking

Our Swag
    A few weeks ago, roomie and I had our second annual Class of 2014 Festivus Ugly Sweater Party.  If you recall from last year's party, it was so fun that someone's hair caught on fire.  If you can believe it, this year was even crazier.  It was really fun to see everyone let loose towards the end of an exhausting block and before buckling down/getting serious about finals.  For this year's ugliest sweater contest, someone suggested a Zoolander-inspired runway walk-off, and man was it a HIT!  It started out innocent enough, but shirts started to come off, etc.  It was HILARIOUS.  I hope we continue this traditional festive gathering for all four years of med school. 

They even did the Zoolander underwear trick

    Now back to some school related thoughts.  As you may or may not know, the USMLE Step 1 exam (aka "boards") is coming up for me in April.  If you don't know about this test, think about the MCAT, but on steroids.  Yep, it's like that.  At least the material on it is more interesting and relevant to my interests than some of the stuff on the MCAT (i.e. phySUCKS).  Anyway, it's a HUGE deal, and the score we get on it determines what kind of residency program we will be able to get into, so it's pretty damn important.  I have been dreading boards since we started our first year, but after meeting with one of our student advisors, I am actually feeling ready for it.  I'm not excited to devote even more of my precious time to studying, but after the advisor encouraged me, I'm feeling pretty confident that I can rock it if I put in the effort, so I'm feeling pretty ambitious at this point.  (I hope this energetic feeling stays for a while!)  Now I just need to decide on a date!  For some reason April 1 is sticking out for me - we'll see!

    That's all for now.  Look out for a "2011 Recap" post, and a "2012 Resolutions" post.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I Run To Get a Dose of my Own Medicine

13.1 miles.  If you would have told me that I was going to run that far a few months ago, I would have told you that you are crazy.  Somehow, one of my amazing classmates wrangled about 45 of us MS2s (medical school second years) into running the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco.  Before training, I could only run for 25-30 minutes or about 2.5 miles if I worked REALLY hard.  Now I have run for three hours at once and for 13.1 miles.  The biggest hurdle for me was the pacing.  I realized that I just have to run pretty slow (so basically a jog) in order to be able to go long distances and times.  If I run too fast, then my asthma acts up and I just can't breathe, so I might be slow, but hey, jogging 13.1 miles is still pretty good, right?  My official time for the half marathon was 2 hours and 46 minutes, which I was happy with.  My goal was to get under 3 hours.

The Nike Women's Marathon was one of the coolest events I have ever participated in.  There were 20,000 runners and many spectators, mostly women, which was super empowering.  The crowds were so encouraging, and some of their signs were HILARIOUS.  Some of my favorite signs said:

"Run like there is a shoe sale ahead"

"Toenails are for sissies"

"Your feet hurt because you are kicking so much ass"

Among the spectators were families, friends, cheerleaders, bands, coaches, and even a gospel choir... and you know how much I love gospel choirs!  They gave me goosebumps, they were so beautiful!

I was lucky to have been able to run the whole way with friends, which made it so much more enjoyable than if I had to do it myself.  One of the most amazing parts of the race was when I rounded the corner and saw the finish line.  I literally felt a surge of adrenaline through my body, I got all tingly.  Suddenly, I just could not help but to all-out-sprint towards the finish.  I surprised myself how fast I ran those last hundred feet or so - I almost thought I was gonna puke, but luckily I did not. Haha.

The firemen in tuxedos and the Tiffany's necklaces were just as exciting as I anticipated.  Overall, it was an amazing experience, from training to the finish line, and I really hope I can do it again someday.

By the way, we all thought it was quite poetic that in the week before and after the NWM, which benefits leukemia and lymphoma research, we happen to be learning about leukemia and lymphoma in Hematology.  

**Side Note** The title of this post relates to one of my biggest inspirations to exercise and stay fit: that we, as physicians should practice what we preach.  How can we tell our patients to eat healthy and exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle if we, ourselves do not lead by example?  That is why I run to get a dose of my own medicine - a healthy lifestyle is more powerful than any pill. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday

Yesterday was the first day of fall (my favorite season), and although it was still hot here in Sacramento, I could totally feel it.  Traditionally to most people, fall symbolizes dying - whether it's the sparse but colorful trees withering with the loss of each leaf, or mourning the final disappearance of the summer sun. To me, however, fall represents a time of change, and while I'm not entirely sure what changes are in store for me, I have a good feeling about this season.

Lately, I have been learning a lot more about myself and others, and I've started to get a really good grasp on the things I want out of friendships/relationships. I am finally starting to have the courage to refuse settling for less.  I think my yearly horoscope put it in terms that totally make sense:

"You'll no longer be able to give yourself short shrift or buy into co-dependent dynamics that put your needs on an eternal backburner. You're learning the hard way how to love yourself the way you want and deserve to be loved. Relationships must honor, dignify and respect your noble qualities to pass your stringent litmus test. But the good news is that you're learning to stand up and voice your romantic needs. No longer will you fall prey to the trap of giving in hopes of getting -- and that makes all the difference."


On another note, this morning was the Body Donor Memorial Service for the families of the cadavers we have the privilege of exploring in anatomy.  It was a beautiful ceremony, with touching speeches from my classmates, and moving musical performances.  I sang with some of my classmates in an acapella group we like to call "Acoustic Shadows".  The name is a subtle nerdy med school joke (see what an acoustic shadow is here).  We have been practicing for about a month, (besides our two week fall vacation), and I think the performance turned out really nicely!  It was nice to be able to show a little bit of our appreciation for the donors, and I hope that the families at the service appreciated our song.  

And here is a video of our performance!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Year Older, Can't Say I'm All That Much Wiser

Sometimes I forget how old I am. It's like I just lose track of time. When people ask me how old I am, I have to pause for a second and think about it. I'm 23 now. And not that I think that is old, but it definitely reminds me of how I signed up to put much of my life on pause while I pursue my dreams. While some people my age are getting engaged, married, having children, buying homes, etc, I am still living off student loans and spend most of my time studying or taking a break from studying. In medicine, we tend to opt for "delayed gratification", putting in all of the hard work now in hopes that someday it will pay off and we will be living some sort of dream life. Well, I really hope life has something special in store for me later on.

You know what... Who am I kidding?! I love my life now! It's just different from other people's, that's all. I am so lucky to be where I'm at - so grateful for the opportunity I have before me. I love where I'm at.

Anyway, for my birthday I had a few friends over for a dessert potluck, and here are some pics!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Amurrrican Camping Trip Photos

I went with some friends to the Oregon coast for a 4th of July camping trip a few weeks ago, and here are some of my pictures from it.  I didn't really take many because I don't think my camera is a big fan of being outdoors in the elements, and I was just feeling particularly lazy (I mean I WAS on a camping trip).  I didn't get to take pictures of some of my favorite things because I am not that great with lighting yet (bioluminescence, milky way, etc).  Also, I will eventually get around to posting some pics of our slip n slide adventures at roomie's birthday party.   I'm gonna stop typing now and here are the pics: