Sunday, February 27, 2011

My first REAL patient

I spent my morning volunteering at one of the student run clinics, and I finally felt ready to take on my own patient all by myself.  Now, a lot of my classmates have been doing this for over 6 months, but I, on the other hand, have been petrified of screwing up/making a fool of myself and I felt like I should get a little more knowledge under my belt first, so I had been putting it off.  If any of my classmates are reading this, they probably think I am a pathetic excuse for a med student, but hey - I wanted to wait until I was comfortable, and I'm glad I did.

Anyway, I just felt ready today for some reason.  So the undergrad co-director handed me the chart, and when I saw "seizures" as the primary complaint, I definitely panicked for a minute! Haha!  But I just went in and did my thing.  It's funny because I wasn't nervous AT ALL!  I felt really at ease with my patient, and I think she felt really comfortable with me too.  It might have helped that she was young (I can to be intimidated by older adults sometimes).  My interview with her went great, and after all was said and done, when we decided that she needed to come in again next weekend, she asked eagerly, "Are you going to be my doctor next week too?" I was so touched that she liked me enough to request having me again!  Even after I stuck her for a blood draw and didn't do it right...

I wasn't planning on going to clinic next weekend (I have a ton of studying to do), but for a moment I actually considered coming in just for her.  (Too bad I am selfish and am going to study instead :/)... But anyway, I had a realization of what makes a lot of doctors work so hard and put in so much time.  Its the patients!  They really need us!

It finally hit me - today was the first time I felt like a REAL doctor in training.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I Need To Buy Rainboots

This morning on our ten minute walk to school, my roommate and I encountered a TSUNAMI of hail and rain.  It was so loud that we couldn't even hear each other from 3 feet away while we were yelling!  We both had umbrellas, but we still ended up getting absolutely SOAKED.  Of course, as soon as we got to class it stopped raining and the sun came out...  I have been meaning to get some comfy rainboots for a while, and I think this was a hint that I really need to.  My poor little tennis shoes didn't stand a chance... so now I have been sitting in class all day with them off, trying to let my socks dry.

The other day in The Healer's Art, we talked about "moments of awe", which we as physicians have the privilege to experience quite often.  However, anyone can experience these moments of awe, where we just can't explain what is going on, or they just leave us with a feeling of wonderment/admiration.  Or at least that is my definition of what awe is; everyone has their own.  I think its just something that you just know in that moment that something special is happening.  

Anyway, when my roommate and I were being pelted by the hail it, it wasn't fun getting soaked and having wet shoes for the rest of my 6 hour day at school, but I have to admit it was pretty cool hearing the loud roar of the hail and just seeing the sheer amount of water and ice being dumped from the sky at once.  It was pretty impressive, and not something that you experience very often; a "moment of awe" if you will.  It was one of those moments where you can do absolutely nothing about it (like getting soaked), so you might as well laugh about it and enjoy it for what it is.

PS- a cool tip of advice from a 4th year facilitating our small group case today:  "When considering specialties, don't fixate on things you are going to lose, but concentrate on what you want to hold on to.... because no matter what specialty you go into, you are going to lose a lot"

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Gettin My NOM On

Spicy Seafood Stew Recipe (slightly modified from "Spicy Fish Stew" recipe in What Color Is Your Diet?)


  • 2 cups any color bell pepper chopped
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 16 oz bag of mixed seafood (octopus, calamari, imitation crab, mussels, shrimp)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion 
  • a few dashes of tabasco sauce


Saute onions, mushrooms and bell peppers in olive oil on medium heat for ~8 min.  Add chicken broth, tomatoes, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper and bay leaf.  (I added the seafood at this point, because some of the things in it were not cooked yet).  Cook, covered, at medium heat for 30 min.  Make sure seafood is cooked.  Adjust seasonings if needed!

Monday, February 21, 2011

If You're Going To San-Fran-cisco!

I made a day trip to SF with my friends this weekend.  It was full of good food, drinks, and good company!  Sadly, my camera battery died early in the day, but I managed to get a few good shots in first!

Made some interesting friends on the street...

They wanted us to take their picture for them.  They were trippin' out on something. lol

Flooded playground

...probably a good idea

We caught a rat!



Bummer... at least he had cool techno tunes bumpin'

I love the characters in SF

I like this artist because she was painting to disco music.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

"A Call To Heal, A Call To Serve: Our Vital Presence In The Community"

Tonight I went to SNMA's (Student National Medical Association, "the nation's oldest and largest independent, student-run organization focused on the needs and concerns of medical students of color.") Candlelight Dinner in celebration of Black History Month.  I can't even describe in words how wonderful the evening was!  So many powerful, dynamic speeches/performances that I got goosebumps several times!  I feel so inspired by the amazing speakers and performers, and I am in utter awe of my classmates for putting on such a moving event.

The keynote speaker of the evening, Dr. La Donna White M.D., had a very important message for us.  I will recreate the main point of her speech to the best of my ability:

"The most important thing you can give back to the community is your TIME.

T is your talent.  Everyone has something unique to them that they were just meant to do.  You have to find out what that particular thing is and nurture it.

I is making an investment.  Invest in your talent.  Make it the best you can and use it in the situation that could use it the most.

M is motivation.  What is yours?  What keeps you going?  Do what you do for other people,  because that is the greatest motivation.

E is encourage others.  Share your talent with people that otherwise would feel like they have no hope.  Invest your time into giving them hope. And most of all, encourage them to do the same."

I am honored that I was invited to share such a heart-warming experience.