Wednesday, December 30, 2009


You know you're OCD when your favorite part of New Year's is not the celebration, but rather the anticipation of scribbling lots of engagements and to dos in a brand new blank planner.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Holiday Highlights

We've already celebrated 3 out of 4 times for the season. Here are some of my favorite moments:

*My mother cluing me in on Lady Gaga after I claimed I didn't get her.

*Kris's father lecturing me and my sis-in-law on the merits of pearl earrings and how you can wear them with jeans or "dressy clothes."

*Getting not one, but two digital picture frames at two separate dirty Christmases.

*The Speedy One and I trying to survive lots of socialite ladies and oohs and ahhs at the Christmas shower I hosted for my bestie J. (It was a success I think!)

I'm sure there's many more that I'm forgetting, but these were all I could think of right now. I'm about to head out into the rain and crowds to pick up a few last minute goodies. Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Anybody who knows me and my medicine partner, A, knows that we like to gripe. It's mostly out of habit and we're never 100% serious. I feel like on most other rotations we've had it a little harder than some others or either we feel compelled to do more and not be lazy (I'm not talking about anyone who reads this blog, obvs; those girls WORK). So we do our stuff, but we gripe about it the whole time - and afterwards :)

Why am I saying all this? Because I feel like we've gotten pretty lucky on Medicine so far and I just wanted to put it out there. Don't want to ALWAYS be a griper for no reason at all. Here's where we've lucked out that I want to acknowledge:

1. We've only had to take 2 nights of call (since our very 1st day on medicine was our team's post call day), even though we did work our little tails off during them. Other classmates have had 3 or 4 and some of them will be post-call during our midterm on Friday [sorry Ewok :(]

2. Our residents and attending are very nice, maybe a little organizationally challenged at times, but very very nice. I'll take a good attitude over OCD organizational skills any day of the week.

3. We both only see 2 pts daily and that's all our residents/attendings want.

4. We've gotten 30 minutes to 1 hr for lunch every day. Have never gotten a chance to eat dinner while on call, but this is supposed to be a positive post so pretend you didn't hear that.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but oh well. I should be studying anyway. Hope everyone's had a good week so far. 3 more days of waking up early for those of us on Medicine!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Ice Ice Baby

Remember how it snowed this weekend? I don't think I'll ever forget it - not because of how pretty it was though. There was lots of ice all over I-55. Fast forward to 5:30 am on Saturday morning and guess who had a run in with the ice on the way to the hospital? You guessed it - yours truly. Here's what happened:

Driving along, not too fast, when I notice 2 sets of blue lights in the left 2 lanes of the highway. What does everyone do when they see blue lights? They SLAM on their brakes. I did not, because I knew there was ice on the road. The people in front of me decided it was a great idea though. So in order not to hit them, I had to slam on my brakes too. Then my brakes completely locked up and my car slid a little to the left - directly towards the cop car. I thought I was going to take it out. Then my instincts made me jerk the wheel to the right, so I went veering across 3 lanes of traffic towards the right. Then I jerked left again. Then right. The last time I veered right I must have really done it good because my car decided to do no less than 3 complete 360 degree circles across 3 lanes of traffic. I was screaming at the top of my lungs. It was NOT FUN.

Then, miraculously, my car stopped. I ended up with my rear left tire slammed against the concrete side wall and facing oncoming traffic. From the sound of it, I thought my whole back end was totaled. I actually braced myself right before I hit the wall and thought I'd be headed to the hospital in an ambulance. Then I realized the police men 3 lanes over from me WEREN'T coming to help me. What was the deal??? I clearly just had a massive wreck!!! So after calling my friend and partner for Internal Medicine, A, and letting her know what had gone down I went outside to survey the damage.

It was insane. The only thing that was messed up was my hubcab. It was wedged in between my tire and the concrete wall. No scratches - no dents. Craziness. So what did I do? I threw that hubcab in the back seat and made it to the hospital only 15 minutes later than I intended to get there. I was pretty shaken up and I'm still convinced that the police actually CAUSED more wrecks than they prevented that morning. But overall I'm thankful. It was very scary, but at least I made it. I guess God wanted me to live that day!

Since med school started this car has not been the luckiest for me. I've gotten 2 speeding tickets (M1 year), sideswiped by a lady and her son during our 1st test week of M2 year, and now sent on the icecapades M3 year. I think I better get rid of the thing before next year. Not sure if I can survive the next one!

Quotable Quotes

Just got off the phone with my dear grandmother who turned 81 a few days ago. I was calling to wish her a belated happy birthday and we got to discussing my cousin A who recently ran her first marathon. Here's how it went:

Mam-Maw: You know C (another cousin of mine) ran that same race A ran in?
Me: Yeah, and M and D ran the 1/2 marathon. (M and D are C's parents.)
Mam-Maw: We've got some nuts in this family!!!
Me: Yeah, I know :)
Mam-Maw: I'd be bitching and complaining the whole time if I had to run that!
(This is the first time I've heard my grandmother say the "b-word" and I almost can't contain my laughter. Who am I kidding - I never contain my laughter.)
Me: Yeah, I imagine so.
Mam-Maw: I think A was sore for a whole day afterwards. I would have been sore for a whole year!

Gotta love it. I'm very proud of all of my running cousins. Not sure if I ever want to do a marathon. We've been studying a bit of nephrology on Medicine and knowing that bits of muscle that have broken down get all clogged in your kidneys is really not making me want to do it.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Catch Up Post

Runner's Log: ran/walked ~15 miles in the last week in 2.5 hours. No clue of calories.

Now for the revelation:

I DON'T hate Medicine so far. What's wrong with me? Everything I've ever said or thought goes against this. Maybe it's because our team is really nice. We just have an intern, upper level resident, and then the attending. I was expecting really "anal" people but they're nice. They give us actual responsibilities which I enjoy because I don't feel my day has been wasted and it makes the time go by faster. Then, after we do our work - they are APPRECIATIVE. It's the first time this has happened this year I think. At least I know it's the first time residents have ever vocalized gratitude so often.

What I like about medicine:
1. It's organized. Patient presents with problem. You acknowledge problem, determine BEST treatment plan based on evidence, and then treat them. They get better (usually).
2. Our residents and attendings have been nice so far.

What I don't like:
1. Early hours - alarm goes off at 4:30 most days and I still haven't gotten in the habit of going to bed before 10:00.
2. I hated rounding multiple times a day at first, but since then we've mostly just run the list a once or twice daily and then had attending rounds once daily. It's not bad if your team is efficient and it keeps everyone up to date.
3. Lack of procedures. I like working with my hands.
4. Lack of time off. We are supposed to get 1 day a week off "on average" which means you can potentially work 26 days in a row, then have 4 off at once. Shoot me.

Another exciting tidbit - on our very first day of rounds at 6:30 we were walking by a room just as the nurse happened to shout "CODE!!!" Turns out our team was the code team that month. It was a little chaotic, but long story short both me and my partner got to do chest compressions multiple times and our patient survived. Pretty exciting stuff.

Friday, November 27, 2009

What the Hey?

How in the heck did I make it back home with NO leftovers at all? Oh well - maybe my pants will fit a little looser next week...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Runner's Log

45 minutes; 3.87 miles; 380 calories burned

It wasn't very pretty out today - hello clouds :( but at least it wasn't raining. I knew I was giving Penelope a bath today so instead of steering her around every mud puddle and gutter filled with stagnant rainwater I just went ahead and let her jump in every single one of them. How liberating! She was so tired for her bath that she didn't protest at all. Just sat there with her head resting on the side of the tub and let me bathe her. Guess how many towels it takes to dry a 9 month old cocker spaniel?

5! She completely soaked through 5 towels. Methinks it's time for a haircut.

Today Kris and I plan on getting the house all gussied up for Christmas. I'm hosting a Christmas shower for my dearest friend Julz in less than a month so decorating should be a lot of fun this year. As for the rest of the day - I really need to start preparing for ACLS (advanced cardiac life support). This is also known as "running a code" or what to do when someone's dying. We're being trained and tested this Tuesday and Wednesday and I haven't even begun studying. Yikes. Psych really has made me lazy.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

You Know What's Not Cool?

When you've gotten all decked out in running gear, got the iPod at the ready, leash on the dog and step outside to see

RAIN. Boo rain. Go away.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Things I'm Loving Right Now

1. Berry Berry Good - it's my latest obsession. I've spent $8 on frozen yogurt there in the last week. Today I tried the peanut butter, mint, strawberry & cheesecake (swirled), and plain tart with some strawberries and pineapple on top. (All the flavors were separated by a little bit of room in my cup - I'm not a complete neanderthal) They give you a cup, you run around filling it up, then they charge by the ounce. I want to say it's actual frozen yogurt and not sugary/ice cream stuff but I'm not 100% on that.

2. The fact that psych is almost over. Today my attending (who is triple boarded) asked me why a diabetic patient of his shouldn't have concentrated sweets. Really dude? Really? I was so in shock that I couldn't even blurt out an answer and then he said - "Yeah, I don't know either..." Whoa - talk about making your profession look bad.

3. All the fun flavors at Cups right now. I got the butterscotch blitzen au lait a day or 2 ago and it was fan-freaking-tastic.

4. My schedule/partners/group for Medicine. We start Internal Medicine next week and I couldn't be more excited about my schedule and being (hopefully?) super productive all day. I'm sick of being useless on psych. I'm not loving the q5 call that goes along with medicine :(

5. Recycling old electronics - sounds weird I know. I've just been in a super organizational mood for the last few weeks and it feels good to get rid of some junk. So far I've dropped off 2 huge old computer monitors (from my Mom's house), a printer, and Kris's old laptop at Best Buy. At one store they charged me $10 per item but then gave me a $10 Best Buy gift card in return for each item. At the 2nd Best Buy I went to on a different day they just took the stuff.

6. The fact that my kitchen cabinets are now officially organized. If you've been to my house it's no secret how tiny my kitchen it. I have 2 cabinets for ALL of our food, not including the one above the stove where I keep spices. Up until 2 days ago I just had everything shoved in there all haphazardly and 50% of the time when you opened cabinets something fell out or you couldn't get it shut again. No more my friends. Pictures are to follow because I know you're all just dying to see inside my kitchen cabinets - ha ha.

7. Finally having just the right amount of comfy shoes for trekking around the hospital all day. Here's what I needed to make it work and not feel limited in style options:

a pair of Dansko-ish type clogs to wear with scrubs
2 pairs of boots - 1 black, 1 brown
2 pairs heels - 1 black, 1 brown
flats - lots of 'em. I guess you only need 2 pairs, but I've got quite a few more than that.

Anyway, off to our Psych exit interview. Not real sure what it will entail, but hopefully it won't take too long!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Runner's Log + Psych VA

25 minutes - probably ~2 miles

The old iPod decided to die 5 minutes into this run and therefore I have no idea of the actual distance run or calories burned. Penelope had fun though. I've been pretty steadily running between 1-3 times a week for the last few months, but I'm beginning to get BORED... I definitely need to switch it up and go somewhere besides my tiny neighborhood.

As for school, I am now in my 4th week of psychiatry. Although they all boast that they are some of the most handsomely compensated doctors I am still not interested. I might have been at first, but that all changed the day a 67 year old lady punched her nurse in the face and then told me I was going to die.

She was "the Chosen One" and we were all despicable and all going to die. No she did not want her Ativan shot and no, she was NOT going to give us a urine sample. Long story short, the police got involved, she got her shot, took a nice long nap, and then got transferred upstairs.

Most of the patients I've seen on psych are either homeless, drug abusers, child molestors, criminals, or sometimes all of the above. They're usually looking for either:

a) a warm place to stay
b) a meal (I was going to say a good meal, but it is hospital food after all)
c) somewhere to hide from the police/gang members/family for a few days
d) more drugs

I don't have that much empathy. I wish I did. I think I used to - but it's all gone now. Now, for happier news:

I spent the last 3 weeks at the ER doing psych. Now I'm in the holiest of holy lands - VA Psych. I was home by 1:00 this afternoon AFTER going shopping at Target on the way there. I was at the VA a total of 2.5 hours. It was a productive 2.5 hours though. I met my attending and his physician's assistant. We ran the list. We rounded on the patients. The PA taught me how to and let me write orders on the patients and told me a few of the more interesting cases from years past. Then I went and hunted down a lady to give me access to the VA computers and that was it! Settling in for a night filled with reading (for fun) and Castle. Woohoo!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Palpable LN

Oy - came down with a rough case of acute rhinosinusitis yesterday which is being controlled pretty well with Aleve-D, my Neti pot, and lots of hot tea and cold water. I'm not sure of the percentage, but I'm inclined to say >90% of rhinosinusitis cases are viral in origin which is why there's no point in going to the doctor for these things (unless you want a shot of decadron) and there's especially no point in asking for antibiotics. Anyway, all that was to say that I've been regularly checking my supraclavicular and cervical (neck) regions for palpable lymph nodes and wouldn't you know it - this afternoon I found 2! I've been skeptical of my LN palpation skills ever since I read Mom's Marijuana by Shapiro. After his diagnosis with lymphoma and subsequent stays in hospitals he commented on how most physicians never palpated with enough pressure to pick up his nodes, but he always knew where they were.

Fell in love with psychiatry today when the resident realized I was sick and immediately sent me home and told me to come back in a day or 2 when I felt better. Hooray for thoughtful residents. I could get used to this...

Monday, October 12, 2009


Whoa - didn't realize it until today but it's nearly been 2 months since I posted. My sister called me out. Told me that I was still stuck in surgery in blogland. I decided that must be remedied immediately!!! So here's a quick rundown of what's been going on lately.

Finished surgery, took the test, class average was a 67 - most definitely the lowest our class average has ever been on any test. Very surprising to me.

Started and finished my family medicine rotation. We do 2 weeks at a big hospital with the family medicine residents and attendings. Then we go off to a "rural" location. Most everyone picks their hometown since they have a free place to stay. I did this and the funniest part to me was that 1/2 way through my 4 weeks, one of my relatives (not telling which one, wouldn't want to have a HIPPA violation!) ended up becoming an inpatient. Not just any inpatient, but a patient on my attending's service. That means I had to go see them every morning and afternoon, get the pertinent info, write the note, etc... It was pretty funny. Here's the breakdown of hours for each part for those of you who want to know what you have to look forward to :)

Big Teaching Hospital: arrive around 6 or 6:30. See 2 patients (no matter how many are on the service, which is AWESOME). Write notes. Go to morning conference at 8. Usually a specialist of some sort would come in and teach for 15 minutes. Then we'd head down to the doctor's lounge and run the list/dry round over delicious breakfast. FREE delicious breakfast. They really know how to treat students and docs over there! Then we'd go on work rounds. Then we'd have class. Then free lunch. Then class. Then home by 3ish. It was pretty relaxed.

"Rural" Medicine: Get to hospital between 6 and 7 depending on how many inpatients we had. My preceptor and I would split up the patients or "divide and conquer" as he liked to say. I'd usually see 2 or 3, write their notes, then he'd look it over and tell me what orders to write. Then he'd sign them. I really enjoyed getting to know the entire staff at the hospital there. It's so different from being at a big teaching hospital where noone really knows each other. Anyway, then we'd go to clinic and see about 15-25 patients from 8:00-4:30 or 5:00. Then it was time to head back to the hospital for afternoon rounds. I usually got home around 6. All in all not a bad experience, but I'm not sure it's for me. Think I would approach burnout very quickly. Not so much from the hours worked, but from the patient population. That's a long story for another day though. Let's just say I'll be okay if I never have to hear about low back pain EVER, EVER again... My preceptor was incredibly nice, liked to quiz, liked to teach, and trusted my work which was exciting and scary all at once. I did most of the admitting H&Ps on new patients coming in and a few of his discharge summaries. He'd usually sign orders before I wrote them after going through a care plan with me. Very strange to write orders and have nurses ask you, seriously, what tests you wanted done, IV fluids, etc...

Now for a fun update - this past weekend the stars and planets must have aligned just right because for once:
1) I had no responsibilities, technically (I guess I could have been studying for well, anything)
2) My husband was able to take off Friday, Saturday, AND Sunday
3) His grandparents just so happened to have rented out a 3 bedroom suite overlooking the Gulf Coast.

Fun times ensued. K's grandparents, 2 brothers and their wives, aunt and uncle all ended up staying for the weekend. There was a huge car show so the girls pretended to be interested for a few hours on Saturday morning. Then we split from the guys and headed to the mall for a good long while. After that we all met back up and headed to the beach to play for a while. There were hardly any waves and the tide was so far out you could walk on all the little sandbars close to the shore. K and I were kind of amazed we were still finding debris from Hurricane Katrina so long after it happened. He found a cool little piece of a 2x4 that was smoothed and rounded like sea glass. Sad :( Anyway, after our romp on the beach the 3 brothers and their wives went to a restaurant overlooking the ocean that we just knew would be awesome, but alas (frylime, that one's for you) that was not the case. However, the margaritas I made back at the condo later were quite tasty. The next morning we had to get up and leave, but we stopped at the outlet mall on the way home and shopped our little hearts out.

This post is getting terribly long, and I've got a killer case of acute sinusitis that reared it's ugly head today. (Thank you to Caden, my 2 year old niece who thought it was funny to wipe her boogers all over me this weekend) Those of you who know me well know how much that almost killed me...

Psych started today and I'm really happy with my partners and rotations. Wahoo!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Last Day in the OR

Surgery is almost over!!! The only thing left is the test tomorrow, at 9am. We had today off to study. I woke up at a glorious 10:30, when the sun was already out, and I got literally 2x as much sleep as I normally do in a night. Let's talk about my last day in the OR, shall we?

Here's the good part - I spent all day with the pediatric surgeon who is in charge of the surgery program from our standpoint. He makes the test at the end, is in charge of call, etc... In other words, he knows what's up. He cares about the students. I scrubbed into all 3 of his surgeries Monday. The first was a simple little esophageal dilation. No biggie. They consecutively stick these flexible tubes down little babies esophaguses? esophagi? in increasing diameter in order to dilate their precious little throats so food will go down and stay down. It's pretty fast, relatively painless, good times. The next one was an umbilical hernia repair. Super fast surgery. He let the intern do most of it.

The next surgery of the day was THE BIG ONE. Although it was about the same length of time as most of the cardiothoracic surgeries I scrubbed in on, it was the most physically exhausting. Partly because I hadn't scrubbed on a long one in a while. Partly because all I'd eaten that day was 2 brownies. Thirdly because I was actively doing something the entire surgery. We did a laparoscopic colectomy with ileostomy and ileostomy pull-down. This means the attending and chief resident took out this little girl's colon, connected her ileum to her anus, and also connected part of her ileum to an ostomy - or bag on the outside of her stomach. She had ulcerative colitis that left her colon an ulcerated, bloody mess. Taking it out decreases her chances of colorectal cancer.

Doing a surgery laparoscopically cuts down on healing time and huge scars, but it takes FOREVER. You're working through very tiny holes, which means the tools you put in are very tiny, which means you have to take tiny little bites at the tissue. So essentially they managed to get 95% of her colon taken down this way. It took about 6 hours. Then, for the last little bit, when her colon goes down into her pelvis, they couldn't take it down. Her pelvis was just too narrow. So at this point, at 5:30pm, we have to switch to OPEN. If we had started open, this surgery would've taken maybe 3-4 hours.

On the upside - I learned how to run the camera for the laparoscopic surgery. On the downside, we were in the OR forever. Dr. S did give me a 3 minute water break at one point which was nice since I had the unfortunate issue of food poisoning the night before. Don't want to get graphic here, but going to the bathroom 5x in 3 hours and losing 2 lbs worth of fluid just doesn't make a happy camper! Was definitely feeling a little woozy.

Okay, so we switched to open, made the ostomy, connected the ileum to the anus. I retract like a rockstar, get super sore, get to put in a couple of stitches, and then leave the hospital at 7:30pm. I got home at 8:00. I'm EXHAUSTED. I have less than 48 hours until the surgery test. I could study for an hour before passing out, or I could eat and go to bed. Guess which one I picked?

It was a rough day, but I think it was a good way to end surgery. The case was exhausting for everyone. The attending and I were the only 2 who were there for the whole thing except for our 3 minute water breaks. There's something about tough days in the OR like these that really suck, but it's such a rush when it's over that it's worth it. You really get to know the people you're working with because you're stuck in an area of 3-4 square feet and they can see your work ethic firsthand. They know if you follow instructions, if you listen, if you retract hard enough, how you treat the people around you, if you have a sense of humor, what kind of music you like, etc... I don't think I necessarily want to do surgery because I don't think I could sustain this kind of work ethic for the rest of my life, but I do think I'll miss it sometimes when I'm on services like internal medicine where we hardly touch the patients. Time will tell.

Good luck on the test everyone! I've had little time to study and now I'm wasting it writing this post, so I'm sure I won't do too well. Let's just hope I don't have to repeat this mess all over again :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Putting My Running Shoes On

I'm not actually going running. Lord knows I haven't done that in 2 weeks. I'm getting ready for peds surgery. I was really excited about it until I found out the other 2 medical students who were supposed to be on the service with me switched off because... get this - "they wouldn't have enough time to study." If you're not ready for a rant, please stop reading.

Here's the thing. On most services, every patient has to be seen in the morning by an M3 BEFORE the intern/resident sees them. You generally meet the afternoon before or the morning of and divide the list of patients to be seen. Since I've just come off an incredibly busy service where I was seeing 6 pts every morning before 6:40am, I really feel I deserve a break. I've had NO time to study - at all. Some nights I go home and don't even eat dinner. I just sleep. And now I'm going onto one of the busiest services with absolutely no help. It would have been fine with the 3 of us to see patients I'm sure. Now it's going to be hell. I'm really not sure how I'm going to survive. This, my friends, is why I'm counting down the days to family medicine. I've already been given the first day off by my preceptor because he'll be post-call and not seeing patients that morning. Gotta love it :)

I think I've decided I'd like to do some sort of primary care when I "grow up." I like the idea of knowing the patients you're going to see and work with instead of hurriedly brushing up on their history in the 5 minutes before you go do a consult on them. So most likely it'll be family med, peds, or ob/gyn. Can't wait to do ob/gyn because I think c-sections would be really fun. I enjoy short surgeries, love opening the abdomen, love closing at the end, but just don't really care too much about the colon or liver. I also enjoy patients who are healthy enough to have walked into clinic to see you that day. ICU patients really intimidate me.

Anyway, on to happier thoughts. I managed to somehow get this weekend off. When I told my 2nd year resident I was leaving Friday afternoon at about 3:00 (the M4 was on call and covering us the rest of the day since she had to be there anyway) he just could not understand why I'd want to go home. He questioned me for 5 minutes. It was comical. Then he got really upset when he realized there wouldn't be another M3 coming onto the service. Ha ha. Goodbye cardiothoracic surgery!!!

Went home Friday night for a birthday diner celebration with my in-laws. Spend Saturday morning moving my grandmother's furniture into her new place of residence. Then spent Saturday night at an engagement party for a friend of mine. Today I plan on doing a little cleaning, a little exercising, a little studying, and definitely dinner out with the hubs and watching Mad Men at 9:00! Hooray for fun weekends :)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What a Week...

Here's how my week on cardiothoracic surgery has played out so far:

Mon - arrived at 4:45am. Saw 2 pts, wrote notes, rounded with team at 6:45. Scrubbed into a CABG x 4 (quadruple coronary artery bypass graft) at 7:30. The chief resident becomes ill and has to scrub out. Haven't seen her since Monday. That leaves the 2nd year resident, the 4th year med stud, and me. Snuck away at 3:00p and went home. (The chief states that she would like the 4th year and I to alternate scrubbing on cases)

Tues - arrived at 4:45am. Saw 4 pts, wrote notes, rounded at 6:45. Hung around and waited on CABG X2 to start. A heart transplant bumped it. Heart transplant finishes at 2:00. I was told not to scrub in, but to observe. The 2nd year resident informs us that he would like one of us to scrub, and the other to observe every case. Nice... Left hospital at 8:45pm.

Wed - arrived at 4:45am. Saw 4 pts, wrote notes, rounded at 6:45. Hurriedly changed clothes and went to M&M conference at 7. Go observe a mitral valve replacement from 9-2:30. I didn't get to go to the book club discussion :( because at 3:00 the resident informs me that even though I don't go on call until 7:00pm, I'm "stuck there." Yet he provides no instructions as to what he wants me to do. So I went and got "stuck" in the on-call room and attempted to rest up before call. 7p - call starts. Nothing happens. I study. Nothing happens. I sleep from 11p-1:30am, and THEN the page comes in. *18 y/o fell off his horse. Why was he riding his horse at night? (*info has been changed because I'm afraid of the HIPAA monster.)At 2:15 or so, my fellow M3 on call and I decide to fulfill some of our technical skills we have to do before we graduate. These include things like inserting Foley catheters, starting IVs, venipuncture, arterial puncture, insertion of NG tubes, etc... I'd already done tons of Foleys, but really needed to stick some people. They had the perfect patient for us. He needed arterial blood gases drawn, was comatose and heavily sedated. Awesome. I really didn't want to stick someone's artery that was aware that it was my 1st time and awake. I watched my M3 counterpart stick the artery with incredible ease. Then my turn came. I had to stick twice, along with some rearranging of the needle once inside the skin. Not very encouraging. Then it came time of the venipuncture. Here's how it went down on the very quiet SICU.

Female nurse #1: Well, we don't have any pts that need venipuncture, but *John here has great veins.

Female nurse #2: Oh yeah, they're like ropes. I'll go get some needles. (M3 counterpart and I laugh, thinking they're obviously joking)

Female nurse #1 then reappears, with John in tow. "Here he is!"

Me: You're not serious, are you? Really?

Nurses: Oh yeah, it's fine. He lets people practice on him all the time.

Then my partner and I proceeded to stick this guy 4 or 5 times while sitting at the nurses station with a group of nurses around us in order to each get in an IV and venipuncture. The entire time he was giving us instruction. It was bizarre. Can you imagine telling someone where to stick you? To push DEEPER into your flesh with a needle? He ended up leaving one of the IVs in because he was dehydrated and planned on taking in some fluids.

Then it was 4:00am before we knew it. 2 more trauma pages came in. Old lady with dementia who fell and then young guy who got in a fight. Typical stuff. Overall it was most definitely the lightest call night I've had so far and actually pretty enjoyable.

Then 5:15am rolls around. Time to see my now 5 patients and get notes written on them before 6:45. We go round and the M4 states that she's forgotten to see one of the pts. I have to be in class at 7:00 and she tells me to go do it. NICE... Whatever though. Went and checked on him. Went to class. Decided to stay lost for a while and take a breakfast break. We had another CABG today, but I peeked in and saw 2 attendings, a resident, and an M4 scrubbed in. I refuse to observe another one, especially post-call. I'm about to make like a banana and split! 6 more days of Cardiothoracic surgery!!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"What are you on?"

It's the first question all of us M3s ask each other when we pass in the hall or meet in the "student surgery lounge" - aka McDonald's in the hospital. It just strikes me as funny because I'm sure passersby are wondering if we're all asking each other what illicit drugs we're partaking of.

Speaking of illicit drugs... I've joined the M3/M4 book club and our book of the month is Mom's Marijuana. It's written by a psychologist, Dan Shapiro, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in his late teens or early 20s. His mother is your typical anti-drug mom, but when she finds out that marijuana will help with the side effects of chemo, she begins growing it in her garden of sunflowers for her son. The book is really great so far. I'm also anti-drug of course, but I think it's really interesting. The best part is that Dan Shapiro is actually coming to discuss it with us tomorrow at 3:00. I hope I'll be able to get out of whatever surgery or clinic they'll have me crammed in.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Quick Tips for the VA Rotation

Disclaimer: You might not want to read this post if you're not a med student at my school. The information will be boring and useless. However, if you are, you might find it of a little value. I'm post-call though, so be warned.

How the VA Works:
*Disregard most of this for tomorrow. They're just going to spend the whole day giving you the tour and getting you set up on the VA computers.

*M/W/F are surgery days. T/Th are clinic and education round days.

*If you don't have VA scrubs, show up the 1st day in blue scrubs, go down to the basement to the OR control desk, and ask for VA scrubs. They will give you a pair. You will not have access to a machine, so you will have to wash them yourself.

*When you arrive on a normal morning, you will go to the residents' cubby hole in either 2045 or 2035 (sorry, can't remember!) and pull up the list. You will then put your initials by the pts you would like to see.

*Print several copies of the list and leave them laying by the computer you were just working at. Be warned, the list will print at the nurses station, about 30 ft away. Just go grab them and put them by the computer in the residents cubby hole or be sure you have 2 copies with you - one for yourself and one for the chief when it comes time to "dry round."

*Go see your pts (usually 2, sometimes 3.) Check the white board on the floor before you barge into the room. They switch rooms a lot without letting you know.

*Once you've seen both of your 2 pts and asked about pain/f/c/n/v/BM/flatus/diet/ambulation/check drains, tubes, and restraints, find a computer. There's 3 in the room where you'll sit around and do the dry round in the morning. There's more at the nurses station or on the 4th floor.

*At the computer, find your pt. Sign in under the resident's name that is seeing the pt (because we're not allowed to have our names on charts at the VA). Don't worry. The resident has to review the chart and sign it before an attending sees it.

*Everything you need, such as vitals and labs will be posted on the computer. Vitals will already be filled in on the note when you go to write it. Then just do the whole SOAP note thing. It's got a template there for you. You CAN look back at older notes while in the middle of writing yours and it won't close yours out. So if you get confused, just look back at an older one.

*Be prepared to do a quick run-through of your pt at dry rounds, but the residents will most likely do it. We did it 2-3 times in our 2 weeks there, towards the end when they figured we were competent.

*For T/Th education rounds, you need to know your patient's medical history pretty well. You don't have to KNOW it, but you do have to have it available on a sheet in front of you. Especially know their vitals and presentation on admission, as well as their normal and current weight and bathroom habits (diarrhea today, but have they had it for 30 years? Is that normal for them? For a lot it is...) Know family/social history as well. You can find A LOT of this by digging around in their chart on the computer. Also, have a differential, but don't mention it in your presentation. You'll probably get asked about it. Know how you would rule out those possible diagnoses - what tests/procedures you would use. This sounds overwhelming, but the attendings are usually nice about it all. If they're quizzing you, it's so they can teach you something you don't know.

That's about all my info. If y'all have questions, post them in the comments and I'll try to answer them. Good luck and have fun!!!

P.S. - Dr. Wofford might be the cutest little old retired cardiothoracic surgeon I've ever seen. He's going to give y'all lessons 2x a week. He repeats himself a lot, but he's really funny and you'll probably learn something.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It's a PASS!!!

Never in my life have I been so happy to have passed a test!!!

Sorry the posting has been pitiful lately. Surgery is working me to the bone. That being said, today was an incredibly rare exception to the rule and we were finished with surgery by 10:00 this morning. Checked our STEP scores (in the surgery lounge, where I screamed "PASS!!!" and slammed my fist on the table. Then my good friend A came running up and we sort of did a jump/chest bump/hug in mid-air. I thought I got a pneumothorax from one of her pens jabbing me in the chest. The surgery residents thought we were crazy.) Then after the crazy rush of it all we had to give presentations and then we went with our team (residents + us M3 students) to Mugshots to have some burgers. All in all it's been a pretty good day so far.

Decided I should treat myself to a little reward, so I stopped at my favorite boutique - Target, and got a nifty bag that I can put my laptop, pens, wallet, books, and a change of clothes in. Essential for the surgery rotation. I've needed it the last 6 weeks!

To make the day even better, I got home and Netflix had brought me Bride Wars. Cha ching! About to sit back in the recliner with the fan on, a blanket, a pup, maybe a cold beverage, and a movie. Does it get much better?

Hope everyone else's day has been wonderful and if it hasn't, I'll be sending up some special prayers for you :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hoping, Wishing, Thinking, and Praying

that call this weekend won't be as draining as it was the 1st time I was on call. Either way, it's on the weekend so I get to go home by 7am on Sunday. Wahoo!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I finally ENJOYED one of the surgeries I scrubbed in on! Wahoo!!! Apparently I really like vascular surgery. Never EVER would have guessed that in a million years. I just really liked watching them tease out the arteries and veins and SO wanted to get my hands in there and do it myself. It's so much different in a living pt than in a cadaver. Finding arteries and veins was not my idea of a good time during Gross lab.

Today we made an AV fistula in the arm for a patient's hemodialysis access. The surgeon also moved the vein more superficial than it was originally to allow for easier access for the nurses who will be sticking the pt when it's time for dialysis.

The best part of the case: You get to SIT DOWN during vascular cases. Score. Also, the attending and resident were really nice and I only got asked one question, which of course I didn't know the answer to. Once again, nice attending, so it wasn't completely mortifying - just a "teaching experience" as they call them.

Exciting part: I got to suture the underlying tissue together and then staple the incision. It was my 2nd time suturing, and a different technique than the one I did the 1st time, so I was glad to learn how to do it. Surgeons make it look easy, but there's very subtle differences in how they hold the tools, tie the knots, etc... which can make us look very clumsy comparatively. Anyway, it's now time to get in the bed. Gotta be up at 3:00 :)
7 more days at the VA - wahoo!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cool Side Note

Today I got to see an A/V fistula created by one of the vascular surgeons at UMC for dialysis access. The cool part:
*I felt a "thrill" over it - a buzzing sensation
*I heard a bruit! Finally! I've been wanting to hear a bruit for the last year or so. It's just a little "whoosh" type sound you can hear with the bell of your stethoscope (the smaller side). You hear it in the carotid arteries when there's blockage and also in AV fistulas.

I'm more excited about these things that I saw in clinic rather than in surgery. All the surgeons HATE clinic, but I really prefer it to most of the other things we do. Perhaps it's a sign.

Dear Surgery,

I want my life back.

Your pal - Chazing Zebras

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ahem, Make that 13.3

So, a few of us thought that half marathon seemed a little long in the last 3 miles. We were CORRECT! Turns out one of the miles was actually 1.2 miles. So that leads us to a grand total of 13.3. That almost makes up for my time discrepancy. (I wanted to finish in 2:30:00 and finished in 2:38:03ish).

I would post about my day today, but after driving home, eating dinner, and checking my e-mail and checking on my pts, it's time for me to get in bed. Gotta be up at 3:30:) I think today I decided surgery is NOT for me! Maybe I'll change my mind, but I doubt it.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Goals for Today (in no logical order)

*cook dinner
*get a new phone (because AT&T doesn't pick up in the hospital)
*recover from the half (knees ok now, hips might fall off - could barely walk yesterday!)
*clean house
*do stupid EBM assignment for school
*throw together 5 minute presentation on diverticulitis for tomorrow
*figure out financial aid's hangup
*pack lunch for tomorrow
*pay bills

Not sure if it's the week of surgery or the half marathon, but I've been walking around in a daze trying to figure out what I should do at any given moment and therefore getting nothing done. Hope everyone else's weekend was fabulous!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Ran and finished my first half marathon this morning. I'm gonna be honest - I'm glad it's over! I don't think my body can withstand 80 hour weeks at the hospital and running this much. The only reason I spent ~80 hours at the hospital this week is because I was on call though, so that should ease up hopefully.

As for the half, I ended up seeing a lot of people I knew. That was fun. People I went to high school with, college, then some dental school kids as well. My cousin A and I ran it together. It got kind of warm towards the end and was in full sun for about the last 2-3 miles. My body did not like that! I was getting cold chills and just praying I didn't keel over right there on the pavement. I really got an adrenaline rush at the 13.0 mile marker and was so relieved to cross that big finish line. It took me 2:38:03. I was 636/1055, so pretty much right in the middle. That's fine with me!

Now it's time to rest, hydrate, eat, rest, hydrate eat. I haven't left the bed yet the few hours I've been home this week and I don't plan to until Monday. I'll post about a typical day on Acute Care Surgery later.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Preparedness FAIL

So after I leave my house at 7:00am tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, I might not be home until 5:00pm Wednesday night. Why, you ask? Because I'm ON CALL! Now, I did see something that said if you're on call during the week, you're supposed to leave around 1:00pm the next afternoon. However, we have an entire day full of surgery lectures and I'm not really sure what the protocol is. Also, I'm not really sure what I need to take with me tomorrow morning. We're supposed to be in professional dress for the lectures, but definitely in scrubs overnight for call. Guess sometime between the two I'll do a switcheroo. Feel like I'm packing for a slumber party.

Runner's, er... Walker's Log

Taking it easy. Kris and I walked 40 minutes. No clue how far or how many calories burned, but it was very relaxing :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Headed to the BEACH Y'all

I'm leaving for the gorgeous blue waters and sandy white beaches of Florida tomorrow morning bright and early. It's me and three of my fellow back-row-sitters. It should be a blast.

Today I made my mama's oatmeal pumpkin muffins and my very own chocolate chip cookies for snacks/breakfast options on the trip. I'm excited because Future Pathologist is going to be making yummy dinners at the condo at night and I'm pretty sure Future Pediatrician has got some things up her sleeves as well. I'll just play seux chef since I really only know how to bake.

Here's what I'm reading:

I was going to be reading House of God, but it didn't arrive in time:

Monday, June 1, 2009

And Then I Checked My E-Mail

and I'm not on call either of the 2 weekends I was worried about!!! Wahoo!!! Life is good :)

So I Just Checked the Mail

and there was a shiny check from the IRS in it. Funny how things work, no?

The IRS Hates Us

Kris and I had been planning to receive our tax refund sometime this week. That's what the website said. That's what the 1st IRS official we talked to 3 weeks ago said. Now, they've decided to "review" our refund since we filed for the first time homebuyers' credit. But no fear, they're mailing out the rest of our refund - this Friday. And we need to allow 3 weeks for it to get here. What the heck? BROKE. Grrr....

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Time Has Come

for you to PRAY!!! Now back to my last day of studying :) Hooray!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Future Career Choices

USMLE World breaks down where your strengths and weaknesses are by how many questions you get correct in each subject. It's displayed in every possible way - by percentage, using colors (red and green), etc...

Here's what I'm good at:
Behavioral Science (psych)
Histology (what stuff looks like on a microscopic level, CELLS!)
Reproductive System
Musculoskeletal System
Genitourinary System

Looks like I'm going to end up being a sex therapist for athletes. Not sure what the job market is for that.

Now I Know

exactly how long it takes me to get a caffeine withdrawal headache. It's 36 hours, in case you were wondering. On the upside, I slept pretty good last night and was actually sleepy and wanted to get in bed before midnight. Not sure if it's worth it.

Just heard from a friend who took the STEP. She said it was really weird. It mostly tests things you may or may not have learned in the last month while studying - things you were likely to actually learn along the last 2 years. It made me feel a bit better. I have absolutely NO motivation to study today. Don't think it'll get much better tomorrow. Just ready to get it over with and then it's BEACH time! Wahoo!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Sleep is one of my favorite things. I've never had a problem falling asleep. Now, oftentimes I choose to go to bed very very late, but once I get in bed, I fall asleep. Enter my friend the STEP. He has different plans for me. It started about a week ago. My mind would race a little before bed, but after about 30 minutes I was out. Sunday night I took 1 benadryl and it took me 2 hours to go to sleep. Last night I took 2 benadryl and it took me 1.5 hours to go to sleep. Normally 2 benadryl will knock me out in about 5 minutes. I'm beginning to worry about how well I'm going to sleep the night before the STEP. I'm thinking I may have to go to dinner, play tennis or run, then watch a movie and do some yoga. Then maybe some nice calming tea. I don't know. Open to suggestions.

Now it's back to USMLE World. I'm so sick of reading First Aid that answering questions is a welcome relief. It's a sad, sad life.

Runner's Log (a day late)

Leisurely walk, then run. Guessing about 2 miles in all. Kris walked with me for about 20 minutes, then I ran for 10.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

And Then I Told Him...

Actual quote from 3 minutes ago:

"You know Kris, the hard part of doing laundry isn't putting it in the fridge."

I was attempting to make a smart-butt remark about how the tedious part of the laundry process is the switchover and folding bit, not the initial loading of the washer. Instead I just looked like an idiot. STEP study is starting to wear on me.

Motivation to Study

Just listen to this. It'll make you smile :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

I think

my left leg might fall off... It'll disconnect right at the hip area. Also, noticed a nice swelling on my right 2nd toe and had fun running through the differential diagnosis in the kitchen with Kris last night. It's noticeable, right below the most distal joint. It's not really painful and definitely not inflamed. That rules out gout and pseudogout. I also started thinking - osteoid osteoma, chondrosarcoma, etc... and then realized it was a little squishy. That led me to...

BURSITIS! Bonus points if you knew it before you read the answer. I just think it's a little comical to get bursitis in the tiniest of joints. How much work does that toe do while I'm running? Weird.

Also, for your entertainment. I've been having some pretty vivid dreams since all this STEP study started. My dream last night was that Kris and I were vacationing somewhere like the Hamptons. We get to a 4-way stop. Kris kind of rolls through it and cuts off the other car. Then he nonchalantly says, "Sorry Kanye!" and waves. I look and sure enough, it's Kanye West in a white Rolls Royce. How funny is that?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Scheduling Conflicts

Man, this is a toughie. I start my surgery rotation June 9th, right? Well, that weekend I have a tennis tournament (which means 4 games spread out over 2-3 days, and my team might have to forfeit without me)and half marathon (which I've already registered for, which means I've already coughed up $65). The next weekend Kris's little brother is getting married, so I'll need to be at the wedding Saturday. I e-mailed the surgery administrative assistant to ask if it would be possible to be off both of these weekends since you know, the surgery rotation is 12 weeks long and you know, 3rd year med students DON'T ACTUALLY DO ANYTHING besides hold back fat and answer ridiculous questions. I also told her I would be happy to keep my butt up there every weekend for the rest of the rotation.

Her reply was this: It'll be difficult. It won't be fair to your team members. Pick one weekend to be off and I'll schedule you for that one. If you feel comfortable asking your attending for the other weekend off you can do that on your own. Oh Lordy, I knew the actual surgeons were tough to deal with, but even the secretaries? Come on!

I'll be the one stewing in the corner if you need me...

Runner's Log

~11 miles; ~2 hrs; ~1100 calories burned. Once again I forgot/couldn't find my nike plug-ins. Grrr...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


starting to feel a little more prepared for that big 'ol test. I took my 2nd practice test today and thank goodness I was able to see that the studying is paying off. I know it sounds silly to say that, but it's possible for me to study 6-10 hours a day sometimes and feel like I've learned absolutely NOTHING. So it was nice to see that I'd learned at least a little something since the last time I took one of those practice tests. If any of the rest of you feel like you're in a studying slump and not feeling very motivated, just take a practice test. I swear it'll make you feel better. I have realized, however, that I know almost nothing about pharmacology and biochemistry. This isn't really news to me, but it just really sucks when it's confirmed.

Also, I'm supposed to run 11 miles tomorrow with my cousin A. Hmmm... I haven't run at all this week since our 10 mile run last week, so she might have to drag me.

Hope everyone's studying is going well. Ready to get this stinkin' test OVER with!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I Just Walked Outside

and got really cold. I thought it was mid-May in Mississippi. What the heck?

Time to get the TSH Checked...

because I ran 10 miles yesterday and somehow GAINED a pound. WTF???

In a Funk

I feel like I need a day off from studying, but unfortunately there's JUST NO TIME!!! Aaaahhh! Freak out ensues.

Mostly I'm just in a funk because I did a bunch of questions on U World (a set of questions that simulate the STEP) yesterday and my overall percentage dropped 4%. And then it made me want to cry. But I was too exhausted to cry. And now I'm supposed to get up and be happy to do it all again today? Me thinks no... Perhaps I should spend some time reviewing all the notes I've painstakingly made for each section since I learn by repetition. Let's do that. Okay, pep talk over. Going to study now.

Hoping everyone's day is better than mine!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Runner's Log

I might fail the STEP, but at least I can run 10 miles :) Ha ha
10 miles; ~2'10" ~1000 calories burned

I forgot my nike+ equipment today, so those are guesstimates. You burn about 100 calories for every mile you run. My cousin A had her watch, so we used that for the time. It made me a little sad because I was at 98 miles last time I plugged in my nike+, which means today would have made 108. Oh well, guess we'll hit that 100 mile mark sometime this week. Now it's time for a bath and then...

NEURO. Blah. Good luck today everyone who's studying!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Those Pancakes...

are piling up, and I'm going to bed. I can always eat twice as many tomorrow, right?


I still have 1662 unworked questions on USMLE World. Let's see how much I can decrease that number in one day...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Runner's Log

4.14 miles; 43'36"; 405 calories burned

Now it's back to World questions.

Also, favorite quote from Grey's finale:
"If you're not scared, you're not paying attention." Just so freakin' true about where our whole class is at this point. This test in 2 weeks could take out some of us, none of us, the class president, the #1 student, anyone. It's been done before - as in last year. So that's my motivation right now. FEAR.

Study Breaks of the Day

*A nice little run at some point

*Grey's Anatomy Finale at 8!!!

Other than that, I've got some major ground to cover. Let's hope it's a productive study day. Good luck to everyone :)

Yeah, U Be Real Educated...

I saw this on facebook and had to post. My mother taught at Durant High for a number of years. This is the typical student. I could barely understand this, but the response is my favorite part:

>>Like<< Durant High kicked me (Back) Out N Skool ova N 2wks...smh...Ion kno If dey gn let me Walk R Wut...Ion even giv A F*ck, F*ck It...

Response: damn G f*ck it ...u knw u Educated

For those of you who aren't as fluent in ebonics as I am, this should read:

Like, Durant High kicked me back out and school is over in 2 weeks. I don't know if they are going to let me walk or what. I don't even give a F. F it.

Honestly, do these kids deserve to graduate high school? I can't stand kids today with their crazy abbreviations and skinny jeans. I guess I'm getting old.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

STEP Study Day 14

Plans for the day:

*Sleep late - x
*Go to Fusion Coffeehouse and use coupon for a latte :)
*Study some micro and renal - and make notes, dang it!
*Take a break for a Julz's puppy party
*Study some more (ha, this hardly ever happens after dinner)
*Do some USMLE world questions (and hopefully increase the average!)

Okay, that's the plans for STEP study day 14. I actually meant to wake up early this morning, but it just didn't happen. Now it's off to the coffeehouse for 4 hours of uninterrupted study time.


If anyone's ever taken the STEP only having gone through First Aid once - because that might be my situation come May 29th. Who knew 400 pages could be so long?


I NEED my tax refund - NOW!!! I just balanced my checkbook and things are looking a little bit scary. Hurry up IRS!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Why STEP/Med School Sucks

I just had to turn down my husband's invitation to Pub Quiz at Hal & Mal's. Grrr... At least we got a nice dinner break in - Soul Shine pizza with my bestie. Now it's back to micro and reproductive. Double teaming the subjects today since I tend to be a little ADD.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Runner's Log

5.03 miles; 57'30"; 492 calories burned

Kris did the first mile of this one with me. Penelope was only able to hang for the first 1/4 mile. Then she was pooped! Her leash training is coming along well though :)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pancakes Every Day

I just had to post this. Since I read it, these words keep haunting me:

"If you can't eat 5 pancakes one day, you're sure as hell aren't going to be able to eat 10 pancakes the next day."

That's pretty much how STEP review is making me feel. Say I'm supposed to review 40 pages a day, but some days I just don't have time or don't feel like it and I only make it to 20 pages. Well, how the heck am I going to do 60 pages the next day if I couldn't even do 40 the day before? Grrr....

This is from

Med School Metaphor: Pancakes Every Morning
I have a lot to learn. By Friday, anyway. I have a Pharmacology exam followed by a Pathophysiology exam this coming Monday. Once again, I find myself behind. It’s the funny kind of behind where you look at the stack of notes on your desk (2″ of one, 3″ of the other) and sort of chuckle. “Ha. This is going to be funny.” Cue despair.

Looking at it now, I’m tempted to start the passive bragging of impossible odds. “You have no idea how hard it is,” I’d say. “Medical school is like trying to take a drink from a fire hose,” I’d brag.

And that’s total bullshit.

At the beginning of each course, we’re given a syllabus telling us how we’re going to be graded, the question break-down for each test, and the schedule of lectures
each day for the next 4-5 months. Nothing is going to sneak up on you unless you can’t read the print on the page (in which case you’re blind and things sneak up on you all the time).

But it’s sunny outside or snowing outside or Tuesday. Whatever. You’re in medical school to become a doctor, not to be in a classroom (scheduling conflicts here) and you find yourself out on the weekends, maybe catching a movie on the weekday, and so on. You blow off the first week of any course because the material is supposed to be introductory and you certainly blow off the first week after any exam to recuperate. Maybe you take off two weeks if it was especially difficult and draining.

Eventually though, the next exam is closer than the last exam and you have to return to the desk and pretend to be a serious student. The first week back studying, you won’t be as efficient and as familiar with the material as you were leading up to the last test, so there’s some built-in catching up to do. You can’t understand the material taught TODAY because you blew off the introduction, so until you catch up, you keep falling behind. By the time you’re back in your stride the exam is so close you can feel it’s breath on your neck and you still have material to cover on a first pass. Let’s not forget: you haven’t reviewed or committed anything to memory at this point. It’s now that you understand the truth:

Medical school is like trying to eat five pancakes every morning for breakfast.

You know you can do it. A Premed advisory committee endorsed you saying, “He has the stomach for it. He’s committed.” And you prove them all right. Every day you show up with your first-year optimism and your annoying hunger for learning and you clean that plate (just kidding, it’s adorable). But you begin to notice that those pancakes are slowing you down a little each day and the sugar highs and lows are screwing with your sleep. Smart person that you are, you decide to pass on the flapjacks one day. You think to yourself, “Self, I’m going to eat ten pancakes tomorrow so that I don’t have to eat any today.”

But it never stops. Turns out that “self” isn’t the most responsible lender, and before you know it there are 40 pancakes in front of you and your plate needs to be clean by tomorrow. So yeah, at this point it looks impossible. But really, it’s your fault.

In the future, as I like to imagine it, I’ll be in charge of all medical school admissions. The process will be six weeks long and will consist of nothing more than showing up each morning to eat five pancakes, at which point you can then go about whatever you were going to do that day. At the end of the five weeks a few jaded, newly diabetic hopefuls will come to my office and, mixed with both pride and resignation say, “I did it. I finished those goddamn pancakes.”

“Wow,” I’ll say. “That’s very impressive. You must be very proud, and your parents must be very proud. Just one more thing.” They’ll reflexively clutch their stomachs, shifting their girth from one hip onto the next and groan, “What’s that?”

“Regurgitate it.”

Friday, May 8, 2009

Runner's Log

~8 miles; 1:45'; 845 calories burned.

My stinking nike+ STILL isn't calibrated correctly - drats! It's giving me about .08miles/1mile credit than I deserve. Oh well...

Some Mornings

I just want to throw my scale against a wall. Today was one of those mornings. Also, in studying today I learned that a withdrawal symptom of caffeine intoxication is weight gain. This, my friends, is why I will NEVER give up coffee and tea.

Blech... Now it's time to attempt a 10 mile run with A. Let's hope we make it!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

It's Official

I've passed all my classes of 2nd year and am halfway to my M.D.!!! Wahoo!!! I'm going to go celebrate by....

studying :(

But I might just splurge and get an iced latte instead of my usual medium drip coffee. Hooray for progress!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Study Break of the Day

Kris got an e-mail from the Teach Mississippi Institute stating that his completion certificate is in the mail! Wahoo! He's off at the movies while I'm stuck here studying, but when he gets finished we're going to have a celebratory dinner at the place of his choice. That'll be today's study break and I swear I'll look forward to it for the next 3 hours. After that I'll look forward to running and going to bed. I'm hoping the rain is finished so I can fit in a little run after dinner. Maybe it'll keep me from gorging myself. Probably not though.

P.S. - I can't complain too much about studying today since I didn't get started until 2:15. That's what happens when it's raining and you want to stay in bed all day. I plan on studying until 1:00 tonight to make up for the difference and the hours away at dinner and running. Sometimes I REALLY wish I were a morning person. In one month I'll probably KILL to be a morning person! And so that's how I decided upon my gift to myself for completing the STEP. Behold:

It's a coffeemaker WITH a timer. That way when I roll out of bed at 4:30am I'll have a fresh cup of coffee waiting on me. Goodbye $12 Wal-Mart coffeemaker. I'll miss you!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Study Day 4

Well, today isn't over yet, so here's hoping I finish the rest of the studying I need to before bed.

Here's what I did besides study:

Massage: FABULOUS. Got the "sports massage" instead of the regular Swedish. I needed it. I nearly cried when she dug her elbows into those tight little muscles around my neck (trapezius and levator scapulae anyone?) that are tight from 2 years of hovering over a desk studying and taking tests. But I really needed someone to dig their elbows in there! I feel much better now. Everybody should go get one of these - Massage Plus has some really great specials - 1 hour for $45; 1 hour couple's massage for $60. Seriously, just do it.

Academy Sports: bought some jelly belly sports beans and some Gu. The beans taste good, the Gu is nasty, but both help you get through really long runs. Also lucked out and found a comfy blue shirt for $2.88! I've never been in there and didn't realize all the good deals they have. Definitely going to start shopping there more often.

Grocery: stocked up on some food. Even managed to cook dinner. Somehow everything got ready at the same time. I love it when that happens. It's not too often that it does in this house :) Made turkey spaghetti with wheat noodles, boiled some fresh corn on the cob, salad with egg, and garlic bread.
Also stocked up on some yogurt and granola cereal to make some yummy little fruit parfaits. I had one at CUPS the other day which was delicious, but I paid $5 for it! That's just crazy! So I used frozen berries, granola cereal, low fat plain yogurt, and made 4 individual parfaits in tupperware for $5 total.

All in all it's been a fabulous day. Hoping I'll be really productive tomorrow since I got to relax so much today. Time will tell...

Runner's Log

4.0 miles; 45 minutes; 392 calories burned

Oh my gosh it was HOT!!! This is the last time I run before 5:00 for a long time.


Some cheap-o summer dresses to wear around town for the next month while I study. The cheapo dresses from last summer have gotten shorter due to my inability to separate them from the rest of my laundry. Target, here I come...

Study destination of the day today: Beagle Bagel Cafe
Study Topic: Pulmonology - the embryology, anatomy, physiology, pathology, and microbiology of it all. (Sounds like a lot, but it's not much at all)
Study Breaks of the day: Run, Grocery, Massage, Medium (the show on NBC about the psychic - so good!)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Looking Forward to the Breaks

I've made a crazy study schedule for STEP. I'm currently on day 4, but within the first 3 days, at least half of those days have been breaks. Ha ha. So pretty much all I've done is a diagnostic test and genetics.

Today's goal is to finish up Biochem (aka the bane of my existence)before dinner and then start on the embryology, anatomy, and physiology of pulmonology before I hit the sack tonight. Wonder if it's going to happen? Only time will tell. Currently I'm just looking forward to the small breaks that are scheduled in.

Tonight's break: dinner at Logan's around 7ish, Mad Men at 11; probably going to watch Desperate as part of my study break tomorrow.

Days 'til STEP is OVER: 26

Friday, May 1, 2009

Runner's Log

9.0 miles; 2:07'; 1016 calories burned

Not dying after all - maybe the Gu is all it's cracked up to be.

Done and Done

Yesterday was incredibly productive. I didn't work out (of course), but I did nearly everything else on my list. Made appointments for the animals, made a hair appointment, scheduled a plumber to come by, and had dinner with my M4 buddy.

This morning was filled with taking the animals to the vet, getting the haircut, and finishing up the diagnostic test. Now it's time to study before the 9 mile run. Ack!!! Let's hope I make it!

Oh yeah - massage is scheduled for Monday afternoon. Can't freakin' wait!!!

It's Funny 'Cause it's True

One of my dear classmates posted a link to this article and it's hilarious - if you're in med school. Maybe not so much if you're not. So true though. Any question we get about an African American pt, you can be sure about 50% of the time it's either sickle cell or sarcoidosis they're asking about.

This is from

Stereotyping for the USMLE:
How To Discriminate Your Way To The Top


African Americans have sarcoid and sickle cell.
Africans have Burkitt’s, malaria, sleeping sickness, or worse.
White kids have cystic fibrosis and can’t dance.
Jewish girls have ulcerative colitis or crohn’s.
Eastern Europeans have glycogen storage diseases (oy vey!).
Gorgeous Mediterranian men have beta thalassemia.
Japanese people have stomach cancer and ninja skills.
Peruvians have huge lungs, hypoxia, and polycythemia.
Native Americans are obese, have diabetes, high cholesterol, and gallstones.
Indians (from India) have TB and oral cancer from chewing Betel nuts .
Immigrants all have a disease that we can prevent with a vaccine.
Central Americans have Chagas and can dance the tango.
Mexican Kids have lead poisoning (lead-laced candy was a bad call, vatos).
French people - particularly from Paris, that dirty, dirty city - have toxoplasmosis.
Asians have alpha thalassemia, Takayasu Arteritis, and asian glow.
Americans are fat. Actually, thats just an observation of mine.
“Urban” patients present to the ER with knife wounds that conveniently test your knowledge of anatomy.

Lawyers have STD’s (gotcha now, suckas!).
Dentists and aerospace workers have Berylliosis.
Explosives experts / Explosives plant workers get “monday morning headache”.
Coal miners have CWP, TB, and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Cave explorers have cryptococcus.
Sheepherders have echinococcus and a dog named Lassie.
Radiologists have any blood cancer but CLL.
Nurses and pharmacists have factitious disorder.
Football players, wrestlers, and weight lifters are taking anabolic steroids.
Young athletes have osteogenic sarcoma.
Pathologic States

Kids (0-14) who are tired have ALL.
Young Adults (14-40) who are tired have AML.
Adults (40-60) who are tired have CML.
Elderly (60-?) who are tired have CLL.
Kids with Downs have a VSD, Hirschsprungs, ALL, and Alzheimers.
Transplant patients got CMV in addition to their shiny new organ.
Diabetics have life-threatening mucor infection. Every freakin’ time.
HIV patients have toxoplasmosis, if it’s a multiloculated brain cyst.
Moms who lose their first baby have type O blood.

Women are always pregnant. No matter how careful they were.
Alcoholics have HCC, B12 deficiency, Klebs pneumonia, and Wernicke-Korsikoff.
IV drug users have right sided endocarditis and multiple parietal strokes.
Smokers have both COPD and lung cancer (+ mets to the organ system in question).
Coke Addicts had an MI (don’t smoke crack, kids!)
Travelers get giardiasis, amoebiasis, yellow fever, dengue, hepatitis.
Kids swimming in lakes get Naegleria Fowleri.
Kids playing in the sandbox have cutaneous or visceral larva migrans.
People who look tan either have skin cancer or hemochromatosis.
Patients with a swollen knee are female, young, hot, and caught gonorrhea from their last boyfriend.

Thursday, April 30, 2009


I just worked 2 sets of practice questions and got the exact same amount of questions right (if you're an optomist) or wrong (if you're a pessimist) in each set. Maybe these tests are predictive...

Yet Another Reason We Love Kris

*He hung a bug zapper in the backyard 2 days ago - now we don't get eaten alive by mosquitoes every time we go outside*

**Mega reason - he surprised me with a 1 hour massage appointment as a gift for finishing up 2nd year**

Counting my blessings

Where's the pause button?

While everyone else is studying for step, I'm going to take advantage of the next few days before the craziness ensues. My plans for today and the next few:

*make vet appointments for Meery Bob and Penelope - spaying and shots, respectively
*do some form of exercise besides running
*contact a plumber to repair our garbage disposal
*laundry x 4
*make haircut appointment
*make a STEP study schedule
*dinner with my "M2 buddy" - should I call her my M4 buddy now?
*recover from the ridiculous sunburn I got at the pool yesterday

*start studying!
*9 mile run with A - probably going to lie on the couch and die afterwards

*some form of exercise - maybe; perhaps just stretching
*attend cousin's wedding

So that's how things are shaping up for now. Right now is one of those times when it would be nice to still live at home. I hate how distracted I can become by laundry, dishes, menu planning, etc... It would be nice to have all that covered for the next month.

On an exciting note - yesterday was fabulous! All except for that little Pharm board we took in the morning. It was AWFUL. Sometimes I would look at the page and not know if I got a single question on it correct. Oh well. Maybe I scraped by. After that I went to the pool and caught up with my friend A. (just realized I've got lots of friends that have A names) We might have forgotten to put on enough sunscreen and we might have had a few cold beverages. Anyway, it was great. I haven't laid out in the sun since the honeymoon. After that I met K for some very healthy and delicious food at KFC. Yeah... To be fair though, they do have a really good buffet full of veggies. I only had 2 fried things on my plate. I had a tennis match at 7:30. Our captain made it aware to us that if we won this match, we are guaranteed a spot at the State championships. Wahoo!!! Well, we won! I won my match, and my sister won hers. The girl I played was the most challenging opponent I've played all year. The score was 6-4, 6-4. (If you don't know what that means, it means I won 12 and she won 8). I wish we had video though, we were both making crazy shots that neither one of us could believe. Once the girls on the court beside us got distracted from their game watching us! Insane. I was so exhausted afterwards I just came home, laid in bed, and watched Mad Men for about 3 hours. What could be better?

Off to do all the chores on my list - hope everyone's "weekend" is fabuous :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

1 More!!!

3 boards down, 1 to go. Grades from the ones we took last week have started rolling in, so hopefully we'll have all of our final grades within the next week or two. It'll be nice to close the chapter on this year. It still hasn't hit me that it's almost over. Everyone keeps asking if I'm excited, but I know we're not out of the water yet. The only time I'll be able to breathe is mid-July when our STEP scores come in - IF I passed. If not, oy, life's gonna suck...

Sad thought - tomorrow is the last day our class sits in the classroom together. It's the last time we'll all be in a room together until June 9th.

Runner's Log

3.0 miles, 30 minutes, 292 calories burned

How to get indigestion while running:
Go to Cups - drink a large coffee
Go to Jo's Diner - split cheese fries with husband. Then eat an entire chicken wrap with baja chicken soup as a side. THEN split a chocolate milkshake with husband.
Rest for 30 minutes.
Run 3 miles - burp the entire way! Gross, but funny.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Runner's Log

6.55 miles; 1'09"; 635 calories burned

Quarter Marathon? Or a Half Half Marathon? Either way, it just about made my legs fall off and wiped me out for the rest of the night. How the heck am I going to run 13.1 miles in June? Also, it was slightly embarrassing because our neighborhood is kind of small and one set of neighbors was outside having a crawfish boil. I swear I ran by them 10 times and they thought I was crazy!

Party Recipes

I had a few requests for the recipes from the puppy party. They're both super simple:

Spiked Sweet Tea Punch

4 tea bags
2 cups boiling water
7 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 tube frozen lemonade
1 tube frozen orange juice
2 cups whiskey**

Boil 4 tea bags in two cups water. Let steep for 10 minutes. While that's brewing, boil 7 cups water and add 1 frozen tube of lemonade concentrate, 1 frozen tube of orange juice concentrate, 2 cups of sugar, and 2 cups of whiskey. **I didn't have whiskey, so I used 1.5 cups of lemon rum and .5 cup of firefly sweet tea vodka. Add in the 2 cups of tea now. Place it all in a gallon freezer bag and let freeze overnight. Will be slushy. The recipe recommended adding Sprite when serving, but I liked it without. Also, not sure exactly why it's necessary to boil 2 separate sets of water, but I didn't want to screw it up, so that's what I did.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

2 blocks cream cheese
1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup hot sauce
1 can chicken
1/2 cup ranch dressing (or bleu cheese if that's preferred)

Essentially you just throw it all in a crock pot. Takes about 1.5 hrs on high or 3 hrs on low. Serve with celery and tortilla chips/crackers.

After the party Kris and I were a little bored and I sure didn't want to study, so we went to the movies. We saw The Soloist. I wasn't very impressed, but I think that's partly because the atmosphere was ruined for me. I had Tuberculosis Sally sitting directly to my left and Snoring Sam sitting right behind me. No lie, this guy started snoring 5 minutes into the movie and continued throughout the ENTIRE thing. His wife nudged him 2x and within minutes he was snoring again - very loudly. He was a heavy set gentleman, so I'm sure he has sleep apnea and she didn't want to interrupt the sleep he was able to get. Everyone in the theater was talking about it when we left. I *almost* asked him if he enjoyed his nap, but I decided not to. Surprising, I know...

Tuberculosis Sally just loved coughing throughout the entire movie, but that didn't stop her from eating her popcorn or talking the whole time. She didn't have much of an interest in covering her mouth, which resulted in me burrowing my head in Kris's shoulder and inhaling deeply to avoid all the organisms she was spewing about. I wish I could say med school has done this to me, but those who know me well know I've always had a germ issue. My best friend J likes to remind me of the time our school bus was behind a vehicle that was spewing a lot of black smoke and I held my breath the whole time. Didn't want to "pollute my lungs." What can I say? I'm a little obsessive.

And here's some pictures for your enjoyment:

Friday, April 24, 2009

Hooray for Puppy Parties!

The party was a success - or so I thought. Not only did people show up, they had fun! Never much of a lack of conversation, lots of good food and drink, and entertainment in the form of Penelope and A's dog, Tucker. Of course we had to indulge in discussing a few of the idiosyncrasies of fellow classmates. But, that happens pretty much anytime a big group of us gets together so I guess it's to be expected.

As for the psych/behavioral science board this morning, I'm really glad I didn't study more than 20 minutes :) Here's a sample question:

A patient of yours with long-standing hypertension comes in 3 months after you've subscribed blood pressure lowering agents and their blood pressure is 160/100. What do you say?

A) A lot of people have problems remembering to take their medications. Do you ever have problems like that?

B) Your blood pressure is still high. Have you been taking your blood pressure medication?

C) Your blood pressure still isn't under control. Do you ever forget to take your blood pressure medication?

Then there were 2 or 3 other responses that were clearly wrong - or so I thought. Call me crazy, but aren't these all saying the same thing? Wouldn't it all depend on the tone you used? Now do you see why I'm glad I didn't study any longer?

I can already tell it's going to be a great weekend. My house is the cleanest it's been in months - maybe ever? So no distractions on that front. Lots of running and studying in the forecast. Hope everyone else's weekends are fabulous :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bad Call

Eating peaches & cream whipped yogurt and looking at pictures of brain abscesses. Disgusting.

Surgery Preferences

We got an e-mail from the surgery department yesterday to set up our schedules. Guess I'm really becoming an M3, although I feel they're jinxing us by attempting to get us set up for rotations next year. Whatever though, here's my picks:

We do general surgery the first 6 weeks, then get 2 weeks in 3 different specialties.

Rotation 1: Peds, Transplant, Vascular
Rotation 2: Cardiothoracic, ENT, Ortho
Rotation 3: Plastics, Urology, Neurosurgery


I wish I wasn't interested in so many things. Then it would be so much easier to sit in the library and study 12 hours every day. Since our test last Friday I've been doing nothing but indulging all those interests. I've run, played piano, watched movies, gone shopping - A LOT, spiffed up the house a little, and attempted to cook some new things. But, we have a Path board tomorrow, and I'm about to try something crazy... Going to Cups WITHOUT my computer/without and endless source of distraction. Just me, my Path BRS book, and some yummy coffee. It's nice when everything you need to study is in one concise little book instead of spread out among several study guides, old tests, Powerpoints, and random pages of notes.

*Note to the future M2s out there: You'll hear nothing but praise for Goljan's Rapid Review of Pathology. While the audio is great to listen to, I am not impressed by the actual review book. It does have great color illustrations, but it's much denser than BRS and has bullet points instead of you know, REAL sentences. I guess I'm a little partial due to the fact that I like real sentences with subjects and verbs instead of seemingly random bits of information.

Boards left: 4
Days 'til STEP: 38

Friday, April 17, 2009

Runner's Log

46'42" 4.50 miles 436 calories burned.

Now it's off to watch Marley & Me!

*Thank Goodness*

Tests are over. The weather is beautiful. I got to take a nap this afternoon, complete with post-nap drunken haze for about 10 minutes. At 3:00 when I woke up I realized I hadn't eaten all day, so I made a beeline for the nearest Mediterranean restaurant, Petra on Old Canton Rd. They had gone out of business. So I made a beeline for the next nearest Mediterranean restaurant, over by Hancock Fabrics. They weren't coming back until 4:30 for dinner. Then I went to the next one, Luna Negra, and they had also gone out of business. What the heck? I really wanted some falafel and hummus. Yum. Anyway, headed to the nearest Chinese buffet and it was okay. The exciting part is that I stumbled upon an antique shop on the way and decided to check it out. Here's what I found:

*a silver trivet with "B" engraved on it which you can't really see in the pic
*3 antique wine glasses that are so dainty and perfect
*a little picture stand

I got all this for just $22! I also really wanted this antique sugar shell that had "A" engraved on the handle, but it was with a little cheese spreader that had an "O" and the lady didn't want to split the set. I wasn't about to pay $18 for 2 pieces. 'Cause I'm cheap like that :)

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!!!


I've now completed my last ever all-nighter, can't believe I pulled 2 this week. Very, very bad student. Future med students, if you're out there reading, don't be like me.

Planning on stopping by CUPS for a shot-in-the-dark (dark coffee + a shot of espresso) before the test at 9. Here's to hoping I don't fall asleep halfway through the danged thing. This one's 100 questions, of course...

You Know What's Weird?

When you pull an all-nighter or stay up longer than 24 hrs and then try to take a nap. Well, that's not weird, but the feeling when you wake up is. One of my study buddies and I have both experienced this. We feel almost "drugged." Anybody else with us on this?
The other day I woke up from my 4 hour post-test nap and proceeded to stumble around the house for a good 15 minutes before I was good and awake. I couldn't hear very well, making Kris repeat things several times before they finally got through to me. What can I say? Residency is gonna be FUN :)

T minus 7 hours until the last UMC test.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

So Excited

I've just been brimming with excitement lately. Here's what all the fuss is about:

*taking the last UMC test tomorrow
*watching Marley & Me with my sis and cousin tomorrow night - a girly movie night
*going home Saturday to pick out music to play at the dinner next week
*the dinner next week
*the puppy party!

Picked up the couch today and love it. The leathers got some scuffs and scratches, but I kind of like it that way. Adds character :) Interesting story - the owner is a cousin of one of the members of The Black Crowes and apparently the couch used to belong to the Black Crowes guy. Don't think it was on the tour bus though - thank goodness! frylime probably still won't sit on it with her crazy eye herpes phobia. Ha ha ha ha

Bringin' Home This Lovely Today:

How's that for retail therapy? I decided it's time for a proper couch in this little house of ours. Our current one was free - was my sister's mother-in-law's. I made a slipcover for it that took me 2 weeks. Also had to make a makeshift cushion because one flew off while they were moving it. That cushion's always been a little smushier than the others. Nice...

As for this new couch, she's a little masculine for my tastes right now, but I'm planning on making a slipcover for the seat portion in a nice neutral color - one with a zipper that can be taken off and washed when needed. So convenient. Of course I'll be making pillows to go along with it as well. Just gotta go get some fabric. I might switch out the feet as well. The possibilities are endless.

Oh yeah, and I guess I have to take my last UMC test tomorrow - wahoo!!!

UMC Tests left: 1
Boards: 4

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tennis = Best Study Break Ever

So glad I got to play tennis tonight. I had to play doubles, which was weird. I ALWAYS play singles. I've played doubles once in the last year, and it was with my sister, so that doesn't even count to me. The reason I don't like it is because you have to worry about upsetting your partner every time you miss a point. With singles, you just play your game. Whatever though, it was fun and as an added bonus - we won! Wahoo!

Muy Interesante

Studying up on some Path for the test Friday and here's the 1 really interesting thing I've learned so far:

Kids with retinoblastoma (a cancer of the eye, the retina to be specific) have white eye reflections instead of red. Check it out:

Taking Bets

Who wants to bet we get our Pathology grade back before any of our other grades?

For those not in the class: (Path test is on Friday. We had all the others Mon-Wed)

Anybody Got a Piano???

I'm playing at a fancy dinner for the big money donors to UMC over the last year and can't think of anywhere to practice. Bet I could use one of the churches around here. Does UMC have a piano besides that big one in the union? Don't know about having a public jam session...

Back to study land now.

5 down, 1 to go!!!

What to Do?

I'm equal parts extremely sleepy and extremely hungry. Hmmm... Think I'll go to sleep and eat when I wake up. Night night everyone!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My New Aasics

make me feel like I'm running on pillows - awesome!

No, Really

Today this question was on our Preventive Medicine cumulative final:

What is the percentage today (2007) of VRNG (vancomycin resistant Neisseria gonorrhea) in Mississippi?


This would be a perfectly valid question if we'd had a lecture that stressed this. I don't ever remember seeing a slide on this, though I'm pretty sure if I had, I would have forgotten it. This whole class was full of lectures that were full of slides with percentages on them. They really think I'm going to remember some measly percentage like one of those? Those aren't even impressive. Whatever though. When in doubt I've learned to go to one extreme or the other on the answer, so I went with 50%. It's probably wrong.

It reminded me of some advice the M3s gave us the other day at a lunch meeting regarding the attending surgeons:

"If you keep answering their questions correctly, they'll just keep asking questions until you eventually get one wrong. One time they asked me how much sodium was in the bag of saline."

Runner's Log

3.00 miles; 29'36"; 292 calories burned.

Should've done more, but it got a little too dark outside for my liking. Safety first!

Can't Wait

After our 2nd test of the day I'm going to go home, take a nice long nap, then wake up and take a nice long run (as long as the sun's still up). Hurry up and get here 1:30!!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Cuteness Overload

That's my little cousin at Easter holding Penelope. He barely let her out of his sight the whole afternoon! He was very careful with her and I was impressed.

That's your happy for the day. I'm off to Biostats land.

You Know It's Bad When...

in the middle of the test, on the bottom corner of a page, you average all your test grades so far in order to calculate the how many you need to get right in order to just pass the class, not the test.


The chances that I'll sleep >3hrs tonight. LAST all-nighter ever though!!! Wahoo!!!

p.s. i HATE pharm and don't understand how it takes me >12 hours to go over 6 tests when it doesn't even take me that long to take them!!!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Lunch

We had a "non-traditional" Easter lunch today. My cousin Amy and I were the masterminds and I gotta say we did pretty good. It's probably the healthiest holiday meal we've ever had and all the flavors meshed really well. The men didn't complain either. Here goes:

herbed grilled chicken breasts (and pork chops for my uncle who doesn't eat chickies)
pasta salad (not the heavy creamy kind, just a little touch of olive oil in this one)
corn salad (with cucumbers, tomato, and green onion)
grilled asparagus
zucchini and squash bake (with lots of mozzarella and ricotta -yum!!!)
grape salad (with brown sugar and pecans)
pumpkin brownies with chocolate icing
the infamous Easter bunny cake***

***This is a cake my Aunt B has made nearly every year since she had kids. It's a white cake with coconut flake topping, jelly beans, the whole nine yards. It's cut in the shape of a bunny with ears and decorated accordingly. Last year she made it for the first time in a while (for all 3 of her grandsons) and her own son had the nerve to say how nice it was and that he'd never seen a cake like it before! He was serious. Aunt B got a little miffed that he didn't remember all the years she slaved over the Easter bunny cakes. It was hilarious.

Happy Easter everyone!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

So Nice

to have a best friend who'll help you chop grapes without complaint and bring her niece-puppy toys.

Lucky me :)

Just Kidding

***Un-Mark your calendars!!!***

The party isn't cancelled or anything, but we do have to change the date. I informed Kris of the date last night and he casually mentioned that his family is having "Easter" next Sunday. Guess we'll change it to Friday the 24th since that's the next available date. How about 4:00? That should give everybody plenty of time after our Psych board.

In summary:
New Date: Friday April 24th
New Time: 4:00

Hope everyone has studied more than I have this weekend!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mark Your Calendars

Sunday the 19th wins! Any preferences on times? With all the food it sounds like we're going to have I don't think it'll matter if we have it during normal dinner time hours. I think we'll manage to fill up. Y'all feel free to bring food, but you certainly don't have to. I'll be sending out a groupwise invite to everyone with directions to our house and time details once I get it sorted out. So far planning this shindig is far more interesting than studying this weekend :) Can't wait!


So, when do you guys want to get together for the puppy party? Here's our options:

Sunday April 19th - after our last test week and before boards
Friday April 24th - after our Behavioral Science board and before ICM and Pharm boards
Saturday April 25th - ditto
Thursday April 30th - after all tests and boards are over with

Here's what I'm thinking of cooking up so far:

Rum Slush (tea, frozen o.j., spiced rum, frozen lemonade)
buffalo chicken dip with veggies and chips
apples with caramel dip
cocktail wienies - or maybe I could convince Kris to grill out?
something sweet - maybe some cupcakes E?

I can't wait! I hope everyone (or at least a few people) can make it. I haven't hosted a party since I planned a Valentine's Day party in 3rd grade and NO ONE showed up. I had even made heart shaped cakes and a streamer with hearts all over it! Then I cried all afternoon. So please, please show up - unless you want me to cry all night :( Ha ha ha

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Runner's Log

2.58 miles; 25'55"; 250 calories burned

Puppy Party

Due to the number of requests to see Penelope in all her puppy glory, I think we shall have a puppy party - some time after this round of tests, maybe involving some baked goods. Maybe we'll make it a Group 5 pre M3 year-party. (But frylime, you're invited too)

Reasons I Love Kris

Upon finding a mouse stuck to one of those sticky traps in his store last week he took it outside and let it go.

Backstory: The sticky traps were in place before Kris took over the store. We both think they're inhumane. The poor little mouse's nose was bleeding from where he'd gotten it stuck and ripped himself away. He was tiny and making little whiny, squeaky noises :(

My Conversation with Doreen

So, I play tennis on a league. I'm one of the youngest players. Most of the women are in their late 20s, 30s, or 40s. They're all generally nurses, realtors, bankers, or stay-at-home moms. Last night I played Doreen, a very nice 40ish loan officer. This is how our conversation went:

Doreen, between games: So, what do you do when you're not playing tennis?

Me: Well, I'm in medical school, so I mostly just study.

Doreen: Oh, where do you go to school?

Me: In Jackson, here at UMC. (I'm AMAZED how often people ask me this. There is only ONE medical school in our entire state. The nearest one is hundreds of miles away in a neighboring state. Is guess this isn't common knowledge? Should've told her I went to school in the Caribbean but flew in for my weekly tennis match.)

Doreen: Wow, so what kind of doctor do you want to be?

Me: I'm not really sure yet.

Doreen: But a medical doctor, right?

Me: Uh, yeah.

Oh well, I guess it's better than the last lady who asked what I did. I told her I was in med school and she said - "Oh, so you're going to be a teacher?" What?!?! I wish I had a dollar for every time I said "No, I'm going to be a REAL doctor."

(Please don't take this as a mean/negative/I'm better than you post. I just think it's pretty funny the range of reactions you can get when people find out what you do - especially if you're a girl.)