Monday, December 5, 2011

Rotation Five: Surgery [Part I]

So only a few months after my roommate, Megan (from high school, not college!) moved into our apt in Cerritos, it was finally time for me to join and move into our fantastic apt...just in time to start my surgery rotation in Downey.

Surgery was.....not my favorite rotation thus far, but not totally terrible :) The hours were long (6-6 every day) but I saw a lot of lap appys, lap choles, differerent colon/general gi surgeries, some C-Sections :) and even a breast masectomy/reconstruction, craniotomy, and ortho and vascular cases, to name a few!

Despite the grueling 12 hour days, I made time for fun things on the weekend like running a 5K obstacle course on the beach in the rain, go to football games at the Rose Bowl, go snowboarding!

Now I'm on a two week neuro elective in Newport Beach :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Rotations Two-Four: Family Med, Pediatrics, and Pain Management

So I have royally failed at keeping up my original plan of blogging after every rotation but I'll try and play catch-up now. During the month of August, I was at Arrowhead, living at home and loving life. Family was sooo much fun, even though it was in-patient and more intense than an out-patient family rotation,, but still so awesome. I learned a ton and absolutely loved the patients and the whole experience. It really reaaffirmed my desire to do family med, plus it was really fun to be at Arrowhead (where so many of my Touro friends and colleagues are at) and constantly see and work with friends and people that I already knew!!

I had the first week of September off and used the time to fly to NYC, find an apt for 6 weeks (not stressful at all....), move in and start pediatrics! While the getting there was super stressful, the rotation as a whole and the overall experience were AMAZING!! I ended up loving pediatrics wayyyy more than I expected, the Brooklyn brownstone I lived in was awesome, and every weekend I did something fun, including visits to DC and Boston! All in all it was wonderful and even better than I expected!!

So after an awesome 6 weeks on the east coast, I moved back home to do 2 weeks of pain management back at Arrowhead. It was an interesting rotation -- I learned a ton about different types of and treatments for pain and got to help with some awesome procedures (epidurals, nerve ablations, steroid injections) plus it was super fun to be back at Arrowhead again and enjoy my time at home and with friends before surgery started up!

So after pain management, I officially moved into my apt in Cerritos and started surgery at Downey!! So far, I defintitely don't love it as much as pediatrics, but so far it's really interesting and I'm learning a ton! Hopefully it won't be this long before I try to document my rotation adventures on the world wide web!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rotation One: Psych!

Well I have officially finished my first rotation. July 4-31 I was living down in San Diego, doing my psychiatry rotation there and it was amazing!! I totally loved psych and was ready to sign up to be a psychiatrist right then and there! I was at a small clinic run through the County of San Diego where I worked 4 days a week, 10 hours a day and got to see and help a lot of people. I really loved the whole clinic experience, the nurses were awesome, it was great to see the work that the therapists did, I loved getting to help facilitate the support groups, and the psychiatrist that I rotated with was amazing and so knowledgeable and it was especially neat because she is both a child and adult psychiatrist, so I got to see both kinds of psychiatry. All in all, it was super fun to live in San Diego and I loved psych and I found out that I passed both sets of boards, and was in 2 of my best friends' weddings! So far it's been a pretty awesome summer :) For now, I'm living at home, and doing my Family Med rotation at Arrowhead, which is awesome because I'm learning a ton and it's so fun to be in a big teaching hospital where you do a ton and where a lot of my friends are (yesterday I went down to the ER to do an H&P on a new admit for Family Med and the person who did the original H&P in the ER was one of my best medical school friends :))

These days, life is great.

Monday, July 18, 2011

good things come [to those who wait]

after arguable one of the most difficult times in my life these past few months, it feels as though life has begun again. I passed my USMLE (United States Medical Licensing Exam) with my goal score and while I'm still waiting on my COMLEX, which I need to pass to be licensed (they seriously can't tell me until the first week of August?!), I know that I have much to be thankful for. I have started my rotations and this month I am on Psych (which I absolutely LOVE) down in San Diego. If I didn't want to go abroad and didn't think that I hopefully will love my family med rotation, psych would be a pretty serious contender as a specialty. The clinic that I'm working out now is small, in the ghetto, seriously helping people, and I absolutely love it. I mostly just listen to the psychiatrist and add a little here and there, and help facilitat the support groups which is pretty awesome too (minus Friday when a woman told me she saw a man in a chair that wasn't there...). But all in all I love rotations and it's so nice to love life again :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

[hardest year ever]

since it's been oh-so-long since I've had time to post anything (and lets be honest, I don't really now), I thought I would update the world wide web on my activities:

Since September when I last blogged I have worked as a tutor for another student in my class, rocked our neurology course, found out that I'm doing my third year rotations at long beach, with potentially some rotations in the bay area, ran 3 races, been nearly pushed over the edge with stress, lost nearly 10 pounds and tried to deal with/overcome the emotional component of being a medical student in definitely the hardest part of my academic journey so far.

it's been a long 9 months.

all that being said, and despite all the stress I've been under and as pushed to the breaking point that I've felt (and I'm sure will continue to feel), I have so much to be thankful for and the Lord has no where near let me down yet. In fact, when I feel like I'm at the end of my rope and not good enough or smart enough or sane enough to deal with all that med school entails, He reminds me of His words to Moses in Exodus 4: "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Is it not I, the LORD? Now, GO; I will teach you what to say"

Some days reminding myself of that truth and living as though I believe it are easier than others, but it's a process and I'm growing and learning and thankful for all those alongside me on the way.

Hopefully my next blog will be from beautiful sunny Southern Californa :)

Monday, September 20, 2010


Well second year is in full swing!! After 7 exams in 4 days (plus one a week for the previous two weeks), block one is finally complete and I have achieved my first med school A's! In general, I'm a straight 85 kid on all my tests (which I'm totally happy with), but this for this Neuroanatomy exam, Angela and I were in the library for WEEKS before, studying and we were rewarded with 96 ON OUR EXAMS!!!!!!! SO SO excited and proud!!! It's especially encouraging because this semester is Neuro and Muscoloskeletal and is supposed to be our hardest semester ever so it's exciting to know that a)I can do it, and b)I have a nice buffer for our next few impossible exams :) So life is good! After our intense block weeks, this weekend we had a nice break and Mumsy came up to visit! We spent the weekend walking and eating our way through San Francisco so that was super fun, and now we only have 2.5 days of classes, then Wednesday I fly home to see the fam, then fly again Thursday night to spend my Fall Break in DC with Megy! So excited!!! :D
White Party with three of my favoritespre-Block exhaustion in the library
Mumsy came to visit! <3

Walking the bridge

So all in all, life is really good! Now I just need to buckle down in studying for boards and figuring out where I want to go next year for my rotations!

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Block 3, Summer in AFRICA, and Back To School!

Wow, it's been so long since I have had a second to blog!!! To start -- great news: I passed block 3 and thus my first year of medical school!!! SO so exciting and such a relief to know that I can do it :) The last few weeks of school were crazy -- lots of Africa fundraisers, lots of hours in the library studying, a surprise birthday party for Robin, a midnight run to see Sex and the City 2, and of course, lots of celebrating after all of our exams! My parents even came up to see me off the 2 days before I left for AFRICAAAAA :)
getting sushi the night before I left!

AFRICA. What an experience that was amazing but much harder than I expected. Shirati, the town we were in working at the hospital for 3 weeks was not super poor by African standards, but by American standards, it was still a major culture shock....but we got to do a lot of cool rounds in the hospital, and I even got to help deliver twins!!
on a 24hour layover in Cairo
the kids were my favorite :)
they loved my glasses. I almost took the kid on my lap home ;)
assisting in surgery :)
handing out donations at the leprosy ward :)
our "bathroom" -- no running water, and you bucket the same place you go to the bathroom!
we even got to go on safari and see the sunset over the Serentgeti!drinking coconut milk in Zanzibar!

All in all it was an amazing trip and I feel so blessed to have finally gotten the opportunity to go to Africa and work in a hospital, like I've wanted to my entire life :)

Since I've been back, I've been busy hanging out with Mumsy and my girlfriends at home, flying to DC to celebrate Megy's birthday, then flying to Michigan to visit my dad and the fam there, then back home for a few days to see Aunt Diane and Unka and the Long Beach fam, then driving to Tucson to see Holl and Kev, then back home, and now I'm driving back up to Vallejo, getting ready to start my SECOND YEAR! ahhh so stressful but exciting!

This was one of my favorite passages in Africa (espeically since people really DID faint in surgery there...thankfully not me ;)) --

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.