28 October, 2010

What's in my white coat?

So rotations have officially taken my life; I've completed family medicine and surgery and just started in patient internal medicine. I'm learning lots and have little time, but today I was curious what, exactly, was in my white coat.

*Pocket Medicine
*Motorola Droid
*two tuning forks
*list of important phone and pager numbers
*25 cents
*call room keys
*pocket handbook for the Maine Dartmouth family medicine residency for some reason
*three highlighters, only one of which works
*four pens, none of which I can find when I need them
*patient census form
*half completed progress notes
*yesterday's patient census form
*Pharmacopia 2010

24 August, 2010

entertainment value

Me: Have you had any surgeries?

Elderly lady: I had a complete hysterectomy. They took everything, but they left the playpen.

01 August, 2010

new chapter

I just got used to the idea that I passed my boards (both of them) with scores that are probably good enough but not as good as I would have liked, and now tomorrow I start rotations. Hmm. Not sure I'm ready for this...but I think it may involve an early morning run. I almost think that I need rotations to recover from my excellent but exhausting week long journey to the west coast. I traversed over much of Washington State, experiencing highs of 100 degrees (with no humidity) and lows of 53 with pea soup fog. It's a great state, one which I intend to live in, one day.

14 July, 2010


No matter what I do or how much I accomplish, part of me still feels like the world sees me as the little girl with coke bottle glasses and asthma that no one wanted to play with.

02 July, 2010


Boards - took 'em. Might have passed. I was initially going for getting at least the average on them (beating it would have been nice). At this point, I just hope I pass, and I only want to pass because I don't want to have to take them again.

All I know is that I felt pretty ok leaving both of them and that around 4 pm this afternoon, I temporarily lost the ability to form a coherent sentence.

Residencies look at things besides boards, right? Like...research, Step 2, clinical grades, other grades, letters of recommendation...right?

30 June, 2010

Approaching the end

I am, at long last, approaching the end of my board studying. Today was my last official day studying, although the past week has really just been me watching the world cup, reading First Aid and Goljan and doing question sets and flash cards. I took the COMLEX on the 22nd, and I probably passed. I take the USMLE on Friday, and I will probably pass...
I will basically stare at First Aid/Goljan a little more tonight, hang out with my husband, go get a 1.5 hour massage tomorrow, do things that have nothing to do with studying, and then go take my test on Friday. Then it will be summer for me, although one could argue that what I've done this past week can't really be called studying. I like to think that it's like training for a marathon. You work really hard for a long time and then back off a week or two before.

27 June, 2010

Acheivement unlocked

* sunrise hot air balloon ride
* five mile run
* survived first board exam (COMLEX)
* four days until USMLE (eek!) and then SUMMER FOR ME!

07 June, 2010

T-minus two weeks/three and a half weeks

Two weeks til COMLEX. Three and a half weeks til USMLE. I'm hanging in there. Barely. I think I've narrowed down what I want to be when I grow up to a few options...
*Physiatrist (PM&R, probably with some sort of pain management tacked on)
*Psychiatrist (probably with kids/teenagers)
*Palliative care physician (this necessitates an internal medicine/family medicine residency)
*Neurology (Ok, I just actually kind of enjoyed reviewing it today/yesterday, hence it is on the list).

Palliative care can also be integrated into any of the above, which is cool.

Median USMLE Step 1 Scores for Matched Seniors
*Psychiatry 208
*PM&R 208
*Family Medicine 209
*Pediatrics 217
*Neurology 218
*Internal Medicine 222
*Transitional year 233 (some residencies need you to do a transitional year prior to beginning them)

23 May, 2010

Art project?

So I'm up to my eyeballs in board studying, having now entered "it's 29 days until COMLEX" territory. I'm to the point where I'm now studying for 8-12 hours a day except (generally) on one weekend day. I am actually starting to think that I'll pull this whole thing off somehow, which is am amazing feeling. I've got a crapload of work to do, sure, but something about gradually studying since oh, January, seems to have helped. I "forgot" a lot, but it's coming back, which is nice.

Anyway, I mention this because part of my studying strategy is to pick a section in First Aid and sit with it and another book and go through and annotate EVERY ENTRY. THIS TAKES FOREVER, but it means I get to use pretty, colored pens. I've also been taking notes on pretty, colored paper, which keeps me happy. Anyway, I've become fascinated with the difference in how students utilize First Aid. Some students draw all over it (me), some students have elaborate color coding systems (not me) and others do absolutely no marking. This fascinates me. So I thought what would be a cool art project is to pick a page in First Aid and ask as many medical students as I can to take a picture of it. I could then compile it and see the different ways in which people use the book.

This is the kind of crap that keeps me up at night.

21 May, 2010


24 hour-ish stomach/gi bug is a hell of a way to lose five pounds. Also a good way to miss the super awesome end of year party at M and L's house and to get a day behind in studying for the boards.


13 May, 2010


So I'm in Florida for a conference until Sunday early in the morning. I'm at Disney World, to be exact. A few of my classmates are here; we're all presenting posters at some point. The strange bit is that, although my classmates are super nice, I don't know them that well and so I'm effectively in Disney World by myself. It's very weird. Husband was going to come, but it was financially too much for us. Of course, now I wish he'd come, because I'm essentially in the happiest place on earth by myself.

It's kind of depressing.

I woke up early (I don't really need to be at the conference until noon today) to go running outside while it was still "cool." Now, if you've never been to Florida, you'll have no way of knowing this, but there is no "cool." There's hot, more hot, and "oh my god I'm melting" hot. Why is this? Humidity. It was 72 degrees out when I was running, a reasonable temperature if you're wearing a tank top (I was) and shorts (ditto). It was also like 85% humidity. It wasn't so much a run as it was a swim.

08 May, 2010

Overheard in a dressing room

Today, my husband and I ventured out into the world to acquire some professional attire. I'm going to present a poster at a conference next week and I needed polo shirts that weren't transparent. Anyway, we wound up at Target (I'm cheap, ok? I liked the shirts at The Gap better, but they just weren't worth $25-50. Similarly, Macy's was too confusing and costly). I grabbed a few and went into the dressing room and overheard the following:

Gal 1: I mean, I don't know if I really need it, y'know?
Gal 2: Why?
Gal 1: Well, I just don't have the money.
Gal 2: Neither do I. I'm getting these pants instead of food this week. I'm not nursing; it's not child abuse.

There. Are. No. Words.
And with that, I'm going to go re-learn all of the pharmacology I've theoretically learned this year.

29 April, 2010


If I take one set of boards on June 14 and the next set of boards on June 22nd, I have enough time to study, right? RIGHT? Like, if I've already started studying, and doing questions and such...right? RIGHT?

OMG. I will not panic.

Hope my head cold feels better this afternoon so I can go on a short jog or something. I'm in need of endorphins.

28 April, 2010

'ello again

Long time, no post. I'm sorry.

Ok, I'm not really sorry. I'm stressed. Very stressed. Second year courses are drawing to a close (yay!), but before they do, I have two exams to take; one tomorrow and one next Monday. Then, my school, like many other schools out there, does another course that is meant to transition us all from our pre-clinical years wherein we sat on our asses for like 8+ hours a day to working as a member of a medical team in a hospital. Oh, did I mention that we get to take this course while studying for boards?

I'm taking two boards, USMLE and COMLEX. This is basically because I am uncertain about what I want to do, and think that I should hedge my bets. Some programs are totally down w/ COMLEX scores, others are a little confused by them. I'll save them the time spent being confused by giving them something that they understand.


Husband and I got some awesome shoes. The goal is to strengthen our foot/lower leg muscles. They're fun, if nothing else.

Question: is biochem relevant in practice? I don't mean like acid/base stuff; that's clearly relevant, as is blood glucose and metabolism. But when will I ever need to know how many ATP are generated by a specific pathway? That seems a wee bit excessive to me. Not that I hate biochem. I actually really like it...

01 March, 2010


So I won't lie; I'm starting to freak out about boards. Mine are a little over three months away and I've been studying a bit for them...nothing hardcore...some biochem review here, a little microbiology there, using first aid as a study guide for my courses, etc etc.

I'm not sure how, exactly, to study for boards though, especially since we have classwork until May sometime.

I feel like I'm too new to this to have forgotten so much...