Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
As my cardiology rotation was winding down these last few weeks, I started to think back to the looooong days, the ~40 mile commute, the heavy patient load and the sheer exhaustion and then thought to myself What was I thinking??!! , and my classmates and friends asked me the same thing. I could've easily picked a laid back elective that would have cushy hours and light responsibilities, but that just would not have been my M.O. I knew I needed to keep my mind sharp since residency is just around the corner.
So, now at 9pm I sit at my desk after only just getting home. My feet hurt, I am hungry and tired, and I have to wake up at 4am and do it again. But you know what? I had an awesome day! I was first assist on about 5 cases, including a Laparascopic Cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal using laparascopes), and even a C-section when an OB/Gyn asked our surgeon for an assist.
Coming back basically as a colleague as opposed to a student was awesome. I got hugs from everyone at the hospital who I'd worked with before; from the nurses, scrub techs, secretaries, even my surgeon who is a wonderful guy. He boasted about me to the other docs all day. I even amazed myself at how much I remembered and just did automatically, so I cannot complain- especially since I only have to be sleep deprived in medical school for 2 more weeks.
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
So, feel free to button up and check out my new blog!! :)
Thanks again to all my friends and family who supported and encouraged me as I embarked on this project!!!
Friday, March 27, 2009
I am very proud of you honey. Our kids are gonna have a very cool, sweet, ambitious and talented dad to look up to!!
I love you!!!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
I declared to my family at the age of 3 that I was going to be a doctor, and was thereafter dubbed "Dr. D" by my favorite aunt (Auntie Michelle) and then others, so I thought that it would be fitting to name the women's health corner accordingly.
My dear friend Laine Strutton will be contributing the international aspects of women's rights and women's health to the blog.
I encourage you to spread the word, and to please email me at email@example.com if there is any topic that you would like explained/discussed. Also, please let others know that they can still vote. The poll does not close until the 31st of this month.
All of the topics in the Women's Health Corner will be open for discussion
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I and one of the nurses digressed for at least 15 mins at the nurses station griping about this and she stressed that the new generation of doctors have to shrug off the old way of doing things and make the system better.
Which brings me to my other peeve. Bogus consults!!! Now I know that no current doctors are reading this, but I say this to my fellow soon-to be M.D's: If you do Family Med or Internal Med residency and you don't feel comfortable managing a sick patient who happens to have Hypertension or a little chest discomfort, then please reconsider if you learned anything in residency at all, and also, be ashamed of yourself. I don't care what specialty you are, please do not call a cardiology consult for something that you should be able to manage yourself. It is your patient, so take care of them. Think about how much money the patients and the government are being charged everytime a consult is called.
Do you know how many times we get a consult when the cardiologist can't even tell me why he was called cause he doesn't know??? ARGGHHH!!!!
Whew, now that I got that off of my chest I can go on with the rest of my day.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Happiness is based on expectation
Joy is based on Salvation
Happiness produces a feeling
Joy produces results and growth
While Joy is Christ bought
From a christian perspective, when we have the assurances of God's grace, mercy and love in our hearts, there will always be a source of joy for us. Therefore, whether times are good or bad, we should always have a reason to rejoice.
I know that as a nation we are facing an upheaval right now in our way of life, and I know that there are a lot of people who may find it hard to rejoice in a time like this, but I encourage all of us to remember that while sometimes there may not be anything around us to be happy about, there is usually always something to be joyful about. Whether it be the caress of a spouse/partner, or the love you feel for your child.
For me it is the blessed assurance of knowing that my life is in good hands (God's), that my salvation is secured, and that I have people around me with my best interests at heart. (The caress of my spouse is high up on the list as well)
When we seek things that make us happy, we may never be able to stop looking for things because sources of happiness aren't constants. But, when we have that which brings us joy, we can rest amidst storms, good times or bad, knowing that those things will never change. They are there whether u've had a bad day or not.
Seeking Joy in our lives is something more attainable and dependable than seeking happiness, which is so temperamental and conditional that we will never be satisfied and will always have to keep looking for it.
Here's to you finding your joy
Being the numbers minded person that my husband is, whenever we've had huge decisions to make and/or a lot of things going on at one time, he makes a spreadsheet so that we can see everything on one page and stay on track. (When I was looking at residency programs to apply to, he made a database that I used to compare the different programs based on certain criteria that I decided on). I love this because during college I would do the same thing, just not as fancy as what he can do. Well, as I sit typing here, Randy is on his computer as well, working on spreadsheets for apartment hunting in Philadelphia, moving costs etc.
I know..... we are nerds, but we are cool nerds OK! Besides, any one who knows Randy will say that he is way too smart to be as cool as he is lol
Friday, March 20, 2009
While I have felt physically drained all day, feeling the toll that the excitement of the week has made, I also feel energized by the fact that our path before us is visible again, and we are ready to hit it full force.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
You know what, only a few hrs status post utter disappointment and I am already seeing God's hand at work. I can't believe that this is actually happening; that a determination that sparked in me at 3yrs old has completed its course this yr 2009. I can't believe how incredibly blessed I am, but boy am I ready to get to work!!!
Thank You God
When I walked into the office of Dr. Charles Beckmann, the author of the book that all medical students swear by for their Ob/Gyn rotation and shelf exams called Obstetrics and Gynecology, he shook my hand vigorously and excitedly proclaimed "I've been looking forward to meeting with you!!!" I was taken aback but I smiled and sat down. He went on to exclaim that he had told his wife that he had dubbed me "Smiling Earrings" since my picture that I had submitted was cropped from my wedding and I was wearing long dangly earrings and a big smile. He said that unlike a lot of the applicants' pictures, I looked truly happy. When I told him where the picture was from, he smiled and jotted more notes down on my sheet which already had lots of stars and circles.
During this interview, my medical missions to Mexico and Honduras came up and he got excited again, giving me the website for the hospital that he and his colleagues founded in Honduras, not too far away from where I'd been. Once again, he jotted on his notes, writing "MISSIONS" in big letters, and circled it. By this point I started feeling a bit befuddled. Here was this doctor whose book was in my office at home, excited about me. Crazy.
Well, by the end of the interview he had told me some things that ur not really supposed to say to the candidates- he asked me if I was planning on getting pregnant during residency. I tried to say maybe even though I knew that Randy and I were planning to start a family this year and he said to me that any program that is not supportive of that is not somewhere that I should be. He said that he would be happy for me if I were to start a family during residency.
He told me things that he saw in me that I did not think anyone could figure out in such a short time and frankly, he did most of the talking. What struck me was that he looked into my eyes and said that He will be ranking me highly and that he wants me to be there not only because he knew that I would be a blessing to the program, but because I would be a pleasure to teach. He said that he sensed that I am here because of a true love for medicine and touching the lives of people, and that is who he wants in his program. I seriously thought that he was going to make me cry.
Both Dr. Beckmann and the program director Dr. Arnold Cohen, stressed their desire to have me and for me to come back and visit again, which I did. I left Philadelphia feeling very conflicted, flattered but conflicted.
Soon after my interview a received a long letter from the Program Director again stating all of the things about me that he thought would be an asset to their program and reiterating the strengths of the program and encouraging me once again to rank them highly, telling me that they would be ranking me highly.
I did not rank Albert Einstein as number one.
But, thank God, it was not one of my last couple choices either
Today, my heart was pounding, I was feeling nauseous, and when I opened the email on my phone, to be completely honest, I cried. I thought that I had a different plan and I felt like this program snatched me up and away from that. The program wanted me and ranked me very highly, if not number one, and for that I should be grateful. Randy has been sooooooo positive and supportive and has helped me to put things in perspective.
just under 700 applied, 70 got interviews, and I got one of the 4 spots!
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
While checking in on a patient in the ICU today, I noticed that on his TV was playing the interrogation of the recently appointed AIG CEO on CNN. It was interesting to hear the congressmen berate him and chastise him for the sins of his company. It felt good to hear him get yelled at, to hear the speakers talk of their suffering constituents, and get angry at the audacity of the contract writers to ensure that regardless of whether the company succeeded or failed, the executives would receive their promised retention bonuses.
When I got home and turned on CNN, I continued to watch as everyone was trying to figure out who to point the finger at for this tragedy. Eventually, after watching enough news, I became acutely aware of certain things
1. If anyone dare say that we are not all born with a sinful nature, that everyone is born good, then I beg them to tell me how come we don't need to teach kids how to lie, but have to spend their whole upbringing instilling them with the strength of character to tell the truth
2. We are outraged at the avarice of these AIG perpetrators, but do we ever look at ourselves, and the actions of our daily lives?
So many times in the hospitals I see people, from Administrators, Doctors, nurses to foodservers and housekeepers who make it their goal to do the least amount of work for their pay, who do not look at the big picture which is the patients' well being and satisfaction, but who choose to cut corners in their work, whether to save the hospital money or because they can't be bothered with the leg work. All to make their lives easier because after all no one is watching.
Just today I had to yell at the secretary at a hospital I did a Trauma Surgery rotation at way back in November, because she'd known for months that my evaluation was not done because of the fact that they did not have a picture of me, and not only did she choose not to notify me of this, but she never returned any of my calls since November. I had to get my school to contact her, and when we finally spoke today, she tried to skirt the issue when I pointed out her negligence, saying that it was all beside the point, that I'd better submit my picture if I want my eval to be done.
3. We are so enraged but if these same shady business dealings were making us money, we wouldn't have cared, which is how we got in this mess in the first place. Why is it that we as a society only seem to care if something is being done wrong when it affects us?
I pray for the US government officials right now who are trying to bring a change to the way that business is being done in this country, because I know that theirs is an almost impossible battle. I say this because there is simply no amount of legislation that can erase the fact that we are sinful creatures, prone to selfishness and greed and without the Holy Spirit strong within our hearts, guiding our paths, we will always chose that which is easy over that which is hard; that which is profitable over that which is right.
While we point a finger at ex-president Bush or the current administration, or AIG, I encourage all of us to look at ourselves and see if there is anything in the way that we go about our lives that may need some serious reform as well.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
On Thursday, I get to find out if I got my first choice, my last choice, or a program somewhere in between. You can all imagine what I and everyone else would like to have. :)
Sunday, March 15, 2009
SORRY HONEY. Thanks for putting up with me, and this life :) I love you!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
On thursday, those of us who did match into one of the programs on our list, will find out which exact program that will be. Between Monday and Thursday, those who did not match have the opportunity to "scramble" into other unfilled positions- sometimes into specialties that are not the ones that they originally wanted. Some people will stay in that new specialty, or work there for a yr and try the residency match process again next yr.
I am going to be specializing in the incredibly challenging, versatile and rewarding field of obstetrics and gynecology. I will be a surgeon, a women's health advocate, a helper in the many stages of a woman's life; be it the birth of their child, or their battle with ovarian or other such cancers. I will see women in all stages of their lives. Early womanhood to postmenopause. I am so excited and honored to be in this position.
My top three choices are a program in Cincinnati, Phoenix and Chicago. It is an awesome thought to think that in an email, I will find out where in the US I will be spending at least the next 4yrs of my life.
My future is out of my hands at this point, and I cannot wait to get it back. So, stay tuned. Next week is going to be an interesting one to say the least. While I have received good feedback from program directors and residents, the way that this process works, you really don't actually know where you stand until Match Day. This is not a normal hiring process.
The process to becoming a practicing physician in this country is a long and tumultuous one. With all the emotional lability to make anyone go crazy if they did not have a proper support system around them.
I thank God for bringing me this far, for infusing me with strength and determination, for giving me all of the tools that I needed to endure and excel on this journey and for surrounding me with steadfast family and friends, including a wonderful husband, who has gone on this journey with me. Match day is every much about his future as it is mine.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
On March 11th, 1991, my youngest sister, Rayisa was born. I was about ten years old, and once my mom brought her home, I stole her for myself. She was my baby. Rayisa may not be able to remember this, but she used to love it when I would put her to sleep. There was a particular way she liked to be held and sometimes when u tried to move her to put her in her crib, she would cry just a little, so I would end up sitting in the dark, in her room, holding her for hrs just watching her sleep lol.
I remember helping to teach her her alphabet and her numbers before she started preschool.
I remember when I was getting ready to leave for college, she would make me all these little gifts, telling me to keep it so that I would not forget her.
I remember her asking me in that voice that only the baby of the family possesses, asking me "when am I coming home?"
And now, she is about to go to college. I am very proud of her.
My prayer for you, Rayisa, is that you keep your sweet spirit, your head on your shoulders, your wits about you, and God close.
Happy birthday Ray Ray, aka Twiggy ;)
The reporter was presenting these happenings as a phenomenon. As though all of a sudden for the first time in the history of man, good people who have lost their resources are turning to crime. Upon hearing this, I turned to my husband baffled.
Wait a minute, wait a minute. So, if these are good people, then are we saying that most of those people in jail for robbing banks, etc are bad people? What makes these three so different from the rest of the criminal population??
While there are a percentage of criminals who participate in deviant behavior due to ant-social personality disorders, the lack of proper guidance growing up, the need for God in their lives, or just for the hell of it, I would argue that there are more people who find themselves on some point along the continuum of: 1.insufficient education or socioeconomic standing→2.limited earning power→ 3.desperation→4.criminal behavior being more profitable. Some of us may not start out at a low socioeconomic standing. We might be fine until things like this recession takes place and we find ourselves at the second pt.The fact is that we are the Human Animal, not all together immune from resorting to brute and downright monstrous behavior once we are pushed into a corner.
I am not advocating robbing banks or doing anything illegal when money gets tight. I am just saying that we need to be careful how we label people good or bad. We must enforce the laws of the land, but we must also continue to strive for the eradication of the slums and the ghettos, which serve as literally a petri dish, harboring the perfect environment in which generations of bank robbers are developed. Neither the guy on the poor side of town, or the soccer mom who lost her nest egg, are justified in breaking the law. To excuse one, we must excuse the other.
It should not take middle class America to lose a home or the means to pay for their Lexus SUV before we are able to look at ourselves and realize that none of us are better than those people in Jail, or any less capable of doing what some of them have done to get there.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
So, since this is the first real entry, I guess that I will get everyone up to speed. As of right now, Randy and I are at a new and exciting point in our lives, on many levels.
~April 10th will be my last day of medical school and on June 5th, family and friends will be gathering in NY for my graduation ceremony.
~On March 19th, we will discover where we will be going for my Ob/Gyn residency program. At the top of my list are programs in Cincinnati, Phoenix and Chicago.
~Randy and I have decided to start a family; something that we have always wanted to do as a couple and definitely something that we have both individually wanted in our lives for as long as we can remember.
My Uncle George said to me the other day, that I am now leaving a storm that I have been in for many years, and soon I will be entering another one (residency). He advised me, that in the calm between storms that I am in right now, to take the time to enjoy my life and to fortify myself with that which I need to survive the next storm. Reading books for fun (for a change), getting back into Salsa dancing etc are all things that I can and should do right now, but he stressed that I should also use this time to get even closer to God, and seek his face, seek his guidance and get reaquainted with the bible. So that when a trial arises and I am too bombarded with work, family etc, I can remember the verses that I read during this time, and find comfort in that. I can essentially live off of the stores that I'd created during the calm.
Of course he also wants me to continue reading God's word during residency and beyond, because that is what will always sustain me, but I do understand what he is saying about how to use the relative free time that I do have right now.
Thanks Uncle George, for the very good and timely advice.