The Mrs. The Mommy. The M.D.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

RE-Inspired.


Last week I blogged for the first time in almost 6 months. It was definitely not an intentional hiatus, but the story behind it is long and too tiring to tell right now ;-) Summary: I have felt drained and "uninspired" to say the least.

I am on vacation (again) this week :insert praise dance: and the monumental tasks before me until January 16th are primarily work related - studying for Step 3 (no judgement please and thank you), Scheduling Chief loose ends, and working on my research. Then there is being a wife and a mom...

You know, the usual chaos...


I know it is how I’m wired, but in these rare moments I have a dramatic change in my life’s pace for the better, I don’t allow myself to rest until I know that I’ve done everything I should do.

But this time I am also going to prioritize my self preservation. I am going to "re-calibrate" as I continue moving towards the destination I set off on 10 years ago. I'm going back to Jasmine of 2010 and that "I don't have a choice, or a plan B, so I'm going to study for the MCAT with this baby on my book" hustle... 


We made it. 

Sunday night before bed, I was rapt in the buzz and historic significance of this year's Golden Globes. I know, I know, Step 3 procrastination at its finest, but still... 

If you haven’t already read about Oprah Winfrey’s speech, it was PHENOMENAL. If you have not watched it yet, watch it NOW: 




The next day The Internets were riding the President Oprah/Black Girl Magic wave and I was tagged in the following Instagram post from a fellow MD:

My parents immigrated here from Jamaica and with no doctors in my family, becoming a physician was a dream. Earning my MD has been a top accomplishment. Medical school was challenging and societal-perceptions in a male dominated world gave (and continue to give) a special nuance to my chosen profession (for me at least). 👩🏽‍⚕️. I wasn't prepared to hear: -"You're not smart enough" -"You don't look like a doctor" -"Where is the doctor?” -An expectation that I was not capable of performing above subpar -Frequently encountering patients who prefer to have a non-minority doctor. 👩🏽‍⚕️. I was not prepared for the fact that even with my white coat and badge (big old MD on it) people still assume I am not the physician. 👩🏽‍⚕️. For the up and coming women who face these challenges along with fear and doubt, I want you to know that if I can do it, you can too. You CAN defy the odds. Stand firm, keep your head high, believe in yourself and what you want. 👩🏽‍⚕️. I share this because while hanging out with @drlaurenpowell , we decided to tell our stories and encourage our fellow colleagues to share theirs about what it means to be a minority female in healthcare. So please post your story with a unique pic, using the tag #youngladywatching and share the love ❤️ by tagging someone else whos story needs to be heard! . #shareyourtruth #itcanhappen
A post shared by Dr.Kristamarie Collman MD (@docinmypark) on

It was the perfectly timed Instagram campaign, and I want to share my subsequent post with here too: 
At age 7, I decided I was going to be a doctor...

As the daughter of a surgeon, I saw it was hard work but I also saw the impact... As I got older, I realized what it would mean to also be a Black doctor... (Did you know only 4% of all doctors are Black?)  
I will never forget the story of my dad performing emergency surgery on a patient with swastikas tattooed all over their body. I then saw medicine as an unexpected olive branch. It was a way to break stereotypes AND walls, heal people physically AND mentally, and how I could add my piece to changing the world.  
This is an extreme example, but the implicit racism of day to day life can be overlooked. There are no words to describe the look a patient gives you when they are assessing your skin color and subsequently, your competency. It is a look I know too well. 
It makes you tired... 

But then there are also all the beaming faces when I introduce myself as "the doctor". The hugs from patients and their families when it's just us in the room. When they won't let me leave before saying "how proud" they are.  
It makes you push harder... 
I think about the women whose images I clung to when I felt like my plan of starting med school with a baby was impossible. 
It's one of the reasons why I started the blog.  


 
Because if you see it, you feel empowered to do it... 
White Coat Ceremony 2010

Match Day 2014


Hooded.
 For #theyoungladywatching...hang in there.  
This is so much bigger than you...  
Your story will be someone's motivation to keep going... 
Just. Keep. Going. 
God knew what I needed. Nothing gets you out of that "weary in well-doing" mindset than a little bit of reflection on how far you have come and a reminder of who is watching you... 



May we never allow ourselves to lose sight of this. And if we forget, here's to quickly getting re-inspired. 

xoxo

Friday, January 5, 2018

A Day in the Life: OB

Here is a look at what my schedule was like as the OB Chief this past fall:


The OB team consists of a PGY4, a PGY3 (the point person for the Antepartum patients during the day), and two interns (The "Board" intern labors all the patients, and the "Procedures" intern does all the surgical cases). It is a 7-8 week block for the Chief and 3-4 weeks for everyone else.

Our Antepartum service averages between 12-18 patients at any given time during the week, and our High Risk postpartum list can be a beast at times as well.


Night Before: Look at L&D procedures scheduled for the next day, resident staffing, and make sure that the appropriate resident is covering each case for maximal learning

0415: Alarm goes off... I may or may not get up (some things never change)

0430-0445: Out of bed, find clothing by flashlight in an effort to not wake the hubby. Get dressed

0500: Out the door, take caffeine pill x1

0535: Park

0545: Arrive on L&D, change into scrubs, and get sign out from the overnight resident (PGY4) on our antepartum patients

0550-0615: Round on my patients, update plans, write notes

0630: Head to the Antepartum conference room for table rounds. This includes the Antepartum attending, MFM fellow (1), residents, and medical students. We quickly go through all of the high risk postpartum patients and antepartum patients.

**Med studs, again, THIS is when knowing how to execute succinct, clear, and relevant presentations comes in handy. You will shine as a student and you will shine as a resident ;-)** 

0700-0710: Teaching

0710: Board rounds - the Nights team (PGY4 + PGY1) gives sign out on the patients who are laboring or still on Labor & Delivery for increased monitoring/post-operative/delivery needs

0730: The procedure intern runs through the cases scheduled for the day. The first cesarean section rolls back to the OR...

0745: If I am not needed in the OR, I get breakfast and coffee now because it makes me happier ;-)

0800: Meet the laboring patients with the "Board" intern, day time L&D attending, nurses, and medical students

0800-1700:
- Serve as the point person for new admissions from clinics, transfers, complicated triage patients, add-on cases, and any obstetrical emergencies that arise
- Help supervise the intern with their vaginal deliveries and repairs
- Cover the antepartum patients when the PGY3 is in clinic
- Staff obstetrical consults from the Family Medicine or Midwifery services with the Attending
- Keep morale high and team members fed ;-) I also added the job of DJ to this role with my bluetooth speaker

DJ-ing and holding all devices for team lunch procurement #Chiefing 

**On Wednesdays, we have our didactics, Grand Rounds, or M&M, so we leave the floor around 1300, and get back around 1700**


**On Fridays, I had an OB-only continuity clinic in the mornings from 0800-1200. The rest of the team have their own clinic days**

1700-1730: Help tuck-in any day time work on L&D, the Antepartum, or High Risk services

1730: Sign-out to the Nights team

1830-1900: Head home!

**Daycare/Before-School Care drop-offs are long after I leave for work so I am not around for the morning hustle on this block. I also usually can't get out in time for pick up - 6PM for the big kid and 6:30PM for daycare**

1900/1930: Home! Nate and the kids usually arrive 30min-1hr before I do.
- Some times we eat dinner together, but most of the time I miss it :-(
- If I am feeling ambitious (rare) I may try and fit in a 30min work out session as soon as I get home

2000: Wrangle kids for baths and bed

2030: Bedtime! Mainly for the kids, but I'm ready for bed by then too. If I have to prep for M&M or clinic, then I usually do this before bed.

Weekends: The PGY3 and PGY4 alternate on who will be responsible for rounding each weekend. This usually it takes 2-4 hours depending on the number of patients and what all has to be done - bedside procedures, consults, discharges...

Every other weekend we are on call during a Sunday-day shift (0800-1930).

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A Day in the Life: GYN ONC

I've gotten quite a few questions on my hours as a resident. It varies by rotation... So, I thought it would make a great series of "Day in the Life" post!


The GYN ONC team consists of a PGY4, PGY3, and an intern (PGY1). It is a 7-8 week block for everyone.

Our census averages between 10-20 patients at any given time during the week. The upper level residents are mainly in the ORs all week - we are fortunate to have a ton of exposure to open and laparoscopic/robotic surgery at our hospital. We don't have any clinic during ONC, but the intern has a half-day of continuity clinic and a half-day of dysplasia clinic.

The intern is the Olivia Pope of the service, making sure the day-to-day floor work, critical post-operative care, and social work business of our patients gets "handled". Ya'll, not all heroes wear capes...



Here is a look at what my schedule was like as the GYN Oncology Chief this past summer/fall:

0415: Alarm goes off... I may or may not get up :Kayne Shrug:

0430-0445: Out of bed, find clothing by flashlight in an effort to not wake the hubby. Get dressed

0500: Out the door, take caffeine pill x1 (no time for coffee since I hit snooze 4 times EVERY. DAY.)

0535: Park

0545: Arrive on the floor, change into scrubs, and get sign out from the overnight resident (PGY2) on our patients

0550-0615: Round on my patients, update plans, write notes

On my way back to the floor
0615: Head to the Pre-operative area to meet our first OR case of the day, confirm consents are signed, mark their tummies if there is laterality, and answer any remaining questions

**The PGY3 and PGY4 have their own OR assignments made by the PGY4 at the beginning of each week**

0630: Run up to (really, I'm always running) normal rounds with the Attending, Fellows (2), residents, and medical students

**Med studs, THIS is when knowing how to execute succinct, clear, and relevant presentations comes in handy. You will shine as a student and you will shine as a resident ;-)** 

0730: Time for ORs!

1200-1500: Get lunch at some point in between cases during this chunk of time

**On Wednesdays, we have our didactics, Grand Rounds, or M&M, so we leave the ORs around 1300, and get back to the floors around 1700**

1700-1800: Finish up in the OR and head back to the floor to help tuck-in any day time work

1800: Sign-out to the Nights resident

1830-1900: Head home!

1830-1900: Head home!

**Daycare/Before-School Care drop-offs are long after I leave for work so I am not around for the morning hustle on this block. I also usually can't get out in time for pick up - 6PM for the big kid and 6:30PM for daycare**

1900/1930: Home! Nate and the kids usually arrive 30min-1hr before I do.
- Some times we eat dinner together, but most of the time I miss it :-(
- If I am feeling ambitious (rare) I may try and fit in a 30min work out session as soon as I get home

2000: Wrangle kids for baths and bed

2030: Bedtime! Mainly for the kids, but I'm ready for bed by then too. If I have to prep for M&M or clinic, then I usually do this before bed.

Weekends: The PGY3 and PGY4 alternate on who will be responsible for rounding each weekend. This usually it takes 2-4 hours depending on the number of patients and what all has to be done - bedside procedures, consults, discharges...

Every other weekend we are on call during a Sunday-day shift (0800-1930).



Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Maevn Scrubs: Review

When I was a second year, our Chairman made a program-wide rule that we could not wear our official hospital scrubs outside of the hospital. It makes total sense, because no one needs to take their hospital germs to their car, home, or the grocery store.

But it also posed a dilemma. I now had to actually wear semi-presentable things to work. On clinic days this is no problem. I wake up at normal people times and can easily put together a business casual look, but when I am on Onc or Antepartum, I am usually waking up at 4:30 - which is just enough time for critical hygiene and departure. A cute outfit I'm going to change into as soon as I get to work? Ain't nobody got time for that...

Insert Maevn Scrubs... Last year, they introduced their EON collection which includes soft, breathable fabrics in tons of colors. This winter they have even more colors to choose from. I was so excited when they asked me to try them!

Their pants are perfect for pairing with a comfy t-shirt or even as a set with tons of shirt styles to choose from. Ya'll, residency has helped me perfect fashion minimalism - scrubs, sneakers, fleece, and a flawlessly sculpted brow #PRIORITIES. 

Pictured here are:

SPORTY MESH PANEL PANT 
- BLACK, MEDIUM 

SPORTY MESH PANEL TOP - BLACK, MEDIUM  

The Sporty Mesh set is my favorite. It looks great tucked in or out, and the mesh detail is super cute. 







FULL ELASTIC ZIPPER POCKET CARGO PANTS - BLACK, MEDIUM 
V-NECK POCKET TOP - BLACK, MEDIUM 

The V-Neck pocket top and Cargo bottoms are clutch for keeping pens, phones, and whatever you need close by. The pants are also more flared which is a unique detail. 







If you are looking for a pair of scrubs that are soft, light-weight, and comfortable for long days, then you have to head over to Maevn scrubs. 

**I received the scrubs in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own**

Sunday, December 31, 2017

We (I) Needed a Little Christmas...

This year, our home hosted the last interview dinner again. We LOVE hosting anything, and it gave me huge motivation to get our Christmas decorations up earlier (i.e. a whopping three weeks before Christmas). It was no small feat as this was our biggest tree yet! Shout out to my mom the OG of "I decorate my tree with a ladder". 

After filling our home with more poinsettias and pine than should be allowed, rearranging the ornaments that the kids placed on the lower branches, and deflecting snow-globe sabotage (I'm looking at you, Natey)...my heart was overflowing with holiday joy. 







All of the decorations even transformed Isabelle into a Nutcracker ballerina...

I think I know what her new activity will be in 2018 ;-) 
Later that night, we headed to the home of two of my co-residents for our resident holiday party. This was actually the first one I made it to because we either didn't have a babysitter or were out of town. It was a lot of fun!




The found the desserts!


Also, 6 of the 7 members of my class were there, which NEVER happens since one of us is always on call.

Class of 2018, minus one (home sick with her little)

Fast forward to Christmas Eve....

I mentioned in my last post, on the 23rd my parents AND Grammy made the drive down (!!!).  This was a big deal because this was her first Christmas since my Grandaddy died. We knew she would be sad, but didn't want her to be alone. She can be stubborn, but she agreed this time. My little bro also flew in from Chicago - the other two had a wedding and had to work back at home so they could not make it. Missed you guys!

I was feeling under the weather and kind of like a Scrooge all week because I had been working a ton. When I got home on Christmas Eve, it was around 9PM. The cookies were already made and Nate had gotten all of the gifts ready the day prior without me - also because I was working.

I stayed up to set out the presents. I think this may be our Natey's last Christmas believing in Santa. He wrote him a letter saying he still believed even though a lot of his friends didn't. Be still my heart....

Uncle Carey wrote a letter back to Natey - because he would recognize his parents' handwriting, obviously...











No one got dressed until dinner, and then I went right to bed. I didn't take as many pictures as I would have liked, but man, nothing beats having family around for the holidays. My heart was so full.

Tuesday, it was back to the Onc service for me. It was a bummer to work Christmas week, but being at work also put things into major perspective. Some of our sweet patients could not go home for Christmas, despite this, they were grateful to be alive, and some knew they were spending their last Christmas here on Earth.

This year was rough, but it's important that I don't let being tired push me away from seeing opportunity for gratitude in all things, choosing compassion, remembering my purpose, and seeing the good in all people.

It may be January tomorrow, but I'm going to keep the Christmas Spirit going a little while longer...

 

Friday, December 29, 2017

Johnson 2017 Recap: Updates & Pictures!

I think the person most in shock of the fact that it is almost 2018 is me. Remember that time I had that really cute thing called a blog? I think in my last post I said I wouldn't stay away too long...lies. Wondering what have I been doing all this time? Well friends, besides working, not much...

I am now 6 months into my final year of residency. In October, by the grace of God, I matched into Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship at my number one program (UNC!!!). That is a testimony in itself. I have been dreaming about this since med school and I cannot believe I am almost there! The interview process was expensive and stressful, but it all paid off. Nate is happy, the kids are happy, and we are so excited to enter this next, and FINAL chapter of my medical training. But before I get to that, I have to graduate. I feel like I have handled the stress of being a resident quite well, but in full disclosure, this year has tested me on all levels...

First of all, I am an administrative chief resident. My role is Scheduling Chief, and sure, it sounds benign... Just scheduling things... Welp, imagine being the point person responsible for the vacations, calls, interviews, board exams, administrative meetings, maternity leaves, and any other thing that could arise FOR 28 PEOPLEI know more about where my co-residents are on any given day than my own children. 

Then, because I am a scheduling chief, when one of my classmates needed to take an emergency leave, the whole schedule had to be re-arranged. So I handled it. And as a result, front-loaded my whole year. I interviewed for fellowship, and for four months straight I was overloaded with the most administrative rotations, rotations that required 80-hour work weeks, weekend rounding, bi-weekly calls, late night M&M prep, and the least amount of sleep I had in a while. 

This fall, I missed all my kids' daytime presentations, friends' birthday parties, concerts, and it hurt. When I picked my kiddos up for the first time this school year IN LATE NOVEMBER, teachers and after school program staff said things like, "You must be Nathan/Isabelle's mom! We only ever see Dad." :crickets: and I followed it up with things like, "Yea I have been working late for 6 months..." :sigh:

I know what I signed up for. I know there are seasons of being more or less present. I know that this year was uncharacteristically more stressful. But in my four years as a resident, this has been an extreme. I was mentally, emotionally, and physically drained. I stayed on the Struggle Bus. But we made it. 

Ya'll the devil tried it. 

But we made it. 

I'd like to think there was a lesson in this. A silver lining. I think, the biggest lesson I learned is that you cannot keep falling on the sword to try and keep everyone comfortable. You have to protect yourself too. It is not sustainable. It is NOT sustainable. 

I am looking forward to a MUCH easier second half of the year. I am looking forward to making tons of memories in 2018. I am on my first vacation since August, and I am going to soak up every. sweet. second. 

Ok, enough about me. Here is a recap of the rest of the Johnson happenings since August: 

Nate...

Continues to work his tail off at work and at home. He would never tell you, but he is getting more and more leadership responsibility at work because he is great at what he does. He also does all that while keeping our home running - no matter my level of engagement - as stated previously, it's been pretty low level engagement ;-) God bless him. 

Nate says that his favorite memory of 2017 was "Racing"

For Father's Day, the kids and I gifted him a ride in a stock car! Which was pretty awesome, I have to give myself props for this one, because I was able to get that scheduled while I was on Onc...

Swoon...


Nate II (8 years old)...

Natey has taken on 3rd grade by storm. He continues to thrive on trying new things, reads without being told, write and illustrate his own stories, and is growing so much!! He is such a caring soul and even at eight, loves family time.

If you follow me on The Gram, you have probably noticed he has been sporting a fro this year. All his own idea, and it is so cool to see how he is using his new style as a way to express himself. Love this fearless kid!

Nate says that his favorite memory of 2017 was "having all of our family over for Christmas".

He's almost as tall as me!




Isabelle (4 years old)...

This year Izza has ventured out of the comfort of her brother's shadow to blaze her own trails. She loves to play superheroes with her big bro, but has also learned to write her name, started Spanish classes, enjoys mani-pedi sessions (thanks to her father), and is a budding artist - frequently drawing our family portraits on various mediums :-D 

Belle says her favorite 2017 memory was, "getting her new dolls".... -_-



Natey didn't want to go Trick-or-Treating, that didn't stop Izza!

Our Family by Isabelle "Nate with a haircut"


I hope you are all having an amazing holiday season. Talk to you soon!

Happy New Year!




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