The Mrs. The Mommy. The M.D.: 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Vacation Update (& Our Special Gift)

So far my vacation has been lovely.

We had our first ever Christmas Eve/Christmas Morning in our own home and I am so happy that we did. Although it is great to go out of town ahead of time so that we can be with everyone, it was nice to work on starting our own family's traditions - baking cookies, reading the Christmas story before bed, staying up and wrapping gifts in our own home. It was great!

Nate asked for things all year (and we delivered) so I was expecting an over-the-top reaction to all the awesome things this kid got for Christmas. Instead we got the most lackluster gift unwrapping ever. I will credit it to my son's analytical and pragmatic personality traits thanks to his engineer-father, but goodness... He carefully made sure all the paper was off each gift, interjected an inside voice "wow" or "sweet", and the would pause for a few seconds as if he was reading the specs on each box. What was the most hilarious is that he asked for 50 million different Batman toys, and he got quite a few, as he opened the third Batman-themed toy, this man goes, "Man...Batman has a lot of stuff though....Batman has a lot of stuff..." Really little Nate?


My little Candycane

We spent the previous weekend at my parents' house and Natey had his first Christmas there. Then, after spending the morning at home, we hit the road and headed to Michigan for a couple days to see the rest of the hubby and I's family. We are going to spend the last days of my vacation (the hubby and the kid get more days than me - not fair) at home. I am probably the happiest about this because all that traveling was exhausting.

In addition to this being my favorite holidays, this was also a special time because we had a big announcement for everyone:
Our BIG News!!








We are so excited!! And I think Natey is going to be an awesome big brother.

I go back to rotation life on the 2nd, so I plan to spend the rest of my days off lounging around... It is going to be splendid.

This pregnancy has already been completely different from my first - "didn't even know I was pregnant for 5 weeks" experience with Natey. Baby J has made his/her presence known with a baseline feeling of all-day nausea. And I'm pretty sure this baby doesn't want me to have a blog because every time I get ready to write, either a big wave of nausea or sleepiness takes over :yawn: No worries, because vacations are perfect for napping... all. day. long.

Hope you all are having a great holiday season!
xoxo

Baby J @ 10 weeks
 Hope this kid likes the camera because this is the first of many pictures...
After my appointment today, I told Natey to hold the picture of his brother or sister so I could snap a pic and he goes, "I don't want to, she can take a picture by herself!" I thought this was hilarious....But really he is just as excited as we are ;-)
Siblings!!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

From Our Family to Yours...

Wishing you and your family a blessed holiday season and a prosperous New Year!


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Prayers for Newtown and Any Parent Who Has Lost a Child.

I have had no words since finding out what happened on Friday. Like most parents, I just keep thinking about my own beautiful baby and the unspeakable grief of the Newtown families. As a parent you do the best you can to give your kids the best life and opportunities you know how. It is so disheartening to think that even when you do everything in your power, someone can come and suddenly take all that away from you. It's not fair and it is so difficult for me to wrap my mind around this. My heart is so broken for every family touched by this tragedy.

Tonight I read this well written piece by the mother of a child with mental illness, and it immediately made me think about the children I interacted with during my inpatient psychiatry rotation. On one hand they were just kids, but without a moment's notice they could become both violent and extremely dangerous. I have no intention of making this a post about mental illness, but I know first hand that it is real. And it is terrifying because these children who are sick really have no options until they end up doing something worthy of going to jail - which houses the greatest portion of those mentally ill in this country.

No parent should have to bury their child. Be it from gang violence, sickness, or a horrendous, unimaginable massacre like what occurred on Friday. No parent should have to deal with this. Ever.

As the days following this tragic event continue to pass, I hope and pray that we start having some serious conversations about our country and all of the things that are so broken. Enough is enough. Something has got to change.
"When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous have a refuge." Proverbs 14:32
To all those gone from this earth far too soon, rest in heavenly peace.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

:::Taps Mic::: Is Anyone Still Here?

 My poor poor blog...

It's gotten harder and harder to sit down and write since starting Internal Medicine. I am at the hospital from 6:30AM-4PM 6 days a week with call until anywhere between 6 and 9PM on every fourth day. As soon as I get out the hospital, all I have time for is picking Natey up, dinner, making lunches for the next day, a shower, and then bed so I'm not tired the next day. I'm on Medicine for another month after this one and then I start my surgery block.

Today is my one day off this week, and I am up at 6:30AM with nowhere to go, so I guess it is time to blog :-) Instead of this being a post of me complaining venting about what is going on, I decided to take just give a quick summary of life right now... Just a warning, it probably will still come off as complaining lol...

I. AM. EXHAUSTED. Like I said, I am on Medicine right now. I am at the VA and our patient population is primarily older (60+ years old) men. Everyone is so nice at the VA, but I am realizing that I really miss inpatient medicine in pediatrics and I miss having women as patients... I guess the good thing is my next Medicine month is at the county hospital so I will probably have more variety patient-wise (no kids but probably a wider age spectrum and more women too). I am also really looking forward to my OB rotation in April. I have a good feeling about it :-)

At home I am struggling. This is the dark side about being a mom in medical school. I am feeling like school has taken over everything and I don't get to spend a fraction of the time I would want at home with my kid. I leave when he is sleeping in the morning and I get home two hours before he is in bed (if I am not on call). I am feeling really inadequate in the mommy AND wife department which is leaving me with a funky attitude when I step into the hospital to take care of other people when I need to be taking care of home... :sigh:

I feel really disconnected spiritually too. I haven't been to church in months and I am feeling super guilty about it. I know church isn't the only way to get close to God, but I am having a really hard time reading my Bible and devotionals consistently even when they are emailed to me...

I constantly feel like I am 10 steps behind where I need to be. I make lists for days to keep my time at home/the grocery store/etc focused. On a high note, I managed to get same day last minute appointments for my hair and brows this week and we are taking some Christmas card pictures today - although they may be Holiday Season cards depending on how soon I can get them in the mail. You don't appreciate normal business hours until you aren't able to get anything done during them...but "this, too shall pass." Right?

In other news, I am really excited about Christmas! I get 10 days off starting on the 21st (AFTER call -___-)  and I cannot wait to catch up around the house and visit with family and friends!

Hope you all are well! If you have any tips for relieving stress (preferably things that can be done in the car) or prayers for stress please send them my way! 


Monday, November 26, 2012

Reflecting on My Clerkship Experience: Neurology



From the AAMC Careers in Medicine Clinical Evaluation 

1. Name and Location of Clinical Rotation: 

  • Inpatient Pediatric Neurology at Riley Children's Hospital - 2 weeks 
  • Outpatient Adult & Pediatric Neurology at Wishard Hospital Sub-specialty Clinic, Riley, and the VA - 2 weeks
2. What did I like most about this specialty? 

Neurology has always been of interest to me. I was really excited to learn about seizure disorders and many of the neurological conditions that affect children. In addition, on the adult side of things, it was so interesting to learn first hand about movement disorders, memory disorders, and many other conditions I had only read about previously. 

3. What did I like least about this specialty?

As with my previous experiences, I did not like the not-so-happy side of the specialty. A lot of neurologic conditions do not have such a great prognosis and it was hard to see patients grapple with that. 

4. Did this clinical rotation give me a good sense of what practice in this specialty would be like? 

Yes, I am so happy I got to experience adult, pediatric, inpatient, and outpatient neurology. I was able to gauge where I felt I would find my best fit within the specialty.

5. Did my interests, values, skills and/or personality "fit" with this specialty? If yes, in what way did they "fit"? If no, why might they not be compatible? 

Yes, I do think I would fit well in the neurology community. In particular, I think that I have a gentle demeanor to help parents through the difficult time of having their child in the hospital. Also, I am good at talking with patients about more than just their disease - neurologic conditions crossover into many different facets of a person's life - such as family dynamics, work, and mental health. 

6. What are the possible practice settings for specialists in this field? Which of these settings interest me and do I know enough about them? 

  • Hospital
  • Clinic
  • Academic 
7. What information do I still need to find out about this specialty? 

I would like to know more about hours worked by the attending physicians. My biggest concern is compatibility of neurology with family life and being a wife and mother (my first and most important job...).

8. Has my perception of this specialty changed based on my clinical rotation experience? 

No, I went into the specialty open-minded and I really enjoyed my experience.

9. Did my clinical rotation experience influence the likelihood of choosing a career in this specialty? If yes, how did it influence me? 

Yes, neurology is definitely on my list of possibilities!

10. Right now, on a scale of 1-10, how interested am I in this specialty as a career option? 7

11. Other comments or reflections about this rotation or specialty: 

Overall I thought that this rotation was a great learning experience! All of the residents and faculty were very helpful and willing to teach. I could tell that everyone really loved what they did. Also, IUSM has some of the most reputable neurology faculty which makes post-graduate training here some of the greatest in the country. Super impressive!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Music Monday


Hope you all had a great weekend and here's to an awesome week!!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Reflecting on My Clerkship Experience: Psychiatry


From the AAMC Careers in Medicine Clinical Evaluation 

1. Name and Location of Clinical Rotation: 

  • Inpatient Psychiatry at LaRue Carter Memorial Hospital 
  • Outpatient at the IU Health Neuroscience Center
2. What did I like most about this specialty? 
It was unlike anything I have experienced before. Very eye-opening on the reality of debilitating mental illness... It was fascinating to see how various illness effect the most basic characteristics of thought and personality.

I was assigned to the child unit, and I really enjoyed spending time with and getting to know the kids. A lot of child psychiatry involves talking during play and we had a lot of fun with them :-)  

3. What did I like least about this specialty?
One of my first tasks was to read up on the children I would be following during my clerkship. The resiliency of these kids was amazing but the trauma that they were exposed to was tragic and that was one of the hardest parts of beginning this service. But as you got to know them, you realized that somewhere amidst all the psychiatric issues was a kid just like any other kid you would meet. 

4. Did this clinical rotation give me a good sense of what practice in this specialty would be like? 
Yes, I think that I got a pretty good idea of what it would be like to practice both inpatient and outpatient psychiatry.

My inpatient preceptor is also the Chief Medical Officer of LaRue Carter so she (yes, SHE, girl power! woot!) was very busy and had great insight not only on the medicine side of things but also the business side of things too. She took a lot of time with us teaching and making what we read and saw relevant and applicable even if we were not considering a career in psychiatry.

When I spent time in the outpatient clinic, I got a pretty good exposure to managing "bread and butter psychiatry" i.e. depression, anxiety, ADHD, and even OCD. It was all VERY interesting.

5. Did my interests, values, skills and/or personality "fit" with this specialty? If yes, in what way did they "fit"? If no, why might they not be compatible? 
I think that my personality and demeanor would be a good fit for psychiatry because as you may have figured by now, talking it out is my specialty... Psychiatry is so interesting and you learn so much about how a person processes information - which can lead to positive or negative behaviors - just by having a conversation with them. 

6. What are the possible practice settings for specialists in this field? Which of these settings interest me and do I know enough about them? 
Inpatient
Outpatient
Academic
Administrative
Forensic

I know inpatient psychiatry would not be for me, but outpatient reminded me a lot like my psychiatry exposure during family medicine and I enjoyed that part.

7. What information do I still need to find out about this specialty? 
I think I have a pretty good background.

8. Has my perception of this specialty changed based on my clinical rotation experience? 
Yes, definitely!

9. Did my clinical rotation experience influence the likelihood of choosing a career in this specialty? If yes, how did it influence me? 
I do not think it made me want to choose a career in psychiatry, but it was a GREAT experience.

10. Right now, on a scale of 1-10, how interested am I in this specialty as a career option? 4

11. Other comments or reflections about this rotation or specialty: 

  • Depression is one of the most prevalent AND under-diagnosed illness. If you or anyone you know if suffering from symptoms of depression, please encourage them to seek help. 
  • One in four adults suffer a mental health condition in a given year. One in 17 live with a serious mental illness like schizophrenia, major depression, or bipolar disorder
  • About 1 in 10 children live with a serious mental or emotional disorder. 
  • The largest current provider of mental health services are the nation's prisons. 21% of local jail and 24% of state prisoners have a history of mental illness. 
  • Many people with schizophrenia comprise a large portion of the homeless population. This is referred to as "downward drift" - the hypothesis that those with mental illness are unable to maintain financial stability in society via gainful employment, education, etc. 
  • In addition to the HUGE stigma associated with mental illness, psychiatrists are declining in numbers comparable to the amount of people that need their help. 
Despite the disheartening facts, there are awesome organizations like NAMI who advocate for those touched by mental illness with the hopes of making resources available to all those who need them. 


*Information taken from the NAMI fact sheet. 

Music Monday

Monday, October 15, 2012

Things Little Nate Says

Me: Nate, what should we do today?
Nate: I think we should go to Target. And buy some Power Rangers and a Mega Zord.

After they handed us an empty bag to fill for the food drive at church:
Nate: What's that?
Me: Bags so we can put food in it to give to people with no food.
Nate: We should get one for uncle Jordan!
(Jordan is my brother at college in Indy who we always take food to. I cried.)

Nate: :clears throat:
Me: Nate, why do you do that?
Nate: I have allergies.

After he did this:
Yes, that is his Dad's iPad
"I know how I can fix it Daddy. I'll get a 'soft' tool!"

"Oh yeah baby! That's what I'm talking about!"

During our morning car ride prayer: "Let's pray for lots of people!"

Nate: "Hey Mom, you want to come watch me eat chips?"
Me: :laughing:
Nate: "You do. Come on, Mom..."

Last time I wore my curls: "Mommy you look kind of like a pretty clown..."

"Mommy/Daddy, you are not my friend!"

"I love you so much mom. I'm never going to let you down."

At some of our friends' house, overheard while our kids were in the basement
Their daughter (who is 6) to Nate: "Do you like Mitt Romney or Barack Obama? Mitt is the one with the white hair and Barack is kind of bald."
Nate: I like Barack Obama!
Their daughter: Me too.
:children continue to play: < HA!!! I love kids.

Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman is one of Nate's favorite books, and we have read it to him A LOT... Can you tell? LOL

Hope we brought a smile to your Monday!!

Music Monday

I have really been MIA on the blog :tear: I will bring some new content soon! In the meantime, I can at least continue to share what I have been listening to. I didn't even know this song had a video - thank goodness for the radio or I would really be out of the loop... (P.S. Monica in this song >>>):

 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Music Monday

Make it a great day! No matter what you believe, we all have so much to be thankful for ;-) 


Friday, September 28, 2012

Reflecting on My Clerkship Experience: Outpatient Pediatrics

Another rotation down as of this morning! We are already one third of the way through third year!!

From the AAMC Careers in Medicine Clinical Evaluation 

1. Name and Location of Clinical Rotation: I got a chance to work around the city in a number of general pediatrics offices: 
  • Blackburn Health Complex - through the county hospital Wishard
  • Wishard Primary Care Center Pediatrics Scheduled Clinic
  • Wishard Primary Care Center Pediatrics Urgent Care Clinic
  • Wishard Primary Care Center Adolescent Clinic
  • Riley Children's Hospital Developmental Clinic
  • Riley Children's Hospital Emergency Room 
I really enjoyed working with all of the pediatricians I met the past two months. They were all so friendly, willing to teach, and encouraging. I feel like I learned so much!

2. What did I like most about this specialty? 
Working with children was a lot of fun. It was also great to feel like I really helped parents get through everyday illnesses/injuries confident that their child would pull through and be back to normal in no time.

I also really enjoyed working in the teenage clinic and helping young adults become more knowledgable of and accountable for their own health and well being. I also loved encouraging them as they shared their plans for the future/adulthood. 

3. What did I like least about this specialty? 
Just like with inpatient pediatrics, it was hard for me to see kids that were not doing so well - whether it was health or social issues - I hurt for the kids that I could not do more for. 

4. Did this clinical rotation give me a good sense of what practice in this specialty would be like?
I think I got a broad snapshot of what practicing outpatient community pediatrics would be like. 

5. Did my interests, values, skills and/or personality "fit" with this specialty? If yes, in what way did they "fit"? If no, why might they not be compatible? 
I think that I have great communication and interpersonal skills that would help tremendously as a pediatrician. I also think that being a parent really helped me to be effective in answering questions that other parents had about their child's health/development. I was also very comfortable relating to the teens and able to build rapport in order to talk about some of the more "sensitive" topics like sex, alcohol, and drug use. 

6. What are the possible practice settings for specialists in this field? Which of these settings interest me and do I know enough about them?
  • Community Clinic - Scheduled or Urgent Care
  • Emergency Room 
  • Educational Setting
7. What information do I still need to find out about this specialty? 
I am more interested in learning about the combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics program. 

8. Has my perception of this specialty changed based on my clinical rotation experience?
Not really, I always knew I would like working with children :-) 

9. Did my clinical rotation experience influence the likelihood of choosing a career in this specialty? If yes, how did it influence me?
Although I do not think I would like to solely practice pediatrics, I know that I would miss having children and teens as patients if I was to just focus on adult medicine. 

10. Right now, on a scale of 1-10, how interested am I in this specialty as a career option?
I would say a 5 because I know that I would like to have pediatrics as a part of my practice but just not completely. 

11. Other comments or reflections about this rotation or specialty: 
Here are some of my favorite memories from this specialty/baby doc milestones...
  • I gave someone a flu shot!
  • I did a few strep throat swabs!
  • I diagnosed things correctly!
  • I spoke (although very rusty) Spanish to some patients and they complimented my speech!
  • I got teenagers to open up to me about their personal lives, and parents to take me seriously as a even though they initially rolled their eyes when I introduced myself as "Jasmine the medical student". 
  • When my own child was feeling under the weather this month, I knew exactly what to do and impressed his pediatrician with my astute clinical skills ;-) 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Music Monday

Happy Monday everyone!!!

The little one is home sick today -- it happens like clockwork on the week of my exams...

Anyway, God is still good and this week will still be a good one! Hope you have an awesome day/week!


Monday, September 17, 2012

Music Monday

Hope you all had a refreshing weekend. Back to the grind, but don't forget to take time to reflect on the blessings of each day. Have a great week everyone!


Friday, September 14, 2012

$have the Date: Making One Medical Student Mother's Dreams Come True

Last year, I shared with you about my amazing classmate Annique who sadly lost her battle with gastric cancer. Well, her friends have been VERY busy in the year following her passing. Not only have they been a constant support for the two young sons and husband she left behind, but they have worked tirelessly to continue her academic dreams as well.

Most notably, they are working to establish the Annique Wilson Weekes Scholarship of Excellence to support other medical students who shared Annique dream of changing the world through medicine. Tonight, at the kick off fundraiser "$have the Date", some of Annique's classmates (and some faculty) will be shaving their heads or making the big chop and donating their hair to Locks of Love. This event will not only help to jump start fundraising efforts, but also will raise cancer awareness.

For those of you not in the Indianapolis area, who would still like to support, you can donate here: Annique's Scholarship of Excellence. Any amount is greatly appreciated. Thank you!!

Below is a video of some of my classmates showcasing their well-roundedness - students by day, actors by night ;-)

 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Is Fast Food Linked to Free Will?

Photo Credit 
Today, it was announced that McDonald's would be the first major food chain to post the calories of their foods right on the menu. You can read more about it here. As a potential primary care physician, I am VERY interested in preventative medicine - i.e. making health conscious decisions to ward off illnesses prior to needing medical intervention for chronic disease. I think this is a great step towards helping to increase nutrition awareness and keep consumers moving in a healthier direction. However, I do have a few concerns. One of the comments made regarding the change was:  customers could now decide for themselves how many calories they want to consume in one meal - i.e. switching higher calorie items for lower calorie replacements.

First of all, let me say that I am well aware of the health and nutritional disparities of our country, and they are sickening. I know that all grocery stores are not created equal and I know that for some families eating at McDonald's is one of the only options due to its availability (most urban/rural areas won't have a Panera, Chipotle, Au Bon Pain, or Pinkberry, but they will have a McDonald's).  And also, due to its affordability (because, let's be honest, none of the previously mentioned restaurants have a price point similar to McDonald's). Even at McDonald's choosing some of the healthier items means spending more money and that is a HUGE problem. But when did we lose our free will when it comes to food? Why does McDonald's have to put calorie counts in our faces for us to choose milk over pop for our kids, or a grilled snack wrap over the fried for ourselves? 

Things that make you go hmmm... Photo Credit

And before you think I am on a soapbox as someone who doesn't eat McDonald's, let me stop you right there. I am a chronic McDonald's eater, sometimes it's all I have as an option during late night study binges. But just because McDonald's is my only option at times, that did not mean I couldn't change the way I ate it. For example, I traded Cinnamelts for Oatmeal (with the sugar) and occasionally, I will trade the oatmeal for just a Parfait. If it's lunch or dinner, I usually don't get anything bigger than a small fry. These steps were all painful but necessary, and trust me, I still have plenty of work to do in the "Eat Better" department...

I want to make healthier decisions so that I can be around for my kid (and future kids)...

I want to make healthier decisions so that my children will make good decisions about food and exercise...

I want to make healthier decisions because I want to look and feel my best!

It is possible that other restaurants will follow McDonald's lead, but even if they do not, it doesn't have to stop us from being informed consumers and health conscious eaters. As a future doc, I will continue to do my part by helping to counsel families on improving their eating habits and working towards owning their health despite the circumstances. We can all take small steps towards being healthy and it can make a bigger difference than you would think.

Here are some websites/apps that let you find calories on your own:

Calorie King
Eat This Not That
Lose It  (They have a cellphone app too)
My Fitness Pal (They have a  cell phone app too)

What do you think about McDonald's new change? How do you fight food temptation when you are choosing what to eat? 

50% a Doctor

Last week, our clerkship director told us we were one-fourth of the way through third year... Seriously, where is the time going?!

Last year, when I was officially done with first year, I wrote about what I had learned after one year of medical school. I've been wanting to do one for second year. It was so hard to sit and figure out what positive lessons I could pull from such a challenging year, but here goes:

What Year Two as a Medical Student Has Taught Me:

10. DO NOT believe the hype - negative or positive. The class ahead of us told us that second year was a breeze - or at least better than first year. To our unfortunate surprise, the administration changed some things and for us, it was waaaaay worse. Go in with the expectation that med school will always be hard and you won't be disappointed. Tough to hear, but you should take most "when I was a ___ year" stories as a grain of salt and form your own opinions on things.

9. Learn as much as you can when you can. Reviewing for Boards is stressful, so try and absorb everything you can first pass. Dr. Golijan says in his lectures that on Boards they will rarely ask the straight forward "WHAT" questions, it is more about "WHY" - this tip was golden. 

8. You can't know everything so set realistic goals for yourself. Going into my first year, I felt more than prepared to attack the curriculum before me. My Masters program did an excellent job of ensuring that. But second year was a whole different game.

7. Support one another. My classmates and I really bonded during the hardships of second year, venting to and encouraging one another in the midst of the chaos made us feel less alone so try not to isolate yourself when the pressure builds!

6. Use First Aid (and maybe even a Qbank) ALL YEAR. Period.

5. The feeling of burnout will most likely pop up right before each exam block. Use whatever ounce of strength you have left and keep going. It may not feel like it will ever be over, but it will be and you can make it!

4. Try and stay abreast of some current events. It just makes me feel like less of a hermit when I have a general idea about what is happening in the world.

3. Make eating right and working out a priority. Summer will be here before you know it and the pounds will creep up.

2. There will never be enough hours in the day. The work will always be there so take a moment to relax if you have to and "TREAT YO SELF" (per my favorite mommy blogger) for your diligence. 

1. Show gratitude. To your family, your friends, great teachers, etc. - you did not get here alone, so don't forget it. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Our Little Artist

Nate's teacher was excited to show me his most recent projects in art class. She said he was taking his time concentrating hard to stay in the lines, so the art teacher let him come back later that day and finish.

Pretty good for 3 years old, huh??

Drawing his self-portrait 
I got to watch him at work when he finished his picture from children's church on Sunday :-)

Such concentration...


He even outlines before he fills it in :-) 

So proud of him!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Reflecting on My Clerkship Experience: Inpatient Pediatrics


From the AAMC Careers in Medicine Clinical Evaluation 

1. Name and Location of Clinical Rotation: 
Pediatric Pulmonary at Riley Children's Hospital

2. What did I like most about this specialty? 
The residents and attendings were all very personable and helpful. After seeing so much asthma and cystic fibrosis I have learned a lot about how to make an appropriate assessment and plan on those patients - i.e. I feel more like a real doctor!

3. What did I like least about this specialty?
It really tugged at my heart to see kids alone in their rooms with no parents around. Also, learning of all the non-medical issues that prevented the kids from having a normal, stress-free childhood - like parental neglect, abuse, homelessness - but feeling so limited on what I could do for those families.

4. Did this clinical rotation give me a good sense of what practice in this specialty would be like? 
Not really, we spent the majority of our time with the residents and I am told that you cannot base things on what the residents are doing because their schedule is not indicative of an attending's schedule. Also, we didn't get to see the outpatient aspect of Pulmonology, which is a completely different experience than inpatient medicine.

5. Did my interests, values, skills and/or personality "fit" with this specialty? If yes, in what way did they "fit"? If no, why might they not be compatible? 
Going into this, I definitely had an interest in pulmonary medicine. I think that I have a good personality for Pediatrics, but I am not sure if "all lungs, all the time" is a good fit for me.

Also, to specialize in pulmonary, I would have to do an additional fellowship after a 3 year pediatrics residency. I don't think I want to be in training another 6 years after getting my MD.

Finally, being on call frequently is definitely something I would have a difficult time with when I am finally practicing medicine. My time with family is a HUGE priority to me and I want to find a specialty that would allow me to have that without feeling like a burden on my colleagues.

6. What are the possible practice settings for specialists in this field? Which of these settings interest me and do I know enough about them?
- Outpatient Clinic
- Inpatient Wards
- Academic Settings

Since I only got to see the inpatient side of things, I can't really say which setting I would like more. 

7. What information do I still need to find out about this specialty? 
I would like to learn more about the outpatient side of things and how much free time most physicians have who practice on the inpatient side of pediatrics. 

8. Has my perception of this specialty changed based on my clinical rotation experience? 
I still think pulmonary medicine is interesting, but I am not sure if pulmonary peds is for me.

9. Did my clinical rotation experience influence the likelihood of choosing a career in this specialty? If yes, how did it influence me? 
Yes, it confirmed that I do really enjoy working with children, but I do not want to only work with children - which was a huge reason why I liked Family Medicine so much. However, I do like the idea of specializing and being an expert in a particular thing, versus being familiar with a ton of different things like in Family Medicine.

10. Right now, on a scale of 1-10, how interested am I in this specialty as a career option? 3

11. Other comments or reflections about this rotation or specialty: 
I really enjoyed my time with the adolescent population of patients. I am really looking forward to my time in the Adolescent Clinic during my outpatient Pediatrics month!

Music Monday

This song is really old, but it resonates with me none-the-less.

Have a great week everyone!!

 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Things Little Nate Says...

Outside his new classroom 
When Nate turned 3 it seemed like he grew up overnight. No more pull-ups, no more long afternoon naps, no more stroller, no more toddler in our house. We have a big kid!

I'm going to have to re-name these posts, because :sniff sniff: my baby is growing up so fast...He started Pre-School a couple weeks ago and I cannot believe it! This has been the fastest 3 1/2 years of my life by far.

One thing hasn't changed though, he is still our comic relief. Here are some of the hilarious things he has been saying since he turned 3:

Interrupting his pediatrician (who knows I am in med school and was joking about me 'not being too busy'):
"My mommy is not busy. My daddy is busy."

One morning this past winter, I am embarrassed to admit that while chasing Nate on the driveway trying to get him in the car for school (it snowed the night before so he darted out to play in it), I fell FLAT on my back. Like - both feet in the air at the same time - flat on my back. Yea, OUCH. So after watching me wipe the snow off of my back and clothing. Nate could tell that he should just quietly get in the car, and he did. Then he turns to the stuffed puppy he brought in with him, puts his paws together and says: "Let's pray for Mommy."

After I got dressed for work:
Me: Nate does Mommy look pretty?
Nate: (very matter of factly) No, you don't have on a princess dress.

About to get out the car while it's raining:
"Mommy is Daddy going to carry you inside? If your hair gets wet will it be not nice?"
My 3 year old understands the rules of Black hair :fist pump: haha

Me: Nate before you can get any more new toys you have to pick some old toys to give to a little boy who doesn't have any toys.
Nate: (crying/yelling) No, that is NOT a good idea!

Story as translated from the Hubby when he picked him up from school: After he walked past staring at a girl that looked to be about 6, he turns to his dad and says, "She's cute Daddy!"

To my husband who was on the couch using his iPad (Nate calls it "White Game" because of the case it is in) and always wants to use it:
Nate: Daddy, go give mommy a kiss
:The hubby gets up to go kiss me in the other room:
Nate: Wait Daddy! :whispers: Leave white game.

Last Sunday the hubby was baptized and while we were watching Nate says: "I want to get baptized!"
Me: Ok, that is great! You can get baptized when you get older.
Natey: When I turn four, I am getting baptized Mommy, OK?

"I'm going to get ALLLL the sugar!" as he races his dad to kiss me first when they get home.


In the car on the way to school he was angry at me for not letting him stay home and play on the computer:
Nate: Mommy I don't want to love you! I don't like you!
Me: Ok. That's fine.
Nate: Can I see your phone?
Me: No, you don't love me or like me.
Nate: (while flashing a huge smile) Mommy, I do want to love you. I do want to like you.


Me: You cannot have another piece of bread until you finish your chicken.
Nate: If I get another piece will the police officer come and put me in jail?
Me: ....
(It's possible that could've worked in our favor but I didn't want to confuse him on the jurisdiction of the police force...)

When he gets told he cannot do something:
"You changed my words!! Never!" < o_O

And my personal favorite:
An unprovoked "Mommy, you're my bestfrannn. I love you so big much :kiss:" swoon


Painting in Art Class


Sunday, August 26, 2012

65 Roses...

Photo Credit
This. rotation. is. kicking. my. butt.

It's not that I can't handle the work load, because that has been fine. But the 10+ hour days & coming in on the weekends have been tough to get used to. I miss my son. I miss home. I miss getting at least 7 hours of sleep...

And I started this post with every intention to complain, but after putting the little one to bed and reveling in the sweetness of a three year old asleep in my arms, I was reminded that despite a rough couple of weeks, I have nothing to complain about. Absolutely nothing.

I have met some great kids and families during my rotation thus far. Being at such an educational and research-based center, many families from all over the country are referred to Riley Children's Hospital when they need some of the most cutting edge treatments. Pulmonary is no different. After dealing with asthma throughout my own childhood, the lungs were always interesting to me... And over the last three weeks I have gotten A TON of exposure to the inpatient & outpatient management of asthma. But I have also gotten experience with some not-so-common pulmonary diseases as well. One in particular is cystic fibrosis.

Cystic fibrosis or "65 Roses" (what the littlest patients who cannot pronounce it call it) is a disease in which patients are born with a defective gene that ultimately effects how mucus is produced and then cleared from their body. The two organs most affected are the lungs and the pancreas. This makes CF patients more susceptible to lung infections (because the thicker-than-usual mucus gets stuck in the airways trapping harmful bacteria) and malnutrition (because the mucus clogs the ducts that supply the intestines with all the enzymes needed to digest food).

Although we have come a long was in treating the disease, there is still no cure. In 2009, the median lifespan for CF patients was mid-thirties. You can learn more about CF and how you can get involved here: The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Clinicals has put faces and names to some of the rare diseases we were taught over the last two years and CF is no different. It changes how you think about the illness. You think about the kids who have to stay in the hospital for weeks at a time for a "tune up", as we call it on the wards, where they get some of the strongest IV antibiotics available to get rid of all the bacteria eating away at their lungs. Or the teens who have had to grow up faster than most and know more about their disease treatment than you. Kids who have reached the age of realizing the real implications of what it means to have CF and the subsequent depression this may cause. And the not-so-pediatric patients who still come to the Children's Hospital because with such a shortened lifespan, most adult docs aren't equipped to handle their long term management. Or the overwhelmed parents who are figuring out what this means for their brand new baby...

It's overwhelming just thinking about. As a med student I feel so insignificant at times and I have no idea what to say or do. Especially when I meet a family who has such a great load to bear.

One thing I do know is that God put us all here to help one another. But in order to do so, we must take our focus off of "ourselves/our lives/our mess/our needs/etc/etc..." so we can see what our neighbor may need.  I'm so happy that I was reminded of this so early in third year, and as I continue on, I intend to not lose sight of it.  And I hope you all do the same ;-)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Reflecting on My Clerkship Experience: Family Medicine

Before I get too far into Peds, I want to make sure I record everything I thought about Family Medicine (and all other rotations in the future): 

From the AAMC Careers in Medicine Clinical Evaluation 

1. Name and Location of Clinical Rotation:
Family Medicine, Saint Francis Hospital, Greenwood, Indiana

2. What did I like most about this specialty? 
  • The diversity of the patient population: infants, children, middle age, geriatrics, male, female...etc. 
  • The hours: mainly 9AM-5PM - my preceptor is a wife and mother of 3 and she made balancing it all look easy!
  • The OB component - got to observe two deliveries and lots of exciting pre-natal visits
  • The variety of diagnoses - with each unique patient population comes different common complaints
  • The amount of procedures performed and hands on requirement - biopsies, cryotherapy, varicose vein removal, etc. 
  • The long-term patient relationship and familial dynamic of the patient-doctor interaction
  • Being the coordinator of care for a patient with multiple specialist and being concerned with preventative care/total wellness
3. What did I like least about this specialty?
.........

4. Did this clinical rotation give me a good sense of what practice in this specialty would be like? 
Yes, I think that I got a great sense of the variety within Family Medicine.

5. Did my interests, values, skills and/or personality "fit" with this specialty? If yes, in what way did they "fit"? If no, why might they not be compatible? 
YES, not only is family medicine a way to allow me to pursue a variety of my MANY interests, but it would give me the time with my family that I definitely want, a lot of avenues to pursue interests like my desire to serve local youth outreach, medical/wellness writing, and public health. 

6. What are the possible practice settings for specialists in this field? Which of these settings interest me(*) and do I know enough about them? 
  • Clinic*
  • Community Hospital - Inpatient, OB*, ER shifts
  • Academic* 
To gain more exposure to more clinical settings, I can do a Family Medicine externship or an away rotation during fourth year. 

7. What information do I still need to find out about this specialty? 

  • How one's practice may vary between a more urban or rural setting. 
  • Loan forgiveness programs available for family medicine residents.
8. Has my perception of this specialty changed based on my clinical rotation experience? 
Definitely, I was very intimidated by the idea of having to be well trained in handling so many different conditions, but family medicine is very big on the patient-doctor partnership and finding the best treatment for the patient's lifestyle. I also, respect the fact that when my preceptor felt that a condition may be out of her scope of expertise, she had no problem referring out to a particular specialist. 

9. Did my clinical rotation experience influence the likelihood of choosing a career in this specialty? If yes, how did it influence me? YES!!! I really had not considered Family Medicine at all prior to my rotation and now it is definitely a BIG possibility. 

10. Right now, on a scale of 1-10, how interested am I in this specialty as a career option? 9!!!

11. Other comments or reflections about this rotation or specialty: 
I enjoyed every day of this rotation :-) 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

After 25 Years...

Photo Credit
Today is my 25th birthday!! YAY!!! A whole quarter century...

I feel so blessed because every year of my life gets better than the year before. As my 25th bday was approaching, I thought about the biggest lessons that 25 years has taught me. Some of these may sound cliche, but they have been life lessons for me none-the-less and it's my birthday, so you have to read them ;-)

Ok, here goes:

15. There is always, ALWAYS something to be thankful for.

14. Me time is CRUCIAL. Sometimes it's good to just sit and think.

13. "Pray like it depends on God, but work like it depends on you."

12. Don't miss out on life stressing about the day to day hustle...If you are a student like me, have a huge long term project at work, or working towards a goal, don't forget that life is still going on and take the time to enjoy it!

11. True love (familial, friendship, marriage) requires WORK. People are messy and no one is perfect, not even you. Forgive and love. Then repeat.

10. Dream big. Then dream bigger. And when you think you have gone as far as you can go, try and go a little bit further because you can.

9. Choose your friends wisely. You only need a few. Note: You can tell who your real friends are by those who are happy for you when you succeed. (I'm so fortunate to have some awesome friends!)

8. Every stumbling block does not have to be a crisis. Prepare a plan B as best you can and then leave it in God's hands. Pastor Ramsey told us that "Jesus was God's plan B when things fell through with Adam" < MESSAGE. So don't stay discouraged when things don't go as planned!

7. Be honest about what you want, no one will ever know what you need if you don't speak up.

6. Know your worth. Because when it is all said and done, no one will preserve it but you.

5. It takes a lifetime to establish your integrity and character but only takes a minute to compromise it so make good choices!

4. Words have power. Use them to build yourself and those close to you up.

3. Don't apologize for who you are, stick to your principles, and allow people to love an authentic you.

2. Pour yourself into helping others - in big ways or small. It will take your mind off of you and you will realize that you have so much to be thankful for.

1. God has no limits. Try Him. You will see.

~~~~~~~

I look forward to learning so much more :-)

I'll be in clinic today, but I plan on celebrating (i.e. eating cake) all weekend!

Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Our Little Soccer Star

Our little guy started playing soccer two weeks ago. I cannot believe how fast the time has flown! I can't call him a baby anymore now that he plays organized sports!!!






Monday, July 16, 2012

Music Monday

I heard this song when I was on the way to take my Board exam and it was just what I needed to calm my nerves. The words are so comforting because it speaks to the fact that there is no need to worry. God is all things and will be all things that we need. 




Hope you all have a blessed week! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Check Out My Interview on Accepted.com!

The first two official days of 3rd year have been AWESOME! I had a feeling over the weekend that I would end up loving my family medicine rotation, and I do. Everyone in the residency department (they coordinate our rotation) is really nice and seem so happy with their job. And I can already tell that my preceptor will be a great teacher. Everyone in her office was extremely welcoming and within an hour of being there, my nervousness was out the door and I felt comfortable enough to interact with patients and ask questions. Plus, I have already seen so much - women ready to deliver, mental health issues, well baby visits, and men and women of all ages and demographics. It even sounds like I may see a few deliveries this month...WOOT! Stay tuned :-)

In other news, please go check out an interview I did with Accepted.com on my experience applying for medical school and pass it on to any pre-medical students you know. (Click Here)



Hope you all are having a great week so far!

xoxo

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: How I Spent My UN-Vacation Month


Of course, there was a lot of this...



But there was a day trip (literally 12 hours) to DC to celebrate my brother Carey (YAY!)...




A change in my hair color (which I still cannot believe I did! LOL)...




A trip back home in honor of my brother Jordan's Graduation (YAY!)...



And back to Indy that same day for my Natey's "Graduation" (Double YAY!) 
:tear: He's growing SO fast...







 Then...after seeing myself in all those pictures, I started working out at home consistently and eating better... No need to see my before photos, but so far I've lost 5lbs in the first month!

And there were even a few date nights...


I have a little more freedom left and then I start family medicine on July 9th. I'm so happy/blessed that despite studying for Boards, I was able to do so much already! 

Happy Fourth of July!! Hope you all are having a great summer!!
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