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

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