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

Thursday, March 29, 2012

This Week in Med School: Urology & Anesthesia

Photo Credit
Well I have officially performed my first male physical - which includes an exam of the breast, external genitalia, and rectum.

I think I have mentioned before that my dad is a urologist. Let me just say for the record, the fact that this is a "family business" gave me zero confidence going in - it's not like regular family businesses where you "learn the ropes" as you get older haha. I was cool until an hour before my session, and then suddenly I was having all types of sympathetic interferance - heart palpitations, a slight hand tremor (possibly attributed to my caffeine intake), and even a bit of light-headedness. I guess this is how they guys felt going into the pelvic exams we did in January...

Anyway, our surrogate patient (God bless them) this time did everything possible to make us comfortable and less nervous. He slowly walked the first person in our group through all three parts of the exam, and then would interject anything the rest of the group missed as we all took turns going. through. everything.

In retrospect, it was not so bad, but I still think my minor freak out was appropriate. I mean this was waaaaay out of my comfort zone. I walked away, however, feeling like I could do a male physical on my own without any problems, so I guess all-in-all it was a success...

Photo Credit
What I learned today: 

  • Every man should be doing both monthly self-breast and testicular exams.
  • Men should start talking to their doc about prostate exams around age 50 - African Americans men and anyone with a first-degree relative diagnosed with prostate cancer is at a higher risk and may want to start thinking about them earlier (i.e. around 40 years old). 
Historically, there has been a great deal of stigma surrounding annual prostate exams. Hopefully, national ad campaigns like these will get more men talking about (and more comfortable with) their health and the importance of this life-saving exam. 



So yea...the verdict is still out on urology, but there is no question that we need to make sure all the men in our lives stay on top of their health :-)

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We also did an Anesthesia lab which consisted of instruction on intubation, venous puncture, and arterial puncture. Here is a snazzy collage of some of my friends and I learning some new clinical skills:


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rise.

This is definitely not a political blog, and because of school, I continuously fail to keep up with current events. But the Trayvon Martin incident is one of those things that you can't help but hear about. I am sure everyone has heard by now, but if you have not, you can catch up here: Trayvon Martin.

And the more I hear or read, the more upset I get. I am so sad and also ANGRY that in 2012 we are still here. A lot of dialog - both productive and not - has sprouted from this. The media will say what they want about both parties involved, and the truth will be buried deep somewhere in the middle. Regardless, no parent should have to bury their child. No child (or adult) should be killed in cold blood on the hunch that they "look suspicious" or like they don't belong in a certain neighborhood.

Although, none of this is new to me, it stings no less when someone is the victim of violence that potentially trickles down to race. I think one of the reasons I am so emotional is because it has me reflecting on all of my experiences growing up in a small town as the only little Black girl in my classes and/or schools.

...Like being the only Black family in every neighborhood in Indiana we moved to and at 9 being told by "a friend" that I had to go home because her other friend "didn't play with Black people".

...Being called "a Black turd" by a boy when I got my first boyfriend in 5th grade.

...Or the time someone walked through our house (without asking) while it was being built and asked us if we knew who was moving in and if we were "the cleaning people".

...Or my dad telling me stories of people who left his office when they found out their doctor was a Black man.

People are going to think what they want about you regardless. Whether you are "perfect" or the epitome of a stereotype, they will think what they want. They have their feelings rooted in past experiences, prejudices, lack of exposure, or they have just been groomed to hate. It is a waste of time trying to change their minds about us, because that is not our problem. 

And while my heart is extremely heavy, I feel like the BIGGEST form of protest I have is continuing to get my education, continuing to pass on the importance of education on to my children, continuing to use my life to eliminate the notion that a two-parent, Black family is a rarity, reaching into the communities and schools that need help to bring those children up, continuing to combat violence with love, continuing to rise...
"This is what the LORD says: “Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed." Isaiah 56:1
I used the last five lines in Maya Angelou's Still I Rise as my senior quote in high school. It is my favorite. I felt so much hope for the future then, and despite what is going on around me, I still feel it now. We have come a long way, but we still have so far to go. In the midst of all the confusion in the world right and the unpalatable feeling of growing racial tensions, I think that this poem speaks louder than anything I have to write:


Still I Rise


You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.


Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.


Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.


Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.


Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.


You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.


Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?


Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise


Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Music Monday

This came on my Pandora last month and I have been singing it since!

 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Beyonce is Back to Work...Round of Applause?

On the way to the hospital today, I was able to catch up on the current events of the pop world. The top story for the duration of my ride was that our girl Bey has scheduled her first concert dates since the birth of her daughter. Memorial Day weekend will mark the post-partum comeback that her fans have been waiting on, and I'm sure she will not disappoint!


What has me feeling some kind of way about the story was how astonished the DJ was that she was returning this May. That she only took SIXTEEN WEEKS off and how hard it must be for her to leave Blue Ivy and get back to work. Even MTV News has labeled her "the world's hardest working mother".

I'm sorry, but this deserves not one, but TWO of the infamous Samuel Jackson :side eye:

 

Maybe it's because the average American woman's maternity leave (paid time off) is six weeks. Or maybe it's because my own "maternity leave" (if that's what you would even call doing unpaid school work from home + a spring break) was three weeks. Or maybe it's because women are forced to leave their babies earlier than I am sure most would want to, and without the luxury of on-site staff for them and their child while they get used to balancing work and family life.

For example, one of my classmates gave birth to her daughter the Friday before we started our last exam block. And by last week our professors had posted our scores (within a week of taking our exams). This  means that she (and her husband who is a classmate as well) had taken all three exams. Which then means that after having the baby, getting as much sleep as you can get with a newborn (and their already two year old daughter), they studied, and then took their exams.

For me, that is what constitutes a BAWSE.

No matter how long you have with your newborn before returning to work, and no matter who you are, it is always hard. I respect Beyonce's hustle, but this is one thing I cannot give her accolades for, because I know too many real-world, hard-working mommies that are also making it happen for themselves and their families with a third of the time off and, not to mention, at a fraction of the salary.

Licia Ronzulli, an MEP from Italy, took her seven-week old daughter Victoria to work at the European parliament at Strasbourg. Photographs of Ronzulli cradling her daughter in a sling as she voted on proposals to improve women's employment rights were broadcast around the world and published in newspapers from the US to Vietnam.

Music Monday

Because "sometimes you just have to encourage yourself"... Ain't it the truth

Be encouraged everyone!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: CLERKSHIPS!!!

Ok, there are some words because I have to explain. Yesterday they sent us our third year clerkship assignments!!! WOOT! So now I know what I will be doing and when for the next year. Drum rolllllll please:


At first I wasn't sure about whether or not having my vacation month first was a good thing, and if I would rather it be later in the year...but I think it will be right on time. I'll get a good month of summer time vacation for relaxing, traveling, etc. And I'll be all charged up for Family Medicine in July. Plus, I don't know why, but I have a good feeling about having my Peds clerkship during the time Natey starts Pre-School :-D                  

I'm so excited!                                                                  

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Doing THEE Most...

I have been on spring "break" since Friday at 3PM. I use quotations around the word "break" because it has been anything but. Well, I take that back. The first weekend off was pretty chill because I did absolutely nothing, but Sunday night I began to plan my attack on the week of Step 1 studying that I had ahead. The goal is to get through ALL 598 pages of First Aid. I am a pretty fast reader so I thought this wouldn't be so tough, but I am two days in and nowhere near where I thought I would be...

When I envisioned my break, I did NOT think I would be getting up at normal pre-break times and continuing to study. But that is what med school does to you - willingly doing THEE ABSOLUTE MOST.

If you are not familiar with this saying, Urban Dictionary defines it as:
v.) doing too much; doing more than enough; excessive
It made me think about life before med school and how my perception of doing "the most" has changed. It definitely was NOT this extreme:

Today, I laugh about the stressful "all nighters" I thought I was pulling in undergrad. First of all, why did I even need to pull all nighters?! Probably because the library was a social option and not a necessity. I know I always went to sleep before exams.


My hair was cared-for regularly and I wore make-up daily. Today? Two words, BARE. MINIMUM.

Despite having "the facts" about junk food, now I tend to eat worse than ever and hardly work out :sigh:


I took bubble baths. Don't worry, I still practice good hygiene today...haha But the luxury of relaxation comes few and far between. If I do take a bath, I usually bring my laptop with me so I can watch lectures...Sad. I know. Doing THEE Most. 

My playlists once consisted of songs. I knew I had reached a new pinnacle of professional student-ness when I had a playlist devoted to what we were studying that week in ICM. Doing THEE Most. 


Back then, I watched doctor shows because I wanted to be a doctor, and did it without critically analyzing all the medical references with regard to my new-found inside knowledge.

I could use a standard, leather-bound planner. Now, my schedule changes daily, is linked to my laptop, my phone, and two email accounts... Doing THEE Most. 

I said things like, "If I could just get to medical school this would be easier because it is actually information I'll use every day", or "things are too uncertain now to make major decisions, but in medical school things will be more stable..." Stability is relative. See reference above.

....But I am not going to complain anymore, because it is going by SO FAST. And it can only get better from here! The fourth year students I know were all posting Facebook statuses about Matching yesterday, and that got me super excited! Only two more years (....of doing the most) and that will be me!!

Ok, back to First Aid.
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