The Mrs. The Mommy. The M.D.: 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hey Friends!!

Driving
Hey Friends!

So last time I was here, I was just entering the interview trail and I am so happy to share that I am now one interview away from being done! I received 16 interview invites total and accepted 11. Over the last 5 weeks, I have been to 8 different cities in 5 different states. Since Chicago, the family and I [read: minivan renting, road trip driving with a 4 year old and 4 month old] have been to North Carolina, Michigan, Indianapolis (lol), and Georgia. Thankfully, all of the trips went on without a hitch - aside from the snowfall that increased the duration of our supposed-to-be-8-hour Atlanta road trip by 7 hours and the three hour flight delay on the way home from my interview in North Carolina round 2.

It has been an exciting but EXHAUSTING time. Just to give you an idea, I haven't spent a weekend at home since November 2nd o_O My busiest week was two weeks ago week when I had an interview in Indy on Monday, Detroit on Wednesday, and Atlanta on Saturday. The last two months have been quite the blur. But it has been really great to visit our family who lives in and around my Midwest interviews and it has been awesome to experience some Southeast life now that we are in full-fledge winter.

And more driving...
On the 11th, I also took Step 2CK. If you have been following along my med school journey, you may remember that I took Step 1 the summer between 2nd and 3rd year. These exams are how the medical licensing board makes sures that all the medical schools are teaching their students what they are supposed to, and it also serves as a way to gauge your competitiveness for residency. The biggest difference with Step 2 is that there are two different parts. The "Clinical Knowledge" portion (CK) is the 9-hour computer based exam, and the "Clinical Skills" portion (CS) is a 7 hour standardize patient exam. This is kind of like a simulated doctor's office where you are the doctor and you interact with 10 different patients with 10 different chief complaints. You have 15 minutes to interview them, do a physical exam, and counsel them on the next steps of the process, and then 10 minutes to write a visit note about the whole thing. I took CS right before Thanksgiving. This is how I am feeling about being done with Boards until Step 3 in intern year...



Fourth year is BLISSFUL.

I cannot believe Christmas is next week. When I say I am not ready...I am NOT READY. Somehow the hubby and I need to find time to shop for the kids. Oh, and I need to put ornaments on the tree. And pretty much put out every other decoration I have. Don't judge. I haven't been home more than 48 consecutive hours since November...After I finish this research paper draft for my December elective, and mail out the backlog of thank you notes I have to write from interviews, I have a dreams of a Pinterest-filled Christmas complete with crafts for Natey and great memories to be made.

And I plan on continuing to reflect on the real reason for this season...


Hope you all are wonderful!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

See It. Do It.


Dr. Trent is originally from Arkansas. She decided residency would be her one shot to get out of Arkansas, and also hoped that she would find her husband in a different part of the country, so residency brought her to Michigan.  She is in her 2nd year of family medicine, however, is currently interviewing for obstetrics and gynecology.  Her hobbies are traveling, going to the gym, running (she is run coordinator with Black Girls Run - Ann Arbor), and her diet and fitness blog Divas4fitness, and of course her family. 

Name:  Alisha Nicole Trent

Medical School:  University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Graduation Year: 2012

Future (or Current) Specialty: Currently a family practice resident, but interviewing for obstetrics and gynecology. 

How many children do you have and their ages: 2 boys; 8 and 12

Did you do any post-undergraduate schooling or working before attending medical school? 
No

Did you have any of your children during medical school? If so, how did you “plan” for it?  
No, both were born during my undergrad years.

What kind of childcare do you employ? (i.e. live-in nanny, family help, daycare, babysitters) 
They both attend school full time. I have an in home babysitter for the mornings to get them off to school, especially for the younger one. My younger sister moved to Michigan with me during my intern year and helped tremendously. 

What has been the biggest challenge to handling medical school (and/or practicing medicine) along with having children? How have you overcome it?  
Probably the mom guilt. I'm a single mom, so I do not have the time or resources to put my kids in as many extracurricular things that they may like, simply because I can't do it all. Also, the guilt of having to study, or work long hours, being tired and having to come home and cook dinner and do homework. One gets stretched pretty thin, and if you aren't organized, your life will be a mess.

Do you feel like your school/job is “flexible” to any family issues that may arise?  
Semi, I am a resident, so I don’t control much of my schedule. There are certain rotations that I know there is flexibility; however, there are also other rotations where there is zero. Those rotations, I just have to grit my teeth and get through the month.

What is one item/strategy that you have that helps to make life easier as a mother and medical student/physician? (i.e. organizational method, electronic device, calendar tool, etc.) 
I live and die by my planner. I write everything down from my work schedule, gym time, dinner menu, and kid responsibilities. Without my planner, my life would be a mess; I am in it all times of the day. It helps me stay on track, and allows me to get as much done in a day as possible. If something wont fit into my schedule for the day, they I accommodate that. My plan is to get a bigger calendar to allow my children to also see my schedule and input theirs as well.

What kinds of things do you do to “relax”? 
Go to the gym, hang out with my boyfriend, I run. Shopping is very therapeutic, but tricky on a resident budget. I would love to travel, and I will once I have more money and time ; )

Do you feel that your experience as a mother has made you a better doctor or future doctor? If so, how?  
I do feel that my motherhood experience makes me a better doctor. It helps me to be able to be more compassionate to certain circumstances. It also helps me to talk with the teen moms that I work with in clinic. I am able to give them real life example….myself. I am also able to talk more than just what “data “ says, but what I've tried that worked.

What advice do you have to the women who want to pursue medicine with children?  
Pursue your dreams no matter your circumstances. Your kids want and need the best you, so if you aren't happy in your career, then that may carry over to your family life. It also teaches your children to follow their dreams. I was a teen mom, married and divorced very young. Despite all of this , I never lost my dreams. I suggest talking to other moms.  In medical school, I always made friends with the moms who had children. One of my best friends currently I met this exact way.

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Are you a physician or medical student mom who would like to share her story? Send me an email at Mrs.Mommy.MD@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

See It. Do It.


Dr. Scruggs is a practicing Internist. She said one of the most poignant things to me when we were discussing the interview over email "I just scaled back my work duties in my efforts to achieve work life "integration". I don't say balance anymore because I can't keep those lives mutually exclusive anymore. Kids know I'm a doctor and work knows I'm a mom." Genius!

Name:  Adrianne Scruggs, MD 

Medical School: Meharry Medical College 

Graduation Year: 2002

Future (or Current) Specialty: Internal Medicine

How many children do you have and their ages: Two children; 7 years old and 3 years old. 

Did you do any post-undergraduate schooling or working before attending medical school? No

Did you have any of your children during medical school? If so, how did you “plan” for it? No

What kind of childcare do you employ? (i.e. live-in nanny, family help, daycare, babysitters) 
We use Daycare/Afterschool Care and Babysitters through an agency. 

What has been the biggest challenge to handling medical school (and/or practicing medicine) along with having children? How have you overcome it
The biggest challenge in practicing medicine full-time (which, for me, is clinic work 8am-5pm plus sharing hospital call duties on weeknights and weekends) and raising young children, is participating in extracurricular and or enrichment activities. I’d like to dedicate time outside of work teaching my kids things they won’t necessarily be exposed to in school. This has required negotiating dedicated administration time into my 8a-5p work day in efforts to reduce the paperwork burden that might otherwise flood over into precious family time. 

Do you feel like your school/job is “flexible” to any family issues that may arise? 
Yes. There are protocols in place should a parent need to “call out” due to urgent issues. It can be difficult to arrange participating in some school activities that may be “last minute” since work requires a 30 day notice for “time off” requests. 

What is one item/strategy that you have that helps to make life easier as a mother and medical student/physician? (i.e. organizational method, electronic device, calendar tool, etc.)
Hiring support: I’m a member of a nanny/babysitting agency, have a personal chef, and a housekeeper. We are fortunate enough to be able to budget for these items. Without them, I’d be completely overwhelmed.

What kinds of things do you do to “relax”? 
Run and read.

Do you feel that your experience as a mother has made you a better doctor or future doctor? If so, how? 
Being a mother requires using all senses to “read” and understand your child. I think moms understand the concept of “nonverbal clues” that assist in communication with all types of people. Most mothers are nurturers, and that’s the essence of medicine.

What advice do you have to the women who want to pursue medicine with children?
Build your village! You cannot do this alone, and it takes time to get used to trusting others. 

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Are you a physician or medical student mom who would like to share her story? Send me an email at Mrs.Mommy.MD@gmail.com


Monday, November 25, 2013

Music Monday

Happy Thanksgiving Week!! Hope you and your families have a great holiday!!!

 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

See It. Do It.


Dr. Denis is originally from Trinidad, but grew up from age 10 in NYC. She remained in NY for undergrad and medical school, and was then transplanted to Philadelphia for residency training in obstetrics and gynecology - which she completed in 2011. She and her husband have been together for 13 years, married for 7, with two beautiful daughters. She enjoys yoga, reading and baking… but her kids keep her busy! She is awesome, right?! Read below about her life as a Mom and M.D.!



Name: Carlene Allana Denis, MD

Medical School: SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Graduation Year: 2007

Future (or Current) Specialty: Obstetrics and Gynecology 

How many children do you have and their ages: Two, ages 6 and 3. 

Did you do any post-undergraduate schooling or working before attending medical school? 
I worked for 6 months at Starbucks! I stayed in college to complete a second degree and to give me some time off before starting med school.

Did you have any of your children during medical school? If so, how did you “plan” for it? 
Not at all planned. Our first was a surprise. We worked through it by making some arrangements to my rotation schedule in the fourth year (delivered the week before Match Day). My mom was able to come up just before and delivery and she stayed for a few weeks after. When it came time to move to a new city for residency, I was able to leave my daughter with her while my husband and I bought and moved into our new home.

What kind of childcare do you employ? (i.e. live-in nanny, family help, daycare, babysitters) 
We use Daycare.

What has been the biggest challenge to handling medical school (and/or practicing medicine) along with having children? How have you overcome it? 
There is no overcoming the mommy guilt. Feeling like you are missing milestones, or events, or just plain ‘ole quality time because of the demands of school, residency, work. When I am home, I make them a priority and I schedule things for us to do on weekends. I make it a part of my schedule so there is an expectation that it will get done. I also read to my girls most nights of the week. Now that my oldest is a wonderful reader, she makes me let her do the reading though!

Do you feel like your school/job is “flexible” to any family issues that may arise? 
Not always. It is hard for doctors to take sick days, especially in private practice with tighter/overbooked schedules. Fortunately, my husband is flexible in his job and he takes on that “burden” when needed.

What is one item/strategy that you have that helps to make life easier as a mother and medical student/physician? (i.e. organizational method, electronic device, calendar tool, etc.) 
BIG calendar… and even then, things get missed. Two working parents makes it hard to keep track of everything. Put we plan ahead, and talk, talk, talk.

What kinds of things do you do to “relax”? 
I work out a few times a week. Not as much as I would like, but it is time that I set aside for me. Yoga, ballet barre - time that is scheduled out of the house. My husband and I also make date nights, and “play dates” with our friends with kids. That way the kids are occupied, and we have great friends that we can hang out with, and vent!

Do you feel that your experience as a mother has made you a better doctor or future doctor? If so, how?
YES! As an OB especially, I have been there, done that. It gives me a good perspective of what patients are going through. Being pregnant, delivering, feeling overwhelmed, not dedicating time to yourself, mommy-guilt… all of it helps to make me the kind of doctor that I think my patients appreciate, and can relate to.


What advice do you have to the women who want to pursue medicine with children? 
As soon as you make the decision to pursue medicine, there is no longer a good time to have kids. So just do it! Time in school can be made up, time with your family cannot. Once that moment is gone, it’s gone for good. You can’t go back and enjoy your babies, because they get older in a heartbeat. Cherish the time you get to have with them, and appreciate the time you spend away. Those smiling faces when I get home puts it all in perspective.

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Are you a physician or medical student mom who would like to share her story? Send me an email at Mrs.Mommy.MD@gmail.com

Monday, November 18, 2013

Music Monday

My favorite part is the middle of the song when he says, "And when you have no words left..." That's how I am feeling right now. There is nothing left to say, I just want to be in His presence and in awe of all that He has done - despite where I continue to fall short. God is so good.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

See It. Do It.


Today, I have the honor of introducing you to Dr. Chaisson-McRae. She is a wife, mother, and a psychiatrist in private practice. Read below to see how she does it all!

Name:  Clarissa Chaisson-McRae

Medical School: Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Graduation Year: 2008

Future (or Current) Specialty: Psychiatry

How many children do you have and their ages: 
One son, 2.5 years old

Did you do any post-undergraduate schooling or working before attending medical school? 
No.

Did you have any of your children during medical school? If so, how did you “plan” for it? No, we had our son during my residency. 

What kind of childcare do you employ? (i.e. live-in nanny, family help, daycare, babysitters) 
We alternated between nanny initially, then daycare, then nanny, now, he is in school. 

What has been the biggest challenge to handling medical school (and/or practicing medicine) along with having children? How have you overcome it
Having a child in residency was the hardest thing I ever did. It was a struggle to fulfill 3 roles at the same time. There was not enough time in the day. I had no family around for help. My husband also has a busy career as an attorney and works long hours. In addition, I did a fellowship and served a chief resident in residency. It was difficult to prioritize myself - and this almost never happened. Breastfeeding made everything more difficult initially, but I stuck with it. It took me at least a year to feel somewhat like myself again, but I am much stronger and capable of more now.

Do you feel like your school/job is “flexible” to any family issues that may arise? 
Yes, only now because I moved to private practice.


What is one item/strategy that you have that helps to make life easier as a mother and medical student/physician? (i.e. organizational method, electronic device, calendar tool, etc.)
Organize and plan ahead; know how to prioritize yourself and family, because no one else will - especially at work. 

What kinds of things do you do to “relax”? Hot bubble baths, spa time, shopping, and yoga. 

Do you feel that your experience as a mother has made you a better doctor or future doctor? If so, how? Yes, I am more sensitive the needs and issues of my patients who have children. 

What advice do you have to the women who want to pursue medicine with children?
Do so very carefully, and realize that it will be very difficult. Enlist family support as much as you can. Having a supportive partner helps. Go part time or spread things out if you need to. Things get better after residency!


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Are you a physician or medical student mom who would like to share her story? Send me an email at Mrs.Mommy.MD@gmail.com

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