Category Archives: Chicago

First baby clothing purchase

I’ve made a point of not purchasing any baby items for a while, but now I’m clearly ramping up. First the yarn, then the campfire light, now the first piece of baby clothing. It was just too precious to pass up. It’s a little Zutano 0-3 month old hat with owls on it! I’m a sucker for wildlife.

I bought it at Majama’s in Oak Park, IL.

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Campfire Tea Light

I picked up one of these Kikkerland Campfire Tea Light on clearance at the At Institute of Chicago. Love it! I’m planning on putting it in the baby’s room.

Bottom of the Third

There are only 5 days remaining in my third year of medical school. I don’t know where the time has gone. While preparing for my final exam in pediatrics, I’ve also been a bit overwhelmed by the responsibilities that lie ahead. My fourth year schedule is a bit up in the air right now as I shuffle various electives to try to solidify the “strategy” behind my schedule. I find that there are not enough months in the fourth year to do all of the electives that I want to do. Fourth year is generally seen as a fun and relatively relaxed year (especially the second half when residency applications are submitted and interviews are over). However, as I look ahead, I know that this upcoming year is the last year where I will not be responsible for patient care. I have been providing patient care all year, but not nearly as independently as I will during my intern year. It’s scary to think of that. Also, I continue to struggle with my residency choices. I am sure that I love surgery, but not sure that I am willing to give up the other components in my life to the degree that will likely to necessary. I don’t know where I belong. I want to look back on my choice and say that it was correct, that I would do it all over again. I want to lead a happy, fulfilling life. I don’t want my life to be my work. I want work to be a rewarding part of my life. This is an ongoing conflict in my head. I’m trying to work it out. I’m trying to become centered in myself and in the world around me. I’m doing yoga. I’ve made a serious decision to commit to daily meditation. I’m hoping that these efforts will help me find my path.

Recent Events:

On Friday, I presented my first academic poster. It was on a survey study that my friend and I conducted on healthcare worker decision-making styles (medical students, residents, fellows, attending doctors, nurses, social workers, and Ph.D.s). It went very well and we’re looking forward to writing our manuscript. I think that we have an excellent chance of getting published – which would be awesome. It is so rewarding when work pays off.

Upcoming:

Starting next Thursday, I will be taking my first guitar class at the Old Town School of Folk Music. I essentially taught myself guitar (with the help of a few friends), and I’ve stagnated in my progress. I’m hoping to pick up some new skills and meet some new people. I’m always looking to hang out with non-medical people.

In one week (during my medical school vacation), I have a three day long intensive ethics consultation course. The course actually lasts several weeks, but most of it is online. I’m really looking forward to practicing my consultation skills. I haven’t lead a consultation since before medical school. I’m also excited to hear how other people have been trained – what works for them, what has been troublesome, effective, etc. I think that there are so many ways to do it well and I’m happy to have the opportunity to see more than my limited viewpoint.

Surgery Clerkship Highlights

Like I said previously, I intended to keep track of my experiences this year, so it’s time to play catch up.

I started the clerkship on June 30 and ended on September 19. I worked with several groups: pediatric surgery, ENT (ears, nose and throat = otolaryngology), the surgical consultation service (mostly hepatobiliary surgeries), and the dedicated hepatobiliary service.

Pediatric surgery was amazing. I got to work with a wonderful surgeon who is incredibly nice and encouraging. She is a talented teacher and has the patience of Job. I was luck y to be paired up with a great resident and intern, both of whom taught me a lot.

Surgeries: hernia repair, pyloric stenosis repair, ostomy placement, central line placement, and Wilms tumor resection.

ENT was pretty cool. The clinic is a lot like a dentists office because there are a lot of tools in each room and you can do a lot of procedures in the clinic. There are a lot of interesting surgeries, but many of them aren’t that great to observe because they are done with scopes and viewed over video. It is the first time I ever worried I would fall asleep in surgery. The rooms are really cold, and since there was no point in scrubbing in, I would put one of the warm blankets over my shoulders to keep me from freezing to death.

Surgeries: Lacrimal tumor resection, ear tube placement, mastoidectomy, tonsilectomy, adenoidectomy, thyroidectomy, repair of deviated nasal septum, nasal turbinate reduction, and pituitary gland tumor resection.

The consult service was really fun because I was paired up with a great 3rd year resident and a good chief resident. They taught us all sorts of stuff whenever we had spare time. I worked with three other students. I became very good friends/study partners with one of them. The other two were difficult to work with, but it turned out all right in the end. There weren’t any big blow ups, we all pretty much avoided as much confrontation as possible. I worked with several surgeons on that service. Most of them were fun to work with. One of them showed us a bit of medical capitalism that was a bit disturbing.

Surgeries: lots of inguinal and ventral hernia repairs, ostomy placement, sigmoidectomy, partial thickness skin graft.

My last service was OK, but not nearly as fun as the consult service. I think I was getting tired at that point. I worked with two other students – both of whom were great. One of the surgeons scared me (I just found him unnerving), but the other surgeon really took me under his wing. The second surgeon, Dr. F, really likes teaching students and thanks to that, let me do a lot of sewing and cutting. It was awesome!

Surgeries: lots of inguinal and ventral hernia repairs, laparoscopic ventral/umbilical hernia repair, ostomy placements, sigmoidectomies, liver resections, appendectomy, and abdominal washouts.

All in all, I had a great experience. I really enjoyed it. I like scrubbing in, cutting, sewing/suturing, the tools and toys, the OR banter. I like the short notes and the focused care. I like that there are some things in medicine that are fixable. Certain conditions that would otherwise kill a person can be put to rest through surgery. Organs can be altered or removed to alieviate pain and disability.There are lots of negatives to being a surgeon too: long early hours, long residencies, emergency surgeries, etc.

I’m not sure if I’ll be a surgeon or not, but at least I have found something that I enjoy. If I had to choose right now, I would be a surgeon, but I’m trying to stay open minded for the rest of the year.

Peek at my week: USMLE Study Schedule Week 5

USMLE Study Schedule Week 5

Peek at my week: USMLE Study for Week 4

USMLE Study Schedule Week 4

Sneak Peek: Week 3

USMLE Study Schedule Week 3