A whimsical habit.

I really should write more here than I have been. I have lots of stories, which I am sure will only continue to increase as I go on with my training.

But when it comes to watching mindless TV vs. reflecting here, it’s easier to let the mindless TV win.

In bullet points, here are things that are new:

  • I’m really enjoying OB/GYN. I could see myself ending up here.
  • I’m depressed. Every year in October, I have a depressive episode. I need to figure out why.
  • I’ve been kind of seeing someone. Things are great. It’s at a point where I’m starting to get attached…and I’m doing my best not to create problems for myself.
  • I have UTI. UGH.
  • I just want to go somewhere and forget about the world for awhile.
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Come again?

I find it hilarious when people repeat things to me as if I don’t understand things.

Attending to me: “Push the uterus up higher towards patient’s head.”

Sub-I: (who is observing) “Push the uterus up higher towards patient’s head.” (merely seconds after the attending says this)

Me: Got it.

I will say, it does get slightly annoying when this happens throughout the duration of the surgery…

I am not deaf.

Then I remind myself that she’s probably trying to be helpful and feels anxious.

Then I feel bad.

Lessons:

  1. Anxiety drives people to do annoying things without meaning to…
  2. Learn to hide the anxiety. Exude calm.
  3. Driving the uterus is hard…
  4. I still hate the vagina.

The right thing?

This is a place where I an unfiltered and write things on my mind…for better and for worse.

I’m now on my OB/GYN rotation. It’s not bad. I have yet to absolutely hate any rotation – so that is good.

We had a contraception lecture recently. During the lecture, we were told that some states are progressive and include several cycles of IVF in medicaid/insurance for low income families.

This is the moment I realized that maybe I’m becoming more cynical than I’d like to admit.

My first thought: Awesome. That is very progressive. When will the rest of the US follow?

Second thought: Wait. If families cannot buy their own health insurance or are in such an income bracket, is it right to let them have children? Children that they may not be able to afford to have? Children who will continue to depend on the socialist aspects of our government?

How terrible is that?

My soul is dying more than I thought.

Bah bah black sheep.

Since leaving for college, I am the family black sheep.

If you’ve ever seen, “Rachel Gets Married” (the indie film with Anne Hathaway where you realize that Anne Hathaway can act) or “Bridesmaids,” I’m those protagonists.

The annoying, self-absorbed, and psychologically messed up black sheep of the family.

I’ve felt this way more strongly as I’ve gotten older. Another reason why I don’t know if I can get married.

Maybe that’s why I’m so drawn to psych and surgery. One field studies messed up people…and one field is full of highly functioning messed up people…

Bah. bah.

Chief complaint: Neck Pain.

“How’s your neck pain doing today?”

“Well, it’s been ok. As you know, I have an extensive history.”

“Yes, I did read that in your chart.”

“Well, after my ex-husband tried to break my neck…twice…my neck has never been the same. Then, I went to the chiropractor thinking he would help – he made it worse. I just need something to take the edge off the pain.”

Surgery –> Family Medicine

So, surgery ended. I was pretty sad about that. We got our shelf scores back. I didn’t do as well as I had hoped. I took all the practice NBME shelfs and got good predictors. The actual exam felt a lot harder…plus, my anxiety decided to kick it into full gear. (Background: I have very bad test anxiety that has resulted in failing a med school final exam). However, given all that, I scored OK. It’s unfortunate because I think my test anxiety has increased since STEP1. I was also hitting 245s on my practice exams for the practice exams and then completely bombed my actual exam…

Now, I’m in family medicine…and I also LOVE IT. I got lucky with being able to go to a rural area and I’ve already seen so much! The doctors are amazing and know so much. It only further affirms for me that family medicine doctors don’t nearly get paid enough or respected enough for what they do. I think I’m going to end up being one of those M3s that really like all of the rotations (though I feel a bit hesitant about OB/GYN since I know our department is particularly toxic). 

On a slightly related note, all the family medicine residents are also very attractive…

One can daydream a little, right? 

The Big Fat Double Standard

In medicine…

Why is it that men are praised for taking time to groom themselves, wear the “fits just right” clothing, and put care into their presentation….and women are not? In fact, women are often looked upon poorly for taking time to look groomed…and not like a schlubb. 

Women, have to find the perfect balance between looking groomed, but without took much care into appearances. 

This is something I’ve noticed time and time again. Not just in medicine. 

I find the worst critics of women who actually take care to look great are…you got it, other women. 

When will we stop perpetuation of the double standards and hold each other down? 

Today, when you are critcizing a women for whatever she is wearing, ask yourself, “why?”

Zero sum game.

Honestly, M3 year, thus far, has been really great. It’s been so much better than the first two years and I actually enjoy being around.
That said, here is something I don’t like about M3 year. I do not like many of my fellow classmates. Many people have said that the true nature of people’s hearts would be revealed during M3 year. This is true. I have seen some of the worst sides of people in just the last 5-6 weeks. 
It drives me insane, it is infuriating, and it’s disappointing. It’s unfortunate that so many people have a zero-sum game mentality when it comes to M3 year. It’s also unfortunate that more M3s that I have worked with are worried more about themselves and how they appear than they are with being a team player, being actually useful, and caring about the patient.
Some things that have happened so far:
1) One M3 choosing to only help when he was being seen and also when it involved interesting things. Otherwise, he never did ANYTHING. 
2) Another M3 pimped me in front of an attending. Pretty sure the attending did not appreciate that.
3) Same M3 from number 2 always asks me what my schedule is for the day, but then conveniently never answers when I ask her what she is up to. When she thinks there is a chance that I might go study for awhile when things are slow on the flor, she makes sure that I can’t do that by always suggesting things that I (not her) can do…and she suggests this in fron to the interns. This is fine, but since when do people volunteer others. Then, when she thinks that I may stay later (mainly because I get out of the OR late and still have to round on my patients), she just hangs around. That’s fine, but she keeps trying to talk to me….seriously? B****, I am trying to get shit done. Her insecurities and anxiety are overwhelming burdening.
4) One M3 decided to cherry pick all the surgeries with the attending are in charge of grades for the particular service. I don’t think he banked on the fact that we’d call him out for it. That’s the thing, the people who do terrible things bank on the fact that you will never call them out. Advice: call them out. At the very least, make it clear that you’ve noticed that they are doing.
I’m overwhelming shocked by how socially immature people are and how people seem to hate being team players. It’s so frustrating to work with people who always think that other people are out to “get you.” 
I just hope that this gets somewhat reflected in the clerkship grades…
Only time will tell. 

Chronicle 1: self importance.

Since I’ve started my M3 year (yes, the beast known as STEP 1 has been slayed….the score report will only tell if it’s actually dead…), I’ve collected many more interesting stories of my daily interactions at the hospital. 

I want to chronicle them before I forget them. Some have been humorous and others have just plain sucked.

For those who are looking forward to medical school, the chronicles will provide you with a glimpse of what is ahead.

For those who have survived this year, perhaps you can provide insight.

Chronicle 1.

I travel to another OR site via car after morning rounds. We’ve been told that it’s more important to attend morning rounds than be in the OR. We’ve also been told that it’s okay to be late to the OR if we were in lectures or morning rounds before and had to travel to another hospital area.

Until now, my OR experiences have been generally positive. I have also been told multiple times that I’m good at figuring out what needs to be done and getting things done. 

This morning however…

I walk in a little late because I had to drive over and pick up my car before that. The patient is already sedated, but no one is scrubbed in yet.

I introduce myself to the scrub nurse. She’s great. I pull my gloves. I wait by the attending to say yellow again while he’s looking at a few things on the computer. 

Someone from the anesthesia team calls me over. 

“You were late. We already did the first time out and it’s crucial that everyone is here on time and announced. It’s unacceptable to be late.”

SIGH. This sucks since traveling from the main hospital to the other site is tricky when last minute changes happen so my car is at home and not in parking at the hospital….and they don’t have parking spots for us (so driving is a hassle and takes time).

“Ok. I apologize for being late. I had morning rounds and tried to get here as quickly as I could. I’ll do my best not to let it happen again.”

“Well, you can’t just come in and wander around. It’s absolutely important for you to arrive on time.”

Fuck you. I didn’t wander around. I simply didn’t introduce myself first to you because I’m not currently answering to anesthesiology. I went straight to the scrub nurse and then the attending. Did he think I was off just shooting he shit or something? Yea, clearly I was being lazy and trying to be late.

He spends a few more minutes driving that point home to me. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m not shaking/quivering with fear or showing no emotion. I’ve already apologized twice and I’m not one to lose emotional control even when I feel like shit internally because it doesn’t fix anything. (This interaction did make me feel like shit.) However, I think some people need to see that you are so upset about your mistakes (more than seeing that you’re trying to make things better).

He leaves.

I walk over to the attending and apologizes. He just shrugs and says, “You’re a student. You got here before anything happened. Morning rounds are more important.” 

No matter where you go, I think there are some people who just need to feel control and important over other people. I understand that he needed to tell me this, but I also don’t think he needed to go on a long rant. Quite frankly, I don’t think it was his place either. It’s not his OR.

Also, I can’t take these interactions personally. Some people are just angry or looking for ways to be bossy. 

Thoughts on surgery rotation so far…

I’m on my surgery rotation…and I don’t hate it.

Here are some thoughts:

  1. My previous secret of adulthood is necessary: Be the adult…even if you’re the only one. Third year brings out some gnarly personalities from people. Don’t stoop down to their level.
  2. Teachers matter. A good teacher has the ability to encourage and make you more passionate. A bad teacher has forgotten that they once were students too.
  3. It sucks that the women I’ve interacted with in surgery like the guy medical students more than the girls. They also seem less relaxes. I understand it’s probably a reflection of what they have been through…but still.

Some things that happened:

  1. One of our patients died…and I think she died in the worst way possible. Apparently palliative care and surgery aren’t buddies.
  2. One of my service mates is driving me crazy.
  3. I realized that a lot of medical students are socially and/or environmentally clueless even if they are brilliant in class.

I need sleep.