Monday, August 31, 2009

First Day of Clinicals!!

Today was my first official day of the 3rd year of medical school. For the next 6 weeks, I'll be spending my time at Spring Grove, in my psych rotation. Fortunately, we do not work nights, weekends, or holidays, which is very nice for a med school rotation. So far, everyone seems friendly, but I only met my attending for about 2 minutes, and he's the guy I'll be working closely with for the next month and a half.

To start the day, we spent a few hours going over the Orientation Manual and the general rules and regulations. We also took a tour with the Superintendent of the facility, which was pretty interesting. Spring Grove has been around for well over 100 years, so there is a ton of history to learn about the place. And, being a psych institution, it's pretty interesting history! One day, I'll have to take a camera around the place and get pictures of the old buildings.

Almost every student, including all the others from AUC, are in one of the admissions wards, where people usually come for short term care (although often not by choice). However, me and one other woman from Saba were the only two people to be placed somewhere else. From what the Superintendent told us, we will all see pretty much the exact same patients, but ours are the ones that are less responsive to medication and thus longer stay patients. I only saw the patients for probably 20 seconds today, in passing, but it sounds like it should be interesting! Hopefully many good stories to come.

Monday, August 24, 2009

What to write...

As usual for break, not too much interesting to write about. I saw Inglorious Basterds today, and it was a pretty awesome movie. I heard a few bad reviews, but I'm not sure why anyone wouldn't like the movie. It's long, and the Basterds are not in as much of it as I would like, but it was still a great movie. As per usual with a Tarantino movie, there is plenty of bloody gory violence.

Tomorrow, I've gotta take care of financial aid dealings with AUC. I really have no idea how financial aid works for clinicals, or what I have to do to make sure I get loans for this coming semester! Communication is not one of AUC's strong points. But, fortunately, AUC does have a pretty fantastic financial aid staff, who have always been very helpful to me in the past. So, hopefully tomorrow, I can post details for anyone else that may be as confused as I am.

Also tomorrow, I have to pack for VEGAS!! Tuesday - Friday, I'm taking my first trip to Vegas, with my father. I haven't really spent much time with him for the past 2 years, so this will be a good chance to get a few days away. Very excited to go! For the first time in a while, I'm going to try to get the camera back out and get some good pictures.

Care to guess where I didn't eat dinner tonight? ;)

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Fortunately, I have never been a very big fan of McDonalds. Aside from their nuggets, which are both disgusting and delicious, I really dislike their food. In fact, I'd say it's the worst of the fast food restaurants. Because of that, I really can't remember the last time I visited a McDonalds. However, whenever it was, it was surely my last time. Today, with the help of Digg, I stumbled across McDonald's new website, especially for black people. If that's not racist, I'm not quite sure what is. I'm pretty sure that there was this Civil Rights Act thing, back in 1964, which determined that separate but equal was unconstitutional. But, I guess it wasn't that important...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sort of like Whole Foods

Yeah, we've got some very healthy food here. Somewhere between a Whole Foods and a 7-11

-- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, August 16, 2009

back from vacation

As you may have gathered from my post last night, I have returned from vacation with Heather. I don't feel like going into details, but it was a good time. I did get to do two things which I've always wanted to do - swim with dolphins and ride a Segway. Both were pretty much everything I expected. For your viewing pleasure, I've attached pictures of both.

Today, I spent another day at the firehouse. My first core rotation is psych at Spring Grove, starting in 2 weeks, and I actually got a medic run there today. And, surprisingly, it was a pretty decent run! Usually, we get a lot of BS calls out of Spring Grove. But, today, we were sent to take care of a woman with a BP of 250/140, which is probably the highest I've ever seen on the medic. She was also complaining of the worst headache of her life, blurry vision, and dizziness, which are all not particularly good signs...especially if strokes are not your thing. Unfortunately, there wasn't much to do for her than get her off to St. Agnes (another hospital where I'll be spending quite a while in rotations) quickly. Tomorrow, yet another rough day of sleeping late and doing whatever comes to mind at the time.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Emotional, much?

I feel bad laughing at other people crying, but this made me laugh a little.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Watch out!!

I'm not sure how well it shows up, but the old lady driving the car in the picture here is easily the worst driver I have seen in a very long time. People like her are the reason I believe that once you reach a certain age, you should retake the driving test. When I came out of my hotel room to check out, a security guard was trying to direct her back onto the walkway that she was not supposed to be driving on in the first place. She had already knocke her side view motor off by this point. As I walked away, laughing a little inside, I heard a loud noise as she crashed into one of the statues on the side of the path. Apparently, the security guard guiding her out of her initial crash was just not enough. A mother then quickly moved her children off the path and far up onto the grass, just in case the lady decided to do some more driving. A little early to be drinking, isn't it?

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, August 8, 2009

We've arrived

Vacation starts now!

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Final Falcon USMLE Review impressions

Well I did not get the score I was hoping for, but I really can't blame that on Falcon. From the beginning, they have always promised an average of 20-40 point improvement over your NBME comp results. And, I did wind up improving my score in the upper range of what they promise! Falcon did what they said they would do. So, if a 20-40 point improvement is what you're looking for, I have no doubt that Falcon will help you get it.

Results are in

And I passed! Although, I did not get nearly the score I was hoping for. I didn't do bad, per se (somewhere around national average), but I did bad for me. I'm really not sure what happened. I guess I'll just have to do whatever I can to make sure my step 2 score makes up for it, and make sure I have glowing letters of recommendation. In any case, I passed with a decent enough score, and I'm on my way to clinicals.

Speaking of clinicals, I also have my clinical schedule confirmed, and I got pretty much exactly what I wanted. I have psych, IM, and surgery in Baltimore (which is all they offer), and everything is scheduled back to back so I can get it out of the way ASAP! I have heard stories of people not being able to do their cores until into 4th year, but I have no idea how that's possible, unless the people are completely inflexible. Natallia in the clinical office at MEAS was extremely friendly and helpful. After many disappointments with AUC, setting up my clinicals was a breath of fresh air.

So, it's over, and it feels good. After years of wondering what the step would be like, stressing over taking it, and wondering if I passed, it's over. If that is the official end to basic sciences, then I am officially done with basic sciences, and onto clinicals. My first rotation is psych, but I'm even excited for that!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Another day in the doctor's office

Seen today:
1. New diagnosis of stable (although serious) angina
2. cortisone shots for 2 patients (2 knees and a shoulder)
3. Testicular hydrocele
4. Coconut M&Ms
5. pneumonia
6. borderline SVT, which bought the guy a trip to the emergency room
7. relative hypotension, brought on by the removal of super-human doses of prednisone
8. a few other things which I don't remember at the moment.

I asked one of the medical assistants in the office to get me a 12-lead on the chest pain guy before he was seen by the physician I'm working with. Getting a 12-lead is something I do regularly on the ambulance, and something I'll likely do later tonight. But, I've never asked anyone else to get one for me....felt very doctor-like. I've also kind of taken a liking to walking in the door and saying hi to a patient that's actually sitting there waiting for me to come in. Even better when they ask me a question that I can actually answer! It's the simple things....

Coconut M&Ms!!!!!

M&M’S® About M&MS®_ Products_ Coconut.jpg
I just had the new Limited Edition Coconut M&Ms today, and they are pretty damn fantastic. They're between the size of a regular and peanut butter M&M, and taste a little like a Mounds bar. In other words, they're awesome. I'm going to be a little sad when these disappear, so I think I'll have to stock up on them.

Yes...this is what my post-USMLE and pre-clinical life has come to...posting reviews of Candy.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sorry about that...

Yeah, I know I've been a bum, and been gone a while. But, I just didn't know how much people would want to hear about my vacation time! And then, after not posting in a while, I didn't really know where to start again. So, maybe just a quick update:

I've started working with my primary care physician, which has been a pretty good experience. I only work with him a couple days a week, but it's nice to start getting a little experience before clinicals really begin. Much to my surprise, I actually remember a lot of what I learned in medical school, can usually diagnose what's wrong, and usually know the appropriate treatment. However, it's been helpful to see when the doctor actually prescribes certain medications, and how they choose one over another. I've also gotten to see the real life presentation of many diseases I never thought I'd see. In just one day, I saw lots of a-fib, CHF, a carotid stenosis and carotid ultrasound, lyme disease, MRSA, Stevens Johnson, ITP, and PMR. I also learned how to do a cardiac echo and stress test. The patients have all been very helpful so far and only one person so far didn't want to see a medical student before the doctor. And, even with that person, it was only because they wanted to talk about one particularly embarrassing complaint.

I've also spent some time at the firehouse, and actually got a few good calls! I went almost 2 years without a good call (although most of it was because I was in another country, and not riding the ambulance). This past week, however, I had a cardiac arrest, trauma arrest, a trip to shock trauma, and my first adult IO insertion. I also got re-certified in ACLS and PALS, which is pretty standard fare for a medic, but apparently helpful in residency interviews. It still surprises me that almost no medical students get ACLS until they begin residency. It really seems like pretty basic stuff that all 3rd or 4th year students should know, but maybe that's just because I've been doing it for a long time.

Friday, I'm leaving for a week long vacation with Heather, to Orlando for a couple days, and then on a cruise! I'm excited to spend the week with her, playing with dolphins, riding around on segways, eating a ton of good food, and having pretty much nothing to worry about. I'm also looking forward to beginning clinicals at the end of the month, but still definitely enjoying vacation. Especially since this is the last meaningful vacation I'm going to get for a couple years!

Today, another long day of doing nothing ahead of me. It's very rough....

P.S. - still no USMLE scores. However, I'm expecting them this Wednesday.