Monday, November 30, 2009

daily update

Looks like I've been absent for a while. Well, at least I haven't been as absent as a fellow blogger, who shall remain nameless (but is linked to on the right side of this page). Again, mostly because I don't have that much exciting to write about, since I'm currently on a 2 week break, before starting IM next Monday. I'm still working on editing the Paris and Rome pictures, but I'm hoping to have them done before IM starts. Tomorrow, I'm going in with an ENT to observe some surgery (thanks to Heather), which should be pretty damn awesome! I still have a little while to go before i do my surgery core, but I'm getting to watch little bits here and there, which holds me over. Have I mentioned that I really love being back in the US?

Since I have nothing more exciting to write about at the moment, here are a few pictures from Paris! I sometimes imagine that people actually get excited about me posting pics....waiting for them with baited breath. So, in my imaginary world, I'm now helping to hold you over. Many many more to come.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's the simple things

Oh how I've missed you, Taco Bell

-- Post From My iPhone

AUC health insurance crisis!

AUC just sent out a letter that all students will be required to use AUC's insurance provider, for a fee of over $300/semester, no matter your age. The problem with this is that AUC's insurance provider covers almost's among the worst insurance policies in the country. And, many of us in clinicals already have FAR superior insurance, with a yearly contract. I talked to Ms. Sanchez at MEAS, and it sounds as though she's already gotten a ton of calls about this, since it's going to cause major issues for almost every student. She encouraged me to e-mail her with why this policy sucks (my words, not hers), so she can try and figure out a solution. If you are just as outraged as me, please send her an e-mail at

Please do keep in mind that this was not her policy decision, and she was very nice on the maybe best to send a nice e-mail, while still expressing how awful this decision is.

I'm home!

And, with the return home, I've also got my amazing FIOS internet connection back. So, pictures are being uploaded to flickr as I get a chance to edit them. You can check them out at Here's a few:


Later, I'll write my overall impression of the rotation. But for now, I'm in desperate need of some good American food!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

oh I can't wait to go home tomorrow

I'm exhausted, so I'm not going to write much right now. In short, I loved Rome, and I HATE HATE HATE public transportation, particularly London public transportation. I cannot wait to be home tomorrow at around 5:30 PM. At that time, I will be in a good mood. At the moment, I'm exhausted, still need to pack, and am not in a good mood.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

almost time to go!

As happened in psych, I'm finally starting to feel comfortable in a rotation and finally feel like I know what I'm doing, and it's just about time for me to leave! At this point, I feel like I could see most pediatric patients and have some idea what's going on, and how to treat it. But, I can't say that I'm sad that it's almost over either. I've been ready to get back home for a while now. And, since my next couple rotations are twice the length of my previous two, I should have plenty of time to remain in the rotation, even after I'm finally comfortable.

For the moment, I'm just focusing on the fact that I only have two days left of peds, and they'll probably be pretty short days! Today was a half day, since the UK students are always off half day to go play sports. I was helping out one of the docs in the NICU though, so I stayed until around 1. However, that apparently made me an overachiever. Only 4 or 5 other students (out of about 15 total) decided to show up today. The work ethic amongst med students in the UK is much different than in the US, and you can get away with just about anything here. I guess that since the attending was at another hospital and there was no scheduled teaching, they just didn't feel like coming. I'm hoping the fact that I always show up is reflected in my evaluation!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

last Tuesday in London!

Sorry I've been gone for a bit (again), but I was away all weekend, and then had to buy more internet access. Have I mentioned that I hate the internet in the UK? Anyway...I was in Amsterdam this past weekend and that city is amazing! It's very pretty, has lots of neat sights to visit, and the red light district is insane. Pretty much everything is legal has to be the easiest place in the world to be a cop. Unfortunately, I didn't bring my camera with me, so I only got iPhone pics. I did not expect the city to be as pretty as it was, I didn't want to carry around the extra weight, and the weather was supposed to suck both days that I was there. Turns out that it mostly rained at night, and was pretty nice during the day, especially on Saturday. Oh well, the memories will remain in my head, just not shared on flickr this time. I will definitely be bringing my camera to Rome next weekend though!!

This week (my last week in the UK), I'm spending my time in the NICU. Today was probably the best day of the whole rotation. I'm following around the resident who gets all the pages for the high risk deliveries. Today, I saw my first c-section delivery. And then, I saw three more, including one emergency c-section on a 29 week old premature baby. For those who don't know, 40 weeks is full term, and 28 weeks is extremely premature, almost always requiring life support. Anything less than 26 weeks, probably not viable. So, 29 weeks is pretty darn small! It amazed me how fast the baby gets out in a c-section! The whole operation takes about a half hour or so, but almost all of that is closing the mother back up. From the time they make the first incision to the time they have the baby out is probably less than 5 minutes. In the emergency c-section on the 29 week old today, the baby was out probably less than 30 seconds after the first incision! Fortunately, the neonatal team was able to resuscitate the baby quickly, and it appears to be doing well now. I was very excited to finally be spending some time in the OR! It was pretty obvious to the neonatal resident that I really liked watching the surgery, so she let me watch them for most of all 4 c-sections. I really cannot wait to get to my surgery rotation. But, even more than that, i can't wait to get back home Monday!!!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

stupid clouds

Yeah, I've heard that the UK is always cloudy, but I didn't really believe that an entire country could remain under perpetual cloud cover. However, despite a couple nice days here and there, that does seem to be mostly the case! I woke up this morning all excited because after about a week of bad weather, it was finally sunny. There was actually not a cloud in the sky this morning! But, on the way home, at only 1PM, I noticed that it was not nearly as bright outside anymore! Now, at nearly 4, the sky is completely covered in dull gray clouds again. It's pretty depressing.

What's not depressing though is how early we get out every day! I don't remember the last day that I was still at the hospital at 4. I'm not going to know what to do when I actually have to work a full day in my next rotation. Or, worse yet, actually have to work weekends! But, I do need to get some studying done today. I really want to finish reading the whole Blueprints Pediatrics book before I leave London...something which should definitely be possible if I can make myself read every day. I'm already over 1/3 done, and I didn't start until recently. So, I guess I should get to it...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hello again

Sorry about the couple day absence; I didn't forget about blogging, I was just away in Paris for the weekend! First, the bad...I got sick, AGAIN!! It seems that I just cannot be healthy in Europe! I got sick the day before I left for Madrid, causing me to be sick the whole weekend, and got sick again on the way to Paris, again causing me to be sick for the whole trip. And then, to top it all off, when I got back from the trip and just wanted to go to bed, the train back to my town was not working. So, I had to take the tube and buses, which cost more and take twice as long! Then, the elevator in my building was not working. Today, since I've been sick now for over 2 weeks, I decided not to go into work, and instead waited 3 hours to see a doctor. In the end, I wound up with a prescription for acid reflux medication (which I've been buying over the counter, for too much money), and Augmentin, an antibiotic for probable bacterial sinusitis. So, hopefully it will all work, and I'll be better soon.

OK, now the good....Paris was as beautiful as I figured it would be, and the major sights are even more impressive in person than they are in pictures. It was cloudy and cold for much of the trip, but the weather did clear up while we were going up the Eiffel Tower, which allowed me to get some pretty spectacular pics. Unfortunately, I can't upload them until I'm home, since the internet here kind of sucks. I also had the most amazing hot chocolate in the world at a place by the Louvre, who's name I unfortunately can't remember. If you know the place I'm talking about, please leave its name in the comments. I know it sounds vague, but if you've been there, you know what I'm talking about! And, although I find the enormity of the Notre Dame cathedral a bit absurd, given that it was built to worship an imaginary man in the sky, it sure is impressive! I did find it a bit odd though that the place is loaded with tourists taking pictures, while services are going on. But, that did not stop me from being amongst the tourists taking tons of pictures! I also ate a bit of everything that I considered necessary in France, including French bread, croissants, French cheese, and French wine. All of it was equally delicious. I have no desire to go back to Madrid, but I would definitely like to go back to Paris one day, preferably with a girl this time, when the weather is a little nicer!

Friday, November 6, 2009


OK, I lied. Here's the London Underground song. Warning, the language is NSFW. If you've never been in London and can't figure it out, the London Underground or Tube is the London Subway system. Although the London Underground is not currently on strike, the post office is, and my feelings for them at the moment are similar. This is the song that made them popular, outside of medical students.

Anaesthetists Hymn

Thanks to one of my UK colleagues, i discovered this group last night. I spent about an hour and a half going through all of their videos. They're not all medical related, but seeing as I"m a med student, I figured I'd post a couple of the medical ones. If you wanna find others, just run a youtube search, or maybe I'll post more later. Their London Underground song is pretty great.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

to unlock or not to unlock

So they came out with a ridiculously simple unlock for the newest version of the iPhone software today. If they had come out with it 3 weeks ago, I would have unlocked my phone immediately. But, I've been dealing with not having the iPhone now for the last 3 weeks, and I have less than 3 more to go. So, I'm debating on whether or not I should unlock it and get a new SIM card. It really wouldn't cost much of anything, since I need more minutes anyway, but I'm thinking it's probably not worth the effort, to use for only 2 weeks or so. And, since there is NO cell reception in Queens hospital, where I'd usually want to use it, I wouldn't get that much use out of it. I think I'm just going to wait until I get back home, to remember how wonderful the iPhone really is. Damn you, hackers, for not doing this 3 weeks ago!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Great News!

I talked to my consultant physician today (attending) about my desire to stay at Queens hospital for the rest of my rotation. I kinda figured he'd let me stay, but it's nice to have it confirmed. So, I am officially done with King Georges and at Queens for the next 3 weeks! This means that I'll get to spend a week in the NICU (which they don't have at KGH) and also get to spend time in the peds dept. without any other students. The consultant does his lectures in 4 week blocks. Since this is my 4th week, by the time they switch back to KGH, I'll have been to all the lectures. Since the rest of the AUC students started later (one just started today), they'll have to go back to King Georges with the other students. So, I'll be the only student left at Queens, which will allow me to do pretty much anything I want in the peds department. Definitely a positive development!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Back to the gym

So, I was standing in front of my bathroom mirror today (as I often do) and I became a little upset. Although the less-than-delicioius UK food has caused me to lose some weight, my chest and arms have also been slowly deflating. So, I joined a gym today. I actually would have done it much earlier, but I've been sick pretty much since I got here. Now that I'm better, I could finally go join! It's not too expensive, and a reasonably nice place. Should at least hold me over until I get back to Federal Hill Fitness (best gym in Baltimore). Other than that, not much to write about. Gonna take some Ritalin and study for the rest of the fun!!