Sunday, December 05, 2010

New Star Trek top ten

I checked online today, and I saw that the next re-booted Star Trek is due, supposedly, in June 2012.  I wish we didn't have to wait that long, especially since we seem to get a Twilight movie every 6 months or so.  So I decided to take a moment to discuss my enjoyment of the rebooted Star Trek.  Don't call me a fair-weather fan either.  I watched TOS in elementary school and have seen all TOS movies and TNG movies.  My husband and I working our way through all seven TNG seasons.  If you don't know what any other those abbreviations mean, then you aren't as geeky as I am.

Ten reasons that Star Trek is newly awesome

1. Did you see Spock kiss Uhura?

2. Brand new cool transporter special affects.

3. CGI done right - take note Star Wars!

4. The first ten minutes . . . a birth, death . . . WOW!

5. Eric Bana's over-acting

6. Solving all pesky continuity issues with the alternate universe solution.

7. Young Spock's cool judo throw.

8. No Shatner.

9. Tricked-out Enterprise.

10. Did you see Spock kiss Uhura?  Wait, I mean, hot new cast all signed on for two sequels. 

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Glorious new blog feature

I know it has been a long time since I updated my blog. Nothing happened to me except residency. As I am less than a year from graduating, I just haven't had time. Besides, rather than tell rambling stories about my life, I'm trying a new feature on my blog: Random Thoughts Top Ten. I'll give a little paragraph about why I am doing said topic. Some of this will be medical. Some of this will be pop culture like TV and movies. Some of it will be from my own life i.e. pregnancy. Hopefully this will motivate me to update more regularly.

Today's topic was inspired by a day off from my ER rotation. I have started rewatching my season 1 and 2 Grey's Anatomy DVDs, now from the resident and future attending perspective.

Ten Things from Grey's Anatomy that never happened during my internship

1. Never made-out (let alone slept with) any other doctor/nurse/tech/patient/desk clerk at the hospital.

2. Never allowed a surgical resident to perform Pediatric Advanced Life Support on any infant - surgeons never attend deliveries.

3. Never performed an unauthorized procedure/autopsy/surgery. Period.

4. Never had the time to meet every day with my friends for private lunch.

5. Never performed a intubation/procedure without any protective equipment.

6. Never deliberately sabotaged a patients recovery to make them sicker, let alone cutting LVAD wires.

7. Never used a call room for a conjugal visit, though I showed my husband the call room once with the door open.

8. Never got in a fist fight with a patient or other staff member at work or outside of work.

9. Never felt any of the patients issues were a direct mirror of the problems I was having in my own life.

10. Never restarted a patient's heart with a paddles or an overly dramatic chest thump after CPR failed.

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

New job, new life

Well it's not excatly a new life - but I'm now a pediatric intern at a medium to large children's hospital. Life is weird like that because two years ago I thought I was going to be a single Emergency medicine intern in Ohio.

Internship is kind of rough, it's about finding the balance of work, sleep, and spouse right now. Call takes on a completely different meaning when you are an intern than it did as a medical student. You really are the doctor; you are supposed to have an answer for the problem. (But not THE answer, ask your senior for that)

I'm on my sixth month of internship, and let's see what I accomplished.

July: lots of well baby checks!! Saw my brother get married.

August: step down NICU and first call month. Attended multiple deliveries, saw 2 that didn't make it, and got my first infant intubations and line placements.

September: trial by fire in Peds ED. (Decided not to pursue Peds EM as a fellowship.) Lots of stitching and 2 lumbar puncture attempts.

October: learned alot about peds cancer and learned that to stop SVT you really need to smash that bag of ice on the baby's face.

November: Newborn Nursery - 20 baby checks per day with a gaggle of med students. Also, I'm not going into infectious disease.

December: back in step down NICU, remarkably easier this time as I am not completely lost.

I've still got multiple months on wards, NICU, and wards again before I am a second year. And also step 3.

Wish me luck, and I am still caffeine free (no caffeine since before my senior year in college)

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I love to be busy and dumb

So I have less than two weeks left in medical school. I should be tying up loose ends and making sure I'm ready to graduate. Except that I'm not.

I just volunteered myself to go to the NICU for my last week of med school. I have a free month and the end of my (unnecessary) EM elective to complete. The elective is almost complete, but I've been procrastinating about certain things. When I didn't end up in EM, rather than publicly humiliate myself by presenting at EM grand rounds, I was switched to writing a paper, which actually is much more time consuming than a powerpoint. My EM shifts were moved to Children's hospital. And then I procrastinated about doing those things on account of getting married and going on a honeymoon. So its my own fault.

And yet I wanted to get some NICU experience. The truth is, my peds rotations are going to have lots of NICU and baby experience. The last time I touched a hospitalized baby was . . . last June. I did ICU and ED in adults this past year. I saw a few kids in the Sports Med clinic and the Child protective service rotation was more about socioeconomic issues than acute illness. In fact, I have spent all of 7 hours in the NICU total in my med school career and now I'm going to be a resident in it. I've decided now would be a good time to get some non graded non essential experience so I'm not absolutely clueless.

Maybe not a smart move since I'm trying to move out of my old house, move out of our condo, get promoted a belt level in judo, and finish up all the paperwork/requirements before I leave for residency.

Except I love being busy.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hey, it's been even longer

So now in the final month of my medical school career, I get back to posting. Here is a quick summary of what has been going on.

Residency - I matched into Pediatrics. I did apply to both EM and peds since I really liked them both. I also had my significant other's dreams of law school to take into account so my Match list was a mix of EM and pediatrics. I I won't deny that it has caused some awkwardness among some of my EM peeps but what can you do? did get my first choice peds program, which is awesome, and I can't wait to start. (after I enjoy this last month of fewer responsibilities)

Married - I got married in April. We were engaged exactly 5 months to the day. It was wonderful, scary, amazing, and everything in the same time. I can't even being to talk about what it was like. We did the whole Jewish wedding with the Ketubah, Hora, chuppah (aka marriage contract, chair dance, and wedding canopy). We honeymooned on a nice Caribbean cruise, and I can't even start about how lucky I am to be married to such a great man. It is still a little tough to get used to saying my new name and that I am a 'Mrs.'

Sickness - I had my tonsils removed in February for my second peritonsillar abscess. I only burst the scab once and didn't have to be hospitalized overnight for it. Other bad bad news, my dad has colon cancer. We thought we lucked out that we caught it early and it was only stage 2. Our luck didn't last because genetic testing revealed a higher possibility of reoccurrence and he is in a study that gives him some very aggressive chemo. This has been extremely hard on my family. He was able to walk me down the aisle with my mother which was very important to me.

Moving - I am relocating for my residency and my new husband's law school. I am finally moving out of the Midwest to somewhere warm! At least for the three years it will take for me to finish residency. The husband got into a law program he loves - almost like we planned it. ;) It is hard to try to pack everything we own to move to a new state. My brother, who is getting married in July, only has to move across town to his new house.

Med school is ending. Wow, it is really ending and I am going to be a doctor. Wow again.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ring on the finger

I know that I haven't posted for a long time - but I have an excellent excuse. I got engaged last month. He did the whole one knee, holding up the box, confessing his love. If you ask me, I'll tell you the whole mushy story. (There are no perfect moments in life, just moments you want to remember perfectly)

So while things were heating up relationship-wise in my life, I was ending my 4th year block of semi-serious rotations. When I say 'semi-serious,' I mean that because MICU and ER were my only two really rough time consuming rotations this year. ICU was July, August was off to do stuff for EM and Step 2, September was hard work in the ED, and October/November were both outpatient stuff. I probably should have been blogging more in that time, but I was getting ready to do interviews and pretend to do wedding planning.

My interviewing actually started with one interview each during my October and November months. I'd have done more in November, but I spent an AMA weekend in Hawaii which used up all my time off. This month I am practicing procedures on cadavers for an anatomy elective that lets me do LOTS of interviews. January will certainly be worse because I think I have 2-3 interviews per week that month. I do have 17-18 interviews and I am going to go on EVERY ONE. (Any med student will tell you that going on that many interviews is kind of crazy.)

It costs a lot to interview, since I have to repeatedly fly to different cities in a pretty large area. I applied Minnesota to North Carolina and was able to drive to about half of my interviews. About half the places provide a hotel and half don't - occasionally I get to stay with family or friends, but it generally costs 150-200 dollars per interview. I originally budgeted about 3,000 for all of interviewing, but it looks like I need to up that amount.

My new plan goes like this. I'll keep interviewing through January, and then I have a February away outpatient rotation near his family/my future in-laws. I'll do an inpatient March month of anesthesia - match that month - and get married in April! Obviously move and graduate med school.

So will I have to change the name of my blog?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Remembering the day:

Part of my memory of September 11th will be always remembering what I was doing on that day in 2001 and this day in the future. Even if the internet becomes outdated and I stop blogging, I'll think about that day.

What did I do today? I worked the 11pm-7am shift in the ER. It was a relatively long night but somewhat slow. I only saw four patients, which is normal for a med student rotator who isn't planning on doing it for life. I on the other hand usually see about 6-7 patients per 8 hour shift. I was on the road driving home by 7:30am. I talked after my shower to my boyfriend for about 20 some minutes till 8:30 but kept falling asleep. I crawled under the covers and pretty much slept until noon.

When I woke up I started watching TV and the History Channels 9/11 coverage. I was disappointed that more channels weren't covering anything. They didn't even have the American flags up in the corners of the screen. I expected more.

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Friday, September 07, 2007

Step 2 CK

While it seems that test taking is all I do lately, I am just returning from a month off from taking step 2 CK. CK is a nine hour computerized test that is graded on a similar scale to the step 1 test - 360 questions, 60 of which are experimental and the other 300 determine your score. Unlike step 1 instead of pathophysiology, you are graded on diagnosis skills and treatment. In my case, that is a very good thing because EM pretty much that.

Now about step 2 CK, it felt very different than step 1. I purchased the Kaplan Qbank with a friend, and Kaplan questions felt MUCH harder than the real test. I am not willing to hazard a guess on my score, but I feel better about this test. I also took that same month off to take PALS (pediatric advanced life support) and audit ATLS (Advanced Trauma Life Support). Even though they cut into my study time, I feel like I got alot out of them. Trauma and peds are relatively 'high yield' on Step 2 it seemed. They are also pretty high yield on my EM rotation that is just starting.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Passed CS

Thank goodness I passed CS. I got the results 2 days ago. Good luck to everyone else that is being forced to take it. It's stupid, ridiculous, and (at least for me) over.

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Saturday, July 07, 2007

Give me my money back CS

Give me my 1000 dollars back!!! I just took Step 2 CS (clinical skills) in Houston. An entire day dedicated to me 'performing' 'exams' on 'patients.' What's with all the ''? These were standardized patients pretending to be ill, with me pretending to examine them because they didn't have physical findings. I paid about 1500 dollars - the test plus my flight - to do something that I do regularly at my home med school for free. I even have to take another OSCE at my school, but at least they won't charge me.

I cannot say enough bad stuff about CS. Their end of test survey didn't even have a write in comment option to ask how they could improve it. How about not having stupid security measures in which you confiscate my feminine products? Was I planning on writing an entire History and Physical on a tampon? Really? Did we need an hour of boring video orientation in which you repeated the instructions already gave us? Was it necessary to give me a 'warning' for deleting my half finished word when the time ran out?

I will be really pissed if I didn't pass. I'm not really sure how I couldn't have, since I even put some time into preparing and because I've passed every previous CS type practice test with flying colors. I'd say more, but I was forced to promise to not reveal extensive details of this absolutely worthless test in the event that it would help someone 'cheat' on their future test.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

This morning . . .

This morning I was on my ambulatory pediatrics rotation looking at new babies and setting them up for their first shots. While I was doing that, Sarah at died. I recommend reading her blog from start to finish. The last few entries are by her husband when she became to ill to write while receiving treatment for mets to the brain.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Happy 1 year anniversary

When I started this blog last year, I was writing with a broken heart and belief that I may not be worth anything. I was facing Step 1 and the wide unknown of Med 3 waiting over the horizon. There was lots of anger, lots of freaking out, and general questioning of if I should or shouldn't even keep going. My future seemed to stretch in front of me as a wide expanse of loneliness and unhappiness.

In the past year, I've gone 32 hours without sleep. I lost an election, got written up, and made a few enemies in the medical community. On the other hand, I've delivered a baby by myself. I was referred to as 'doctor' by patients who wanted my advice. I danced with the dance majors at the university and earned a brown belt in judo. I wrote the first third year emergency medicine elective at my school and won the state judo championship. I discovered some amazing people on my rotations and helped some of my friends through what could be the worst times of their lives.

One year later, I am no longer questioning what I am doing. I disagree with many things in medicine, but I do not doubt that I am doing the right thing by being here. I feel that I am stronger and more in control that I was during med 2. Recently, I started reading the blog of a melanoma patient Sarah who is dying, and when she was well enough, she had written about the things she'd delayed or missed because she thought she'd have time for it later. She talked about how fear and the ease of putting things off makes all of us miss things we should be embracing.

That being said, I'm going to open up about something. For the past 5 months, I have been seeing someone, stating that it's nothing serious and that I don't want commitment. I've had this box around myself, insisting that I don't feel anything beyond the enjoyment of hanging out.

To steal portions of the Izzy' Steven's speech:
"I am an optimist. I am hopeful. I am not sure . . . [] I can't promise the future. I can't promise perfection because we're us and I'm me and who knows what will happen . . . "

What did that mean? It means that I am acknowledging my willingness to figure out if I have a future with this person. I'm not ready for 'forever' right now, and nowhere near saying the 'l word,' but I am saying that I'm not going to pretend anymore that I don't care. I see it as a very distinct possibility that things will come crashing down and I will be broken, but unless I open up to the pain, the possibility of falling for him and making things permanent does not exist.

You miss 100 percent of the swings you don't take.

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Hiding from my patient

On my last day of my inpatient peds rotation, we got some imaging from one of my patients. This patient had been in my care for a long time. He was, technically, was an adult but was being treated in peds anyway. Which meant I had a pissed off adolescent teenager who was pretty unreasonable.

Yeah, I said it. Unreasonable. Being sick sucks. I got it. Grow up, life isn't fair. He had a diagnosis that had a long recovery ahead after surgery - scheduled a week away - that my service fought very hard to get approved. He lived in total denial of what was happening to him and had a freak out my last day over the size of scar he will have with screaming and crying that he wouldn't have the surgery. I so much wanted to reach out and shake him, 'if you don't have the surgery you will die and no one will care how nice of a corpse you look!' His ever-present parents were very aware of how bad his prognosis was without surgery.

Before you judge me too harshly, this is not his first freak out. This is like his 20th. I spent alot of time keeping his nurses spirits up, whom he treated pretty badly. His diagnosis wasn't cancer (since I was on a non-cancer service) so it's not like I'm talking about a kid that had been sick for years. This 'kid' can fight for his country, he can vote, he can drive, and he is allowed to make healthcare decisions for himself.

So moving past that part of the situation. We sent him down for some additional imaging. We saw something we didn't expect to see, and it was BAD news. My last rotation in surgery tells me that what we saw changed everything. It was very likely that we weren't talking about a surgery next week with a hopeful discharge for his graduation. We were probably talking about a surgery as soon as they could get the team assembled.

However, without the official word, we could tell the patient nothing. In fact, my house staff specifically told me not to re-enter the room for any reason. We did not have an official read of the results and we did not have a plan of action. The plan was up to the surgeons, and all we would do is upset the family and screw up the care of the patient by not having solid answers.

Thus I hid. It was my last day, but under no circumstances was I coming back to say good-bye to the family. I know myself. They would ask me about the test results, and I would have trouble saying 'no official read yet' without betraying our suspected BAD BAD news. It sucks to say this, but in medicine, until you have an official attending backing you up, you aren't allowed to say what you think.

I was sent home before the surgery team even found out the news. Yes, it is an unsatisfying climax to a story, but that is how medicine can be.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

D@mn, it's good to be a doctor

First class delivery

So you are on a plane and a woman goes into labor. Normally that wouldn't be your problem, except that you are a doctor, which does make it your problem. Even if you are out of your specialty, you probably know more about OB than anyone else unless an OB nurse happens to be there.

Which is why a pediatric cardiologist (Dr. Robert Vincent) and an adult cardiologist (Dr. Dieter K. Gunkel) delivered a baby on a plane. The peds guy almost certainly had more experience with L and D than the adult guy did. Still, judging by their titles and photos of pediatrics guy, it had probably been a good 5-10 years since either of them had delivered a baby in a hospital - let alone a mile above the ground in the first class row.

Having done an OB rotation more recently than either of them, it must have been rough. Especially with the baby going all bradycardic (thank goodness they were cardiologists and were able to HEAR the baby's heartbeat slowing in whatever crappy stethoscope kept in the air emergency kit) Maybe they'd have had their own stethoscopes . . . wait, they were probably attendings and wouldn't carry that.

That being said, I bet Delta will be instituting a new pregnancy policy because its not that often you have docs on international flights. Good thing that there was that cardiology conference last week in Europe, I'd bet.

Maybe they'll start offering reduced prices for flights now if you flash that MD. I can only hope.

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