Yesterday, I performed my third circumcision, this time under the direction of my senior resident (my first was supervised by the Attending and a senior who served as my assistant but who had to help after the adhesions I broke turned out to be between the prepuce and the mucosal layer; the second was supervised by the Attending who had to glove up to make my cut a bit longer). This time, I required no extra hands to help; the senior just stood at the ready and offered feedback. My adhesion-breaking technique is getting better and I’m a little more dexterous with the tools but ever since I saw an Attending perform a practically bloodless procedure in less than 15 mins during which the patient peacefully sucked away on sucrose and made nary a complaint, I’ve been on a quest to perform the perfect circ. (more…)
Archive for the ‘randomness’ category
Although I failed to adhere completely to my lofty list of resolutions for 2012, I have to say it turned out to be a red letter year for me anyway. There were certainly highs and lows and things I wish I could have (or should have) done differently but 2012 was probably one of the most significant years of my life. Let’s recap, shall we?
13 Awesome Things That Happened in 2012
1. I graduated from med school
2. I turned 30
3. I survived the match and was chosen for a pediatric residency
4. I became a homeowner
5. I leased my first car
6. I performed my first lumbar puncture (actually, 2 so far)
7. I performed my first circumcision
8. President Obama was re-elected
9. The crazy night shift at the end of which I was told by our neurosurgery attending that I’d helped save a patient’s life
10. I got a MacBook Pro
11. I finally ended a relationship that was right on paper but wasn’t right for me
12. I saw Paris for the first time (and introduced my family to Barcelona)
13. I reached a new level of independence
It’s going to be hard to top all of that this year. (more…)
During my final rotation, I had an awesome attending who would introduce me to his patients and proudly inform them that I was about to “walk the line.” On Friday June 8th, I walked it, and even though my diploma is dated April 30th, I don’t think I really felt like I’d made it through med school until that ceremony. It was often fun and fascinating but med school was never easy. If anyone were to ask me what my advice would be to the students just donning their waist-length white coats, I’d tell them these three things: (more…)
Mere days after lamenting the fact that my Japanese skills have been withering from neglect, I discovered that a PGY-1 at my current hospital is wonderfully fluent. I was delighted, but also a little jealous. While it is pretty awesome to chat (even while getting the ‘wth?’ looks two non-Japanese people get when speaking Japanese), I couldn’t help but notice how ペラペラ his 日本語 was and how nicely he’s been able to maintain it, despite also being a medical intern, while my 日本語 is nowhere near as 綺麗 as it once was. I couldn’t even say ‘residency’*.
Now, I find I’m even more committed to brushing up my skills (español también!) – I wonder if there are any medical-themed 漫画、アニメ or ドラマ** that I can get a hold of…
**preferably ones starring 滝沢秀明
So, I was just talking with my dad and my little bro about New Years’ Resolutions and I realized that I wasn’t so great last year about keeping mine (especially the one about being a more faithful blogger, sorry!!) so I think I should try to aim for at least 90% adherence to the resolutions for the upcoming year. That means that I should stick to 10.8 (let’s round up to 11) of the following 12:
1. Read something to do with medicine and/or health care every single day
One of the things that stuck with me from surgery rotation was Dr. C’s admonishment that as medical professionals, we should be reading at least an hour a day, no matter what. I probably spend over an hour reading every day but romance novels, blogs and amateur fiction probably aren’t going to make me more valuable to my patients. Hopefully, one of my other resolutions will help me stick to this endeavor.
2. Be ready to take to Step 3 by May 30th
Step 3 is the final USMLE required before one is eligible for an official medical license. Once can’t apply for it until after one receives a medical degree but since only a portion of this exam is devoted to pediatrics, it would be nice to get it out of the way before the start of residency so that I can spend my intern year focusing on the good stuff. Studying for this exam will also help me stick with resolution one since it will make sure that I’m reading something medical (and learning something new or reinforcing something I already know) every day.
3. Strengthen my language skills
On my past few rotations, I’ve been one of the few people who was able to communicate well with Spanish-speaking patients and that has garnered me praise from the attendings and residents, not to mention interest from residency program directors. However, I find I’ve been coasting by on my above-average español and I’d like to push past the plateau and become fully fluent. The trouble is, it’s tough to find resources (especially free ones) at my level. I’d welcome any suggestions. Meanwhile, my 日本語 has fallen from 上手 to まあまあ from lack of use. I’d really like to get it back up to speed. If that means making time for manga, dramas and anime, so be it.
I am pleased to report to all the cherished readers of this blog that I have passed Step 2 CK! Unfortunately, I didn’t achieve the 95 or above goal I’d been reaching for but I was able to improve upon my Step 1 score and for that, I’m pretty happy. Once again, the USMLE World Self-Assessment Exam was an excellent predictor of my actual score (I scored 2 points higher on the sim exam than I did on the real thing). I could’ve been a bit more diligent and honestly, I wish I’d had more time to dedicate to study isolation but still, I’m not unhappy with how it turned out. Had I managed a 95, I’d say I was proud of myself but with my 89, I’m content.
My cousin (who is one of my best friends and my faith role model) happens to be a very talented preacher and one of the things he often mentions in his teachings is fasting. Usually, I kinda zone out when talk of turning down one’s plate comes up. I guess I’m greedy and I sort of wondered why prayer wouldn’t be enough. When my more religious pals would talk about fasting for their high holy days, I’d admire their fortitude and self-control but think that I could never be devoted enough to do it.
After CK, I was pretty anxious about my performance. I hadn’t gone through UWorld at least 2 times, I hadn’t watched any bootleg test prep videos and the week before the exam, I succumbed to study fatigue and randomly slacked on question blocks to watch old episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Powerpuff Girls. I was really at a loss on how not to fall into depression or go insane worrying that I’d failed when the idea of fasting came up again.
I began to consider the rationale behind fasting and something occurred to me that I hadn’t thought of before: the idea of sacrifice. It seemed like one of the main points of fasting was to make a sacrifice of something as an offering to God, a practice practically all the religions I’ve studied have in common. The end goal could be something as profound as strengthening one’s spiritual relationship but it could be something as simple and secular as a request. Instead of just wishing or hoping for something, one could make a pact – ‘I’m willing to sacrifice x for Your help with this one, God. I’ll make an offering of trust to back it up’. With this in mind, I decided to try this undertaking. For a little over a month, I became, essentially, an ovo-lacto-vegetarian. I vowed to give up meat until I received my step score.
It’s been heartbreaking watching the aftermath of the catastrophic Tohoku Pacific Earthquake and Tsunami. Most of my contacts in Japan were further south and thankfully, all accounted for within hours of the disaster but it’s impossible not to feel terrible about all the other people who were not so fortunate. Even 2 weeks later, people are without decent food, electricity, shelter and everyone is still extremely nervous about radiation levels.
I’d been getting my information through 兵庫県’s international mailing list and a multilingual information site created to address the concerns of foreigners living in Japan following the earthquake but for at least a week, I couldn’t figure out anything that I could do from here that would actually help. Even though I had an inbox full of emails from stores proclaiming ‘ Shop here and we’ll donate 0.5% to Japan! Text ‘donate’ to 55555 and we’ll figure out something to do with the money that might involve Japan relief!’, I felt like I needed a cure for the common relief effort. Having lived 10%* of my life in Japan, wasn’t it my duty to make a special effort in such a time of crisis? Luckily, as an alumna of the JET Program, I was made aware of two opportunities to help: The JETAA USA Fund and the Multilingual Medical Terms Translation List, a project created by fellow JET alumna Stephanie Toriumi. After making a humble donation and adding some terms en español to the list, I still felt like I needed to do more. Then, I remembered my sorely neglected blog…
It took me a little while, but I finally found a way to make a meaningful contribution. The two options I mentioned above might seem a little JET-centric, but if you’re looking for ways to contribute to the relief effort, I’ve compiled a few more links that have been passed my way. It doesn’t have to be about money. If you want to help, just send someone you know one of these links. Thanks for your help.
Thanks to jetwit for keeping me abreast of the news, information and relief efforts of the JET community.本当にありがとうございます！
*nearly 3 years