Archive for the ‘residency’ category

Circ du Soleil

January 6, 2013
What do you think this is for?

What do you think this is for?

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…)

Plan Building

January 1, 2013

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…)

Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger – Inpatient Teams, その1

November 13, 2012

Note – this post was originally created on October 1st but you know, residency.

Residency is no joke! Just when you think you’ve reached some understanding or gained some competency, you’re thrust into a new situation that makes you realize just how little you know. The challenge is handling those situations as if you do know what you’re doing because even though you aren’t realistically expected to know it all (at least, not by one’s senior residents or attendings), you are expected to be on top of things. On inpatient teams blocks (‘teams’ or ‘days’), you are assigned to a max of 8 patients for the duration of their hospital stay (the average pediatric inpatient stay is 2 days but can vary wildly from 1 to 21 or more) and for these patients (and their families), you are their primary physician. The expectations are as high as the turnover rate and while there is the occasional laugh to be had, there were some tense moments, some strange standoffs and (for a crybaby like me), some tears shed.


Purple Pacifier Ire, Blue Babies and LTEs – NICU

September 30, 2012

If anyone had asked me on July 31st how I thought my NICU block would be, I’d have immediately responded with one word: awesome. Much of my desire to become a doctor in the first place was sparked by my fascination with neonatology; the epic stories my mom would tell about how I spent my first month of life in a NICU probably brainwashed me to the point where I felt like going to the NICU would be like a homecoming. The children’s hospital at which my residency is based has its own NICU where senior residents staff and take call but the interns are sent to the level III NICU of the local general hospital which is run by a team of attendings and neonatal nurse practitioners. It’s a state-of-the-art 60 bed facility where babies as young as 23 weeks are managed and ECMO can be performed if necessary. I remember how brightly I smiled on the first day, thinking of all the deliveries and resuscitations I’d be able to attend, all the tiny babies I’d be able to care for and all the things I’d be able to learn from the attendings. I’d even imagined myself well-prepared because I’d had a 4-week NICU elective in med school. Looking back, I realize how terribly naive I must have seemed. The shock of reality was like icy water in the ear.


Knowing When You Don’t Know – Heme/Onc

August 7, 2012

note: this post was meant to be published on July 30th

To say that there’s a steep learning curve for Hematology/Oncology is an understatement. As a resident fresh out of the box, I don’t think I could have imagined a more challenging or intimidating service for my first month as a doctor. At the end of the first week, I had a nervous breakdown and cried myself to sleep. I’d never felt more out of my depth in my life.


小児科医者の卵 – The Residency Chronicles

August 7, 2012

Question for all the new docs on the block: have you ever had that awkward moment when you meet an attending who introduces him/herself saying “Hi, I’m Dr. So-and-so” and you’re unsure of how to respond? Replying with my title almost seems as ridiculous as it would if a five-year-old introduced himself as “Mr.” Usually I end up introducing myself as “Crys, one of the residents” to peers (accompanied by a giant grin and a little lilt in my voice because I still can’t believe how awesome it is to finally be a resident) and as Dr. B to patients. I certainly don’t want to be one of those people who is so enamored of their M.D. that they can’t resist letting everyone know about it (my mom does that enough for me) Has anyone else had this dilemma?

I don’t know how I could have thought that I’d have more time for writing as a resident than I did as a med student. I did have a post written for July but in the midst of a pretty intense first block and settling into my new city, I never had a chance to publish it (that will soon be remedied). However, I now have an opportunity to introduce the next series of 医者の卵: The Residency Chronicles! Read all about the trials and travails of a pediatric resident – all the awesomeness, all the zaniness and everything in between. Hopefully, I’ll be able to update at least once per block. I hope these humble ramblings are amusing, if not informative and interesting. As always, thanks for reading!

Building Blocks

May 21, 2012

My official start date as an intern at the Children’s Medical Center of [Midwestern City] isn’t until July 3rd but orientation begins on June 18th (two days before the big 3-0!) and time is rapidly pushing me toward the day when I must leave my beloved Queens and move to the midwest. In advance of orientation, I’ve already been given my PALS and NRP materials to study/complete and I’m working my way through the Harriet Lane Handbook so that I don’t seem like an idiot on my first day. We’ve been given our schedules for the first year of residency, which is broken into 13 four-week blocks beginning on July 3rd. I’ll have to be on my toes right out of the gate – my first block is heme/onc.


医者! (no 卵)

April 19, 2012

Due to some fortuitous scheduling, today was my last day of medical school. It was the final day of my otolaryngology rotation, a surgery elective that was probably the next best thing to a clerkship in pediatric surgery. When I arrived in the OR suite, the attending greeted me with a big smile. “So today’s the last day, huh?” He patted my shoulder. “Welcome to the club.”

It’s going to take me a while to get used to being addressed as ‘doctor.’ Even though I feel like I’ve been waiting/working most of my life to be one, it doesn’t quite feel real yet. Maybe it will after graduation, or once I get my spiffy embroidered long white coat. I’m a little worried that on the first day of residency, I’ll accidentally introduce myself as a student. I figured I’d accustom myself to my new title by changing my voicemail recording. It still feels a bit strange to say.

Many years ago when I was a freshman in college (back when the SATs were scored out of 1600 points), I had a meeting with the freshman dean (Dean L) during which I was asked about my career plans. I told him that I planned to become a doctor. He looked at my file and quoted my SAT math score, a 550, back to me and said that with a score like that, maybe I should consider health administration or something else (nevermind my nearly perfect verbal score). If by chance I ran into Dean L today, I’d have no trouble introducing myself. “Thank you, Dean L,” I’d say, “for your contribution to my success.”

For everyone who’s been following along on this blog throughout these 4 years of med school and for all the ones who’ve been on my side since before, encouraging me, supporting me, bolstering me even when others tried to discourage me, I want to acknowledge you as well for your part in my achievement. I could not have gotten here without you and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Stay tuned for the next phase of 医者(の卵), the chronicles of a doctor (in training).

Decision 2012 – The Match

March 16, 2012

Although this week is designated as Match Week, I came to realize how different days are significant for different students. For Match participants from on-shore schools, it’s practically a foregone conclusion that one will receive an email of congratulations so the celebrations take part today. For my classmates, myself and thousands of other off-shore medical students and IMGs, Monday was the day of destiny.

I was thrilled to learn that so many of my friends and classmates successfully matched this year. Today is a tad anticlimactic, though it has been exciting to learn where everyone will be headed in July. My own destination isn’t exactly the one I expected but I’m certainly pleased to have matched to an excellent university program (at a beautiful children’s hospital!). It would have been nice to be a little closer to Queens but I’ve never let a little homesickness hold me back.

I’m still a bit in shock from all that has transpired this week but maybe that’s just part of this delirium of happiness I’m experiencing. I’m going to be a pediatrician! What an achievement.

Decision 2012 – March Madness

March 5, 2012

There’s a catchy song by Japanese singer Aiuchi Rina (of 名探偵 Conan fame) called「♪恋は Thrill, Shock, Suspense!♪.」Its title seems to sum up this whole match business rather well for me. Next Monday may be thrilling, it might be shocking but it’s the suspense that’s going to drive me crazy.