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2012 in review

December 31, 2012

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 5,200 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 9 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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!

Blood on my Scrubs – EM Elective Week 4

June 27, 2011

(note – this post was originally written on June 4th, 2011)
It was only fitting that my last shift in the SJEH Emergency Department was as hectic as any typical Friday 7 – 7. I had two patients literally sobbing with pain and one who was gushing so much blood that it spilled onto my pants. I had to tell one lady that she’d miscarried and examine three little girls who’d been brought by the police because their mother had tried to commit suicide. There were two attendings on call but only one resident who was new* so I didn’t get a chance to take a lunch break. It was all worth it though, when I overheard one of the attendings tell a consultant, “She can do it. She’s not [a] resident but she’s the brightest one here.”

Over the course of the past 4 weeks, I’ve worked harder than I’ve ever had to in medical school. I performed more pelvic exams than I did during my ob/gyn core. Even though I thought I wasn’t going to be able to practice for CS, the ER was actually a great setting for honing the skills I need to showcase on the exam. For some schools, ER is a core rotation and now I can understand why so many deem it to be an essential part of medical training. I’d definitely recommend it, especially at SJEH.

*The resident was actually a PGY-3 who’d previously done a month of ER during his intern year. When I asked if he needed any help, he declined.

Free eBooks from Kaplan until January 10th

January 7, 2011

Here’s the deal, dear readers – Kaplan is offering select titles *free* for eBook readers like iPad (also works for iPhone & iPod Touch), B&N Nook and Sony eReader until January 10th, 2011. It’s not just USMLE Prep, there’s MCAT Prep Material, Cleveland Clinic Guides, and prep material in a host of other areas (GRE, Nursing, Legal). Find out more here.

Happy Downloading! 😀

Whale $#%! – AICM in Miami

September 15, 2009

Welcome to a new chapter of the chronicle! When I began 医者の卵, I was getting ready not only to embark on a career in medicine, but also on an adventure in another country. For 16 months, I studied the basic medical sciences at the Ross University campus in the Commonwealth of Dominica (again, not to be confused with the Dominican Republic). It was certainly an experience – at times, exciting, at times, frustrating, at times, lonely, and yet, at other times, wonderful. I learned a lot during my time on Dominica and made a lot of friends. Luckily, most of us survived the basic sciences (even if it was by the skin of our teeth!) and, despite enduring some crazy trials and tribulations, we managed to get to 5th semester. The most satisfying part of making it through was knowing that we’d accomplished something. Even though we were technically only halfway through our medical education, we’d survived the worst Dominica had to throw at us and emerged stronger, wiser and better than we were when we arrived. However, at the end of the basic sciences, we knew we were destined to part ways. There are three sites at which Advanced Introduction to Clinical Medicine (AICM)–the transition module designed to bridge the basic and clinical medical sciences–is offered: one site is the Princess Margaret Hospital, the Ross teaching hospital in the capital city of Dominica. One is Synergy Health in Sagniaw, Michigan. The other is where I am now, sunny Miami, in the sizzling south of the sunshine state. (more…)

In Memoriam

June 14, 2009

Pa-paMerlin Bass Jr.

March 17th, 1932 – June 12th, 2009

The Morning After

November 5, 2008

Battered and exhausted after the brutal Mini II exam, I hibernated yesterday. I chuckled with my cousin on the phone for a bit and then, since Dominica is now one hour ahead of the east coast, I decided to turn in early instead of tuning in to CNN and waiting for the votes to come in. The last time I’d done that, the last time I cared so much about an election that I stayed awake into the wee hours of the morning, I’d gone to sleep thinking that the candidate I supported had triumphed, only to discover upon waking that things had gone awry. This time, I’m not going to wait on tenterhooks, I thought. I’m going to go to bed and see how it is when I get up. Plus, I had lab at 8:00 AM so I didn’t want to oversleep and miss it. So instead, I missed a little bit of history.

My anatomy TA was disappointed by the outcome of the election. A staunch conservative, he fears that our president-elect is too liberal. Another friend, who I just discovered is a registered Republican, thinks that with Democrats in power, government spending will run rampant. There was not much jubilation on campus; instead, quiet, personal celebration: Yes We Can! t-shirts, Obama buttons, shared grins. I can’t really understand how anyone could be anything but bursting with joy today.

I’m so used to being a cynic. I’m so used to defending the arrogant, antagonizing actions of my nation to people who consider American pride to be nothing more than brazen, boastful swagger. Over the course of this election, I started to think that maybe there are two Americas, the small-town, heartland, amber waves of grain part and the critical, analytical metropolitan part. But last night, and this morning, we connected. We came together and we did this.

So call me unpatriotic (but you better not to my face, ’cause I’m from Queens, and you know what that means…). This is the first time in my life that I’m proud of something America did.

Nasty, Brutish and Short

October 28, 2008

Although we occasionally do fun things like draw livers on each other during lab, second semester isn’t exactly full of fun. We are now hurtling toward the shelf exams through 7 more weeks of long days (8:00 – 5:00) filled with lectures. The fall semester seems really short – just under four months long – but they’ve packed so much into it that my head is starting to spin. On Tuesday, we have Mini II and since the anatomy practical slapped me down from an A to a B (to my great shock, I might add, because I was confident that I’d rocked it), I’ve really got to annihilate it. We’ve got 3 more practicals before the end of the semester (our first neuroscience practical was last Friday). Updates may be seldom in the coming weeks but I’ll try to post occasionally. Encouragement never goes amiss – it’s like fuel for success.


September 30, 2008

While I’m here worrying about Mini I (on Monday – wish me luck!), everyone at home is anxious about the huge financial crisis spilling out of Wall Street and onto Dunkirk Street, Guy R. Brewer and every other lane in the country. [interjection – I can’t stand the ridiculous dichotomy the politicos (I’m pointing at you, Republicans) have created using Main Street and Wall Street. Some of us live on 161st Street or Jamaica Avenue or Cypress Court – not everyone is either a stockbroker or a small-town American. Don’t even get me started on the use of ‘urban’.). Since this morning’s biochem lecture was soporifically boring, I decided to try and find some information on what exactly is going on with our economy, why we’re in financial crisis and what it means for regular med students (who rely on student loans) like me. Here are some links:

Why did the bailout fail?

Could the mortgage crisis and bailout have been prevented?

Heading for deeper economic slump, with or without bailout.

Stash Your Cash

Meanwhile, they have reorganized the neuroscience curriculum so that 80% of the important stuff is covered on the first big exam and after we get all of the big things like tracts, modalities and cranial nerve fibers out of the way, we can have lectures on things like pain and fear. It’s a good thing we’ve got so many kooky mnemonics or else I wouldn’t be able to keep half of these things straight.

Some of my favorites:

For cranial nerve information:

Some say marry money but my brother says big boobs matter more.

For branches of the facial nerve (CN VII) in parotid gland:

That zebra bit my cookie or Tell Ziggy Bob Marley called

For motor nerve roots and actions:

C3,4,5 keeps the diaphragm alive; S2,3,4 keeps your penis off the floor

For more, check out these sites:

Medical Mnemonics

ValueMD Mnemonics

Wikipedia Cranial Nerve Mnemonics

What are your favorite med school mnemonics? Share them in the comments section.

Second Week at Ross – First Week of Classes

May 12, 2008

I guess I spoiled you guys last week – there’s no way I’ll be able to have three updates a week regularly, especially now that the real work has begun. I’m currently in the library and though I’m supposed to be reviewing today’s lectures, I’m updating my blog, so we can see how diligent I am.

Goals for Tomorrow

1. Be more diligent

Today we had an introductory lecture from the coordinator of each department as well as our first full anatomy and biochem lectures. The anatomy lecture was especially fascinating, and even though I had a bit of difficulty tuning my ear to the professor’s accent, he was funny and engaging. There’s this awesome software he demonstrated, the visual human dissector (VHD), which is amazing, but only available for use in the anatomy lab. I heard that med schools in the states give this software to all their students – can anyone confirm this? Also sweet: six years of Latin coming back into play. Mr. Minden, Homer and Catullus would be proud.

The biochem lecture was actually mostly review for me: an overview of biochemical molecules, bond types and energies and the beginning of the stereochemistry lecture, which will be continued tomorrow. One thing that irked me – I learned the esterification to create Acetyl CoA from Acetic acid and Coenzyme A in Orgo but for the life of me, I couldn’t remember how to push the arrows…

Although we have dry lab this week, I can’t wait for next week’s anatomy lab when we get to “meet” our cadavers. Hopefully I’ll have learned everything there is to know about the superficial and deep back by then…

Here are the pictures from Saturday’s Island Tour: