× Women in Medicine Blogs & Diaries

starting med school...and a diary.

14 years 1 month ago #68523 by Drey
Well the holidays were interesting. I spent a week living in a house with 23 people, which was crazy but fun. DH's little sister came to the christmas reunion with the stomach flu though, and as any epidemiologist will tell you, a house with 23 people including small children is a ripe breeding ground for an epidemic. We had one kid fall ill every day until christmas. We thought the adults were safe. Then, the day after xmas, 5 people got sick, including some adults. The day after that, 6 more fell. No one was safe. It was actually pretty funny by the end of the week, with everyone betting on who was going down next. :scratchchin: Thankfully it was only a 24 hour thing or we all would have been pretty miserable.

DH started classes this quarter towards his mechanical engineering masters degree. I'm glad that he's doing something he wants to do, but it has been stressful. He is currently paid by the hour, and he's had to cut back a little so he can take the classes, so we have less income now, and more going out because of his tuition and supplies. It was also a frustrating situation the other night because he had homework to finish using some CAD software on our computer, and I had some software programming to do for my research project on the same computer. We get a little less sleep, a little less money, a little more to do and consequently it's a little more stressful. I'm hoping that we can iron out the glitches and have a much more smooth routine by the end of the quarter.

I'm taking an ultrasound elective which is really cool. My medical school has several US machines that we can play with. One of the ER docs has been teaching us how to do a FAST scan for trauma and internal bleeding, as well as other fun things like echocardiography, US assisted Lumbar puncture, screening for abdominal aortic aneurysms, looking for gallstones etc. I think it's extremely fun and extremely useful, even if you do end up with ultrasound goo all over you at the end of each session.

I had one of those days this week where you just know the gods are picking on you. I tried to bring in this program I'm writing for a trial run and brought it on a floppy disc and emailed it to myself. No one had a computer with a floppy drive and the firewall at the school blocked this particular email program. sigh. Then, I took my dog for a long walk down to the post office to mail a package. Of course it started raining as soon as I got to the post office. Later that evening, I went over to the campus bookstore to get some books for classes. I get up to the cashier and realize that I do not have my wallet. Not only can I not purchase my books, but I also cannot go home and get my wallet because my car is in the parking garage and I have no cash to ransom it. I had to wait for a friend of mine to walk over from his apartment and bring me some money. Oh well. I guess everyone needs those days once in a while to remind them that you can't control everything. :banghead:

I'm doing a lot of teaching for the MCAT which has been disorganized lately. Twice in the past week I've been called at 8:30 at night to ask if I can teach the next day. Well, yes, I can, but I'd like a little more notice. I also told them that I have a test on the 20th, so I'd rather not teach on the 19th. They set me up to teach the 16th, the 18th and the 21st. grrrrrr.

We're still doing GI, and the theme for this week is "I despise biochemistry." Time to sign off and go get my daily $2.15 latte..... :rolleyes:

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14 years 3 weeks ago #68524 by Drey
The lattes have become a habit. The woman at the hospital coffee kiosk knows exactly what I and my friend C want when we walk up. Some days she has it waiting for us. I don't know if I'm flattered by the customer service or frightened at my coffee addiction. Ah well, no long term studies have yet demonstrated detrimental effects of a caffeine addiction, and drinking coffee may be protective against diabetes. :D At least that's my excuse for the moment.

Well, I got my schedule for the third year. Scheduling was interesting. They had a countdown clock until 12:30 PM yesterday when everyone had to get on and try to schedule at once in a first-come, first-serve fashion. :rolleyes: Whose bad idea was that? What happened to submitting preferencing? "Well, we thought we'd try something new with you guys this year." Um. Thanks.

To no one's surprise, the server slowed to a crawl and then froze. A lot of people got locked out of things they wanted. I got most of what I want, but I think that's because what I want is a little unusual. I'm front-loading all the nasty rotations so that I have the option of trying to get pregnant at the end of third year. Here's my schedule next year:

July/August --OBGYN
(General plus a specialty of my choice--I'd like to do trauma)
Nov/Dec--Internal Medicine
Jan/Feb--Ambulatory + an Elective
(Going to try to get radiology or anesthesiology)
March/April--Psychiatry and Neurology

So there it is. Should be interesting. OB, Surg and IM right in a row. wish me luck.

I rounded with a doc on the head and neck cancer wards on Monday. Really interesting and sad cases. One woman lost half her face and her entire left ear to a tumor. Another man had part of his jaw replaced with a length of bone from his ulna. (not sure what they replaced the ulnar bone with, I assume some sort of orthopedic artificial contraption.) It must be devastating to not only be dxed with cancer, but also to be disfigured by it.

Still teaching, doing research (writing computer scenarios for the simulator mannikin) and trying to squeeze in med school and board prep on the side. ;)

Life is crazy, but somehow I don't mind much.


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14 years 2 weeks ago #68525 by Drey
I'm a little worried about my schedule. The schedule coordinator sent a nasty email saying that she would be changing people's schedules to accomodate people with "compelling and compassionate reasons". She listed pregnancy and due dates as one of the possible valid reasons, but I'm pretty sure she means people who are currently pregnant or have pregnant wives due early in the year. I don't know if that applies to a possibility of getting pregnant.

She said that wanting to specialize in a specific thing was not a compelling reason, which I personally think is a little bi+chy. Doing badly in a rotation that you want to specialize in can screw up your entire career, so it seems like that would be a valid reason not to have that specialty first. A lot of people are feeling angry because they're currently happy with their schedules and feel like they're going to be made unhappy just to make the currently unhappy people happy.

I am terrified to send an email saying that I want to get pregnant, so please leave my schedule the way it is. I feel like I would get a phone call something along the lines of "don't get pregnant while in med school" from the administration. It seems like I would face a lot less discrimination and doubt about my dedication or abilities if I could just show up when I am pregnant and tell them to deal with it. If the adminsistration knows I"m planning this, I feel like I"ll get the cold shoulder for the entire next year. Maybe my fears are unfounded, and my school has been very friendly to the guys in our class with kids, but it still scares me.

Should I tell them? I don't know. Is the risk of discrimination more than the risk that some ditz in the scheduling office decides to put my surgery rotation right when I'd like to be in trimester I? I don't know that either.


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13 years 11 months ago #68526 by Drey
Had a rough couple of days. The car broke down and we just had to pay $950 to get it fixed. :yikes: I admit I cried right there in the auto shop when the receptionist handed me the estimate. Then I did what any sensible girl would do, and called my daddy. Unfortunately, he didn't think I was being snowed by the mechanic, and that my particular problem probably was going to be very expensive to fix. Well, $%&*@!. Then he laughed at me and telling me that being young and poor were the best years of my life. :rolleyes: Thanks dad. Rent is due today, and we're going to have to buy another car before I start rotations in July. It's all about money lately, or the lack of it. Sigh.

I'm in the process of doing my hospital-based preceptorship, and my preceptor is pretty cool. He's a very good doctor. He hates pharmaceutical companies, and makes us look up the generic names for everything. He also is not a big fan of just ordering test after test, so called "shotgun" medicine. He's extremely opintionated, somewhat anti-establishment, and a great teacher of how to think for yourself.

I've been really sick of school lately. I've been in school for about 20 years straight now, and I"m pretty sick of it. I'm sick of book work, I'm stick of studying and I am NOT looking forward to the month of solid studying that is going to be May. I can't wait to start rotations, but I'm sure I'll look back from there and wish I was just doing basic science again. The grass is always greener, right?

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13 years 11 months ago #68527 by Drey
We bought a car this weekend. :yikes: Sort of an interesting experience. It's the first really big thing that DH and I have bought together. We bought a subaru outback (looks kinda like a stationwagon that wants to be an SUV.) Car shopping was obnoxious. You always have to be on your guard, and I hate negotiating, it feels so confrontational. We actually ended up buying the first car we test drove, but not before we had driven all over the freaking city trying out other cars. :rolleyes: Luckily, we found another car that was almost identical at a different dealership but was priced really low, so we went back to the first dealership with the price we found for car B. I think they were annoyed, but they dropped the price of car A to where we were willing to buy it. We had also done our homework, and gotten approved for a bank loan before we went shopping, so we ended up with a better interest rate.

I found out my credit score in this process, and it's actually really high. Here's why: On college campuses, credit card companies give out free stuff if you sign up for their credit cards. I signed up for several, then cut them up and never thought about it again. Now, six years later, my credit score is amazing because I have 4 credit cards with zero balance that I didn't even remember. I highly reccomend this as a credit strategy!

I've been lonely for my old friends lately. I love my husband, but playing chess with him isn't quite the same as playing cards or games with 10 of us the way it used to be in college. Everyone has moved on with their lives, and we're scattered all over the country. I miss being able to drop by for a cup of tea or a glass of wine and have some decent conversation. It's harder to make friends in medical school, because everyone is so focused on studies, and at the end of the day, they all have separate lives to go home to. There are several I'm friends with, but none as close as those from college or even high school.

Lonely and broke, it's a bad combination. ;) Life isn't all that bad, and generally I'm pleased with the way my life turned out, I just need to kvetch occasionally. Anyone want to come to a pity party at my house? We'll drink chocolate martinis and do each other's makeup. It'll be a grown up sleepover.

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13 years 11 months ago #68528 by Drey
Random entertainment for the day: My doc told me that she thinks I strained my rectus abdominus muscles, and told me not to lift heavy things with a disapproving glance at the backpack. Funny part is, here's what was in my backpack: Anatomy book, book titled "Musculoskeletal Medicine" and note packet on orthopedics. I do believe the definition of irony is being told you have muscle strain from lifting your textbooks on muscle strains..... :rolleyes:

Speaking of this block, it's terrible. I think the material is boring, the lectures are horribly disorganized, and most of the ortho surgeons are total pr!cks. Ugh. 3 more weeks till spring break.

I just looked at some of my other posts and realized that I'm the queen of the :rolleyes: smiley. Funny. that's how I feel a lot lately. Here's a few more: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

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