Thursday Born

The everyday life of a psychiatry resident (who was born on a Thursday).

Archive for April 2011

My first (and last?) tornado!

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I was supposed to visit parents, who are in the US for two weeks or so, for Easter weekend. Unfortunately, while I was at the airport, it got hit by a tornado (no casualties, and no injuries at all on my part). So I shall have to wait till July to see my family again. I’m not very happy about this, but, well, tornado!

It was a rather eerie experience overall. The airport was really empty (I later found out that they had hurried out as many flights as they could), my flight wasn’t listed on the departures (but the Delta agents assured me it still existed) and the plane was delayed by over an hour (not related to the storm). I thought the security to my gate was closed but there just wasn’t any line and all the TSA people were toward the back.

There were 18 other people waiting for my flight. They moved us to another gate, and then the power went out. The lights in the airport just hiccuped, but the power outside was down which meant that our plane, which had finally arrived, couldn’t land yet.

At this point, I recognized that the night was going quite strangely but I still assumed I’d be making my flight, so I was just browsing on my phone while idly eavesdropping on the other passengers, two of whom were talking about abandoning this flight because they were worried about the stormy weather.

And then some TSA officials came running down the hall and yelling at us all to get into the bathroom. I think I’d already gotten up to move because I realized “Hey, I’m in front of a really big window during a storm. Maybe I should back up,” so I already had my bags in hand and ran into the bathroom with my stuff and everyone else. I wasn’t really scared at this point. I’m not one to panic much and the bathrooms are really solid and safe. Mostly I was still wondering whether I’d be flying that night. I also didn’t realize that the tornado had actually hit the airport itself. They weren’t very good about letting us know what was going on; they just kept us in the bathroom and then a windowless hall and then eventually told us we could go home and that maybe the airport would be running again in the morning. Up until I exited the airport and took the above pictures, I thought the main problems were the power being out, and lots of debris on the runway, but there was also rather extensive physical damage to the airport all around. The metro wasn’t running to the airport anymore, so one of my friends drove to pick me up, and it took us at least a good half hour to figure out how to get to each other because a lot of the roads were closed off.

I highly recommend researching the areas you’re moving to before you get there! My first tornado warning in Saint Louis took me by complete surprise last year.

I do have to say though, that I have seen the most amazingly beautiful lightning ever since I’ve moved here, and I do love a good thunder storm so long as there are no tornadoes involved. I really wish I had a proper camera to take pictures of the lightning (these photos are from my new phone! My Motorola Droid broke so I got an HTC thunderbolt, and I adore it so far, minus the battery life). I’m used to lightning being a brightening of the sky, but here, you see the actual bolts most of the time.

So yeah, that was my Easter weekend! I hope yours was less tornadoful. :)

Written by Aba

April 25, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Posted in Life in General

Cervixes and Avocados

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What do healthy cervixes and ripe avocados have in common? They both have the same texture as a nose! (If an avocado feels like your forehead, it’s not ripe. If it feels like your cheek, it’s over-ripe).

Healthy prostates, on the other hand, feel like the fleshy part of your hand at the base of your thumb when you’re making a fist. If it feels like your knuckle, that could be cancer, if it feels like the fleshy part when your hand is open, that’s what is described as a “boggy, inflamed” prostate.

This is on my mind because wednesday and thursday nights, I finally had my “Advanced Clinical Skills” training, ie, learning how to perform the male and female genital/rectal/pelvic exams on special “Genital Teaching Assistants.” It all went surprisingly smoothly. My male GTA was a really nice, 75 year old guy who’s been doing this since sometime in the 90s. We were both pretty relaxed about the whole thing, but the other student with me seemed fairly nervous until after he’d watched me do it and then had done it himself.

For the female session, we had two female GTAs, a female chaperone/guide, and three students in the room(the other two with me were also girls). Everyone was very relaxed and one of the GTAs cracked a lot of jokes, so it was all around a very pleasant and fun experience.  Once again, I volunteered to go first. It just makes me more nervous to watch someone else do it first, and I’d rather just go ahead and do it.

In other news, I finally acquired a wine rack. $5 and bought off of a fourth year. I love fourth year moving sales! :D I was pleasantly surprised too because it’s actually quite pretty (I bought it without seeing a picture).

None of those bottles are mine, but there tends to be wine in my apartment, mine or my roommate’s, and I like it when things have a proper place to go. Currently that bookshelf is for boardgames, but I’m debating converting one shelf into a pseduo liquor cabinet to free up some space in our pantry.

Written by Aba

April 22, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Posted in Medical School

Third Year Clerkships

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06/20/2011        Integrated Surgical Disciplines I
07/18/2011        Integrated Surgical Disciplines II
08/15/2011        Integrated Surgical Disciplines III

09/12/2011        Neurology Clerkship
10/10/2011        Psychiatry Clerkship
11/07/2011        Emergency Medicine Clerkship

12/05/2011        Pediatrics Clerkship
11/30/2012        Obstetrics/Gynecology

03/12/2012        Medicine-Cardiology
04/09/2012        Medicine-Ambulatory Medicine
05/07/2012        Medicine

Third year runs for 50 weeks, from June 20th till early June 2012. There’s a 2 week break in December, so third year is actually 48weeks, which is split into four 12 week blocks. We all go through 12 weeks of Surgery, 12 weeks of Internal Medicine, 6 of Pediatrics, 6 of Ob/Gyn, 4 of Neurology, 4 of Psychiatry, and 4 weeks where we get to pick the rotation out of a few options (I picked EM). This is not quite the order I wanted (aside from getting Surgery first), but I’m not dissatisfied enough to try to swap with someone.

At the end of third year, we get an entire other 2 weeks of vacation (two whole weeks! Exciting! No, really. I’m not being sarcastic. Mostly). And then there’ll be fourth year, which is a magical time of happiness and joy, so I’ve been led to believe by pretty much everyone everywhere.

Written by Aba

April 21, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Heme/Onc and Ob/Gyn block (6 of 6!)

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So this is our final block, and I think it’d feel more momentous without Step 1 looming over my head. I’d also be more excited about third year (I got my clerkship schedule about a week ago!) if I wasn’t so worried about that test.

Still, this is my final block of classes, and it is kind of a big deal; I’m just having trouble feeling it right now. This is the last time in my life where my primary responsibility is classroom learning. I’ve been in school since I was 5 (4 if you count Montessori), with a break for one year when I did full time research in-between college and medical school. This will make for 19 years of full-time schooling, and yeah, I’m ready for something new. Third year is going to be something new many times over, which is exciting and scary.

Which reminds me of a few lines from a song in the broadway musical, Into the Woods:

“Though, I really got scared-
Well, excited and scared”

You know how sometimes phrases will get stuck in your head, even if they’re not attached to music? These are another set. Except I actually don’t remember it from watching the show, but from a friend in high school quoting it a few times.

Written by Aba

April 18, 2011 at 11:53 pm

Posted in Medical School

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