Thursday Born

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

Archive for July 2011

Cafeteria avoidance!

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Been packing food since Monday and it’s working well! It means I still have to wake up a full hour and a half before I have to be at the hospital though, even though I’ve gotten better at getting out the door. Yes, I’ve thought about making everything at night; but I only have an hour or two of downtime at home before bed, and packing lunch for the next day is not what I want to do right then.

1 banana
1 sliced orange
1 yogurt
1 turkey sandwich
1 peanut butter sandwich
= majority of my daily food intake.

Posting from my phone. Hope this works! Maybe I’ll post more often if it does.

Written by Aba

July 28, 2011 at 1:38 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Post call again!

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For whatever reason, it seems like post-call is a great time for me to blog. One reason might be that it’s 10am, I’m at home, and I don’t need to be back in the hospital for nineteen whole hours! Yes I’m running on a little under three hours of sleep and I have a ton of household chores to do, but I’ve been getting home around 6pm most days after leaving at 5am, and trying to be in bed by 9am (which would give me 7hrs of sleep), so right now this feels like an abundance of free time!

This is what I look like after 25.5 hours at the hospital and <3hrs of sleep.

This is what I look like after I realize what I look like and try to compensate with a more chipper smile.

I cooked! I’ve mostly been making myself scrambled eggs, but Friday night I was craving something a little fancier, so I stir fried some peppers, broccoli and tomatoes, and then scrambled some eggs and mixed it all together. Delicious and easy. Probably making this again for brunch today.

I’ve been eating in the cafeteria about once a day, but I really want to stop. I always feel like I need to eat something substantial because I don’t know when my next meal will be, but that usually means I eat something too fried or greasy or otherwise bad for me to be eating on a daily basis. I’ve noticed a fair number of residents and med students pack their own lunches and I’d like to get back into doing that. Except I haven’t gone grocery shopping for nearly three weeks (fixing that today I think!). I definitely want to start packing my own fruit at least; it costs a little too much in the hospital, even with my 30% student discount.

And it’s time to say goodbye to my desk. It’s seen me faithfully through two years of medical school, but I’m ready for something lighter and smaller, that I can move by myself when I want to clean, or re-arrange my room. It’s a good desk, and I’m hoping I can find a new home for it instead of resorting to throwing it out. Can’t wait till my new chair and/or my replacement balance ball arrive! My old balance ball mysteriously popped one day when I left the room, so I’ve been sitting on a storage ottoman, and my back does not like this at all. My back doesn’t like third year of medical school much either, for that matter. :( Working on fixing that.

Written by Aba

July 24, 2011 at 10:48 am

Forever Done with Step 1! Whooo!

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I passed! Which means that I am officially forever done with Step 1 of the USMLE exams (you can’t retake them if you pass). I didn’t do as well as I occasionally wished I would, but I scored around where I expected. I did make my minimum goal of doing better than average, so there’s something to be said for that since med students are a pretty smart bunch. I grew up with average being a bit of a dirty word, but I’m working on internalizing that being an average medical student is still pretty noteworthy.

Just two more Steps to go! Step 2 CK  & CS (Clinical Knowledge, another multiple choice exam, and Clinical Skills, a standardized patient exam) will be next year during the summer or early fall, and then the two days of Step 3 will be sometime during my first year of Residency/my Intern year, if I understand the timeline correctly.

In other news, I reached a new medical student low today. I was trying to check my back in the mirror to see if my spine is straight or not. I’ve had occasional issues with back pain since I was 9 or so that are probably just posture related, but you never know…

Written by Aba

July 13, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Posted in Medical School, Step 1

Photo Backlog

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Backlog of photos I took for blogging purposes! Forgive the weird resolution of most of them; I just discovered my phone was on a widescreen setting and I’m too busy/lazy to fix them. I’m also sleepy right now so… I might be editing this later.

As part of my MSK (musculoskeletal) third of my surgery rotation, we have a lot of lectures (at least twice a week). One of them was a lecture on how to put a cast on someone! I was a little late and I was really disappointed that I didn’t get to volunteer to have the doctor put the demo cast on me, since I was hoping this would be my one and only chance to wear a cast. But then at the end we got to pair up and have one person put a cast on another. The scariest part is cast removal, which involves a vibrating saw power tool that gets really hot and that looks like it would slice your skin easily, but due to the vibrations it doesn’t. Somehow. I was wary until one of the nurses touched his hand to it and proved that it really wouldn’t break skin.




Med student me versus me in make-up and a gorgeous evening dress that my mother just bought me (yup, that’s a dressing room picture).

Look! New tornado shelter signs in the Saint Louis airport! Vaguely worrying is that these signs are not outside the bathrooms we were told to take shelter in… More exciting, I got to take these pictures because this past weekend I successfully made it to DC and finally saw my family again.

Unfortunately, I was traveling with a broken netbook. :( I knelt on it while it was hidden under a pile of clothes. I don’t really need a netbook until December, so I’m going to try holding off on replacing this one until then. Using a broken screen is much harder than I thought, though. ><

Visiting my family usually means delicious food, and this time was no exception. Cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake (my mother’s birthday was on Saturday!), and Scotch, which I only had a sip of. I still haven’t hopped onto the Scotch Bandwaggon, though it was the first (of two! Really, just two) drink I had after taking my Step 1 exam.

And a delicious foie gras+quail egg burger with truffle fries that I had for brunch on Sunday!

At the orthopedics outpatient clinic I was rotating in today, there’s break rooms on each floor with coffee and disposable cups and all sorts of other nifty things. I don’t know why, but it made me really happy today when I stopped in and a member of the staff was making iced tea to share. It was delicious. :)

Written by Aba

July 12, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Post Call Babble

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Almost three weeks into third year and one of the biggest things I’m learning is that balancing sleeping, eating, studying, leisure time and my rotation schedule is a really tricky thing that won’t work without conscious effort. Big surprise, huh?

Right now I’m post call, which means that aside from getting about an hour and a half of sleep last night, I’ve been up since 6am yesterday. I had a normal full day, and then at 5pm I reported to the Orthopedic Resident on call and followed him around, mostly in the ER. It’s definitely exhausting, but it’s a surprising amount of fun. The resident who’s on night float (for six weeks he’s doing 6 nights a week of trauma call) is really good about teaching throughout the night, so I’ve been having a good time, and I’ve been learning.

Sunday night will be my third and final orthopedics trauma call, and I’m a little sad to be done already. I’m not sure what it is exactly that I’ve loved about being on call, but so far it’s the most fun I’ve been having in the hospital. I’ve learned some important life lessons, like exactly why you shouldn’t punch a glass window, no matter how angry and frustrated you are. Also, hand surgery? Ridiculously intricate work, but wonderful surgeries to scrub in on because everyone sits down! Sitting! In the OR! When you’re watching a surgery at 5am, after being on your feet all night, learning that you get to sit down is just about the best thing ever. It could only have been better if I got to sleep instead.

Immediately after call I had two and a half hours of lecture (thankfully 1.5hrs of it was interactive, so I stayed awake), and now I’m waiting for my suturing workshop at 2pm before I head home. During the first hour of lecture, I tried to put together a to-do list for myself to follow today, as a way to stay awake, and somehow “Sleep” made it onto the list. I think I’ll take my advice and crash on a couch in the student carrels until my workshop.

Written by Aba

July 7, 2011 at 11:38 am

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