Thursday Born

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

Archive for December 2011

Reverb 11, Day 31 – Choice

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Choice: What can you choose in 2012 to make your life better?

The first big step of 2012 is choosing the right career path. I chose medicine in 2006, and now, 6 years later, I need to choose what general branch of medicine I want to do. Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Ob/Gyn, Surgery, Internal Medicine, Neurology, Radiology, Emergency Medicine, Pathology… there’s so many options! And by the time I’ll have to pick, I’ll have only tried a general sample. There’s always the option to switch later on during my training, but I’d much rather try to get it right on the first try.

But in a more general sense, I can also choose to have a more positive outlook on life. I’ve spent a lot of the latter half of 2011 bouncing back and forth between being thrilled about how my life is going (finally working in the hospital!), and being sulky and lonely. I’d like to err more on the side of being happy. :)

Written by Aba

December 31, 2011 at 4:26 pm

Reverb 11, Day 30 – Showing Up

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Showing Up: Where (online) do you want to show up in 2012?  What does showing up look + feel like to you?  How often do you plan on committing to showing up in 2012?

I don’t quite get what this prompt means, but I’m going to try to tackle it.

Mostly, I want to show up in my blog through my posts. As I already mentioned, I want to try to increase my readership some more next year. I think I’d also like to use twitter and facebook and my other social networks a little more consistently. This could mean using them more or less, but I want to be more consistent and thoughtful about how I use them.

But most importantly, I want to be appropriate however it is I show up online. I’m very careful about what I put on the internet, and I am very easily searchable (as is my immediate family), and I hope that I continue to have a positive and appropriate google search turn out, especially since I have Residency interviews coming up next year!

Written by Aba

December 30, 2011 at 4:14 pm

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Reverb 11, Day 29 – Shaking Things Up

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Shaking Things Up – Looking towards 2012, what can you do to shake things up a little next year?

Ha, I think life doesn’t need much help next year; 2012 is going to be plenty exciting! Picking a field, picking an advisor, planning out my fourth year (which at my school is a pure elective year! This means I don’t really have any restrictions other than availability and smart planning in filling my year with whatever rotations I want, so long as I do the right number of weeks), taking both parts of the Step 2 exam, applying for Residency, interviewing for Residency, doing one or two away rotations… Yup, plenty of excitement ahead. And that’s just what’s going on in my life in terms of medical school.

In the midst of that though, I also want to publicize my blog more. There’s a lot of medical blogs out there that are far more popular than I ever dream mine will be (and I admit, with a few of them, I don’t quite get it), but I’m not content with where I am yet. I’d like to at least double my RSS subscribers and my hits to my blog. The main things will be posting more, advertising my posts more (interestingly, I get more hits when I link on facebook than when I link on twitter), and commenting more on other blogs.

I know there are some changes I could make to my posts to draw more readers, like talking more about things like how to get into medical school or how to do well in medical school, but that’s not why I started blogging. I started blogging because I wanted to write more often, and because as a pre-med, I really, really liked reading the blogs of (mostly women) doctors and learning about their lives. Not about how medical school works, but about what it’s like to go through medical school. I wanted to learn about doctors and medical students as people. So I guess the main thing that leaves for me to work on, in terms of content, is to try to be more personal, even though this isn’t an anonymous blog.

So: hi again! I’m Aba. In 2012, I hope you’ll get to know me better. :)

Written by Aba

December 29, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Reverb 11, Day 28 – Freedom & Forgiveness

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Forgiveness – What one thing do you need to forgive yourself for this year?


Thought: What new thought, idea or action have you taken this year that gave you a true sense of freedom?

I had trouble thinking of new and interesting responses to both these prompts. For forgiveness, it would be, as usual, not studying even just a little bit harder. Even though time and time again I’ve heard that setting aside just one hour every day to read something medicine related is one of the best things I can do to be the best doctor I can be, I still struggle with it.

As for freedom, well, the major things were getting my driver’s license and a car, and moving into an apartment without a roommate, both of which I’ve already talked a lot about.

Freedom is a wonderful thing, but it’s a transition state.  It’s not an end goal; it’s simply the beginning. Having a car means I get to go places on my own, whenever I have the time, and living by myself means I feel more comfortable, more free, to be exactly who I want to be and live how I want to live when I’m at home. Freedom is being free to do. Freedom is potential, which is wasted without action. When opportunity knocks, you don’t rest in peace knowing that the chance came and went. You open the door. What good is freedom if you don’t make any choices or do anything with it? I decided to go to medical school, which has meant that I’ve not done so many other things in all these years. I will need to pick a field for Residency, which means I will not have specialized in other fields, and I will be in one place for Residency, which means I won’t have lived in so many different places.

And that’s okay. That’s good. That’s what freedom is really about, in my opinion.

Written by Aba

December 28, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Reverb 11, Day 27 – Time

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Time: If you had 3 more hours in the day what would you do with them?  How do you want to spend your time in 2012?

Three whole more hours?! I’d more regularly aim for eight hours of sleep (right now I aim for six to seven), and for waking up 1.5 to 2 hours before I need to be somewhere. I’m very productive in the morning; it’s when I’m most likely to actually clean my apartment and do all sorts of other chores and errands. And eat breakfast! It takes me up to an hour of being awake before I get hungry.

As for how I want to spend my time in 2012, well, I’ve already mentioned that I want to stick with last year’s resolution of “Work harder; play harder.” Less idle browsing, more conscious actions. And I have all sorts of little projects to finish. I want to start some new batches of mead, finally crochet a baby blanket for my high school best friend’s baby (who was born in mid 2010 and I bought the yarn before she was born), and seriously declutter my apartment.

Written by Aba

December 27, 2011 at 8:04 am

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Reverb 11, Day 26 – Music

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Music is powerful – Think of one song that you turn to time and again, and describe why it’s important to you.

There are many songs I love, and what songs I turn to depends on what mood I’m in or what mood I want to be in. I like to make playlists for different moods, and I’ve also made a few for my boyfriend that I put a lot of thought into. There’s one playlist that I love that I made mostly of songs that he’s sent me over the course of our relationship (and a few sprinkled in that I found and sent him).

But I feel like this post isn’t complete without some music, so here are a few songs that I discovered this year (or late last year) that have been added to my general rotation:

Home” is a song that feels very cozy to me, and is my kind of love song. “Home is wherever I’m with you.” Yup, that’s love to me.

Dog Days Are Over” is a celebratory type song. I listened to it a lot while studying for the Step 1, and I’d imagine that this song was what being done with the test would feel like. It was (once the post-exam scotch a friend bought me kicked in and my nerves calmed a bit).

Pumped up Kicks” and “Hello” and “Electric Feel” are songs that I just like, nothing to do with the lyrics, just the way they sound, and I think there’s nothing wrong with that.

Written by Aba

December 26, 2011 at 12:09 pm

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Reverb 11, Day 16 – Community

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A Community I Love – Online & IRL we’re all part of a multitude of communities.  Tell us about one that moves you.

When I was applying for medical school, I spent a lot of time of the Student Doctor Network (SDN) forums. Now, there’s a lot to hate about those forums, like the people with the high stats who clearly look amazing on paper who still feel compelled to post and ask if they have any chance getting in somewhere, but if you look past the general crowd, there’s some genuine gems of information, and some really nice people who actually just want to help, and have some solid advice.

There’s a group of us that used to post in an off topic thread for the future Class of 2013. At some point we even created a facebook group. And now, three years later, we’re still in touch. We complain and commiserate and, of course, celebrate. I’m actually looking forward to going through the match process with them, seeing what fields we end up in and where in the country we all go, and having a group of familiar strangers that I can vent to and rejoice with.

Written by Aba

December 26, 2011 at 11:25 am

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Reverb 11, Day 25 – No prompt used

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Ok, I’m kind of cheating here and not actually using any of the prompts because I didn’t like them. It was talking about a Memorable Gift vs talking about who I love and why (which I think I’ve already done quite a few times already). But I’ve decided that my main goal with this Reverb thing is just to get me posting and renewing my own interest in blogging, so I consider posting today at all meets my goals.

So anyway, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone! I hope you’ve all found or will find soon some time to rest and/or be merry for at least a few hours. I know many of you are working for at least part of the holiday season, and I’m well aware that it won’t be long till I will be too.

I leave you with photos of my niece proving just how difficult it can be to take a picture of a two year old:


(Extravagant background of presents is actually various gift hampers full of food items from businesses which always end up being donated).

Written by Aba

December 25, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Reverb 11, Day 24 – Somebody has to say it:

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Somebody Has to Say It:the new changes to Catholic mass are weird and kind of alienating. I’m sure they have their reasons (though come on, of all the things to change… the calls and responses were nowhere on my list), but it’s just… I’m sorry, but it’s strange. Even weirder though, most people don’t seem all that bothered by it, so I guess I’m the odd one.

Written by Aba

December 24, 2011 at 12:23 pm

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Reverb 11, Day 23 – Travel

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Travel – Did you visit anywhere new this year?  Any plans to travel next year?

I think the only new place I went this year was Toronto, as a quick pre-Christmas in Ghana (where my family is from, where my parents still live, and where my brothers and my parents always meet-up once a year for the holidays) trip. My boyfriend, Ahmet, has family there (wonderful people & excellent hosts), and he hasn’t visited them in years, so we finally committed to going this year. He’s still there, and I’m in Ghana now.

I liked Toronto, but I’ll have to go back when it’s warm and I’m less burned out from school, because I’d like to explore a bit more. But all the food I ate there was excellent (best sushi I’ve had in years!), and it seemed like a really nice city, and a rapidly growing one (so much construction!) It was weird for me because it felt like I was still in the US, which I guess makes sense, because it’s still North America. People’s accents weren’t noticeably different either. So honestly, it barely felt like I’d traveled.

Next year I have no exotic travel plans, just the usuals: Seattle when it’s my turn to visit my boyfriend, DC when my parents are visiting the US (DC is their US home base), and Ghana again for Christmas. However, fingers crossed, I’ll be interviewing for Residency toward the end of next year, so that should be fun. I really enjoyed interviewing for Medical School, so I’m hoping Residency Interviews will be fun too, though far more expensive. I’m going to miss being on the East Coast and cheaply taking the train to the majority of my interviews.

Now 2013, the year I graduate, that should be a good travel year. No plans yet to go anywhere new, but I think the places I’ve been to/usually go to are sufficient for some exciting times (Turkey, Ghana, Ecuador, maybe Canada again? A classmate of mine from Toronto is planning to get married around then).

Written by Aba

December 23, 2011 at 8:41 am

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