Thursday Born

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

Archive for January 2012

Small Talk the Med Student Way

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I’m not very close to the grand majority of my classmates, but I know everyone by name (well, except for many of the MSTPs who have joined our class this year) and can comfortably talk to them all. Third year has made it even easier to chat, because at the very least there’s the “Hey! How’re you doing? What rotation are you on?” conversation to have.

I bumped into someone in the library last night. We haven’t ever really hung out and we haven’t had any rotations together, but there’s been one or two other times we’ve found ourselves in the same place and had a brief exchange. This time we commiserated over how strange and arbitrary the grading can seem third year, and she said “Can we bond over this?” I laughed and we hugged. It was cute and sweet and unexpected. =)

I’m really excited for our match day (March 2013! yes it’s already on my calendar), to see where and what we’re all going to build on our medical school foundations. There’ve been a few surprises already even with people I thought I knew well (though when I think back, I never did have a clear idea of what I thought that friend would go into) and a few “well, obviously that’s what they’re going into!” Myself? I’m still unsure. I haven’t outright hated anything, and there’s a lot I can see myself fairly satisfied with. I have a suspicion that I’m going to end up in Psychiatry, but I haven’t done Ob/Gyn yet (which is what I came into med school thinking about) and I haven’t even done Internal Medicine yet!

Written by Aba

January 27, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Saying No to Myself.

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For the most part, I’m a really mellow person. I’m also a big procrastinator, but I always make my deadlines; I just cut it very, very close. Obviously I’m not a complete good-for-nothing slacker, but I’m definitely not a member of the neurotic, Type A medical student club.

I’m not sure I’m entirely Type B though. When I get an idea in my head (“Oh hey! I should put up that last curtain!”) then I really, really just want to do it. Right now! This is how most of my random cooking or craft projects happen. I see a nifty recipe online and I must try it asap! So I do.

Unfortunately, I’m still at a point in life where I have exams every 4-12 weeks, and sometimes those exams are only three days away. In which case, as much as I really, really want to put up that last curtain, I’ve learned to say to myself “No, that curtain can wait till after my Shelf exam.” And for the most part, I don’t dwell on it and I can get back to studying.

(But it would only take like, a half hour! Argh.)

Written by Aba

January 24, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Changing things up

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I wake up early. As a kid at sleepovers, I’d wake up before my host and spend the first hour or two of the morning raiding their bookshelf.

I’m not sure if it’s just that I need less sleep than other people or if I’m naturally a morning person, but ever since college at least, I’ve found it too easy to stay up late doing nothing in particular. There’s a strange allure to being awake at odd hours of the night, engrossed in chatting with someone or in reading various somethings. But one year, after spending two months in Ghana for the summer, then immediately returning to college without changing my sleep schedule, I found that waking up early in the morning, at 3am or 4am, brought that same magical focus but with better energy.

I tend to be late, or barely on time, if I try to wake up with just a half hour or so at home before I need to leave. I wake up, notice all the things I meant to do the night before, and being awake and alert, I start tackling them. And then oh no! I realize I was supposed to leave five minutes ago. So I’m finally giving in to the fact that I am incredibly unproductive at the end of my work days, but very productive in the morning, and I’m going to try to adjust my schedule so that I wake up at least two hours before I need to be at the hospital. This might even give me enough time to get hungry and eat breakfast before I head out!

There is a decent chance that I’ll give up on this, but I think it’s worth a shot. Wish me luck!

Written by Aba

January 8, 2012 at 8:29 pm


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Happy New Year!

I partied in the New Year with my family  at our annual big NYE party. There was good food, an open bar, and, of course, lots of dancing. And my boyfriend (who’s eight hours behind me right now) did a rather admirable job of calling me right as we’d finished our countdown, which was really sweet and made me happy even though I could barely hear him over the crowd. =)

I leave Ghana tonight, and I’m really going to miss my family and the weather and the food and the lack of responsibilities, but I admit I miss my apartment. I’m very much a homebody and I really enjoy being in a space I’ve nested and settled into thoroughly.

Getting ready for the party! (this pic is blurrier than I thought)

Ready! Added a lacy bandeau =)

Party over! Time to sleep!

One of my old favorite authors is Neil Gaiman, and sometimes he puts together a nice little New Year’s wish. You can click here to read the entire post, which I very much think is worth reading, but here’s what he wrote for 2012:

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.”

I hope not to make mistakes of the sort that might harm a patient, but it really is so important to act. To do. To try. Making decisions instead of ending up somewhere by default because you’re paralyzed by indecision (or at least embrace the default option! Make it yours!). I’ve gotten more okay with saying “I don’t know,” when asked questions in the hospital, which I think is important. But I need to be more comfortable with trying to answer, because yeah, there are times when I do and I’m wrong and I feel like an idiot, but there’s also so many times I don’t say anything and not only was I right, but what I wanted to say turned out to be an answer the Attending was going to be impressed by. I may not be a walking encyclopedia of medical knowledge like a few of my classmates, but I have learned a lot, and I need to trust my fund of knowledge more.

Happy New Year, dear readers! I hope that however 2012 turns out for you, it’s at the very least a year you can look back on and be grateful you lived it.

Written by Aba

January 1, 2012 at 9:28 am

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