Thursday, November 21, 2013

Oh Man - Life

Every once in a while with this blog, I get a bit off track. I notice that it's been a while since my last "real" post. And then I notice that it's been a bit longer. And then a lot longer. Then it's been so long and so much has happened that I have no clue what to write about. There's just too much, and to do it justice would take more time than I can devote to writing a blog post.

That's where I am right now.

So, I'm not going to try to get all the details in. I'm going to write a few short sentences about each thing that has happened recently (in addition to the endless studying and class), then just move on. Otherwise, I'll never make it to the mountain of stuff standing between me and midnight whenever-I-get-to-sleep.

October 22nd - I shadowed an emergency physician in the children's hospital downtown. I never knew how much fun or how difficult that could possibly be. My heart tore for some of those parents.

October 22nd - I had the Musculoskeletal Surface Anatomy assessment. Stuck 6 stickers on randomly-selected locations on an actor's body, then explained my choices to a physician. No sweat.

October 23rd - Started the second round (last year was the first) of Epidemiology. Not my favorite.

October 24th - Had a recorded pretend visit with an actor/patient who "had asthma," and had to write a SOAP Note for it. Not a big deal, but it's something I'll want to remember later.

October 28th - Learned about some "alternative medicine," which seemed to be a large pile of hokum. It was a 1.5 hour talk, and it was required. Not all alternative medicine is bunk... but this was.

October 29th - Attended a suturing clinic and learned five different stitching techniques used to sew up wounds and close after surgery. I had a blast and met some ER docs, which was awesome. Can't wait to put this to use next year.

October 29th - Began donating plasma because we were learning about clotting factor administration options for patients with congenital and acquired bleeding disorders, and I wondered where all the plasma comes from. Found out I can study while doing it, and they give you money on a debit card each time. I don't know how it counts as "donating." Still - SCORE. Researched side effects and found out they're so rare as to be nonexistent. Been back twice per week since.

October 31st - Did my first real (with paid volunteer actors, not actual patients, but still) breast exams. A faculty preceptor and another student were there during the whole thing, but it was still the most real-doctor experience I've had yet.

November 1st - Saw Ender's Game in the theater and remembered what it's like to be a human on a Friday night. Hung out with friends who AREN'T in any way related to med school. Read the book first, but don't expect the movie to compare. Still. Awesomeness.

November 5th - Gave fake bad news to an actor that his child had been diagnosed with Type I Diabetes, teaching him about the disorder and offering support to deal with the news. Interesting, but probably would have been more beneficial if I'd gotten one of the tougher "bad news" scenarios, i.e. cancer, Marfan Syndrome, etc.

November 18th - Took the Hematology/Neoplasm 3-hour monster exam. Passed, but not the happiest with my score. Maybe my standards are too high. Maybe not. Regardless, now we're doing the Psych (Disorders of Thought, Emotion, and Behavior) domain. Much less tangible. We'll see.

Today - Attended 3 lectures this morning, then skipped one to take Hobbes to the dog park we just discovered virtually AROUND THE CORNER from out house. It's amazing. He loved it.

Today - Nursing home visit. Spoke with a senior citizen for two hours, learning about all aspects of her history that led to her residing in the home. Afterward presented her case to her attending physician and the group of med students. Took a long time, but it was good practice eliciting patient information and doing elements of the core physical examination. Good experience gaining practice at interacting with a senior citizen, as I've not had much practice at this other than with my own grandparents, all but one of whom have now passed away.

Today - Impulsively went grocery shopping on my way home from the nursing home visit. Wife is in the middle of three 12-hour 7p-7a shifts in four days, and was stressing a bit the other day about how we have no food. None of the food needs any preparation, so we're set for at least the next week. Also grabbed her a bouquet of flowers. Surprised her with everything just as she was on her way out for tonight's shift. She loved it!

Tomorrow - Will shadow an attending ER physician at one of the largest trauma centers in West Michigan. Should be interesting, on a Friday afternoon. Wish the shift was later in the evening so I could see a bit more action, but Wife and I will be having dinner with a couple of friends, so I guess it's okay. :)

Man, even with tiny synopses, that took a while. Time to hit the books.


Ceci said...

Hey Justin, been a silent reader most of the time but thought I'd leave you a comment this time around! Wanted to say that I've missed your posts but glad to see your newest one, hang in there, and keep up the fantastic work you've been doing. You're going to make a great doc!

Justin said...

Hey Ceci,

Thanks for reading, and for taking the time to write a comment. It's great to know that people are following along with me. Thanks for the encouragement!

peace said...

I am thinking l should really mark such events in my life maybe I'll remember more and feel better.
May I ask if shadowing doctors is part of your program or self arranged? Sounds fun.

Justin said...

@Peace - It definitely feels good to be able to look back on these posts and remember things more easily. As for the shadowing, my ED shadowing is part of an organized elective course. Otherwise, I would only get two elective shadowing slots per semester. Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Hi there! Just wanted to drop in and say how much I love your blog layout, color scheme, etc - you are so talented! Also, your posts are very informative - I plan on applying next year and I'll definitely use your blog as a resource - thanks for all the information and good luck in your second year!

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