Ladies and gentlemen… loyal and committed readers, spanning this great nation of ours…
I am excited to announce that today is a VERY big day.
No, I haven’t graduated medical school 5 months prematurely because of how amazing I am.
No, I haven’t quite figured out the cure for all chronic and terminal ailments.
But, what I have done…. is reach my 100th post on my blog!!!!!
*Cue the balloon drop*
Now I realize this might not be that exciting to many of you out there. However, I have been waiting for my hundredth post in order to post what I feel will be a very entertaining bit of information for you all. I want to share with you not only the variety of countries that my blog has attracted (somewhat interesting, as well as mildly confusing…), but also the variety of search engine phrases that have led people to click on my blog (MORE interesting…now as to whether that initial click led them to read on is a whole other issue, but who really cares about that??)
Let’s start with the countries with which my blog has graced its presence, albeit electronically speaking:
Make sure to click on the picture to enlarge it, so you can fully appreciate just how many countries are represented (some of the countries didn’t even fit on that screen!) Now granted, many of those countries have had all of 2 views of my blog, but still. I think it’s pretty cool. And that shot is actually from a while back (when I had originally started writing this post….whoops…) so now it might have even MORE.
And now for the more fun part. I bring to you- the most common, as well as the most hysterical search engine phrases that have brought all you readers out there to my blog…
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Two days ago, I experienced just another average day in the life of a 4th year medical student. Or so I thought.
I had a short day at the surgery center, after having seen several minor procedures- carpal tunnel releases, trigger finger releases, knee arthroscopies, etc. Scopes ALWAYS make me tired. It’s like watching a movie in class. You’re not participating in much, the lights are down low and before you know it….zzzzZZZZZzzzz
…oh, what? It’s over?
Thank goodness for the short day is all I’m saying. I legitimately thought I was going to have to go home and take a nap. After I realized that my page long to-do list would probably tear itself out of my notebook, wad itself up and launch itself at my head repeatedly, I decided to try to knock out one of my tasks. I fueled up at the local Starbucks and took my little car down the road to the Nissan dealership to see if they could get me in to fix my tire. I remembered I was waiting on an important e-mail regarding housing for an upcoming audition rotation, so I brought up my e-mail on my phone. And there it was… View full article »
I have a very exciting announcement, oh committed readers of mine….I, Heather….am FREE!!!!!!!!
Okay, so I am not technically free. I am still required to complete the rest of these medical school rotations (plus a few annoying remaining end-of-rotation exams) before they’ll actually call me “Doctor” in May (ahhhhhh). However, in the grand scheme of my medical school experience, I’m FREE. Two weeks ago, I completed my Step 2 written board exam. A month prior to that, I completed the practical portion of Step 2 (the “PE”) up in Philadelphia. Now when I say I’m “done” with them…I can’t technically say that yet, only because I haven’t received the “passing” nod from the NBOME. Scores for the PE take 8-10 weeks to release and scores for the written (the “CE”) take 4-5 weeks. I’m basically on weeks 6 and 2 of waiting, respectively. It’s enough to make you crazy. And let’s just say I’m holding my breath because, well, exams and I don’t exactly get along. And that’s an understatement.
But moving on from the stressful topics of passing licensing exams…because my blood pressure occasionally needs a break…
In a sense, it’s time to start living again. That sounds so dramatic, but even in my two weeks since my written exam, I’ve been doing the following:
- Traveling: Last week, I took a mini-vacation down to coastal Texas and for the first time in a very, VERY long time, felt truly relaxed. I won’t necessarily be getting to do a lot of traveling now, but when the opportunity presents itself (aka when a preceptor takes vacation time or they shower me with pity, as they often do once they find out you’re in your 4th year and have overcome all the major hurdles), I will definitely be taking advantage!
- Cooking: I love to eat out almost as much as I love to cook, but with more time and less studying to do, I plan to actually cook more meals at home now. You see, before, if I ate out, I could study while someone else cooked my meal and served it to me. But now, I can commit an hour or more to preparing and cleaning up a meal without even thinking twice! I am a slight Pinterest fanatic, primarily for its wealth of recipes and in the coming months, I fully plan on delving into the huge number of recipes I have “pinned.” View full article »
With the recent transition into 4th year (holy crap, where has time gone?!), I’ve had many moments of reflection on this past year and all the challenges it has brought. And I’ve also received massive amounts of questions and requests for advice :) So what follows is my feeble attempt at some morsels of advice.
Everyone had always said the classroom and rotations would be night and day- boy, were they ever right. I thought I had learned so much in the first two years, and I had, but nothing could quite prepare me for what was to come during the first clinical months. Suddenly, I was actually talking to patients that weren’t acting. I was being asked questions in front of patients about their presentation- and expected to answer. *Gulp* I had to learn to formulate my own differential diagnosis and justify why I thought certain things should or should not be done. Things. Got. Real. And while no amount of advice can ever make you a pro on the first day, my thought in giving the class of 2015 my top bits of advice is that maybe I can help you earn your “pro” status a little earlier than I earned mine. Okay, who am I kidding, I am STILL a bumbling idiot, but hopefully you all can learn from my experiences and mistakes.
DISCLAIMER: Every student comes into their third year of medical school with different experiences and skills that they can bring to the table. Each of you is your own unique little snowflake and what I say may or may not be of any use to you. And you will all be in different cities with different preceptors and do different elective rotations than I did. But the basics will still apply. Reap out of it whatever you can.
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It might be an understatement to say that I have spent the last couple weeks as a bundle of nerves. A big ball of stress. A worry wart. If there’s a phrase out there that expresses being concerned about the future…I’ve displayed it in some form or fashion recently.
The class of 2014 is hitting an important time- the beginning of residency application season. I wasn’t sure it was possible to surpass the stress levels of taking step 1 last summer…
In addition to preparing to take yet another one of those wonderful 8 hour exams, as well as the practical portion up in Philly (the part I call the “play doctor for a day” portion of step 2), I am fumbling daily trying to figure out the application process.
-There are audition rotations to set up (unlike a large portion of allopathic students, DO students that apply to the osteopathic match are highly encouraged to go show their peacock feathers off and strut a little at residency programs for a month during the application season)
-There are programs to compare…this location vs. that, call schedules to consider, etc etc etc (King & I, anyone??)…in order to best rank preferences for the Match process
-There’s a personal statement to write (I rewrote the first sentence at least 57 times), transcripts to finalize, detail upon detail to follow up on…
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