Pre-med

Updates

Hi everyone,

I have some awesome news to share. I got an A- on my O-Chem exam! I followed the plan I outline in my last post and it helped so much! I’m really excited. My grade in class has gone up from a D+ to a C+, which is not a great grade but it’s something I can definitely improve on, especially because my professor drops our lowest exam score. Once he does at the end of the semester, my grade will be much better, since my lowest score so far was a 61. I’m going to continue studying so I can make sure my grade remains high.

Now comes the interesting part. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m signed up to take the MCAT on May 19th. I signed up two days ago for a prep course through Altius Test Prep. I’ve been reviewing content on my own since August on and off, but I knew I would need something more structure to prepare at some point. Finances are tricky though, so it took me longer to sign up than I was expecting.

I was excited and ready, until I looked at their introduction. I knew the course would be difficult, and I knew it would take time, but what scared me was how advanced their other students are compared to me. I’ll start a little over a month AFTER their short track students. Surprisingly, they say that they won’t accept students later than the beginning of February, but I was still allowed to join a group. I’m worried that I won’t be ready by May, and I thought about pushing back the MCAT for another month to have more time to prepare.

I kept reading what they gave me. The time commitment, the things that need to get done… and honestly, I panicked a little. I don’t think I can finish all of that in under three months. I’m seriously considering pushing the MCAT until next April. I won’t be taking classes so I would be able to concentrate on studying for it. However, that means I’ll have to postpone applying to medical school yet another year.

Honestly, postponing it wouldn’t be the end of the world. I could ensure I’m more competitive by having a strong MCAT. However, I would have to contact everyone that wrote my letters of recommendation and asking them to change the date on them, again. It’s been difficult to do that already, since some people are more cooperative than others. I’m still waiting on one for this year, and another one that should’ve been written by now but hasn’t. It’s discouraging. Additionally, I’ll lose a lot of volunteering, shadowing, and patient exposure hours. What I mean by this is that my advisor let me know that only extracurricular activities from the last four years will count. Since I’ve been pre-med for such a long time, a bulk of my hours came from 2013, which won’t count if I apply in 2017. I’ve been looking for info about this from the actual AAMC website but I couldn’t find anything about it, so it’s difficult for me to make a decision.

I’m going to wait a few days and think it over. I’ll wait until my tutor contacts me and I get a better idea of what this program will require. If I feel like it can be done, I’ll stick with it. Otherwise, I will get a refund and start the program in the Fall.

I’ll keep you guys posted. If anyone knows anything about the four year extracurricular cap I mentioned, please let me know! It would help me out a lot!

I do have another update that I’m afraid is the worst of them all. The hospice patient I’ve been visiting for the past year and a half passed away on Wednesday. I’m usually sad when my patients pass away, but I cried over this loss. He had become a good friend and I learned so much from him. He was an amazing person who will be sorely missed; he wrote a book about his life, which was really interesting, just so he could donate all the profits to charity.

RIP Walter. We will all miss you; from the happy “Hellooooo” you gave when you answered the phone and the “wunderbar” answer you gave when asked how you were doing. I will always remember you and the lessons you taught me about life. Thank you for everything.

Andrea.

Pre-med, Study Strategies

Operation Save O-Chem Grade

Hi everyone,

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about what I can do to bring up my O-Chem II grade. I’ve been feeling discouraged because of it and we have our second exam on Wednesday. So, what can I do to make sure I do well on this exam get an 85 or above? (I need an 85 to go up one letter grade)

Here is my plan. I figured I should write it down somewhere so I make sure I stick to it. I already do most of these, but I’m adding more strategies that I hope will help me.

First, I’m going to read the sections from the book that I’m still confused on. Second, I’m going to try to do some problems from the book, preferably the most difficult one so I’m exposed to different types of problems. Third, go over my Organic Chemistry as a Second Language Second Semester book again and do more problems. Fourth, study group with my friend and study group/tutoring with my Physics tutor who already took the class and is incredibly smart. Fifth, I’m going to watch all the Leah4sci and Khan Academy videos on the subjects, since learning the mechanisms helps me a lot more than memorizing. Last but not least, I’m going to go over my professors’ study guide and old practice exams to make sure I’m ready.

If you have any tips or other resources, please let me know! I cannot afford a bad grade, both figuratively and literally. If you’ve found anything that helps with this class, leave it in the comments! 🙂

Thanks in advance!

Andrea.

Pre-med

Semester Struggles

Hi everyone,

Instead of sleeping I’m up writing this post. I’ve been struggling this semester, and it doesn’t feel good. I have a B- in Physics II, which is okay because my near perfect score in the lab should bring up my grade to a B. I know I can do better, so I will keep working hard and hopefully bring that up to a B+ by the end of the semester.

O-Chem II is a different story. I dunno what happened to me this semester, but I’m struggling. I keep changing my studying strategies to see if it helps, but I keep making silly mistakes because I don’t myself anymore. I have a D+ in the class and a B- in the lab, but for some reason they are separate classes so it will not improve my grade. I can’t afford a bad grade since my GPA isn’t great and I’m on my post-bacc years.

So I’ve been pretty down, trying to figure out if I should withdraw and postpone medical school for another year. Since I would get a W if I withdrew today or March 28th, I figured I should wait and try to improve before the deadline before making a decision. If I’m able to get near perfect scores from now on, I could pull off at least a B, so it’s not impossible.

I’m trying to believe in my abilities but honestly I’ve been pretty down. It seems like such a trivial thing to be upset about, but I take pride in knowing I can do well in difficult classes. I didn’t use to be this way; growing up I didn’t care about school and didn’t do well. It took me moving to the state to learn about well, learning. So when I don’t do well it takes me back to those years, and my self-esteem plummets.

That being said, even though I’ve been feeling down, I will continue to keep going. I’m not a quitter, and I know I’ll regret not trying more than failing. So here’s to keeping on, even when we feel like we won’t make it, because quitting is never an option.

So here’s one new thing I’m doing starting tomorrow (today?) I’m volunteering at the hospital I delivered my boys at! I’ll be helping out in the Cardio-thoracic unit by keeping patients company. I’m a little nervous since it’s my first day, but I’m excited to be doing something in a hospital setting! Wish me luck, I hope it’ll be a good day tomorrow!

I’ll also be participating in this thing called Brain Awareness Week in March. Our school does it every spring break and it’ll be my first year volunteering. We basically go to schools and talk about the brain to get more kids interested in neuroscience. I love the brain, so the neuro minor in me is happy to be doing this. I’ll try to write a post about it after it spring break; maybe I can get some cool pictures of brains. 🙂

MCAT prep is going better than last semester, but I’m feeling a bit burned out. I basically wake up and study until I go to bed, with a few breaks in between to play with my boys and eat. I’m hoping to sign up for a prep class soon, but until then I’ve been doing content review by using books and watching YouTube videos. I’ve taken two half-length practice tests, and even though my scores are horrid, I still improved by about 10 points in a month. I’m sure after I’ve finished the semester and finished reviewing that I will do even better.

I hope my next update will bring good news from an improved MCAT score and improved O-Chem grade. I really don’t want to put off applying to med school another year, but I will make it work if I have to. Time will pass anyway, right?

Good night (morning?) I hope you’re all doing well. 🙂

Andrea.

Pre-med

New Year and Almost Done!

Hello everyone!

I really need to write more often…

Today is the first day of my hopefully last semester of pre-med requirements! I’m finishing up O-Chem II and Physics II. I’m excited, but also nervous, because I take the MCAT in May and I apply in June!

So first things firsts, I finished last semester strong! I got an A- in O-Chem and a B in Physics! Physics was a struggle, so I’m so thankful I was able to bring up my grade. I have a different professor this semester so I’m hoping it will go better than last semester. As for O-Chem, I really surprised myself! I didn’t study nearly hard as I did when I first took the class 2.5 years ago. I just studied differently…

I figured I would share how I did it in case any of you are curious. First of all, Leah4Sci’s videos on reactions were amazing. They helped me remember everything while consolidating my knowledge of the reactions mechanisms. I’m so thankful I discovered her site! I also completely ignored my textbook this semester… I just went over my notes, re-wrote them sometimes, and went to SI (supplemental instruction) instead. I think it helped a lot more than my book, since going through every single page didn’t help at all last time. Finally, a friend of mine and I had study group on Saturdays so we could go over things we were not sure about and teach each other. She did well in the class too, so I think our little study sessions help a lot. I definitely recommend making a study group for this class; the more you teach, the better you learn!

So, MCAT prep. I’m hoping to sign up for a prep course within the next month. While I wait to sign up, I’ve been using Kaplan books to study. I just finished the behavioral science review today, and I started the Physics one. I’m excited to be done with a section, but I’m going to pick Saturdays as my review of previous subject days. What I mean is that I’m going to re-write the main points from the chapters on a separate notebook and read over it on Saturdays rather than study “new” material. I’ve also designated 4:10-6:50 Am as study time; I’m not sure how well this will go, but I’m hoping it’ll work. I just want to get it out of the way early so I’m not making excuses once my sons go to bed and I’m too tired to do anything. This means I’ll be going to bed by 8… I’m not excited, but I have to make this work somehow!

Oh, I also took a 2.5 hour long MCAT practice test from Kaplan. It was my first one, and I tried to do it quickly so I could pretend I was running out of time like I’m sure will happen on the actual MCAT. I did horrible. It honestly killed my confidence… I learned a lot from it though, so I’m excited to keep studying and improving. My lowest section was the Physics/Chem section, which doesn’t surprise me since I still haven’t taken the second half of Physics and O-Chem, and I took Gen Chem like three years ago. Definitely my toughest section, so it’s probably what I’ll spend the most time studying. My best section was the CARS section, which surprised me. I’m happy about it, and I know I can keep improving, so I’m excited to take another practice test and see where I’m at. My second best section was the Behavioral Science, which I was happy about since Psychology was my major. Biology was kind of in the middle, but I’m not worried about bringing that up. I think the biggest thing with the MCAT is understanding how the test is given. Once you sort of understand how they test you, and you review all the content, you get an idea of how to apply that content to answer the questions.

As far as my personal life goes, if any of you care ha ha, things are going well. My twins are almost two years old and my husband is working to become a stock broker. Life seems to be taking us in a good direction, and I hope it continues. I’m still volunteering at hospice, I volunteered at a school last semester, and I’m going to an interview tomorrow to volunteer at the hospital where I lived for 7 weeks delivered my twins. I’m also looking for a D.O. to shadow, so that will be interesting.

I’m on track to apply to med school with my GPA being the only thing holding me back, so I’m not going to lie that I’m pretty scared, but also pretty sure, that I’ll get rejected. I’m still thinking about applying to post-bacc programs, but studying for the MCAT is taking up all of my time so GRE prep is not really a priority for me right now. I might apply to a few that don’t require it, and if I don’t get accepted I might apply in the Spring when I have my MCAT score. If things work out I’ll start med school in the next two-three years. Fingers crossed. ❤

So that’s it! I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season and are ready for this new year. I definitely am!

Cheers!

Andrea.

Pre-med

Midyear Update

Hi everyone!

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve updated this; life has gotten busy! First of all, I graduated! I even managed a 4.0 during my last semester. That A in Biochem was difficult but I did it! I even got close enough to my professor to ask for a letter of recommendation. 🙂

Unfortunately, I’m not done with that school and pre-med classes. I had to change my schedule to be able to graduate before my financial aid ran out, so I still have O-Chem II and Physics II to go through. I planned on taking O-Chem this summer and Physics this fall, but after a day in O-Chem I realized I wasn’t ready to take it. When I looked back at my transcript I realized it had been two years since I took O-Chem I and Physics I. I didn’t want to bring down my GPA, so I decided to drop the class and re-take O-Chem I and Physics I this fall. That means O-Chem II and Physics II will happen in the spring. After that I’ll be done with my pre-med classes, yay!

I’m not sure if I’ll take the MCAT next year, but I feel if I don’t do it now I’ll never do it. Taking it will make it much easier to apply to post-bacc programs as well, and the ones with the best programs require either the MCAT or GRE. I decided because of this that I will start studying tonight. I still plan on taking a course, but I’m not sure of the timeline. Most post-bacc program deadlines are in January or February, but I would like to take the MCAT in May so I have enough time to prepare. I think I’ll make an excel sheet with information about the schools and their deadlines. I think if most of them are later in the year, I’ll take the MCAT closer to May. If not, I’ll take it closer to January if I feel ready. I wish more deadlines were closer to June, but I understand schools need time to fill their classes for fall.

I’m hoping to start a post-bac program next fall. My husband and I are already planning a move out of our state, since there aren’t any programs available here. I’m so ready to move on, but I am kind of nervous. I’m mostly nervous about getting into a program; I still have doubts about being smart enough. I know I’m not the perfect student, but I have worked extremely hard for this, and I will continue to do so. I guess it’s just hard to believe in yourself, at least it is for me.

Besides MCAT and classes, I need to find a job as a CNA to get more patient exposure. I had one for a week, but the schedule wasn’t working out and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought. I decided I’ll look for a job at the hospital close to my university, the one I had my boys at, to make it easier to go from school to work. It’s also much closer than the other job, so it’ll save on gas.

I’m also still volunteering at a hospice, and I have plans to go back to Big Brothers Big Sisters this school year. However, since I need another leadership experience, I might need to stop BBBS and find something else. I was planning on using hospice as patient exposure, but since I can work as a CNA I was thinking of using that instead so hospice can be my medical-related volunteer experience. If not, I need to find another medical-related experience, and fast. I’m not sure what I should do, or how to fit it all in my schedule, so I may need to talk to my advisor first.

Anyway, I think that’s all I can think of. Life is going well, for the most part. Hope you’re all doing well! Hopefully I’ll have some time to update this more often. 🙂

Andrea.

Pre-med

Happy New Year!

Hi guys!

Hope you all have a fantastic new year full of adventures and happiness.

This is basically how I spent my day:

image

Entertaining these little ones that are not so little anymore. 😥

I hope next semester (LAST ONE BEFORE I GRADUATE!) will go well. I’m taking a break and only going half-time this semester. I’m a Life in Medicine class and a Perception (psych) class so far. I’m on the wait list for Genetics, a class I really want to take, so if I can get in I’ll drop the psych class and take Zumba for a total of 6 credit hours. It’ll be weird not going full-time, but I need a little time to figure out how to balance school and motherhood. I figured is better to do it now than to try once I get into med school if I get in…

I feel well though. I had an A, A-, B+, and a disappointing C+ for grades this semester. After beating myself up about it, I decided to suck it up and learn from my mistakes. You can’t succeed if you don’t fail, and you can’t succeed if you stop trying. I just can’t let this happen again, and I won’t. I can do this.

So here I am. Ready to take on the world and try to make 2016 the best year yet!

Happy new year!

Andrea.

Pre-med

Latest Semester

Hi everyone,

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything. I keep thinking about what to write but never have enough motivation. I’ve been feeling kinda down this semester; it’s been a very difficult one. Finals are coming up and I’m getting nervous.

My Cell Biology course is going horribly. I haven’t done this poorly in a class in years. I feel like I know the subject, but I hesitate at the last minute and change my answer. Since my professor has the multiple choice section be worth three points per question, missing a few really messes up your grade. The lab isn’t any easier; we have a different instructor for it. She’s notorious for being a harsh grader. We do these literature labs where we read a scientific paper she chooses and then we have to summarize it based on one of the figures. She expects us to write at a PhD level to get full points and makes the average for the class be a B-. Needless to say, I don’t do very well in these. It makes me incredibly mad at me. I know I can do better, but I don’t understand what she wants. I dunno if maybe it’s a language thing; I’ve lived in this country for almost 12 years and although I hardly ever have trouble with it, scientific papers take me a while to comprehend. She’s also extremely intelligent so the way she words her questions during quizzes confuses me sometimes. This is no excuse for me doing so poorly, I should be able to study more and do better. If I can get a C in the class, it’ll be a miracle.

Anatomy is going okay. I should end with a B in the class if everything continues to go the way it is. It makes me a little sad because I really wanted an A, but since I can’t live in the cadaver lab due to needing to be home and care for my boys, I think it’s an okay grade. I didn’t do so well on my last exam so my class grade dropped to a C+, but we still have the lab grade to consider and two more exams for lecture. I plan on talking to my professor about the questions I missed so I can do better on the cumulitative final. I really love the class though, and the cadaver lab is extremely cool. I have loves everything we have learned about and I will be forever grateful for those who donate their body to science so we may learn it and help others. My instructor for lecture used to be a surgeon, so he always has interesting stories to tell. He also cracks jokes all the time which makes the class even more enjoyable.

My Research Methods class is okay too. I have a B currently and my research project is under way. Unfortunately I had to change it at the last minute, so I’m not doing anything related to sign language like I wanted to. I also realized there may be a mistake in the data collection so I may not have any valid data to analyze. This really bums me out because I have to do a final paper and presentation on it before the end of the semester… which is about 3 weeks away. I have to talk to my professor about it and see what we can do.

Oh and I dropped Biochem because I couldn’t give it the attention it deserved.

Lastly, I signed up for the MCAT for May 14th. I’m taking the rest of my pre-med classes next semester; Biochem I, O-Chem II, and Physics II. However, I’m unsure about the professors. I’ve taken a class from one of them before and her teaching style and my learning style didn’t match. The other professor is known for not being a great one… most students just skip the class until they can take it from the only other professor that teaches it. Since I’m graduating soon, I don’t have that option unless I drop a class, which is the one with the other professor I’m unsure about.

I was planning on graduating, taking the MCAT, and applying to a post-bac program that focuses on academic enhancement. However, because of how difficult it is to study and take care of my little ones, and because of the professors I’ll have to take classes from, I think I may put off the MCAT another year. I may drop those classes, take maybe one with a few “easier” ones to help keep up my GPA, and apply to a post-bac that focuses on career-changers since I have a major in Psychology instead of a “science” one. I can take the rest of my classes then, take an extra two years, take the MCAT somewhere along the line, and make sure my husband has his degree so he can support us/work from home so I don’t have to worry about my twins being home without one of us. I have to run it by my advisor before I make my final decision, but it seems at this point in time it’s the right one.

I think this will calm me down, give my time to boost my GPA, spent time with my twins, study for the MCAT, finish my pre-med classes, and give me a bit of my sanity. School will always be there. Who cares if I’m 40 before I can practice, right?

Right?

Wish me luck.

Andrea.

Life

Late Afternoon Thoughts

Hi everyone,

Today’s post will be a little different. There’s something that’s been on my mind lately that I’m hoping some of you out there will be able to help with.

I’ve been struggling this summer a bit. I haven’t gotten back to my volunteering or shadowing, let alone studying the way I wanted to. I feel like I’ve been stuck in this “shame spiral” my neuro professor talked to me about. I can’t bring myself to call anyone to set anything up because I’m afraid to leave my twins home, even if the person watching them is someone I trust (husband, mum, aunt, etc). Studying is difficult because they always need something (like any normal baby) and they like to take turns. By the time they sleep, it’s time for me to sleep so I can get up and take care of them.

I have two semesters left before I graduate, so the classes I’ll be taking are difficult and aren’t offered online. I also need to find a job during the weekends to help support my family. I’m worried that I won’t be able to keep up with everything… Then those thoughts turn to medical school and residency. I know I wouldn’t want to do anything else, so I’ll keep pursuing my dream to be a doctor, but maybe surgery isn’t the way to go. Maybe a specialty that isn’t as demanding would work better for my family. But what if I fall in love with surgery? Would I be able to balance it? I know it’s far enough away and that I shouldn’t worry, especially since I haven’t even gotten into med school, but I guess this is the kinda thing you worry about when you’re a parent or maybe just when you’re me.

To all working parents out there, how do you do it? How do you find balance? If you are a doctor, did you consider what field to go into if you had/have children? I could use some advice.

Thanks in advance and sorry for the rant.

Andrea.

Physician Shadowing

Physician Shadowing III

Hi everyone!

So here’s my post about my latest shadowing experience. We’ll call this doctor Dr. I for privacy purposes. 🙂

This happened over a two day period. Dr. I was in her last week of residency when I shadowed her, so I got to see her last day and how she said goodbye to all her patients. It was a bittersweet moment for everyone, including myself since she had been such a big part of my hospital experience. Every doctor I’ve met has been fantastic and I wish to be like them in some way, but if I can be as caring and helpful to my patients like like Dr. I is I will be happy with the level of care I provide. Dr. I, if you ever read this, which I doubt, thank you for everything. 🙂

Okay, so on to the actual experience! I did about 11 hours worth of shadowing. Since she is a resident I can’t count it as accrual shadowing experience, so it will go on my application as patient exposure.

One of the patients we had had shingles. She knew what she had since it was her second time having it. We were in and put within minutes, which doesn’t harken very often when I shadow.

The second patient was a child who had persistent cough, about a month if I remember correctly. Dr. I let the parents know coughing isn’t necessarily a bad thing, that it’s just a reflex. She thought it was likely due to allergies. After a while of trying to convince the mum odd this, we moved on. We then talked about how she was almost certain that the parent wouldn’t listen to her instructions because she felt the parent didn’t trust her diagnosis. She then told me only about 60% of patients actually do what doctors tell them, so all you can do is reassure them and hope they’ll listen.

We also had a patient who had chronic pain and had come in because she had fallen and hit her head. Dr. I isn’t a fan of narcotics (neither am I) so it was a big hard to deal with. On the one hand you want the patient to be comfortable, but these drugs are dangerous. Your tolerance for them increase, but the toxicity curve doesn’t move. The more you take them, the more meds it takes to help your pain… and the closer you get to that curve. I found a diagram for it here Dose-Response Curve. In the end Dr. I let the patient know she was taking too many and that she wanted her to wean off of them a little bit.

I also saw a few cases of cellulitis! I’d never seen it before so it was really cool. Cellulitis is an infection of the soft tissue, that presents as a red area that is hot and swollen; more info here. Dr. I prescribed medication for it and also outlined the red area so the patient could see if it spread further or if it was receding (and the medicine was helping). After we saw the first patient with it Dr. I and I went back to her office so she could show me another case of cellulitis… in her cat! It was awesome! It’s always interesting to see what disease we share with other species!

At one point we had a patient who came in because she was experiencing some abdominal pain. While she examined the patient she poked the areas that hurt and then asked her to do sort of a sit up before poking those places again. The patient tensed up and Dr. I concluded her exam. I later asked her what she was feeling for and she said she was looking for masses, tenderness (lower or upper), guarding (which is the tensing up), and peritonitis. The guarding is important; when the patient tenses up, the muscles are protecting the organs. If the problem was internal, the patient wouldn’t feel pain when doing the sit up. However, since the pain was superficial, Dr. I discovered her pain was muscular. I think that was one of my favorite things to learn about that day. The patient also had a hernia, so I asked Dr. I what you do about those. She told me that the bigger the hernia, the less they worry about! She said it’s big enough for the bowel and blood vessels to go through it, so it gets some blood flow.

I asked Dr. I why she went into family  practice. She said she went into med school wanting to be a neonatologist, but she later realized it was too specialized. She then thought about peds, then OB/GYN. However, she realized that after you cut the cord, that baby isn’t your patient anymore. She also said she wouldn’t like to do it every day; she loves it, but she wouldn’t love it if that’s all she did. She then chose family practice so she could do all of those things. She likes the variety. She is also doing a fellowship in OB so she can keep doing C-sections, which satisfy her liking for surgery without needing to be in an OR longer than an hour.

I also asked her if she could fire patients as a resident and she said you could. They are usually due to the clinic policy, like for no-shows, but that she doesn’t do it very often.

I also wanted to know what her stand on patients who didn’t vaccinate was. This was the most insightful conversation we had, so I’m glad I asked. She said that if you ban them from your practice you don’t get the chance to talk to them and ease their fears. If they are comfortable with you and respect your opinion as a doctor, they might change their minds later on. She so said you don’t want all the crazies in one room (aka all the anti-vaxers in one physician’s office). That comment made me laugh. 🙂 The other side of that argument is, if they don’t trust you on something that science indicates is effective, why would they listen to you when you say something else? If later on they need antibiotics, will they listen to you and take them? Or would they be against that too? At that point you have to ask the patient if you two are a good fit and perhaps have the patient find another doctor.

I also got a chance to shadow another resident while Dr. I waited for more patients to come in. It was a 6 month old baby and she came in for a well check. Dr. C let me look through one of the instruments (I’m afraid I don’t know the name of) and look at the red-eye reflex. It was so cool! You basically look for that red-eye that shows up in pictures. If it appears red-ish it means the eyes are healthy. If they’re not, they’ll present as white, which could indicate a tumor.

The second day was similar. There was a patient with no insurance who needed a colonoscopy; he would have bowel moments but blood would be the only thing that would be passed. He had had this problem for six years. It was upsetting because the procedure was so expensive without insurance that Dr. I was almost positive he wouldn’t get it done, which is the reason he didn’t do it three years ago. Dr. I set him up with the financial assistance department and said all we could do is hope for the best. He did have hemorrhoids so she treated him for those and gave him a stool softener so they wouldn’t get worse.

At one point we had a patient who had to decide if physical therapy or surgery was the right course of action. He decided that he would like to try physical therapy first since he didn’t like surgery, and Dr. I agreed with him. She said that sometimes spinal surgeries don’t completely fix the problem and they can lead to even more surgeries. That was another interesting thing I learned about that I probably never would have thought to ask!

We also had a child come in due to cellulitis on his toe. It had been going on for a while and the mum was putting neosporin on it constantly. Turns out that the neosporin was what was causing it since the child had developed an allergy to it. Dr. I’s attending explained to the patient’s mum that neosporin had an ingredient that when used too often leads to allergic reactions; she needed to stop using it in order for his toe to get better!

The last thing I asked Dr. I was what she wished she knew before starting residency. She told me that medicine felt a lot with business (insurance, marketing yourself to the patient so they would continue to see you, etc.) and that she wished she had taken a course on business management during college. She also said if you wanted to travel (with my kids) that I have to do it before med school; you don’t have time after that. You can wait until you graduate but you can’t take off to much time since your patients need you and they don’t want a doctor who will be gone 6 months. It was good advice, but I did tell her I was already 24 and I probably wouldn’t do it since I felt I had already lost enough time not knowing what I wanted to do.

In the end she set me up with another doctor so I can shadow him this summer. I gave her a thank you card but also told her how thankful I was for everything she’d done for me (since it wouldn’t fit in the card). She hugged me like 5 times and told me that although she’d be on the other side of the country to call her with any questions about med school and my application. She was very sweet about it and even told me she thought admission committees would love me and that I’d be accepted.

It was a great experience. I’m very lucky I was able to meet such a caring and ambitious doctor. If I can be half the doctor she is I would be happy.

Thanks for reading and I hope you found this post insightful and interesting. 🙂 I’ll be getting in touch with the doctor Dr. I set me up to shadow some more, so I’ll let you all know how that goes.

Wish me luck!

Andrea.

Life

Happy 4th!

Hi everyone!

Happy 4th of July! I hope you all have a safe and wonderful holiday. I’m spending it with my family, sick from a cold that I caught from my 5 month old twins. First sickness for them, whoo hoo… it has not been fun.

I plan on writing another post soon. I have my notes from my shadowing two weeks ago so it’ll be a shadowing post. It might also be a reflection of my journey so far and how terrified I am to be on my last year of college (finally).

Anyway, Independence Day!

Andrea.

PS: My blog turned 1 last month and I forgot to write about it, so… happy 1 year, blog!