I'm recovering from near brain-death. In case you missed it,
last weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) a group of us took
boards: Physiotherapy, Part II, and Part III. I wish I could say it
was 3 days full of fun-filled magical awesomeness, but I think you
guys know me well enough to know I'd be lying through my teeth.
We all survived the weekend, in large part due to the support we
gave each other. Julia was my right-hand this weekend. She made me
study when I didn't want to, go over questions, and made sure I got
out of the hotel room on time (and didn't get lost too badly
getting back and forth from the hotel). Ricky and Alid were the
humor for the weekend. The four of us (including Julia) and two of
Alid's friends from Palmer, went for dinner after PT. I honestly
thought we would be kicked out of the restaurant, we were laughing
so hard. It was just what I needed to keep me going another
It was great to see the smiling faces of people we've taken
tests with before from other schools, and also of each other. Kind
words of encouragement were given by so many. Leslie, Bryan, Julia,
Alid, Theresa, Ricky, Roshaun, and Dave: My huge thanks to you guys
for keeping me going this past weekend -- even if you didn't
realize that's what you were doing.
Image Source: www.etsy.com/listing/181470539/
It was a weekend fueled by caffeine and lack of sleep. We
learned how little sleep we could survive on, how many questions we
could answer in a short period of time, and how much caffeine was
required to take an exam at 7:00 a.m. We were laughing at each
other and our test-taking strategies, how long it took to finish
certain exams, and how much we were stressing about something
really and truly out of our control.
Boards are interesting, because you've been studying for them
all along. There's really nothing to "cram" for, and yet we cram
every time. Of course, it doesn't hurt to refresh memory on what
we've not seen for a couple of years even. Part I, last year, was a
test of the basic sciences. While these were more clinical, the
basic science stuff just doesn't go away. There's always something
that didn't get covered, that we haven't heard before, or that
we've never seen. There are questions on every test that make no
sense, and like all standardized test, more than enough
opportunities to overthink something. I've always been baffled at
how any exam in medicine can be made into a "Multiple Guess" test
-- when everything we do in medicine is completely essay.
But, we survive. No! We endure. And however the scores come out,
they come out. We'll take them as they come.
In other news, clinic is in full swing. At the HEC NUHS Student
Clinic, we are BUSY. We've been seeing sports physicals and regular
patients -- several every day. As the term gets underway for the
SPC students, we'll be seeing less of some sports physicals, and
more of others. I believe we're serving at least 3 different sports
teams now -- so there will be no shortage there.
I'm finishing up a quarter for the Master's program at UWS.
Finals are this week. Hard to come back and tackle that after last
week. But I'm SO looking forward to two weeks off with no pressing
studies. Next quarter with them starts in a few weeks with Sports
Nutrition and Fitness, Gastrointestinal Imbalances, and
Oxidative/Reductive Dynamics and Energy Production. Sounds like a
Have a Great week, Everybody!!!!
love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I
would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your
name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its
charms." -- You've Got Mail
I always loved this quote. It reminds me of growing up and going
to get school supplies in the fall. Things were a WHOLE lot
different then. The seasons changed; things got a little crisper, a
little clearer, and somehow a bit calmer.
Welcome Back, Everyone!!!!
I must admit, the last 5+ weeks have absolutely flown by. I
honestly don't know where the time went. Between break and the
first two weeks of clinic, it just kind of vanished. *poof!* I
learned something new over break: singular tasking. I know; you
must be asking yourselves. "What is she talking about?" I am a
notorious multi-tasker. It annoys people to no end how I'm always
doing multiple things at once. But, I made a concerted effort, to
simply sit and do one thing at a time over break. It was weird; I
will admit. But it was also interesting. I tried to relax, focus on
what I was doing (or not focus on what I was doing), and it almost
became meditative for me -- no matter what task I was involved in.
I'm hoping to do more of that in the future.
We're back in clinic and we've got a new classmate that's joined
us from Lombard. (Your loss, Lombard -- Leslie is great!) And we've
also been joined by a new crop of now 8th trimester students --
some of which started out in our original class, but have been
5-track students. It's good to be back together again. I'd
forgotten what a good crew we were. Next week will be the first
week that we're all seeing patients together, but during the
preliminary workshops and orientation, I can tell that they're all
going to be amazing!
Our students have separated into the two different clinics. For
those that aren't familiar, we have two clinics in Florida -- a
more student-based clinic at the
Caruth Health Education Center, and a more public-based clinic
Park. Our student-based clinic treats students, faculty, and
staff for NUHS and St. Pete College. Our public-based clinic treats
people from the public, but also some faculty from NUHS and
students and faculty from St. Pete College. We're BUSY!!!!! It's
been really odd having lost half of our classmates. It's a lot
quieter when the 8th trimester students aren't in the office, but
also, everyone that we've been around, every day for the last 2+
years (depending on when they joined us), isn't around any longer.
It's been very different.
That having been said, I LOVE the crew that's I'm at the clinic
with now. Everyone is fantastic. They work VERY hard, and we all
seem to work very well together. Even though we've already been
here for 4 months, it's still a period of adjustment, especially as
we get more and more responsibility. I'm looking forward to seeing
how things go.
(Image source: www.indiamadisetti.com)
While we've been working in clinic, we've also been trying to
study for boards. Most of us are taking Parts II, III, and
Physiotherapy this coming weekend. It's a LOT to study. This is the
first time that I've felt extremely unprepared for boards. I think
it's because too much of a good thing is just too much. I've got
more board study materials than I had for Part I -- probably triple
the amount of materials. We were told that there is such a thing as
over-studying for boards. I don't feel like I'm there yet; I have
quite a ways to go. Here's hoping I make more headway before
Friday. I'm pretty nervous.
But, we will go, and we will fill in bubbles and say prayers and
hopefully things will work out.
As things get closer and more boxes are checked and things
crossed out, I get more excited, and a little bit more scared. But
it's all a great adventure.
Have a great week, everyone!
Welcome back! How was your break?
I'm fresh from Part 1 of NBCE board exams. I'm still not sure
that I've recovered brain function--but I'm here. So, while I'm
still thinking about boards and analyzing my weekend experience,
I'll give all of you my thoughts on the matter. Here we go.
Andrea's Post-Board Decompression Thoughts
St. Pete Marina
So, now I go headfirst into Tri 6! WOW! There are lots of
classes this tri. It seems that we're moving rooms nearly every
hour. I think it's going to go fast. Christmas will be here before
we know it.
Have a Great Tri, everybody. I'll see you next week!
Hey Everybody! I've had several great emails come in with
questions. Thanks for contacting me. I hope that all the
information that I've sent back has been helpful. I think there's
one outstanding email left. I'll be getting back to you shortly.
For those reading, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate
I find myself struggling with what to write today. At some
point, I feel like I've said everything--and then again, I couldn't
even begin to list what all I've done in the last week. It would
take me 7 days. I'm losing track of the days as we pass midterms
and look towards finals and boards. I seem to get more and more
busy when I have less and less actual time. There are really only a
couple of weeks before finals start as the summer winds down both
quickly and slowly.
As of Wednesday, I'll be childless for a few weeks. The boys
will be visiting their grandparents in the Midwest, and the house
will be VERY quiet. This should be time to prep for finals, and
start studying for boards. Maybe I'll get the rest of the house
unpacked or just sit quietly in the middle of the living room doing
absolutely nothing. As their summer comes to a close and they try
to drain that last drop of freedom, I start looking forward to
those two weeks off between tris.
I've talked to several of my classmates, and some in the other
classes. All of those great plans for starting to study for boards
have been replaced by trying to keep sanity and study for midterms
and finals. Board review starts this next week. During our tri
break, I'm sure we'll all be studying for boards. But right now,
I've only dusted off my question book. Just for fun, I flipped to
one question, answered it, and checked my answer. Then I closed the
book and went back to something else.
The last exam we have this week before finals is in GI/GU and
then there's a paper in Botanical Medicine next week. I can't
believe how little time there is left.
I've had some ideas about students' behavioral health after
receiving an article from a friend that was written by an anonymous
Harvard student. Here's a link to the article: "In Sight, Out of Mind."
I keep wondering what our capacity is for counseling, or dealing
with behavioral issues at all. As physicians, I know we'll be faced
with people in a lot of trying situations, but two questions/issues
came to mind after reading this article: Taking care of each other,
and taking care of our patients.
Just like the author of the article, so many of our students
could benefit from counseling or at the very least peer counseling.
Going through medical school is tough. It seems that more people
have problems with their personal lives that cause difficulties
with their studies--than have difficulties with their studies
alone. I'm not sure that we have the resources here, yet, to set up
some type of peer counseling--but I think that we'd benefit from
it. While we have the clinic in place, I'm sure that few people
attend our clinic for behavioral health issues. This brings me to
the other question--what do we do when we have patients that come
in with a behavioral health issue?
Are we equipped enough (or confident enough) to work with
patients with conditions like depression, anxiety, neurotransmitter
imbalances, schizophrenia, and others? I've heard time and time
again that we should probably refer these patients, but we're in
the unique position as trusted providers to help. Can we? Will
Feel free to write me with your thoughts on this. I'd love to
read and hear them.
Until the next adventure, have a great week!
Hope everybody had a great 4th of July.
I spent the day hiding in my living room and watching fireworks
from the window. Even though it sounds boring, it was a GREAT
The last several days have been spent working on projects and
cleaning and unpacking and organizing and I honestly wouldn't have
had it any other way. It's not common to get to have this time and
I really took advantage of it. Since we're out of midterms and now
just into middle-term exams, things have calmed down a little bit
and the frenzy is slightly less. So, now is the time to take stock,
study, write, prepare, evaluate, take care of business, catch up,
and so on. I have one more exam this week, then one next week, and
a paper due the following week. It's "just enough" to keep busy
without going nuts. Then the preparations for finals (and
boards--yikes!) will be taking place.
Our class has decided that we would start studying for boards on
July 1st. Now, I don't know if anyone has actually
kept this solemn vow--but I imagine we'll be at least going over
some questions or something at lunch starting this week. Given the
amount of material that we have to review, I think we had better
get busy. The question book isn't that scary, but the volume of
review materials is. From what I hear from the upper tris about
boards, we're more than prepared for them from our studies and the
board review (which starts in a couple of weeks) also helps
tremendously. Here we go!
"Lawnmower Girls" by Kelly Povo (Fine Art America)
On other fronts: I bought my first lawn mower today. The last
time I mowed a lawn was at my parents' house and I was probably
about 8 or 10 years old. My dad forbade me from ever using the lawn
mower again (I like to run over giant rocks) and sent me on my way.
Frankly, I wasn't that upset about it because I have horribly
wretched allergies and it seemed like a job more fitting for my
brother--who needed to be tormented. But today was different.
Now that I'm in a house and not a townhouse, I have to mow the
grass. Grass trimming services around here are far too pricey for a
medical student, so I bought my own mower. It's an old school reel
mower. No electricity. No motor. Girl-powered! These things are
awesome! It may not be one of those new-fangledy bells and whistles
mowers, but it always "starts", and it's quite a workout. Given
that it's rainy season here (Summer is rainy season and it rains
nearly every day), it's something that just has to be kept up
After I got back from buying the mower (off of Craigslist--gotta
watch that budget), I could see the clouds rolling in. I knew it
was going to start raining. I started pushing the mower about,
received some strange looks from my neighbors, and proceeded to mow
down my very overgrown yard. I was unbelievably surprised to hear
one of my neighbors comment on how "nifty" it was, and another one
to tell me that now several of the neighbors want one. It cracked
me up. Guess I am changing the neighborhood. When the rain started
pouring, it was absolutely wonderful. I kept working on the grass
bit by bit (my yard really isn't that large) until it was all
Standing there in the rain reminded me of when my dad and I used
to go outside in the front yard and dance in the downpour. We
probably only did it a few times, but I'll never forget. Hey Dad, I
didn't mow over any rocks. Are you proud of me?
It's the little things, you know?
Have a great week, Everybody. Take some time to dance in the
rain (and call your dad - he wants to talk to you).
• After the DC Degree
• Botanical Medicine
• 1 Year at National
• Marketing Project
• First Week in Student Clinic
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