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have been replaced by trying to keep sanity and study for midterms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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