This is one of those times when writing the blog is tough,
because I can't remember all of the things I've done over the last
week! I'm to the point where I'm keeping daily lists so things
don't fall through the cracks. There's just so much to do and so
much to study for.
Last week I had 2 exams, and this coming week, 2 exams and 2
quizzes. Next week (brace yourself), there are 5 exams. I've always
wondered why we do things this way. Five exams in one week are too
many. It's just as if it were finals. But, here we are.
I was able to join some of my classmates out on Friday night. It
seems that a good time was had by all. We were able to meet some of
the first trimester folks that I'd missed from the First Tri Mixer.
They all seem really great. One of the drawbacks to the way our
campus is set up here is that the students are spread out to four
different places. We have the basic science students in one
location, the clinical science students in another, and the interns
in two different clinic locations. So, once someone crosses over
into a different area, we don't always see each other again--unless
we make an effort to do so. So that's why the mixers and impromptu
get-togethers are really important. It gives us a chance to meet
some of the other students from different locations.
I like how cohesive our group is in particular. I've mentioned
this before, but we really do become somewhat of a family. After
all, we spend five days a week, together, ALL day. If we don't love
or hate each other by the end, there's something wrong. Those that
have joined our original four members have been welcome additions.
And of course we miss those that have left us--whether they
transferred campuses to Lombard, or decided to slow down. Most of
my original class is now in the same building. It's good to see
them every day again. I've missed them.
As if I didn't have enough going on, last week, I started the
Master's Degree in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine through
the University of Western States. The program is all online and we
have students from literally all over the world. The program there
is a wonderful complement to the program here. Since my goal is to
have an integrative, functional medicine practice, it's a great fit
for me. My goal is to complete the master's about the same time I
finish here at National. I'll let you all know how that's
Time management and prioritizing are absolutely key to
maintaining some semblance of sanity with all this coursework. I'm
not sure I'm there yet--but I'm working on it. Of course, anyone
that knows me knows that I'm at least partly insane, so I must have
lost something somewhere. Calendars, schedules, lists, planning,
and keeping track of everything that has to be done is extremely
important. On top of that, checking all of those things off the
list is extremely fulfilling. I have to remember to ONLY put things
on the list that HAVE to be done--no lofty ambitions, week-long
projects, or 5-year goals. My lists sometimes get out of
control--admittedly, and sometimes they end up with the weirdest,
most random thoughts written on them--like philosophical questions.
And THAT could go anywhere. :)
(Image source: redlandrambles.wordpress.com)
I took a few minutes out of studying on Saturday to go to a
ROOTS seed and plant share event. We grew a lot of our own food
when I was growing up, and as I've had space, have tried to do the
same off and on. Now that I have some yard space, I'm working on it
again. Let me just say that this event was absolutely amazing.
People from the local area bring seeds they've collected,
cuttings, plants, trees--you name it--and they just give it away. I
took some Aloe seeds that my plant had put out last year. I'd been
saving them for quite a while. I honestly didn't even know that
Aloe seeded; I'd only seen people plant Aloe by cutting. The Aloe
plant that produced the seed was gifted to me a few years ago from
a fellow student, so it only seemed fitting that I gift its
progeny. In return, I was gifted pumpkin seeds, stevia seeds,
loofah seeds, and heirloom squash seeds. I was hoping for loofah,
but couldn't believe how much was there!?! A lady tried to send me
home with a bag full of about 500 seeds! People were so generous.
I'm eternally grateful, and hopefully my garden will be booming
here in a couple of weeks. Since I've never had a fall garden
before, I have no idea what to expect. We shall see.
Happy Studying and Organizing everyone! Have a great 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!
The sun was not shining. It was too
wet they say.
So we sat in the classroom during lunch on that day.
I sat there with Dave, Ricky, and
And then we said, "We just don't know what to do!"
It was too soon to study for old
too early for Neuro, or WBCs.
We'd already had coffee, and water and lunch.
We all just sat there, our shoulders did hunch.
Then something went "Thwap!" In the
corner we looked.
My rainbow umbrella no longer was hooked.
I'd carried it in to avoid my own
to keep me nice and dry, so I would stay warm.
That umbrella it had the most greatest of power,
and because of it, this is what we did for the hour...
The storm we did weather, the damage
So sorry for all that mess has become.
It was not my purpose to cause such turmoil;
I'd rather be wearing a hat made of foil.
Exam time has started, insanity
We all are now paying, our most diligent of dues.
Miss Lauren, and Julia, Annaliese,
we all seek our studying quotas be met.
Alid, Miss Lexxi, Theresa and my Self
are looking to each other for all kinds of help.
Our Classmates--the greatest, we
always take care.
Through storms we will weather, through struggles we bear.
We help one another with notes and with guides.
and sometimes with excuses when one of us hides.
We'll make it through all of this
and help one another prepare for these tests.
We'll pass all the boards and study
and in the end we'll come out with a card,
a license, a paper, more knowledge than known,
and after all of this we'll start practices of our very
(Special thanks to those that participated in our
educational/recreational efforts, to Jordan for his contribution,
and to Dr. Seuss, for being a large part of who I am.)
Happy studying for midterms everybody,
I hope everyone had a great Easter, a festive Ostara, and a
Blessed Passover. It was a low-key weekend at my house. We didn't
even make Easter baskets. Peeps were procured and cupcakes were
made, but that was about it. I spent the whole weekend working
Finals start next week. Let the panic commence! NO. No panic! We
will not panic. There will be NO panicking. OK. Now that that's
done. Given that this is the last week before finals, it's time to
get all my ducks in a row - practicing, note writing, memorizing,
preparing, and everything else!
Sometimes the organization and preparation for finals is just as
stressful as actually taking them. The last week before the tests
begin is when all the notes must be finished and the hardcore
studying takes place. For me, I learn more in the last week than I
do in the 14 weeks before. I know that it's not supposed to work
that way, but that's how I work. There's something about
solidifying everything and repetition, repetition, repetition. I
will, actually, be studying up until I walk in to take each test.
I'm doing my best to not repeat the events of last tri's finals.
I existed most of the last finals week on caffeine and very little
sleep. I don't remember whether I was eating or eating anything
remotely respectable, but I suspect I wasn't. So, that will not
happen this time. Here are a few suggestions that I'm pulling
together for this tri's finals for myself--and all of
Andrea's suggestions for finals
OK. Enough of that. So I wish you all a happy finals preparation
and a happy spring and all of that other stuff. If you're getting
antsy while you're studying, take a break. It really will make
things go smoother. See you all on the flip-side.
What do you do when you haven't seen daylight for the last
several days and have to take lovely pictures for the blog? You
take them of your back "yard." If I look out my patio door, this is
what I see. Of course, I never look out my patio door. I never even
go out my patio door. But today, I did--so I could take some lovely
pictures for all of you.
It's time for midterms. It's REALLY time for midterms. Now is
the time, not only for studying, but also for making sure we take
care of ourselves. Different tris have different schedules. I know
I've mentioned some of our heinous exam schedules before. This
midterm schedule isn't too bad, but that doesn't mean it won't be
For the last, I don't know how many days, I've been studying and
working on E&M: Cervical notes. I'm already on my third pass of
them, and I still don't feel like I know anything. This is how it
goes when there's a HUGE amount of information on one exam. It's
easy to get discouraged. It's easy to get overwhelmed when it comes
to exam times. It's REALLY easy to neglect the Self and the
So, with that in mind, I offer this bit of advice for midterms
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