The trimester is coming to a close, and I can honestly say it's
flown by. We're all scrambling to meet deadlines in the clinic:
this many of this, that many of that. It hardly seems that about 12
weeks ago we were terrified we'd be horrible at this. Truth be
told, I didn't think anything about deadlines and numbers and
paperwork (OK, well I did think about paperwork a little bit).
That's probably why I'm scrambling now.
The last couple of weeks have been discussions about who is
transitioning to the other clinic, and some talks about where we'll
end up. Half of our crew is moving to the other clinic. It's
unlikely that I'll see them very often. Perhaps we'll have seminars
or training sessions of some sort, or get together outside of
school (although we don't do that now). But in a few weeks, there
will be another big transition for all of us. Some of us have been
together, nearly every day, for about 3 years. This will be
something really new.
Newness. It reminds me of my theory about Maslow's Hierarchy
from last week. Incidentally, I've been working some more on that,
but I'll spare you all the details. I had the pleasure to discuss
it with two of my fellow interns today, the concept of new ideas.
We were talking about my theory, and about other theories -- things
in medicine and science that seem to have been left behind. We were
discussing the idea that there are no new ideas.
Image by http://mladavid.deviantart.com
Mark Twain said:
"There is no such thing as a new
idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put
them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and
they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and
making new combinations indefinitely, but they are the same old
pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the
I grew up not far from good ol' Mark Twain's stomping grounds,
but between you and me, his writing always made me crazy. No matter
how much I tried, I couldn't understand the dialect he wrote. I'm
not sure that I agree with Mark; it seems we're discovering new
things all the time. From god particles to medicines, we strive and
learn how to change, adapt, and understand the world around us.
If the last 12 weeks in the clinic have taught me anything, it's
that we have no standard approach to treating anything. We have to
be willing to come up with new ideas, or at the very least, new
applications for old ideas. For every patient that comes in, even
if they have the "same" diagnosis, what works for each one of them
is likely to be something completely different.
I'm fairly certain that our discussion today came to the
conclusion that there has to be something new. There has to be a
pursuit of Science that crosses boundaries into new territories,
that bypasses the need for a randomized controlled trial of
everything, and simply embraces discovery for the sake of
discovery, and implementation for the benefit of the whole. Perhaps
we're all idealists. I see no problem with that. Being idealistic
just promotes my love of the field and my hope for making a
Neil deGrasse Tyson, in his series "Cosmos" said:
"To make this journey, we'll
need imagination, but imagination alone is not enough because the
reality of nature is far more wondrous than anything we can
OK, Neil. I'll take that one to heart. The greatest theories
come from crazy idealists.
I wish you all many great new discoveries. May your kaleidoscope
always look just a little bit different.
I can't believe this week is Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving
everybody! A few of my classmates are heading out of town, up
North, over the river and through the woods, but most of us are
staying somewhat local. Those that are going up North are getting
ready to be bundled up. I understand there are record lows --
especially up in the Northeast. We're actually expecting a brisk
temperature of 66ºF on Thanksgiving. Everyone will have their
parkas and snowboots on.
Friday night was Turkey Bowl. If you've never heard of the
infamous NUHS Turkey Bowl, here's where you'll become indoctrinated
in this time-honored tradition. Students, alumni, faculty members,
and significant others launch themselves onto the football field to
non-violently duke it out to compete for (starting this year) the
Stiefel Cup [named for the president of NUHS and former dean of the
College of Professional Studies - Florida].
This year, the victors were from Tri 1 and Tri 6 (including our
own Antoinette Stewart and Lauren Domanski) and our MVPs were Dr.
Chris Arick and Danielle Spratt. It's my understanding that no
severe injuries were met and no one went to the hospital -- so it
was a good game.
We had a HUGE turnout of people! A lot of the faculty came out
-- including some professors that I haven't seen in a really long
time. I saw new students that I'd never seen before. I met spouses
and kids that I didn't know existed. It was just a really great
"family" environment. There was really amazing food provided and
the people that weren't playing just hung out. It was really cool
and made me wish that I'd gone last year. The funniest thing was to
see our professors and Assistant Dean (Dr. Daniel Strauss) don
shorts and T-shirts and blend in with all of the "kids." We really
couldn't tell the difference between them.
So, this is the last week before finals start. Next week is
practical week and the following week has all the written exams.
I'm not looking forward to either -- but I'll be really glad to
move on. I've already taken the Marketing final, the final
practical for Rehab, and the Phlebotomy written final is this week.
I'm checking off boxes and crossing things off my list (and trying
not to go crazy).
Well, that's it from me. I hope everyone has an amazing holiday
-- that you have just as much dinner as you want, just enough
family dysfunction to seem OK, and just enough tryptophan to have a
really good nap. And of course, in true medical student style --
dissect the turkey -- don't carve it.
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!
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,
Here we are. Summer is upon us. Memorial Day is over and we're
headlong into the throes of the tri and Florida summer. I'm sure it
didn't get below 85º during the day here this weekend. More than a
few times I thought to myself, "Man, this is going to be a hot and
miserable summer." And yet, I always make it through (hydration is
Friday night was the Tri Mixer! We had a great turnout at Ten
Pin bowling. Strikes and spares were made, gutter balls were
thrown, and a good time was had by all. It's always great to see
students from other tris--especially now that my tri is in the
Annex all the time. I miss many of the students that we used to
have classes with/around. It's also great to see those tris ahead
of us that are now in clinic, including those that are just about
to graduate. It was just good to see everybody! Drew organized a
fantastic event. I wonder what next tri's mixer will be like.
On Saturday, I participated in the March against Monsanto
through downtown St. Pete. The controversial topic of GMOs
(genetically modified organisms) has been near and dear to my heart
since I was in high school, and I felt strongly about voicing my
opinion. About 500 people--young, young at heart, and everywhere in
between--descended on downtown St. Pete on Saturday afternoon to
express their concerns about the growing threat of genetically
modified organisms in our food supply.
Several different organizations participated--Seeds of Change,
Good Earth Market, We Are Change, and several others. People had
great signs, and while rather vocal, the march was peaceful and
with the support of onlookers and drivers-by. My good friend,
Jacqlyn participated in the March in Sarasota, where they had a bit
fewer people, but their presence was just as strong.
For more information about GMOs:
Have a great week, everybody!
• After the DC Degree
• Botanical Medicine
• 1 Year at National
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• First Week in Student Clinic
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