Archive for tag: vacation

Med School Firsts and More Traveling

Another good week come and gone and we're already a month into the Fall Tri! This past week was marked in particular by more travel and some med school firsts: suturing and a Grand Rounds presentation.

Wendy, Mallory and Lisa prepare to learn suturing

For years I've watched my dermatologist mother suture her patients after removal of suspicious moles or biopsy of suspicious skin conditions. She works so methodically, looping the long end around the forceps and securing a tight knot in one smooth motion. After my first attempt at suturing I can tell ya, it's harder than it looks! However, after another hour of practice following that first attempt, I'm already feeling better about it, though I still need more practice. The tricky part is focusing on all the components; holding the tools properly, spacing your stitches just right, and pulling them just tight enough, but not too tight....

Lisa performs her first sutures on a plastic arm!

I also gave my first Grand Rounds presentation to a room full of interns, clinicians and students from lower tris. In 9th Tri we present for about 30 minutes on a clinical question, whereas in 10th Tri we spend an hour discussing a case and research. As I mentioned last week, I presented on The Case of the Missing Organ. My talk focused on the concept of considering a new basis for health in patients who present for care after having an organ removed, and on the importance of identifying the cause of dis-ease if removal of the organ has not solved the problem. This presentation was inspired by two of my patients, one who has had the colon removed, and another who has had the gallbladder removed. I was nervous, but it seems to have been well received and now I can check that off my to-do-list for the tri!

After an interesting week I took to the skies again for a trip to Vermont to celebrate the marriage of one of my very oldest friends. In addition to getting all dolled up with a delightful group of young women (I also wrote about them in a post from March: Crunch-Pop and Lovely Intelligent Women), I got to go for a beautiful, brisk morning stroll with my mom and discuss patient cases, and danced with my dad to music played by a live band. Everything about the weekend was beautiful!

A view from the top of The Flume, a little hike in northern NH.

Hanzi and I made a point to stop for a walk in the woods of the White Mountains on our drive back to Boston, where we caught an early flight back to Chicago the next day. We also got to watch the lunar eclipse/blood moon with my parents on their back porch. I hope you all got to see that celestial masterpiece; what a perfect symbol of the impressiveness of this world that has conspired to bring about all the things from the marriage of two wonderful people this past weekend, to my reaching this stage of naturopathic medical school. 

Hanzi checks out the White Mountains scenery from a covered bridge.

Speaking of a world conspiring to bring about things for us, please do not hesitate to email me with any of your questions, thoughts, concerns, or celebrations from your process of applying to, or considering this Naturopathic journey. I am never too busy to reply; I love your emails! You can reach me at

This Sweet, Fresh First Few Weeks

And, we're back! 

I'm sitting at my kitchen table with a glass of wine while a pot of risotto stews on the stove, salmon is marinating and waiting for the oven, and the first week of the tri is complete! It is important to remember to do as much regular living as possible before we hit Week 4 and midterms are upon us. There's something sweet and fresh about the first 3 weeks of the tri that really should be savored.


My first week back was short; we had the holiday on Monday and thank goodness for it! I flew back from Washington, D.C. early Monday morning after an intense and amazing 4 days of an IV Nutrition Therapy Seminar, taught by some outstanding NDs. I am now certified in IV therapy!

IV therapy is a topic we cover in our Minor Surgery class in Tri 9, but due to the nature of practicing/interning in a pre-licensed state without an MD here on staff at the NUHS clinic, we cannot actually perform IV therapy treatments in our clinic. The course taught me so much useful information applicable to my practice of the future, and I got to apply the skills that I don't get to use actively in our clinic here. I am now confident that I could, at the very least, rehydrate a patient, and at the very most offer basic nutritive support to any variety of sick patients. The group also offers further education in IV therapy on specific topics such as cancer support and detox. Judging by my great experience with the basics course, I'm likely to take more in-depth courses in the future. I highly suggest the course if you can find the time and funds to make it happen.


My friend Guy, a 10thtri intern, also attended the course with me. He leaves at the end of Week 2 for an externship in Montana (licensed state)! He expects to use his newfound skills in IV therapy at the clinic in Billings, where he will work for the next few months before graduation. I'll keep my fingers crossed that I can follow in his footsteps next tri... imagine the stories I will be able to share from the West! (Wishing Guy safe travels on his upcoming adventure!)

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Back to my reality, or at least sort of. I spent the first weekend back at school attending the wedding of two dear friends. Hanzi and I traveled to a club in Pennsylvania and besides watching Hanzi rock it as a handsome groomsman, I got to go for a paddle in a solo canoe, catch up with college friends I haven't seen in 6 years, dance 'til I could dance no more, and shoot trap with some excellent help from the resident shooting instructor. I have returned from the weekend fully revitalized! 

My old college friend Harrison put it pretty well at the end of the weekend, "I hate hangovers, and I especially hate goodbyes." It was hard to leave such a beautiful place and such beautiful friends, but I have returned to campus ready to rock! And speaking of friends, a handful of my closest ND student buddies who started in January 2013 with me are now 8th tri interns in the clinic, and I am so, so excited to have them there with me! Congratulations to ALL the new interns entering this next stage -- DC, ND and AOM alike.


And now the risotto is demanding my attention and the salmon must go in the oven... Hanzi returns from work at the library momentarily and we'll sit down to enjoy dinner together during one of these rare early-in-the-tri nights with no assignments hanging over my head quite yet. Welcome back all; let us have a fabulous fall!

Go Us! Almost There!

Whoa, here we are! It's already my last post for the trimester, a sure sign we have only a handful of days left until we're done! Week 14 signals the beginning of exams with all the lab practicals taking place this week. My E&M Extremities practical on Monday has required me to learn and understand about 60 different types of orthopedic tests and 44 different types of mobilizations/manipulations/adjustments. Let's just say this is prime evidence of how medical school is like drinking from a fire hose.

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This trimester has been a significant one for me. I started the Clinical Sciences portion of my degree, made a decision on when to take boards, followed my intuition and decided to do a dual degree in massage, and learned so much from my sim-patients about what the real experience will be like. It was also the first trimester that I haven't had any classes with any of my best buddies with whom I started the program. This is a blessing and a curse because I miss their company terribly, but I have also made new friends who I value just as much. During this tri, I traveled to see some of my favorite people make the promise to spend their lives together, my best and oldest friend got engaged (I never told you this, ah!), I wrote a blog post here that elicited tears from an exceptional friend (the first time my written words have ever inspired such emotion), and my parents sold my childhood home. All this, and it still feels that these summer months have absolutely flown by!

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If you're not here at NUHS yet, you'll soon learn the value of our brief breaks between the trimesters. This time I will head east, and go on a 4-day backpacking/hut trip adventure in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with my family and Hanzi to celebrate my Dad's 60th birthday (wish us happy trails, we might need it!). After that, I plan to visit with some of my best college girlfriends; one of them just bought a house -- OMG -- grown-up things! Hopefully, I'll find a day to shadow my Mom at her Integrative Dermatology practice, and will crack my Boards study guide at some point (we'll see about that last one). I hope the rest of my peers also have something fun, and especially something relaxing, planned for break!

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But before we can totally engage with our time off, we have to give that last major push through finals. WE CAN DO IT! Remember, it's OK for life to be totally, completely unbeautiful right now. Also, the world is a whole lot bigger than NUHS finals week.

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Throughout my post is a series of photos I took around campus on the Friday before Week 14. I asked students to show me how the impending last 2 weeks of the tri makes them feel; this is what I saw. General consensus says we're all a little crazed, a little worn out, and a little hungry for the sweet don't worry, here's the evidence that if this is how you feel, you're not alone!

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Lastly, a little blessing for us all; may our professors ask us the questions to which we have all the answers! Good luck, friends!