Friday, February 15, 2019

Excited for 2019!

Goodbye 2018!
Happy New Year!!!! Yes, I realize this post is a month and a half late, but better late than never, right? 2018 was such a crazy year, and if I only had one sentence to describe it, I would quote from Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities and say "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times". I experienced the high of becoming a doctor and the low of not matching. The joys of international travel and the sadness of domestic travel away from everything and everyone I know and love. Boss status with presidential suites and selfies with senators to a more humble status complete with a small apartment and being a broke resident. From the carefree laid-back lifestyle of the second half of my final year of medical school to spending insanely long hours working my ass off as an intern resident physician. But despite the highs and lows, you know what? 2018 was an amazing ride! I learned so much about myself over the year, and every day I grew more in love with the woman I am becoming. If 2018 taught me nothing else, it taught me how to remain resilient in the face of uncertainty while staying true to myself, the importance of prioritizing self-care, and the value of a good support system. It was a year of transition, and I will forever be grateful for the lessons it taught me, but now I can happily say to 2018 (in my Ariana Grande voice): Thank you, Next!

32 and loving it!

As for 2019, this year is shaping up to be an amazing one! I started off the year with a vacation week that gave me the opportunity to ring in the new year with a bang, and spend time with my daughter and loved ones, while also getting in some much needed rest and relaxation. I also celebrated my 32nd birthday a couple of weeks ago with another week off spent in Atlanta. Even though my Saints got robbed, it was fun joining in on some of the Super Bowl activities, and it was even better getting away from the frigid cold in Philadelphia.

No more medical board licensing exams for me!

The best part of 2019 thus far was last week when I found out that I passed my final medical board licensing exam, otherwise known as COMLEX level 3. It's such a relief to have these exams behind me, and to know that I'll finally be able to apply for a full unrestricted medical license at the end of intern year. Before I entered medical school, my biggest worry was if I would be able to pass a board exam, and now I can boldly declare that all my MCAT struggles didn't mean a thing, because I passed all my exams, and even better, on the first try!

Right now, I am loving every minute of 2019, and eagerly looking forward to what the rest of the year will bring. I also anticipate that I will be sharing a lot of good news with everyone in the coming months, so I hope you all will stick along for the ride. Lastly, I plan on going back to my original intent with this blog, which includes having more guidance and inspirational posts, so please let me know if there is a topic you would like for me to address.

That's it for now. I'm currently in the middle of a 24hr call shift and on the tail end of a brutal call schedule (those vacation days don't come without consequence!). I just finished sign out a couple of hours ago, and then got hit with a couple of ER consults, but hopefully it won't be too crazy of an evening. I hope everyone reading this has had a wonderful week, and I wish you all an even better weekend!

Monday, December 17, 2018

It's My Five-Year Blogiversary! (Thank you Gift Inside)

Five years ago today, I wrote my first blog post. I had no idea that at this point, half a decade later, I would have written literally hundreds of posts and reached my goal of being a source of encouragement and inspiration for others with similar circumstances. I also didn't even think that I would still be blogging, or even better, that at this point I would have already achieved my lifelong dream of becoming a doctor!

Over the years, I have used my platform to not only share my story, but to let anyone reading know that any goal is possible with passion and perseverance. I started this blog to help others, but what I wasn't expecting was how much I would be inspired and encouraged by all of my amazing readers. From the emails sharing your medical school acceptances and accomplishments to the TSA agent who recognized me and told me he will be applying to medical school next year, you all have brought so much joy to my life. I have smiled with you through the successes, pushed you through the tough times, and I've even shed a few proud tears at some of your stories of medical school acceptances and other accomplishments. You've even managed to encourage and inspire me to keep pushing, which is something I never would have thought would come from this.

So this year, as a thank you, I'm going to do something a little different. Below, you will find a barcode for a $50 Starbucks gift certificate. Please use it to buy ONE small cup of coffee, tea, or hot cocoa (meets the needs of people like me who don't drink coffee). I am posting this early in the morning and will wait a few hours before posting on my social media accounts so that my email subscribers get first dibs since this will probably only be enough for 10-15 people. Please be fair and only use it for one cup, that way as many people as possible can benefit. Just tap on the picture below from your phone to enlarge it, and have the barista scan it at checkout. Super simple :)

To all my followers who have been around since the beginning, thank you for sticking it out with me all these years. For the new followers, I hope you'll continue to follow along on the ride. And to everyone reading this, thank you for allowing me to share my story and for giving me a reason to smile. Wishing you a very blessed and wonderful week ahead!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Almost Halfway Finished with Intern Year!

Still smiling!

I thought I was going to put out a lot more content following my last post, but that clearly didn't happen. Honestly, it hasn't been from having a lack of time since I'm currently off service and have had more free time over the past month and a half than I have had since starting residency. I think I've mostly just been experiencing writer's block, which is super weird given that I've had a lot of new experiences that really wouldn't have been too hard to write about. Oh well, I'll use this post to catch everyone up, and then I'll type a couple of new posts today to let everyone know what's currently happening in my world.

Physician Swag!

When I ended my last post, I was just about to begin my emergency medicine rotation. My first day was a complete culture shock! My first shift didn't start until 930am, so coming from the surgery world of 3am wake ups, it was super odd being able to sleep in. The work load was also much less intense. A couple of weeks prior to starting, I was informed that the service would also include internal medicine call which would begin on my first day. What this meant, is when my ER shift ended at 530pm, I would grab the night pager and head upstairs to function as an internal medicine resident until 6am. My first night was not only super busy, but a complete 180 degree turn from surgery life. We were swamped with new admissions, and notes had to include a lot of information that you typically don't see in surgery. For example, if a patient came in with something simple like a fractured hip from a fall, we didn't just workup that one problem, but we focused on what seemed like every co-morbidity the patient had. Whether it was their blood pressure or an episode of asthma that last occurred years ago, we left no issue unaddressed. That first night was a huge adjustment from my typical focus-based notes, and it was even harder considering the first half of my day was spent functioning as an ER resident, and that I had not been on an internal medicine rotation since my third year of medical school. Nevertheless, I quickly learned to adapt after receiving a few calls and texts from attending physicians the next day when I was post-call, LOL.

Relaxation before work

What I will say that I found to be the most shocking about call on a different service was actually leaving at 6am. During my surgery months, call doesn't typically end until after morning rounds, so you can imagine my disbelief at doing sign out at 530am and being out the door by 6am. Even better, during my ER month I had multiple full 24 hour days where I wasn't scheduled to work. That's right, full days where I wasn't groggy from being post-call and could actually sleep in and still have an entire day of productivity mixed with relaxation. I even had shifts that started later during the day, so a few times I ended up sleeping in, waking up to explore the city for an hour or two, and then getting ready for work. It was really nice being out in the sun each day and doing simple things like walking to the park and watching the calming river.

Post-Boards Celebratory Drink

I guess the best thing about having an emergency medicine month, was the extra time I had to study. Last week, I took the final board licensing exam required for me to obtain a full unrestricted medical license (I'm currently under a training license), so I needed all the extra study time I could get. This exam (COMLEX Level 3) differed from the other ones I had to take in order to graduate from medical school because it was a two day exam that took place over 8 hours each day, and instead of only multiple-choice answers, it included fill-in-the blank responses and questions where you had to select multiple answers. It was definitely long and stressful, but since the two days aren't required back-to-back, I was able to sit for the first portion on Monday and have a couple of days to breath before taking the second portion on Thursday. I won't receive my score until February, but I am so glad to be over the board exam hurdle! Plus, whoever it was who decided to place a Prometric testing center in the same building as a whiskey bar is a true MVP, because a drink was very much needed after making it through 16 hours of testing in one week.

On-Call Selfie

Right now, I am in the middle of an internal medicine month, and it hasn't been too bad. The hours are pretty consistent, and there are a lot of daily lectures and other learning opportunities. Oddly, this month has shown me how much I really enjoy and miss surgery, so I am itching to be back on the general surgery service next month. I'm also learning that I don't do well with free time, and I seem to be happier and more productive when my schedule is busier (I'm weird, I know!). The good news is in a little over two weeks, I will finally get my first true break of the year since I will be off New Year's week, prior to going back to general surgery, and I can't wait!!!!

That pretty much sums up the past month and a half. I know I always say I'll be coming out with more posts shortly, and then get too busy to post, but this month will be different. Not only is my five-year blogiversary approaching (stay tuned for a sweet surprise!), but my writer's block has resolved and I have a lot to say right now. Plus, I'm currently in the middle of working a 24 hour call shift, but rounds are over and my patient list is tidy, which means I actually have time to type a few future posts right now :) Stay tuned and I hope everyone has an amazing weekend!

Monday, October 29, 2018

Intern Year Update: What Month Is It Again?!?!

Random pic of things you run into while in South Philly lol
I've been super busy, making it a while since my last post, but thankfully everything is going great. I'm even happier now than when I first started intern year, and I think I'm finally starting to adjust to my new role. Last week, I finished my fourth month of general surgery, and tomorrow I will be off service for two months while I complete both an Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine rotation. It will definitely be a change in pace as I won't have to wake up at 3 or 4am every day, and I'll have a lot more free time than what I'm used to, but I gladly welcome the change. Plus, I'll be taking my two-day final medical board licensing exam in December and it's officially residency interview season again, so the change will give me time to both travel and study.

When the surgery team runs 10-15 deep
As for surgery life, I truly can't get enough of it! Over the past few months, I've had the opportunity to scrub into some awesome cases, work with wonderful individuals, and every day I am blown away by how much I am not only learning, but actually retaining. When I first started, I could barely remember a patient's name, but now I sometimes surprise myself with how much information I am able to provide about any given patient when asked. I even got to place my first chest tube recently, and ran my first trauma. The past few months have been super fast paced, and it seemed like there was something new every day that gave me the chance to learn and constantly stay on my feet. I won't lie and say that the past few months have been all happiness and smiles, as the hours have been long and the stress levels always high, but even during the rough moments, it's hard not to smile at the fact that I am getting the chance to live my dreams right now.

Love my daughter!
Outside of working and devoting most of my time to taking care of my patients, I've also made sure to continue to make time for my personal well-being. Whether it has been flying to see my daughter during a golden weekend, or going to the movies on a post-call day, I always make a little time each week to do something that makes me happy. It's amazing how one day of normalcy can brighten up an entire week!

Things I do when I have free time
Tomorrow, I start the first day of my emergency medicine month and after my shift I will continue to stay to complete a full twenty-four hours since I am also required to take internal medicine call this month. I haven't even started yet and it's already a drastic change as I had today off (my first non post-call weekday off since starting residency in June!), and I don't begin my shift until 9:30 tomorrow morning. Usually, I've pre-rounded, rounded, and finished up a quick case by that time! Working somewhat regular hours is definitely going to be a huge adjustment for me, and I'm not looking forward to actually having to sit through traffic in the morning, but I'm excited to submerge myself into a different subset of medicine and learn something new.

That pretty much sums up my life for the past couple of months. Nothing too fancy or exciting. Just working and taking time to enjoy the rare moments when I actually get free time. Since I won't be working super crazy hours over the next couple of months, I plan on posting a bit more, so if there's anything you want me to write about, feel free to let me know. Otherwise, I hope everyone reading this has a fantastic week!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Giveaway Alert!!!!

Back in 2016, I had the pleasure of being one of the very first #scrubstylists for Maevn Uniforms (see original post and review HERE), and I am super excited to collaborate with them again as they celebrate reaching the 20K follower milestone 🎉 Even better? One of my own lucky followers is going to win a set of EON scrubs in the size and color of their choice! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
To enter, the following rules apply:
◼Make sure you're following both @maevnuniforms and @minoritydoctor on Instagram
◼Like this post on Instagram (extra brownie points if you head over to FB and give the "Aspiring Minority Doctor" page a like)
◼Tag a friend on this post on Instagram who you think might benefit from a pair of awesome free EON scrubs
◼Must reside in US only
***Contest ends September 5, 2018 at 11:59pm EST. Winner will be selected randomly and no purchase required. Disclaimer: I received the pictured scrubs for free from Maevn Uniforms.***
Thank you Maevn for these awesome free scrubs and for giving me the opportunity to pass along the wealth! #scrubstylist #maevnuniforms #scrublife #doctor #doctorstyle

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