Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mexico Part 2 - Chichen Itza

My trip to Chichen Itza was so epic that it deserves its own post. I originally had not planned on taking any excursions while vacationing in Mexico, but thanks to the fact that I paid absolutely nothing for my hotel stay (gotta love airline miles!) I had a little extra spending money. It was definitely money well spent.

Pre-trip selfie!

My day began pretty early, but I was lucky enough to catch an amazing sunrise. The bus ride from Cancun to Chichen Itza was approximately two hours, but I was paired with another solo traveler who I chatted with the entire time, so it wasn’t too bad. The tour guides also gave us a lot of great information about where we would be going and the history behind everything.

Enjoying the beautiful sunrise

We arrived at the site around 10am and the entire tour was around three hours. I can’t remember everything I learned that day, but I did find it interesting that Chichen Itza was recently named one of the Seven Wonders of the New World. If I remember correctly the pyramid is a representation of the Mayan calendar with all the steps and sides adding up to 365. It is possible to tell what time of the day it is and the season just from looking at the pyramid. It was also the site where everyone thought the world would end in 2012, and during the spring and vernal equinox the sun shines directly through the top window of the pyramid. Pretty awesome!

After the tour, we ate lunch at a place where some of the locals performed for us and that was a good surprise. Plus, the food was off the chain! In addition to the other solo traveler, I also hung out with a really nice couple celebrating their one year wedding anniversary and it was an absolute blast! The funny thing is that throughout the entire day everyone thought me and the other solo traveler were a couple or related, so we had to keep letting people know that we just met LOL! It was all good fun though. It was also my first time really interacting with other people my entire time down in Mexico, and I really enjoyed it.

For the final part of the trip we visited a large water hole known as a cenote that everyone was allowed to swim in. If I remember correctly, it was 150 feet deep. I put my feet in, but that water was way too cold for me to jump in! It was also pretty crowded, but the cool air was pretty refreshing.

On the way back to the hotel, the bus played some show from the History Channel that gave more information about where we had been that day, and it was really interesting. When I made it back to my hotel around 7 that evening, I was so tired! I took a shower, ate, and then packed my bags because it was my final night in Cancun.

My Birthday in Mayan Hieroglyphics 

That basically sums up my vacation in Mexico. I came back the next night and spent some time with my sweetheart (he missed me! Lol), but I was back on the road the next day headed to my parents’ house to pick up my daughter. She definitely missed her momma!

Happy to be back with my little love :-)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mexico Part 1

After over a week of fun and traveling, I’m back! Mexico was an absolute blast and I’ll definitely be planning another trip back in the future. There’s so much I could say about my trip, but in an effort to keep everything short and sweet I’ll just give a general overview.

The view from my room was incredible!

I stayed in Cancun at an all-inclusive resort overlooking the ocean, and the view was incredible! There were no trees blocking my view and just looking at the ocean was breathtaking. The picture above says it all. Normally I’m not much of a resort person and I try to stay around the locals, but I definitely appreciated the relaxation and carefree experience of this trip. I literally spent the first two days doing absolutely nothing but drinking, eating, lying around by the beach/pools, and drinking some more. LOL I literally had liquor on tap in my room and access to multiple open bars, and I took full advantage of all of them! I probably tried almost every drink on the menu, and I even discovered a new favorite drink: Guava Mojitos. So good! The bartender suggested it when I tried to get her to add strawberry to a Caipirinha and it was love at first sip. Now I’m on a mission to find guava juice so that I can recreate it at home.

Drinks, drinks, and more drinks!!!!

A lot of people expressed their concerns before I left about traveling solo to Mexico, but I think I felt safer there than any other country I have visited thus far. It definitely felt very Americanized (they even have a Walmart!), and the police in the area really look out for the tourists. I think the only times where I had moments of not wanting to be solo were when I was doing things at the resort. For example, I was in love with the dinner seafood buffet, but I was not a fan of the waiters completely clearing my table every time I left because no one was at the table. Eventually I just started to pile all my food on my plates so that I could eat it all in one sitting. I didn’t mind being alone at the nightly entertainment events though because I was always able to get that one single seat that was front and center. I appreciated being able to do everything that I wanted on my own time schedule without needing to compromise. I do want to experience Mexico again with company, so I purposely chose not to do a lot of things outside the resort so that I will have something to look forward to.

Food, entertainment, and fun in Cancun!

The best part of my trip was taking a day trip to Chichen Itza to visit the Mayan ruins, but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for more on that ;-)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Ready for Spring Break!

Selfie with my little love :-)

Not only is tomorrow Good Friday, but it is also the start of my daughter’s spring break vacation. My wonderful father volunteered to watch her for the week, so that means mommy gets to go out and play! This year I’ll be headed to Cancun, Mexico and I’m super excited. There will be nothing but pure fun and relaxation in the week ahead, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Going on vacation also means that I’ll be taking a break from blogging for about the next week or two. I will make sure to update everyone when I return, so no need to worry about the lack of posts. I have to make sure that I spend Easter with my family, and then after my trip I’ll have to drive back and pick my daughter up, so there will be a lot of traveling in the coming days. My trip to Mexico will be a solo one, so prayers for safe travels would be greatly appreciated. I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Aisha Bailey, DO

This week’s minority women in medicine highlight goes to Dr. Aisha Bailey.  She is definitely a woman of many talents as she is not only a physician, but an innovator, business woman, and mother. She is also the creator of Ishababies® and the CEO of Aisha & Co., LLC. She is definitely a superwoman and a great source of inspiration.


Undergraduate Institution: Brown University located in in Providence, Rhode Island

Medical school: University of Medicine and Dentistry New Jersey – School of Osteopathic Medicine (Graduated in 2005)

Residency: Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune Township, New Jersey

Current Position: Fellow in Osteopathic Manipulation and also a Pediatric Attending who has been practicing for 2 years

What are some of your interests and hobbies?

Before I started medical school, I started a greeting card company called Aisha & Co, LLC. At the time I was actually living in New York and going to Colombia University taking post baccalaureate courses since I was an English major in undergrad. I worked for the New York City Medical Examiner’s office assisting in the 9/11 identification process, and I think that it ended up taking its toll on me. To cheer myself up and channel some creative energy I put my all into my company. I actually really started to like that and I started using it while I was getting ready to apply to medical school. Right before medical school, I came out with a line of dolls called Ishababies®. It features sixteen babies of sixteen different flavors with all different eyes and skin colors. That has essentially been my hobby throughout medical school to residency and now.

What made you want to start Ishababies®?

I grew up in an area that was not necessarily very diverse and I wanted children of all colors and cultures to have a baby that they could relate to.  I grew up and had a limited amount of dolls that looked like me. I wanted a doll or companion that could be a friend, wanted it to be big enough for them to  cuddle, light for them to carry it around wherever they went,  and something that they could talk to and really rely on. We have all different hair, skin, and eye colors, and that was important to me as well. We did flavors because I did not want to put them in any sort of racial/ethnic category. Though they reflect a good deal of the population, I still hope to make even more flavors in the future.

What made you want to become a physician?

I have always wanted to become a physician, but I remember being about 3 years old and saying that I wanted to be a nurse. My brother was admitted to Boston Children’s Hospital for something, and I told my dad I wanted to become a nurse since I believed that was the highest you could go as a woman in the medical field. He said “have you ever thought about becoming a doctor?”, and I decided I would be a doctor for children. I actually stuck with it and told everyone that I was going to be a pediatrician.

There was an interesting point in my life right before I was applying to medical school where I literally started my company from scratch, had patented and trademarked all my creations, and was so proud of it that I kind of almost doubted going to medical school.  As luck would have it, everyone kept reminding me about how I always wanted to be a doctor and I knew I had to pursue that dream.

Were you a non-traditional student or re-applicant?

I was definitely a non-traditional student because I did took post baccalaureate premed courses after undergrad to get my basics and then I went onto medical school. My post baccalaureate program was complete in 2-2.5 years.

Why did you choose to attend an osteopathic school?

That’s a great question. During my Junior year at Brown University, I went to Zimbabwe for 6 months to study abroad and the hospitals there were grossly understaffed and did not have a lot of resources. There was a doctor there who worked with the Salvation Army and was a DO from Canada. I remember him treating patients with such care and grace and I knew that was the kind of doctor that I wanted to be. People traveled from all around and we treated a lot of patients, but he never turned anyone away. He always smiled and people just cheered up to see him. So that stuck in my mind. When I got back I did write about the experience in my personal statement, and although I did apply to both MD and DO schools, what was fully realized was that I really wanted to be a DO. In my personal statement, I put that I wanted be a doctor who really cared for my patients, treated my patients with compassion, and as I researched more of what DO’s do, that is really our core tenet. It is really about treating the whole patient along with respecting and caring for the patient, so it was a great fit.

Why did you choose the specialty/field that you are in?

When I got accepted into medical school, I put off the fact that I wanted to be a pediatrician because I knew that I was choosing a career for life. During my 3rd year rotations I really went around and put my all into whatever I was in at the moment. One of the biggest surprises I would say is that I ended up going into surgery and loving it even though I chose it first so that I could get it out of the way. That being said, I felt called to Pediatrics. I felt at the end of the day, no matter how many patients I had seen, and even though I was tired, it really fulfilled me. I loved the fact that I could talk to my patients no matter what age they were, and I have always loved children, so it is something that still sustains me even though it can be busy and hectic at times.

How do you maintain a positive life-work balance?

That has been the hardest thing to do especially being a mother and being in the position that I am in now as a Fellow and as an Attending. It is something that I am still looking to work on. I will say that I have fallen back on my business, even though it still excites me because my son is a toddler. He is 15 months old now and my saving grace because he demands my attention. I appreciate the fact that he is his age and he is an only child, and I cannot give him excuses. He is the one who grounds me.

What advice would you give to other minority females pursuing medicine?

Don’t give up. You’re going to have set backs. There will be a bunch of people who will tell you that you cannot do it, and that you do not belong wherever you are and no matter what your background is. You just have to keep a good head on your shoulders. You have to surround yourself with people who believe in your dreams and who will help you persevere in that dream. If there are any friends who doubt you or do not believe in you as much as they should drop them. You don’t need the drama and you do not have time for it. You’ll get to where you need to get. I would also say you have to celebrate your accomplishments. That has been the hardest thing for me to really realize. I have done a whole lot and I am always looking forward, but it really does mean something to try to celebrate how far you’ve come and what you’ve done when you do finally do it.

What advice would you give to entering med students?

Medical school is a whole different world. Someone told me that it is an intellectual bludgeon as a pretty good description.

I have a pretty good background and went to good schools, but came to medical school and thought we’re all in med school together, we’re all cool, and everyone is going to be friends. I don’t know what I was thinking! You just have to be professional. Yes you will make friends, and given I’ve made some really good friends, but if I had to do it all over again, I think I would have come in with more of a work focus. I had it, but it seems like there are a lot of other things going on with people in medical school which makes sense. You have people who have always been at the top of their class coming into medical school and they don’t want to see you do better than them. I think I was a bit susceptible to some of the games that people played. In the end it doesn’t matter because everyone becomes a doctor, but just don’t get caught up in that madness. If you have a career goal of what kind of doctor that you want to be, it is definitely admirable, but even if that is the case set up third year so that you can see everything else and really decide before you get into the application process. That’s the biggest thing.

Where can we find out more information about you?

For more information about Dr. Bailey, her company (Aisha & Co, LLC), and Ishababies®, please check out her website:


Monday, April 14, 2014

Happy National Osteopathic Medicine Week!

I'm a day late, but April 13-19, 2014 is National Osteopathic Medicine Week. This week is not only dedicated to promoting osteopathic medicine, but it is also a great time to educate the public about it as well. One thing I think osteopathic medicine lacks as a whole is community awareness, so I’m all for promoting it whenever I can. With that being said, if you are new to this blog and curious about DO’s and osteopathic medicine in general, please check out one of the first blog posts that I did on the subject (SEE HERE). Also, don’t forget to stop by the American Osteopathic Association’s website ( to learn more. They have some great cover photos and pictures that you can use on social media. I’ve also pasted some of the photos below for your viewing pleasure. I hope everyone has a very wonderful and productive week! I’m going to go find a DO to hug :-) (LOL! Just playing!)

Friday, April 11, 2014

In Search of a DO for Mentoring or Shadowing?

I just discovered that the American Osteopathic Association has a website that lists DO’s who are interested in being mentors. This would have been a great resource when I was an undergraduate student searching for a physician to shadow, but unfortunately I didn’t know it existed. It never hurts to build a good network of people who may be able to help you out in the future, so I definitely plan on utilizing it as a medical student. A few of my readers have also asked about ways to contact DO’s for shadowing opportunities, and I think this would be excellent for that. If you’re interested, the program is called the AOA iLearn Mentor Program, and the website is

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Feeling Loved :-)

My first stethoscope!!!!

I am so lucky to have an awesome man in my life who fully supports my dreams and who is not afraid to show he cares. This weekend, he surprised me with my first stethoscope and I love it! It even has my name engraved on it! I cannot wait to begin medical school in the fall. As the date approaches, things are definitely starting to feel real now, and I could not be any happier.

I am also starting to realize just how important it is to have people close to you that really do support you, and I am glad that I will have this when I start medical school. I have gotten pretty used to doing everything on my own, but I am definitely not against having a little help. Lately I have been reading things written by medical students, and it seems that the majority of them contribute their success to their significant others and/or family members. There also seems to be the consensus that it is good to have friends around from outside of the medical world as a way to stay grounded. I just have to remember to try and make time for time for life outside of school. Fortunately, I have a daughter who will help with that, so I am not too worried. Also, having parenting help will definitely be a new experience, but I only see positive things coming out of it in the long run. Anyway, it’s late and I don’t want to start rambling. I just wanted to show everyone my awesome gift, and I hope you all have a very productive and fantastic week!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Featured on!

Happy Monday!!!! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. Tonight's post will be a short one, but I am super excited that I was interviewed and featured on the blog. If you have time, please head on over to the site and check out my interview. They definitely asked me some interesting questions, and I thought it was kind of awesome being interviewed when I am usually the one trying to find people who I can interview for this blog. It's short, sweet, and to the point, so CLICK HERE to read the interview in its entirety. Hopefully you'll learn something new about me that you don't already know. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Angela Green, DO

This week’s minority women in medicine highlight goes to Dr. Angela Green. She is a psychiatrist located in the Greater New Orleans area which isn’t too far from where I am currently located. Dr. Green also has an extremely busy schedule, so I am so grateful that she was able to take the time out of her busy day to answer a few questions for everybody. I was extremely excited to find another minority female DO that resided in my state, and I hope you all enjoy this interview.

Background Information:

Undergraduate Institution: Grambling State University

Medical school: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine

Current Position: General Staff Psychiatrist

Year of Residency Completion: 2010

Dr. Green is a member of the following organizations: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc; American Osteopathic Association, American Psychiatric Association

What made you want to become a physician?

I've always wanted to be a doctor especially after watching The Cosby Show...I wanted to be like Dr. Huxtable.

Were you a non-traditional student or re-applicant?


Why did you choose to attend an osteopathic school?

While attending an MCAT prep program, students from osteopathic schools came and spoke to us. I also had a very close family friend who was a D.O. that mentored me, as well as my friend's brother who had just finished osteopathic school.

Why did you choose the specialty/field that you are in?

Initially I wanted to be an OB/GYN like Dr. Huxtable, but I fell in love with behavioral health during my 3rd year clinical rotations. It seemed that no matter what rotation I was on, I found myself doing psychiatric evaluations and paying attention to patients' social history.

How do you maintain a positive life-work balance?

I find a good balance between work and my life by leaving work at work instead of bringing it home, and by having a good support system that includes family, friends, and a life group from my church.

What advice do you have for entering medical students and other minority females pursuing medicine?

If a career in medicine is what you truly want, be prepared to study hard and make the necessary sacrifices...Always keep God number 1. Don't get so caught up in your work that you forget to enjoy the little joys in life. I don't have all the answers as it's all still fresh for me, but I'm open minded and enjoying life day by day.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Are You Interested or Committed?

The picture above really spoke to me! In my opinion, anyone interested in becoming a physician should realize that medicine is a commitment and not just an interest. An interest is something you explore and get a feel for, but when the going gets tough there is always a back-up plan or a way to drop out. If you are truly committed to something, then there is no backing out. That means pushing through some difficult courses, jumping through necessary hoops in the admissions process, dealing with rejection, and even navigating the path alone.

Most physicians will tell you that if you can see yourself doing anything else, then do that instead. I have had a chance to explore many interests, and I cannot see myself doing anything else in life. I am committed to becoming a physician, and I will keep going even if that means enduring additional stress, more obstacles, and years of hard work. I know it will all be worth it in the end, but I am not naïve to the fact that it will not be easy getting to that point. There is no Plan B for me, and I am not willing to let anyone talk me out of my dreams. Even when faced with failure and rejection, I do not sit and make excuses. I take responsibility for my shortcomings and work to fix them in order to make myself better.

This post may come off as a bit of a rant, but it really amazes me how easily some people can give up on their goals. Committing to anything in life requires a ton of effort, and nothing good ever comes easy. I’ve also noticed that some of these same individuals are quick to blame others or a lack of handouts for their shortcomings. Realize that YOU are the only person who can achieve YOUR dreams, and do whatever it takes to fulfill that commitment to yourself. The end results will be that much more worth it. 

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