Sunday, January 31, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me!!!!!

Celebrating 29 years with a delicious Chantilly cake!

I’m officially 29 years old today, and yet I don’t look a day over 21! LOL! In all seriousness, I am just extremely happy and blessed to see another year. My goal is always to make each year better than the last, so this year will be no exception. I hope to inspire more, learn more, live more, and never be afraid to step out of my comfort zone :-)

A very humorous birthday card from my daughter

As for birthday celebrations, I will be spending the day studying for tomorrow’s final reproductive exam. Last year, I think I spent my entire birthday studying for an exam as well, but knowing that this will be the last birthday I spend locked in my room trying to memorize PowerPoint slides is priceless! In just a few months I will be transitioning from classroom learning to hospital-based rotations, and I couldn’t be happier.  I’m definitely looking forward to all the new experiences this year has in store :-) The above picture is part of a homemade birthday card that my daughter made for me today, and the bottom right part still has me cracking up! I am truly blessed to have a child who not only understands the sacrifices I have to make with this journey, but who does her best to always keep me smiling.

Welp, back to studying I go, but as always, wishing everyone a fantastic week!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Stay Warm, Folks!!!!

Friday Selfie :-)
Happy Friday!!!! I know I said I would do a post last weekend, but nothing really noteworthy has happened since I last wrote. I took my first reproductive exam and managed to do fairly well on it, so I treated myself with a two day break last weekend of absolutely nothing school or board exam related. After about 24 hours, I was bored out of my mind! LOL The boredom quickly faded after that when I spent the next two days preparing for my OMM written exam and practical, which I took on Wednesday. Those two exams completely wore me out, and I’m still kicking myself in the head for my performance during the practical exam. Hopefully when I get the results back next week it will show that I didn’t perform too bad. The odd thing is I probably practiced for this one more than any other practical, but my tendency to over analyze everything most likely got in the way this time. Oh well, it’s not the end of the world, nor the end of the course. Plus, my daughter enjoyed bonding with me while I used her as a patient for practice :-)

My Favorite OMM Patient :-)
Outside of that, I am currently at home staying warm and happy! They closed my campus at 1:30 today and then my daughter’s school ended up having a ten minute early dismissal. It’s cold, raining, and the temperature is supposed to drop below freezing tonight, so staying in and staying warm is a no-brainer for us. I also got a new library book, so I’m really hoping to get all of my studying done early so I can relax a little and enjoy it. I hope everyone reading this has a wonderful weekend, and to those of you braving the storm in the Northeast, please stay warm and safe this weekend!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Med School Year Two, Second Term in Full Swing!

In love with my new mug!!!!
Happy New Year! We started back classes this week after a nice 11 day holiday break, and I am already exhausted!!!! Our second term actually started Thanksgiving week, but this week we began our Reproductive & Genitourinary Medicine (RGU) unit. The material is interesting and not too bad, but being full swing into my board exam study schedule and having had full day mandatory lectures this week starting at 8am, it’s really taken a lot out of me. Over the break I was able to wake up early, knock out my questions, review the content, and be done early enough in the evening to relax a little. With classes added on, it’s a lot tougher, especially since I learn better outside of the classroom, but I’ve been focusing most of my board prep on what is currently being covered in class, so the lectures were a good reinforcement.

148 days to go until sh*t gets real!
Speaking of board exams, I am now officially registered and scheduled to take the USMLE Step 1 on June 4, 2016 and the COMLEX Level 1 on June 10, 2016!!!! I just about cried having to shell out the money for both of these super expensive exams, but knowing that I’m close to conquering an important milestone in my medical career has me super excited. Not going to lie though, I am extremely anxious about scoring well and making sure I prepare in the best possible way. Everyone has a different way of studying, so there isn’t any correct way to prepare for the exams other than keeping it to a minimum and doing what works best for you. So far, I am sticking with UWorld, First Aid for the USMLE Step 1, and Pathoma. I’m also required to use Combank for my classes, so I have been going through that as well. I’ve already hit the 1000 question mark, and I should be finishing my first pass of UWorld next month. I’ll add in some other question banks at a later time, and I’ll take my first NBME self-assessment either next month or the beginning of March to see where I stand. Right now it takes me 3 hours on average just to get through around 30-44 questions, but I am mostly using the question banks as a learning tool. I attempt to answer the question on my own in tutor mode, and then I go through all of the explanations for the answer choices (both right and wrong) and either annotate in my First Aid book or take notes in a separate notebook. It’s extremely time-consuming, but I’m hoping to get faster as the months go by. At the very least, I can say studying for boards has helped with my most recent class exams, but I’ll make sure to keep everyone posted on my progress. 

ECG Fun!
Outside of board exam studying and school, there isn’t much in the realm of updates. This week in clinical skills we learned how to do glucose testing, urinalysis, and ECGs. I can tolerate a ton of pain, but getting my finger pricked is the worst! I also don’t know why I thought we would be given pretend urine to test, so it was a bit awkward when we were handed cups, and told to head to the bathroom to collect our specimens. I learned that I was a bit dehydrated that day, so I’ve been stepping up my water game all week. My favorite part was working the ECG machine and learning how to set a patient up. Reading an ECG is still a weak area for me, but at least I know how to properly set one up! In OMM, we worked on our ultrasound skills for extra credit, and my group was able to get a really nice image of my classmate’s bicipital tendon. I posted the picture on Facebook, but then had to quickly go back and add hashtags when my mother asked if I was pregnant (Really, Mom?!?!...Sigh…lol). I also had to add hashtags after someone asked if I was ok after posting the above ECG picture, so I’ll adding a lot more clarification from now on when I post pics to social media, LOL. 

This is a bicipital tendon, NOT a baby! LOL
Anyway, I think that is about it. My daughter currently has her friend spending the weekend with us, which means she gets company and someone to talk to, and I get to study uninterrupted. I have my study schedule set to have breaks on the weekends, but since I have an exam next Friday and I won’t be doing any board exam studying the two days prior, my plan is to knock out the missed days this weekend. I probably won’t post again until I have my official scheduled break next weekend, so until next time!   

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