Thursday, October 27, 2016

Babies, Pap Smears, and Early Hours: Starting off OB/GYN Strong!

Adding another hospital badge to the collection!
This week is seriously flying by! I started my OB/GYN rotation on Monday, and so far it’s been a super fun experience. I wasn’t sure if I would find it awkward or amusing that my preceptor is my actual gynecologist, but my first day started off smoothly with no awkward moments at all. I am actually pretty happy to have my gynecologist as a preceptor because I originally sought him out due to the fact that he is a DO, is African-American (we don’t have enough black men in medicine), and he had great reviews. Before Monday, I had never been in his office, so it was awe-inspiring to see all the degrees on the wall, awards from the National Medical Association, and even a gorgeous painting of black physicians and patients which is included below. I even found out that he used to be a member of the SNMA, so that made me extra happy :-)

Love this picture!!!!
My first day was spent seeing patients for mostly annual exams and OB follow-ups. I was able to use the mini Doppler ultrasound on some of the patients to make sure their babies heart beats were strong, and it was fun seeing some of them get excited over it. I even got to take the initial history of some of the new patients, and since it had been a while since I performed one on a standardized patient, the doctor went over how to properly perform speculum exams and pap smears.

Ready to find that heartbeat!

On Tuesday, I headed over to a clinic that mostly caters to immigrant populations and I really enjoyed my day there. I had one embarrassing moment when I walked into a patient’s room and immediately started speaking Spanish, only to find out that her main language was Russian and a small amount of English, but I quickly caught on when she looked at me like I was crazy LOL. In my defense, over 90% of the patients that morning only spoke Spanish, but from now on, I will definitely ask the language when I first step into the room. On the plus side, the doc treated us all to a tasty lunch from a Colombian restaurant and it was one of the employee’s birthday, so there were delicious cupcakes that day too. At around 2pm we saw the last patient, and the doc told me we were waiting on a patient to deliver at the hospital but it would be a while, so I went home to relax. I figured he had forgot about me when I went to bed around 11pm, but I was woken up bright and early with a text that said to meet him at the hospital. Luckily, the hospital I am rotating at this month is only 10 minutes away from me, and my sister is here taking on the nanny role, so I quickly cleaned up, got dressed, and made my way to the Labor & Delivery section. The patient ended up not being ready until after 7am, but the delivery occurred really fast. I was all gowned up and ready to go, and the doc instructed me where to put my hands and I DELIVERED MY FIRST BABY!!!!! It was such a cool moment, but I didn’t have time to dwell on it, because he was then instructing me on where to clamp, where to tell the father to cut, and how to properly remove a placenta. There were also two more deliveries we were waiting on, so we left to go check on those mothers right after.

The "I just delivered my first baby" Selfie :-)
All-in-All, I ended up delivering 2/3 babies (the last one too big for a beginner) and 3/3 placentas, so it was a great day! The only con is that there was a lot of waiting around for the patients to fully dilate and be ready to give birth, but I had the pleasure of being able to chill out in the physician’s lounge which was really nice. I caught up on a little Netflix and even finished up some work I had been putting off, so I was able to actually relax and get some rest when I finally did make it home.

I voted! Have you?
I can’t wait to see what the rest of my month in OB/GYN brings, and I am looking forward to getting the chance to perfect my suturing skills in the OR. Today I had the pleasure of having the day off, so I took advantage of the early voting that is currently taking place and went out and exercised my right to vote. It took less than 30 min and only required an ID, so I strongly encourage all of you to go out, vote, and let your voice be heard. Welp, tomorrow will probably be another super early day, so until next time!    

Saturday, October 15, 2016

SNMA Region III RMEC 2016 Recap – Jackson, MS

Pictured with SNMA Past National President Dr. Loretta Jackson ('92-'93)

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Student National Medical Association’s Region III medical education conference in Jackson, Mississippi. The conference was hosted by the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and it was a wonderful weekend filled with great pre-medical and medical student tracks that had everything ranging from simulation labs for the pre-medical students to one-on-one talks with current residents for medical students. It was nice being able to interact with the membership of SNMA and I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the conference.

Pictured with the founders of White Coats Black Doctors

Since I became involved with SNMA on a national level, conferences have typically meant either sitting in full day meetings or running around making sure that workshops or anything else I was involved with is running smoothly. This conference was the first time in a while that I was able to just sit back and enjoy the programming. I also met some pretty awesome individuals such as the founders of “White Coats Black Doctors”, MAJ Ezella Washington – a family medicine physician and fellow DO (Woot! Woot!), and I was extremely excited that one of the speakers was a surgeon and that there were a few surgical residents in attendance.

College Buddies!

What made the conference even more exciting for me was that it served as a trip down memory lane. Although I am a proud SNMA Region IV member at the moment, I started off with the organization as a pre-medical student in region III, so it still carries a large piece of my heart. Speaking with the pre-medical students in attendance reminded me of where I used to be and it gave me a lot of inspiration for my presidential agenda that I am currently hard at work on. I even ran into one of my old college buddies who is now a physician. Just reminiscing about how we made it through the struggles of undergrad (that biochemistry major is a beast!), to now one of us being a physician and the other on the way, really makes me feel blessed. This journey is definitely not an easy one, so it warms my heart to see those around me succeed.

Selfie with the parents!

The other highlight of the trip was being able to stay with and see my parents since they live fairly close to the medical center. My mother’s birthday was the day before the conference started, and it had been almost a year since I had seen her, so it was nice being able to celebrate and spend some time with her. I had already seen my dad a few times this year since he came to pick up my daughter for the summer and brought her back, but it was pretty cool hanging out with him too. I made sure to take a selfie with them both before I left because I just love my parents!

But other than that, it was a great experience attending last weekend’s conference, and I look forward to the rest of my travels with SNMA. Oh, and shameless plug: registration for SNMA AMEC 2017 is now open, so sign up now! It will be held in Atlanta, Georgia on April 12-16, 2017 and I am looking forward to seeing you all! Feel free to head on over to to register and find out more :-) 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Goodbye Pediatrics, Hello Psychiatry!

Goodbye Peds!!!!

I’m a little late on the updates, but I’m a week and a half into my psychiatry rotation, and so far I’m really enjoying it! I was happy to finish my pediatrics rotation without getting sick the entire month, and while I learned a lot, I was happy when it was finally over. Between the screaming kids, endless colds, and what seemed like every other parent demanding an antibiotic prescription for viral illnesses, I think it’s pretty much safe to say peds isn’t for me!

My first day of psychiatry "gifts"

As for psychiatry, I am currently working with geriatric populations, and it is super interesting! I would have never thought psychiatry would offer a ton of variety, but in just a short time, I have been exposed to so much. I have seen patients with various mental illnesses including schizophrenia, bipolar I disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, and delirium, to name a few. Last week, I even had my first electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) experience. This is a procedure done under general anesthesia, and it basically involves inducing generalized seizures in patients experiencing severe depression, Parkinson’s disease, and other mental illnesses. My attending is pretty aware of my interest in surgery, so he made it a point to have the anesthesiologist teach me a few things. What’s even more exciting is that I got to ventilate and administer the anesthetics to the patients! I seriously thought the anesthesiologist just wanted me to hold the syringes when he handed them to me, so I couldn’t contain my excitement when he told me to administer them. I got a little grilled afterwards when they asked me what I had just given to the first patient and I didn’t know, but lesson learned! Never administer an anesthetic without first looking at it and verifying. That same morning, I also had the chance to feel pitting edema on a patient, which I thought was pretty cool to experience in person.

Couches and psychiatry are a perfect match!

Today was spent visiting patients in assisted living facilities, and I really enjoy the personal aspect of visiting patients in their homes. Seeing pictures of their families on the walls and hearing their back stories somewhat helps me gain more empathy for they are experiencing. The memory care section of the facility also brings about some interesting moments. Yesterday, I saw a patient with Broca’s aphasia, had another patient poke me from behind and whisper asking me if I was scared, and I also had a chance to witness the inappropriate behaviors that come with frontotemporal dementia. I also enjoy the days when we’re in the office, and I’ve always envisioned psychiatry as a profession where people lie on a couch and discuss their problems, so I am just tickled that there is a couch in the office. I was tired of no one actually lying down on it though, so I took the initiative and lied down on it for a few seconds, LOL.

But other than that, I am excited about what is to come for the rest of this rotation. Tomorrow, I will be back at the hospital bright and early for more ECT sessions, and then afterwards we will make our rounds at the assisted living facilities. I am looking forward to hopefully sharing some more interesting experiences this month, and hopefully you all will find them just as fascinating as I do :-)  

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