Sunday, October 16, 2022

Plastic Surgery Year Two: First Quarter Update

In my element :)

Can you believe it's already October?!?! I feel like this year has flown by so fast! It's been 4 months since my last update which was right at the start of my final month of intern year. After going through two separate intern years, it feels good to finally have PGY2 status and never have to go through that again! Right now, I am currently in the fourth month of my second year as a plastic surgery resident physician, which means it's time to update everyone on the past few months.

A fun weekend of plastic surgery education in San Francisco

June: When I last left off, I was just starting my final month of intern year. This was a fun month on the plastic surgery service! I had the chance to do a lot of procedures both in the office and the operating room, and got to spend the month working directly with my program director. I even had the opportunity to fly to San Francisco at the beginning of the month to attend an Allergan KEYS conference where I learned all about a variety of topics such as breast reconstruction, cool sculpting, Botox, and fillers. There was even a hands-on injectables session where I had the chance to perfect my technique using silicone model heads.

My super awesome plastic surgery attendings

July: I started off my second year on a combined Burn/Trauma plastic surgery service at an outside hospital, and it was busy! Between Fourth of July firework celebrations and people having a whole lot of free time to do silly things, every day was a new experience. I experienced a lot of professional growth, and it was a good start for what has been a busy second year. 

Dr. Velma Scantlebury: Super Doc and best mentor ever!

August: August was another surgical critical care month, but thankfully the last time I would have to spend a month in the ICU. This time around wasn't as bad as January (maybe because I was a bit more comfortable?), but I was still ready for it to be over. One on hand it's a blessing to be able to take care of the some of the sickest patients in the hospital, but doing it every day can get to you. The true highlight of the month was getting to see my mentor Dr. Scantlebury! She was in town for a short time speaking at a conference and it was amazing how our schedules magically aligned to meet up and catch up. I don't have to tell you how much I appreciate this old blog posts do that for me :)

For my third month, I was back on the general surgery service, but in my home hospital, so it wasn't bad. We get a lot of hands on operative time in my program, so I enjoyed being in the operating room daily. The patient census also wasn't too bad, so the month was smooth sailing. I will say that my favorite part of September was finally getting in a vacation! My last vacation was back in February as a belated birthday celebration, so I was ready to have some fun. My little sister blessed me with a gift of a FREE Virgin Voyages cruise, and it was amazing! I had never been on a cruise, so I was a little apprehensive at first (especially given it was the height of hurricane season), but I am so glad I went. I ate a ton of food, had some great drinks, and even visited Cozumel, Mexico and Bimini, Bahamas. It was a much needed reset button and I've included a quick Instagram video recap above. 

Random early morning selfie

October: This month I am on the acute care general surgery service but back to rotating at a hospital a little over an hour outside of Miami. The service isn't too bad, and I'm getting a ton of OR time, but I miss being able to go home and sleep in my own bed. The hospital has also switched from 24 hour call to a night float system which means I am alternating between days and nights this month which messes up my system. Right now, it's 4am, I'm at home (yay!), and I'm typing this post as a way to stay awake since I switch to nights tomorrow/today after being on days all month. If you've been following my blog since my original intern year in Philadelphia, then you already know how much I absolutely love post call days. These no longer exist with the night float system, but it is nice being a little more refreshed at night and not having that drunk feeling that occurs after being awake for 20+ hours.

My phenomenal daughter!

Mommy Life: I'm always getting asked about my daughter (and she loves seeing herself on my blog lol), so I'll update on her too :) I officially have a 10th grader! My daughter is still heavily involved in color guard and pretty much every weekend she's away at some competition, but she is doing amazing and absolutely killing it! This semester she's taking a health core science class, and seeing her in her little white coat and scrubs made my heart melt! It's so interesting seeing how excited she gets showing me how to put on sterile gloves or going over different body parts. She's still undecided on what path she'll take in life, and I honestly wouldn't push medicine on her given all the struggles and sacrifices that come with it, but I fully support any route she chooses. She also has a learner's permit and has been practicing her driving too. Next month she'll be turning 16 and has been bugging me for a car, but doesn't seem to understand that it won't be possible since I'm back to being a broke resident. Oh well, hopefully she'll at least find my uninterrupted presence meaningful. Other than that, she surprisingly continues to be a super sweet and responsible teenager, and I'm thankful for that :)

A future Dr. Ward?

Welp, it's now after 5am and I think that about sums everything up. As I'm reflecting back on the past few months, I'm realizing this post misses so much and I really need to do a better job of updating everyone on here a bit more frequently. I can't promise I'll post again next month, but I will definitely post again before the end of the year. Right now, I'm going to go watch a movie, sleep, and then get ready for my night shift. As always, I thank you for reading!

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