Friday, February 29, 2008

physiology final

4 hours.
167 questions.
50 pages long.

man, i had to pee so bad after the first 30 minutes of the test, but i couldn't make myself get up and go. i was so strapped for time in that test, and i was further irritated because after i turned my test in after hurriedly trying to scramble to get the last bazillion questions answered when "30 minutes" was called, one of the professors comes in and says "they can get 30 more minutes". too late for me, and that just really chapped my rear if you know what i mean. hopefully i didn't screw myself over too badly by rushing it at the end. i don't think i could have sat there for another 30 bladder was the size of a watermelon by the end of that test!

Monday, February 25, 2008

blah histo board

goodness, is it just me, or was the histo board i took this morning a biochem test in disguise? i know there's only so much ink in the world that you can't do nice color pictures of tissue/cells/etc and ask a valid histology question of something like "what does the cell labeled with a star do". also, one of my biggest irritations from this morning was that we were asked questions from "cartoon drawings" of cells and whatnot. in the real world, i'm going to be looking at the actual slide, not a cartoon.

so i've added another "i can be this maybe when i grow up" option: do a pathology residency, then do a fellowship in the medical genetic pathology. i think basically what you would do there is run the tests to check for all the genetic mutations amongst other things. of course, i'm still only in my first year of school, but it's good to narrow things down. i've effectively x'ed out most things: i lack sympathy for stupidity, i expect too much from people, i'm an advocate for personal responsibility, i don't like blood, nursing homes are scary, cutting into a living pig made me unhappy. yeah, i have a lot of weird tendencies. i think "i don't like blood" really narrows things down a lot. i might add that looking at people's private parts would really gross me out too, so no urology or gynecology.

this weekend i had a good friend tell me that they could see me as a pathologist, and then another friend seconded that and added that they thought i would not be happy in a pediatric (or similar) residency. she told me that if i did that, then i would probably want to quit after a year or so, and given my personality and my undergraduate degree, i would do it. i agree...i think in the past year or so i've really come to terms with not doing something that isn't making you happy, so i would have to agree that i shouldn't put myself in a situation where i would end up quitting (because i is too short). also this weekend i chatted with a friend's mother who is a neurologist and mentioned that i was interested in path, and she was so excited for me and told me what a great field that was. i also mentioned wanting to stay in academic medicine (versus private practice), and she also said that was great too. H has also said that he sees me "running a lab" more so than "being a doctor". so i guess that if a bunch of people that know me are saying similar things, i should definitely take that into consideration!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

cool brainscannr!!!

so i am full of love on the inside...i never knew!

See my brainscanner results

Monday, February 18, 2008

observations at 7:25 am

this morning walking to school at 7:25 am to be exact, i had the great misfortune to be walking alongside an individual who was talking loudly on his/her cell phone and dropping the F bomb every 2 words. well, to be exact, it was the F bomb preceded by "mother", but what does that matter.

what gets me is that us STUDENTS are always being lectured about creating a "positive and caring image" for the hospital, when it's the employees themselves which are causing the problems. i doubt you'd see anybody from my class dropping F bombs that early in the morning, and so publicly! sheesh!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

ugh motion sickness

ok, so those out there that know me (and maybe i've mentioned it on this blog) know that i'm considering pathology as a career choice. well, i'm currently in our histology lab looking at things in a microscope to study for my test tomorrow, and i have given myself the worst bout of motion sickness i could ever imagine. like, i literally sat in the bathroom for about 10 minutes trying to will myself to puke, but it wouldn't happen. it stinks...i love looking at all the slides, but i guess all the moving around and intense lights and quick focus/refocus actions are making my eyes hurt. and it makes me nauseous as well. when we're in lab sessions i always try to avert my eyes when the professor is "skimming" around to find a good spot to look at, but i guess it's hard to do that when you're flying solo. good thing i only have one last lab guide to look through.

so now i'm reconsidering path. i love microscopes, but not enough to inflict daily bouts of motion sickness or whatever it is. i'm such a pansy.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

happy valentine's day!

dear readers (all 3 or 4 of you...ha!), today i want to wish you a happy valentine's day. i'm not much of a romantic, but sometimes it's fun to have a whole day of sappy romanticisms and whatnot. or maybe not...i'm not much of a cupid and flying arrows kind of gal, but at the very least i want those around me whom i love very much to feel appreciated.

i just sent off an application for a summer research grant funded by my school's department of something something. please cross your fingers for me (if you like) because the research project that i am hoping to do is with a great doctor in a field that i am ranking VERY HIGH on the list of "what i want to be when i grow up". not only would i be doing some research on a disease that is quite rare, i would also get to do some analysis in a very common disorder, present my findings in a couple of different places, and get to hang out in clinic. maybe i would even get some opportunities (supervised, of course) to learn how to do a proper history and physical exam. i know i'm quite capable of receiving the award and doing all these things, but after going through what i went through last year, sometimes i feel that i'm not as confident as i should be about this kind of stuff. sometimes i need some good ol' encouragement...and i have plenty of people close to me that are giving me just that, so i should just stop the negative thinking.

another note, in class this week we've been learning about sexual physiology which has brought about some interesting class discussion. yesterday we had a rousing question/answer session about oral contraceptives, and interestingly most of the questions asked in class were by the guys (who i assume have significant others who are on the pill). i'm also surprised at how little new stuff i'm learning (in regard to reproduction, etc). i guess all those years of reading cosmo and glamour and marie claire magazines on high school marching band bus trips paid off...those magazines really know their stuff!

Monday, February 11, 2008

fake sugar = bad

i've never been a fan of the fake sugar substitutes that float around. splenda, equal, etc, they all leave a weird taste in my mouth. my belief is that if you want something sweet, you should just eat real sugar, just not in excess. excessive eating is probably the main reason why our country is so overweight to begin with. if you just have a desk job, you probably don't need to eat steak and potatoes and macaroni and cheese every night (unless you exercise like crazy all the time). just a thought.

here's a times article about fake sugar that i found interesting. it found that in rats that were given yogurt sweetened with fake sugar or real sugar, the rats that ate the fake sugar actually gained more weight! something to do with how your body "senses" the fake vs. real sugar.

haha, funny, we're talking about diabetes right now in class. that's a disease that i hope to never get. after seeing a family member succumb to complications directly caused by type II diabetes, and also knowing how much medical intervention is necessary to survive and/or tame the disease, diabetes is just something that i'd rather not have. (a side note, down here in the south almost every patient that you'll see will have some form of the "blue plate special": diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. yummy!)

Thursday, February 07, 2008



actually...i ran 1.25 miles without stopping. i'm quite proud of myself. after a couple of weeks of huffing and puffing to run a mile, a friend told me that i'm running too hard. i should focus on slow and long, rather than fast and impossible. so that is what i did...1.25 miles of nice slow running. and i'm SUPER excited!!! so now that goal of doing sprint triathlons is actually DOable, rather than a distant dream. (i can swim distance quite nicely and love biking. it was only the running part that was holding me back.)

it's so interesting to me how my medical school education is permeating my entire life. the other day i was running with H and after 1/2 mile i just have to stop. as H puts it, he thought my "head was about to explode". i'm a strong person...i love lifting weights and enjoy yoga, so when i had to stop running it wasn't because my legs or arms were tired, it was just that i couldn't get any air. exercise-induced dyspnea, if you will. i ranted that my cardiac output sucked to anyone that would listen. but now i have found the secret! one of my ex-marine school friends told me that if i can slowly get up to 2 miles, then i can work on incorporating sprints and then that will get me up to good speed. but the important thing is the slowly working on the distance bit. and after today, i TOTALLY understand that.

this week we started the endocrine unit at school. it's all about hormones, and it's kind of interesting. today we had a clinical lecture about hyper/hypothyroidism. basically, if your eyes are popping out of your head and you've lost lots of weight, it's hyper. if you're all puffy and sleepy all the time, it's hypo. yes, quite scientific, i know.

i also decided to give up all processed forms of sugar in the shape of cakes, cookies, pies, fancy syrupy coffee drinks, etc, for lent. i'm also going to try and adhere to the "no meat on fridays" rule of the catholics. (i'm methodist, and they don't really put a big emphasis on giving anything up for lent, but i think that all christian denominations should.) today's only the 2nd day of my abstinence of desserts, and it's been HARD!!! today was hot fudge cake day at the cafeteria, and i couldn't have any! haha, oh well. it makes me a stronger person, and will definitely help contribute to bettering my health. but oh so sad, no fudge cake! to satisfy my sweet tooth i've been eating raisins and dried mango much healthier than a piece of cake.

Friday, February 01, 2008

omg. banning obese people from eating?

politicians in mississippi are trying to pass a bill to ban obese people from eating in restaurants.

i mean, is this even possible? and is it not the most insane thing you've ever heard?

i can kind of sort of understand the rationale behind it, since a bazillion people in mississippi are overweight/obese...but what the heck!!!

i DO agree that the government should take weight matters into their hands and inspire/force their citizens to become healthier. it would be quite cost effective, because health care dollars spent would eventually go down since folks are healthier. i can think of a few things from diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease...ALL EXPENSIVE diseases to have. but why not make the restaurants serve healthier food? why not force kids to exercise everyday? why not give monetary governmental incentives to people who are within healthy weight ranges? take off grocery tax on fresh produce and other "healthy" foods? tax rebates for gym membership and use? why not build sidewalks? encourage bicycling to work? the list goes on and on...

but the main thing that keeps sounding off in my head is that BMI is NOT the most accurate measure of health! hello muscle men, etc etc. blah. i just can't think properly about this issue, it just blows my mind.

besides, who is going to enforce this "law"? in all honesty, the obese person could probably squash the host/ess that impedes their restauranting desires. blah! sheesh...if a person wants to be fat, then go ahead and do whatever you want. but you can't put sanctions and beat up on restaurants! it's not their fault that people are obese. i'm finally within the "healthy" bmi range (whatever that means), but i still enjoy a greasy hamburger or pizza every now and then, and that's my choice.

this is the united states of america for crying out loud!