Saturday, August 28, 2010

end of a long month

i have today off! and then there's only 3 more days to vascular, i'm on call tomorrow too. then it's off to the SICU. it's been a fun and long month, really tiring, but certainly worth it. got to do a lot of things...amputate legs, sew a lot of skin, play with wires. i can certainly see how vascular is a fun specialty. granted, everyone's old and sick and won't stop smoking, but as long as people don't stop smoking, then you'll always have a job. plus, the disease process that affects their arteries will never completely stop, so you'll get a lot of repeat customers. (just looking at things from a business perspective...ha.) but if you have a patient that can't walk 2-3 minutes without having major bad cramping pain in their legs, and you fix it for them so that they can walk, AMAZING. i can't imagine how it feels to get a basic function of your life back. or if you're in chronic debilitating pain from a non-healing sore, and we can fix that for you, awesome. so i haven't completely scratched off vascular as a potential career choice, but i still love CT and then there's all those other fields of surgery i haven't been able to play with either...

applications go out sept 1, as in THIS COMING UP WEDNESDAY. omg. this weekend i need to assign my personal statement, transcript, letters of rec, photo...EVERYTHING to all my zillion programs i'm applying to. i'm debating one last rec far i have 3, and will ask for a fourth, but it's the fifth one that i'm debating. but i might not. most programs only need 3, and sometimes a fourth. i don't think i've seen any that want 5, but i guess it's possible. i need to get my photo taken for ERAS, haven't done it yet, but will do it on monday when i'm post call and looking extra crappy. today i'm going to look at some suits to get an idea of what i want. my lovely mom sent me suit money in the mail! yay!

also, i just really hope i get into a university-based residency (vs. community based one with no med students). i really want to teach the young'ins. i have to admit i'm a bit anxious about the whole process, based on my record and all. but someone told me recently that it looks good that i "finished strong". granted, would rather have a student who was strong the whole way through, but the fact that i've improved the way i have shows a lot. i sure do hope so. i hope that i'm a more competitive applicant than i think i am and all this worrying will be for naught. well, i do need to worry, but i hope that i get 10-15 interviews. none of that "i'm canceling this one because i'm tired" nonsense. cross that bridge once i get there, i suppose.

well, today i'm going to be girly and look at suits. then i'm going to work on my application and obsess way too much over it. then i'll come home and drink a beer.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

off at 2:30 pm...

and something has to be screwy, right? today was just a really rare day i guess. tomorrow is full of craziness...vascular conference at 7 am, meeting with VIP at 2 pm, and then vascular journal club at fancy restaurant at 6 pm. aaak!

the last few days on the service have been tinged with some sadness...we've had a couple of deaths lately. some were expected, one in particular was not. the unexpected one, well, it was still expected, just not WHEN it happened i guess. the spouse was all sad and hugged me for a long time, which is fine, but i'm not used to touching patients in a non-medical kind of way. (i know, sounds weird, but you have to have boundaries somewhere or you just get emotionally overwhelmed, at least that's what i try to do.) that same day i was consoling the spouse, another patient cussed me out, but that's ok. i would have been angry too, but i don't think the patient was comprehending that i was there to help, so they cussed me out. but then they were nice to me once the info was finally understood. so when i got home, i had to cook up a storm because my brain was all over the place.

yesterday i got to sew up an incision that was REALLY REALLY CLOSE to the graft the team had just put in. and i didn't poke any holes in the graft, of course. i LOVE sewing! though i was definitely on high alert to not poke any holes. the resident was staring me down like a hawk, but it's all good. i didn't let him down.

so tonight i think i'll be going to the gym, baking some cupcakes, and reading my article for journal club tomorrow. oh yeah, and not freaking out about my meeting tomorrow. to be honest, i'm just happy to be seeing the sun shine for once...

Friday, August 13, 2010

still alive

working hard, still alive. long days. yesterday was great...had a level 1 and BAM fixed his problem. got some good lessons on suturing technique, tied some good knots. gotta work today and on call tomorrow. almost done with eras, but still working on letters.

alright, gotta go to work now.

Thursday, August 05, 2010


i'm really tired. vascular is kicking my ass. i am post call today, had to scrub in a case all night, zero sleep, but then my intern let me leave around 8:30 this morning so i came home and slept for 8 hours in a row, first time in a LONG time. my feet and knees and hips are so sore from standing, my back hurts from leaning over. lots of sick patients. BUT, i'm learning a lot and being able to practice my skills! and i've been getting some great feedback from an attending who's been watching me work, so it's worth it, ha.

my schedule this week has been:
  • wake up at 3:15 am
  • eat/make coffee/check email
  • leave apartment by 3:45-3:50
  • arrive at school at 4:00
  • make sure list is correct (people in correct rooms, etc)
  • get labs and vitals
  • assist intern in writing notes, etc
  • pre-rounds with upper levels at 6:00
  • 7:00 meetings (sometimes), sometimes 2nd breakfast
  • cases all freaking day long, sometimes clinic thrown in
  • randomly round with attendings at their leisure
  • people start shooting people or other stupid shit and then we scrub in and operate for a long time
  • more badness happens to unlucky people and operate some more
  • go home anywhere from 6:00 pm - 9:30 pm or later
  • eat dinner, hang out with H
  • realize you are too tired to read or work on ERAS or anything else
  • go to bed realizing that in less than 4 hours you have to wake up and do it all over again
so i was kind of thankful today to be post call. isn't that weird? alas...

tomorrow i think is clinic in the partner and i are going to be splitting up clinic so we can get face time with our department chairman. kind of nerve racking, if you ask me.

hopefully tomorrow's pre-rounds will go better. this morning was just awful because we were a resident short, late, and really tired because of the events of last night. it will be better tomorrow. it has to be, right? i know i wasn't at the top of my game, but at the same time i have to have some sleep, and i got zero. it's a good excuse in the normal world, but not in medicine i guess. that's the sucky thing about being a med student...most of the time, nothing you do is good enough and people are always telling you that you're not doing well. so i really do hang on to those rare occasions that i get a compliment. makes it all worth it to hear a surgeon attending tell you "you have good hands", and then lets you tie off arteries and sew and all that fun stuff.