Saturday, August 25, 2012

First week of MSII

I've been back in Baltimore for a few weeks and just finished my first full week classes as a second year medical student. The farther we get into medical school, the more we're expected to know and memorize, all building up to that far away day when we're actually supposed to take care of patients. So I think we're (or at least I) am still basking in the blissfully ignorant phase of summer/pass-fail because our first class back is our one and only pass-fail course (in contrast to all of our other classes which are still graded on the ABCD scale). The start of this year has brought about many changes--new apartment, new roommate, new friends, rediscovering old friends, new responsibilities--but in this case, it's a good thing. I'm enjoying it a lot more than I expected. It's only been the first full week of classes (after 2 days the week before), and ICM hasn't started up again, so watch me retract that statement the first week that classes start to get hard. But in the meantime, photodump of "summer" while it still lasts...

 My beautiful roommate

 Beet salad. Looks better than it tasted. 
 Congratulations on getting your first job, chika!

 New running route brought a pleasant surprise.

 New room! U lyke?
 Our med school a capella group Hippocratic Notes
 Our housewarming gift to ourselves

 Most complicated board game I've ever played (Eclipse). I'm clearly losing. 

This weekend was also filled with lots of housewarming parties (mine included) and catching up with med school friends, many who I talked to seen since the last day of school. It makes me realize how lucky I am to have a whole class full of people I can hang out with and trust. It's hard to believe that in 3 short years, we'll all be doctors (in name, at least) and in a couple years after that, we'll be attending reunions defined as specialists and surgeons, wives/husbands in tow, instead of just a couple of crazy kids who like to have fun. But right now, I'm still just enjoying the ride, and the people I have to share it with.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Summer 2012, Part 2

 Coldplay concert at the Verizon Center...with my new floppy hat 

 Tim's gourmet burger

 Brunch at Sequoia. Better than the Yelp reviews!
 A Maryland summer isn't complete with crabs and Old Bay
 Farmer's market quiche
My first Oriole's game! It was underwhelming.  

Happy birthday to my favorite brand new RN!
Homemade pizza from scratch (dough, sauce, and toppings) and recycled squid ink chiatarra from Sotto Sopra. Delish. 

Summer 2012 Part 1

So it's my first post in over a year and I feel like my life has been long overdue for an update. I may just delete my old posts and start over afresh, but we'll see. I've been working in a lab over the summer at the med school and have a lot of free time -- mainly because it takes me a tenth of the time to do the work that my mentors think it does. So naturally, I've been catching up on all the blogs I've neglected during the school year, and Reddit. So much Reddit. Don't worry, I actually did work too. My very own project! I've been basically working in a new lab since my junior year of high school, basically bench work and wet lab, sometimes even animal studies. But I wanted to do something different this year, i.e. not pipetting and running gels for 6 hours a day and killing time while my experiments run. I ended up in a stroke genetics lab learning some public health, epidemiology and statistics and even though it started out slow (wasted time for most of the day and programmed/combed through journal articles for short 30-minute spurts), in the end I actually ended up accomplishing a bit and finishing an abstract to submit to the International Stroke Conference. Over the summer, I learned how to program in SAS, interpret statistics, and make conclusions about our target population, young adult stroke patients, a far cry from just blindingly running PCRs and gels for The Man in previous labs. In addition, the post was so independent, which although wasn't the ideal situation, reaffirmed that I could do this, even though I always hated programming in the past. I saw my mentor a grand total of perhaps an hour a week, and so had to figure nearly everything out for myself or beg the help of my colleagues or an old student in the lab. It was amazing how much I accomplished when my mentor had the time to sit down with me for an hour two days before my presentation and just go over the results with me. If he had been there the entire time, I could have done twice the work. All in all, I accomplished my goals for the summer of learning SAS, learning more about epidemiology, statistics, and a disease process and risk factors in an entire population, and submitted an abstract. I hope to finish the paper in a few weeks and have it published within the year. Check that off the to-do list!

So why start this blog again? It actually all started with Naomi and Sydney. But it has grown into so many more. My sister first introduced me to them last year when I first started my little blog and what started as a simple distraction from homework or studying turned into a full fledged obsession over the summer as I had down time during work. I started following so many blogs (my newest obsession is The Londoner) that I figured, why not start my own? I've got a different viewpoint to offer. I eat, I cook, I travel, I shop, and maybe, just maybe, I'll splurge on a DSLR to be more like my blogger idols.  Hopefully it'll be a lifestyle blog...of a med student.

Med students have lives? Impossible! you may say. But yup, this med student's got one, for better or for worse (to the chagrin of my mother...and my dignity). All of last year, a midst the study sessions in library and Pods (basically the hub of the med school), those all-day study binges, those dark winter days when there seemed to be no end to the chemical reactions and Krebs cycles to memorize, I still had time to have a lot of fun, build a lot of close relationships with both med school friends and roommates in that gorgeous dilapidated Victorian mansion of mine. I never pulled and all-nighter though, rarely slept less than 7 hours, and still went to the gym at least three times a week, so I hope to maintain my sanity this year too. Even though second year is supposed to be harder, I still hope to be able to do fun things fairly often and will hopefully blog about it to you, my nonexistent readers. Unlike a lot of my friends, I am of the mindset that life can't be put on hold just because you're in medical school. These are supposed to be the best years of our lives! Let's live it up.

Here's a snapshot of what I did the first half of my summer:

Sailabration (200th anniversary of the War of 1812) in Baltimore
My BFF pelican and her bf came to visit!
Jazz in the Garden, DC

 Bridal shower for one of our oldest friends

Family trip to Bermuda
  Fine dining at Ascott's, Bermuda

 Beautiful Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda