Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Even the admins think we should sleep in

In an email I returned to from one of the faculty:

"Much of what you will participate in during June 11-13th is mandatory and less than helpful regarding 'preparation' for being a third year student. Unfortunately, there is no way around the mandatory components."

Thank you administration. We really appreciate sitting through 3 days of "less than helpful."

First day of orientation, and I'm already late but still blogging...

Monday, June 2, 2008

How am I supposed to remember THAT?

The "young" kids in med school have it easy -- they read something a few times, and it sticks. Thank goodness I found a study group for Pharm with memorization blockages like mine. We "old" folks ended up coming up with some pretty creative ways to remember the slew of information thrown at us. Not only do our silly stories stick, but they make me grin whenever I run into the drugs.

Here's a sample:

- Cisplatin (Chemo drug): Keeps your balls from going splat
- Cyclophosphamide (Hodkins drug): Cyclo, like the wheels on the Cadillac of cancers
- Grisefulvin (Antifungal): Greasy men get fungal infections
- Leuprolide (GnRH agonist): Given in loops to mimic cyclical GnRH action
- Ranitidine (Ulcer drug): H2 antagonist, so it's ranting "You suck H2! You're no good!" (M-squared came up with that one, and of course when he does it, Ranitidine talks in a very high falsetto)
- Sildenafil (Viagra): Works via cGMP on your "G"onads

So if you happen to be sitting in Prometric tomorrow and notice someone taking the Step 1 and grinning like an idiot, you'll know what I'm thinking: "You're not good, H2!"

Sunday, June 1, 2008

The theme of the week is clearly vanity

Between the white coat shopping and the ID photo trauma, there's no getting around my focus this week. Maybe obsessing over my appearance is helping me keep from obsessing over the boards?

It's true, though: I am very, very vain. I can make excuses all I want about how appearances matter and how there's not much else for a patient to judge a med student on in our 15 minute interactions (attending and residents will, I hope, judge us all on something else; hence the obsessive board study.) But let's be honest -- I'd be vain if I were working in a lab with nothing but microscopes to look back at me.

Sometimes I think it must be left over from a life spent mostly on stages. Though I've chosen medicine as a career, it's only really been 4 years that I've had my sights set on the M.D. (compared with 20 that I spent performing in some capacity or another.) In fact, I supported the first chunk of my pre-med education working at a bar where my tips came pretty much solely from that fact that our patrons liked looking at me (they certainly weren't paying me for my undrinkable Long Island Ice Teas.)

M-squared doesn't help either (love ya babe.) He teases me, sure, but he's almost as image conscious as I am (again, a life spent on stages.) I mean, what other couple do you know stands in from of mirrors in their underwear discussing what parts of their bodies they should work on at the gym? And isn't even remotely offended by the other's suggestions?

Of course, like any other pathology, vanity is only a problem if it starts interfering with your life. But even if I decide I'm spending too much time obsessing over my reflection, is there a cure? A pill? A detox program? A Narcissus Anonymous group? How do you beat back the vain?

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Preparations: The white coat

So my white coat. School issued, and much too big (they didn't think to order XXS petite, I suppose.) Also, shapeless and boxy (but isn't every med student's white coat?) The question is, should I get a new one? They're only really $25 online (about the same as two frou frou cocktails plus a nice tip.) Certainly, I'd prefer a white coat that didn't make me look like I was playing dress-up in my Dad's clothing. But do I really want to be known on rotations as the girl who was vain enough to spring for a white coat with pleats?

(If you're not afraid of looking too good in your white coat, the one to the right is the "Barco Workforce Women's 29" 3 Pocket Lab Coat" and it's the svelte-est I've found that still includes a pen pocket.)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Preparations: The blog

My man M-squared say this blog can be like therapy. Good, cause I'll probably need some of that in the upcoming year.

Got mobile blogger posts to work, but can't get them to include a title. Not sure if this is a good thing (means I have to review/edit any midnight postings) or if I'll get annoyed at the lack of title-age.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Preparations: The clothing

Guys have it so easy. Slacks, button down, tie... Not only do women have to make a choice, but there's so much *meaning* wrapped into the clothing we pick. Obviously, there's going too far in the sexy side of things (my gang has nicknamed one fellow student "Crop Top" for obvious reasons, and another "Wobbles" because of her height and her skinny stilettos.) But there's criticism if you chose the other direction too, in addition to the issue of feeling crummy because you know you don't look your best. ("I can't believe how much the Emergency Med residents let themselves go!" said a friend, an aspiring EM, who 100% respects his female mentors, but thinks they would look better if they dyed their greys...)

As for me, I decided that tucked in shirt make me miserable, stiff button downs feel ridiculous, and sweaters are too hot under white coats, even in the dead of winter. Doesn't leave much, does it? For the past few months, I've been keeping my eye out for loose jersey blouses from Gap, Bluefly and Martin Osa. I have exactly 6 right now, which is the # of days in a row I'll be working when I start my medicine rotation in June. Think it's enough? We'll find out soon...

Preparations: The ID

Got my ID today. I almost cried when I saw it. I'd done my best to look nice, with a button down and some make-up -- I even spent a few minutes taming my hair! The result? I look stuffy, preppy and humorless. Is this what the next 2 years have in store?