Another milestone

Today, I passed another milestone on the road to becoming I sat for the USMLE step 2CK examination. Nine grueling hours. 350 questions. Done.

How do I feel? Tired. Drained. Worried. Relieved. Happy. Hopeful. Worried.

I am so glad this is over. No more BIG exams for a while.

Time to Relax. And spend quality time with my family.

On becoming the physician I want to be

As I reflect on M3 year, some experiences stand out:

The first time my pager went off, and I realized I did not know how to read a page. I have since figured it out. That, and how to take a history, do an appropriate exam, write a note, put in orders, talk to nurses, staff with the Attending, scrub in to surgery, get along with residents, tie knots. So. Many. Things. So many MORE things to learn still.

The time I tried to hug a patient during Psychiatry. Turned out she was not a hugger. I could have sworn she was coming in for a hug…maybe changed her mind at the last minute. It was ok though. I patted her back. I think she felt comforted despite my awkwardness

The time I had to do a pelvic exam in Family Medicine, and I “lost” the cervix. Turns out the lady had not had a hysterectomy, and she did, in fact, have a cervix. I had to call for help. And I got help. And nobody was upset.

The time I had my first night shift in Ob/Gyn. Here’s how that went:

Showed up at 7:30pm. Pumped. This is gonna be great.
Coffee: check! Tea for later: check! Snacks: check, check! Let’s have some babies!!

9:40pm: the first patient is pushing. Sweet. Delivers a healthy baby. I got to hand the doc the hemostats. I’m pretty sure I gave her the wrong ones. It’s all good!

11:30pm: second delivery! I mostly just stood there. Still it’s fun. I could do this all night.

12:30am: ER consult. Not that I’m tired, but I wouldn’t say no to a quick nap. 1:25am: trying to study. Words look blurry

An hour later…

1:35am: pretty sure time is slowing down. Oh I know…tea time!!

2:00am: got called in to retract. Finally, something to do. Retracted like a pro. Didn’t drop anything. Doctor thanked me. No, no…thank YOU doc.

3:15am: head bob

3:25am: pretty sure I just did the head bob again. This is embarrassing.

3:26am: head bob

4:00am: reading. And head bobbing.

4:30am: can’t recall if I’ve ever been this tired

5:30am: where am I? Oh yeah reading. Why won’t these cervixes dilate?!?

6:30am: morning people are trickling in. They look so fresh.

7:30am: someone tells me I look like I just got off the night shift…

It was a long night but I made it.

All the times I got sad, mad and frustrated during Neurology. Because Neurology cases can be saddening, maddening and frustrating. I’ve never felt more helpless and useless. I found myself spending time just listening to the patients, because sometimes there’s nothing you can do but listen.

The time I did CPR on a patient during Internal Medicine. And then she died. For some reason I did not expect my first code to die. Afterall, it’s my first code. But you know, it’s not about me.

The time I had a bad experience with an attending, and I hesitated to report it. The metal anguish I went through was insane. Me, report an attending? But then the attending will know where it’s coming from. What if I’m just overreacting? But I knew I was not overreacting. So I did the right thing and told the right people.

The time I broke the sterile field during a Gynecological Surgery. I got kicked out of the surgery. I never thought I’d survive the humiliation. But I did.

All the times I thought I wouldn’t make it through the day, but proceeded to not only make it through the day, but I made it through the week, through the month, through the semester and through the year.

So how does all this relate to becoming the physician I want to be? I realize that sometimes I will be more tired than I ever thought imaginable. I am learning to rest and recharge whenever I get the opportunity. I am learning to be humble, to give comfort to my patients in a way that works best for them, to not take myself too seriously. I have learned to ask for help when I need it. (seriously, ALWAYS ask for help). I am learning to trust my instincts and to do right thing. Even when doing the right thing is very hard.




The Heart of the matter

The truth of it is, I enjoy people. I like talking to them, listening to them, sharing their lives. Even if it is for a brief moment in time. Because of this (and for other reasons) I am leaning toward a career in primary care. I have been doing some serious introspection, trying to figure out what feeds my soul. What moves me. What makes me come alive. And I am realizing that there’s nothing I love more than a part of an individual’s path to wellness and wholeness. Of body, mind and spirit. I consider it a privilege that I am being allowed into people’s lives and into their personal space, and I will do my best to make sure that the trust put in me isn’t misplaced.

Med school training wise, it has been a rough month. Few days off, brutally cold weather, early mornings, late evenings, weekends. Everything. However, the teaching has been the best of all my rotations thus far. Internal medicine docs are thorough!! And I’m exhausted. Not that these things are related. In any case, it has made me reflect a lot on what I value most in life, and how my choices will shape my future daily life, once the mandatory training part of this process is over. I am determined to have a balanced life. And I am determined to have time to sit by the river and just listen. I am determined to be creative, to stop and smell the roses, and to definitely leave the rat race.

What moves you?

What feeds your soul?

What makes you come alive?

This is the heart of the matter.

Happy New Year

Things have been changing for WifeMomPhD.

In August of 2012 I started an MD program, and I am now more than half-way through. It has been a wild ride. M1 and M2 years were fun. Even with all the stress of studying, anatomy labs, exams and papers due, I would not change anything. I have made many lovely friends, and learned a lot, not just about medicine but about myself. Now I’m halfway through M3 year and getting closer to the day I’ll have to decide on the medical specialty that will shape my career. I am trying not to be overwhelmed by the decision. But it IS a big, BIG decision. And I have to make it soon.

The kids are getting bigger, smarter and more sassy by the day. Mr T is doing Mr T thangs. We are in a good place with the future looking bright.

This year, there are so many things I want to do better. I intend to take things I already do, and do them better. Eat better, dress better, parent better, be a better spouse, manage my time better, sleep better. In all of this, I want to practice mindfulness daily. By being mindful and being in the moment, BETTER will come a little easier. One of my biggest material losses came early last year when I lost my wedding ring. It was during a stressful time and I was not being mindful of things. After that, I began to practice deliberateness and mindfulness. Being in the moment, and minimizing multi-tasking. It has been good for my mind and my soul. You should try it. 🙂

Make it a good year.

Happy New Year!

Farmhouse kitchen

Ideas for my farmhouse kitchen. You know, dreaming about the future and making plans 🙂

Kitchen Sink Parts – Install Kitchen Sink Drain : Apron Kitchen Sinks Old Farmhouse Kitchen Sinks

“Mom, am I a black or a white?”

Yep, my 6 year old just asked me this. To which I responded “what difference does it make?”

I was sort of taken aback my the question, but I was not entirely shocked. This kid hears and internalized everything. I tried to help him understand that people come in all different shades, and inside, where it really matters, we are all the same. He seemed satisfied with that answer.

Complicated world we live in.

I just want to protect my innocent boys. I want to tell them that people will be nice to them and not deliberately try to hurt them. I want to tell them that they will always be safe and cared for. But I know that I can only do my best for them and leave the rest in God’s hands.


“Is it my birthday?”


Once we crossed the threshold into 2013, the kids only have one thing on their little minds – BIRTHDAYS!

Since their Birthdays are in February and March (turning 4 and 7…eeek, so grown) they know that they’ll be celebrating sooner rather than later. All day I get questions like “how many weeks till my birthday?” and “will I have lots of presents?”

They are excited, so I am getting kinda excited! Birthdays really are the best.

“Don’t be Sarcastic. You don’t want me sarcastic”

My kids are little sponges.

They pick up on everything and they are able to apply words and attitudes to their everyday conversation with ease. I mean, I am usually careful with my words around them , but I am less so with the eyerolls and the sarcastic tone. Sometimes we s-p-e-l-l things out, but with Big T’s spelling getting better and better, this is becoming much harder to get away with.

Guess I gotta lead by example – watch my words AND my actions. Man parenting is not an easy gig.

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