A day in the life of Step 2 studying and my residency application picture!

So to start off, I am NOT a morning person… (I know, this is like the worst trait to have for someone going into medicine) so my schedule when I’m not working gets pretty lopsided pretty fast- don’t judge!

I’m one week away from USMLE Step 2 and I have to admit, my studying has not been as strong as Step 1 studying.. I think I’m just tired. Step 2 isn’t as important as Step 1 and most people don’t give it a ton of time so hopefully I’ll be OK!!!

I came to my parents house outside of Chicago to study and will be taking my test at the same testing center as I took Step 1 (gotta keep it consistent). It’s quiet and relaxing here, I get to spend some quality time with my parents, and the homemade dinners are a huge perk!

Typically day (warning, its boring!)

10/10:30 – Wake up (I told you, don’t judge!!!) I actually feel guilty about this, but how often do I get to sleep in till 10.. never! Man, it feels good.

10:30 – 12:00 – Head out to my study spot for the morning. Recently it has been this awesome local coffee shop, Hansa. Some days  its at home on the back porch. I like changing locations to give me a kick start, and having a nice iced latte or mocha is a perk!

12-1 – Head home. Break, eat something, play with my dog that I miss dearly, Molly!!!!!


IMG_4291 Continue reading

Hello from 4th year!

And a tone of stress and too-high of a level of baseline anxiety. This blog has led to some stress relief in the past, so I’m back!… again. Let’s see how long this lasts🙂

I’ve been really motivated by med school / physician bloggers these days, especially women bloggers. (They are also a great productive distraction from Step 2 studying!) Here are a few of my favs:

Franish (another 4th year med student!)

Love and the Sky

Tea with MD

Dr. Majestic (Insta)

A healer’s heart

There is a ton to catch you up on including the end of fourth year, deciding on a specialty, step 2 studying, and residency application process! Maybe I’ll share more about this if you are interested.


:) Current life and my favority SF spots

Sorry it has been so long since I have posted, I have been in total vacation mode…. It has been wonderful! Ob/gyn took a ton out of me, but I can finally say I feel recuperated and ready for the next 1/2 of third year!!

After OB I had 2 weeks off! The first week, W and I had a great time visiting friends in SF- we went to Sonoma, went hiking, explored Berkeley, and walked all over SF. We mainly ate and drank the entire time, but that’s the best kind of vacay. The second week I visited my family in Chicago and laid low. Rest and nourishment. It’s amazing what vacation time is capable of. I feel so much better!

Fav SF area spots:

Russian River Vineyard Restaurant – omg. best meal. Exactly what you would picture “lunch in sonoma” to be

Had to visit my favorite candy store, they are opening one in Boston!

Hayes Valley shops and the best coffee (and best dog watching)

Off the Grid Picnic at the Presidio (nothing better than laying on a blanket on a lazy Sunday + more food + more dogs)

Great Lunch after a hike. Must try to limeade.

(See! This is all. food.)

Andddd. Berkeley and Oakland in general.

I am currently on a Radiology elective back on my home turf! The hours are crazy good and I love being back in the city! My best friend and my brother have visited this past week and things have generally been great. I also LOVE radiology! Definitely adding it to the list of future career options, but boy is it tough to think about giving up patient interactions. Yesterday we went to the ICA to check out the Merce Cunningham performances at part of the Black Mountain College exhibition. Definitely worth a visit if you are in town.

Anyway, the next few months will involve a lot of soul searching and career option exploration. Stay tuned as I have a lot of thoughts and feelings surround this and I’m looking forward to sharing/ organizing my thoughts and life on the blog! There are so many factors to consider when deciding what you want to do, well, for the rest of your life!

Some pics:

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 12.50.46 PM

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 12.50.56 PM

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 12.51.54 PM

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 12.52.21 PM


I finished OB/Gyn!!! An officially 1/2 of 3rd year.

Since labor and Delivery, I have rotated though clinic (routine ob visits and annual checkups), outpatient offices (Uro/gynecology, pelvic pain clinic, Reproductive endocrinology, In-vitro fertilization, Planned Parenthood), Gyn oncology, and general gyn surgery. Phew. This rotation was a lot of running around, and having to frequently readjust to new settings and new people. As soon as you may start to get the hang of one thing, you immediately move to something else! This lends to a constant state of discomfort, essentially starting a new job every single day. That being said, I learned A TON. So much. Ob is a pretty unique field in medicine- it was like starting all over again.

My favorite part of this rotation was Reproductive endocrinology and IVF, by far! It is so amazing. I spent some time in the IVF lab, looking at eggs, sperm, and embryos. I helped transfer embryos into women who were hoping to start a family. I love the genetic aspect of it- preimplantation genetic diagnoses. The implications this technology has on the future of reproductive health is very exciting/cutting edge/kinda scary.

Gyn Oncology was an intense week. One patient came to the ED for bloating a abdominal pain, who would late be diagnosed with ovarian cancer. : ( Ovarian cancer is such a scary and horrible disease, with very few warning signs before it becomes widespread. In the OR one day, we removed at 40 cm ovarian mass (HUGE/ larger than a baby) from a patient, which thankfully ended up being benign. It was pretty crazy. I got to make a huge abdominal incision!

I had Columbus day off and my parent’s were on the east coast for my mom’s bday trip! We had the nicest fall day together at the Book Mill and eating delicious meals in West Hartford. So great to catch up and relax. Also went to a wonderful wedding of a med school classmate in NH. October is my absolute favorite month, so I was happy to be able to take advantage of the fall weather and foliage.

I took my shelf on Friday and now I have 2 weeks of VACAY!!!!! Yayyy!! This couldn’t have come at a better time. I think I was starting to feel burn out (if that’s even possible as a third year) so I am looking forward to regrouping for a bit. Will and I leave for San Fran on Wednesday! And then I will go to Chicago for a few days. My next rotation is a Radiology rotation here in Boston, so I will be living at home for the next month!

Coming up: Medicine, Peds (yay!), and Family. Then fourth year! Time is flyin’. I am so relieved to have surgery and ob behind me.Looking forward to the second half of the year.




Labor and Delivery

The last 2 weeks have been my longest and most intense of medical school thus far. Starting OB/Gyn was entering a new world, I really had so much to learn. My first week was the day shift, 7-7. My 2nd was the night shift, 6:30pm- 8:30 am…. I am still recovering (writing this post as I can’t follow asleep on Sunday night). Overall, it was…good? I definitely learned a ton, and got to do a ton. I helped delivered multiple babies, and scrubbed in on quite a few C-sections, which are incredible. I honed my sutured skills and closed every case. In between deliveries, I worked closely with the intern, doing post-partum rounds, answering patient’s calls from home, and seeing patients in the emergency room specifically for OB patients. Needless to say, there was zero down time. Babies are born at all hours of the day!

One of my most memorable cases was a woman with a cognitive disability in labor. She was so sweet, but lacked some coping skills and intellectual understanding of the process. She also had a very upsetting social history. This was her fourth baby, and by the time she called out to the nurse that she was feeling pressure (around 3 in the morning), we ran in, and the baby was basically out!! It was a beautiful baby girl and a beautiful delivery. I coached her through the labor and it was very rewarding. Unfortunately, after she delivered the baby, the placenta didn’t come as easily, and she wasn’t tolerating the pain. We ended up taking her to the OR. She lost a ton of blood, but ended up being ok and was discharged with her beautiful baby. Working with her made me realize how much I enjoy working with people with intellectual disabilities, and I hope I can find a way to incorporate such a patient population into my practice. They tend to be undeserved, and require health care professions who understand their specific needs and how to effectively communicate.  I think this is a case that will likely stick with me.

Anyway, I start 2 weeks of outpatient tomorrow, which will be a very nice break from the 2 crazy weeks I just had! I will be exposed to gyn clinic, cytology/pathology, IVF, reproductive endocrinology, and even spend an afternoon at planned parenthood. It should be an interesting 2 weeks, as long as I can get my sleep schedule back on track!

This weekend was great, went back to Boston to see Will and attend a med school friend’s bachelorette party, whose wedding is next weekend! Life has been crazy busy.

On Friday night, we checked out Hojoko, a new, fun, sushi restaurant that opened up in Fenway! Went to the Donkey Show in Harvard square for the bachelorette, and did some fall activities on Sunday, with many naps in between.

Ps did you see the eclipse tonight!? So cool!!

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 1.14.45 AM

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 1.14.22 AM

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 1.14.29 AM

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 1.14.38 AM

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 1.15.07 AM

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 1.14.14 AM

Finished up Psychiatry!

Today was my last day on APTU. It went really well! I enjoyed followed my patients and getting to know them while guiding them to recovery. Of course, many of the stories are horribly sad. Suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, paranoid delusions, trauma history, and substance abuse become a very normal part of everyday conversations. Questions like, “are you hearing voices today” and “are you thinking about hurting yourself” are standard. I found that I brought a lot home with me, wondering if the patient we discharged today will be ok. It’s a hard job and while I think I may be a good fit for it, I don’t know if I want to pursue something so emotionally involved. I had a convo with my preceptor about this who replied that is where much of the reward comes from, you can really make a difference.

A typical day went like this:

8:00 – grab a coffee, and head up to the locked unit. Before we open the door, we are taught to make sure there are no loiterers around, warning us that any time someone attempts escape, its most often under the supervision of a med student- great! I head to the resident room and look up the patients I am following- read any nursing notes, what “as needed” meds they got, how they slept, did they go to groups, ect.

8:45- The nursing huddle- the teams gather for 5-10 minutes to discuss what is going on  in the unit, introduce new patients that came the night prior, and talk about any safety concerns of people to watch out for

8:45- 10:30 – See my patients. Talk with them about how their night was, and how they are doing overall. This is the one time of the day where I talk with them alone, so it is nice to establish rapport and get to know them better. Some patients are easier to talk to then others. Floridly psychotic patients are sometimes hard to have a linear conversation with, sometimes they are distracted by thoughts or hallucinations in their mind.

10:30-11 ish – Team meeting. This involves the psychiatrist I am working with, a resident, the team nurse, counselors, and treatment coordinators. We go through each patients on our team (typically 7) and discuss how they are doing, any improvements, any set backs, treatment, and discharge plans. I’ve learned that the treatment coordinators play a huge role in recovery, as they look at outside programs that may be beneficial, setting up housing situations, connect patients with outpatient therapists and psychiatrist. They have a fund of knowledge of services available in the area.

Lunch! (sometimes)

12-5 – The remainder of the day is spent seeing my patients again with the psychiatrist, who observes me interview, and chimes in to discuss specific medication plans or use psychotherapy techniques that I have not learned. I have really come to appreciate the skills of a great psychiatrist. I then write up progress notes for the day and write discharge notes for whoever is going home (so much desk work on psych!) I also spend time on the phone reaching out the family members or providers to get collateral info on my patients, or reach out the other programs to get medical records. The afternoons are also time to interview new admissions, get their entire medical, psych, and social history, do a quick physical, and write their admission note (which takes foreverrrrr). Many time, the patients who come to APTU have extensive psych histories with multiple hospitalizations, and sometimes do not have the mental status to share it with us, which means lots of digging in medical records, ugh. If I am on call that day, I do any admissions that come in the evening, and normally leave by 9-10.

Then I get to go home!! Sometimes I have to work on a few notes at home depending on the day. But overall, the psychiatry schedule is great!

Super interesting- I spent one morning observing ECT, electroconvulsive therapy, which sounds ancient and unethical, but it is actually very effective in particular patients, like those with chronic, refractory depression. You are essentially pushing the patient into a seizure, but it is way more gentle that it sounds. Many other the patients love it and get it relatively frequently for maintenance.

I’m taking my shelf tomorrow morning, then heading back to Boston (and treating myself to a mani/pedi). On saturday, Will and I are headed to Martha’s Vineyard for a wedding!! Ob/gyn starts on Monday, eeeek.

On Labor day weekend, I went on the most amazing whitewater rafting/ camping trip with a bunch of friends in the the middle on nowhere, Maine. Such beautiful weather and happy vibes. We even got to stop in Portland on the way back!

And #100happydays continues: (I’m a few days behind right now, oooops)(the upper right corner is trying to showcase my voluminous hair after camping for 2 days, ha)

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 7.31.21 PM

1 week on APTU down

I finished my first week of APTU (Adult Psychiatric Treatment Unit)! It is a locked unit where the more acute psychiatric patients are cared for, and yes, it’s pretty much exactly what you are picturing for a locked psychiatric unit. It’s been interesting to say the least. I feel I have more autonomy for the patients I am following, and my patient interviewing skills have been tested for sure. I will share more over the next 2 weeks.

Back in Boston again this weekend. Already been spoiled with an amazing dinner at Scampo in the beautiful Liberty Hotel. Tonight, We are seeing the world premiere of Waitress at ART in Harvard Square, I am so excited!! My weekends on Psych have been so great- I am making the most of them during the summer and before OB starts and my energy depletes. You know, that work hard, play hard mentality.

I’ve been keeping up with my #100happy days project! Here’s an update:

Screen Shot 2015-08-29 at 1.41.35 PM