Just keep swimming

Summer semester starts today. I am thrilled to be back in the classroom. My three week break seemed way too long.

I bet I will regret saying/feeling that once I am a few weeks into these classes. Maybe it’s because I just entered senior year and I am ready to finish this degree? Can I even say senior year though? When you look at my transcript, you really just give yourself a headache and ask why am I still a student? 😀 But alas, it is senior year as I am heading towards the last stretch of my undergraduate degree. While I should be even more excited for that, I know that there are so many things left that I must accomplish. At first thought, it seems almost too much, as if I won’t be able to complete them all and that brings me back down to reality.

I often wonder how other people do this? More specifically, how other parents do this. How do other parents have the resources to get themselves out there, be active in their communities, participate in hobbies they enjoy and make themselves well rounded, desirable candidates, all while keeping up with the responsibilities of having children? Well, good on those who are accomplishing just that! I will just keep swimming to the best of my abilities. Maybe I will eventually meet another pre-med parent who has their self together and can answer that question for me. Unless any of my readers can???

 

 

 

 

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The ever changing world of medicine

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A perfect example of how science is always changing which in turn could have a major role in Medicine. Future doctors will learn with present information and current doctors will always need to keep up with current events.

I’m excited to see what this means for science and potential medical breakthroughs.

Congratulations and a big thanks to those researchers, scientists and doctors for continuing to expand our education.

We will be the help we never received

Don’t be afraid to ask for help they say! No question is a dumb question. If you don’t know the answer, find out. These are all things we have been told repeatedly as children growing up.

I have no trouble admitting when I do not know things and I certainly have no trouble seeking out the answer to my problems or questions. However, I do struggle when it comes to asking for help. I usually tend to keep to myself and find the answer on my own. I’d rather not bother people. But lately, I have been putting myself out there. I have been asking for help. I have been asking questions that pertain to me personally. And boy, is it really uncomfortable and are people are NOT willing to help you. Responses are short and cold. Or, if they aren’t they go like this,  “Hey, yeah! I’d love to help you if you send me XXXX amount of dollars.” *eye roll*. Oh, ok, let me just open up my wallet and slide that on over, because we all have that laying around while paying for college.

I let that old feeling of anger and resentment slowly creep up on me today. I’ve been reaching out to multiple people and constantly being turned down. Asking for help is not something that I do and it’s not something that I think I will continue to do. It just brings me back to high school when I knew I had to do things alone. I pushed that resentment aside but I want to talk about it briefly.

I attended a large high school. During my freshman year, I was the new kid and there were 1400 students in my class. I was literally just a number. If you weren’t a sports star or apart of an organization that made the school money, the faculty did not care to know you. My parents were on disability and could barely afford me, let alone pay for activities for me (or for the nine children they had prior). During my sophomore year I started working full-time in order to take the burden off of my parents. From then on I started to provide for myself fully. Furthermore, neither of my parents completed high school. Asking them for help on homework was a dead end; anything school related was foreign to them. The school staff was much worse, at least my parents had good intentions. I specifically remember speaking to my English teacher about another who repeatedly cheated on tests. I worked hard for my grade and didn’t think it was fair they were getting away with cheating. The teacher told me that they probably cheated due to insecurities and was not going to make an issue out of it and neither should I. That student came from a wealthy family, I did not. I certainly never went to another teacher for anything again. And that sums up my faculty/student life at my high school. I was an A student who did not get in trouble but had multiple failed interactions with the staff, even when it was for positive things like applying for college. I was basically flying solo in high school when it came to academia and my future. I was failed in that area. The lack of support at that age was so very crucial and I received little to none.

But support is important now too. It’s unfortunate that people are so put off by the idea of helping others who have had difficult or different pasts. It’s ok though. The one thing I have is perseverance. When I am in the position to be of guidance or a mentor to someone, I will be more than happy to do so. All you underdogs out there know what I mean! To all of us nontrads, socioeconomically challenged, minorities, whoever you are that never stood a chance— let’s be of helping hands when we finally make our goals. Cheers to you all!

Disclaimer: I’m not speaking about the legit businesses that I’ve contacted regarding mock interviews, application assistance, etc. Those are services I sought out knowing they charged a fee.

Medical Stereotypes (Humor)

12 medical specialty stereotypes full (new)med-student-personalities

As I read these, chuckling to myself, I wonder which one I will be when I reach my goal of medical school and then which career path I will take. I also wonder if there is any correlation between what type of medical student you are and what type of specialty you end up in. Any current med students, residents, fellows or attendings want to chime in?

 

Disclaimer: Yes, these are stereotypes. No, not all stereotypes are true. This is all in good fun and humor.

My last post was about the serious side of medicine so I thought I should lighten it up a bit. Also, my blogger friend, Doctor in spe, recently posted about med school gunners. It was a funny, light-hearted post that reminded me to take it easy every now and then.

A dark side of medicine

I was scrolling through a social media pre-med support group when I came across this article. If you are considering a path in medicine then I strongly suggest you read this piece.

When I think of my career as a physician, I immediately get goosebumps. I am excited, filled with the giddiness of a child waking up on Christmas. But there’s a side to the career that most people do not speak about.  I believe that this article brings attention to a topic that is hardly discussed. This may be eye opening for some and for others, it may solidify your reason for entering the field.

Physician Suicide

 

As for myself, this does not change my passion. It helps clarify what I need to pay attention to in the future. I need to take care of myself, know my limits, look for ways to work smarter not harder and create a strong support system. I’m sure things will look much different once I reach my goal of med school. But for now, I will make myself educated of the positives and negatives surrounding my dream and keeping working hard to achieve it.

 

Disclaimer: I normally do not recommend reading articles that are not peer reviewed and/or not found in scholarly journals. However, the topic of this article is very important. I did a PubMed search on physician suicide and found multiple articles to help aide the piece by Pamela Wible that I hyperlinked.

 

If you or anyone you know is contemplating suicide, please know there are places you can go for support.

Suicide Prevention Links:

https://save.org/

https://afsp.org/

New kid on the block

First day of the new semester and I’m the new kid roaming the halls. Surely I’m not the only new kid here but the likelihood that I’m the only 30 year old momma rocking a wedding ring is pretty high. I switched campuses this term so I’m at the main one which is way more traditional than my previous location.

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To make matters worse, I am not at all prepared. I didn’t scope out this campus beforehand, meaning I have no idea where anything is. I have yet to purchase any books or class materials. I’ve been told that many professors make texts optional so it’s best to attend class the first day and wait for clarification. My university does not provide previous syllabuses online and only a few instructors have replied to my emails before class has started. This is not me at all. I am the organizer. I am the one who comes to class with everything color coded and a plan-of-attack for the week’s homework already drafted in my head. I feel behind.

But as awkward as I feel, I keep reminding myself that I am just as worthy of sitting in these seats as my peers around me. Being uncomfortable about feeling ill prepared and different is not going to stop me from taking steps towards my goal. Plus, I can only imagine how many uncomfortable situations a physician finds themselves in during their career. I assume many. Does a physician have the option of saying, “hey guys, this makes me uncomfortable, I think I’m going to sit this one out”? Possibly? I’m sure there are certain instances where that is applicable and I’m sure there are many times when it is not. (Then again, I’m not a doctor, so what do I really know?)

This just solidifies my ideology on needing to put myself out there more. The past few years have been focused around taking care of my children. The transition of focusing on myself is challenging and that too, is uncomfortable to me. But hey, the more I put myself out there, the less uncomfortable it becomes. I’ll attempt to concentrate on the fact that I do like to learn new things and I am always up for an adventure. Or, that the toughest critic is in my own head.

“Hey, don’t write yourself off yet.
It’s only in your head you feel left out or looked down on.
Just do your best, do everything you can.
And don’t you worry what their bitter hearts are gonna say.”

Jimmy Eat World, 2001

It’s the new year, new you post

fireworks

 

2017 is out and 2018 has just begun, so all those New Year resolutions are filling your feed. I’m not about all that. I never do resolutions. Who even makes it to the end of January let alone the end of the week with those things? More seriously though, I feel that there is more than one time to start working towards a goal or bettering yourself.

2018 will be filled with the most goals that I have ever had before and they are all long-term goals. I need to find a way to keep them all organized. I like to be organized. But, I am not into excel, or technology at all, but I am willing to use that if need be. Maybe there is a user-friendly app for goal tracking? I know bullet journals are a big trend right now but trends make me roll my eyes in agony and making the journal takes time in itself (anyone who says it doesn’t is flat out lying). It is important for me to be able to break them down into smaller, more obtainable goals. I also want to be able to celebrate or reward myself when I reach a certain milestone for each goal so tracking them is essential. Any suggestions on how you all do so, please send them my way!

So here are a few goals of mine for the entire year:

  • Complete my MCAT study plan
  • Run 200 miles
  • Complete 200 volunteer hours
  • Get 50 shadowing hours
  • Complete my personal statement
  • Save a set amount each month, strictly for my applications
  • FIND A MENTOR!

To all you out there who are evaluating where you want to be at the end of this new year too, cheers! Let’s motivate each other and hold each other accountable. Happy New Year! I hope you shine bright and find yourself where you want to be.

 

Best wishes!