Thursday, May 29, 2008

I'm Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, last night I decided I really had no plans for studying for the final so I would take all of it last night! Woohoo! It's all over. Yesterday was seriously stressful, but I'm so glad to be through with it.

We had an online final, and they've never done anything like that before. So of course there were technical difficulties. Each part, open book and closed book, was split into eight or nine cases. Once you started a case you could not stop it and the system was a little finicky, twice I had to have them reset my questions because it gave me weird errors and was going to give me a zero. But, now that it's all over, I'm pretty happy with it and I made my goal. Today I pretty much just took it easy, and tonight is the keg olympics brough to you by the CU school of medicine class of 2011. J and his sister J are coming too and it should be a good time for all of us, and a reminder of all the fun we had in college.

Tomorrow my mom and sister come tomorrow and that's going to be great! It'll be the first time my mom has seen the house which is great! And now it's getting all painted and gorgeous courtesy of J and his week's worth of work. So, long story short, lots to look forward to, very little to get done! Awesome!

Hope all is well with all of you!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I wish for sleep

I know that I should not be freaking out this much at this point. I've worked hard, spent most of my weekend studying up a storm. I've written almost 60 pages of practice questions for myself and my classmates, and I can't help but feel that I have a lot more to do. I need to remind myself that really, it's just another test, but I'm in such a panic right now. Part of me just wants it to be over, the other part of me needs another day or so to get ready. The biggest part, though, is just tired of it. I need to stop. I need to rest. But I have at least one more day of this. It'll be alright, I just have to pace myself, or I may never actually finish this final afterall. Let's all get excited for tomorrow this time!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Half nighter

Well, I don't think I'll ever be able to pull off an all-nighter to study again. I guess I'm just old these days, or maybe it's just that the thought of reading about renal failure all night makes me want to vomit. Either way, it's about 12am, and though I might be burning the midnight oil, I definitely won't be watching any sunrises any time soon. J is playing some poker with friends tonight, so I'll probably keep at it until he's on his way home to make sure he doesn't need a ride, but after that, it's lights out in the LG household.

That's pretty much life this week though. J is on vacay this week so he's doing things we've been meaning to get to for quite some time, like painting the house! It's starting to look great on the main floor. Makes the place feel really homey. Tomorrow we're going over to barbeque with his fam, but I'm bringing along all my study stuff so I can keep at it. There's no point in letting up now. Not when I'm so close to being done and being happy with the way things turned out. Really, it's only about 2 more big days, then the renal test will be upon me. I'll wait till then to determine if I need to overextend myself on the final. Regardless, 4 days max and I'm a free woman.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Part Deux


I'm done.

Not with finals, and I know that I still have a lot of work to do, but I'm done. I'm done attending obnoxious small groups for the year, I'm done listening to terrible lecturers for the year, I'm done going to school for the year. And it is awesome.

Now, I should think that knowing I have a very difficult weekend (week really) ahead of me, I wouldn't be ready to celebrate just yet. But I would be thinking wrong. Being in school this long has made me approach things in a very goal oriented manner. And I've decided that this is not the best path to mental health. Bear with me for a moment of psychology brough to you by LG. Being so goal oriented has made me a very focused person, it's true, but has it made me a happy person? Sometimes. And sometimes isn't good enough. When all you do is focus on goals, it gets really easy to focus on what's coming up in the future, and really easy to forget about all the great stuff that's happening right now. Even the little stuff is great, really, but it gets swept under the rug when you have something big and huge looming in the distance. So, starting today, I'm making a concerted effort to focus on the good that happens every day, without forgetting about those big things that stand looming. And today, that means relaxing and enjoying the fact that even though I have more to come, today is a milestone in and of itself.

So, being the enormous nerd that I am, my small group and I are meeting for a "fluid and electrolyte conference" at a bar this afternoon. Clever, eh, studying the kidneys and all...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Great afternoon!

So there comes a time when things are really stressful where you just step back and realize that it is more exciting to be done than it is stressful to get there. That's where I've been since I walked out of class this morning. We had a really light hearted small group (am I feeling alright, I usually hate these things...) that made me realize how glad we all are to be finished with one year of med school. And not only that, but we've really learned a lot. It wasn't all stress for no pay off.

After small group I drove downtown to meet up with my dad, who is in town for work. I figured I would rather go get him downtown in the middle of the day than during rush hour, so I'm spending my afternoon studying in his hotel room. His room is amazing. I hope someday I get put up in a cool place for work. It's right on the 16th St. Mall and it's attached to the Rialto Cafe (where I just happened to have my bachelorette party!). So I spend about an hour while my dad's been in a meeting sipping this gorgeous teeny and people watching in Denver. It couldn't be a more beautiful day for it either!

So I better get back to work or this will truly be a day wasted and I'll regret it over the weekend. For those of you keeping score, there's really only 3 days left, two days of class and one day for a test. There should be 4 but since the final is take home, I won't be making it in. Pity.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


I worry too much. I know this. Probably always have, but med school has brought out a new kind of worry monster from me. My worry d'jour is the one probably everyone has. The worry about the future. I worry about what is going to be expected of me.

I know that I am SOOOOO looking forward to 3rd year and moving toward less nightly studying and more "on the job" training. But with that comes a different kind of expectation. Attendings, residents, and most people in general, expect you to be there all the time, and give up the rest of your life to do it. Don't believe me? Ask yourself about the last time your doc didn't get back to you when you thought they should have. Or that time you couldn't actually talk with the doctor when you called the office. Did you think, "good for that doc for having a life of their own. Way to keep life in balance!" ? Or did you think: "Damn doctor. They never really care about their patients. They're all overpaid and underworked."? My money's on the latter. And it scares me.

All I ever wanted was a good profession to complement a good life. But sometimes I worry that I'm in way too deep and don't fully comprehend what I've gotten myself into.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Finals await

So today I got up early and made myself a simple breakfast and now I'm ready to hit the books. We only have one more week of class and it's not even a full week. Thursday is my last day of class as a first year medical student. Sweet. After Thursday we have 5 days off to study for finals week. This is excellent news on many levels, but particularly on the level of what our final exam will now entail.

A week from Wednesday we have our first exam. It's not a true final, it's only over the renal system. I have been dreading this exam since I got into med school because I know how hard kidneys can be having taught "baby-renal phys" to undergrads. And I do mean baby renal. Nothing too hard, but it was still complicated! So I imagine most of my effort will go into that exam. If I get a 90 on it, I only need a 67% on the last final to honor and end the year on a truly good note. And that last final is gonna be a doozy.

It's take-home. It's to be completed online. So these are good things. But only 50% is open book, the rest is closed book, closed notes. I have no idea how many questions it is, but since it allows 3 hours for the closed book portion and unlimited (within 48 hours) time for the open book, I imagine it isn't A)easy or B)short. Hence the importance of blowing renal out of the water. And the best part about the final is that we can do it at any time we deem worthy between Wednesday at noon when our renal exam is over and Friday at noon when the final is scheduled to end. My goal, as of this morning, is to have it done by Thursday night so I can enjoy myself like crazy for one night then get my house seriously clean because we are having company!

My mom and sister are coming out at about 1 on Friday and I was nervous about getting them set up in the guest room/pull out couch after spending a week destroying the extra bedroom studying my booty off for Finals. This schedule will definitely help with that dilemma.

And in other news of seeing family, my dad is coming out to D-town on business this week and I'm picking him up to come see our house. Only my sis has seen our new digs since we moved in over a year ago, and seeing as my fam is so far away (they live on the frozen tundra up north...) I sometimes worried they wouldn't see my house for a really long time, or at least until we have kids. Then it won't look nearly as clean and nice. I was about the messiest kid I have ever met (to this day) growing up, so the fact that I can keep a house clean, even in the presence of an incredibly sheddy dog, and during med school (owing in no small part to J) makes me proud, and since I don't really have anything to hang on the fridge anymore, this will have to do!

Anyway, I'm sure I'll need lots of study breaks. Intense though the kidneys may be, they are far from page turners.

6 days and I am one quarter MD. Awesome.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My Day = Made!

You have to check out this click on YouTube. I know it pokes a whole lot of fun at my chosen profession, but it is hilarious. Totally made my day.

Anesthesiologists Melody

Luck is Running Out

My amazing immune system is starting to let me down. I know this is partly my fault. For all my preaching I did not get a flu shot this year and I'm afraid it might be coming back to bite me. Before you judge me too harshly, I was trying to get pregnant for the majority of the year and didn't want to risk any trouble. Trouble found me anyway, and in retrospect I should have just taken the damn shot.

Hopefully it's not really the flu. Hopefully I just need a couple of extra long nights of sleep and then I'll be back on my feet. Either way, it's looking to be yet another long, crappy weekend, but oh well.

Eight more days. (7 and a half really, today's class is almost over)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Nine days and counting

So my fake empathy paid off! I had my digital review and it went really well. Apparently, I am not meant to be a radiologist/pathologist/bad doctor. Bonus.

On the down side I have so much studying to do I may never see the light of day again. And when I looked in my rear view mirror today as I drove home I realized that I looked every inch as tired as I felt and that was an incredibly scary revelation.

And to end on a good note, we tried a new recipe for dinner and it was awesome! It was really easy too. It's called Moraccan Stewed Chicken and I got the recipe out of J's Men's Health. Let me know if you're interested, I'll post the recipe the next time I have it in front of me.

I hope everyone's week is plugging along stress-free. If it is not stress-free I will be happy to feel some real empathy for you if you are so inclined.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ten days of class...

So yesterday I had my physical exam assessment that I was dreading. I spent the whole day freaking out about it, then when I got there it was just another exam. Not a huge deal. Tomorrow I have my "digital review" of the patient interviews. Everyone who has had theirs so far has said they were fine. We had to interview two standardized patients. For those who don't know standardized patients are actors who are paid to come in and act like a patient with a particular story. The funniest part of all this for me is our empathy training that we had using these standardized patients. Think about it. How hard is it to feel empathy for fake emotion. "Yes, I feel much fake empathy for your fake sadness, we'll do all we can to help you out...." So contrived. I understand the point but c'mon. You can empathize with patients or you can't. A one day session on how to look epathetic (empathic?) is not going to help those who are incapable of human interaction. They will be radiologists and pathologists, or really bad docs...

Friday, May 9, 2008

Sweat it out

Well, I got over my latest panic attack in no time. Over lunch yesterday we had an 'experiential' session for my complementary alternative medicine where we worked on something called "mindfulness meditation." I had read about it before hand in our psych class as a type of treatment for anxiety. So, it was an awesome coincidence that I was having my mini-panic attack yesterday to see how well it worked. And it really worked. I highly recommend it to anyone who gets a little too tightly wound. Many clinical psychologists work on it and if they don't they could probably recommend someone. Really great stuff.

Today when we got done with class I took the big R for a longer run than he's used to. Longer run than I'm used to for that matter. I thought I might have to drag him the last 1/2 mile. When we got home this is what he did for about 2 hours:

I can't really blame him though, I didn't do much more than that. I did get my hair cut this afternoon and that always makes me feel better. Like a fresh start. I will enjoy tonight before I have to spend another weekend studying up for this physical exam skills assessment. Hope the weekend treats us all well!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Panic again

Well, at least it was a bit of a reprieve. I actually do have another exam on Monday, it's an assessment of our physical exam skills where we perform the exam on a standardized patient and then videotape us. We also are videotaped conducting a patient interview, and then a few days later we will go through it with a faculty advisor. I don't know why this makes me SOOOOOO nervous. I worked for 6 months at a clinic where all I did all day was interview patients. But there's something about knowing big brother is watching that totally freaks me out. Yet another crappy weakend on the way. And lots of physical exams for J. I'm sure he's thrilled too.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


It's a good day. I sure didn't think it would start that way though. Today was the day we learned to conduct psych interviews for suicide patients. For those who don't know, that's a touchy subject for me. Just about 7 years ago exactly I had an incredibly difficult and life changing experience with suicide. Not long after that I decided to pursue medicine, and I've been dreading this lecture/small group ever since. But, I got throught it. And no,they didn't throw us into an interview with an obviously suicidal patient (would that even be ethical - to know a patient was suicidal and send in the med students?). Instead we interviewed kidney patients. It turns out that those with kidney disease are 3 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population. But our patient was not suicidal, just an all around great guy coming in to share his story and plug the Donor Dash as well. He had a great attitude all things considered and I'm happy I got to meet him. I also felt so much better knowing I could get through this morning and not be a basket case. I think maybe a few years ago that wouldn't have been the case.

The day got better from there. I had my preceptor this afternoon and did an entire annual exam by myself. I know this sounds less than pleasant, but it makes me proud, especially knowing how uncomfortable a lot of people would feel even trying it. And even after this morning, my hands stayed steady. And it's always awesome to spend some time with Dr. B. He makes me laugh and he's a great mentor. He answers a lot of questions for me and I learn a lot, and he treats me like a colleague and not just a student. I appreciate it. I think this summer I'm still going to meet with him and the goal is to deliver my first baby (you know, for someone else). Very cool.

Tonight J is out on the town at a Rockies game and I'm at home watching one of my favorite movies (Saved!) eating Brinner and having a Blue Moon. I should probably be studying, but the test on Monday went exceptionally well (after all the time that went into it, I'd be worried if it didn't) so I don't feel a lot of pressure to do much of anything right now. Cheers to that!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Burn out

Yikes. I feel like I'm barely crawling across this finish line. It's only twenty past 8 and already I'm ready to go to bed. I'm almost ready to though. I guess on the plus side, even though the week was filled with not much other than books, I won't be going into the test tomorrow sleep deprived. The unfortunate part that I might not be making clear is that I still have 3 weeks of lecture and then finals week. The big deal about this test is two fold: first, if I do well on it, I don't have to overexert myself for the rest of the semester. Second, this is pretty much the stuff I want to do for a living, and so I want to get it right. So, I appreciate the well wishes for summer (!) and I will stick them in my back pocket for only about another month.

Ok, I can do this. Time to suck it up and try some practice problems, then off to bed. So. Tired. Of. Studying.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Well, I'm almost to my favorite day. Prettty soon the test will be here and then it will be over and I will be one happy girl. I even got my lazy butt out of bed this morning to get an early start on studying, and I gave up going to a movie with J and his fam so I could stay here and study. I'm impressed. But, unfortunately, despite my plans to the contrary, my study break did not involve a nice jog with the dog. I saw it was windy, so instead I sat on my butt, watched an episode of Scrubs and ate 1/4 of a bag of pretzels. You win some, you lose some.

So, the rest of the weekend will consist of keeping up this last little sprint. Someone in my class at the beginning of the year told me her boyfriend kept telling her "you're such a sprinter, but this is more like a marathon." And so far, that's pretty much shown itself to be true. The unfortunate bit is that although it is truly a marathon, you still can't win unless you sprint at the end.

T minus 48 hours...