Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Studying and the Dish

We learned a lot this quarter, renal physiology, the gastrointestinal system, a ton of microbes and parasites, skin diseases, endocrine disorders, reproductive health. Too much for me to cram in a week. I've been doing my part all quarter, consistently absorbing and learning the material. We have an "integrated" final exam this Friday. Most of you probably picture me sitting in a small room with glaring lights all day with a pile of books by my side. Sure I could sit in the library all day, plowing through all my books, losing my concentration left and right, spending more money on snacks and beverages than I should, falling asleep at the desk. I could study that way. With our cumulative exams, I take a different approach, and listen to review lectures that are interesting, make me think and cover all the essential material. If I just listened to the lectures while comfortably sitting down, I would be asleep in 5 minutes, so instead I listen while walking. Usually while walking the Dish! So instead, picture me with a smile on my face, listening to lecture reviews, while spotting a stellar jay along the trail, catching up on loop diuretics while taking in a view of the entire peninsula. A perfect blend of studying, exercising, and enjoying a beautiful day. A win-win-win. I'm actually enjoying this! Nailing the practice exams feels good too.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Living in Northern California the last 3 and half years, I've finally come to appreciate seasons. SoCal really never felt like 4 different seasons, Boston's winter was so scarring that I declared winter my arch nemesis. But here, in Menlo Park, I actually look forward to the rain, the change of leaves, the expected rainbow in the afternoon after a rainy day. I like that I hold my tea close and snuggle up under my blanket. I look forward to the verdent spring, green Stanford hills, and bright orange poppies filling the fields. Different seasons bring about different daily habits, different emotions, different wardrobes, and different meals. The selections at the Farmers Market has changed from summer squash to winter squash, from strawberries and peaches to sweet potatoes and root vegetables. I not only enjoy the seasonal change, but in a way I even look forward to it. I wouldn't even mind a little snow now and again, though I could do withouth the great Northeastern Blizzards I endured. Seasons are fun, in their own, unique way. With that said, I'll be spending Christmas at the beach. :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Holidays and the BCC

The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are probably my favorite weeks of the year. I had the priveledge of attending my 4th UCSF Breast Care Center Holiday party tonight. As eventful, festive and fun as always. The Intern skit was once again phenomenal, poking fun at the idiosyncrasies and hysterics that make up the BCC. I absolutely love being able to see old friends and colleagues, hear they are well, and what they are up to now. The BCC really was a work-home, very different than anything I've experience in medical school, and an environment I will really strive to find in the future. I really miss being part of a team working towards a goal, in med school you're constantly floating through teams, never a full fledged member yourself.  It was my first full-time job, where I fell in love with medicine, and realized that work doesn't have to just be work, it can be a passion, a calling, and something you do with friends and colleagues, not just coworkers, something that is fun, creative, and worth your while, What a terrific reminder about what the holidays, and life in general, are all about. Also a good kick in the butt reminder of why I'm doing all this studying now, with finals 6 days from now, its the extra uumf I needed!