The Waiting Game Begins…

Welp, there goes another week.

It pretty much flew by just as fast as the previous week did, and I don’t know how to feel about that. I’m loving my time in fourth-year right now and as they always say, times flies when you’re having fun. I don’t really want the rest of this year to flash before my eyes, so I’m trying my best to appreciate and live up each and every day from now until I start my residency training. However at the same time, I’m looking forward to beginning my residency training as an M.D. and to finally be someone’s physician. That’s an honor that I’ve been working towards tirelessly for a good chunk of my life now. As tough as the experience will be, I’m sure that I’ll work to appreciate each and every day of residency. Nevertheless, I’m a fourth-year now and as such, I need to be enjoying my hard-earned chill time!

hbo soothing GIF by High Maintenance

In other news, I stuck to my word and officially certified my rank list last week!

happy joy GIF

Now that I’ve certified and submitted it, there’s no turning back. Wherever I end up matching is where I’m obligated to spend the next three years of my life training to become a fantastic Pediatrician. Up until this point, I’ve been busy securing good grades, gathering letters of recommendations, completing and submitting my residency application, traveling for interviews, and sorting out my rank list. I’ve just been straight-up busy working to secure my future all throughout my fourth-year. However, from now until March 15th, 2019, there’s nothing else for me to do but simply wait to see where all this labor and prayer will take me. It’s pretty wild, to say the least. In the meantime though, I’ll be finishing up my experience in my Immigrant Health/Public Health rotation and begin rotating through my last rotation of fourth-year, my Diagnostic Radiology elective. In addition, I’ll continue to update the blog, fulfill both my responsibilities for school and my ever-growing SNMA duties, and most importantly, continue to live out my best fourth-year life!

president obama potus GIF by Obama

I continued to benefit from some dope experiences during my third week in this rotation, some of which included attending a community meeting about taking action to promote the education and well-being of young children in the community, shadowing a community-based dentist, rotating through an STD clinic, a child abuse clinic (incredibly sad and gut-wrenching) and a travel clinic (I didn’t even know travel clinics existed…apparently you can go to a special clinic to get the information and immunizations you need before you travel abroad. The job also looked verrry chill…🤔), attending an advisory board meeting where the topics of Medicaid transformation and safety net coordination in the community were discussed, and learning more about the control of communicable diseases (influenza, measles, zika, E. coli, norovirus, etc.) in the county by talking with people in the health department who worked specifically in the communicable diseases section of the department.

Like I said last week, I could go into detail about each of these interesting experiences, but then I would be here for a while writing an unnecessarily lengthy essay about each of them. Y’all know how long-winded I can get lol. This upcoming week is my last week in the rotation, which is a bummer because I’ve genuinely been having a wonderful time these past few weeks. But alas, all good things must come to an end. 😔

With that, I’ll go ahead and end this post here.

I hope that your week is a stupendous one!

“Whatever we believe about ourselves and our ability comes true for us.”- Susan L. Taylor

– Black Man, M.D.

The Impact of A Decision

I must say, this week flew by pretty fast…I legit feel like I just finished typing up last week’s post. 😅

The completion of this week marks the halfway point in my current rotation, which means that I’m a week closer to Match Day as well as to graduation! People always say that this time period in fourth-year flies by especially fast and I gotta say, they WERE NOT lying. Like, we’re already approaching the middle of February 2019! This also means that the last day to submit my rank list is rapidly approaching (next Wednesday)!

The Office No GIF by EditingAndLayout

For those of you who don’t know the significance of that, it means that by next Wednesday I need to be 100% sure of which programs I want to rank #1, #2, #3 and so on. Once I submit this list, there’s no looking back. So as you can imagine, a ton of fourth-year medical students across the nation are currently stressing out about making an important decision that will directly impact their immediate future. I’m fortunate enough to say that I’m not necessarily that stressed about submitting my rank list because I believe that I’m going to end up wherever I’m meant to be and that I’ll do all I can to make the most out of my experience at whatever program I end up training at. That being said, I’ve been doing A LOT of thinking, praying and talking with others in order to make sure that I’m making the best decisions I can for my list. I’ll probably work to get it finalized and sent in this week just so that I don’t have to worry about it next week. (I can’t even begin to imagine what would happen if I missed the deadline to submit it…😳) After submitting it, I’ll chuck up a quick prayer and move on with my life. 😊

As for my most recent week of my Immigrant Health/Public Health rotation, it was another great and informative one full of memorable experiences that I’ll be sure to carry with me as I begin my career as a medical doctor. I was afforded some more unique experiences throughout the week that I was able to appreciate, including attending a Stakeholder Advisory Committee meeting within the Wake Forest Clinical and Translational Science Institute’s Program in Community Engagement, helping treat low-income immigrants from various countries around the world, attending a Department of Health & Human Services board meeting where leaders in Forsyth County reviewed North Carolina public health law, recieved updates about various public health initiatives in the community and approved substantial budgets for public health programs in the county, experiencing first-hand how a WIC clinic functions on a day-to-day basis, observing how an ID card drive for undocumented immigrants operates in the community, and learning more about what the POSSE (Prevent Ongoing Spread of STIs Everywhere) program does in the community.

I could write in detail about each of these experiences, but then I would end up spending a lot more time typing up this post than I would like. What I will say is that as I worked with some of the low-income immigrants in the clinics I was rotating through, it was painfully obvious just how much harder it was for them to get adequate access to care. Not only did they have have a significant language barrier that they had to hurdle over, but they also had other additional barriers to care that you and I may take for granted. It was wild to hear about what a lot of them have to go through just to get by, but I’m glad that their struggles were reinforced to me. It definitely gave me some perspective that will prove useful to me in my career.

Overall, I really am glad that I decided to sign up for this rotation. The experiences that I’ve had so far and that I will continue to have these next two weeks will undoubtedbly impact how I practice medicine in my career. With all of the knowledge that I continue to acquire about the community throughout this month, I will feel much more empowered to connect my future patients to various resources that their respective communities have to offer.

That’s pretty much all I have to say for today. I have quite a busy day ahead of me now that I’ve recently (and unexpectedly) taken on the role of interim Region IV Director of the Student National Medical Association, a position that I’ll hold in conjunction with my position as one of the External Affairs National Committee Co-Chairs. While this new, temporary role just made me busier than I would have liked to be at this time in my fourth-year, I still have all intentions of living my best life on this final stretch of the school year!

Go on and make this week an outstanding one! And continue to revel in the awesomeness of Black History Month!

“If you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life.” – Marcus Garvey

– Black Man, M.D.

A Different Angle

I’m only a week into my Immigrant Health/Public Health elective and I already love it! This unique rotation has been unlike any other I’ve had in medical school thus far. While I’ve been able to spend some time in clinics with various patients afflicted with conditions like HIV and Hepatitis, I’ve also gotten the chance to spend some time at the Forsyth County Department of Public Health, where I toured the facility and their in-house laboratory,  and learned about many of the resources that the county has to offer to its residents. I especially learned a lot more about the ubiquitous WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program, which I appreciated because although I knew what it was, I didn’t have as firm of a grasp on the details of the program as I should have as a future Pediatrician. 😅

I spent another day tagging along with Community Paramedicine Emergency Medical Services, where I got the opportunity to learn about the special role that these medical professionals have in the community. These medical professionals were seasoned paramedics, but their role as a community paramedicine EMS responder was quite different from what you and I would expect when we hear the acronym “EMS”. Instead of riding around in ambulances all day responding to 911 calls, these people moreso respond to acute calls concerning behavorial health, only responding to acute medical emergencies if it is absolutely necessary (i.e. an unforseen shortage in emergency responders in the community).

As they described it, the main reason as to why the county created their position a few years ago was to identify the people in the community who call 911 the most and find ways to reduce the call volume from them by connecting them to useful community resources that they may have otherwise never heard about. By doing this, the theory was that there would be a potential decrease in the number of unnecessary Emergency Room visits, thus saving time and money for everyone who was involved in the coordination of care. Over time, this group of paramedicine EMS responders have shown that their work does decrease the number of unnecessary visits to the ER and because they have been able to save the system money, they are increasing their team size in order to have a bigger impact in the community. It was cool learning about their unique role in the community and although there was a paucity of calls the day I was there (I only went on two trips), I am grateful that I got to appreciate the important work that they do. 🙏🏿

According to my schedule for this upcoming week, I’m going to have even more experiences in the community than I did last week! In addition to rotating through infectious disease and refugee clinics, it looks like I’m going to be participating in community talks, board meetings, and an ID card drive with FaithAction for immigrants. I feel like it is about to be a very interesting week, with plenty of dope experiences to learn from.

I don’t really have much else to talk about today. I’m scheduled to help out with medical school interviews tomorrow morning, which should be pretty straightforward since I’ve already done this two other times this year. I’m also still working on my rank list, which I’m sure will continue to be a work in progress for the next week or two. Not gonna lie, life as a second-semester fourth-year medical student is pretty smooth. 😎

I hope that you have a terrific week!

AND SHOUTOUT TO BLACK HISTORY MONTH!!! WE OUT HERE!!! ✊🏿🙌🏿🔥

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” – Booker T. Washington

– Black Man, M.D.