Life In A Cheat Code

Yeah, yeah I know it’s Saturday. You probably weren’t expecting a post today but since I’m going back to camp tonight to start my third week there, there’s no telling when I’ll have time to type something up tomorrow. My schedule has been in a bit of disarray as of late with the SNMA conference last weekend and with camp and all, but I’ve been able to keep on top of things…for the most part. So with that said, posting today is part of me keeping on top of things and making sure that I have something to update you with.

black think about it GIF by Identity

The end of this week marks the halfway point of my time at Victory Junction. Yeah I know, it’s like I just started right? At least that’s how I feel. I’ve been getting into the groove of camp life and I’ve been having such a good time that I sometimes forget that I’m on a rotation. I can’t lie, I feel like I’m living in a cheat code lol. Although it kind of feels like I’m on a summer vacation, I’ve been gaining a ton of perspective these past two weeks as a camp counselor. Not only have I been able to put things into perspective while interacting with the kids here, but I’ve also developed useful skills on how to effectively communicate with them. These skills have been especially useful this past week, where my cabin counselors and I were tasked with caring for seven teens with various neurological & developmental disorders. While these teens were overall a calmer bunch of campers than the little kids from the previous week, they definitely came with their own unique set of challenges. To start off, the personalities of the campers in this group were very different from one another. Like, VERY different. As a matter of fact, they were so vastly different that the campers didn’t even have any conflicts with one another. To be honest, they all seem to be in their own little worlds. Their respective conditions also varied widely on a scale from relatively mild developmental delay to extreme developmental delay. And to top it all off, a couple of them liked to wander off on their own, with one kid having the tendency to spontaneously take off in a full sprint away from the group.

annoyed kobe bryant GIF

It was a pretty interesting week, to say the least. The campers were fun to be around though, and I personally had a wonderful time getting to know them while they were at camp. I had a couple of inside jokes with a few of them and one of the campers even made a special handshake with me! ūüėĄ¬†(He only used it for one day and then forgot about it, but that’s besides the point.) I also found out during the camp’s weekly stage day (talent show day) that one of the campers was pretty decent on the piano. That was dope to see!

This week was ultimately shortened due to the 4th of July holiday, so I’ve actually had an extra day and a half of rest outside of the camp. I was able to go to the 42nd USA vs. Japan College All-Star baseball game in Durham (didn’t know this was a thing) and viewed some fireworks with my girlfriend after that painfully low-scoring game. In addition to that, I’ve been putting in some serious work on my residency application, some work in the SNMA, and am working on updates to the blog. I also need to carve out some time to review some Step 2 Clinical Skills stuff, since I’ll be traveling to Atlanta at the end of this month to take that day-long exam and all. Speaking of, you remember that CPX I had to take back in May? You know, the same clinical exam that I was forced to remediate after my performance on the first one of my third-year back in October? You probably don’t, but that’s okay. Well, I finally got my results back and I’m happy to say that I passed it this time with flying colors!

College Basketball Dancing GIF by UNC Tar Heels

Turns out that the extensive remediation that I had to go through helped a lot lol. It also helped that I was much more familiar with the test setup, and I also didn’t skip whole sections in my write-ups like I accidentally did the first time. As you can imagine, this score report is a very welcome confidence boost for the Step 2 CS exam that I’ll be taking in a few weeks. While I’ll still take some time to review key concepts, I can walk into the testing center on July 27th with very minimal doubt in my abilities to think through and treat a chief complaint in a clinical setting while at the same time keeping my patient comfortable throughout the encounter.

That’s a wrap for this post! I hope that your week is a positive one! And be sure to appreciate the final games of the World Cup, because we won’t be getting this for another four years.¬†ūüė≠¬†I can’t believe it’s already coming to an end soon!

“There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.” – Ray Goforth

– Black Man, M.D.

Money Talk, Challenges & Code Black.

Gotta love 4th of July weekend.

It’s pretty much the only major holiday in the summer months, if you don’t count Labor Day. It’s a time where you can catch people grilling, take in some sun at the beach, celebrate our independence by submitting to the power of the liquor, and who can forget the spectacular fireworks that stretch across the starry¬†summer skies? It’s a feel-good time, a break for those that work a job in the summer and a day of free food for people like me. The only thing that can ruin this weekend are¬†aliens that are trying to take over our¬†planet…but then we can just call up Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) and friends to save the day by blowing up the alien motherships! Speaking of, it aggravates me that he’s not gonna be in the Independence Day sequel…but Bad Boys III bout to be lit as fuhhh!!! June 2, 2017 is less than a year away!

praise bernie mac day god tomorrow

As of late, I’ve been getting more serious about learning how to manage finances not only as a med student, but even more so¬†as a physician. I don’t know if I already told you but during the course of my first year, I was reading a book on finance specifically designed for physicians. This book, called The White Coat Investor, was such an eye-opener for¬†me when it comes to money management. I mean I took Money 101 during my last semester of college so I had a little bit of background knowledge, but this book really took my financial IQ to another level.¬†Not only that, it made me want to learn more about how money works in general. So I checked out the author’s blog, also named The White Coat Investor. Doesn’t it bother you that there’s so much you may not know about using the one thing that makes the world go round? Cash rules everything around us and you literally use money every single day…but could you tell me what a Roth IRA was? Backdoor Roth IRA? ¬†Do you know the difference between a common stock and a preferred stock? How about the difference between a tax deduction and a tax credit? Have you heard about the rule of 72? Mutual funds? Index funds? For you aspiring doctors out there, do you know of the different methods you can use in order to pay back your federal loans? And all of this is the simple stuff. My point is that there’s so much financial literature that is foreign to a large amount of the population, yet a lot of people invest their¬†money in a variety of things as if they¬†know what they’re doing. It’s pretty crazy man. And by the time most people want to learn more about how money works, they’re already in dire financial circumstances and are “too busy with life”¬†to learn financial literature.¬†That’s one of the main reasons why I’ve decided to equip myself with this knowledge early on; I want to be prepared for whatever financial challenges arrive on my doorstep in the future. I also want to be financially independent because I’ve been SOOO BROKE FOR SOOO LONG!!! People tend to shy away from learning about finances because it’s such a dry subject. I agree, it’s pretty damn dry. I can only learn about this subject¬†in doses. But like it or not, you’re gonna be using money for the rest of your life…so¬†you might as well learn a thing or two about how you can use it to benefit you and those you love.

On another note, this week was just as much of a breeze as the ones that came before it. Well for me that is. The students were going through it with the quizzes, presentations and tests that they had to complete. And now that we have only three weeks left of the program, it’s only gonna get tougher for them. I believe in them though ūüėä. They’re putting¬†forth their best effort and although they’re stressed about the grades they’re getting, they are gaining vast amounts of knowledge whether they know it or not and are getting a lot out of this summer experience. They also were given the opportunity earlier this past week to present to the class what they each learned in their assigned weekly clinical rotation the Friday prior. The presentations included rotations in Anesthesia, Pediatrics, Trauma and Internal Medicine. The patients they saw included¬†a teenager that was hit by a car before getting into a fight and suffering from a seizure, a¬†physician that was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, a young man who acquired a staph infection after popping a pimple and a medical student that was shot while in Haiti. Wild. They also cleverly¬†used their newly acquired anatomy knowledge in their presentations in order to describe what they saw during their rotations. Speaking of, the test they took this week was actually an anatomy practical where they looked at different parts of a cadaver and named the structure that the pin was in. I won’t lie, I got a couple flashbacks while I was in the lab with them as they were taking their test. I do NOT miss taking lab practicals. It was kind of funny to see them all freaking out beforehand, only for them to find that taking the practical wasn’t really that bad at all. Some of them even found it fun. I wanted to say that “it’s because y’all had only 23 questions and were able to go back to previous stations and check your answers before turning your paper in!”, but I let them be great lol. I’d rather have them think that anatomy is fun than have them absolutely dread it.

One more thing. For our weekly (free) dinner & discussion, we watched this medical documentary called Code Black. It was based in Los Angeles and focused on the emergency department in the Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center, a public hospital dedicated to serving all of those who come in, no matter what their insurance status is, how much they make, or their immigration status. It was a very riveting and raw perspective of what the busiest Emergency Department in America looks like. It showed how the health workers at the center struggled with the extremely packed waiting rooms and how they found innovative ways to tackle that challenge. It also touched on the reality¬†of having to immediately treat a new sick patient after having¬†a patient die, the bureaucracy of medicine & all the paperwork, rules, regulations, policies, etc. that it comes with, the doctors having to defend themselves against lawsuits from patients that are encouraged by the media to press charges, and the state of healthcare as we know it in this country. I definitely recommend watching it, especially if you’re looking into working in the healthcare field and double-especially if you want to pursue a career in Emergency Medicine. You can find it on Netflix. Now all you have to do is find¬†someone to chill with. I should warn you though, there are many graphic images in the film. If you don’t like blood, then this documentary probably won’t make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Okay I’m gonna go and enjoy the rest of my long weekend with my girlfriend, who flew across several states to come and spend time with me¬†ūüėĀ. Savor the barbecue and relish in the fireworks!

“In order to receive something you’ve never had before, you have to do something you’ve never done.”

– Black Man, M.D.