Kickin’ Back

It’s hard to believe that Christmas is really two days away! It’s even harder to believe that I’ve already blown through my first week of my winter break!

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It feels like I just got to Atlanta a couple of days ago. While I’ve been here, I’ve mainly been relaxing and lounging around while also catching up on some books that I’ve been wanting to read for months (I FINALLY read The Alchemist), watching some movies with my girlfriend and catching up on some of our favorite shows. (We started Grey’s Anatomy this past summer and are only midway through Season 3…I’ve already accepted that this will be a LOOONG-term endeavor 😅) Outside of all that, I’ve been able to catch up with some other college friends over brunch, meet a ton of my girl’s high school friends at her school’s five-year reunion, crack down on some work for the SNMA, begin seriously thinking about and comparing the pediatric residency programs I’ve interviewed at to each other, eat a ton of great food and SLEEP. I haven’t slept in this much in forever…I had forgotten what it was like to sleep in past 9 AM 😂. I also finally got my grade back from my CHOP away rotation and I must say, I was pleasantly surprised at how well my evaluation turned out! Long story short, my evaluators thought highly of my performance while I was there, witnessed a tremendous amount of growth in me and feel that I’ll grow into an excellent physician as long as I continue to work on some key things. It’s incredible what getting a grade of Honors can do to your self-confidence, especially when you get them back-to-back in rotations of the specialty you’re going into.

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I really don’t have much else to say other than that I got an email with details about my upcoming Anesthesiolgy Acting/Sub-Internship in January. Based off the email, I’m going to be doing quite a bit of studying due to the fact that I have a midterm and a final exam during the rotation. Sheeeeesh. I’m also going to have to be on long call from 6 AM – 10 PM once per week and I’ll be busy doing procedures and simulations for the most part throughout my rotation. I don’t think it’ll be that bad though…as a matter of fact, I’m looking forward to participating in all kinds of procedures and observing various surgeries in the operating room. It’ll also be nice to be back at Wake after living out of my suitcase for the past 3+ months, though I’ll be completing a couple more trips in January (UVA interview and SNMA National Leadership Institute in Nashville, TN). While it has been fun being on the road meeting so many new people and catching up with old friends, I’ll be happy to sleep in my own bed again and to use the space and utilities in my apartment that I’m still paying for.

Keeping it short today because we’re all busy getting ready with the holidays with our families and there’s probably a number of you getting your last minute Christmas shopping in. Plus like I stated earlier, I don’t have much else to say.

So on that note, I hope that those of you who celebrate Christmas have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! 🎄🎅🏿❄️

“When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his (her) dream.” – Paulo Coelho

– Black Man, M.D.

Breezing Thru Break

I’ve forgotten how easy life could be sometimes. This past week has been the chillest week I’ve had since summer break, and it has felt amazing. Just being able to wake up and not having to plan out where and how I’m going to study has been a blessing in itself. The free and authentic food I’ve had this past week has been a BIG plus too. I’ve been having a pretty great time sharing laughs with my family and friends here in VA and just relaxing in general. From playing video games to sleeping in to reminiscing on childhood with my siblings, there hasn’t been a dull moment being home from school. I gotta say, both my life and the people in it are surely blessings that I’m truly thankful to have. Growing up and understanding the true meaning of Christmas and the holiday season in general has made each subsequent holiday break I’ve experienced that much more meaningful and enjoyable. It’s come to the point where I don’t expect anything for Christmas anymore…I’m just happy to be able to come home to a strong and healthy family that is continuously being blessed by God. Seeing my siblings and parents happy and doing well is a good enough gift for me. The pajamas and wheat bran flakes I got for Christmas are just a bonus. 😂

I still have another good week of relaxation before school starts back up again, but I’m well aware that when school starts, IT’S GONNA START. With that said, I’ve been doing some real planning on what I’m going to be doing this next semester as well as this upcoming summer in order to become a more effective student. Not only that, but I feel that it’s about time that I start seriously considering how I’m going to approach the USMLE Step 1 exam that I’m taking in less than two years, since my score on that exam pretty much seals my fate. People keep telling me it’s never too early to start studying/reviewing for that test, so I’ll take their word for it. Lord knows I can’t screw up on that exam. I think the best thing I can do is get some Step 1 review books and review high-yield material in them while I’m learning the actual material in class. Much easier said than done I know, but I gotta start somewhere right? Also, I’m thinking about doing research possibly in regenerative medicine next semester because that field has really piqued my interest. It’s so freakin’ cool to me that cells are being engineered to grow into tissues and organs that can replace damaged ones. It’s almost like science fiction, except it’s real life. Regenerative medicine really looks like it’s going to be a big part in the future of medicine, so why not take a peek at how it works? But besides that, I’m thinking of also doing some research in ophthalmology or something relating to that field of medicine for the summer. I apparently need some kind of backbone in research to be seen as “competitive” when it comes to an ophthalmology residency, so I figured this upcoming summer would be as good of a time as any to get involved with that. And if research doesn’t work out for me in the summer, then I’ll maybe do some volunteer work abroad. I’ve been looking at this opportunity called Unite for Sight, where you can go to one of three countries (Ghana, Honduras, India) for as long as you want and help break down patient barriers to healthcare by educating the population about the importance of healthcare, performing glaucoma screenings, performing eye exams, testing visual acuity, observing eye surgeries, and doing many other things. Regardless of what ends up happening, I know for a fact that I’ll be using my summer in a productive manner. I’m not really giving myself a choice.

Well that’s really all I got to say today. See you in the New Year and enjoy the rest of the holidays with the company you plan on celebrating them with! Stay happy and true to yourself!

Bless up! (Shoutout to DJ Khaled 😂)

– Black Man, M.D.