Christel Wekon-Kemeni, (7/8) M.D.

SEVEN SEMESTERS. 
SEVEN-EIGHTHS.
87.5 %.

It is nothing short of amazing that I’ve not only made it this far into my medical training, but that I’ve made it about 3.5 years into medical school without losing my overall positive and resilient mindset. What’s just as amazing to me is that I’ve ACTUALLY managed to update this blog with my experiences as a medical student on a weekly basis ever since August 2015, regardless of how busy I was or what I was going through.

August 2015?? Bruh!!

That’s almost 40 months! 160 WEEKS!!

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It’s absolutely incredible what you can do if you take things one step at a time with pure determination. You’ll be amazed at all the opportunities that open themselves up to you along the way and at all the progress that you end up making when you take a moment along your journey to look back and reflect on your experiences. Just by blogging alone, I’ve been able to connect with so many people that I would have most likely otherwise never connected with, while at the same time satisfying my drive to crush negative stereotypes and to help others reach the goals that they have set for themselves. In addition, the blog has given me an avenue to express my creative side in a sustained manner, which has encouraged me to keep an innovative mindset at all times. This has helped fulfill me during my journey in medicine and continues to be not only a source of enjoyment for me, but has also ended up becoming an interesting talking point in my everyday conversations, including my residency interviews! 😯

Speaking of residency interviews, I have my fifth one coming up tomorrow at VCU in Richmond, VA! Yeah I know, they’re starting to come up faster aren’t they? As I said last week, my interview season is really starting to kick into high gear and I’m 100% ready for it. I just had my Pittsburgh interview last Monday, which I think went really well overall! My experience in Pittsburgh was actually a very positive one; it was evident how happy the pediatric residents were, the program leadership was very approachable, laid-back and hilarious, and the hospital was beautiful! It even had a 24/7 Starbucks!

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I definitely got great vibes from the program and enjoyed my time there, even though my circadian rhythm was still out of whack at the time thanks to the fact that I was still recovering from my week of nights. I had also never been to Pittsburgh before, so it was cool to check out the city for a bit although I didn’t have time to really see much of anything. However, I had PLENTY of time to appreciate how cold it was 😅.

I mentioned earlier how much you can amaze yourself if you just stay determined in reaching the goals you’ve set for yourself by taking things one step at a time. It turns out that I’ve managed to do just that throughout the course of these past four weeks as I trekked through my Sub-Internship rotation at CHOP! As I sit here typing this while reflecting on my experiences during the rotation, I am still stunned at how much my clinical skills have improved in that relatively short amount of time. I came into the rotation feeling pretty confident in the skills that I had developed up until that point, only to realize that there was so much more for me to learn and experience if I were to function effectively on an intern level.

This was an experience that was truly necessary for my growth, even though I had no idea I needed it and had initially wanted to rotate through a sub-specialty elective. While it was tough at first, I eventually started to get the flow of the team and began consistently functioning on a level that I had only occasionally functioned on in the past in a clinical setting. Once I reached that level, I continued to push myself even further than I had ever done in the past (this was noticed by my senior residents and attendings on the team, who gave me very positive feedback because of my efforts 😁) and by the end of my rotation (which was yesterday), I truly felt like I was effectively operating on an intern-level.

This realization was further cemented by a comment one of the interns made to me yesterday. While waiting for an attending to arrive so we could continue rounds, my team began talking about life in residency and a couple of the interns stated that they were actually enjoying their intern year even though the workload was heavy. I stated that I was happy to hear positive things about intern year for once, because I had just resigned to the fact that although I would get plenty of excellent and unforgettable learning experiences during the year, it was going to be one of the hardest years of my life and that it would be something that I just had to power through whether I liked it or not. The senior resident replied that once you accept that it’s going to be a hard year, it really isn’t so bad. Then one of the interns said to me, “Honestly, intern year is pretty much what you’re doing now as a Sub-I on this rotation, except there’s multiple inpatient rotations and you also don’t have the added pressure of having to perform your best everyday for a grade because you already have a secure spot in the program. Plus you’re finally getting paid.

If what he said was true, then intern year really isn’t going to be as brutal as I’ve been picturing it to be. Sure, I’ll be working my butt off and the learning curve will be pretty freakin’ steep, especially at the beginning of the year, but it’ll be all for the bigger purpose of becoming the best physician that I can be for the populations whom I’ll be serving throughout my career. Plus, if I was able to sucessfully perform intern-level work at CHOP as a fourth-year medical student, I’m pretty sure that I’ll be able to effectively adjust to the work that I’ll be ultimately responsible for once I finally begin residency next year as a true intern with an M.D. behind my name.

Wow man, I’m really almost 90% of the way there. That’s just so wild to me. 

I’m really about to be someone’s doctor in six months! 👨🏿‍⚕️

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I hope that your Thanksgiving is a very gratifying one!!

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” – Gloria Steinem

– Black Man, M.D.

Stepping Towards Improvement

I don’t think I’ve ever studied this hard in my entire life.

Like, I’ve really been putting major hours in ever since this study block started. The only thing that comes to mind to compare this amount of studying to is the summer that I studied for the MCAT…but even that pales in comparison to this. I mean yeah I’ve been studying hard all throughout med school too, but this has been quite different. Throughout my coursework up until now, I was learning about one organ system each block, so I was focused solely on that topic. I also balanced my time out and did a number of other things outside of studying in my past blocks. However, now I’m studying every damn thing there is to know about the human body and the drugs that affect it, including some things that I’ve never actually learned. Also, I’m pretty much entrenched in my studies all day with small breaks in between, which is quite different from what I’m used to. I’m usually the type that is pretty flexible with time and who prefers to go with the flow rather than keep to a structured schedule. So the fact that I actually currently have a schedule I stick to (for the most part) is pretty wild to me. Like, I actually wake up around 7:15-7:30 AM each day and am usually fast asleep by 11:30-11:45 PM. I’m still a bit flexible with my daily schedule here and there, but I’m nowhere near as malleable with my time as I was before I started dedicating my time to Step.

Speaking of time, these days have all been a blur man. Truth be told, I’ve actually forgotten what day it was on numerous occasions last week. Also, time flies so fast throughout the day when you’re intensely focused…one minute it’s 12:55 PM and then when I look up again, it’s 5:34 PM. It’s annoying how quickly time can zip by when you would rather have it slow down a bit. Smh. And don’t even get me started on these UWorld questions man…these questions are just ridiculous. They’re hard as hell, even with all the studying that I’ve been doing! But on the flip side, I’ve been learning a ton from them and I’ve actually seen some steady improvement in my scores within this past week! I did have a sharp nosedive in the score of the most recent question set I answered, but I’m considering that set a fluke lol. Plus, it just gives me a great opportunity to learn more information that I either didn’t know before or hadn’t stuck as well with me as I previously thought! What’s important is that I’m seeing a steady improvement in applying my knowledge to new questions while retaining information that I’m continuously acquiring. I’m still on a treacherous uphill battle but as long as I keep calm, confident and determined, nothing will stop me from soaring to that mountaintop!

With that said, I’m getting back to the grind. Y’all keep me in your prayers and I’ll keep y’all in mine! Have a sensational week!

The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.” – Tommy Lasorda

– Black Man, M.D.

P.S. – Congratulations to all the medical students who matched this past Friday!! That’s a MAJOR accomplishment to have achieved! I pray to be in y’alls shoes one day!