Steady Beat of Life

YOOOO wanna hear something wild??

I’m turning 23 tomorrow!! TWENTY-THREE!!!

How crazy is that? I’m lowkey trippin’ about it…23 just sounds like a huge jump in age/maturity from 22, in my opinion. Like from 18-21, I just felt like a college kid overall even though I was technically an adult. When I turned 22, it felt a little different but not really…I could say I was 22 and still¬†feel like a big-ass college kid who slowly was maturing into an actual young adult pursuing a Doctoral degree. But when I say “I’m 23”, it suddenly feels like I’m automatically 10x older. It just sounds so…you know….old. But hey, the older I get the better I get, right?

Speaking of my upcoming birthday, I had quite an awesome weekend to celebrate it. As a matter of fact, I’m just now getting settled from it lol. A few of my good friends and I went down to Charlotte and had a great time in that area playing games at Dave & Busters (I ended up winning a Dave & Busters shot glass ūüėÖ), clubbing, and eating a very late/very early breakfast at a 24-hour diner a couple hours before sunrise. We then crashed hard at a clutch friend of a friend’s spot. It was hella fun! I also went back home to handle some stuff and got to spend some quality time with my dad. That was real nice. In addition,¬†earlier last week right after my Hematology/Oncology exam, I got convinced to go to the Summer Sixteen Drake/Future concert at the last minute with about 10-15 of my classmates and I must say, it was a spectacular concert. We all started the concert off in our regular $50, cheap 200-level seats that faced the side of the stage, but most of us ended up either on the floor or in the much closer 100-level seats by the time the concert ended. I myself ended up in a 100-level seat about halfway thru the concert that must’ve cost around $300….so it’s definitely safe to say I got my money’s worth, plus more! Hehehe.

The day before I took my Heme test, I attended a Family Medicine/Internal Medicine faculty & student mixer at a local restaurant (you know, keeping an open mind about my future and all…and free food). After mixing and mingling with the about 30 or so people there, we participated in a few activities that pertained to making sure that patients are able to comprehend what the doctor is saying as they’re being discharged and the vital importance of communication in general between the doctor and the patient. It was a pretty good time and the faculty there were very nice. We even got to-go boxes for the leftover hors d’ouerves! When’s the last time you were offered a to-go box from a mixer? Yeah, didn’t think so.

As for my actual Heme test, it went well overall. I passed decent enough and more importantly, I feel like I was able to grasp a well-enough understanding of the subject in order to apply aspects of it in my later studies of other organ systems. Better yet, because I studied the material to comprehend it rather than to pass the test via straight memorization, I think that I’ll be able to recall info from that block at a faster rate when it comes time to Step studying. The very next morning after the test, we started the Cardiology block. I’ve had three days of lecture from this block and so far, the volume of information has been unforgiving. I literally can’t fall behind in this block. But it’s also been highly interesting to me. I don’t know why, but the heart really intrigues me in ways that some other parts of the body don’t. Even back in Anatomy when we were first learning about the heart and its compartments, I was really struck with awe as I first held the incredible battery that¬†allows each of us to live by endlessly pumping blood throughout our bodies throughout our lifetimes. The heart really is amazing. It’s also¬†very complex in how it works in concert with the body, thus making it a complicated organ to study…but I’m determined in completely understanding how it functions because the pathology of the cardiovascular system is directly linked to the HUGE health problems that many people of this country suffer with. When I encounter a patient (or anyone in general) with a condition like atherosclerosis or hypertension in the future, I want to be able to not only explain what is happening in their bodies but to also provide cost-effective ways in combating and managing their condition before it gets even worse.

One last thing…my class participated in a couple of Cardiology-based interactive workshops where we learned how to read cardiorespiratory monitors & pulse oximetry measurements as well as how to place leads on a patient in order to perform an ECG/EKG (Electrocardiogram). Needless to say, it was very interesting. I even got an EKG performed on me! Nothing like getting an EKG and getting it interpreted by a Cardiologist, all for free. (Let’s not talk¬†about¬†my tuition payments.)

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My heart lookin’ good, don’t you agree?

As always, I hope that you have a sensational week!

“Those who say they can and those who say they can’t are both usually right.” – Confucius

– Black Man, M.D.

P.S. – The VMAs are coming on tonight and it reminded me of when I wrote my third-ever post on this blog as I was watching the VMAs last year…you know, the one where Kanye decided to run for president¬†ūüėā. This also means that I’ve technically been blogging for over a year…wild.

Shaking Up The Status Quo

WELLLLLPPP….it’s about that time again.

I’m taking my oh-so-lovely¬†2nd¬†Neuro exam in less than 24 hours. (Testing My Brain On A Test On The Brain…..Take #2!) I want to believe I’m ready for it, but I also felt ready before the last exam I took and I ended up being left pretty bamboozled, to say the least.¬†However, I now¬†have a better feeling of what kind of questions to expect going into this upcoming test and I¬†feel like I’ve been studying¬†harder/smarter than I did for the first exam. Plus, I’ve prepared myself the best I could¬†to handle any potential foolery¬†that may be thrown at me during the test. Sooo even though I may have been hoodwinked last time, ¬†I won’t let it negatively impact the way I approach this exam tomorrow. I honestly do believe I’m ready. I’m also ready to get it over with in order to move on to the next section of material, and to the end of the semester in general. Confidence is key y’all. Without it, you’ve already lost. Believe it to achieve it!

A few days ago during dinner, I got the pleasure to listen to Dr. Manisha Sharma speak on what it’s like to be a family medicine doctor that practices social medicine (social, not socialized)¬†while engaging¬†in “disruptive healthcare”. She defined “disruptive healthcare” as¬†innovations in healthcare¬†that challenge the status quo in the establishment and make quality healthcare more attainable and affordable to all.¬†I’m so glad I decided to attend the talk. She was freakin’ awesome y’all. And hilarious. Coming from¬†the Bronx, she described herself as a Puerto Rican girl trapped in an Indian girl’s body. ūüėā It was a small amount of us there listening to her speak, but she took advantage of that by engaging all of us, making it an intimate conversation. She even took the chance of trying to learn each of our names (she said my name right…ON THE FIRST TRY!). It was,¬†by far, one of the best talks I’ve been to since I’ve been here. After having dinner with some of the attendees, she began the conversation by telling us she never intended to be a doctor and was actually very interested in music, which really upset her Indian parents. They didn’t get any happier when she enrolled in music school after high school and got hired later on as a backup dancer for Prince. Yes, THE Prince (R.I.P.). She was all good until she was hit by a car in her early 20s by a¬†careless¬†driver, who childishly fled the scene. After going through surgery and racking up hospital bills, she learned that insurance wouldn’t cover her because a “3rd party was involved in the accident”. So here she was, a 22-year old music school graduate that could no longer dance, slapped with hundreds of thousands of dollars in hospital bills because of a situation that wasn’t her fault. She said that’s when she started to get involved in health equity and in working to change how the healthcare industry worked. After some time, she realized that she would get further in her passion for health equity¬†and policy change by becoming a doctor, so she enrolled at St. George’s University School of Medicine in the Caribbean, much to the delight of her parents. While she was there she became deeply passionate¬†in getting to know¬†the community surrounding her campus and¬†she also became highly involved in community efforts by working heavily with Doctors for America. After finishing medical school, she took a break and focused on her work with Doctors for America (she was plugging hard for this organization lol), where she got the chance to even open up for President Obama at one point! She then completed her residency with a focus in Social Medicine and is now in Maryland working with the Surgeon General on policy change while at the same time teaching classes at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and treating patients in an innovative¬†& integrative¬†patient-centered environment (google Iora Health). Didn’t I tell you she was freakin’ awesome?

Throughout the whole presentation, she talked about how important it was to not only network on a continuous basis, but to also have a sense of community responsibility, or in her own words, “street cred”. She developed “street cred” with her patients by actually living in the communities she served and by learning where the people in the community went in their everyday lives (churches, grocery stores, parks, etc.). She also made a huge point of talking WITH the patients you’re treating, not talking DOWN on them. Treating your patients with dignity and respect will cultivate an environment of trust and will further build up your “street cred”. Another thing she stressed on was how¬†crucial¬†the “why” was when it comes to doing your job. She repeatedly stated that she has been able to successfully do everything she’s done so far by focusing on why she’s doing it all. Her passion truly guides her as well as drives her. What impressed me even more about her presentation (how is that even possible) was that although her PowerPoint was full of random & simple pictures, she was able to connect each of those pictures to her overall presentation in personal ways, which made her presentation all the more entertaining. She has a very powerful way of expressing her beliefs…she had me captivated throughout the whole presentation, even with the cold she had! Boooyyy she really made a career in Family Medicine sound good. Because Family Medicine is so flexible, she’s been free to pursue her passion of health equity in various ways. She keeps herself busy, but it’s very obvious that she loves what she does. I’m still riding strong for Ophthalmology, but like I’ve said before, I’m keeping my options open…

Okay lemme stop typing in wondrous awe and actually review some more for my test tomorrow. My ol’ ūüėćūüėćūüėć lookin ahhh…

Have a blessed week! And remember, you gotta believe it to achieve it!

We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done. ‚Äď Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

– Black Man, M.D.