Same Building, Different Views.

Happy Fathers’ Day to all of you dedicated and respectable fathers out there adequately taking care of your families!

I was thankfully able to make it home this weekend to not only spend Fathers’ Day with my dad, but to also celebrate my siblings’ graduation from high school as well as to spend some necessary quality time with my family after several tough weeks of dealing with my grandma’s rapidly deteriorating health and eventual passing. I wasn’t able to stay home for long, but the time I spent with everyone was extremely worthwhile and refreshing. I didn’t get much studying done while at home, but I did get a rejuvenating dose of motivation to continue grinding! I also received an unexpected dose of motivation from the Financial Aid office a few days ago, who decided to update me on the amount of money that I currently owe to the government.

 meme crying memes mj michael jordan GIF

Go ahead and try to guess the amount I’m currently shackled with. Here’s a hint: I currently have a six-digit negative net worth. Let’s just say that with the amount I owe, I could easily purchase a $200,000+ house in a nice surburban area.

LAAAWWWWD.

But it’s all good though, I’m gonna pay it all off in the distant future. No point in worrying about something that I can’t necessarily control for the moment. All I can do is continue learning from my clinical experiences and formulating a foundation of knowledge that I’ll effectively utilize for the rest of my career as a physician.

Speaking of which, I had quite an interesting week in my most recent week as a third-year medical student. I was afforded the opportunity to participate in a week-long collaborative interprofessional practice immersion experience (Walk In Their Shoes “WITS”), where I took on the role of various providers of healthcare and learned about their respective responsibilities on the healthcare team. I was also able to gain valuable insight from these different providers of care and appreciate the various perspectives that they harbored. I ended up taking on the role of seven different healthcare professionals overall! At certain times of the week, you could find me working as a Nurse Assistant, a Speech Therapist, a Bridge Nurse (Nurse Navigator), a member of the Rapid Response Team, a Charge Nurse, a Pharmacist, and a Bedside Nurse.

  • Nurse Assistant: I spent the majority of the morning watching the nurse assistant routinely take vital signs, attending to the patients’ needs and helping clean patients as needed. It was a relatively slow morning so I was able to study a bit as well!
  • Speech Therapist: I assisted with monitoring and testing the swallowing function of various patients. In between seeing patients I ended up learning A TON about this profession from the speech therapist that I was following, who was very enthusiastic about teaching me everything she did! She was also quizzing me constantly in order to make sure I understood what she was saying. It was a very interesting experience!
  • Bridge Nurse (Nurse Navigator): In this role, I observed how these nurses worked to “bridge the gap” for patients as they were getting ready to be discharged from the hospital. They did so by communicating interprofessionally with other folks on the team (social workers, physicians, pharmacists, etc.) with the goals of not only preventing the patients from having to return to the hospital, but to also make sure that they understood what they needed to do once they were officially discharged. This is such a neat and highly necessary concept that I very-much-so believe positively influences the quality of patient care.
  • Rapid Response Team: I spent the afternoon responding to calls from different departments of the hospital and adequately managing the situations that we were informed about. Nothing too crazy happened during my experience, so we were able to have some great conversations with one another during our downtime. The people I worked with on the team, who were all nurses, were extremely laid-back and just simply cool people to be around. I had a blast spending my afternoon with them!
  • Charge Nurse: My morning as a charge nurse was pretty chill overall. I helped monitor a couple of patients and observed the charge nurse manage the other nurses on the floor. She was fun to be around and had a great personality that the rest of the nursing staff thoroughly enjoyed!
  • Pharmacist: As an inpatient pharmacist, I was given a tour around the pharmacy lab as well as the pharmacy “outpatient clinic” located in the hospital. I also learned a great deal about the roles of the different staff members of the pharmacy team in the hospital and observed as the pharmacist gave updates about each patient’s medications. This was a really cool experience!
  • Bedside Nurse: This was my busiest experience all week. We were literally on our feet all morning as we gave scheduled medications to our patients, educated them about various things and attended to each of their specific needs. It was great!

It was so cool to experience each of their perspectives of healthcare and to witness the impact that each of their respective professions had on the quality of patient care. In addition, my already immense respect for nurses only further increased after having worked alongside them all week. From the Nursing Assistants to the Nurse Practitioners, it’s very obvious just how critical the nursing staff as a whole is to maintaining quality patient care.

Now that WITS week is over, I’m spending this upcoming week at an outpatient health clinic. I’m looking forward to not having to wake up at 4:45 AM! If you didn’t already know, the hardest part of third-year so far for me is getting out of bed at ungodly hours of the morning. But I’ve been getting used to it!

Time for me to get a bit of studying in. Make sure to have a wonderful week!

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” – Luke 6:31

– Black Man, M.D.

Cruisin’

First off, I have to wish a Happy Fathers’ Day to all the incredible fathers out there that have dedicated their lives to providing for their families! Each of you are deeply appreciated and serve as outstanding role models to not only your children, but to the greater society as a whole. I know that for me, my own father played (and continues to play) a HUGE factor in making me the man I am today…and I don’t think I can ever thank him enough for that. He continues to inspire me and to push me to become greater than I could ever imagine myself to be. I hope that some of his great qualities have trickled on down to me and that I can be at least half the man he is for my future kid(s). However, I definitely don’t plan on having any little Christels running circles around me anytime soon, so I still have a good amount of time to get up to his level.

And whaddya know, it also happens to be Juneteenth! For those of you unfamiliar with Juneteenth, lemme break it down for you real quick. It’s the day that commemorates the actual end of slavery in the United States. On June 19th, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived at Galveston, Texas and informed the locals there that: 1) the Civil War had officially ended and 2) all enslaved peoples were now free. The Emancipation Proclamation had legally freed all slaves in the country a couple of years prior, but Texas didn’t really give a Massachusetts (sound it out a couple of times, it’ll come to ya 😏). So they continued to enforce slavery until this day came about in 1865. So to put it simply, Juneteenth is a day of freedom and celebration in the African-American community. If you’re just dying to learn more about it, click here! (If you couldn’t tell, I’ve recently learned how to hyperlink and I’m lowkey addicted now 😅)

How nice it is to have Fathers’ Day and Juneteenth fall on the same day. Special shoutout to all the Black fathers out there! Pour two up for fatherhood and freedom!

As for me, I’m currently cruising comfortably thru Summer ’16. It’s already been two weeks since the Motivation program started, and I’m all ready to continue striding into the third week. The students have been very receptive to the program so far and are a pretty tight-knit group of people. They’re definitely starting to feel the pressures of the classes they’re taking, but it seems like they’ve been taking it well overall. They also had their first round of clinical rotations last Friday and just about everyone I’ve talked to said that it was a fantastic experience. Hopefully they can carry their happy spirits into the weeks ahead! Aside from working in the program, I’ve been relaxing for the most part and spending quality time with friends down here. I’ve also been dabbling a bit into next year’s subject material, because why not? I’m not hardcore studying or anything, because I’ll have time to do that in less than a couple of months…plus ain’t no one got time for all that. But I’ve been peeking into what I’ll be facing in my second year in order to get a feel of what to expect and just simply out of curiosity. It’s funny because whenever someone sees me looking at med school stuff, they always exclaim, “WOW! You’re studying?? During your summer break?!?” Lol, as if I can’t open a review book and enjoy my summer at the same time. Plus, I need something to do while I’m in class with the students, so why not preview the organ systems? It’s actually some interesting stuff. In addition, if I hated learning about how the body worked, I wouldn’t be in the medical field. So, yeah. Apart from all that, it’s been great to finally catch up on movies that I’ve been meaning to watch. There’s so many out there man. Watching old episodes of the Bernie Mac show has been fun too. And you can’t really beat kicking back to do some summer reading while watching the palm trees sway. (Yeah, yeah, I read for fun. You gonna try and stop me?) 

So that’s that. I’m going to continue enjoying my summer, and you should do the same! Make your week a spectacular one!

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

– Nelson Mandela

– Black Man, M.D.

P.S. – I really hate the rainy season down here.