Evolution.

That extra hour that Daylight Savings gave me today was a glorious gift.

I got to “sleep in” and I still got up at a very reasonable time to take full advantage of my day off!

happy fun GIF

It feels great to wake up refreshed and know that you have the full day to do whatever you want with it. My last day off from work was last Sunday, unless you want to count my interview day at CHOP that took place on Tuesday since I didn’t have to work that day either, though I was at the hospital most of the day learning about CHOP and interacting with residents and faculty members. Speaking of, I think interview day went well overall! I got great vibes from the faculty members I interviewed with and it was wonderful to meet both the Residency Program Director as well as the Chair of Pediatrics and Physician-In-Chief of the hospital system. I now have three interviews down, and quite a few more to go! My next one is taking place next Monday in Pittsburgh and just so you know, Pittsburgh and Philly are on OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE STATE. Don’t be a dummy like me and assume that they are close to one another just because they are both cities in Pennsylvania. I had to get a flight because with my tight schedule, I just couldn’t afford to drive 5+ hours to get there and another 5+ hours to get back. SMH. I’ve never been to Pittsburgh before though, so it should be a cool experience!

Back to my second week of my sub-internship at CHOP. I’ve definitely adjusted to the flow of things a lot more since my first couple of days here, and I’ve become more comfortable with my team as time has passed on. With that being said, I’ve come to realize how much this place can humble you. I’ve been consistently challenged to think independently, to provide quality care as the primary “physician” for my patients, and to adjust my performance based on the constant feedback that I’ve been receiving. In these past two weeks, I’ve learned so much not only about medicine and the reality of patient care in an inpatient setting, but also about myself and my strengths and weaknesses. I’ve come to realize that while I may know more than I previously thought I did about certain things, there are also quite a few things that I didn’t know that I didn’t know, if that makes sense.

confused tom cruise GIF

I’m starting to consistently think about and do important things that I had only intermittently thought about or done in the past, such as providing discharge criteria for admitted patients, referencing evidence-based research in my patient presentations, committing to specific plans for specific problems that my patients have, prioritizing important tasks to be completed earlier in the day (discharges, consults, etc.), becoming familiar with the dosing and time intervals of medication administration, coordinating care with other members of the healthcare team, giving concise & high-quality handoffs to interns starting their shift, completing concise discharge summaries, putting in orders; the list goes on and on. I’m literally doing intern-level work with the only difference being that I have a lighter patient load than the interns do, I have less experience than they do (it literally takes me twice as long to do just about anything that they do), and I have some additional support from the senior residents on my team.

While my days have been long and exhausting, my learning experience has been spectacular. There’s nothing like throwing yourself into a sub-internship position in a brand-new city at one of the top children’s hospitals in the world. Some may call it insane, but I call it yanking yourself out of your comfort zone and embarking upon a challenging experience that forces you to evolve and become comfortable being uncomfortable. Okay yeah, I admit it’s pretty insane. It’s actually not what I initially asked for when applying to this visiting clerkship program. However, when this was the only option given to me, I ultimately accepted it because I wanted to experience what working at a hospital like CHOP would be like, I wanted to expand my network by meeting brand-new people and mentors, and I wanted to make the most out of my fourth-year of medical school by diversifying my experiences as much as possible. Plus, it is all being paid for, so why not? 🤷🏿‍♂️

get your billion back make it rain GIF by Billion Back Records

It has been a tough two weeks for sure, but I can literally feel myself becoming a better clinician as a result of this experience. This has definitely been a very necessary experience for my growth, and it’s great to get this insight as to what intern year will most likely look like. Of course now that I’ve started to get into my groove, my schedule is being flipped-turned-upside down and I’m going to be working a week of nights this week, starting tomorrow night.

oh no johnny rose GIF by Schitt's Creek

I’m not sure how this is going to go, but what I do know is that I’m going to continue to do my best and maximize my learning opportunities during my night shifts! I’ll surely be admitting a ton of patients, which will give me great practice in completing the admission process and writing great H&P (History & Physical) notes. Because the night team is much smaller than the day team, I’ll get the opportunity to get more one-on-one time with my senior resident, which will give me more opportunities to elicit feedback in order to continue improving my skills. Only thing that’s really gonna suck is the fact that my sleep schedule is going to be all screwed up, especially the first couple of days. I’m sitting here trying to plot on how to alter my sleep schedule today knowing damn well that I’m going to be tired on my first night shift, no matter what I try to do to prevent it. My circadian rhythm is just that strong. *Siiiiiiiigh*

On that note, I’m going to go ahead and enjoy my day off! I’m sad that I missed both Howard’s homecoming last weekend and UMiami’s homecoming this weekend due to my rotation schedule…they both looked like a lot of fun. Too bad the ‘Canes aren’t doing so hot this year on the football field. Welp, there’s always next year….😪😪😪

Have an amazing week!

ELECTION DAY IS FINALLY UPON US!!! GO VOTE!!!

“One finds limits by pushing them.” – Herbert Simon

– Black Man, M.D.

Demystifying The Unexposed

It has been quite an interesting week so far…and my time throughout Ob/Gyn is only going to get even more interesting.

Orientation for this rotation was about four days long and I had my first clinic day on Friday afternoon. Although each day during orientation was long and packed with information and modules, I found myself really engaged in everything that I was learning and I was very appreciative of the modules and workshops/simulations that we participated in. However, these long days have forced me to play a balancing act with keeping up with my outside studying, since I only have six weeks (now five 😭) to prepare for my upcoming shelf exam. As a matter of fact, I’m already feeling a bit crunched for time, especially since a lot of the material that I’m studying is new to me…but on the bright side, I don’t have to cover anywhere near as much information as I had to cover in the broad clerkship of Internal Medicine!

Like I just said, we were able to participate in some very informative modules, simulations and workshops during our time in orientation. These great learning opportunities included a cervix dilation and effacement palpation activity with plastic models, vaginal delivery simulations with plastic models, videos on incontinence, uterine & cervical cancer, bimanual & breast exams on some more plastic models, tying surgical knots, stitching a wound on pig feet, and performing a very thorough pelvic & breast exam on an actual person who was specially trained to help coach aspiring health professionals in performing these exams (this was quite a strange experience, but she was very good at keeping the atmosphere light and also made sure that none of us felt awkward about performing our exams! I learned so much from this particular activity!)

The hands-on approach of these learning opportunities made the information stick with me so much better than if I had to learn it all by simply reading a textbook. It also gave me more confidence (not a lot though) in performing breast and pelvic exams, exams that I’ll be having to perform on actual patients very, very soon.

 community donald nervous donald glover troy barnes GIF

My experience in an outpatient Ob/Gyn clinic on Friday afternoon was pretty chill overall. I had a fantastic attending who had patients that absolutely loved him, and whose appointments consisted mainly of quick prenatal checkups and pap smears. I was given multiple opportunities to use a doppler fetal monitor to listen for fetal heartbeats, which was a pretty neat experience! I interacted with patients who ranged from being early on in their first pregnancy to being about a couple of weeks from giving birth to their third child. The emotions emitted by all of the mothers I interacted with were fascinating and mainly consisted of excitement, concern and joy of having the blessed opportunity to give this world another human being. One other thing that gave me pause while at the clinic was the number of women around my age or younger who were pregnant with their second or third child. Unlike in high school where having a baby as a teenager was viewed in a stigmatizing manner, I’m at the age where starting a family is actually pretty common and widely viewed as normal. However even with that said, I couldn’t even begin to imagine becoming a father right now. I definitely couldn’t handle being completely responsible for another human being at this stage in my life, let alone financially afford it. It has always been intriguing to see how different the lives of others who are around my age are from my own, and I’m sure that this observation will only continue to get even more intriguing as I grow older. Interacting with these young patients also reminded me of just how much older I’m becoming. With my 24th birthday coming up next week, I’ll officially be in my mid-20s. That’s preeeeetty bewildering to me. It means that I really have to seriously think about some of the critical details concerning my future, because it’s no longer some distant time period that I can deal with later. Now is the “later” that I’ve been telling myself for years. Gulp.

Well like I said earlier, I’ve been feeling a bit crunched for time lately, so I’m going to end this post now. I got videos to watch, questions to answer, text to read, and a week of outpatient care to prepare for. Sigh. Thankfully, my girl visited me this weekend and has made my weekend work more bearable! 😄

Make sure to have a stellar week!

“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.” – Rikki Rogers

– Black Man, M.D.