Shifting Into High Gear

I’ve been putting in MAD hours on the road as of late.

This past week alone, I drove from Philly down to Richmond in VA, down to Chapel Hill, back up to Richmond to pick up my brothers, over to my family in Southeast VA, BACK up to Richmond to drop off my bros, down back here to Chapel Hill where I’m currently typing up this post. I don’t even want to begin counting the number of miles that I’ve driven so far, much less the money I’ve spent on gas alone. The craziest part of it all is that my travels are only just beginning. 😩 I’m going to spend most of my day tomorrow driving down to Atlanta for my interview at Emory on Tuesday. Then on Tuesday afternoon, I’ll be FINALLY making my way back up to Winston-Salem for the first time since my Wake interview back in early October. But then at the end of the week, I’m going to be driving back down to Charlotte for another interview before having to freakin’ drive back home to Virginia to pick up my car.

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Yeah, you read that right.

Let me take a second to give you some context real quick. My car needed to pass the Virginia state inspection by the end of this month because my clearance from last year’s inspection will be expiring at the end of this week. So with that said, my plan was to take my car to get inspected during Thanksgiving break and have it pass the inspection with flying colors before continuing on with my life. Well, as you may have already correctly guessed by now, there were other plans written in the stars for me. Turns out that my car had a benign issue that made it ineligible to pass the state inspection and I got a big fat rejection sticker placed on my windshield.

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Of course I couldn’t drive around with a rejection sticker on my car, so I had to leave it with a dealership that is currently working on fixing the issue. In the meantime, I was forced to pay for a rental car, which I’ll be driving around this week until I get back home this upcoming weekend. Let’s look on the bright side though, at least I didn’t have to pay a young renter fee! Look at my age coming in clutch lol. Shoutout to being 25 and alive!

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After having to drive home and back this upcoming weekend, I’ll get a break from long-distance traveling because my next two interviews will be at UNC and Duke, which are pretty close to each other. Then I’ll be driving up to UVA the following week before driving home once more to complete my interview at EVMS in Norfolk. After that I’ll be done with my interviews for December! But then I’ll be traveling to Atlanta to spend some time with my girlfriend’s family before coming back home to spend the other half of my winter break with my own family. Then I’ll be driving back to Winston to start my next rotation.

SO. MUCH. TRAVELING.

It definitely could be worse though, so I’m not gonna complain much about it. I’m just going to be listening to a LOT of music these next few weeks. I also got Michelle Obama’s new book on Audible as well as a book by Malala Yousafzai, so I’m going to be learning much more about their respective lives too! I’ve already got a headstart on “Becoming Michelle Obama”, and I love it so far! 😁

I don’t really have much else to say other than that I really enjoyed having fun and catching up with friends and family during my Thanksgiving break. As always, the food was delicious and I had a blast playing Monopoly, UNO and FIFA with my siblings and cousins. My brothers and I even found our old Yu-Gi-Oh cards and dueled each other with them! 😂😂😂 I also spent some time helping my dad out at his pharmacy (BEDEI Compounding Pharmacy Services) and trying to get other areas of my life back in order after having spent the vast majority of my time this past month working in the hospital as a Sub-Intern.

In regards to my interview day at VCU this past Monday, the interviews themselves were a bit different from the interviews I’ve had so far at other institutions, but the people there were real nice, the food was wonderful and the hospital looked great! The pre-interview dinner was held at a resident’s house, which had the effect of making the interactions with the residents more intimate. We also got a trolley bus tour of the city of Richmond, where I learned a ton of information about the city that I wasn’t privy to before. With that interview day now over and behind me, I can comfortably say that I feel as if I’m hitting my stride on this interview trail! I’ve now completed five interviews and I think that I’ve gotten a good feel of what both the typical pre-interview dinner and the typical interview day is like. I hope that I can continue to maintain my stride as I work to sprint through these next six interviews taking place within the span of the next three weeks! 😅

I hope that you had an amazing Thanksgiving! Now that we’re all refreshed and ready to go, let’s make this last week of November a glorious one!

“Nothing will work unless you do.” – Maya Angelou

– Black Man, M.D.

Fulfilling Opportunities

Okay first things first.

I saw Presidential-Nominee Hillary Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama on Thursday!

It was awesome getting to see them, especially since I learned that they were going to be in Winston only a few days prior to the event. As you can see, the rally was stupid packed…I barely got into the stadium even though I was in the student line! The general admission line was insanely long; I don’t even know if some of those people made it into the stadium honestly. When I got in with some friends, we didn’t even have seats…so we improvised and stood behind the last row of seats in a section lol. I had already seen Hillary a couple of times prior before back in college, but it was my first time seeing Michelle Obama and let me tell you, she was absolutely PHENOMENAL. So phenomenal that Hillary actually spoke before her, as if she was opening up for the First Lady. After the rally, I wanted to run up and take a picture with them but you know how that goes with Secret Service and all. Plus we were not tryna get caught up in the crazy traffic back to school, which we ended up stuck in anyway for over an hour. For no good reason either. 😒 But anyways, if you haven’t voted already, GO VOTE!!! Early voting is currently going on! To sum up what President Obama said, our future and well-being is on the ballot! I put my ballot in last Monday, so my voice has been heard. Make sure yours is too!

Also, I had a pretty interesting weekend that involved Wake Homecoming Black Alumni festivities, North Carolina A&T Homecoming festivities (Also known as #GHOE), and dressing up as one of my favorite childhood superheros. Can you guess who??

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And tell me why I ran into Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry for a third time this weekend? We pretty much besties now, you can’t tell me otherwise. It was an amusing weekend overall and I stayed up much later than I would have liked to both Friday and Saturday. However, I did fit in some volunteer time as well as adequate study time so I’m still all caught up on my lecture material!

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Which brings me to my next point. I started the Gastrointestinal block this past Monday and so far, I haven’t had any qualms about it. I feel like it definitely has been the most straightforward block yet and I’ve been able to keep up with everything since I’ve been attending every class so far. Go figure. It’s been nice to have been able to go to class and grasp some understanding from lecture…believe it or not, that doesn’t work all the time for me. It just depends on who’s lecturing and how they do so. Some lecturers read off their slides while others truly talk about what they’re presenting so that we can understand their material. It’s been the latter this past week, which is why I’ve been in class this week lol. I’ll just keep on truckin’ through this block and before I know it, I’ll be stuffing my face with great homemade food at the dinner table on Thanksgiving with my family!

Couple more things.

One, I attended a talk that described the USMLE Step 1 Exam in more detail earlier this past week and how pressing it is for our future. Like we weren’t fully aware of that already. I feel like I should begin reviewing past material now and slowly pick up the pace as the weeks go on. I also need to begin focusing on how to maximize the use of test-taking strategies, because me and standardized tests never really got along too well. You know what, I don’t even wanna talk about Step anymore. Instead, I’ll tell you about how the chapter of the Student National Medical Association at my school is hosting the annual Regional Medical Education Conference this weekend! Our region consists of medical schools in the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. So this means that I’ll be getting the chance to meet a lot of new people as well as catch up with other medical students in the region that I haven’t talked to in a while. Only thing that sucks is that I’m missing my alma mater’s homecoming because of this conference…but it should be a good time nonetheless!

Other thing is that I had the chance to actually follow up on a case that I had during my CPE week. A kid had come to my CPE preceptor’s office a couple weeks ago with complaints of nightly fevers that took place for over two weeks and constant pain in his upper back. We had no idea what was going on with him, so we ran some blood tests and after a day or so, my preceptor had him transferred to the main Wake Forest hospital. This past week, my preceptor emailed me to see if I wanted to go and check in with the med team working on the kid at the hospital and of course I did, so I went to do so. It was quite awkward walking into the small room of upper-level med students and residents that made up that med team, but I went ahead and asked about the patient. They seemed to be pleasantly surprised that I actually went out of my way to come and talk to them about the kid and were enthusiastic about updating me on his condition. Turns out he had this condition called “cat-scratch disease“, a condition where a bacterium called Bartonella henselae infects an individual after a cat literally scratches that person. I had learned about it last year, but this was my first time seeing a patient with that condition. It was pretty cool to have been able to see that, although I’m sure the kid wasn’t feeling too cool about having the disease. He’s going to get better though; he was prescribed some antibiotics (azithromycin to be specific).

That’s it for this post! Be sure to have a splendid week!

“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.” – Jerry Rice

– Black Man, M.D.

P.S. – I just got back from a Diwali (Hindu New Year) celebration with some of my friends! There was good Indian food as well as cool traditional Indian outfits involved. I love being able to learn a bit about other cultures…it’s almost like I’m traveling the world free of charge lol. Happy Diwali! Oh, and be on the lookout for new Health Career Spotlights coming up in the future!