Coming Full Circle

Bruh, I was thiiiiis close to being able to say that I finally completed the interview trail.

THIIIIIIIIIIS CLOSE!

(I’m putting my index finger and thumb extremely close to each other over here for emphasis, you just can’t see it….so here’s an emoji 👌🏿)

But thanks to the freakin’ snowstorm last week, a.k.a. Winter Storm Diego (really though, where do they get these storm names from? Does someone decide on random names and put them in a database or something? Alas, I digress…), my UVA interview that was scheduled for last Tuesday had to be moved to a date in January. So I have one more interview to look forward to before I can truly say that I’ve finished the interview season. This also means that I now have to miss a day of my Anesthesiology Sub-Internship to drive up to Charlottesville and back down to Winston-Salem. Thanks a lot Diego. While it is now going to be a bit of an inconvenience to have to interview in January, I’m really glad that UVA was flexible enough to allow me to do so. I’m still looking forward to interviewing there, seeing what the program has to offer, meeting the residents, faculty and staff, and finally finishing out all of my interviews once and for all! 🙌🏿

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While I missed out on my previously scheduled UVA interview, I did get to go to my other interview I had scheduled for last week, which was at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk, VA. As you may or may not already know, I grew up around this area of Virginia, so it was pretty much a homecoming for me. It was surreal being able to walk around the hospital that I grew up hearing so much about as a kid in my community. Also when people asked where I was from during my interview day, I no longer had to say “I’m from the Virginia Beach area of Virginia”, knowing that most people would have no clue where Norfolk or Chesapeake were. I could just proudly say,

“I’m from this area! I actually grew up in both Norfolk and Chesapeake!”

Okay I didn’t really exclaim it all overly excited like a cornball, but you get the idea. The hospital itself was a beautiful one, and I learned that it was the only free-standing hospital in the state of Virginia. I also had pleasant conversations during my actual interviews after being served breakfast in an elegant fashion. And to top it all off, I was placed in the comfiest apartment that I’ve been in since the interview season started, at no cost to me.

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After the interview day, I was even able to drive on home to spend time with my family for a couple of days before flying out to Atlanta, where I’ll be staying up until Christmas Eve. Overall, it was a great interview day and would have been a perfect way to cap off my interview season but you know, Diego.

Before I left to come to Atlanta, I made a quick stop at my former high school to talk to some of my former orchestra teacher’s students at his request. Again, it was very surreal to walk in the halls of my high school once again after graduating from there over seven years ago. Everything looked the same for the most part, but the students walking around literally looked like children to me. It made me think about just how young I was in high school, although I really believed in all my heart and soul that I was grown back then 😂. It was also funny listening to the bells once again, which signaled that it was time to switch classes. (Wow, that bell really used to run my school life lol.)

When I got to the orchestra room, I was again hit with a sentimental wave. I met the students that were there and after introducing myself to them, I began talking about my experiences as a student voyaging from high school to college to medical school. I then turned it into a Q&A session and was instantly hit with a barrage of questions that I was more than happy to answer. I repeated this whole event with his next class as well, who had just as many questions to ask me about my experiences. Overall, there were probably about 70-80 students listening to what I had to say. By listening to what types of questions they asked, I was reminded of how much information I had taken for granted over the years. Some of the things that have become basic facts to me were unknown mysteries to them. This made me even more thankful that I was there to give them some helpful information that even I did not have when I was in their shoes, while also helping them relieve some of the anxiety that a number of them were feeling about college and medical school. Speaking of, the vast majority of them had plans on going to college and a good amount also had aspirations of working in the field of healthcare. Not to mention that they ALL played an instrument. They were an impressive group of students y’all. I had an awesome time spending a couple of hours with them and am grateful for the opportunity that one of my favorite teachers of all time afforded me!

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Those are all the updates I have for you today! Now that I am officially on winter break, I plan on living it up to the fullest, starting with my week here in ATL with my girlfriend, her family and some of our friends! Plus I just upgraded to the iPhone XS, so I’m about to be actin’ a whoooole fool 😏😜😂.

I hope that your week ends up being a spectacular one! And be sure to cherish the time you have with your loved ones this holiday season!

“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” – Michelangelo

– Black Man, M.D.

P.S. – I would begin saying something about the political climate and the current state of the country, but I wouldn’t even know where to start. Y’all already know the insanity going on around us. So I’m going to keep it positive and encourage each of us to do what we can to make the lives of others around us better, no matter how small or big the act of kindness is. Let’s just all continue to support the people who are actively fighting to make this country a better place to live in!

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.

Family Time

Well…

Week 2 of summer vacation has been just as relaxing as Week 1 was.

I could get used to this. 😎

My week back home in VA was comforting, to say the least. I spent a good amount of time with my siblings, who were all ready to play some Monopoly as soon as I got back home. (I started running the game after a slow start and knocked out a few people….but then the dice turned on me and I literally landed either in jail or on one of my brother’s overpriced-ass hotels every time I rolled. I turned into a broke boy with mortgaged properties before my brother ruthlessly slayed me. 😐) I also played a ton of FIFA with my youngest brother and beat him a few times. Unfortunately for my pride, he beat me more than a few times….and he talked hella trash throughout each game. Lol, I wanted to slap him with the back of my hand man. He really has finally hit my level in the one game that I used to consistently crush him in when he was younger. I played a couple of one-on-one basketball games with this same boy and with another crushing blow to my pride, he beat me both times. (We did have a one-point difference with our second game tho…) In my defense, this boy is about 6’1 and balls routinely. I also do admit I’m trash at hooping. 😅 It’s just wild to see my little brothers not only grow into young adults, but to also beat me in things that I used to destroy them in. SMH.

Most of my siblings and I also went laser tagging with some cousins and friends, mostly because I’m a big kid at heart and really wanted to go. That was a ton of fun! And I can’t forget about being able to go to my baby sister’s Student of the Month ice cream celebration that she was so excited for me to come to; she really was happy that I came to her school for that. 😊 I got to spend some quality time with my parents as well. I found it pretty freakin’ cool that I could talk with both of my parents about medical things now that I’ve finished my first year. My dad and I were talking about a number of different drugs on various occasions throughout my stay at home while I was able to assist my mom with a case in some of her doctorate level work. Oh, and the free homemade dinners made by my mom and one of my sisters were soooo clutch. Can never take free food for granted these days man.

Good times, good times.

You really can’t replace family man.

One more thing, I was asked by one of my former optometrists (who actually also keeps up with this blog, shoutout to her!) to visit her and her family when I got in town. So I did along with my brother (not the youngest one) and she introduced me to her stepdaughter who is currently in college and is deciding on what health track she wants to pursue. We all ended up talking for a couple of hours about the possibilities she could pursue, about what medical school was like, how her classes are treating her, and much more. It eventually became clear that she likes dentistry more than any of the other options she has, so she may be checking your teeth out at some point in the future! You better be flossing up! I was real happy to be able to talk with her and to help her in some way with her decision. I was even more touched that my optometrist reached out to me to do so. She even provided Wingstop for lunch! What a kind, kind woman. 😄

So now I’m back in Miami, geared up and ready to start this Motivation summer program. We’re checking in the students today and will officially start the program with Orientation tomorrow. I’ve been looking forward to meeting these twenty-three students and I’m sure that they’ve been looking forward to starting this program for a while now. Time to see what these students are made of! 😈

Hope that you have a brilliant week! Positive vibes over negative vibes!

“The more you are thankful, the more you attract things to be thankful for.”

– Black Man, M.D.