New Year, Harder Hustle.

First things first.

I would like to wish each of you a

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

We all had both great moments and terrible moments last year, but through it all we were all able to not only learn from them, but grow from them as well. 2016 was a hell of a year in many different aspects. Best believe, 2017 will be a new year full of opportunities and further growth! Whether you plan on working on a new resolution or continuing to further improve on an already existing resolution, the arrival of the new year is definitely a wonderful and convenient checkpoint that is available for your usage. As for me, I’m using this checkpoint to not only improve on existing resolutions that I established for myself long ago, but to also double-down my efforts on school, for there is going to be quite a number of unusual challenges coming my way this year. From studying & taking the Step 1 exam to transitioning from second-year to third-year, I’m absolutely certain that I’ll be much busier than I have been in recent memory. However, the challenges that will surely present themselves to me this year will only serve to solidify my faith and strength as well as my determination in reaching the goals that I’ve set for myself. With patience, perseverance, and positive vibes, I’m sure that I’ll be able to handle any circumstances that may come my way and that I’ll be able to make the best out of them in order to further evolve into a better version of myself. You have the power to overcome the challenges that may run into you as well! As long as you can conceive it and believe it, you can absolutely achieve it!

With classes starting back up in a couple of days, it’s only right that I recap how the rest of my break went. It has actually been an awesome week! Ever since I wrote to you last Sunday, I’ve done quite a bit of travelling. As a matter of fact, I’ve been on an airplane on three separate occasions within this past week. And after leaving from Atlanta tomorrow, it’ll be four times. I’ve definitely set a new record for myself with that lol.

I spent the rest of Christmas Day with my family, cousins and close family friends, playing card games, FIFA and catching up with them throughout the night. We also had a pretty filling dinner! It was almost like a sequel to Thanksgiving Dinner! The next morning, I left home and drove to Greensboro, NC in order to catch a flight to Atlanta to spend some time with my girlfriend and her family. I’ve been straight up chillin’ since I got here, and have been continuously blessed with good food and company, just like I was back at home with my own family. I watched a good amount of football, Food Network (didn’t have much of a say in that), and Netflix, as well as hit up Lenox mall and the movies to watch Fences, starring both Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. I then had to catch a flight last Thursday afternoon to Miami in order to attend a wedding that one of my fraternity brothers invited me to. I had only been to one wedding before, so I wasn’t really sure of what to expect. It turned out to be a really great time! It was a small, outdoor wedding and it was actually quite breezy. The reception was really fun too, and both the bride and groom looked ecstatic the whole time. I had a blast catching up with my brothers and am honored to have been able to attend the wedding ceremony. I flew back to ATL yesterday morning for New Years’ and went out to dinner with my girlfriend and her family at this all-you-can-eat Italian restaurant called Maggiano’s. Soon after that, I brought in the New Year with her, some of her sorority sisters, and some old friends that I hadn’t seen in quite a while. I then woke up this morning, praised God, and am now here typing this post. Like I said before, it has been an awesome week. I just have today and tomorrow left until I start up the never-ending grind again, but I’m ready for it. Could I use another week or two of break? Well, yeah. Of course I could. But beggars can’t be choosers right? So if I gotta suit up and get back to grinding on this Renal pathology, then so be it! Better to be mentally prepared for the grind than to be dreading it…POSITIVE VIBES PEOPLE!!!

I hope you all brought the New Year in a safe and fun way and that you start it off on a high note! Here’s to a blessed and prosperous 2017!

“Never allow waiting to become a habit. Live your dreams and take risks. Life is happening now.” – Paulo Coelho

– Black Man, M.D.

Holiday Cheer!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

JOYEUX NOËL!!!

FELIZ NAVIDAD!!!

What a wonderful day! And Happy Birthday to the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! Waking up at almost noon today is in stark contrast to how I used to wake up all giddy and whatnot at 8 AM as a kid on Christmas Day. I was just happy to get some extra sleep after having a late night last night lol. After hearing my little sisters plead to me for a couple of minutes to wake up, I finally got out of my bed to go help pass out the presents under the Christmas tree. After waiting for an additional hour or so for the 10+ people currently residing in my house to gather in the family room, we finally began to pass out gifts to everyone. Of course, I was the designated Santa…so I passed out gifts to everyone that had been nice enough all year to receive one. I ended up getting a hat & scarf from my older sister, a Cameroonian shirt from my little brother, and a full piece suit with some brown dress shoes from my mom. ‘Twas a good Christmas indeed. Sure is an upgrade from the pajamas and wheat bran flakes I got last year 😂😂😂. Everyone else seemed to be very satisfied with what they received as well; gifts ranged from a Barbie dollhouse and Beats headphones to an iPod touch and an iPhone 7, with a bunch of clothes handed out as well. Now as I type this, everyone is playing with their new toys and a delicious Christmas dinner is being conjured up! I love the holidays!

fresh prince of bel air

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day or any other holiday in this season, I hope that you have an amazing time with friends, family and all of the other people in your life whom you hold dear. In this crazy world, times like this have become much more important to me, especially since I only see my family a few times a year. Spending time with them and old friends this past week has allowed me to continue to appreciate both them and the necessary downtime from the rigors of med school. Plus, the spirit of the holidays tend to bring about a special kind of cheer and joy to everyone. Unless you’re a Grinch. So with that said, please have a safe and happy holiday season! Stay warm and be sure to bring in your New Year with positivity and prosperity!

“It’s not possible to experience constant euphoria, but if you’re grateful, you can find happiness in everything.” – Pharrell Williams

– Black Man, M.D.

Christel Wekon-Kemeni, (3/8) M.D.

Winter Break is Here!!!

And you already know what that means…

I’m three semesters deep into my MD program!!!

tv happy smile excited the fresh prince of bel air

After next semester, I’ll be halfway done with medical school! Isn’t that insane? And soon after next semester, I’ll be starting my clinical rotations in the hospital! I can hardly believe it. The closer I get towards obtaining my medical degree, the more surreal it all feels. Rounding in the hospital as a third-year medical student still seems like a foreign world to me…yet I’m going to be be doing just that in five short months. And then before I know it, I’ll be graduating from medical school with my M.D. I’ll officially be a physician. A relatively inexperienced physician, but a physician nonetheless. Incredible.

But before I get to third-year, I have to get through my final semester of basic science classwork and through the USMLE Step 1 checkpoint. That test is really creeping up on me yo. Winter Break is gonna come and go and then January and February will fly by. Then it’ll be March, which is when I start my Step Study Period. Then April 10th will come and BOOM. I’ll be taking one of the most important tests of my life. Boy am I ready to get that test over with. Too bad I’m nowhere near prepared to take it. It’s all good though, I’ll get a study schedule ready and will commit to it when the time comes.

Enough about all that though.

I felt that the renal physiology exam I took this past Friday went pretty good. It was a short test (60 questions), but the questions were really detailed so I had to take quite a bit of time with about half the questions. However, I felt confident about the vast majority of my answers overall. But as we all know, we never know how well we truly did until we get those scores back. So there’s that. When school starts back up again in January, we’ll be tackling renal pathology, which I hear is a bit easier than it’s physiology counterpart. That’s always a good thing to hear, although I actually didn’t mind renal physiology at all. Don’t get me wrong though, it was definitely tough as hell to wrap my head around at first.

A couple days before the test, I took a study break by volunteering at the DEAC free clinic run by Wake’s medical students and practiced my patient interview skills there with an older lady who needed to check her bloodwork. She had been advised to start a healthier diet a few months back after it was discovered that her triglyceride (molecule of fat) levels were really high. She took on the healthier diet challenge, so she was excited to see the results of her hard work, and also expressed interest in smoking cessation after being a smoker for 34 years. She also came with complaints of a sinus infection, which has afflicted her a few times a year for the past 30+ years. It was nice just being out in the community and helping solve real medical issues that real people were having instead of being hunched over a desk answering practice questions about the physiology of the kidneys. I helped gather her information, was able to practice my presentation skills to an experienced physician, took her to the lab so her blood could be taken, and helped decide what medications we were going to give her. I always tend to have a nice experience every time I volunteer at the DEAC free clinic…I should really go more often.

Finally, I was given the opportunity to assist in giving a presentation to Black high-schoolers interested in health professions yesterday morning at a local YMCA. The 50+ group of high schoolers were actually called the Young Black Achievers. Pretty dope name, in my opinion. As one of the three presenters, I talked with them about my journey and how it shaped me to be where I’m at today. They were high-school students, so you can imagine their restlessness as they sat there for a couple hours as we talked. But it was a great experience overall, and I’m glad to have been able to talk with them as well as to help answer all the questions they had. I also learned quite a bit about the other two presenters, both of whom were my classmates/friends. Representation is so key y’all. It really matters!

I have a great feeling that this Winter Break is going to be an awesome one! I have a ton planned for it, including spending quality time with my family, traveling to Atlanta to visit my girlfriend and her family, and flying down to Miami to attend a wedding. I’m looking forward to it all!

I hope you have an unforgettable and a happy holiday season! Be sure to count your blessings!

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” – Helen Keller

– Black Man, M.D.

P.S. – Special shoutout to my girlfriend because today is her birthday!! Happy Birthday Babe! 😁

Christel Wekon-Kemeni, (1/8) M.D.

 

Aye….guess what?

 

I JUST SPRINTED THRU THE FINISH LINE!!!

MY FIRST SEMESTER OF MEDICAL SCHOOL IS OVER!!!

 

 

 

The morning of July 27th almost feels like a lifetime ago…but at the same time, it’s incredible that we’re already in the middle of December. I really had to pause for a minute and reflect that it has really been 21 weeks since my first day of Orientation. 21 weeks. If we wanna count days, that’s 145 days starting from 9:00 A.M that July morning (7/27) up until last Friday (12/18) at noon.

145 days.

Bruh, that’s 3,459 hours.

Better yet, that’s 207,540 minutes.

I’ve been an official medical student for 207, 540+ minutes. Sheesh.

I’m so glad to be on this two-week break. SO GLAD. Like, I don’t know if you fully understand. These days of relaxation and celebration ahead of me are making me very, VERY ecstatic. I’ve been looking forward to them for a very, VERY long time. I had been looking forward to Thanksgiving too, but I had to worry about an impending Biochemistry exam. With this winter break, there are no impending exams. As a matter of fact, we don’t take our next test until the end of January. Turn uhhhhhh!!

Speaking of tests, let me tell you about this Genetics/Pharmacology exam that we took this past Friday. It was supposed to be very straightforward and relatively easier compared to the tests we have taken this semester. Our professors had implicitly assured us that we would be 100% prepared for the exam.

“You just have to know the overall concept,” they said.

“I won’t test you on specific details,” they said.

Of course, when a teacher says don’t worry about a particular thing in their notes, I still glance at it and make mental notes…but I definitely didn’t commit a majority of what they said not to worry about to memory. Also, the questions about the concepts that we needed to know were made quite a bit harder than I anticipated. That’s why my jaw had dropped so hard to the floor by the time I hit the 10th question. You know it’s gonna be a long test when you spend a good 25 minutes on the first ten questions…and mark near half of them to come back for review. There were only 66 questions on the test too, so each question had a good amount of weight on it, which made it all the more important to get as few wrong as possible. I had come into the test feeling so prepared, just KNOWING that I had a shot at getting a score in the 90’s for once, maybe even…….a perfect score?? 👀 👀 👀 But it turns out that the professors had ulterior motives. I went from shooting for a score in the 90’s on question 1 to just tryna make it through the test by question 45. Don’t get me wrong, there were definitely some pretty straightforward questions on the test that were easy to get through…but there were also quite a few complex, wordy questions with weirdly descriptive answers. We were basically bamboozled into thinking that it was going to be an easy test. But of course, it was made a lot harder than it needed to be. It was sad yo. And the whole experience was made even more dreadful with the crashing of the testing system in the middle of the examination period. I had already answered all my questions and was 10 questions away from completing my exam review when it crashed on me. When it crashed, a white screen popped up with a small sentence that stated that the system crashed and that I needed to restart my test.

Bruh, I was so scared that I lost all my answers. I literally stared at that white screen for a couple of minutes before realizing that half the people in my testing room had the same issue. The exam proctors were stuck with trying to figure out how to fix this issue while keeping a room full of highly annoyed medical students calm. Thankfully, they helped us in getting the issue resolved and I didn’t lose any of my answers…but not before having to sit there for an additional 30 minutes in that room when I had been literally 5 minutes away from submitting my exam. But oh well, such is life. Like I’ve said with my tests in the past, I’m sure I passed it…I just don’t know by how much.

Whaaaaatever, it’s done with and I’m chillin’ now. I’m going to have a blast spending Christmas with my family here in VA and then spending New Years’ with my girlfriend down in ATL. I don’t even wanna think about medicine right now. Thing is, I repeatedly find myself not only accidentally using medical terms when talking with my family, but also thinking about the mechanisms of the most random things. Sigh. I suppose this is what my life is becoming. I guess it isn’t so bad. Could very easily be a 100,000x worse.

I’m currently catching the itis because I just had some amazing iHop, so all I want to do is nap…but my brothers are begging to get their asses beat at FIFA, so now I gotta go and serve them the fixings. So I’ll leave with wishing each of you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy Holidays!

Please be safe and enjoy your loved ones! 

Be blessed!

– Black Man, M.D.