I haven’t written anything lately for this blog. Block 3 is already upon us. (Seriously. There’s only 7 blocks for the YEAR and we’re at the 3rd one already?) I have no idea where the month of October went, but it went far too quickly.
Here is what has been keeping me busy, outside of schoolwork and wife/mom time:
My sister-in-law’s wedding. Megan and Dustin got married on the same night as our annual Halloween party at school, affectionately called Cadaver Ball. I didn’t get to go last year due to being sick (from pregnancy….that no one knew about at the time), and I was really hoping to go this year. The wedding was pretty nice (given the pickup trucks that served as an aisle, the barn in the background, and the Jack Daniels’ label invitations…), we got to see family, and our sweet Ladybug was good as gold, as usual. It was wonderful, but we got home really late, which I hadn’t planned on.
Aunt Kathy’s Kicked Cancer Party! My aunt(-in-law) finished her chemo for breast cancer, and her daughter planned a wonderful surprise party for her. It was so much fun to get to surprise her (and she loved spending more time with Ladybug!). We are so proud of her!
My birthday! So this year has been nuts so far and I kinda forgot my own birthday. Because it’s not a big deal anymore. I’m fine with keeping this number as my “last birthday” and letting that be that. I had family and a friend over for chili (that I made), we ate a grocery store cake (I wasn’t baking my own cake on a Tuesday…), and I went to bed early. Such excitement, I tell you.
My article was picked up by SDN! And…. my editors have asked me to start writing a column since the feedback and viewership of my last article was so positive! I am very excited about this!
In speaking of publications, a piece I wrote has been accepted for publication it the next edition of Abaton! This makes my second piece published here.
The Biennial Conference of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation was held in Atlanta, and my abstract was presented! I’m hoping to get to go again during 4th year; maybe as a spinoff project from my Distinction Track.
Ebola Fundraiser: a professor at my school has been at home in Sierra Leone treating Ebola patients while working for an NGO, and has finally been allowed back to the States to teach. She has graciously accepted our invitation to speak about her experiences to our Global Health Interest Group. Ebola is ubiquitous in the news lately, and there is a lot of misinformation (or just plain BAD information!) circulating in every form. Because of this, and because the problem in Sierra Leone is so severe, a few colleagues and I have been working with the faculty at the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health to put on an information program for health science workers as well a fundraiser to ship supplies to Sierra Leone. This program took place yesterday, and we had a great turnout with lots of great discussion! We are hoping to raise some funds tomorrow night at the “Beers for Ebola” event at a local newspaper.
SMILE: I adore this program. Two shifts every month, I have the privilege to spend time playing with the kiddos in the hematology/oncology ward at our freestanding children’s hospital. This has been an eye-opening program and I have learned so much about the humanistic side of medicine through interacting with these kids and their families. I admire the courageous kids and the strength of the parents. I have no idea how they are able to cope, but they are an inspiration to me.
St. Baldrick’s: St. Baldrick’s is an organization that supports children with cancer. Volunteers (“shavees”) shave their heads to be in solidarity with these kids, while raising funds for pediatric oncology research. While I have the opportunity to shave my head, I think I will bypass that and offer to donate my hair to make wigs for pediatric cancer patients. I’ve donated my hair before, but this offers the opportunity to also raise funds for a worthy cause! Feel like donating? Visit their website at:
Systole: Our school’s literary magazine is now completely student-led, and is currently accepting submissions. I haven’t worked on a literary magazine in a few years, so I’m excited for this opportunity.
Heart2Heart Discussion Series: There is a group on campus composed of faculty, staff, and students dedicated to fostering humanism in medicine. This group is an umbrella for several programs–a chapter of the Gold Humanism Honor Society, the literary magazine Systole, and the Heart2Heart discussion series. Last year a session was held on human trafficking, including how to spot instances of trafficking and who to turn to for help for these (usually) women. This year, we’re working on having two sessions, one later this semester and one in the spring.
These are all the projects that I’m working on for the year, which keeps me engaged and foster my interests outside of medicine. Sometimes, I get volunteered for stuff that I don’t want to do. I don’t know who thinks this is funny or a good idea, but I am definitely going to have to start saying NO. For instance, back at the beginning of the semester, someone gave my name to a professor who needed volunteers for an event. The professor asked that information be shared with the listserv email addresses, and I was cc’d on this email. Since I had no idea what they were talking about and it didn’t seem to pertain to me, I ignored the email. A week later, I got a very nasty email about not having a list of volunteers yet. So I rounded up quite a few volunteers, only to be told the very next day that they weren’t needed. This was a giant Charlie Fox that I hope to avoid in the future.
This year is flying by. I’m having so much fun (But I’m still learning a ton and working really hard!). Overall, though, this is exactly why I love medicine so very much–you can do just about anything you want, from teaching to research to literary art to fundraising for good causes… it’s incredible. I’m still going to lectures, using an insane amount of resources (including First Aid for the USMLE Step 1–which I officially registered for today!), sleeping, playing with my Ladybug when I pick her up from daycare, and doing well in classes. There IS time for life outside of school and doing stuff that I love. I’m having a blast as a second-year medical student!