Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Quickies: Exams, In 'n Out, and Old Friends

I know it has been a while since I last posted. It has been pretty darn busy round these parts lately. Here's a little update:

1. Exams:
I took two exams over the weekend. On Thursday night, after finishing work around 630pm, I drove to Bakersfield and spent the night because on Friday morning, bright and early, I had my Surgical Shelf exam. 100 questions, multiple choice, 2 hours. Not too bad. We must pass this exam in order to pass the Surgery rotation. When that exam finished, around 1030am, I went back to my hotel, packed up, got in my car, and drove to Los Angeles. I spent the weekend at the Crown Plaza Hotel (a very nice hotel, indeed - I wouldn't want to pay the rack rate for a room, but I got the room through Priceline and was extremely pleased with the comfort, friendliness of the staff, and location - my room had a view of the LAX runways so I got to watch airplanes all weekend - HEAVEN!) Well, I didn't watch airplanes ALL weekend...the majority of my time was spent studying and preparing for my exam on Monday - the USMLE Step 2 CS exam. About 8 hours, this exam has 12 standardized patients (actors) who you must act as the Doctor for and conduct a thorough history and physical exam. Lots of fun. The exam finished right around 430pm - dreaded RUSH HOUR and my only freeway was the 405. Luckily, I was able to avoid traffic until I reached the 10 freeway, where the 405 became a parking lot. Therefore I did the only logical thing: took the 10 to Santa Monica beach and chilled on the beach for a few hours until traffic went away, then I zoomed to Fresno in about 3 hours.

2. In 'n Out:
Over the weekend in LA I spent quite some time at the In 'n Out by LAX on Sepulveda Blvd. That place is ALWAYS a zoo with a bunch of people and even more cars in the drive-thru outside. But the reason I love it, besides the food, is that the airplanes are LITERALLY just over you coming in for a landing at LAX. Took my breath away time after time after time.

3. Old Friends:
Despite being holed up on the 14th floor of the Crown Plaza studying vigorously, I still did find some time to hang out with some old friends. I saw friends from Fresno and LA and spent a little time in the evenings unwinding with them, which was super nice. I even met up with a friend who I had not seen since graduating from high school in 2000. That was pretty darn cool.

Overall, Santa Monica beach and boardwalk pretty much became my new favorite place because I spent so much time there over this past weekend. It has been just a busy month. My Pediatric rotation at UCSF-Fresno is amazing, but super busy. Between long hours there, trying to studying for my exams and actually going down to SoCal for the exams, I'm exhausted.

Time to sleep.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


A lot of the people who read this blog are deep in studying for exams. Therefore, here is a bit of comic release forwarded by AA (not the drinking group). Enjoy!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Quickies: Children are Awesome, Long Hours, Going to LA

This has been an amazing week! Unfortunately, part of what made it amazing also made it extremely exhausting and left no time for a blog update. Therefore, since I today off in honor of our great country's independence, here are a few quickie updates for y'all!

1. Childrens Hospital Central California (CHCC) is AWESOME!
I am one week into my Pediatric core rotation at UCSF-Fresno. The set-up is we do three weeks in-patient at Childrens Hospital and then three weeks at Community Medical Center downtown for NICU, Nursery, and outpatient clinic. I have run into absolutely AMAZING people at CHCC! The doctors are phenomenal...and ALWAYS go out of their way to teach. Truly and truly I say to you, I have found the mecca of medical education. The Attendings will SEEK YOU OUT in order to give you the opportunity to do a procedure. They will walk you through it step-by-step, staying patient and making sure you learn it.

2. Long Hours in my First "Call"
We do "Call Q4" during the Peds rotation. What does that mean? Call means we stay late - when we are residents, it will mean 24-30 hours at the hospital. As medical students, it means we stay until around 10pm (remember, we start at 630am everyday). "Q4" means the 'dosing' - if I were to prescribe you Tylenol q6hrs it would mean you take a tablet every 6 hours. Q4 for call means I am on call every fourth day. So yesterday was my first call. I have already mentioned how awesome the Attendings are, so now let me lavish some praise on the RESIDENTS at this hospital. They are top-notch. They are kind, don't even know HOW to "scut" their med students with stupid busy work, and also go out of their way to teach! Dare I say, because of the culture and example set by the Attendings, the Residents step up their game and help create an amazing learning environment for all of us. During my call, I attended to all my assigned patients, visited some of the other cute kids in the various play areas in the hospital, and took care of some patients in the ER who needed our attention - like a 2 day old infant with suspected bacteremia (bacteria in the blood, which in such a young baby is really scary because unlike an adult who has a "blood brain barrier", a newborn doesn't have a very well developed BBB and can get meningitis REAL quick).

3. Going to LA
There's a BIRTHDAY party coming up for two amazing, awesome, hilarious sisters in LA. I'll be there...but they don't know that yet. Should be fun. AA and JC and I head down there in 15 minutes. I'm just that good that I studied this morning, got ready, packed, and wrote a blog entry before I leave. Gimme some sugaaah!