IM, WK 2-7: Inpatient

Oh hey there friends,

I’m back with a short 7-week update, lol.

I’m a little over halfway done with my internal medicine rotation and man have I learned so much in this short period of time. Trying to balance life with studying and rotations has been a challenge, especially in regards to keeping my sanity and mental stability but things eventually fell into place.

In the past 7 weeks, I’ve completed 2 weeks on the floors, 2 weeks in Nephrology, and 3 weeks in Ambulatory (outpatient medicine).

The 2 weeks on floors, I requested to be placed on the family medicine inpatient team because I’m really interested in family and thought it would be a great chance to show my face and get to know the residents in the program. Compared to the other “teams” on the floors for IM, the family medicine team took on a few more patients and was on call longer than the others, so I saw how overworked interns are in this aspect. I also noticed how robotic medicine has become due to the EMR. The residents wanted to check up on their patients more than just rounds, but their notes kept them busy way past sign-out. This is where medical students come in handy; since the residents had to work on paperwork, we would check up on the patients, contact the nurses, and collect blood for labs. I learned how the hospital functioned and where everything was mostly during these 2 weeks. I also really enjoyed working with the family med residents, felt like I belonged! I’m looking forward to my family medicine rotation in November when I get to work with them some more, but in the clinic!

After completing 2 weeks on the floors (AKA patients admitted in the hospital), I chose to do an elective in Nephrology. If I want to make myself seem like a studious individual, I’d say I chose Nephro because the kidneys aren’t my strongest system. But, if I’m being honest here (which I am), I chose this elective because it had the best hours and allowed me to catch up on all the studying I fell behind on during the floors lol. The attending expected me to be there from 11am-2pm (with a lunch break from 12-1:45), but I chose to come in around 9 to follow some of the patients with the residents so I could present. I actually enjoyed my time in Nephrology because the attending REALLY loved to teach. He would lecture us after our lunch on different topics but make it interactive, so we were engaged too. When I say we, I mean me, the 2 residents, and the 4thyear medical student that was also on the service. I walked out of Nephrology finally understanding how to calculate acid-base disorders, how to interpret lab values and the conditions/ concept of dialysis. Thus far, nephrology has been the most academically challenging and fulfilling- honestly worth my time.

Now I’m back on Ambulatory. I started off in the clinic when I first started rotations, and I’m back on until the end of this week. Coming back after completing inpatient services really showed me how much I LOVE the outpatient setting. Preventative medicine is something I’m extremely passionate about, and I feel the most fulfilled with the patients coming in for their primary care visit. The clinic has two aspects to it, the first being a med-student run clinic where we see the patients ourselves and present to the attending who has the final say. The second being a resident-run clinic where the medical students just shadow the residents. I obviously prefer the med student-run, but we have to do both every day. My favorite part of the clinic is being able to actually explain to the patients what is going on in their bodies so they can understand why compliance is so important- the hugs and kisses I get from them remind me why I chose this field every day. Also, knowing other languages have come in handy SO MUCH! I’ve had patients that I’ve spoken to in Punjabi and Hindi. Since I am able to communicate with them in their native language, it’s easier for me to convince them to take preventative measures (getting vaccinated, and lifestyle modifications). I’m working on learning some Spanish since we have a huge Spanish speaking population- let’s just say I have a loooooong way to go LOL. Also, working with AUC alumni is so much fun, we really look out for each other at this school, it’s no joke.

Outside of medicine, life has been chill. I’ve been getting time to relax and just enjoy life in New York… a part of me doesn’t want to leave this state-but that’s a story for some other day. Besides my indoor plants dying, life has been good. I see myself growing in different aspects every day. There have been bad days leaving me to cry in bathrooms to great days resulting in a random Amazon shopping frenzy. There have been days where I jump out of bed excited to get to work, and then those days where I just can’t do it anymore. Medicine truly is a challenging marathon that knocks you down every time you get back up, but it’s worth it.

So my first shelf is in about 4.5 weeks, I don’t know if I feel prepared or not, but I’ll just say that I’m not LOL.

Till next time…..

Stay Happy,

Preety 🙂

How I studied for my NBME Final’s

Hello There!

It’s been a long time! I’ve been quite invested with medical school, and it’s been difficult leaving some brain power to write a blog post in the meantime, lol. Anyways, now that I have completed 3 semesters of coursework and am preparing to conquer my 4th semester followed by everyone’s “favorite” nightmare- USMLE Step 1, I thought I could write about how I have studied for my NBME’s- this time for Physiology, Pathology, and Microbiology.

For those not familiar with NBME- these are old, previously used USMLE questions that schools can buy and use for examination. My school’s curriculum is such that our final exams are cumulative NBME questions selected by the professors. Therefore, all the protocol and the software is exactly the same as the USMLE.

With that said, let me share how I decided to prepare for these exams. I decided to stick to the following resources:

  1. USMLE RX
  2. Pathoma
  3. Goljan Rapid Review for Pathology
  4. Sketchy Miro
  5. BRS
  6. Physeo

For professor written exams, I solely focus on class notes and flip through my First Aid to make sure I understand everything high yield. When finals roll around, I place my professors notes to the side because they are usually more detailed, and I don’t have enough brain space to go through all the detailed notes for my classes. Therefore, I first make a list of all the topics covered in each class throughout the semester, and split each topic into a few days of studying. Then, I watch the RX videos and annotate my first aid. I then do the flash facts related to the videos after covering all the material I wanted that day.

Pathology:

I watch Dr. Sattar’s videos that accompany the Pathoma textbook and annotate as I go. Once I complete the chapter, I read the blue indexed notes in Goljan Rapid Review. If I struggle grasping onto specific topics, I read the specific section in Goljan. Finally, I add all my notes into my pathoma textbook, for this will be my primary source. If I have time, I’ll watch some RX videos for pathology, but I usually just skim through the first aid for the specific topics.

Microbiology: 

SKETCHY MICRO. I can’t emphasize it enough, the creators of Sketchy are God-sent to all medical students. With all the information you need to remember for each of the microorganisms Sketchy  does a fabulous job condensing it into a picture story line for each one! In all honestly, during my exam I would figure out the organism being questioned, think of the sketchy picture, and then look at the answer choices to see what matches the picture. I also plan on using sketchy pharm for my pharmacology course this semester!

Physiology: 

I’m so thankful that I found Physeo before starting physiology, it’s like Pathoma for physiology, and they do a wonderful job explaining all the intricate details associated with system physiology, especially those graphs and tests! After watching the videos, I would skim through the BRS just to make sure I understand everything and finish off by doing the respective practice questions in BRS.

 

Week before exams:

A week before my exams, I focused on doing only practice questions from USMLE RX. I was able to finish all the Microbiology, Pathology, and most of the Physiology questions this time around. I usually create a test of 10 questions at a time, which is about 15 mins timed. Once I complete the ‘test’. I review all my correct and incorrect because sometimes I get something right but don’t actually understand how. What I love about USMLE RX is that it shows you the page in First Aid where that topic is covered so you can reference it while reviewing rather than wasting time flipping through pages. I created a word document where I started listing everything I was getting wrong. For example, I forgot Entamoeba histolytica engulfed red blood cells- so I wrote that on my document and attached a picture of how it looked under the microscope (P.S. This was a question on my exam, and I only knew it because of this method)! My document ended up being around 20 pages once I had completed the questions. I skimmed through it, and whatever information didn’t seem to stick even after reviewing it, I re-watched those specific videos for that topic.

I made it a goal to watch Pathoma and Sketchy at least 3 times (more for topics I was struggling with). I only did one pass of Physeo videos, but physiology just sticks quicker than other subjects for me. I’m not a fan of sharing my grades on social media because I want to avoid creating a competitive environment, but I will say I performed phenomenally on my NBME’s- better than my midterm averages! Even though I walked out of each exam thinking I bombed it, I was proven otherwise!

I would like to say that whatever studying method work for me may not work for others. I know some classmates that can’t understand Sketchy regardless of how many times they try watching it, and others studied only our class notes rather than board prep material. Everyone has their own method of studying that helps them become successful. I have shared my resources and my method but, by no means, am I saying this is the ONLY way to study.  This semester was one of my most challenging ones yet. I had to move apartments the day before my first midterm due to mold growth, and then my washer decided to flood my apartment the weekend before my 2nd midterm. I was faced with a ton of organizational commitments and meetings, which I couldn’t put to the side because I signed up for it. Followed by several celebrations in my group of friends. It was a hectic schedule that required major time management skills, but I managed to pull through and figure out how to organize my commitments best. I hope this helps gives a good idea into studying for NBME’s, it’s kind of like studying for a mini step!

Stay tuned for more Med School related posts! I’ve been tossing around ideas for vlogging or writing. I tried vlogging during my studying, but I noticed I didn’t enjoy editing the clips afterwards. Therefore, I’ve decided to stick to my blogging and instagram because I enjoy sharing my stories on these platforms.

Stay Motivated,

Preety 🙂

 

Vegan Matcha Pancakes

Ingredients 

  • Log Cabin All Natural Pancake Mix
  • Encha Organic Matcha- Culinary grade
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
  • Raw Coconut Nectar or Maple Syrup

Directions

  • Add 1/3 Cup of Log Cabin All Natural Pancake mix into a bowl
  • Add 2 teaspoons of Encha Organic Matcha- Culinary Grade into the same bowl
    • Mix the Matcha and Pancake Mix
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon, mix
  • Add Almond Milk until mixture becomes a thick liquid
  • Cook on stove top pan
  • Serve with Raw Coconut Nectar or Maple Syrup

Week 2

Successfully completed my first week as a Vegan! This is actually the first time where I’ve gone an entire week without having some wild cravings for pizza or real cheese!! The past week has actually been really good, no fatigue or weakness bringing me down, and no feelings like I’ve been starving myself, which are issues i’ve dealt with before when I attempted to go Vegan. I primarily believe that the fact i’m able to indulge in all the foods I would normally eat, I can still eat with the Vegan twist and it tastes EXACTLY the same! Except my coffee/ tea, it tastes SO much better with Coconut milk creamer, HEAVEN! OMG, also having that Chocolate Vegan cheesecake, it was delicious! Had the same texture and taste of normal cheesecake (from what I can remember).

With finals coming up next week, I decided to make a run to the Whole Foods Co-op after class today so I can survive the next week. I still have black beans left over from the previous week, I found canned crushed tomatoes and have whole grain pasta left over, so i’ll make homemade pasta sauce and have pasta/ tortilla pizza. My grocery primarily consisted of protein filled foods since that is what I ran out of in the past week. In order to sustain a Vegan diet, it’s vital to be conscious of protein intake.

This week I bought:

Daiya Key Lime Cheezecake (SO Zestyyy)

Guacamole spread

Whole Grain Sprouted Bagels

Daiya Vegan Greek Yogurt (8g of Protein)!

Daiya pepper jack shredded cheese

Saffron Road Vegetable Pad Thai (actually was quite tasty)

Tandoor Chef Samosa’s (the chutney is NOT vegan, so I won’t be eating that)

Svelte Organic Protein Shake (11g of Protein, completely vegan)!

Grand Total: $50.69

With final’s week, I’ll be eating easy and quick to make meals, so that is why I didn’t buy much in regards to preparing something from scratch.  With the food I have left over, and the new groceries I should be able to last the next 10 days.

Onto Week 2, let’s see how this goes!

Stay Happy,

Preety 🙂

30 Day Vegan Transition

Hello Fellow Bloggers!!

Sorry that I haven’t been posting much, especially to those that follow along with my posts! School has been keeping me swamped, and the time that I do have to write, my creative mind is turned off!! I’ll work on it, I promise!!

So last week, I was just casually scrolling through Facebook, something a lot of us are probably guilty of, and I came upon this video highlighting the reality of Dairy farms, and a few days later I saw several articles about the danger of honey bee extinction. The video and the articles continued to haunt me to the point where I decided I needed to make a change in lifestyle in order to become an advocate for these issues.

As many of you know, I have been a Vegetarian for about 10 years now, I also refrain from egg products but continue to consume dairy products, specifically because I love cheese, pizza, and tacos. With the increase demand of Vegetarian’s, it’s actually much easier to eat out and enjoy a meal. Yes, I still do get questioned about the why I chose to be vegetarian, oddly enough, I receive sympathy (like uhh, it was a personal choice not a punishment), and some still try to convince me to eat meat!

The main reason I chose to quit meat was because of the maltreatment of animals in the industry, followed by religious preferences. I LOVE animals, so seeing them losing their quality of life to become food for humans, no can do. Many will argue that me becoming a vegetarian won’t stop the slaughter houses, and all I reply is “atleast I’m not supporting or funding them either”.

So this brings me to dairy, as a young lady, Vitamin D is extremely important for our bone health— and dairy is a good provider of it, but MOST of our vitamin D actually comes from the Sun! THE SUUUUNNNN!!! I actually learned that fact in class, so yea it’s true! That’s why people who live more so in Northern climates (experience winter) have very low Vitamin D levels.

Also, Humans are the ONLY animals that drink milk of another animal. Like wouldn’t it be strange if you saw a dog drinking breast milk? Speaking of which, humans only produce milk after giving birth, all animals do. So that means, these cows in dairy farms are forcefully inseminated to carry a calf, which is then taken away from them after birth so the milk can be sold to who? Humans.

Oh and the calf? Males are either killed on the spot or sent to the slaughter house, females are kept to become the next milk producing machines. It’s a horrible cycle, and honestly, a man made “circle of life” for these animals.

Now if Human’s were treated as milk producing machines, we would have all sorts of ETHICAL issues, now wouldn’t we?

As a lady, I wouldn’t be okay if someone forcefully got me pregnant, carried that child for 9 months that had it taken away from me, and then has breast pumps attached to constantly drain all the milk out of me to SELL to someone else. Uhh, yea, I heard those breast pumps are painful, no way am I signing up for torture.

If you wouldn’t do it, why would you be okay forcing something that doesn’t even have a voice for itself to do it?

So yea, these thoughts have been circling in my mind for a week now, and I decided to slowly transition into a Vegan lifestyle because I will not support the maltreatment of animals.

Now I have to be VERY conscious about my food intake, especially for Protein and B12. That is why I have decided that I’ll share this journey with the WordPress community, and if anyone wants to join me can follow along!

I will place a disclaimer that I know I will slip up a few times, it’s normal and hard to completely take a food group out of my diet. That is why I am calling this the 30 day Vegan Transition and not a challenge or commitment, because I’ve done those before and failed by day 5 every time, haha. So leaving room for mistakes is the only way to actually create a change.

If you are interested in following me and joining me on this transition, I will be adding my grocery lists (with the grand total), recipes during my weekend meal prep sessions, and thoughts and feelings. I promise a once a week post, but sometimes may post more.

If you’re currently eating meat and are interested in becoming Vegan, I highly recommend you transition into Vegetarian and then slowly into Vegan.

If you are on strict medication regime, or have any health related issues, I HIGHLY recommend you talk to your physician before changing your diet.

I hope we all come out strong and achieve the goals we set forth at the end of the 30 days! Feel free to comment with any questions or concerns, the more people involved the more motivating it is to push through!

P.S.

I will be posting a grocery list and my meal prep recipes for this week soon, I’ll create a new Menu tab called “Vegan Transition”

Also here are some links if you’re just curious about what I’m talking about 🙂

http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/becoming-a-vegetarian

http://freefromharm.org/dairyfacts/

I’m super excited!!

Happy Living,

Preety 🙂