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 🙂

Writing Your CV

Creating your curriculum vitae can be daunting, especially if you have never made one before. As requested, I have decided to make it a little easier and walk you through making your very own CV!

Before we begin, I wanted to explain the difference between a resume and a CV. A resume is a quick summary of your work experiences, it shouldn’t be longer than a page and highlights your strengths related to what you’re applying for. On the other hand, a CV is far more in-depth, for it covers your education, work experiences, and awards/honors in chronological order; therefore, it will be much longer than a resume.

Here are some of my personal tips on creating a successful CV:

  1.  Don’t use the word “I” when describing what you did. Since your name is already front and center, they already know who you are.
    1. Wrong: I worked with Dr. Bob to collect data on participants during a check-up
    2. Right: Collected data on participants during a check-up (I took out Dr. Bob because you should have already mentioned the individuals you worked with)
  2. Maintain the same tense throughout your CV to describe your roles and responsibilities- don’t use past tense and then switch to present!
  3.  Only include items that will help the reader understand who you are. Avoid making it too wordy because the reader will know when you’re making things up.
  4. Avoid adding items far in the past that aren’t prevalent to what you’re applying for.
    1. If you’re applying to Med School, what you did in high school doesn’t matter
    2. If you’re applying to residency, what you did in college doesn’t matter (unless you were published).
  5. Keep it simple and concise. Make sure to check for grammatical errors, for they can take away from your CV.
  6. Keep the font professional and constant throughout! Times, Arial, Calibri and Georgia are personally the best ones.
  7. Before sending your CV over technology, be sure to save it as a PDF and double check the format.

I personally have always stuck to a CV just because it covers everything I have accomplished. When applying to research or a job, I usually just add in a small sentence above my education highlighting why I’m qualified for the position. Some people opt to add their hobbies on their CV. This is optional, but I recommend doing it only if you feel you need more content.

I have attached a copy of the template I made for my own CV, feel free to use it or refer to when making your own. Again, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to e-mail me or comment below! I wish you all success in your future endeavors!

CV Template

 

Much love,

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 🙂

 

Why the Caribbean?

Hey Guys!

As many of you know, I am now a first year medical student and will be starting my first day September 6! I have been hesitant to talk about my medical school journey, where I’m going to school, and defending my decisions. I seem that it’s so easy for others to judge me incorrectly by looking at my decisions, rather than the story behind them.

It occurred to me this summer that there are few people that earn a seat in medical school the non-traditional route voicing their story on a social media platform. I found myself, at times, saddened and often deterred from my goals because others achieved something I worked so hard to get and didn’t.  The past year has been filled with ups and downs, emotionally and mentally. Thoughts constantly eating me inside “what will I do in my life”, “I don’t see myself doing any other profession”, or “Am I built for this career”.  A girl who was once so optimistic, goal- orientated, and professionally driven entered the storm of self-doubt. I’ve had 4 months off school, spent time with the people I love, and helped others grow out of their shell. In the past 4 months I found myself, that optimistic girl that’s out to change the world. I realized that I may not be the only individual in the world that has felt that way, so I decided to write this blog today as inspiration to someone that feels that they are stuck. Here is my story:

Becoming a physician has been a life-long dream, not because my parents forced it onto me, but for the lives I can change. As a child, one visit to the doctor’s office would make my fever or cold go away in a few days, it was magical! Obviously, growing older you learn that magic is called antibiotics- haha! I wanted to be that magician in a white coat that makes all pain and suffering go away with a smile and lollipop. In middle school and high school, I was your typical pre-med wannabe. Loaded up on AP courses, volunteered at health clinics, interned at family practices, national honors society, and competitive Bhangra performer (Punjabi folk dance)- perfect was never enough. In college, joining organizations, keeping up grades, having a social life, continuing dance, creating organizations, traveling abroad, researching and acing the MCAT all became a priority. Now, a practical individual would be like “impossible”, and it was. Making everything a priority made my performance horrible in every aspect. I decided to do a B.S in Psychology with a minor in Biology, if I could back I would change that- but that’s a different story. My resume was very strong but in the midst of making that my grades slipped and my MCAT score wasn’t competitive enough.

I took the MCAT a total of 3 times, the second being my best. I approached senior year of college knowing that my grades made getting accepted into medical school difficult, but not impossible. Therefore, I applied to a post-bac program associated with a medical school. My MCAT was on par, the extracurricular’s above par, but my GPA subpar, and I just had to meet the minimum GPA requirement for the post-bac program to be admitted into their medical school- I could easily do that, or so I thought.

To my surprise, the coursework in the program was actually first-year medical school courses, along with clinical based exam questions under a time limit. Expecting a program to help me transition into medical school, I fell into a trap of being in medical school but not actually a medical student. I barely passed my first course during the first semester, but I grew and learned how to study for medical courses and ACED that final exam to bring my grades up. The second semester was much easier for me because I knew how I learned best, that’s something I failed to understand the first semester- What works for others might not work for me.  For 8 months, all I did was study all day, every day, during every second, and it wasn’t enough. After receiving scores from the second-semester cumulative final, I learned I was 1 exam question, just 1 point, away from achieving the minimum GPA to enter the program. 1 point determined my future for me, 1 point.

I returned home depressed; sat on the couch all day watching Netflix, didn’t talk to anyone, and had a difficult time sleeping through the night. I kept thinking to myself what do I do now? Should I apply this cycle and wait a year to see if I’m accepted? Should I pick a new career where I wouldn’t be happy but could move on with life? Should I broaden my scope and try for the Caribbean schools with a good reputation in the US?

After a lot of researching, and self-reflection I decided to apply to Caribbean Medical Schools for several reasons, here are a few:

  1. I would get experience practicing medicine outside the US and be exposed to medical cases I probably would never see in the US
  2. I’ll learn about other cultures, as an aspiring family physician, I find it vital
  3. My clinical rotations will be in the US, so only 1.5 years on the island
  4. An MD is an MD at the end of the day

Will my path to residency be difficult compared to US graduates? Yes. Will I be able to fulfill my life goals and become the magician I’ve always wanted to be? Yes. Do I have any regrets so far, not at all. In fact, I feel blessed that I’m able to attend medical school in an environment where I won’t be snowed in all day, or won’t be able to enjoy nature, good food, or a different culture during my breaks. I’m excited about this new journey.  Where am I going you may be wondering? The American University of the Caribbean located in Sint Maarten, and yes I will go plane watching on Maho Beach!!

 

If you feel stranded or lost please, PLEASE, PLEASE, e-mail me. I would love to hear from you,  maybe lend a helping hand, and watch you succeed as well. My journey has taught me to never limit myself, never exclude possible situations, for life may have something else planned for you- so just go with the flow.

 

So there it is, that’s my story. Feel free to follow me on Instagram @foodiewithscrubs

 

Much Love,

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

I’m Alive!

Hello Beautiful People!

Yes, I’m Alive.

Shocking since you all haven’t heard from me in a LONG time. I apologize, yet again, for the past few months have been insanely busy and life changing! Speaking of which, I’M OFFICIALLY A MEDICAL STUDENT!

For those of you that have been following along since the beginning, I’ve switched up my blog several times, but I’ve never deterred from my ultimate goal- serving the underprivileged. I’m so excited to embark on this new journey and watch all my dreams come to life.

So with that being said, I have finally figured out what I would like the main focus of my blog to be- My Medical School Journey. I have learned a lot about myself this past year in regards to working in the healthcare field, especially one aspect that stood out the most, which is that success is 80% mental and 20% hard work. Therefore, I have decided to make my struggles vocal, provide resources and tips for coursework, easy, quick and affordable recipes, inspirational writing, and motivating reads so we can all come out of this stronger, together. This is not solely for those in medicine, or striving to be. Regardless of which path you have chosen, we all undergo the same challenges one way or another, so I hope this could be some help to you as well.

Since I’m currently on summer vacation, most of my posts will be on books I’m reading, resources I’ve used during my post-bac that I will be using in medical school, and (my personal favorite) Recipe’s! I will continue to have sporadic writings, but I’m usually very conscious of sharing those publicly.

If anyone has any questions or concerns, or just needs someone to talk to- I’m a message away or e-mail me at foodiewithscrubs@gmail.com.

I have also created an Instagram page, feel free to follow me @foodiewithscrubs .

Currently, I’m reading How Doctors Think by Dr. Jerome Groopman. An insightful read taking the reader into the mind of a physician, and how the patient- physician interactions ultimately can determine a diagnosis. I’m not done reading it, but I can say that this is a read for everyone that has ever been to the doctors office. Feel free to check it out!

Alrighty, that’s it for updates! I’ll be blogging atleast twice a week until September, hopefully you all can join me on my journey!

Till next time,

Preety 🙂

My Mom vs Vegan

Hellllooooo Bloggers!

Sorry I missed a post last week, as I stated 2 weeks ago final exam week rolled around so I was consumed with studying. I’m done with the semester!! Phew! Survived an entire 1 1/2 weeks off vegan frozen foods, SCORE!

I have officially completed 3 weeks as a vegan and will be starting my 4th week, that was fast! It has become very second nature now, I know what groceries to buy, what to eat, and how to tackle fast foods (Taco Bell is Vegan fast food heaven).

So I am finally back home with my parents in Michigan, and I had to break the news to them that I have gone Vegan. So we were in a grocery store today, and I went straight to the organic food area to grab some almond milk coffee. My mom looks at me and goes “are you Vegan or something”? I look back and respond, “ Yea, actually have been for 3 weeks now”. I’ve never seen my mother in so much denial. She put 4 gallons of Milk in our cart, several packets of cheese, and cartons of butter. She’s going to make sure I’m not vegan, I just kept laughing at her and loading my cart with my own groceries. So yea, living at home is going to be a challenge in itself, especially since my mom is in major denial haha, she’s adamant that I’m going to die of starvation…

Honestly, the past 3 weeks living off a plant-based diet has probably been the best decision ever, and having to blog about it kept me going. My body feels a lot more energetic and light. I can have an entire vegan pizza and not feel groggy about it, best of both worlds! Won’t deny that it has been difficult in the beginning, but I highly recommend atleast trying, but more reflection to come later!

Tonight, we’ll be making Enchilada’s!! I’ll be posting my Vegan enchilada recipe soon! Thinking of starting an Instagram to add more pictures of my random creations, i’ll get back to you guys on that one!

PS: Here is a Buzzfeed link I hopped upon, check out those recipes!

BUZZFEED COMFORT FOODS

Stay Happy,

Preety 🙂

A Little Push!

Hello Friends!

Yesterday, I scrolled upon bullet journals while wasting my time on Pinterest, and I stumbled onto a concept called “Level 10 Goals”.

As those of you that follow my blog know I have committed to a few lifestyle changes as we welcomed 2016. Unfortunately, I have had a hard time keeping up with my own challenge. I seek excuses that allow me to skip or push the task onto the next day, and the habit becomes so reoccurring that I end up going weeks on end not sticking to my goal! I ultimately tell myself “I have the whole year to do this, I’ll catch up eventually” but in reality I am stopping myself from developing these habits and my character.

Hence, I have decided to evaluate myself using “Level 10 Goals”. I started with listing 10 categories which encompass my life, I then wrote a short description on how I can further enhance the categories into my life, and I finally made a pie chart with a rating scale of 1-10, 10 being greatly satisfied. And I colored in my satisfaction ratings of each category, and I will actively update it every month!

Here is a break down of my categories and how I would like to develop them:

  1. Family and Friends
    • Connect with new friends (ideally around my age and similar gender)
    • Stay in touch with old friends (text frequently, and dine occasionally)
    • Plan family nights on the weekend ( at least twice a month)
  2. Personal Development
    • Daily reading (at least 20 pages)
    • Practice and Enhance my French
    • Blog at least once a week (Sunday is a promise)!
  3. Spirituality
    • Morning Meditation (5 minutes on weekday, 10 minutes on weekend)
    • Translate/Read religious material (emphasis on Vedic culture) every evening!
  4. Finances
    • No more useless spending on pens and school supplies!
    • Focus on what I really NEED (think before buying)
  5. Career and Academics
    • Enter a career where i’m changing the lives of others
    • Study and receive grades related to my intellectual ability
    • Enter Graduate School
  6. Fun and Recreation
    • Indulge in Dance and Choreography, record more, maybe post online?
    • Travel
    • Daily me time (no phone or electronics for at least 30 minutes)
  7. Giving/Contribution
    • Volunteer/ devote time to stranger monthly (at least 4 time a month)
  8. Physical Environment
    • Clean and maintain bedroom
  9. Health and Fitness
    • Yoga (at gym) at minimum 2 times a week
    • 5k Training
    • Walk Mahi (my dog) daily
    • EAT CLEAN—LIMIT STARCHY FOODS
  10. Emotional Life
    • Control anger and tears
    • Avoid negative energy and thoughts (spread positive energy and thoughts)!
    • Limit my desire to vent to my best friend- less I get bothered, the less I vent

I inserted the quote:

” The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but building the new” ~Socrates

Reminding me that even though I have failed several times, it’s never too late to keep on trying and starting all over!

Here’s how I rated each category (as of today). Hopefully I can increase my satisfaction throughout the months!

  • Family and Friends: 2/10 because I have struggled with making and keeping friends my age without any conflict or discrepancies between lifestyles.
  • Personal Development: 4/10 because I occasionally keep up with my goal, but not daily.
  • Spirituality: 0/10 because I lack in efforts to develop my cultural understanding.
  • Finances: 5/10 because I have cut down on my useless spending by a lot, but I still have a lot of work to do in regards to control!
  • Career and Academics: 3/10 because I have finally learned how I study, but I’m still far from my ultimate goal. I have finally planned out the next 2 years academically!
  • Fun and Recreation: 0/10 because I do not pursue my passion of dance, even though I really want to, I have been having a difficult time implementing it. I also don’t provide myself “me” time without technology unless I’m napping.
  • Giving and Contribution: 1/10 since I do donate money occasionally to organizations, and use the charity miles app when i’m walking to donate to a different cause. But I want to focus on helping others more hands-on rather than money.
  • Physical Environment: 0/10… let’s just say my bedroom is a mess, and I need organize and clean my clothes.
  • Health and Fitness: 2/10 since I still do yoga on a daily basis, but I’m not doing a rigorous practice.
  • Emotional Life: 4/10 since I have been working on controlling my emotions for quite some time now, but I know I still have A LOT of progress left. This may be the most challenging aspect of my life because it determines my mood for everything else.

 

I really hope this journal idea really helps me integrate these changes into my life, as well as keep track of my progress. Tracking the process may be a motivating factor as well! Along with this, I am also doing a 30 day grateful challenge! More about that at the end of the 30 days!

Stay Smiling,

Preety 🙂


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