Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Location of the Old Pre Meds 2013 Conference.....

Drum Roll Please...............................

Washington D.C.!!!!  Early June. Stay tuned for more information as it comes about.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

2nd year of Residency

So here I am. It has been quite a long time since I updated this blog, mostly because I have been so busy that I am spent at the end of the day and was too tired to update anything and on the weekends, when I do have off, I am catching up on my sleep or family time. But I can tell you that it is great being a second year medicine resident.

To begin with, I have a lot more confidence in myself and my abilities to treat my patients. This all comes with experience. The more patients that you see, the more that you will understand things. Even more experience came when I was doing all of the admissions. During that rotation, I would be the one who would come up with the assessment and plan and then discuss it with the attending. Most of the time, my plan was right on. Other times, there could have been something better or something was added that should not have been. For example, Vancomycin to a patient who should have had a level first. However these things come with the territory. This is all in keeping with my goal this year.

Last year, my goal was to become a good intern and now this year my goal is to become a good resident. So far, the only thing that has been commented on by my attendings is that I have to read more. But then again, so does everyone. Once I am able to do that, then I will be golden. The issues is trying to come up with a schedule that works. What I am going to be trying is to read for about 1-2 hours per night after 9pm when the kids are in bed. This is not always achievable. Because of course, the kids do not always go to bed at the pre-determined time and of course there is always wife time that needs to be had.

My goal for this year is to really get more into a hobby. I am either going to work or I am at home and sleeping. One reason I am able to update this blog is because I am on vacation and since I have no boards to study for this time, I am able to really relax. So I did what any good doctor does, I played golf and fished. I have to work on both of these things. I am not ready for any PGA tour but I did have a lot of fun. And will not win any tournaments with my little large mouth bass that I caught but as they say, a bad day of fishing is certainly better than a good day at work. Even though I love my job, I love to golf and fish.

On the financial front, the plan is to keep our heads above water just long enough until I am done with residency and I can get an attending salary for a few years. Give us some breathing room. But always remembering to take advantage of discounts and there is nothing wrong with refurbished products, especially if they come from the factory. There is nothing wrong with the products and they are usually cheaper. Besides, there is no reason to get it right away and hold off until all of the hype dies down and then the prices will follow.

I hope to update more often but I cannot promise anything since I know do 24 hour shifts.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Old Pre Meds National Conference June 7-10; Orlando Florida

Cecil B. Wilson, MD (keynote address) Immediate Past President
American Medical Association
David W. Kelley, DO Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
SUNY Upstate Medical University
Founding Member of OldPreMeds 
Judy Colwell, MA Former Assistant Director of Admissions
Stanford University School of Medicine
presenting "The Nuts and Bolts of Applying"
Dawn K. Aldrich, MD Founder/CEO of Solutions Health & Wellness Center
author of the audio book series "The Day That
Changed My Life, Cancer: an uncertain journey"
Trena Gologan, MBA Admissions Coordinator/Recruiter
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
(Georgia campus) presenting "Professionalism and
Admissions: a viewpoint from the other side" 

Conference Registration

And COMLEX is all done!!! I PASSED STEP 3!!!!

Hello there my friends out in cyberspace. I have just finished my time on nights, which was not that bad. It was a lot of learning that I had actually done even if it was just a few things here and there. For example, one of the biggest things I learned was to steadfastly say no to people who were manipulative in trying to get their narcotics. It is very hard to say to someone who says that they are in pain that they cannot have medication for it. However, I did learn to differentiate between people who are truly in pain and who will benefit from powerful pain medicines and someone who is an addict and is there for you to be their personal drug dealer.

But you can then argue to me "Well, addiction is also a medical condition so you are treating them aren't you? And by withholding the narcotics are you not forcing them to go through withdrawl?" And to these questions I say Yes and No. Yes, addiction is a disease that needs treatment. However, you do not go see a Chiropractor for your heart attack. If the patient truly wants to get off of the junk, they need to be properly treated in a detox unit by a medical staff that is properly trained to handle it. I am not one of them. And yes, I can learn but that is more of a specialty and one that I am not interested in pursuing. And No, you are not treating them by giving them the narcotics that they are addicted to. You treat the withdrawl symptoms and make the personal comfortable. Besides, you can tell when these people are lying because they embelish everything. From the amount of pain they are in (a person who tells me that their pain is 10/10 but when I see them as I walk in the room and they are sleeping or watching TV or talking on the phone without missing a beat). I have seen people in severe pain and they cannot stay still long enough to answer any of my questions let alone talk on the phone.

Another thing I learned was how to handle sleep problems in the hospital. Yes, it is very easy when the nurse calls about the patient not sleeping to give a verbal order for sleeping pills, but are you really doing the patient a service or a disservice by giving them that pill. For starters, it is a hospital and not a hotel. The beds are not the most comfortable thing in the world. Second, there are other people around making noise. Third, you are not in your own environment and maybe warmer or colder than you normally are and finally, you are in the hospital because you are ill for one reason or another. So your sleeping patterns will also be affected. What I started to do was to look at why the patient is here, what other medicines they are on and more importantly talk to the patient. Most of the time, the patient is not on a sleeping pill at home and there is no reason for them to be on one now. They have the TV on or the light on. So I suggest that they create a better sleep environment by turning off the TV, turning off the light and closing the door. There is no reason why the door to the hospital room has to be open. Most of the time, they understand.

Finally, I started to learn how to really put out fires and life endangering problems. While I do need to learn some more, I feel  a lot more comfortable doing it or even just starting it.

I was thinking about adding a video every now and again. But only if my readers would like it. Please tell me what your thoughts are about that.

And to close, the NonTrad tip of this posting: One of the greatest assets that us non traditional students have is our maturity and our experience in previous careers. Take your knowledge of office politics and what not to do, and your customer service knowledge about selling your product and apply it to the nurses and the patients. Never say anything that you will regret, and always acknowledge the concerns the families have. And always follow through with what you said you will do. Even if the answer is no or if the news is not positive, the fact that you followed through is enough for the families and the patient.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Night Float

Well my vacation has been over. During that "staycation" I pretty much tried to catch up on some projects that I have been meaning to do at home. I am now in my 2nd week of nights. Boy is my system off. Right now my main job is to help with admissions. Once I finish at 5 admissions I am done for the night. The earlier this happens, the sooner I go home. But if it happens later, then I tend to go back to the residents quarters and go to sleep so that I can get home safely.

Part of my job is to be the night float intern on Friday nights. Basically for practically anything I get called. This past Friday was especially busy. But not with acute problems, mainly a lot of busy work. Checking up on labs, putting in IVs when the nurses could not, putting in a nasalgastric tube. Every time I went to lay down and get some rest, my beeper went off. I probably got a good 1 hour of decent sleep that night. But that is what I signed up for right. But the cool thing was that I was confident in my abilities. The only time I called my resident was to confirm my plan in a case that I was sure about but need to confirm my suspicions. It is just like they say, time and experience. 

Still waiting on the COMLEX results. Less than 2.5 years to go before I make a descent salary. In the meantime, lets take advantage of any and all programs we qualify for. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Step 3 is Done and really on Vacation now

So dear readers, I am back. It has been sometime since I had written and this is because I have been studying for step 3. This is the last part of the medical licensing exam for me. The only exams left after this is going to be the ones to be board certified. This is for after residency though.  So, now I have time to sit and relax and recharge before going back to work next week. I will be on nights for 2 weeks then.

Everything has been great. As I mentioned before, I am no longer working because I love what I do. But things are very difficult because we have to keep all of our spending to a limit because we are still getting back on our feet. Basically we are starting over again as if we were coming back out of college only this time we have 4 other people that are relying on us. But at least I know that I have a short period of time doing this.

One of my fears has been allayed in that I just signed my contract for next year. When I was a medical student there was an intern who was not resigned and this was a fear of mine. I guess some insecurities remain. But over time, my confidence has gone up. And to all of you out there who think that you cannot do it, let me assure you that as long as you out in the work and try you will be able to do it.

I need to put in a shameless plug: OLD PRE MEDS NORTHEAST REGIONAL ADMISSIONS WORKSHOP!!!!!  March 18th, 2012 in Stratford NJ.  Admissions Workshop If you have had issues in your past where you think that your grades are holding you back, there is going to be an Admissions Officer talking about just that. There will also be a speaker talking about your personal statement as well as how one nontrad went from being a nurse to a cardiologist. Not to mention, a residency program director talking about why nontrads are great for residency programs.  and the cost is really, really cheap. If you have gone to other workshops, you are talking a nice chunk of change, but here the cost is only $25.

Anyway. Next time I think I will try a video blog. Let me know if you think that would be a good idea. I want to wish all DO students good luck on the Match for Monday.

Till next time

Monday, January 2, 2012

Welcome to 2012!!!

Hello there dear readers, I am still here. I hope everyone has had a joyous holiday season and they are recovering from the festivities of new years day.

I have not blogged recently because my schedule has been very busy lately and I have been very, very tired. I was on the general medical floors the past month and therefor was on call every 4th day and trying to recover in between. But this month, I will be on Gyn so I have a little more time.

Well, things are going really well. I submitted a grant for a research project that I am going to do and I am working on a Quality Improvement project as well. Both of these are required for the program but it is still a good thing for the resume. So the plan is kind of changing with recent financial burdens.

One thing that you need to remember, if you are about to start this journey or are thinking about this journey is that once you are done with medical school, things do not necessarily get easier. they get more complicated. You need to contact your lenders to see if you can have a deferrment of a forebearance. The number of loans you have are now very limited and while you do not have to have your school certify your loan, you really need to think about a residency loan early on. What do I mean? Well, since you only have about 6 months after your graduate to apply for these loans, you may not know that you need it until the 6 months are either almost up or are already over. Then, you are in a bit of a lurch. You need to start cutting things. But how do you know where your money is going? I mean there is not enough time to keep a diary or even write things down?

Good point, however there are software out there like MS Money and IBank for Mac that are very helpful. We were able to find the areas where we could and probably should cut. Now it is just a matter to wait and see to determine if these cuts are helping. It is also a good idea to tap into family. These are people that you can create an IOU and discuss terms such as no interest and even a payback policy where you start a plan after you are done with residency and/or fellowship and start making a normal salary.

We have also decided to go see a financial planner and look at what we can do to not only save more but to get through this rough patch.

Well done for now. One of my resolutions is to blog more often, so come back and see if I keep that resolution.