Friday, July 18, 2014

Shadowing and Downstate

Hey, everyone!

It's a quiet Brooklyn night, and I spent much of today chilling at home. My mom and I cooked and went grocery shopping. I also finished up The Handmaid's Tale, which I highly recommend reading if you're into dystopian fiction and questions about gender equality.

I've spent 4 days in the last two weeks shadowing a physician in a clinic, and I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing how she interacts with all of her patients. Before each visit, she asks if it's alright for me to sit in on the visit, and every one of the patients has said yes so far. I love how supportive they are of aspiring doctors.

Shadowing a physician in a clinic is entirely different than shadowing a medical team on the hospital floor, which is what I was doing the first two weeks of my internship. When shadowing a team, I'm observing multiple people: medical students, residents, social workers, and the attending physician. But in the clinic, I'm just shadowing one physician. In this way, I get to know one doctor's particular style well. Also, the patients on the hospital floors are usually initially unfamiliar with the people on the team. In clinic, virtually all of the patients have known the physician for several years because she is their primary care doctor. I also get to know the physician in clinic much more closely because I spend several hours with her, and we talk about each of the patients before and after the visit. I like shadowing the team on the hospital floors because I get to see how they deal with new patients and how they go about diagnosing different issues. I get to hear the discussion and see the proper thought process. I also like shadowing a single doctor in the clinic because I get to know her well, and I get to see how great long-term doctor-patient relationships can be built.

This past Wednesday, I took a trip to SUNY Downstate Medical Center to check out their open house. I was impressed with everything I saw. I like that it's a community-oriented medical school in the sense that all of the med students seem friendly towards each other and genuinely want to help each other succeed. The medical school is also passionate about helping the community of people who live near it.

The medical students took us on a tour of the different parts of the school, including the gross anatomy lab. It is here that I was in a room with cadavers for the first time. It wasn't as creepy as you would think because they were covered up, and we weren't touching them or anything.

One of my friends from Hunter was there, and he introduced me to one of his friends so now I have a new friend. Meeting new people is always awesome. I also saw one of my friends from Macaulay Brooklyn. I hadn't seen him in more than a year!

Half of summer break is over. Ahhh!

Let's make the best of the rest of our time.

S.

In honor of Frida's birthday on July 6th:

Quote of the Week

“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it's true I'm here, and I'm just as strange as you.”

~ Frida Kahlo


Friday, July 4, 2014

Physicians and Fireworks

Hey, everyone!

Happy 4th of July!

I saw some fireworks in Coney Island last week. They have them every Friday during the summer so I encourage you to head out to Brooklyn at least once this summer to see them. It's been a couple of years since I've seen them so my dad and I decided to head over there last Friday. So pretty. 15 minutes of magic, excited adults, and sometimes barking dogs. haha. It also gave me a good excuse to have some daddy and me time with my dad. He's full of great stories about all kinds of things: family, history, and just random observations. And I always love smelling the ocean air. There's nothing quite like it.

Then a few days later, I headed over to the High Line with a friend and also checked out Chelsea Market. Can you guys believe that it was my first time visiting these two places? Shame on me. I'm glad I finally got to see them. The High Line was fun to walk on, but we went on a particularly sunny day and there's hardly any shade up there. That part wasn't fun. But there are some cool benches to sit on, and there are some places to get food. Great place for a date. Chelsea Market was a great place to explore. OMG. So much good food.

I'm two weeks into my internship at a hospital, and I've already learned so much. Shadowing a doctor can be a really eye-opening experience. The first doctor I shadowed works with all kinds of patients as a primary care physician. Alcoholics, people with heart problems, people with psychiatric issues, people with all kinds of cancers. I got to see a bit of all of that and more during the week that I shadowed him and his team. I was so impressed him. I think that there is a perception that many doctors can be indifferent or cold, but he was completely the opposite. It caused him emotional pain every time he heard that one of his patients wasn't doing well. He had impeccable bedside manner as he spoke with a gentle but firm voice with each patient. He was filled with knowledge on all kinds of diseases and fascinating medical facts. The second doctor I shadowed worked specifically in the field of geriatrics. Another knowledgable and compassionate physician just full of information.

I've also learned how hard these doctors work. They all get up early in the morning, work very long hours, and have to be attentive and alert at all times. Same for the med students and residents I've encountered. All so dedicated, all so intelligent, all so passionate about what they're doing.

I'm definitely looking forward to the next 4 weeks.

S.

Quote of the Week

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” 

~ Henry James

Friday, June 20, 2014

Lazy Late Spring Days...

Hi, everyone!

I can't believe it's almost the end of June, and the spring semester has been over for almost a month. Summer break always goes by so quickly. I've been having a lazy kind of break so far because my internship doesn't start until next week. I've been getting some cleaning done, and I've rearranged some things in my room so that I'm better organized. (Things always get a little messy during the course of the hectic semester.) I've also been hanging out with friends under the gorgeous spring sun. But omg, this pre-summer sun can be brutal. During my visit to Governors Island, I managed to get a bit sunburned. Even constantly reapplying sunscreen won't always save you from the ruthless midday sun so I've been trying to stick to indoor activities to avoid pre-mature aging. haha.

The Sunday after my Governors Island visit, my mom and I went to see Maleficent. Both she and I absolutely loved it for its underlying feminist and colonial themes as well as for its gorgeous imagery. (We saw it in 3D.) If you haven't seen it yet and want to avoid spoilers, please don't read the next three paragraphs.

There is this scene towards the beginning of the movie in which the man that Maleficent loves cuts off her wings. Many people described it as analogous to a rape scene because the man she thinks loves her betrays her so horribly and literally clips her wings, taking away her independence and power. She is forever changed by this moment and vows revenge. I loved that the writers decided to make this the reason for Maleficent's descent into "evil" because it is so reminiscent of the everyday stories that we hear about violence against women and its repercussions.

I also loved that it is Maleficent's kiss that ultimately awakens Aurora. The writers didn't succumb to the predictable storyline where a prince must be the one to save the girl. Instead, they chose to highlight a motherly type of love, which only amplified the feminist undertones.

And the colonial themes? As in Avatar, there is a land of creatures that live peacefully with each other and respect their environment, and there is a group of outsiders who want to control them. As you can imagine, this leads to a lot of fighting and heartbreak. This is always an important theme to explore because it happens all the time in real life. There are so many small "exotic" countries that get dominated and exploited by the more powerful countries. This can even happen within the same country as big corporations try to take land from people that have had it for many years. I hope people watch this movie and are reminded of the fact that fear of the Other is at the core of all desire to control, and we must try to understand those who are different from us instead of trying to control them.

The World Cup has been going on the last couple of weeks, and I've tried to catch snippets of every game. I told my friend that I watched more soccer last weekend than I have in the last four years, which is completely true. haha. I'm not a big sports fan, but it's the World Cup so I figure I should care at least a little :p

Enjoy the weekend, everyone!

S.

Quote of the Week 

(In honor of Maya Angelou's death a few weeks ago.)

"My great hope is to laugh as much as I cry; to get my work done and try to love somebody and have the courage to accept the love in return."

~ Maya Angelou