Tag Archives: med school

18 weeks of practice

It’s the beginning of my fourth year of med school and I just finished my four-week sub-internship rotation in Internal Medicine. The rest of the year is filled with mostly research, random electives, applications, interviews, and unscheduled time. Thus, I’ve had an uncomfortable realization: this is it. This is essentially as mature as my medical understanding will be before I get “MD” stamped behind my name in June. Continue reading 18 weeks of practice

A moribund game

It started last week because we had several moribund patients, patients who we knew were imminently going to leave the hospital through the back door. Every morning, when I walked into the hospital and check my team’s patient list, this awfully morbid game played through my head.

If we’re talking in programming terms, the “_Medicine Red” list is an unsorted set of entries of patient names representing the patients we are currently managing. Names are added to the list when they are admitted through the emergency department or transferred from other teams. Names are dropped from the list when we discharge them, when we transfer them to other teams, or when they die. In simpler terms, our list of patients tells us who to treat, and changes in our list are a big deal. Continue reading A moribund game

The city a body, the roads its vessels

Imagine the city as a living body. In that body, the roads would be its blood vessels. Traversing those roads are us humans, wandering through the tangle of highways and roads like like blood cells pumping through a maze of arteries and capillaries. Among them — about 1 in 300 — are us white coat-clad doctors, like those 1 in 800 white blood cells wandering among the red blood cells. Like those WBCs patrolling and protecting the body, doctors are the city’s healers.

So what does that make hospitals? Congregations of sick cells and a place where white blood cells go to work? Continue reading The city a body, the roads its vessels

Embracing the Kitchen

A few days ago, eight weeks into my cooking project, I found a package of sliced cheese tucked under the vegetable crisper. It was rather moldy. I chuckled a bit before chucking it.

I used to buy that cheese every two weeks. It went in the same sandwich that I made every day to bring to the hospital. In the sandwich also went versatile ingredients like tomatoes, mushrooms, and spinach; they were things I could throw into random entrees to cover dinner. I cooked regularly before 2017; in fact, I got by all of third year only buying cafeteria food but once (a chicken wrap in Queens; it was meh). However, priorities were minimal thinking time, flexible utility, and financial efficiency. For four years, my food — including that sandwich — were boring.

I haven’t needed that cheese for eight weeks. Continue reading Embracing the Kitchen

Music Against Medicine

A hospital floor is so noisy. Despite posting signs reading “Quiet is Healing” in the halls, it’s mostly an iatrogenic cacophony.

Some of it is necessary distraction, like IV Pump alarms, telemetry alarms, bed alarms, telephone rings, beeper beeps (lol, yes still a thing). Sadly, they’re all dissonant tones! Phones are B-E trills, heart monitors are a high B-ish, beepers are mostly F#. Why couldn’t they be harmonic in the same key so that when they inevitably pile up it’d be a pleasant chiming instead of this din of ding-dings we have to yell over? Continue reading Music Against Medicine