erin condren planner

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Y’all — I am IN LOVE! Firstly, with all of my amazing readers — all week I have woken up to so many new comments, likes, and views, I really just want to say THANK YOU! I have had blogs on and off for many years in my life, but none of them have been nearly this successful. I know I am still very small on the grand scheme of things, but I’m growing and I’m loving it. So THANK YOU!

Secondly, I am in love with my Erin Condren planner. I’m busy right? And at my medical school we are given laptops and iPads as part of the curriculum — so why not just use iCal, you may ask me? That shit drives me crazy; but for the past two years I did it. I had lots of issues getting calendars to sync from one device to another, and God help me if my computer died and I left my iPad at home. (My iCal never worked well on my phone.) I know I know: first world problems. And I always knew about planners, sure; I had one in high school. It wasn’t cute though. So this new year with my onslaught of all my working out and meal prepping and general OCDness creeping in to my life, I started making excel sheets for every week. Which is fine when you’re on vacation and have time to do that mess. I start my OB/GYN rotation in a week, though, and let’s face it: those babies don’t wait to pop up until after you finish planning your week.

And then, I saw Elle Fowler’s twitter & instagram & blog posts about her planner obsession. And I became INFATUATED. I was on Erin Condren’s website, and within two hours ordered a planner, meal planning insert, bands, stickers.. I was like “THIS IS THE ANSWER!!” And then I stumbled upon the planner world on instagram — countless posts of amazing weekly layouts, SO visually appealing! I love the idea that you have your whole week sorted out and also an outlet to be creative and cute! Let’s face it, my weeks are sometimes NOT cute while in med school, but at least they look pretty written down. EC stuff takes a pretty minute to ship, since it’s personalized. I waited patiently (sort of) and ordered a million bajillion Etsy stickers to tide me over. (I’ll have to do sticker hauls separately — there’s too many!)

I do have to admit that during my first two years of med school, this would not have been quite as useful. We almost every day had lectures from 8 am to 12 pm, and there’s definitely not enough room to write down the names of every lecture. My days were very monotonous then. But now on clinical rotations, I do something different almost every day, and definitely every week. So far it has been an amazing and SUPER FUN tool to keep my crazy life somewhat together.

Click here to get $10 off an Erin Condren purchase! You won’t be disappointed.

Do you have a planner? What are your favorite Etsy stores I should check out for stickers?
Would you like to see more planner/sticker related posts? Leave a comment!

reflections on rotations: radiology

Radiology: This rotation is a two week elective I chose out of a line up of other electives. Radiology has been something I’ve always been somewhat interested in, especially since anatomy was my favorite subject of the first two years.

The people: I loved pretty much everyone I worked with in the radiology department at my school. Everyone was very laid back and very kind. The residents all seemingly got along well. The faculty were eager to teach me and happy to have me following for the day. I never got fussed at once. There was no yelling. It was phenomenal!

The patients: The only patients we really interacted with were those getting swallow studies or the like. During my first two years of med school I always assumed I would really miss patient contact — but I honestly didn’t miss it all that much. I think it has to do with our patient population being ambivalent towards their healthcare (which really bugs me, sorry). Also I didn’t know there were subspecialties of radiology which involved more patient contact (IR, breast imaging) if I up and get lonely during a residency.

The workload: This was very reasonable, which I loved. Growing up I think I always assumed I’d be okay working my ass off and would just make the most of it. After my 6 week surgery rotation I realized I don’t function super well while working my ass off. And I know some radiologists work their asses off too — but I guess I was just enjoying myself more on this rotation. (See: lack of yelling.)

The exam: Our school had an exam specific for the lectures given to me by the faculty, so I have no advice really. I think at most schools electives don’t have any exams, but what do I know? Not a lot.

Would I do this when I grow up? Heck yes! I loved this rotation the most out of all of mine so far. Even subjects that weren’t my favorite during the first two years (i.e., MSK), I still loved the days I was reading exams with them. Radiology is right now #1 in my spot of specialties I enjoy and would chose to practice!

Have you rotated through radiology? Were your experiences similar, or different?

must read for medical students

Why Rude Doctors Make Bad Doctors

 

The surgical scene described in this article is identical to many I experienced during my six weeks of surgery clerkship. It was ultimately part of my decision to decide against surgery as a career, in fact. Have you experienced similar bullying? Or is it less widespread than my cynical self believes?

reflections on rotations: psychiatry

As a little something for myself, and hopefully to help others, I thought I would take the time to reflect back on rotations once they are done, to review my feelings overall and share what helped me the most. Since I’m starting halfway through my third year, over the next few weeks I’ll catch up by adding rotations I’ve already completed. I JUST finished this one, though, so here we go!

Psychiatry: My school refers to this rotation as “Psychation”. Which it was, to an extent.

The people: It’s a vacation from rude residents and harsh overbearing attendings. Everyone in our department was very kind (although everyone had their quirks). I enjoyed working with these teams infinitely more than other departments.

The patients: This was hard for me to handle. I did not do a very good job of leaving my work day “at work”, as they say. On days where we interviewed a lot of patients with really tough stories and lives, I would go home and just feel sad. It’s crushing sometimes that we can help these people so little.

The workload: Much, much better than any other rotation, INCLUDING outpatient Family Medicine. I loved this part of it. (But hey, maybe I’m too lazy for my own good.)

The Shelf: Rumored to be the easiest of all standardized shelf exams, I only studied for this one for two weeks. Whether or not it bit me in the ass, I’m not sure yet — I’ll let you know when we get our scores back! What I found helpful in studying was…

  • First Aid for the Psychiatry Clerkship — it still goes by DSM IV, but there were no differences that were TOO drastic. As far as I know, the shelves this year are not messing with you when it comes to the differences between DSM IV and DSM V.
  • UT Shelf Review Video — I probably rewatched three times the week before the shelf.
  • MedEd Psychiatry Videos — especially the pharmacology and pediatric videos.
  • USMLEWorld Qbank — these questions are ridiculously easier than the actual shelf, which ticked me off. Damn you, qbank!!
  • Practice shelf exams

 

Would I do this when I grow up? Nah. While I enjoyed seeing something completely different everyday, and the niceness of the teams… I didn’t enjoy interacting with the patients all that much. Histories are a pain in the butt to get, non-compliance is sky high, and there’s only so much you can do for these patients. It broke my heart every day, which I don’t think I could handle.

Have you done a psychiatry clerkship at your school recently? What were your experiences like?

invaluable shelf review videos

If you’re in your third year of medical school, you know that preparing for shelf exams can sometimes be daunting. Through my experiences thus far (can’t believe I’m halfway through third year already) there is one video series in particular that is AMAZING for shelf review. (Ie, night before, mid-panic attack.) They are only two hours and pretty much cover everything you need to know in a nice question answer format so you can quiz yourself. Just try not to let it bother you that this girl is a fourth year and has infinitely more knowledge than I dreamed of… We all have those kids in our classes. Hope this helps!

 

UT Shelf Review Videos

the time i went to jail… sort of

This past Thursday I had the amazing and unique opportunity to spend a day in jail (technically prison I think?). As part of my third year medical school psychiatry rotation we got to have a first hand look at “forensic” psychiatry — which is, basically, the treatment of prisoners. Going in to this I really had no idea what to expect.. basically just what I had learned from watching Orange is the New Black. Similarly to the show, the mental health unit was a place you were sent off to for quite some time with no contact with the rest of the population.. Our patients spent 23 hours a day in a jail cell, and during their hour only interacted with other prisoners in the mental illness block. My heart broke for these patients, their poor quality of life, and their poor quality of mental health care. Patients are seen once every three or four weeks for about 5 minutes at a time.

I’m really hoping a lot more went on behind the scenes when I wasn’t there in order to help people return to their baseline, in order to eventually take care of themselves on release from prison.

It also highlighted the importance of finding a career you love. Never do I want to be like the doctor I watched, who treated patients like a number in a line, and didn’t even bother looking them in the eyes. I could imagine working in a prison could lead to a lot of burn out, but… To me, they still have basic rights. Especially those in for things like being drunk in public or leaving threatening messages on government voicemails. Very very interesting experience indeed!