Wednesday, June 30, 2010

On call

My first call experience was not bad at all. I only had 2 admissions. But was I able to sleep? Not really. I don't sleep well in a new environment. Plus I kept checking my pager making sure I didn't miss a page. Yup! Paranoid me as usual.

The call rooms

It was my first time to enter the call suite. It was so eeriely quiet. I guess everybody is busy on the floors. Each on call intern and resident has his/her own room with an adjoining bathroom. Pretty convenient but would I really get a chance to take a shower after my shift? I HOPE SO!

Friday, June 25, 2010

My first week

I haven't really been excited about the start of my residency until about 3 days before my orientation. I guess it really hasn't sunk in yet and now it's just a few days away and my adrenaline then started to flow.

I got my stuff ready for my new job. Well, there's nothing really a whole lot to prepare. I got my stet, good quality pens, 2 comfortable pairs of shoes, 2 pairs of maternity pants (which I wouldn't probably start wearing until I'm mid 2nd tri), a small notebook to jot down some important info, a binder for my patient list, etc. My lab coats and pager will be provided for. Ok...I'm, ready! :)

First day of orienation was our ACLS class. I have already been certified but I decided to take the class again since I didn't really learn a whole lot from my recertification class last year. It was fun and I got to meet most of my co-interns (3 of them got delayed due to visa issues). Next day was our pre-employment screening, distribution of benefits packages and computer training. Benefits are great! Residents are 100% covered and if I choose to give birth at the hospital my bills will be fully covered- except for the professional fee which I will need to pay 20% of. Not bad! Then at the end of the orientation we got our lab coats, pagers, badges and locker keys. Yeah!

First day of official training went by really fast. My first rotation was in CCU (Coronary Care Unit). I had a resident with me at all times.  Going through the Electronic Medical Records (EMR) was a breeze but getting to know all our patients took a bit more time due to their conditions but on the 3rd day I got the hang of it and started doing my own rounds ahead of the resident ;)

I'm actually glad I got the tough rotation first. In that way when I rotate in the wards it would be a piece of cake :)....Hopefully....

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Farewell Not Goodbye

Our lives are made up of different chapters. And in each chapter We meet a group of people who have made an impact in our lives. My life has been decorated by beautiful relationships I have made with the
characters in each chapter of my life. And now another chapter just ended.

Today was my last day at work. It seemed like a very long day. One by one I hugged each and everybody at work. Sharing tears and words  of endearment. But I refuse to consider this as good-bye.  My relationships with my friends will live on.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


The inevitable is here. Tomorrow will be my last day at work and I have been feeling the sadness in the air for the past week. My co-workers often give me the pouty look when we talk about my last day :( I guess this is one of the reasons why I haven't really felt the excitement of starting residency yet. My excitement was being overshadowed by my sadness of leaving my friends behind. See I don't only consider River North as a work place but also my second home. I have become good friends with everybody there and it really shows how they felt the same way about me too.

To my surprise my friends threw the "Farewell Party" today! And the culmination was a very touching gift from everybody....

One of my friends put the necklace on for me. I am not a fan of jewelry so I guess they all thought it's time for me to wear grown-up things ;) As I was saying some words of thanks and expressed how I was going to miss them terribly my voice just started to crack and before I knew it I was being hugged by everybody with tears and snot running down our faces. It was a very sentimental moment being surrounded by people who truly care about and appreciate you.

I love you all and I will always remember our time together....

Sunday, June 6, 2010

My Step 3

The night of June 2 I was thinking of my Step 3 result. I wasn't really sure when my score would be available but when I looked at the calendar I realized that June 3 would be the 3rd Wednesday after my exams which means my score COULD be available. The score is usually ready at midnight but I decided to just wait til the morning to check my email.

At 5:30 I woke up and my heart started pounding. What if I failed this darn exam? I thought I did well during the exam. I was calm the entire time which actually worried me a bit coz in the past a little bit of anxiety boosted my performance. This time I was very nonchalant and impatient to get this exam over with. But I felt good about my answers so that's all that matters. I did all I could and now it's all in God's hands.

So I turned on my laptop and checked the Step 3 candidate website and there it was: Print Score Report. I clicked on it and it started to download. For some reason my laptop decided to act up on that day. It was downloading the file ever sooooo slowly! But finally I saw 3 sets of figures that made my jaw drop to the floor...

I was in utter disbelief. My preparation was not as good as my previous ones. Plus I only spent 2 hours a day studying due to so many distractions like my pregnancy, residency, etc. I was even only aiming for a 75. But hey! This was a huge blessing from God and I accept it with all my heart. Thank you Lord! And I think my baby gave me good luck ;)

So how did I prepare....

My materials:
* Kaplan qbank: Not so good so I didn't finish it. Only completed 60% with a cumulative score of 65%
*USMLEWorld qbank: Very good! First round I got 64% correct and 2nd round of incorrect and marked items my score went up to 73%.
*USMLEWorld CCS: Very good! I did the interactive cases 2x and read the PDF files 2x as well.
*Master The Boards: Average. Good for quick review but felt there were incorrect concepts.
*Kaplan CK lecture notes: Only did a fast reading of IM and OB.
*Practice test on the USMLE website: 84%

The key to my preparation is my good CK knowledge and attitude. I thoroughly enjoyed studying for the exam coz I know learning all the principles will make me a better doctor. I didn't look at step 3 as just another exam, a hurdle in my path, but a way of improving myself. I learned a lot while studying and now I feel like I am ready to tackle any case in front of me ;)

Good bye USMLEs! Thank you for the challenge :)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My last hurrah!

My husband and I spent the Memorial Day weekend in Florida. I considered it my last vacation before the hectic schedule begins.

It was a fun-filled trip. We stayed at my friend's house in Orlando and she was the best host ever! She pampered us everyday. Thanks Mic! :) Of course when in Orlando you can never by-pass Disney World. We didn't go to all 4 parks though as our stay was short so we decided on 2 parks instead- Epcot and Disney Hollywood Studios. It was great to feel like a kid again. Next time we visit there will be a 3rd person with us and so it would be time to see Mickey ;)

It was sad to be leaving Orlando and Mic behind. Now back to reality....