December Adventures Seattle Part 2

December Adventures Seattle Part 2

In one of my adventures this month, I was exploring the city of Seattle, Washington. Here is Part 2 out of 4.

Part 1: First Starbucks

This part is rather short. It was a busy day, but there was one memorable spot I went to, the First Starbucks… sort of.

I love coffee, like most of my colleagues. It is the substances that helps with all those late night and early morning study sessions. So, how could I give up the chance to go to to the first Starbucks?.

first starbucks

 

Like any other location, it had the same drinks you could get anywhere else. However, they also had a couple special drinks just for that location. It was a particular brew, I guess. Either way it tasted good which is all that matters right?

Well one more thing, I guess I visited the wrong location. The location I went is not apparently the first one? I went to the address on the official site, but as I walked around the market there was another smaller one with a long line of people and a window proclaiming to be the first one. So shrug*

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December Adventures Seattle Part 1

December Adventures Seattle Part 1

In one of my adventures this month, I was exploring the city of Seattle, Washington. Here is Part 1 out of 4.

Part 1: Pike Market

I love markets like this one because of the environment. There is something energizing about being in an area where there is so much commerce. I saw book stores, coffee shops, even stores selling figurines made with the ashes of Mt. Helen.

One thing I loved about this market is the availability of seafood. I love seafood. There was one location where I was able to get fresh Dungeness crab and cooked. While it wasn’t up to the standards of the sweet crab meat I had in Asia a while back, it was still amazing. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture.

Speaking of food, I had to try two things I have been hearing a lot about: the Pike Place Chowder and Piroshky Piroshky bakery. As with famous spots, these places had long lines even on a cold rainy December day. However, they were worth the wait.

Chowder

The chowder I had was so creamy and rich with seafood, it was a musical in my mouth. Unlike many chowders I have tried, it wasn’t too salty either which was a huge plus.

The bread from the bakery had the texture that you expect good bread to have. While I did wish the coffee bread was a little bit sweeter, it is a small complaint for what was just my mouth hovering midair due to the wonderful fluffiness of their bread. I never really say anything is perfect, save for a few exceptions, but this place is close to it.

 

Thoughts during break

So for break, I have been traveling around, exploring. Upon this, I realized something about myself. I used to want to live in the suburbs or in a small town. I like the quiet and peace that comes with it. However, I started fancying the idea of a bigger city. I think it’s because of the energy I feel every time I just walk passed down the walls of the buildings. Everyone has something they are up to, and you just become lost in the sea of ideas and actions. There is life in it. It’s exciting. It’s adventurous, and I like adventure.

I’m back and Medical School Structure

It’s been a while since my last post. Mainly because, I’ve been busy with finishing my term. I am glad to say that I have passed all my courses.

So what does that mean? And why should you care that I passed?

Well for one, I might be your doc in your future, lol. Or if you are wondering how medical school is structured, this post might be helpful.

Semester 1 has been about basic science. Literally we go back to biochemistry, anatomy, histology, etc. This is to establish the foundation for what is to come.

Starting next semester (Semester 2 of year 1), I will be in systems courses. From what I hear from my upper classman, these courses will entail the medical aspect of things such as illnesses and drugs, etc. You know, one of the reasons we are in medical school. So I am really excited. These system courses will continue on until the end of year 2. So that means for both semesters of year 2, I will be in systems. Afterwards, there is Step 1. This is the first of many standardized examinations because who doesn’t like those? The Step 1 score will be the huge contributor to placement in residency so it’s no joke. Probably more important than the MCAT for some perspective.

If you pass step 1, you can move on to clinical rotations. This is when you actually go out to hospitals to work and study. You don’t get paid, and by work I am told you are literally at the bottom of the bottom. And frankly, you can’t complain because in that high and mighty: “look at me I’m a medical student mindset”, you realize you don’t know anything. So stop trying to show off or be arrogant, and study. With these rotations, you will have shelf examinations at the end of each one. This is to make sure you actually learned about the specialties you are rotating in. I believe between year 3 and 4 you take Step 2 PE. Basically, to make sure you know how to treat patient, so you know don’t be Dr. House.

With the end of year 4, you apply for residencies and hopefully get in.

I know all this info seems rushed and not detailed. For one, I am still in year 1, so this is just everything I have learned from professors and upperclassman. Also, of course there are more factors to consider, a big one is what specialty one would want which would require different things: e.g. Ortho vs FM. And by FM, I mean family medicine and not your “car radio which somebody stole”…(TOP anyone?). And honestly, it might seem like a huge headache, and it is, at least it is for the part I am right now. But you just have to take one thing at a time. And this goes with anything that you do. Losing weight? 1 calorie at a time. Binging Netflix? One episode at a time. ETc.

 

Anyway glad to be back, but logging off,

J

“What ifs” in Medical School

I feel like I see this more in medical school than in any other academic institution I have been in, and that is the “what ifs”. Having talked to several people, I know it is not just me. When school started, I was very optimistic and happy. The hardest part was over right? Well, no. It was just a bump on a long road. And that idea seems to aid in the manifestation of “what ifs”. There is so much done for that acceptance letter it feels like a contract.  I must continue on and finish otherwise all that hard effort would have been for nothing.

Now, I am not saying I regret choosing to pursue medicine. However, I am trying to explain where this what if mentality may come from. With all the pressures to succeed, the what ifs appear. “What if I can’t keep up with this pace of learning?” “What if I can’t get a passing score?” “What if I can’t remember this detail?” “What if I am not preparing enough for boards?” “What if I laugh at the word ‘frenulum?’”

While the last one might not be as relatable to everyone, the others probably are. The thing is not like I haven’t had similar thoughts before in the past. They just have not been as reoccurring and frequent. Even now as I type this, I am having these thoughts. This is interesting because of the development from when I first started. These thoughts while still frequent are becoming more like murmurs on a crowded street. I started not caring at them, and that happens. I am told things will get harder and worse. Yet, we will become so apathetic about the pain we move on. I get why things have to be this way, but just seems kind of unfortunate. But that is just my thought for today.

Thanksgiving is Tomorrow, What a Medical Student Will Be Doing

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and therefore, I do not have class for the remainder of this week. I, personally, am going home to spend time with my parents. But, I do know many people who are staying at school. While it is a nice break from everything, I probably am going to study for parts of it. I say this because I wanted to address different ways people are thinking about using this break. I know several people who are burnt out and just need a break from studying, so they are really going to relax and enjoy themselves. Now, I am not saying those people are not doing the smart thing. In fact, if they need a break then by all means they need a break so they can come back and study efficiently. I say this because I found myself in such a state about 2 weeks ago. I just could not look at a textbook anymore and retain anything.

Looking back it was actually an interesting experience. I have never reached a state where my brain actually rejected any new information of a subject. However, I just took some time to back away from studying and do some self-maintenance like going to the gym and lifting heavy stuff. I am feeling refreshed and functional again and that is probably why I am planning on studying through break. There are multiple ways to get through this, but like any other sappy Thanksgiving post you will see on the internet, it is nice to remind ourselves of the things we are thankful to have which ultimately factor in our ability to get through things (and I did just type that with a Ryan Remolds voice in my head). I am thankful for my family, friends, and SO. I am also thankful for you, whoever is reading this. This blog has been a great place for a pause and reflection which has been nice. And While it is very new, and personally I think it’s not that great of a blog, I still get a few readers who like the content and this is awesome!

Anyway, Happy Turkey day

Your friendly neighborhood student signing off.

Why I don’t trust News Articles about Science.

This was a recent topic of conversation among my friends and I thought I might as well write my two cents here for it. As the title suggests, I do not trust news articles about science, specifically ones that says, “New study reveals “blank”. The reason being, I tend to see a lot of articles getting the science wrong.

Now, I just want to say I am not trying to sound pretentious at all. It’s just I remember there being a time where I would get the latest science news from the news. However, with further education, I started to see more and more errors in these articles.

Sometimes, the statements were flat wrong. Such as a misunderstanding of what certain things are. I remember one article just missing the mark on the concept of Glycolysis. However, I usually find the articles over exaggerating a study and not really looking at it critically. For example one article may have looked into a small protein in the body that may rise due to a particular food and some studies seem to say there is a slight connection between that protein and weight gain. With that, the news article may boldy claim, “new study reveals blank to cause weight gain”. It’s just not an accurate representation and actually worrisome because that is how misleading information can spread more and more. Every new research needs to be read critically with what the findings actually mean and the experimental setup to obtain those findings. If we all do that instead of just connecting A to B or making up that A is B, then maybe we wouldn’t see things like, “anti-vaccinations”. But that is just my two cents.

I got this: Muscle Box

I got this: Muscle Box

Before we begin, I just want to say that I am not sponsored at all by this company. I’m just a fan sharing the cool things I bought.

One of my hobbies is weightlifting. Something about lifting heavy stuff only to be able to lift more heavy stuff really makes me happy. Anyway, Because of this hobby of mine, I thought it would be neat to start a box subscription. Truth be told, I’ve been wanting to start one for a while, but there really was not one in which I would probably enjoy the contents of each month, or one that was not above $50. Anyway, this subscription box, is called Muscle Box. Sounds so “Bro-sciency” in my opinion. However, the contents are pretty nice.

This month, the box had:20181115_233113

  • Shirt
  • 2 meat sticks
  • Water bottle
  • Protein chips
  • Workout

This seems to be the trend of the box where it would contain clothing, protein, something to have in the gym, and a workout routine. All of these things are definitely usable and not really fad-like or for just one particular type of person which is why I like this subscription.

How I study in medical school.

Studying in medical school differs from any of my previous experiences. Mainly from the fact that it is heavy memorization. This is probably the reason people struggle. Within my brief time at school, I have seen how people struggle with their studies. Ignoring all those who just procrastinate and not study until the day before the exams, there are plenty of students who struggle to pass, at least at first. People may memorize things well, but have a difficult time connecting the dots. Others may have a better ability in seeing and understanding the bigger picture, but have trouble memorizing all the details. I can confidently say, I am the latter. There is a few who struggle with both or excel in both, but it seems a majority of the people fit in one of the two categories above.

My study methods will not work for everyone, in fact I am still fine tuning it. But it is nice to take a step back and analyze it as a whole (hence this post). Because my issue is memorization, I use the program Anki, heavily. I make each card at least one whole lecture slide. I do this because I don’t want to miss any detail that is important, but I thought different. I do this right off the bat. In fact, my notes are in the cards themselves, meaning I don’t take notes with other platforms like Onenote or pen and paper.

To be honest, I don’t like this method because I like taking traditional notes. And I see similar things with many of my peers. They avoid a certain study method, not because it doesn’t work, but because they prefer to do things a particular way. However, sometimes you have to do things differently for them to work. I noticed a huge difference in my grades when I focus on my weakness of memorizing things vs just studying notes and making concept maps to connect the details. I know this uneasiness comes from the fact I am doing things a lot differently from most of my life. However, I guess this is good practice for actual medical practice in terms of always trying to keep an open mind and doing things differently for better results even if it is out of your comfort zone.

Drama in Medical School

It is almost Thanksgiving which means it is also the winter holidays. Therefore, it is almost the end of first semester of my medical journey. Today, I’ve been thinking of all the things that took place already. One thing that caught me by surprise in medical school was all the drama. Not to say drama is bad. In fact, life is made interesting because of it.

In a way, I am thankful for the drama as well as saddened by it. I feel bad for anyone else who had a hard time with other things going on in their lives. The small glittery thankfulness comes from the reminder it gives. While I can’t speak for everyone, obviously. The drama in my life helped put some things in perspective and helped me remind myself that life is not just studying. Now I am not saying, medical students shouldn’t study hard. On the contrary, we should always be learning. However, we should not get bogged down on things we didn’t know, but instead get bogged down on things that can be learned, not just in medicine but in all aspects of life. Sounds cliché AF, I know. I know.