Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy New Year! I'm gonna celebrate with a Dragon Roll...

Since I was late with my Happy Regular New Year, here's to Chinese New Year! New Year's resolutions: 1) blog/journal more 2) gym more 3) eat healthier (noticing some similar trends here!) 4) be more productive and stop wasting my weekends.

I'm typing this on my ipad with the bluetooth keyboard in the Kensington Pro 2 case. Pretty awesome, I have to say but of course I'll have to buy everything all over again when they upgrade to a new model.

So now that I haven't blogged in forever, I'll catch up. This week has been an EPIC WEEK! Someone rightly pointed out that I need to buy a lottery ticket to make my luck in 3's. I passed my EM written boards, I got a job offer at a prestigious place where I really want to be and where I will continue learning an incredible amount, so things have really started well so far. I can't believe how lucky I am sometimes (stable job, employment with good benefits, little debt, etc.)

Fellowship so far has gone well. I don't think I'm making as much of it as I could, but there definitely doesn't seem to be too much time! I'm much more comfortable in ultrasound use than I was when graduating, and although I still have nervous energy going into critical care shifts, I've had some great days as an attending and watched some great days that my friends have had too. I don't think (I hope) I've made major mistakes yet, and I've definitely learned things I could do better but my management has not resulted in disastrous consequences. I feel my confidence growing but am fortunate to be in a specialty where you can never get complacent. I still have some growing to do, but it will come. It's great to be in a very laid back but intellectual environment. Time to put the burners on!

Having more free time is great too. I've gotten to go to NYC a couple times for shows. Friends of mine visited and got a glorious few days on Fire Island this summer before we got kicked off for the hurricane. Went to London / Dublin just before Christmas and felt I never wanted to leave. Worked my ass off (9 shifts in 8 days) over Christmas and survived and also made some good moonlighting money. And now is now - we're going to Puerto Rico, Phoenix, Chicago and maybe I'll be able to swing another Dublin trip for a conference. Maybe Florida? and Australia in December? So far so good :).

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Happy Independence Day!

Reasons to feel independent:
1) Graduated out of residency!!! Woohooo!
2) Starting new life as an attending while having a nice transition by doing a fellowship
3) LIFE OUT OF MY NYC SHOEBOX and into my brand new apt which isn't large, but feels luxurious in comparison with my brand new furniture, awesome 46" tv, and a real bed!
4) I don't have to be chief anymore!

I'm going to miss the life of NYC and being able to get anything / do anything whenever I want, but I won't miss the traffic, the paradoxical culture-less population, the people congestion, the dirtiness, etc. Already in my apartment I love the fact that I can't hear much street traffic, I've got a great view of the long island sound, I'm surrounded by unique boutiques / bookstores / art shops, and the people seem naturally happier. I definitely won't miss the drama of my old hospital (and there was tons of it in June, even up to my last week which I had to sort out as the out-going chief, even though I was on vacation) :).

So I spent most of the weekend with a quiet one in, gradually sorting out my piles of clutter, building my new ikea furniture (my whole apt is best buy, ikea or bed bath and beyond) and finally making what feels like a home. My family left, which is a shame but I don't think there was much excitement on this family vacation this time. Hopefully there will be more exciting trips planned because that makes two dud vacations this year (Shanghai which we did not like, and this one where most of it was spent with graduation and me moving out of my apt, although we did have a very enjoyable massive shopping day where we all stimulated the economy)

Today was my official first day of fellowship, but there's nothing clinical yet so I still have a little downtime. Met some nice folks in my apt. complex, a couple people who are ED like me and who I'll be working closely with so I now have some potential company.

Things to check out: outdoor trails, and THE POOL!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Happy New Year 2011!

First off, some resolutions (okay, 15 days late...but still... ) for the rest of the year

1) I will not let others get to me and I will be more patient with the stupidity of others (yeah yeah I know that sounds condescending, but it's what I need to tell myself before I explode at them). Try to be more patient because patience is not my strong suit
2) Go to the gym more - already making progress on that one!
3) Eat better - ok, not making so much progress there but because of all my night shifts lately, I'm nearly down to my high school weight!
4) Explore and enjoy NYC more before I leave - this will have to wait until after the exams
5) Go snowboarding!! - haven't made it yet this season!
6) Study Study Study - congrats to me for getting an Ivy League fellowship, but I better make it stick and not look foolish up there
7) Find that old optimism I used to have and start each day with a clean slate and look at each relationship I have through clean glasses
8) Find time for creative activities so that I can feel more balanced

I've got a lot of positive things to look forward to, especially in the first half of this year. First off, I'm going to my US fellowship at an Ivy League place full of history and tradition (I love that kind of stuff!) so already I feel I'm finally kick-starting my career.

After 2.5 years of residency, I really do feel like I'm ready to be an attending. There's some knowledge-based things that I really need to hone up before I get there, but in terms of spirit and attitude, I'm ready to handle anything thrown at me. It's nice when your attendings tell you as well, "You looking forward to this yet? You're ready and you'll be great!" Positive feedback is always so endearing. I've just finished two weeks at Harlem. Got a great thoracotomy case (my 2nd) and this one I saw up close and personal. I have the pictures to prove it, which I can't post unfortunately for legal reasons. Got a pure inhalational smoke injury which was a fantastic case, and between Harlem and Monte, I've gotten a lot of tubes on the first attempt. Although many codes come into the ER already DOA, I feel like I know how to handle them.

I feel like my residency has been a success, although I haven't achieved as much on the research end as I have wanted to. I'm comfortable with most cases, sick or FP-like. I'm comfortable with procedures. I'm happy with my patient through-put. I wish I had more time for reading or my elective or research, but we can't have everything. I'll get more of that during my fellowship, so c'est la vie! I definitely wish I had more time for creative venues, but that might change in the future, who knows?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My last Christmas in NYC for a little while...


This year, it's really chilly in NYC... and we finally got our massive blizzard / snow dump on Stephen's Day. Now all you European romanticizers know what I'm talking about! I do like NYC at Christmastime with the decorations and the constant store music blaring. But I definitely will not miss all the cursing. I'm no prude and I can be sailor-ish, but every time you hear someone on their cell phones it's always F-in this or s*** that. It'll nice to be in a place where everything is a little bit calmer and people aren't so angry.

Last week I went to see Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson ... could have done without seeing that particular musical. Nice set, but not a whole lot of substance to the actual plot and no real wit in the lyrics. Then I subwayed to Macy's - another exercise in patience re: shopping in a big city at Christmas! Every time it's a big reminder of why I should just stick to online shopping :), which I've become quite good at! (and I get to collect boxes for my move out of here!)

I also saw Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown which is based on a famous movie and also had one of my favorite broadway actresses in it (Laura Benanti). Unfortunately, the show is closing early and didn't get very good reviews but honestly, I thought it was fantastic! I was up in the mezzanine so maybe it looks less chaotic from up there, but I thought the way they put together scenes and used the set was pretty awesome. Fantastic singing and Benanti's character (the funny one) was just great. I'm going to have to buy the cast album just for that one song!

Oh, and another thing I'm going to have to see again is the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular... I thought it was going to be mainly for the kids, and in some respects it is but great choreography and sets. I'd love to take mom! Only next time I'll shell out for the expensive seats in front cos all the coughing snotty loud kids are in the back...

The rest of Christmas was pretty uneventful and all my off days were spent recuperating from work. Worked short staffed but we survived, it's snowed more this year than in any of my other years here and still you'll come up to waist-high piles of snow and all the cars are still boxed in. But it's kind of nice to see NYC blanketed in snow in the early mornings before people are trying to bustle in the streets.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Chiefs have it rough!

I haven't posted on here in awhile! I thought being in final year of residency with a decreased number of shifts would give me more time. It has to some degree, but all my free time is monopolized by my Chief duties! So yes yes, I'm one of my program's Chiefs this year. Technically, I'm the Chief Resident of Acadaemia, but I dabble in everything that needs to get done. What does it mean? Respect, yes. Self-pride, yes. More money, not really. A HELL OF A LOT MORE WORK! And it also means no one likes me anymore, except when they want something...

But really, I do enjoy it. I'm not opposed to administrative stuff and it's interesting to try to plan our lectures and engage my program in useful activities. I'm not really a fan of being the end point for the whining or having to be connected to my email 24/7 though. But facilitating new ideas (whether mine or someone else's) is always good for change!

Currently I'm applying for my fellowship in Ultrasound EM. I think it's a field that is becoming increasingly more important (quickly) and I want to make sure I'm "expert" in it before starting my career when I have no time to go back and do it. I could potentially see myself doing a couple fellowships actually, but of all the ones offered in EM, this one is the most important right now. I have my first interview tomorrow and one next week as well, so we'll see how it goes.

We also just came back from Las Vegas ACEP, which was absolutely fantastic! Our program tries to send all the 3rd years and we lucked out that it was in LV this year. SO much fun, there was one night that there was a sponsored party in one of the hottest nightclubs on the strip, and we didn't get back to our rooms til 6 am! I've never seen so many docs on the floor (literally) before! Our program director took us out to a lovely dinner in the Venetian, and we went for a buffet in Paris as well. Walked the strip and saw the sites... LV would not be a bad place to live, I think. Can't wait for future ACEP's!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Big Bad Chief Rant

Welcome to my last year in residency (now 1/2 year!) and to Chiefdom as well. Being Chief is about as fun as sticking a needle in your eye. I'd say since June, most of my free time has been spent poring over just one month's schedule. And I still have to do the conference schedule, arrange lecturers and assign text reading. Yikes.

Then there are the day-to-day problems . X person calling in sick and spending hours on the phone trying to reach people to cover. (This sick call business is getting really old and we've had multiple issues over the Christmas period). Y and Z people didn't show up to their outside rotations and there goes more hours speaking with administration. Once I was called during one of my fellowship interviews to handle this stuff so I had to keep apologizing for answering my phone. Went on until 10:30 at night! Sometimes I think for a bunch of doctors who are supposed to be logical and be able to handle problems by themselves, they can be worse than the general population.

Now it's interview season and we're short one program director, we're short attendings and so for the last month my time has been sucked into giving interviews or tours. Good thing I like meeting new people, but it means I can't really plan on things or do anything else like mini ski trips or whatever. Cramping my style, man!!!

It's not so bad, I do enjoy being able to effect "policy" and being an "authority" (DOWN WITH AUTHORITY MAN!), and we do get paid a small stipend. But it's definitely no holiday and I've lost a lot of my free time.

Fortunately I got through all my fellowship interviews in October / November (which was really hectic!). These days last forever, some of them from 9-5! I think I did about 7 interviews which was less than other people, and it was exhausting. I subsequently got URI sick for a month! They're pretty laid back just like regular ER interviews for residency but wow, I'd forgotten how tiring it all is. I don't think being chief really has that much bearing on your competitiveness for fellowship. It helps, but it's not going to seal a deal. I have a pretty good CV in terms of "extracurriculars" which is definitely not as extensive now as it was in medical school. Still, every little bit counts I guess. All my work has paid off, though ... I'm going to Yale for my Ultrasound Fellowship! Time to celebrate!!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

One last run...

Too bad snowboarding season is over, just when I started getting a little control of my board! I went back for one last run and since last week was so warm and it suddenly turned cold over the weekend, all the groomed snow was like ICE so people were catching edges all over the place. Definitely was able to control turns and start linking them without falling, and the last two runs I did there were no falls which was awesome. But before those, my knees did take a beating. I'm definitely going to have to invest in some protective gear for next season. I can't wait!

Today I'm just cleaning stuff up, trying to pack up winter stuff and get everything clean. I'll go to OBGYN later and see if there's any evening deliveries. I need to start studying for next year since it's the big bag third year where I'm actually expected to know stuff. I also need to start saving. I need a new computer (yet again) cuz my laptop is fritzing out on me, and using this netbook is slightly annoying since I lost bluetooth when I upgraded to Win 7. DAMN WINDOWS 7 I DISLIKE YOU.