Saturday, March 12, 2011

Take THAT, All Work and No Play

I am getting oh so very excited. Cathy and her husband Nate are arriving from Wisconsin tomorrow!!!

Cathy and I met on our Himalayan Health Exchange volunteer trip in 2008. You know when you meet someone and instantly know they will always be a part of your life from that point on? I have to say I was lucky enough to have that feeling about several of the folks on that trip, Cathy was no exception. There is also something about seeing your colleague's underwear drying on the line day after day, for a month, that really causes all pretense to fall.  It is pretty hard to put-on-airs and be aloof when no one has had access to running water for 3 weeks. Ok, one girl was aloof but we won't go there (who brings a white felt pea-coat as their jacket on a backpacking trip??) Bottom line, you bond with people when you are living and working together in the midst of controlled chaos and pit toilets.
Just chillin' (literally) at 14 000ft.
On the trip, Cathy was a 4th year medical student waiting to find out about residencies, and I was a nurse waiting to find out about medical school interviews.

Needless to say our lives have changed a little since then! She's now an old married woman and 2nd year peds resident.

I haven't actually seen her since our goodbye in Delhi, but we've kept in touch via email and random gift packages.

I've worked like a mad-woman all week in the hopes of taking next week off. I even managed to finish my paper early, and most of my homework for the next case is done. Now it is time to enjoy some Irish adventures and shenanigans. I don't feel a lick of guilt for my planned truancy. Besides, Cathy is like some kind of brilliantly-hilarious-Asian-American-Halley's-Comet that only comes around a few times in one's lifetime. I've got to enjoy the downtime when I can get it, after all, the hospital will be making me it's bi*ch soon enough.

Speaking of which, I GOT MED/SURG for the summer! STOKED!! Too many people wanted to do med/surg as their first placement (instead of GP) so the school had to do a lottery. The big issue is many of my Canadian classmates (myself included) are trying to arrange electives in North America in the hopes of getting some residency connections and local letters of recommendation. As you can imagine, the hoops to get back into a North American residency are many--but one step that many people have advised is DO AS MUCH IN CANADA AND THE US AS POSSIBLE* when you are a medical student. Many of these electives require that you have completed your 3rd year med/surg rotation. Needless to say there are quite a few unhappy Canadians right now in my class. I am hoping it will work out for them, the school has said they will try very hard to give them the preparation and skills required. Still, it's a gamble. Anyway, I am so excited as I cannot wait to get back into the O.R and back in the hospital in general. The small flickering light at the end of the basic science years is starting to show itself!

But now I must get cracking and get ready for the arrival of my esteemed guests. It's going to be so great to re-connect with this formidable woman!

*Any of you want to provide the ultimate clerkship experience for me in years 3 and 4? G'head and email me!


PGYx said...

I'm so happy you'll soon get to enjoy some of the schedule flexibility that pbl can offer! I miss it... waiting for a plane to take me on a vacation that I had to request 11 months ago -- well before the start of internship.

Congratulations for getting med/surg for your first rotation! What types of rotations are you interested in doing in N America?

Nature Nerd said...

Congrats on med/surg! It is so great to hear you are taking some time off cramming to enjoy the company of a good friend.Soul food.

Anonymous said...

One of my classmates and I had a similar bonding experience when we hiked Kilimanjaro last summer, though it was largely due to the fact that I wore jeans for the first day of the climb.

I can promise you nothing save for a ratty couch or inflatable mattress should you choose to venture out to my neck of the woods, but you're more than welcome to it :)

Albinoblackbear said...

PGYx-Oh I wish we had flexibility!

Our school has decided to implement biometric finger print scanning to endure attendance in class (not even joking on this one). You have to attend 90% of PBL and clinical skills or you can't sit exams!! It is so absolutely insane.

Since I've only missed one PBL class all year I am going to skip Monday but make an appearance on Wednesday. SO. Unbelievably. Lame.

Yeah I am really excited about med/surg for a number of reasons. Mostly just looking forward to seeing an area other than the ED (turns out there are floors above the 1st level!!!

You know, the rotations thing is pretty wide open. I am just looking for somewhere that has a good learning environment. I don't get any credit for them or have any special parameters, so I would just like to see and experience as much as I can during my 'free' electives.

NN--Thanks! Yes, soul food definitely required.

Hey, maybe next time you run into Sara B. or Cam ask them if they'd take a sassy medical student for a few weeks sometime! =)

IANH--Hah! Oh wow. Jeans!?!? Even jeggings would be better! hahahah

Thank you for the offer, it wouldn't be the first time a fellow blogger has put me up! To be fair, he did find me a spare room at a friend's place, so I wouldn't be relegated to futon-couch-land.
(Hi BeachBum!)

Albinoblackbear said...

PGYx--Whoops, my Freudian slip above was meant to read "to ENSURE" attendance. I suppose my thoughts on the matter are obvious! hah

Liana said...

I think you have to be careful about which electives you choose. If you know you want to do ortho and your first choice is U of C, I think with rare exceptions you should aim to do your elective in Calgary. I know that my residency program ranked letters from docs who taught in our program higher than docs who didn't.

PS I thought of your post about fluorescent everything yesterday. It's a British obsession too... makes my eyes hurt on the walk to school everyday. :)

Anonymous said...

dude I did HHE also. this is a smallllllllllll world.

enjoy hanging out and the med/surg; fun times ahead

PGYx said...

ABB, I hope you had fun with Cathy! Your Freudian slip is telling. :-) How many days/hours do you spend in PBL per week? I definitely had to attend most sessions, but it was only 3 times per week so we could structure study and extra-curricular time as we wanted (altho' we sometimes got ambitious and planned extra group learning commitments).

There were so few of us in my school's PBL group that we were expected to attend all sessions barring a very special reason (e.g., I skipped one to be home with my mom after my stepdad's MI). Sometimes we scheduled sessions a day early so that we could have an extra travel day before vacation weeks.