Red Tape

Next month, I’ll be doing my sub-internship at a veteran’s hospital near my home school. A sub-internship is supposed to be a capstone to medical school, a chance to behave “like the intern” in preparation for the actual ass-clenching panic of actually being an intern.

(It also means that I will be writing much, much less, which is probably a welcome respite for those of you not named Grandma.)

The VA, as it affectionately and simultaneously-not-affectionately known, is one of my favorite places in the medical universe. Continue reading

A Second Look

I write to you this time from a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet, in the midst of my second travel nightmare of 2015. Frankly, though, nothing can top the horror of the Three Days In Ramshackle-Houston Where I Potentially Came Close To Having My Kidneys Stolen. As such I will refrain from discussing the joys of getting out of Portland with a broken plane and a pair of enraged business consultants with Very Important Meetings early tomorrow morning that surely cannot go on without their august presences. Continue reading

Performing Tumor Surgery, Or Why You Need Physics

I complained for the duration of my entire postbac program about physics.

Why do premeds have to take a year of physics plus the associated labs? What possible relevance does shooting metal balls out of a rubber band launcher, and tracking how far they fly, have for medicine? Why is my professor such a disinterested teacher? Why do I have to sit through an hour of tutorial a week?

This morning, all my questions were answered. I, with the help of the electronic circuits unit from second semester physics, successfully performed surgery.

Am I a doctor? No. Am I in medical school? No. But I, surgical instruments in hand, spent my early Sunday morning removing a tumor from a patient – an unsightly but benign tumor that was causing significant distress to the patient’s family members.

I am of course talking about the buzzer on my dryer. Continue reading

Off to Southeast Asia

After a couple of weeks of MCAT destressing and apartment hunting, I am off to Southeast Asia! I’m going to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. I hope to post a little bit here about our travels; Ellen might have a blog of her own you can check out. If so, I’ll post the link here.

We have very little idea of where we’re going or how to get there, but that’s the best way to go, right?


Thoughts on Birthright Israel

Over winter break, I finally took the plunge and went on Birthright. For those of you that don’t know, Birthright (technically called “Taglit Birthright”) is a program that sends American Jews on a ten-day trip to Israel… for free. It sounds too good to be true, but there’s no catch. It really is free, even airfare. All Birthright requires is that you’re Jewish and between 18-26. I returned the day my classes started again here, so I’ve just now beaten the jetlag to write down a few thoughts: Continue reading