Monday, June 29, 2009

I am still doing pretty much the same thing that I was doing the last time I wrote. That is, still making the rounds as a member of the gyn/onc team. You might say that I'm getting used to the hospital. I'm still getting used to my new role as an MS3, which I assume will take all the way until the end of the year to really get used to, at which time I will be a 4th year...

I'm also getting used to my alarm clocks going off at 4:50, 4:52, 4: 55, 4:57, 5:00 am, etc. Great fun.

That aside, I'm already working on figuring out what I want to be when I grow up. I hesitate to write about it for the world to see, but suffice it to say that I have top men working on it I'm working on it.

My one little anecdote for the day is what happened in the OR a couple of days ago... the surgeon removed a mass, and told me that I should "cut it open and look at it" before it was sent to pathology to be analyzed. Well, being the good med student that I am, I took said mass to a table in the room. While I was carrying it, I thought to myself, "Self, this feels like it's got some fluid in it". Unfortunately, that thought didn't prompt me to open it in some kind of container. I just decided to cut it open on the table. So, picture me cutting open a water balloon with a scalpel. Next, picture me cutting open a water balloon filled with bloody, serous fluid that went all over the place. Because that's about what happened. 

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wide receiver's gloves wanted!

Just a quick update... Here we go! I'm still doing the gynecology oncology service, and liking it for the most part. I'm enjoying the fact that I'm not reading books all day for sure. It's a bit depressing since everyone has cancer. But maybe I could write a song like this one except about cancer instead.

Probably the biggest adjustment to third year from my point of view is the fact that I have to get up at about 5am or earlier every day, which is quite the switch from the "night person" that I'd kind of become... I mean, it's not a huge deal, but it's definitely a change.

Anyway, I have my very first night of being "on call" tonight in the Labor and Delivery suite, which I'm sure will be a "learning" experience.

In other news, I'm still waiting to find out what my USMLE Step 1 score was. It's supposedly coming out in a couple of weeks... I guess I'd just like to see it, so I can see just how competitive I'll be in matching into a residency, and if my dreams of neurosurgery or orthopedics are plausible or if maybe I'd be better off having a dissociative fugue and trying again as if I was someone else.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I've started my first rotation! For the next month or so, I will be doing my Ob/Gyn rotation. More specifically, for the next two weeks or so, I'm on the gynecologic oncology team, and then the next couple of weeks after that I'm doing obstetrics.

But I found out yesterday that I've got the entire weekend off (i.e. no call until next week sometime), which was unexpected, and leaves me with really nothing to do all weekend. Which is entirely OK with me. For the record, the weekend started off with a bang, which consisted of me putting brand-new strings on my guitar for perhaps the first time in 2 or 3 years!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Thought for the Day

This past Friday, actually, but I just remembered it this afternoon!

While watching the Stanley Cup Finals Game 7, we became inordinately interested in just who this "Stanley" was (possibly because hockey is too confusing to figure out). Turns out it was Lord Stanley (of Preston, whatever that is).

Which got me to thinking; how awesome would it be to have the name "Lord"? The answer to my question is, of course, 'very awesome'. I already have a name though, unfortunately.

My thought is this: why not name a child Lord? Or better yet, multiple children? They could have separate middle names, and even go by them. For example: Lord John Tomcik, or Lord Jane Tomcik would probably go by John or Jane. But it those rare instances where you have to go by your given first name, they would have to be called Lord Tomcik.

Perhaps a less child-scarring-for-life thing to do would be to get a dog and name it Lord Tomcik, but where's the fun in that?

Maybe if any of the women having babies during my obstetrics rotation this month need last-minute ideas for baby names, I'll just throw this out there and see how it goes over...

Friday, June 12, 2009

Where AM I?!?

It is official; I've moved to Indianapolis! As always, moving was an adventure. This time, it was made even more so by the fact that my roommate and I were trying to save money by not renting a moving truck. The result of that was that we used my parents' van and trailer and his car to move everything that we had in South Bend to Indianapolis. Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures, but we had that van packed. Using the rear-view mirror on the windshield was out of the question (not a big deal), and also, I had to make sure that the stuff that was sitting in the front passenger's seat was not obstructing my view to the right as I was driving. It was an experience, especially in the city.

But everthing made it in one piece (I think), and I've spent the past few days getting my apartment all set up and ready to live in. I'm pretty sure that I'd better get it all set up before I start clerkships next week, because if I don't there's really no telling when (or if) I would have time to do it after that.

I've finally got my assignment for what hospital I'm at for my first clerkship, and I've read over what's expected of us (imagine this—they expect me to actually DO things...), I've got my hippocampus all fired up and I'm just about ready to go, which is good, because orientation is on Monday, and then theres these "intersession" workshops on Tuesday and Wednesday, and I actually start on Thursday.

Anyway, to start out my "clinical years" of medical school, I thought it might be a good idea to make a list of some things that I'm hoping to get out of it. So, here we go:

  1. Learn how to do medicine
  2. Figure out what I want to be when I grow up
  3. Avoid losing my mind
  4. Avoid screwing anything up too royally
  5. Have some kind of a life outside the hospital
  6. Try not to look dumb
That's the major portion if my list. Other things that I've considered include: try to get into a Sports Medicine elective during the Super Bowl when it's here in 2011, schedule a foreign elective in Africa right before or right after the World Cup in 2010, then sneak on over to Johannesburg and watch some futbol. Also, if I could combine medicine and being a rock star, that would be great.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


I took my big exam yesterday. It was loads of fun, as expected. The exam was at one of the Prometric test centers, and everything is on computers now, so I was just in a room with all different people taking all different tests, and there were about 3 shifts of high schoolers taking their SATs during the time I took my test... But at least its over now!

Anyway, I've spent the past two years in South Bend, but now it's on to the next stage of my foray into the world of medicine in Indianapolis. 

But before that, I have to move. Unfortunately, this is something like the 8th time I've moved in the last 6 years (if you count moving back and forth to and from college and my parents' house), and while that much experience should probably mean I'm getting good at it, and organized, and all of that, such is not the case. Regardless, like it or not, I'm moving to Indianapolis on Monday.

But most importantly, I'M DONE WITH STEP 1!!!

I would have titled this post "Bing!", but I think that would have been sending mixed messages.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Sampson Approach to Medicine

It's no big secret just exactly what the Sampson Approach is. If you've ever been to Sunday school (or just wanted a good excuse not to get a haircut), then you know that Sampson was really strong, because he didn't cut his hair (or drink wine, and some other things...the so-called "Nazarite vow", or whatever). Well, I didn't take a Nazarite vow, and I don't think any angels appeared with extraordinary instructions for my parents before I was born (note to my parents: if that did happen, it'd be nice to know), but I have been taking the Sampson Approach to medicine for the last month or so. (hint: if you capitalize things, they become real)

I say all that to say this: I've been preparing for the last month or two pretty hard-core for this exam I have in a couple of days, and I haven't had a haircut or shaved in about a month or so. I'm hoping that like it did for Sampson, this will improve my performance.

It may strike the reader that I have chosen the wrong biblical character to emulate in hopes of doing well on an exam, and that in fact I should have chosen Solomon. I would have done so, but it is much more difficult to get God to appear to you in a dream than it is to not get a haircut.