Supposed to…

I was supposed to post something a day or 2 ago and guess what…I didn’t!!! I got busy and then forgot and now I’m apartment hunting and again too busy…but maybe this counts as a post!!? Cause at least I’m explaining why there is a lack of a decent post…lol 

Such is life, always laughing at your best laid plans and intentions!!! 

It’s been a year…

OMG has it really been a year since my last post??? Almost!!! My last entry was 4/16/14 and today is 4/15/15!!! Wow! I guess you can say a LOT has happened since my last entry…way more than can be told in one long ass catch up post, which I won’t do, but instead I’ll give just my readers (if I have any) a brief update.

As of last post, my partner and I were moving to Minneapolis, MN to start our residency training, mine in Family Medicine and his in Pathology. Well that happened, we got here in June and pretty much hit the ground running with unpacking, getting to know the area, and starting our orientation. I’m a resident at HCMC and he’s a resident at UMN.

Intern year has been nothing short of a blur!!! It’s hard to believe that in a few short months I’ll be moving on to my PGY-2 year with all the rights and responsibilities that come with it, which are pretty damn scary, but hopefully I’ll be ready!

The experiences here so far have been amazing! The doctors, nurses, and my fellow interns, man I can’t say enough about my fellow interns, my new family. They are one set of truly amazing and diverse people! So much can be learned from our diverse population here, things I don’t think I’d be able to see anywhere else. Sure we work long hours, days start to blur, night float is brutal, and the workload can seem daunting, but it’s worth it because I know I’m preparing myself to be ready for the future. The future in which I’m no longer a resident, but a practicing independent physician, who can draw on these experiences, the mistakes or victories, and apply them to benefit my future patients.

It’s funny, I set a goal this year to post more, so that others could know what it was like to be an intern in Family Medicine, and somehow I just haven’t had time. Intern year at our program is very inpatient heavy, with only 2 outpatient months and the rest of our rotations are all in the inpatient units (FM, Surgery, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, OB/GYN, Newborn Nursery), but this just sounds like an excuse to me. So again, I’m going to attempt to make a better effort at keeping this post updated more frequently than once a year!

I still need to figure out how I want to catch up…figuring out what to post next will be interesting, because my thoughts are: should I recap rotations? should I talk about interesting situations? interesting patients/cases? Can I even talk about work/patients/cases w/o getting in trouble with the big bad HIPAA peoples?!!? Who knows!

My goal is to post again in 2 if I haven’t posted anything by 4/17/15, feel free to send me comments to remind me! oh and suggestions, feel free to leave suggestions!!!


At last entry I was anxiously, VERY anxiously I might add, awaiting the results of the “Match”. The process in which medical students in their last year of training, foreign graduates, and US graduates who haven’t “matched” apply for a spot in a residency training program in the specialty of their choice. In order to be a practicing physician you can’t just go to med school and be done with it. You need to apply for and successfully complete a residency training program in your chosen specialty and that can last anywhere from 3-8 years MORE after medical school depending on the field you want to go into! And just like admission into medical school, landing a residency spot is NOT guaranteed and VERY hard to come by. With only about 25,000 spots and about > 60,000 applicants, it’s basically the “Hunger Games” of the medical world especially in the sense that being from the right “district” (aka right medical school) can make a world of difference. I’ve pretty much gone over the hectic process of applying in previous posts, I think, so I won’t go into detail here but as a quick summary, the process of applying starts in September, interviews begin in October and can last up until early February and you find out if you “matched” in March! A process that takes 7 months and involves traveling, money, stress, emotions, anxiety, fear, depression, weather changes, airports, train stations, bus stations, hotels, motels, rental cars, taxis…pretty much all means of transportation to get where you need to be for these interviews and all included emotions as well! Not to mention that when things go wrong, they go really wrong and all those weird traveling mishaps that you hear about start happening to you! Best advice for the traveling, is be prepared and try to stick to carry on only! Last thing you need is to get your luggage lost the night before your interview!!!

I applied to 75 Internal Medicine programs and 30 Family Medicine residency programs for a total of 105 programs which cost me around $2300 in application fees alone, not including cost of travel, lodging, and food. Out of those 105 I was lucky enough to be invited for 16 interviews, 11 family medicine and 5 internal medicine. These places ranged from the west coast to the east coast and a few places in between. It’s funny when I think about it but when I started the journey into medicine I thought I wanted to do one thing (Oncology), which is why I applied to more IM programs, but as the interview process started playing itself out, I started to realize that what I originally wanted was no longer the same. I realized that my passion in medicine didn’t lie with just one subset of patients with just one subset of disease. I needed variability, I needed connection, and I needed family. I needed to know that what I do for patients won’t just impact them but also their family and community.

Having the privilege to interview at both IM and FM programs opened my eyes to the fact that FM truly was for me. It was something about the environment of IM programs that no longer appealed to me after interviewing at different FM programs. FM programs were welcoming, warm, and friendly, while IM programs were more strict, cold, and distant. In an FM interview there would be maybe 2 or 3 other candidates but at an IM interview there were around 20-30 other candidates. It took away from the personal aspect of interviewing, I didn’t feel that the interviewers were actually getting to know me but rather just asking me a list of questions they had to get through. FM interviews flowed like conversations, what I liked, what I didn’t like, do I have hobbies, it was personal and never about medicine but about me, who I am as a person. I felt myself open up on these interviews, divulge parts of my life to complete strangers in hopes that they would “like” me enough to rank me for their program.

One interview in particular I won’t forget was at Hennepin County Medical Center, with the program director (PD) and everything was flowing perfectly as if we had known each other for years. As the PD was interviewing me she asked me who my hero was, I paused for a second, and responded that my mother was my hero, when she asked why, I took another pause and suddenly found myself on the verge of tears. The PD looked at me and without skipping a beat handed me a tissue and said let it out, and I did and when I composed myself, I answered the question, because she’s the strongest person I know. She has been through so much, lived through so much, and has had so many reasons to just give up, and she doesn’t. She never does, she never shows it, she keeps on and she taught me that, she showed me that, she made it a point to always tell me that education is the greatest weapon I can wield and that it’ll be the key that will open any door I want and that if it isn’t opening a door, then it’ll open the window. The PD then grabbed a tissue for herself and in that moment aside from feeling foolish for CRYING at a residency interview of all places, I felt happy that I was able to share that with the PD. That moment is honestly the main reason that I ranked HCMC as my #1 program on my rank list.

Then the big day came, “Match Day”!!! The do or die moment, the did I make it moment…the day I would find out if all my struggles, sacrifices, efforts, hard work, determination, rejections, failures, successes, and hopes were worth it and then the email arrived at 12pm and I saw the words:

“Congratulations! You have Matched!”

Words could not begin describe the feeling of joy that moment gave me and then to look over and see my fiancé, Victor, open his results and see the same result, it was happiness x 1,000 to know that we both matched in the same city with at our #1 choices! We did it, we couples matched!!!

It’s a feeling of indescribable joy to know that this kid,who dreamt of being a doctor is whole life, is having his dreams come true!!! Truly I owe it all to my family, fiancé, and friends who have always been there for me, their unconditional love and support throughout this crazy journey of mine has given me the strength and determination to go after this dream of mine!

So what’s next, our happy asses are moving to Minneapolis, Minnesota where I’ll be a Family Medicine Resident at Hennepin County Medical Center and he will be a Pathology Resident at the University of Minnesota and we couldn’t be happier!!!



So it’ll be hard to play catch up with all that’s been going on since I last blogged but the main thing is that now I am waiting…

For what…well I’m waiting to find out if I will “match”! and No it’s not like it’s what we medical students have to go through in our final year to secure an actual (paid) training position as a real “doctor” in our chosen specialty. It’s what 4 years of hard work and sacrifice culminate in. We apply to hospitals all over the US and travel to interviews and then when all is said and done we make a list, in order of preference, of the places we would like to train at. Sounds simple right? Well it’s not that simple because while we are making our lists, the hospitals themselves are making their own lists of candidates they want to train/hire as a resident physicians.

So then how do we know who goes where??? Glad you asked (even if you didn’t!)!! After both parties have made their lists, they get submitted to the NRMP which is the governing body responsible for coordinating “the Match”. The lists get read by a computer and analyzed using this super duper nobel prize winning algorithm that places a candidates top choice with a hospitals top choice and BAM like magic (more like math magic) you “match” somewhere and future as a physician is secured!

The matches can get more complicated if you’re matching a couple (like I am with my fiancé) or if you’re matching into an advanced specialty…but I won’t be getting into the details of that because it’s just confusing enough as it is and I think I’ve already confused my readers (and myself) already, lol.

So summing up…I’m waiting…waiting to find out if I “matched” somewhere…I’ll find out on March 17th, IF I matched and I won’t know WHERE I matched until March 21st…and don’t ask why they do it like that…they just do…and that again is more confusing to figure out…gotta love that everything in medicine can’t just be straightforward. Damn those doctors and their love making everything more complicated than it needs to be!!!

So yea until then I wait, my fiancé waits, my family waits, my friends wait…and my readers (if any) wait as well…hopefully for some super happy awesome amazing news and not some life shattering depressing news…so good vibes thoughts and feelings please!!!

Uh Oh!!!

Jus realized that my last original post was in February of 2013!!! Eek almost a year ago!!!

I keep telling myself that I need to write more often, so maybe it’s time I actually stick to it!!!

So much has happened over the last year, I don’t even know where to start! I’ll just break it down real quick and give a proper update tomorrow!

Events of note this year: Passed my Step 2 CK and CS exams, Graduated from Medical School, Moved to NYC to start my Pre-Internship Program, Applied for Residency Programs and Currently Going on Residency Interviews!!!

I’ll probably dedicate a whole blog post about the interview process and ERAS and the Match and how freaking crazy and stressful and EXPEN$IVE the process is, especially if you plan on traveling to different states!!!

Anywho, I’ll update more later on, at present I’m vegging out on my sofa watching Wendy Williams realizing I need to clean the apartment, get to the gym, and run some errands…

Happy Hump Day!!!



So I know I said I’d keep this blog updated more often but you know sometimes life gets busy and other times, I get lazy…go figure!!

Anywho, my last post was me being anxious about whether I passed my Step 2 CK…and guess what…I DID!!! And with a pretty awesome score too!!!

I know most people just want to know how and what I used to study, so I’ll mention it real quick. Doctors in Training (that stuff is gold!), Master the Boards, Step up to the Step 2 CK and of course USMLE World! I studied off and on for most of 7th semester, but really buckled down and study for 4 weeks straight during Christmas break. 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, so that pretty much means I didn’t get a Christmas break, but we all have to make sacrifices to get ahead in life at times, and this was mine. At least I am on this incredible journey with my boyfriend and we study together and took the test on the same day and both passed, with great scores! So that helps! Sharing this struggle and the joys that come with it!!

I’ve gone through 2 rotations so far this semester, Ophthalmology and ENT. Optho was pretty chill. Mon thru Thurs from 9-5, not a bad schedule and the patient load isn’t crazy. Saw a couple cool things but nothing really that stood out. Cataract surgeries are cool but after seeing like 20, I’m good on that surgery. ENT was a bit different, the doctor was pretty interesting and always asked me questions. He loved to ask me questions. What’s this, what’s that, where does this go…I guess he just wanted to make sure I was paying attention..and yup, I was! ENT was more entertaining than Ophtho at least. One thing for sure tho is that ENT’s love to stick scopes down your nose. I sear every patient would get a nasolaryngoscope done. It’s where they stick a camera up your nose and down the back of your throat to check out your vocal cords. The best part would be when he would tell the patient to stick out their tongue and say “E” and the patient would sound like, “blarghhhh”! The surgeries were more interesting as well, thyroidectomies, rhinoplasties, lymph node dissections and all that jazz. The only gripe would be that these surgeries take about 4 hours and man o man do your feet start to hurt after standing holding retractors for that long, especially when being asked even more questions by the doc to make sure you’re paying attention. Ummm duh I’m holding a person’s neck open why would you think I wasn’t paying attention!!! He was a good guy tho!

I’m currently in my Urology rotation, yup the plumbing rotation. Making sure the pipes work! So far it’s chill but boring at times, since the dr is very about his patients privacy so I don’t get to go into many consults. So that’s when I bust out my iPad and read something lol.

Ok so we’re caught up! This time for sure I’ll try to keep this blogging thing up and post more and spice it up with more than just boring medical topics, but I’m sure it’ll still mostly be medical topics anyway!

Tomorrow is the Academy Awards and I’m super excited for that!!! So till then…

It’s Been a while…

So it’s been quite a while since my last post. Things just started getting super hectic and personal time went down to pretty much zero! The last rotations I was on were Neurology and Internal Medicine and both were pretty much amazing. The attendings are great people and have the will/want to teach, which is absolutely refreshing when you’re a scared med student just wanting to know what’s going on, lol. I’ll talk about them in more detail later on. After that I had to go back to Guadalajara for finals, then back to LA to study for USMLE Step 2 CK. Which is why I had zero personal time…until now that is!

Finally starting my last semester of medical school!!! Let me say that again, LAST SEMESTER OF MEDICAL SCHOOL!!!! Luckily the rotations here for our last semester are all sub-specialties and the attendings have pretty awesome schedules, (like 9-2pm) so I finally will have ME time. To work out, to read (what I want to), and to do nothing or anything I’d like!!!

So for now here’s the update! More to come soon!

Elective time!

Ok, I know, I know, it’s been forever since I’ve “blogged” ok and yea I swear other people read my blog besides my family and friends who care, lol. So whatevs…lol I’m sure if I had a like a million followers I’d blog every day, but I don’t and frankly I don’t have the time. Last time I checked in I was finishing up family medicine and getting ready for my elective rotation: Hematology/Oncology.

Let me just start by saying, that rotation was INTENSE! Like, not just wow, but OH wow! I worked with the main Hem/Onc doctor (Dra. R), who happens to be a lady, and who happens to have graduated from my medical school, UAG, what what!!! When I found that out, I was like OMG!!! First off she is a great person and totally awesome, like beyond all reason amazing. The way she treats patients, employees, and the lowly students is something you don’t get from all docs, especially from specialist who like to consider themselves demi-gods on earth. This rotation was special to me, since Oncology is the specialty I’d like to practice.

Since the rotation is an elective, I was excused from having to attend the morning reports at MMC and wasn’t assigned any H & P’s to do (yay!). The hours were set by Dra. R and were pretty generous, since I didn’t have to start at 7am like the other rotations, but the days did end later, around 7/8pm, but to me were totally worth it and went by lightning fast. A typical day would consist of seeing patients in clinic, both for follow up and chemotherapy, and then seeing patients in the hospital for consult. Since Dra R is a heme/onc we saw patients that ranged from being anemic to being in late stage (insert cancer here), we basically saw it all! The Dra loved to “pimp” me out with questions, and not just your run of the mill most common things but also many rare things. I didn’t think I’d ever see a patient with Sezary syndrome but I did or a patient with MGUS, but I did. Polycythemia vera, cryoglobulinemia, hairy cell leukemia, non-hodgkin lymphoma, TTP, ITP, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuira…yup saw all that too! The range of pathologies from commonly seen to never seen, saw those too!!! It’s a great rotation and keeps you on your feet, that’s for sure!!

Clinic was a very different environment than I was expecting. The patient population was for the most part, elderly and more upbeat than I had imagined or had been told. For some reason whenever people think of cancer they seem to have this end of life type of ominous reaction towards it. So, that’s what I was expecting in the clinic, and boy was I wrong. I’ve never met a more hopeful and upbeat bunch of patients, ever.

I think it has a lot to do with how Dra R treats them. She wouldn’t let them get down about their diagnosis. She said, “We give people horrible diagnosis’ here, we sometimes tell them we can’t cure them,  but no matter what, we never tell them we can’t help them…once your patient loses their faith, they’ve lost it all, so we can’t let them lose that.”

I think the best example of that was a patient we saw with end stage lung CA, who had gone through surgical resection, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy and sadly they weren’t getting better. The doc explained that he would no longer benefit from any medication she could give, but that it was no reason to give up living life. She would make him comfortable from here on out and to the patient, that was enough. In this field it’s important to know when enough is enough, when to be aggressive and when to be supportive. If a treatment is gonna cause the quality of life of the patient to be worse off than doing nothing then why go through it?

I’ll never forget one patient though. I was walking down the hall where the chemotherapy rooms were and checking up on the patients to make sure they were tolerating their meds and came upon “the lady in the red dress”. Seriously, she was in red dress, leopard print leggings, I’d say about 3 inch heels, and hair & make-up as if she was going to the Oscars. Needless to say, I was curious. So aside from all the usual doctor-patient questions, I asked, “why so dressed up, you going somewhere important after?” To which she replied, “No honey, I’m celebrating!” When I asked what she was celebrating, she told me that it was the last chemo she would be needing. She was done. She had lost all her hair, became sicker than she ever thought she could become, puked her life away to being underweight, but today she was done. She was ready to start her “new” life.

Then it hit me, the moment you know what you want to do for the rest of your life. I want to be able to give my patients the opportunity to feel and be “the lady in the red dress” to know that together we put cancer in it’s place after a successful treatment. Also, to be that doctor that knows when my patient has had enough and it’s time let dignity and quality of life win over aggressive therapy. Everyday was an emotional one with ups and downs and I felt them all, with them, and it made me feel alive. It made me realize this, this right here, is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Win or lose, we are here and we will do all we can together.