$1 no-acrylic nails

I was able to take some time this weekend to pamper myself because of the three day weekend. On Saturday night, I put on a face mask while I was doing my Firecracker questions and I did my nails while watching some Sketchy Pharm. I decided to do something different with my nails; I used these Kiss glue-on fake nails to give my nails the appearance of acrylics.  img_3449img_3450

Being a busy med student, I don’t usually have time to go out to the salon to get my nails done (nor do I have the money – a full-set can cost up to $40).  I like the appearance of long nails, but I didn’t want to commit to having it for longer than a week or so. My med school curriculum has physical exam sessions where we work with standardized patients, and I didn’t want to have long nail while doing these sessions (for hygiene and for comfort reasons; image trying to percuss a lung with these bad boys on!). I did some research and found these glue-on fake nails. I leave them on for about a week and sometimes they fall off earlier

I topped the fake nails with Sally Hansen Miracle Gel nail polish. I love this nail polish brand; it has lasts for up to 10 days without chipping and stays glossy and smooth for a long time. My ultimate nail polish trick is the Seche Vite fast dry top coat. After using the Miracle Gel top coat, I put on a thin layer of the Seche Vite top coat and my nails are dry within seconds. I’m super impatient after painting my nails and mess them up right after I finish them, but this Seche Vite has saved me a lot of stress from having to redo them.

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Do No Harm

As a medical student and future health care professional, these past few days have been disheartening. The actions of Republican politicians have been rocking the news with updates on dismantling the Affordable Care Act. My medical school is widely known in the UC system as the medical school leading in primary care. With programs like the Accelerated Competency-based Education in Primary Care (ACE-PC), the San Joaquin-Valley PRIME, Rural PRIME, and TEACH-MS, my medical school is deeply rooted with the interest of serving the underserved communities. Being located in the capitol, my medical school brings people who are passionate about public health and health policy. Upon hearing about the threats to the Affordable Care Act, students in my school started a petition to announce our concerns and stand in solidarity with those that will be affected.  We stand in solidarity with the national movement, #ProtectOurPatients, a movement created by medical and health professional students standing for access to health care.

I am disheartened by the recent news: Congress’ move to dismantle the ACA and the divestment in Planned Parenthood. The most basic human right to the access of health care is threatened with no real robust replacement plan.

As a medical student, I swore to “do no harm”; I took an oath to serve the vulnerable communities and to take care of people. As a medical student, I have the privilege and responsibilities of being a voice to the communities I care for. I will stand in solidarity my patients and march with my peers and colleagues to show Congress the importance of health care.  Will you?

Thanks for reading,

D

Lottery Day: Choosing Clerkship Rotations

Clerkship Rotations — this is the year that excites most medical students: we get to go in the hospitals, the clinics, and the OR, we get to see patients, we get to interact with other physicians and health care professionals, and we get to practice being a doctor! I’m super excited for rotations! There are 6 rotations that we have to rotate through: Psychiatry, OB/Gyn, Pediatrics, Surgery, Internal Medicine, and Family Medicine. At my medical school, we undergo a lottery to pick our rotations. Basically what happens on Lottery Day is: each student receives a number from 1-84. The student with #1 goes first and picks their first rotation in any rotation slot. It doesn’t have to be in the first rotation slot (for example: Surgery during the 5th rotation).  The next student with #2 will go and do the same, and so on, and so forth. After student #110 chooses their rotation, a random number is drawn between 1-110 and that new number is the next starting point (for example, #43 was chosen, they will pick their second rotation slot then #44 will go and pick). This happens until all 84students have a rotation schedule. If there are any conflicts, then trades and swaps happen.

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My rotation schedule ended up looking like this:

  1. Psychiatry
  2. Surgery
  3. Pediatrics
  4. Internal Medicine
  5. Ob/Gyn
  6. Family Medicine/Elective

Not too shabby! I was able to pick all of my top choices . In the end, it doesn’t really matter too much about what rotation you do when, because all the rotations are equally challenging. They have some differing aspects about them though. Internal Medicine has been rumored to be the hardest rotation, but it’s because the hours are long and the breadth of knowledge is more than the other rotations. Family medicine, Ob/Gyn and Psychiatry have weekends off while you’ll most likely be on-call for Surgery and Pediatrics. There is not magic rotation schedule for honoring because honoring in a rotation is based on your performance and your test scores.

I’m super excited for rotations now, but I gotta pass Step 1!!

Thanks for reading,

D

Finishing up Year 2

We’re back in school again after a restful Winter Holiday break. I spent my time with friends and family, eating, laughing, watching movies/T.V., playing board games and video games. I feel super rested and recharged to finish up Year 2.  In the next two months, we’ll be finishing up Nephrology and the GI system. I actually enjoyed learning about the kidney during my first year physiology course, and the GI System was pretty straight forward. So, for the next few months, I’m going to try to work on building a routine for my Step 1 study period: waking up earlier, eating a healthier breakfast (rather than having a granola bar or buying a breakfast sandwich at school), working out every day and accomplishing my review questions on Firecracker.

My usual finals studying set up

My study space currently is super tiny; I’m using a small desk or the 4-top kitchen table.  I would love to have a large office desk space. Here are some pictures of some work space ideas that I pinned on my pinterest board:

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Image via Pinterest
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Image via Pinterest

I’m trying to keep my study space neat and tidy, but I’m still working on my handwriting. It’s definitely not the neatest, but these Muji pens I’ve been using make my handwriting look amazing. I discovered Muji a few years ago while I was strolling through Downtown San Jose and found a storefront near SJSU. I bought a cute pack of 9 gel pens and I never went back to my G2 Pilot pens.

I love using my Passion Planner. My Passion Planner maps out every day of the week and helps me plan out my study schedule to keep myself on track. The Passion Planner I have is printed on the academic calendar, which is really helpful for me since my med school still runs on an academic calendar with the undergraduate campus. Using a planner has really helped me organize myself for studying; I list out the topics I want to tackle on different days and write in goals I have for each week.  I even plan out my meals and breaks throughout the week!

I’ll be using my Passion Planner to organize my study schedule for Step 1 and write a post about it soon (what my study schedule looks like, what a study day consists of, and what resources I’ll be using). So, stay tuned for that post coming up in a few weeks!

I’m off to work on my research presentation now: I’m presenting at a conference at the end of this month and I have a poster presentation in March! Med student work never ends.

Thanks for reading,

D

2017: A New Year for New Adventures.

Happy New Year! I’m looking forward to so much in 2017! At the end of February, I will be done with my classes and enter my Step 1 study period. In April, I’m going to take the Step 1 exam and head out to Vietnam with C on our 8-day tour.

Once we return in May, we’ll start our clinical rotations. I’m very excited to be starting rotations, seeing patients, interacting with the doctors, nurses and staff. I’m most excited for my internal medicine rotation, but I’m keeping an open mind about what the other rotations have to offer. The 3rd and 4th year students have said that I.M. and surgery are the hardest rotations, because of the long hours and intensity. Regardless, I’m super excited to head out of the classroom and start being a student doctor!

I spent my New Year celebrations with C’s family since we spent time with my family for Christmas. We had a huge array of snacks and dips, and we played fun card games like Skip Bo and Phase 10. Staying in and hanging out with family was really fun. I got tired at around 11P.M. but pushed through to make it to midnight!! I only stayed up for another hour or so before going to sleep.

Do you have any New Years resolutions for 2017? Do people still have New Years resolutions? I usually try to keep my resolutions pretty simple and attainable. In 2014, I aimed to watch more sports: I watched the 2014 World Cup, I followed the SF Giants on their way to the World Series, and I cheered on the GS Warriors with my best friend. I was pretty successful and had a lot of fun learning about sports and watching sports with my friends. This year, I have a few new years resolution’s that I hope to accomplish!

Health

  1. Eating more fruits and vegetables. The USDA‘s daily recommendation for an adult is to eat 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables. I feel like I currently eat 2-3 servings. I’m going to try to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into my diet (either as a snack or vegetarian meals). In order to help me reach this goal, I’m going to challenge myself to Meatless Mondays in the month of January and February! If successful, I’m going to try to be meatless on Mondays for the rest of the year. My aim is to eat a healthier diet, which will not only help my body, but also help me study better, have more energy, and help my skin and complexion!

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    Eat the rainbow! Image via Popsugar
  2. Reaching my daily 10,000 steps goal on my FitBit Charge HR. I own a FitBit Charge HR that I purchased last year, and when I first got the device, I was really obsessed with reaching my daily goal of 10,000 steps. I took extra steps around the home, I walked to and from school, I made the extra effort at the gym to climb more stairs! After a few months, the allure of the new device wore off on me and I have since used it. It’s been packed away in my bag with a dead battery. This year, I’m going to challenge myself to reach my daily step goal! I think this task will be easy once I start 3rd year. Not only will wearing it help me be healthier, but it would be interesting to see how much walking I do in a day!
  3. Drink more water.  I received a new water bottle in my stocking this Christmas. This new Contigo water bottle is going to help me drink more water every day. I already drink a lot of water during my work outs, but because of the cooler weather, I haven’t been hydrating as much as I used to in the summer.

Beauty

  1. Take off my makeup every night! I wear makeup about 3-5 days a week and I have been taking my makeup off with makeup wipes. I feel that while the makeup wipes do help remove most of my makeup, I need to also take it a step further and wash my face with a cleanser.  This year I’m going to start being more diligent about removing my makeup and cleansing my face. I have been using these wipes, my Clarisonic Mia and this cleanser. Properly cleansing your skin will reduce break outs from left over makeup residue that wasn’t picked up by the wipes.
  2. Moisturize and use sun screen. After cleansing, restoring the skin’s moisture is very important! My sister likes her skin to feel squeaky clean, because she has oily skin. I have dry/very dry skin – so I need to moisturize every day.  I currently use products from Laniege, a Korean skin care line. Last year, I had a weird few months where my skin looked flakey and the patchy dry. My foundation made it look even worse. I had to change my current skin care products to something new. I tried the Laniege moisture pack, and I was hooked! I’m also going to challenge myself to wear sun screen everyday (min SPF 15) to protect myself from sun damage.

Self

  1. Exercising: Getting stronger and leaner. I have been lifting weights and going to the gym since college, but I haven’t really set any goals for myself other than go to the gym and work out for about 45-60 minutes. This year, I’m hoping to get stronger and leaner. C was a college athlete, so he said he would help train me in the gym. And at the end of this year, I’m going to run the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot 10k!  This race occurs on Thanksgiving Day in Downtown San Jose. I’ve participated in the race in the past (in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015), but I didn’t run the race in 2016.
  2. Blog more! I’m going to hold myself accountable to blog more often! Even on days where I have nothing exciting going on in my day/week, I’m going to try my best to apply a little self reflection and blog more. Whether it be recipes, or beauty/skin care tips, or memorable experiences, I’m going to aim to blog more this year and reach out to the blogging community.

What are some of your new years resolutions? What are some things that you are looking forward to in this year?
Thanks for reading!

Spend a Day in San Jose

I’ve been home for the holidays and there’s no place like San Jose. San Jose is such a vibrant and diverse city with so much to do! From spending time with friends and family, to studying for Step and getting a work out in at the gym, I’ve been pretty occupied these past few days. Here are some highlights for a typical day on my break in San Jose.

9:00 AM: Studying at Moonbean’s Coffee.

During my gap year, I worked at a mom+pop coffee shop in San Jose called Moonbean’s Coffee. In my short year there, I learned about roasting coffee beans, pulled espresso shots, made lattes and cappuccinos, and tried my hand at latte art (I ended up learning to just make a simple heart design).  Whenever I’m back in town, I love stopping by to chat with my old co-workers and the manager/co-owner, Chris. The family that owns the coffee shop are super sweet! I’ll grab a latte and take a seat in the shop with all my books to study for a few hours. They have a delicious holiday menu with so many festive drinks to choose from– I ordered a soy Candy Cane latte (peppermint white mocha).

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6:30 PM: Dinner at SmokeEater’s

I headed out to Smoke Eaters in Downtown San Jose with my younger brother and C. Smoke Eaters serves beer and wings in the San Jose area with 13 different sauces, ranging from mild to Hellfire. They have a Hellfire Wing Challenge: 10 minutes to eat 12 wings smothered in Hellfire sauce with no napkins, no drinks and 5 minutes afterwards to feel the burn. Smoke Eater’s was featured on the Travel Channel’s Man vs Food. We went on a Tuesday, where the wings are a buck each!  With so many flavors to choose from, we ordered fiery garlic, Thai zing, honey BBQ, Inferno and mango habanero. The inferno sauce was so hot!! The sweat I generated from eating the wings kept me warm though..

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8:00 PM: Christmas in the Park

After filling up on hot wings, C, my brother and I drove a few blocks over to Christmas in the Park. One of my favorite holiday traditions is going on a stroll through Christmas in the Park and drinking a snowman hot chocolate!! I never drink hot chocolate at any other time of the year. Filled to the brim in chocolatey goodness, topped with sweet whipped cream, chocolate sauce, candy canes, rainbow sprinkles and a cute little snowman! I just love the holidays and walking around downtown. I love seeing the families, the displays and the beautiful Christmas trees. I hope this tradition stays around for very long time!

Thanks for reading,

D

Winter Break Goals

I’ve been on super winter break mode – sleeping in, lounging around in sweat pants, hanging out with friends and family, and watching lots and lots of Netflix. (I’ve recently got C hooked onto Sense 8 right before the 2-hour Christmas special!) But here’s a quick update of what I’ve been up to these past few days. This is a picture heavy post, by the way!

Just leading up to finals, I turned 24. My birthday was right in the middle of finals, so C and I didn’t really plan anything special. But we decided to make the best of what time we had and celebrate it the best way we know: with donuts. We went to this little mom and pop donut shop in West Sacramento called Marie’s Donuts. Unlike most donut shops, they open at 11PM. Fresh donuts were being fried right in front of us and iced in huge trays.

Marie’s Donuts – they have these amazing blueberry donuts.

After finals was over, C took me to a bottomless mimosa brunch at Land Ocean at the Roseville Galleria. The service was great and the food was delicious. Bottomless mimosas were only $8 with a purchase of an entree; C got a spinach and sausage frittata and I got chilaquiles. Our glasses were never empty and our stomachs were so full as well.

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C and I went last minute Christmas shopping at our new favorite store: TJ Maxx. I’m so glad I discovered TJ Maxx after finals, because I would have spent hours in there looking at all the home decor items, skin care products, and tons of other goodies they have to offer. I was particularly stuck at the stationary aisle. There were shelves of little notebooks, colored pencils, desk organizers; pretty much my dream come true. I told C to just leave me there and come back when he was ready to go.

I loved these little notebooks– they were about $5-$7! Simple gold and black.

I wanted to purchase a notebook to use during my USMLE Step 1 studying – just to jot down some notes, helpful mnemonics, common mistakes I make, or tricks/tips from the Kaplan Q bank and the UWorld Q bank. This was something that I did during my MCAT studying, and I found it extremely helpful.

 

I ended up purchasing a leather bound notebook with sturdy pages and cute gold leaf decals and a pencil case. I love the golden accents on the notebook and pencil case. They go perfectly with my headphones.

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Since winter break, I’ve been taking time to go study for a few hours (2-3 hours max). Just a few hours each day going through my First Aid book and through Firecracker. I’ve also been working on my oral presentation on my research project and working on my papers. Things are busy, but I’m trying to find time for friends, family and my blog. It’s all about balance!

Thanks for reading!

D