Category Archives: My Life

My Apologies – I’m Still Here!

I’d like to apologize to all my followers for being absent lately. I’ve been finishing up semester courses, had a conference last weekend, present research next week and am trying to fit studying for Step 1 in there as well. Needless to say, it’s been pretty chaotic! 

However, I will try to post more often and get some more podcast episodes up now that the semester is coming to a close, so stay tuned!

I’m back and classes have officially started!

Unfortunately, it’s been a while since I last posted, and I know I was pretty much non-existent on here over the summer. In my defense, it was a much busier summer than I’d anticipated! Over the summer I volunteered at a diabetes camp, completed research that will hopefully result in a few publications, gave a presentation over my research, and most importantly, got to spend time with my wife and baby girl! It was amazing to be home with them every night, and I’m definitely going to miss being with them so much. The baby girl is growing so fast! I can honestly say there is nothing like being a parent and watching your child grow and develop.

Now that the first week of classes are over, I’m hoping to transition into study mode again and get back to regular blog updates, as well as regular podcast episodes. As you may have noticed, I decided to purchase the medicalminded.com domain address to make things more official. If you enjoy the website and/or podcast, be sure to share it with others! It’s definitely very uplifting to see you guys post comments and to see my followers continue to rise, so the encouragement is much appreciated!

I’ve got several things I’d like to post over the next few days regarding study resources, books, etc. so be sure to check back regularly for updates. Here’s to another successful year of school!

My Bittersweet Education

I officially begin classes again tomorrow!

I must say that I’ve loved being on Christmas break, most specifically because I got to spend so much time with my family. Although I do look forward to continuing my medical education, it is always difficult leaving my wife and 3 month old little girl. It’s definitely much more difficult making the trip back after having spent so much time together over the last few weeks. At the same time, they are constantly serving as a strong motivator to do great things with my life!

It’s absolutely crazy to see a child develop, and the impact is even greater when it’s your own baby. My little girl is already becoming so interactive, and her smile is absolutely contagious. I look forward to seeing her continue to grow into what I’m sure will be a wonderful young lady like her mother!

For any premed or med students out there, make sure to cherish time you spend with family and friends. Never get so caught up in school that you forget about the things that make life worth living. We are all meant to be sociable creatures who develop lasting relationships, whether the relationship be romantic, intellectual, or anything else. It’s the interactions with others that develop our character, and will serve us throughout our lives, including helping us to be better physicians.

Histology Complete!

This post is a little bit late since I actually completed histology on Halloween, but better late than never!

The first thing most people would ask me whenever I’d tell them I was taking histology was “What is that?” For those of you who don’t know, here is the definition of histology according to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary.

histology: 1) a branch of anatomy that deals with the minute structure of animal and plant tissues as discernible with the microscope. 2) tissue structure or organization.

Basically, histology is the study of anatomy that you can only see with a microscope. I personally enjoy gross anatomy more than histology. The trouble with gross anatomy is the magnitude of information, but I’ve always found that I enjoy a course with a heavy workload that I’m interested in much more than an “easier” course with a lighter workload. I thought aspects of the course were interesting, but overall I am happy to be done with it. Interestingly, with the ease of technology today, we never even looked at actual slides through microscopes. All of our lectures, labs, and studying were presented by PowerPoint presentations and digital images. It definitely made studying for the lab portion much easier though!

I did learn one extremely important thing that I plan to remember for the rest of my medical education… don’t dig yourself into a hole! When histology first started, my entire class was pretty excited to have a reduced workload in comparison to anatomy. Unfortunately, I took this a little too far and failed to study much for my first histology exam. Needless to say, I did very poorly and had to spend the next couple of exams making up the difference. I was able to raise my grade and did well in the end, but it was definitely much more stressful than it needed to be. For any future medical students out there, be sure to avoid digging yourself into a hole! I would much rather do extremely well early on in a class and be able to relax at the end than feel pressured to do well when the final exams come around.

My Baby Girl!

As I’ve said previously, it’s been a lot harder to keep up with everything on here since medical school started. Combine that with a newborn baby, and things can get pretty crazy at times!

My baby girl is officially 2 weeks and 2 days old today. My wife and I were blessed with a wonderful little girl who usually only cries if she actually needs/wants something. She isn’t on the greatest sleep schedule yet, but she’s definitely getting better. The one thing that she seems to absolutely despise is her car seat. She will cry for as long as necessary until we take her out of it. If she has the same persistence to meet her goals when she’s older, she will undoubtedly achieve anything she sets her mind to!

It still amazes me that I contributed to the creation of a human life. I find myself staring with awe at her little features and thanking God for sending me a healthy baby. I wish I was able to be home with her and my wife more often, but I make sure to cherish the time we do get together. I know it’s tough on her to be away from each other so often, but she’s been much stronger than she gives herself credit. She is a wonderful wife and an amazing mother!

I Swear I’m Still Here

So I haven’t posted in a long time, especially compared to how often I was able to post over the summer. I guess that’s just the life of a medical student! 

I’m currently 3 days into my second week of medical school and here are a few conclusions I’ve made thus far: 

  1. Med school is difficult (duh). I already knew this would be the case, but it is still worth recognizing how much effort goes into studying. I’m pretty sure every second year medical student agrees that a) it’s impossible to completely keep up with the workload and know everything and b) you need to find time to have some fun or you’ll go insane!
  2. It’s the perfect profession for me. This is obviously excellent news and not surprising to anyone who really knows me. Nonetheless, it’s nice to know I’m not going through all this with any doubts and I know it will all be worth the effort! 
  3. Having classmates who help each other makes life so much better! I know there are plenty of schools where students are in competition with each other. Sure that may ultimately be the case for me and my classmates as well. However, the truth of the matter is that 1st year scores don’t mean a whole lot in the scheme of your future in medicine. Secondly, I’d still rather develop friendships and have a good time in medical school than be miserable and feel like everything is a competition. I love being able to depend on my classmates and I love being able to help them out when I can. 
  4. I have an amazing wife (duh again!). I’m not sure if she will see this or not, but I have to say that she’s been pretty amazing through all of this. As I’ve stated before, I had to move to my medical school campus without her and we have a baby due at the end of September. Even so, she constantly lets me know how happy she is for me and is always supportive. Fortunately, my campus is only about an hour and a half from our home (as long as traffic doesn’t get to crazy) so I get to got back to visit regularly. If she does read this… love you babe and thanks for everything! 

 

I’ve got my first anatomy exam coming up this Friday so I’ve been studying like crazy tonight. I’ll definitely be hitting the sack here soon and continuing in the morning, because I think my brain is currently on overload. I absolutely love learning all of this material, but like I said, it’s definitely tough! I’ll try to start posting regularly again, but it will definitely be less than during the summer. Unfortunately, I don’t have much time for reading my nonfiction books anymore either so until I get a break from classes, it’s probably going to be strictly school related posts or updates on my life in general. 

Time to get back to work! 

Book Review: Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters

I’m almost a dad! My wife is due at the end of September with our baby girl, and I start medical school on August 12. Therefore, while I still have some free time in my life, I decided to do some “educational reading” about being a dad! More specifically, I decided to read about being a dad of a little girl.

I started reading the book Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know by Meg Meeker, MD yesterday evening and I already finished it today. Overall, I thought it was an excellent read and very informative. Boys and girls are extremely different, so why would raising them be the same? This book does an excellent job of explaining the important qualities a father should possess and behavior he should exhibit when raising a girl. I made a lot of highlights throughout the book that I plan to look over from time to time in the future. Although the book is aimed more at raising daughters from age 2 and up, the information was still interesting and helpful for dads-to-be (or even just guys who plan to have kids). The book seems well-researched with a pretty substantial amount of statistical data, and the author is a pediatrician who provides actual patient experiences related to the topics discussed. I definitely recommend this to any girl dads or girl dads-to-be out there!

Here are just a few of the quotes I enjoyed from the book:

“You were made a man for a reason, and your daughter is looking to you for guidance that she cannot get from her mother.”

“But I will tell you that no research paper, no textbook diagnosis, no instructions can begin to change a young girl’s life as dramatically as even a handful of interactions with her father. Nothing.”

“Daughters’ reactions to words, actions, and situations are more complex, reflective, and diverse than those of fathers. She will read a litany of possible meanings into everything you do. When you buy your daughter a bracelet for her birthday, you’ll think of it as a straightforward gift. But she will think of it as fraught with meaning, good or bad.”

“But researchers now know that some girls don’t develop adult cognitive skills until their early twenties.”

“Being a father means giving up your time without resentment.”

“Think about the kind of dad you want to be. Sure, it will take hard work. But love isn’t just about feeling good. It’s about doing what you don’t want to do, over and over again, if it needs to be done, for the sake of someone else. Love is really about self-sacrifice.”

The quotes above are actually all within the first 3 chapters too, so there are a lot more throughout the rest of the book!

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Hawaiian Vacation Success!

I am officially back to the mainland after my adventures to Hawaii. We visited Kauai for a few days and spend most of our time in Maui. If I had to sum the trip up in one word it’d probably be… amazing!

I took a ridiculous amount of pictures during the trip so there is no possible way I could share all of them.  Just snorkeling accounts for around 150 pictures.

We definitely stayed busy throughout the trip and were fortunate to be able to do quite a variety of activities. A quick list of the major ones includes:

  • Visiting Waimea Canyon & hiking trails
  • Train ride tour at a plantation
  • A LOT of snorkeling at multiple different beaches
  • Kayaking
  • Surfing
  • Stand Up Paddleboarding
  • Spearfishing
  • A Luau dinner

And more! All that and we still had a couple of days at the pool/beach at our resort even.

I’d say snorkeling were my favorite activities of the trip, and I literally spent hours in the water each day. Needless to say, my backside is much tanner than my front!  A quick word of advice for anyone who’s planning a snorkeling adventure… take a digital underwater camera! I used a Sony underwater camera I got for around $100 a few years ago and got some fantastic pictures. Digital is much better than the one-time use underwater cameras since you don’t have to worry about wasting film. This trip alone made it worth the investment!

Spearfishing was another favorite, and we didn’t even catch anything! However, we learned a lot of information. It was more like a fish information, freediving, & spearfishing adventure all mixed into one. I even held my breath for a new personal record of 2 min. 15 sec. after a quick lesson in holding your breath for extended periods of time.

Here are a few pictures from the trip. Enjoy!

Green Sea Turtle

Green Sea Turtle

Here is a photo I took of a green sea turtle while snorkeling on my Hawaii trip. I have A LOT of amazing photos that I took with my underwater camera, so I’m sure I’ll be sharing plenty more!

Hello Hawaii!!

About 1 year ago, my wife, her family and I planned a vacation to Hawaii… And it’s finally here!!

We arrived in Kauai yesterday morning and will be going to Maui after a few days here. Seeing as there’s a 6 hour time difference between here and back home, we were all pretty exhausted on day 1. Hopefully we’re all well rested and ready for day 2 now!

I’m trying to take a lot of photos so there will be plenty more to post in the future. For now, here are a couple teasers.

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