October 8, 2015

Jacket with room for a bump (and eventually a babe)!

Happy Thursday! I feel like I've been working all the time lately (mostly because I have), and these 2 months of back-to-back ICU rotations are really catching up on me! But the other day both N and I were out of the hospital before sunset (a truly rare occasion) so we took it as a chance to scroll around the South End and spend some time (not on the couch or asleep in bed) together!! 

The temperatures are getting cool enough to pull out my heavier jacket - B & Me sent me this jacket and I've been dying to wear it! It's designed for babywearing (you all know that I'm an avid babywearer), but can also be used during pregnancy as well with extra room for a bump!

I cannot wait to be wearing this with the new babe in a carrier - there's even a little hood snap-on for babe that made my heart melt! For now it is happily accommodating my huge belly though! And as a heads up for you ladies on the hunt for a good shoe deal, these boots are now over a year old and starting to show some wear, but they are currently on sale for twenty five dollars! They're definitely not the highest quality, but I love the look of them and they lasted me at least one full season, so I'd say definitely worth the $25! 

Jacket, c/o B & Me (similar looking here for those who don't need space for a bump or a babe)  //  Jeans (here)  //  Boots (exact pair here on sale for $25 + free shipping!!! Similar/higher quality/more expensive pair here as well)

And how could I leave out the other two pieces of my heart? It's hard to imagine loving another little human but I am certain that it will happen without me even knowing - it's amazing how our hearts can grow!

October 5, 2015

Thinking about Medical Specialties

Time for another medical post for my med school followers! Current fourth years applying for residency now will know that it's October - Dean's Letters are out and applications (should) have been submitted, and now it's time to wait and get interview invites! While I was applying for residency last year one of the questions that came up quite a bit was how I decided on a specialty. (I decided on dermatology, by the way, and am doing my preliminary year in medicine right now and will start my dermatology part of training in July - there are lots of specialities that require a "prelim" or transitional year like ophthalmology, radiology, anesthesia, etc).

I'll save how I decided on dermatology specifically for another post, but today we'll talk more about how to figure out what might be right for you. I will first say that deciding on a specialty is a very personal choice and everyone will have a different answer as to why they chose their given speciality. The path to figuring out what you like is a long one, and it really is best to wait until at least third year to really try and make up your mind as to what you should actually apply in. When I first came to medical school I thought I'd do Ob/Gyn - I had worked at a women's health clinic for underserved women throughout undergrad and loved it - but by the time I did my Ob/Gyn rotation third year... well let's just say my experience changed my mind! There is of course nothing wrong with knowing early on, just make sure to keep your mind open to everything you think you don't like, and to keep a critical eye when it comes to what it is you think you do like. Does that make sense? Of course with that said, there are definitely things you can start doing in the pre-clinical years to help you figure out in a broader sense the parts of medicine that may be most fitting for you!

A few questions you can ask yourself during first and second year - do you prefer memorizing anatomy and visualizing where things are in the body or working through physiology problems and thinking about how organ systems work? Do you like basic science or histology, or do you never want to get near a microscope again? Do you like radiologic images and trying to find the pathology on film?

If you really like anatomy, do you prefer a more passive or active role in exploring it? If active, you might really like surgery - anatomy is at the forefront of surgery and you will know every muscle, artery, nerve, etc. of whatever system in the body it is that you focus on! If you prefer a more passive role in exploring anatomy, you might really like radiology - radiologists are the other physicians who really know every single vessel and can manipulate images in their mind to put together an anatomical picture of patients that really is amazing.

If you like organ systems and physiology you might really enjoy medicine or critical care, or even anesthesia (especially if you like pharmacology). In these fields you're constantly thinking about feedback loops, electrolyte abnormalities, etc. Do you really enjoy the physical exam and what it tells you about a patient? Neurology takes the physical exam very seriously. Do you hate the physical exam and care more about what the patient is telling you? Psychiatry could be better suited to you. Do you like acute problems with quick solutions (emergency med) or chronic problems with longer solutions (primary care). Kids, women, older folks? These are all things to keep in mind when you think about what you might want to do.

At the end of the day, it comes down to the kinds of problems you like solving and the types of patients you want to treat. One of the residents I worked with gave me some advice I hadn't thought of before - "what is the most boring, bread and butter stuff that a doc in that specialty does? What are they guaranteed to be doing in their practice every single day when there aren't the exciting or rare cases? If you're satisfied doing that, you may have found your specialty." He was of course trying to convince me to go into OB, since their "boring, everyday" is delivering babies. Pretty cool, but not for me. But the advice is something good to think about for every field! If you're not sure of what the basic things are in a field, ask someone who practices in it!

Something you should not make your decision based on? The money. For any of us who come from upbringings where money was very scarce, the last thing you want to hear is someone telling you it's not all about the money. I think what we really care about though when it comes to money is stability. And whatever specialty you choose, as a physician you will be making enough to not have to worry if you will afford rent next month.

This early on (ie in the preclinical years) the most important thing is to do well in classes and Step 1 so you don't close any doors for yourself should you like something more competitive. And most of all just keep an open mind! You will gain something from each of your clinical rotations, whether you go into neurosurgery or pediatrics, so try to enjoy all of them! And listen to your heart - listen to what makes you excited and happy again! I was on "easy" rotations where the hours were short, but what we did during those hours was so boring (to me) that the day literally dragged, and getting out of bed every morning was tough! On the flip side, there were rotations where I never saw the sun, but I enjoyed what I was doing so much and had such great teams that I loved going to the hospital! Don't dismiss that feeling.

Another fun thing to do (that I still love doing just for general medical knowledge) is to explore cases in the Figure 1 app. This is a new app that's sort of like Instagram for medical providers. Users can anonymously share photos of medical conditions - either a rash, a picture from surgery, even an interesting EKG or blood smear - and get feedback on differential and treatment! It's not always 100% correct (it's random people commenting) but it's really fun to just see so much different pathology. Pay attention to the cases you're drawn to - maybe you're like me and love seeing a rare rash, or you love all the orthopedic cases, or the rare infectious disease presentations from third world countries! Just check it out!

Once you get to the clinical years, try and ask attendings what they like about their jobs and how they've set up their practice (do they work mostly in the hospital, a mix of clinic and hospital, private practice, or mostly research and teaching, the different set ups will surprise you)! It's obviously great to talk to residents who have chosen that field as well, but try not to dragged by them if they happen to be a little less than optimistic. The years of training are some of the hardest and you have the least control of what you actually do during the day, so sometimes residents aren't always the happiest. Don't always let that get you down! But on the flip side, if every resident is miserable, that's something that's hard to ignore (and you probably shouldn't)!

I hope some of my rambling can help as you think about what kind of specialty you might want to practice. As always leave questions or suggestions for posts in the comments section!!

October 3, 2015

Cozy Budget Sweaters

Here in Boston the temperatures have dropped and it is officially sweater season! Today I'm sharing some of my favorite budget sweater finds from Forever 21 - plus the jacket that needs to be in my closet right now! And scroll down below for a deal on Hunter Boots - with this drizzly weather Liv and I have been living in ours when I'm not at work! 

Mommy's Hunter boots   //   Livi's Hunter boots (25% and free shipping)!

I hope you all have wonderful weekends!

October 1, 2015

Practical Shoes for the Hospital

I just got a really fun question from one of my amazing readers who's looking for shoe recommendations for the hospital. Shoe choice is obviously up to you, but if you're a practical girl like me comfort will win over style most of the time. But you don't always have to sacrifice style for comfort - here I'm sharing my comfiest options for flats, boots, and sneakers! And clogs. Clogs are hideous and there's no denying that. But spend enough time in the hospital and you will not care! 


Dr. Scholl's ($30 cheaper here)!  //  Sam Edelman  //  Tommy Hilfiger  //  Crocs

Flats are a perfect choice for clinic days, and many brave ladies still wear them while on hospital rotations too! It all depends on how long you can be on your feet and how much support you really need. All of these flats I carefully selected because they've got the best reviews for comfort (and still don't sacrifice much on style)! The styles range from sexy pointy-toe loafers, classic ballet flats, one of my favorite style D'orsay flats, and a more modest pointy-toe flat. Any of these would look great with a skirt,dress, or dress pants.


Boots are like the flats for colder temperatures. Nothing is easier than dressing up in cool weather, actually - literally just throw on a pair of knee-high (or over the knee) boots with leggings and a pretty tunic top, or with thick knit tights and a dress! Toss on your white coat and you're good to go! Tall over-the-knee boots are my favorite, this pair is a fraction of the cost! More traditional knee high boots sometimes look better with dresses (especially dresses that are a little longer), I love this simple sleek pair, but also am drooling over this pair with a tiny bit of hardware! All of these options come in brown too, which is my go-to shade!


Klogs  //  Dansko  //  Crocs  //  Birkenstock

Clogs are the quintessential hospital shoe for those who really are spending all day on their feet. Ask any nurse and she's either wearing clogs or sneakers! I love my Dansko clogs now, but they did take a bit of getting used to. During most of third year OR rotations I actually wore my Crocs and was really pleased with them as well (especially for their price). The one thing I don't like about clogs is that they're not the easiest to run in. I probably shouldn't be doing much running, but in the ICU or on nights I have to respond immediately to any code blue or rapid response - running in clogs is not recommended! So I've been wearing my sneakers more now. What clogs are wonderful for though is being in the OR - trust me, you do not want to be in mesh sneakers and get blood (or any other bodily fluids) on your shoes. Clogs are great for easily wiping down.


Pegasus  //  Zoom  //  Juvenate  //  Air Max

Sneakers are one of the most fun options for shoes in the hospital to pair with scrubs and I really love how expressive we can be with them! And I'm a sucker for Nikes so I apologize but all my picks are Nike. I am absolutely in love with this floral pair of Pegasus - my grey/coral Pegasus are my comfiest pair of sneakers and really put an extra bounce in my step! The Zooms are amazing as well and I love the all coral color! More subdued pairs like these olive sneakers and these tan/gold ones are perfect for the more modest sneaker fans!

I hope this post could give you all some ideas on what types of shoes are most appropriate for different situations in the hospital/clinic and show you that there are comfy (and stylish) options out there! As always, this post doesn't apply to just medicine, any of us who work on our feet are always on the hunt for a good supportive shoe!
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