blank'/> A LITTLE BIT OF LACQUER: Returning to Clinical Life

June 23, 2014

Returning to Clinical Life

Happy Monday all! I hope you all had great weekends! 

As many of you know, June marked the beginning of me heading back into clinical life - no more jeans in the research lab (at least for now), back to professional wear in the clinics and hospital at all times. Over on IG, the lovely Franziska asked what's it been like heading back to clinics, so I thought I'd do a quick post on that!

The first day back I naively expected some kind of orientation or refresher as to what we'd be doing during the rotation  (I'm doing my dermatology elective rotation). Instead it was more like - this is your hospital assignment, now go report for duty! I definitely felt out of it when I first got there - the hours and pace of clinical life, the jargon, the behavior - it's all different from the year of lab work. But just like riding a bike, it comes back to you quickly. 

I was a little nervous and took on more of a shadowing role at first, worried I wouldn't know what to do if I had to do it, but thankfully by the next day I remembered if you want to learn anything  you just have to dive in and do it! And as soon as I started seeing patients on my own, I felt better - "I got this," I thought to myself. I most definitely still keep a little notebook for things I learn or need to learn throughout the day and it's definitely getting filled up! 

I thought the hardest part would be getting used to the schedule, with the day starting much earlier than the normal 9am and ending whenever rounds are finished. Our new nanny started in June (our old nanny and friend moved to Chicago this month, which we knew was happening when we hired her), and she has been a lifesaver! She gets to our place around 6:45 everyday so we can get out of the house on time and can stay as late as we need her, which thankfully hasn't been past 6:30 or so. 

And then the dressing. This is a little tricky right now as I still don't have as much time in the morning as I used to to get ready, and most of my pre-baby professional clothes I can't find or I can't fit! (Weirdly enough I'm smaller now than I was pre-baby and working on gaining back some weight)! I'll do a post soon about building a professional wardrobe as that's essentially what I'm doing all over again! Here's a look from last week:

Forever 21 popover blouse (similar on sale 50% off here), Rainbow skirt (similar here), Marshall's flats (similar here), LITboutique initial necklace (exact here), Kate Spade patent tote (similar here)

{I'm also thinking about doing a post addressing some of the med school related questions I get that I don't feel knowledgeable enough to do entire posts on (ie, financing med school, MCAT, etc.) Leave your questions in the comments below and I'll quickly address my experience with them!}


  1. i'm excited for your upcoming "building professional wardrobe" posts as that's something i'm currently doing myself.

  2. I love your posts about medicine! Feeling a bit out of place on day 1 (and many subsequent days for me!!) seems to be one of the givens of med school clinical time. I have found that being a woman and a bit on the quiet side is a dangerous combo for feeling out of place, being ignored, and eventually...unfairly evaluated. This is both from my personal experience as well as many women in my class. I have loved reading your blog as you do address these issues, but I would love if you could write more on this if it is something you are passionate about! For example, after my first rotation, I have made it a point to try to ask one question during rounds or lectures to both help me stay engaged AND show my evaluators that I am engaged. Any tips or tricks (or maybe you just have a natural knack for these things!) would be much appreciated!

    1. I totally second this. I start rotations next week, and I'm afraid I might curl into my quiet shell if/once I feel overwhelmed and/or inadequate. P.S. Anon that's a great tip for remaining engaged/in the line of site of your evaluators.

  3. I'm so glad you decided to write it! I love hearing all about your own experiences - it makes the thought of third/fourth year not as scary (but still terrifying!)

  4. Looking forward to the professional wear posts. I have to admit that I've gotten lazy and I've stuck with pants when June came because of all that I have to do. I can't wait to get back into my skirts and dresses when June is over.

    I lost a lot of weight after both of my children as well. I guess it had a little to do with breastfeeding.

  5. Loved this post, you looked amazing! Laura, I do not study medicine...however I do wonder how you do it all? I have read a few posts ago about organization & Time management. I wonder how you are able to plan and do everyting now you have adorable Liv around.

    Looking forward to your new posts.

    From a moma to be/ student

  6. Love your outfit posts and excited to see the future medschool related posts you plan to do as I am currently in the application cycle for next years' incoming class.

  7. Lovely outfit- also, I'd definitely be interested in hearing about your experiences/tips for financing med school!

  8. Love that outfit. The same thing happened to me after i had my baby i am now smaller than i was pre-baby. What are you doing to gain back the weight?

  9. I love this outfit Laura!! Could you please put in where you got everything? (including the jewellery - I love simple pieces!)

    I really enjoy reading your med school/professional and fashion posts, because I'm an aspiring dental student and so it helps me to prepare for similar upcoming situations. Keep them coming! :)


  10. Love this look and I can't wait to see some more of your professional outfits! I'm trying to slowly expand my professional wardrobe over the next year so I'll have something to wear for clinicals during 3rd year. Do you have any favorite stores for professional clothes?

  11. Hi Laura! I'd love to know what your ultimate career goal is. I mean, I know you want to be a doctor, but what specialty are you really feeling? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?

    Love the outfit, btw!


  12. Hi Laura!! Thanks for being such a consistent blogger even with having such a busy life. You have no idea how encouragement you are for me. My question to you is: what is your best advice for studying for the USMLE? Do you have any favorite study books, strategies, or even things you wish you would have done?
    Thanks :)

  13. Hi Laura!
    You should definitely do a post on the MCAT! What your experience was and how you studied/prepared for it! It would be incredibly helpful!
    You're doing an amazing job with this blog! Keep it up!

  14. Hi Laura,
    New reader here. Spent a few hours one night this week just reading, especially your med school related posts. Thanks for sharing with us! My question is about financing a nanny while in med school. I'm assuming it's feasible, since it sounds like that's what you're doing, but I'd love to hear more. I foresee myself in a similar situation in the next few years and any information on starting a family while in school is like a goldmine to me.

  15. Hi Laura - absolutely love your blog (and Twitter and Instagram)! I was wondering what you and N are planning for residencies; not so much specialty but location. Is there such a thing as a couple-match? Obviously you'd want to stay close to each other so one doesn't have a long commute. :)

  16. Love this outfit ! it's so hard to be professional and cute at the same time, but you always pull it off :)

  17. Did you ever do any volunteer abroad trips? I know that medical brigades are really popular and was wondering if you have any experience in those!


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