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6th July 2005

Not quite what I expected…

Two days into surgery and haven’t seen the inside of an OR yet.

Just the way I like it. 😀 My team has been really nice too, and it looks like my attending are really wonderful too–no yelling and belittling here.

Tomorrow, only one case scheduled.

*happy sigh*

Still early mornings, though.

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5th July 2005

These blissful days are fading…

It’s such a comforting thought to know that I spent my last days of freedom writing a paper, that most likely will never find a publishing journal, since my mind’s mush and I can’t finish the stupid thing.

Twelve hours to go, folks.

Shoes–new, cushy soles. Haven’t wore them though…
Pens (plural)
Palm Pilot (new programs on it, thanks to Chris)
Pager with new batteries
Notebook for patient information
Study books/pimp questions
Supply of ibuprofen/aspirin/tylenol
Set of clean scrubs

I think I might be ready.

In case it’s a long time until you hear from me–have a fabulous summer!

XO to all!

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30th June 2005


I broke down sobbing in the secretary’s office today. I think that’s the lowest I’ve been in a long time. I thought I had a handle on things, until I found out that I did even worse on that stupid test than I thought and every single pipe dream shattered. And I lost it.

I’ve gotten used to mediocrity since medical school.

No, no, I hear the protests, but it’s true. I haven’t been one of the stellar students–I can’t remember the last time that I saw a grade that was any better than just passing. For the most part, it hasn’t bothered me. Really–the choice between studying for hours every day or just studying a week before the exam, knowing enough that I can pass and getting to enjoy myself in between times–that was good enough for me. Of course, now when I can actually see how it applies to my career and to my patients, I do wish I had spent a time more time studying Pharm. But just a little.

Even this year, I haven’t expected honors in my rotations. I haven’t. But when I work really really really hard and study for hours, I would like to have some outcome that showed that it was all worth it. Just something so I feel like I don’t have to spend he next six months scrounging for some dumb program to take me.

Anybody want to share funny stories with me? Feed me chocolate? Loan me your favorite plush animal? Give me a push off the roof?

Sometimes I really wonder why I put so much effort into things, when in the end, I don’t have one thing to show for it.

I’ve got a bad migraine from all the tears and a paper that I have to write.

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9th June 2005

Decisions, decisions – a look back

PS – You should be proud of the job you did in the MICU. You were
outstanding! Feel free to ask me any career questions you may have. We
would love to see you stay in Internal Medicine, either general or a

From an email I received from one of the residents I worked with this past month. I got excellent evaluations from my residents–the best I’ve received all year long. Now, you know me, I’m not saying that to boast. Oh no, Julia’s never satisfied with a compliment.

Since around October, I’ve been planning on doing Neurology as a residency. Of course, I always prefaced it, even in my head, that “I’m keeping an open mind so another specialty might sway me,” but I didn’t think that anything would. I mean, if you had asked me when I was starting medical school what I wanted to do, I would have told you pediatrics (genetics) or family practice. I certainly never thought that I’d want to do something with the complex, “way too many blood vessels and did they have to name every bony bump a different name?” brain. But the neurological science block second year fascinated me, and I absolutely loved every minute that we spent studying about Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis and how to do a neuro exam–and better yet, be able to locate where in the brain the injury occurred. I spent hours studying, because I loved it. And in the rest of second year, while there were classes that were interesting, there was never that all-encompassing passion for them. And nothing clicked in the same way, nothing made as much intuitive sense like Neurology did.

The year in review…

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4th June 2005

La dee da – meme time

Work is boring me to death right now. After the excitement and bustle of the ICU, working in the outpatient clinics, seeing a patient an hour, and finding out way too much information about people’s bowel movements is driving me nuts. On the plus side, I’m only working about 3 hours a day. On the minus side, I’m only working about 3 hours a day, and am not in the slightest motivated to put the other hours of the day to good use, ie, studying for the exam that I hafta do really well on. And I’m really piling on the miles on my poor widdle car.

Big clinical exam (ie, practical, hands on with practice patients) on Monday. 8 “patients”, 4 hours. 15 minute visits, 10 minutes to write it up. My kind of fun. Yeah. Not looking forward to that one.

But the time off has left me time to do meme’s like this one…

Tagged by Becka!

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26th May 2005

Protected: Memorable

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8th April 2005

Protected: Diseased within

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28th March 2005


Maybe it was the National Geographic on the coffee table about the solar system. Or pretty pictures like this from the Hubble spacecraft that make my mouth gape in wonder. Or the fact that I’ve rediscovered my love for ST:Voyager and it’s making me nostalgic (how much nostalgia can one of 26 really have before it become pathological?) and I’m exposing that geeky side…

But I really really want a telescope. Not a big fancy one (yet), but one that if I squinted, I could pretend that I was seeing the rings around Saturn.

I don’t suppose any of my illustrious friends out there know anything about telescopes? *wistful* Yeah, it’s a long shot.


Started a new rotation today. Psychiatry. I’m still a little too disturbed to start sharing the funny stories. When my attending starting telling me about our patients–the one that they had to so heavily sedate because he attacks everybody, or the one who wouldn’t eat anything because she was convinced that we were feeding her our children, or the one, in for a suicidal attempt and talks about how she watched her mother raped and murdered in front of her eyes and then was raped by her uncle at 6… Not to mention those with the sexual disinhibitions. And on and on. Within minutes, I was wide-eyed and twelve again, the small-town girl caught in big-city traffic.

It might be a long six weeks.


On a good note–I did *finally* mange to meet up with the Neurology guy who I’ve wanted to be my advisor! We got a schedule for fourth year cobbled together (I may not have ruined my chances for residency after all!) and right after, I ran into the other doctor that I’m hoping to get a letter of recommendation from (yes, I ended the sentence with a preposition–whatcha going to do about it?!). After weeks of not getting ahold of anybody, everything is starting to come together. Whee!

P.S. A big big welcome and hug to my latest friend donnazita who ironically, is my oldest e-friend. We met 6 (no way!) years ago because of a a just-becoming known actor, Ewan McGregor, and our love for him was the building bridge to our friendship.

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14th February 2005

The promised “for real” update!

They do have chipper as a mood!

Please don’t ask me why I’m chipper. I’m sure if you asked me to analyze it, I would find out that I really am not so. My ankle hurts. My non-existant ab muscles hurt. I spent all afternoon hanging around a tiny office with 5 other doctors, so I could exam 2 patients. (So. Painfully. Boring.)

Yep, started a new rotation, pediatrics, which I have been excited for, but stuck in clinic has kinda sapped me of the glee. I was looking forward to doing well baby checks and looking into kid’s stuffy noses, but I can’t stand just sitting around in a too-small room and changing attendings every half day! Thankfully, this does not count towards evaluations. And it should get better. I hope it gets better.

Only three more rotations and I’ll be done with third year!

Only three more rotations and I’m done with third year. When you really think about it, it’s scary. I went to a med school party this weekend, where I mingled with so many of my classmates that I haven’t seem in months. And it hit me. In just a year and a bit, we’ll be separating and spreading across the country… These close friendships and associations will end. I can’t stop it, and even though it’s so far in the future, that black dread is taking over residence in my stomach.

Hey, come back here chipper feeling!

No, things are good. Really. I just won’t let myself think how miserable my life is going to be when Chris and I are on opposite coasts. 🙁

I am such a nerd. No, really, it’s true. How did I spend my evening? My wonderful evening free of responsibility? Not to mention Valentine’s Day?? Reading articles from the latest Grand Rounds. I discovered this a couple of weeks ago, and I have to admit, when I read these blogs, written by actual doctors talking about real patient encounters, or just the science behind our bodies (they’ve figured out the genetics of why people have different sleep habits??? how cool is that!) I get so excited. Medicine is definitely my calling. Marissa, you should check some of it out–it’s written for the layman, and might give you an idea of the field.

Is tomorrow a new episode of GG? I haven’t seen the previous two yet (oops), but I still plan to and would like to tape it if it is.

And speaking of GG, can I do a bit of shameless plugging? Of course, ff.net messed up half of my formating (they’re taking out commas before quotation marks now!) and I’m not in the mood to go back and change it by hand, so believe me, it really doesn’t have nearly the number of errors in RL.

I’ve had to go through and make all most of my journal friends only. I had been planning on it, but I got friended by a rather, um, unsuitable person. And I really don’t need stalkers. 😉 Unless, of course, you guys want to stalk me, and if that’s the excuse it takes you to come out and visit me, then by all means, I give you my blessing.

Geez, after this randomness, you’re going to be begging me not to keep my promises!

*hugs* to flist.

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24th November 2004

An M.D. in the making

Because I haven’t updated on my life forever, I owe a catch-up journal.

Since we last (truly) saw Julia, she was in the midst of her neurosurgery block, wondering what in the world she had gotten herself into. The hours were long, she limped home every night, and nary a resident acknowledged her existence. I fear many night, she cried herself to sleep, as the sleep-deprivation added to the stress. But, luckily that rotation only last two weeks, and by the end, she had made friends with two residents (one, very very cute, but rather too crass for her taste) and had impressed the attendings with random knowledge about a genetic disease that she knows all too well from personal experience. In fact, she had so much fun, that she almost convinced herself that maybe she could do surgery for the rest of her life, and never seen the sun for the next 8 years and have no personal life. Well maybe not quite. However, time goes by (…you’re older than you ever were and now you’re even older, and now you’re even older… and even two long 5-hours-of-sleep-per-night weeks end, and we all must move on.

Our heroine, as you remember, managed to wheedle/cry/whine her way into neurology rotation. She had had inklings since the previous year, when none of her classes had intrigued her quite as much as the study of the brain did (I hear that she actually spent 6 hours a day studying–even when there wasn’t a test the next day!), that perhaps a career in neurology might be nice, and while she was determined to keep an open mind when approaching her rotations, that little niggle of a thought was always there. Radiology was boring–except when she studied brain MRIs. Surgery, dreadful on the feet–but the cases were cool.

So needless to say, she approached the neurology clerkship with more than a hint of excitement.

Two days into it, she had found her calling. She tells me that she loves being with the patients and her neuro exam, while still jerky (and yes, she still forgets to check eye movements), is improving and she can’t wait for clinic each morning, and, yes, the rumor is true, she stayed late on her birthday because she *wanted* to learn more about multiple sclerosis.

Of course, it still is too early to call–she has been known to be mighty fickle at the last moment, but you may be talking to a future neurologist here!

A big thanks and snuggles to my flist for their birthday greetings! *hugs* You are all fabulous, and every day I am thankful for the chance of knowing you and claiming you as friends.

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21st November 2004

If at first you don’t succeed…

…Try breaking down and crying!

Remember this post

Apparently sobbing about how your life is ruined works better than calm, rational explanations.

I got my Neurology rotation!! And I start tomorrow! I am sooo excited.

And yes, I survived neurosurgery and am much looking forward to sleeping in until 6.

Ta for now!

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10th November 2004

four hours

I had four lovely hours off today, four hours that I spent on the couch, unable to move, because my feet and back hurt so.

Oh, and I took a bath. I’m more of a shower person but oh, that bath was nice.

My current rotation I’ve been putting in 17 hours a days, more than 12 of them on my feet in surgery. The first night, I came home crying because I had exactly 15 minutes to eat before going to bed, in order to get 5 1/2 hours of sleep.

And now, it’s off to bed with me. A whole hour extra.

See you in 11 days (they’re slowly counting down).

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1st November 2004


No switch will be made. You must do your third year rotations and at a
break or first of the year do neuro. Sorry.

Dear Office of Student Affairs:

Thank you so much for taking the time to help me. Especially since I’ve been down to your office three times in the last month, addressing this issue. I was very patient in explaining things, time and time again, since you conveniently forgot about our previous visits, every time I came by. Glad to know that those post-it note are doing some good.

But thank you for finally deciding to go and talk to the Dean today. After all, it had only been two weeks–so you were ahead of schedule. And I’m sure that you brought up the particulars for the change, right? You know, the ones that outlined that this was based on health issues and circumstances out of my control? Of course you did. And since you all remember that I’m paying $17,000 a year for the privilege of adding to your salary, I know that you worked extra hard in the 30 second “talk” to make sure that you were living up to your title of representing the “student”.

That’s what I thought.

Been a pleasure working with you. Let’s do it again soon, shall we? I can’t wait until we get to talk next year about how I can’t apply for any residencies because of all this. It’ll be fun!

Love always,


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5th January 2004

For those who would want to know

Christmas break was lovely. It was a nice vacation. Besides the episode of the mouse (shudders–I had this waking dream this morning that our tub drain was blocked by a mouse that had gotten caught and freaked myself out… Yeah, I still have issues), it was nice to be home, just me and the ‘rents and not to think about school at all and work on things that I wanted to do. calm, verging on boring (except for the issue of aforementioned mouse and navigation bar adventure that I still haven’t figured out), not much happened. Just the way I like it.

Of course, all good things must end, they say… And it did. School started again today, nephrology (kidneys), so I had to listen to three lectures about their physiology and four more tomorrow (gee, I can’t wait!).

And I got my rotation schedule for next year. Here’s what my life is going to be like:

7/06-08/15 OB/Gyn
08/16-09/26 Internal Medicine
09/27-11/07 Surgery
11/08-11/21 Surgery Subspeciality (I’m hoping to do Neurosurgery)
11/22-12/19 Family Practice
12/20-01/02 Christmas break (for some reason there was a glitch and I was signed up for Financial Accounting here)
01/03-02/04 Break
02/14-03/27 Pediatrics
03/28-05/08 Psychiatry
05/09-06/19 Internal Medicine
06/20-07/03 Break

Exciting huh? I did pretty much get the schedule that I wanted, although right now, I’m really wondering what I was smoking. I really front-heavied the load–Ob/Gyn, Surgery and Internal Med are the hardest rotations, or so I’m told (and which I firmly believe…I’ve had nightmares about them and looking like a fool and breaking down because I’ve had no sleep. And I’m doing all three right after the other.

It pretty much guarantees that you’ll see very little of me from July to December. Actually make that May to December, since I have to study for the boards… And actually pass because I won’t have any other time to study. I guess that means I have about four months to finish LNB and my website, eh?

I only have two rotations with Chris, the first and the last. I was hoping for more. At least with him, I’d be able to laugh and have someone cover my back when I mess up, but it looks like I’m on my own. And now, I’ll rarely see him. How weird is that going to be?

But my spending three hours figuring out how to beat the lottery system must have worked, because both Chris and I got the schedules that we wanted, pretty much.. Of course, now I choose to doubt what I want…

Why am I doing this again? I seriously must be crazy.

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    • Books read (July-September) October 2, 2022
      July:Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal. My last of Chris Colfer’s audiobooks and his first book. Not sure that a journal really was the best format, but I’m going to miss his voice.The Secret of Life: Rosalind Franklin, James Watson, Francis Crick, and the Discovery of DNA’s Double Helix. In honor of the 70 […]