Sunday, April 30, 2017

Bittersweet Ending

April community service hours: 8 hours
Spring semester total community service hours: 33 hours 
2016-2017 Academic year total community service hours: 63 hours 

Hi there!

Just as the program started so quickly in July of last year, it is swiftly coming to an end. It has truly been a pleasure and an honor living in the Crescent City and experiencing everything it has to offer while studying medicine! The end of this chapter for me is so bittersweet because I've met many wonderful people throughout this program and fell in love with an awesome city. There's definitely no other place like New Orleans and I wish I had another year in this program to continue to explore the city. Hopefully I will be able to return for medical school, fingers crossed! 

As I sit here and reflect on this past year, it amazes me how fast paced this program is and how many hours of studying we had to put in. Yet, I was still able to attend many of the events the city offered, volunteer at a high school and homeless shelter, and keep up with school work. I've said this many times before in my previous blog posts, but if there is one thing this program has taught me, it is time management and working efficiently so that you have more time in a day to do the things you love.  

Aside from being able to live in one of the coolest cities ever, I am pleased with my performance in this program. As with anything, there is always room for improvement and it took me a bit to get back into the routine of going to school as I was working before. But once I did, it was smooth sailing from there. Being able to do well in medical pharmacology, the course that we took with the 2nd year medical students, has really given me the confidence boost that I needed for this upcoming application cycle. I look forward to being able to talk about this program during my interviews. Once again, New Orleans, you've been amazing to me and I'm going to miss you. Until next time!   

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Sam and I at Tulane's Crawfest, one of my favorite event of the year! Oh crawfishes, I'm going to miss you guys more than anything! 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

March-ing onward!

It's hard to believe that we are so close to the end of the program. One more month and it will officially be the end of this chapter for me. But lets rewind a little and talk about what happened in the last month! March was an especially busy month. We had the fantastic opportunity to experience Mardi Gras over spring break and when that was over it was already March 5th. The NBME shelf exam was right around the corner so I dove straight back into studying. Studying an entire year's worth of curriculum for one exam was indeed challenging but I have to admit it was kind of fun. Testing myself to see how much I actually learn this year was a great way to reflect on this program. The practice exam questions soon turned into a trivia game for me and it was fun to go through all the practice questions to see how many drugs, their mechanism of action, indications, and side effects I had transferred into long term memory. This exam reminded me that medicine is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Not only was it interesting, it made me want to learn more and master the topics I didn't know. In regards to the NBME exam, I believe I rose to the occasion and showed how much I had learned in the past year. And now we wait for our exam scores!

In addition to studying for the NBME and MCAT, I have been volunteering at the Ozanam Inn, a male homeless shelter that serves the greater New Orleans area. Working with and serving the patrons of Ozanam Inn has been a humbling and eye-opening experience. The work routine isn't difficult, we prep and serve food for those who live at the inn and those who come at 6pm for dinner. The best part about this experience for me is meeting new people and listening to their stories. It has made me realize how truly lucky I am to be where I am today and how important it is to lend a helping hand to those who need it. Everyone will fall on hard times, whether it be without a home or some sort of challenge in their life, and it is crucial to have support to get through it. The men had said themselves, even though they technically have enough hands to prep and serve the food, it is still nice to have a new face to talk to and share their stories with. And to be able to assist with that is a wonderful feeling.

March Community Service Hours: 7 hours
Total Semester Community Service Hours: 25 hours