20 June 2012

Med School Update

List of Year One courses:
OMM (manual manipulation), ECM (clinical studies), Gross Anatomy, Head and Neck, MCBM (Molecular and Cellular Basis of Microbiology), IDIT (Drugs and Bugs), Blood and Lymph, Neuro, Behavioral Medicine, and Musculoskeletal.

Which class was your favorite and why?
Anatomy or Musculoskeletal because they were the easiest. My experience being a physical therapy aid before med school made it easy for me to understand physiology and injury treatment.

What did you find, this last year, was the best way for you to study?
When I was in ISAC last summer, I would study lectures three days ahead - meaning three days before I would glance over the lecture, two days before I would read the lecture and study some concepts, and the night before my anatomy lab I thoroughly reviewed the lecture. By the time I was in morning lab, I had seen the powerpoint three times. This method of repetition really made a difference on my test scores this first year, when I had time to study ahead. Another thing I would do to prepare for a test is try to guess what questions the professors might write from the material we covered.

What are your expectations for Year Two?
I don't expect it to be easier. It sounds like Year Two is system based, so we are going to focus on different body systems. We started that at the end of this year, with neuro and musculoskeletal. Year Two might include endocrin, cardio, and respiratory. I'm not sure what the courses are. Study time and tactics will be about the same.

How difficult do you think the adjustment will be to having another class of students in the building next year?
I don't think it will be difficult for me. It just means there will be more people there, and I don't spend study time on campus.

What is the process for the next three years of medical education?
I still don't understand the process, really. It seems like in the beginning of Year Two we will be part of "the lottery", where we select our preferences for clinical rotations during Year Three. In the Spring of Year Two we will be matched with a city where we will have most of our clinicals, which will start end of summer after our first board exam. Not really sure what happens from there - more clinicals in Year Four and then more boards?

Everyone always asks you if you want to specialize. Do you know yet?
I say the same thing I said before I came to med school - I probably won't know for sure until I go through clinicals, but I'm interested in Sports Medicine.

What do you plan to do with your time during the summer?
Study. Go to California. Volunteer/shadow. Go to Switzerland with my dad and brother :)

*If you're interested in seeing another student's opinion, one of the med students at COMP NW wrote a series of articles for the Lebanon Express newspaper that comes out on Wednesdays. You can click through his series here.

18 June 2012

Berry Waffles

Berry season is beginning in Oregon. Strawberry stands are now open and soon I'll be hearing the sweet calls of raspberries, boysenberries, marionberries, and by August blueberries! UGH! Gotta love Oregon for its abundance of berries! ... Except that my go-to strawberry place is no longer in business! It's sad, but maybe Grandpa's Market can be my rebound berry patch.

Knowing that berry season is wiping its feet on our welcome mat, I decided that I would make room in my freezer and empty out the last of the frozen berry packets to make berry compote, or as Scott called it, "compost." Yeah, I'm working on the education there.

Possibly my new favorite breakfast! This picture really doesn't do justice because I didn't think to capture this beauty until i had eaten almost the entire batch of waffles and all that was left were the deformed waffles and dregs of berry compote.

If you'd like to experience breakfast joy, feel free to use this waffle recipe at allrecipes.com and top with your own homemade compote.

Berry Compote

1 handful of frozen raspberries
2 handfuls of blueberries
1/4 c sugar
1 T of water (lemon juice might be good!)
1 T of cornstarch (for thicker compote)

Wash your hands! If you're literally taking handfuls of berries from the freezer, this is especially important. You could always just use a half cup measure too, but still wash your hands. Throw your choice of berries (raspberries and blueberries were in my freezer) in a small pot and put on the stove over medium heat. Stir the berries every so often, but it doesn't take a lot of attention. Once your berry mixture comes to a boil, you're done.

Nothing formal about that recipe! Just homemade berry goodness for your summer morning!

15 June 2012

End of Year YW YM Carnival

Our ward was in charge of an activity this month for the three wards that meet at our chapel in Lebanon. We do these tri-ward activities whenever there is a fifth Wednesday in the calendar and each ward takes a turn planning the event.  Our youth decided, after I received some inspiration from Grease, that we would host an end-of-the-school-year carnival for all of the Young Men and Young Women.

Each ward was asked to host two booths, one by the Young Men leaders and one by the Young Women leaders. We also had a booth for the Bishopric members to get to know their youth a little better and vice versa - Ask the Bishopric! Bishopric members were asked to dress up and be prepared to answer any questions these teenagers may have. We also provided a list of fun questions to choose from.

Other booths included a doughnut eating/fishing game, David and Goliath sling shot, a Hershey's kissing booth, the saltine cracker challenge, face painting, and a photo booth.

It was a blast! Granted, it would have been more fun with a cotton candy machine, but someone told me those cause messes. Dang you whispy, delicious cotton candy!

13 June 2012

Yr 1 Perspective of a Med School Wife: Kristy

Q: Give us a little background of your family, your education/work, and where you came from before coming to Lebanon.

A: Josh and I are both from Idaho Falls. We met during the summer after I graduated from college with an English Education degree. We only went on two official dates before I moved away to begin a job teaching high school English and Creative Writing in Ontario, Oregon and he moved to Logan, Utah to go to Utah State University. Our entire relationship was long distance pretty much; we talked on the phone a lot and saw each other once or twice a month. We got married in January 2007 on one of the coldest days I can ever remember in Idaho Falls. Josh then transferred to Boise State so I could continue teaching (Ontario is only about 45 minutes from BSU). After the birth of our first child (who is now 4), I felt a great need to stay at home with her so I finished my second year of teaching and didn't renew my contract. We decided we wanted to be closer to family so Josh again transferred schools, this time to BYU and we moved to Provo, UT where Josh's sister and several of our friends lived and which was much closer to the rest of our families. At the time, Josh was majoring in Economics with plans to go to law school after BYU, but neither of us could ever feel like that was actually the right path for him to take, so after a lot of discussing, investigating options, seeking advice, and praying, he completely changed direction and started looking into medical school. When he talked to the people in the pre-med advising office at BYU, they told him that there was no way he could complete the application process and all that came with it in the time frame that we were hoping for to start med school in 2011. Obviously they were wrong, and I am really glad we didn't listen and that we went forward with our plans. While in Provo, our second daughter (our wild 2 year old) was born and 7 weeks ago our son was born.

Q: What are your responsibilities while your husband is at school?

A: I am a stay at home mom, so my days are filled with trying to keep up with our kids while keeping order the best I can in our home so that when Josh comes home, he doesn't have to feel like he needs to help with housework or do anything besides relaxing for a while and spending time with us.

Q: What did you find was the best way to support your husband while he was studying this first year?

A: Always being his number one fan was the most important role I've had. They can get discouraged because even if they are doing well, the ranking and competition that is a natural part of med school can wear on them, so I just always made sure to let Josh know that he was going to be okay, no matter what his test grade was or how he compared. I also tried to make test days special as well, like cooking more significant/special meals or setting up fun family activities for after the test that wouldn't take too much time but were out of the ordinary and gave Josh a chance to relax and play for a while.

Q:Did school become stressful on your relationship at any time? How did it effect the relationships he has with other family members and friends?

A: Josh and I are both pretty low stress people that don't tend to make a big deal out of things, so I would say that it hasn't really put much stress on our relationship, but I think that it magnifies any problems that were already existing. It has changed how often Josh talks to our extended family because he doesn't have as much free time. He used to talk on the phone to his parents almost every day, but now it is scheduled for Sundays and they talk to me more often and ask about him.

Q: What solutions have you found for dealing with the stress or burn out for either you or your SO?

A: When I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I have come to rely on those who I have met here, mostly from the SO club. Play dates are a great relief! I also feel like I have finally come to enjoy going to walks in the rain. As for Josh, when he is stressed, we will watch a movie together, or play games, or he wrestles with the kids. Now that we have reached the end of the school year, we also have started a garden, which is something that really helps Josh with stress. I guess really you just have to find things that you like to do, and find ways to fit those things in. There has to be balance because if all you have is school, it will get old really fast.

Q: Do you feel connected with other signicant others of students, and have you found good friends?

A: Absolutely. I feel really blessed to be having this experience here where I have been able to meet such wonderful ladies that I have connected with. I never feel like I have to go it alone because no matter how busy Josh gets, there are people to talk to and spend time with that I love to be with. It's so great that I can be certain that I will have a good time if I go to any of the activities because no matter what we do, we have a fun time doing it.

Q: Any advice you would give to new medical student wives?

A: One of the most important things that has kept us going as a family is the 1-2 hours a day that Josh spends at home with us. It may seem like such a small amount of time that it wouldn't matter, but it helps Josh not get burned out because he has to take a break which recharges him, and it also makes us all focus on quality family time because there isn't much in quantity.

11 June 2012

Medical School Summer

The last summer vacation of Scott's life starts today! That doesn't sound so great, but it is a complete relief! Scott's final exam for his last class, Musculoskeletal, this morning. He's been counting down to this day for over a month!

The summer transition from Year One to Year Two is the only real summer break that medical students have, at least at Western University. The summer after Year Two will be preoccupied studying for and taking their first board exams and beginning clinical rotations. The summer after Year Three is cut short to begin Year Four clinical rotations and electives. There may be another test in there as well. We're still learning!

This summer means a lot of things to Scott. First of all, it means a brain breather! Scott has been studying for comprehensive exams since last June and his brain and body are in need of a good break. The first couple of weeks off school we have plans to do fun activities, exercise, and of course some general lounging. We also have a family trip planned to California! Once we return from California, it will be time for Scott to think about school again. He wants to have a study review of year one so as not to lose that knowledge before board exams.

Many of the students in Scott's class are leaving for the summer. Some are taking this last summer opportunity to have extensive family time in their home towns. Some students are working in order to pay off loans or bills. After reading this article, I encouraged Scott to look into the Oregon SEARCH program to see if he could fit in some clinical time during the summer that would help solidify his year one education with some hands on application.

I have a little summer "break" planned as well. Since there were only a few classes offered through the MBA program at OSU during the summer, all of which occurred during business hours, I decided to hold off on class work until next Fall. I am anxious for a break from group projects and tests as well, but a little nervous of how difficult it might be to jump back in when the time comes. I will still be working full-time and taking some vacation days to run away from the rain or enjoy the rare Oregon sun!

I'll be sure to have another interview with Scott to close up Year One. Any questions I should ask?

08 June 2012

Landon Pigg in the Sound of Music

My brother posted a new meme video last month and it is my new favorite. Our wedding song was by Landon Pigg, so of course I would swoon for this video. I love how Matt was able to time the dancing with the song clips and how Landon Pigg croons "I do" when Captain Von Trapp is staring into Maria's eyes. The foley Matt added gives the new soundtrack flawless integration.

The modern music is merely a reminder that The Sound of Music is a classic romance.

06 June 2012

Yr 1 Perspective of a Med School Girlfriend: Sierra

Q: Give me a little background of your family, your education/work, and where you came from before coming to Lebanon.

A: I am originally from Eugene, Oregon and the youngest of my parents’ three children. I moved to Corvallis when I was 18 to study mathematics at Oregon State University where I met Bryan on my third day of classes. We both finished our undergraduate degrees in 2010 and then he stayed in Corvallis to be with me while I began a master’s program for mathematics education. In Spring 2011, we moved to Lebanon in preparation for his first year at COMP-NW and I finished my graduate degree. We are engaged to be married this July.

Q: What are your responsibilities while your boyfriend is at school?

A: I work full time, so as he is leaving for school, I am also on my way out. We usually don’t see each other during the day unless we cross paths at lunch or at the gym in the afternoons. I use the evenings to do dishes, do laundry, pay bills, etc. and most importantly…get his coffee ready for the next day!

On the weekends, Bryan likes to catch-up on studying and I usually make my way to Eugene to do wedding planning with my family (about every other weekend). As strange as it seems to spend half my weekends away from him when we have such little time together as it is, I know that keeping the majority of the wedding planning out of our household has been for the best – this ensures it doesn’t become an extra stress in Bryan’s life and that it doesn’t consume mine!

Q: What resources did you find in the community that are supportive to you?

A: I think it’s just been helpful that I have been working throughout the year to provide some income to our household and it’s been nice to have my own thing to focus on. I’ve also met some great people through work, which is always a plus.

Q: What did you find was the best way to support your boyfriend while he was studying this first year?

A: Quizzing him when he needs it and taking him food when he studies at school longer than expected. I’ve also found it helpful to ask about his day and his plans for the evening when we both get home. This helps me plan my tasks for the evening so I don’t miss any quality time with him if he plans on finishing his studying early for the night.

Q:Did school become stressful on your relationship at any time? How did it effect the relationships he has with other family members and friends?

A: It sucks when it gets close to tests because he usually spends all his “free” time studying at school, so I don’t see him much around those times. But that’s the extent of any stress caused by school and he always makes sure to set aside a day just to spend time with me after a test to make up for his absence, whenever possible.

Q: What solutions have you found for dealing with the stress or burn out for either you or your SO?

A: We have both been exercising fairly regularly and I think this has been important for both of us to deal with our stress after school/work before coming home for the night. We also adopted a kitten in November and as silly as it may sound, it’s been great having the cat around to distract us from our other responsibilities every once in awhile.

Q: Do you feel connected with other signicant others of students, and have you found good friends?

A: I’m not a very social person, but I have made a few close friends with other med school significant others and it’s nice to chat with them every once in awhile about how things are going to get some comfort/reassurance when things start to seem overwhelming.

Q: Any advice you would give to new significant others of medical students?

A: I would just encourage you to make sure you have your own thing. Be there for him, but find your own opportunities to shine! ☺

04 June 2012

Yr 1 Perspective of a Med School Wife: Stacy

Q: Give us a little background of your family, your education/work, and where you came from before coming to Lebanon.

A: I am from Colorado Springs, Colorado. I met Kody when I was 17 years old and had graduated early from high school. We both went to a Country Music Bar with our siblings twice a week to dance, he continued to ask me out and finally I agreed. I went to University of Colorado at Colorado Springs for three years for a Math/Teaching Degree and then realized it was not for me and then shortly after that decided to go to school to become a Veterinary Technician. Kody also went to University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and got two bachelors degrees there. Then he got accepted at Western U and I wasn't finished with Tech school. So I stayed behind to finish school while Kody moved out here to Oregon. I have just finished up my tech school and am graduating next week and officially moved here in March! Finally to be back together after 9 months!

Q: What are your responsibilities while your husband is at school?

A: Well, for a while it was: miss him a lo, do my school work, take care of my dogs, and help with my brother's children. Up until today my responsibilities included caring for the animals in the morning and evenings, try to keep up on dishes/keep the house clean and complete my internship hours Monday-Friday for 8 hours a day. Kody and I fit in cuddle time at night between our stressing and studying.

Q: What resources did you find in the community that are supportive to you and your family?

A: Unfortunately, I haven't been around for a while. I have found a some support within the complements club. Kody and I have been looking for a church to join. My main support has really been Kody during my time here.

Q: What did you find was the best way to support your husband while he was studying this first year?

A: Let him know that although I am stressed about things that he doesn't need to take care of me. Sometimes Kody needs a push to study when he wants to just be with me. But we sort of have a system. I go to bed early and he stays up an extra hour to get in some quality studying without wanting to cater to me.

Q:Did school become stressful on your relationship at any time? How did it effect the relationships he has with other family members and friends?

A: For us it wasn't school being stressful but getting reacquainted with each other. Kody made a lot of big changes in his lifestyle when he moved here to get healthier- it has been a big change for me and I have had a rough time adjusting.

School I think has negatively impacted his family relationships. They just don't seem to understand how much this consumes of his life and they aren't as willing to work around it.

Q: What solutions have you found for dealing with the stress or burn out for either you or your SO?

A: We try to stay connected with each other. That has been the biggest help. We both just need to remind each other that we are in this together no matter what. We make sure to help each other. Sometimes I help him study and sometimes he helps me with house work when I get overwhelmed.

Q: Do you feel connected with other signicant others of students, and have you found good friends?

A: I feel connected with a few of the other med school wives. I am not one to open up readily and that impacts my relationships. I have made several friends in my internship as well. But I suppose it depends on what areas you are involved with as to who you might meet to be apart of your support system.

Q: Any advice you would give to new medical student wives?

A: No matter if you are moving with your husband or you have to be apart for a bit- stay connected and find what works for the two of you as a couple. We can tell how things worked for us, but every couple is different.

01 June 2012

Memorial Holiday Weekend

Don't you just love long weekends? Ours was jam-packed with fun. I got off work early on Friday. It was a gorgeous day, and when I got home I found that Scott had made plans to play football with some student friends on the local high school's turf field. Not to be left out of making the most of our sunny holiday, I tagged along with my book. Friday night Scotts parents arrived for the weekend. Saturday and Sunday blurred together with helping friends move, showing the Chandlers around town, and driving up to Portland for some Westover family fun.

We topped the weekend off with a murder mystery luau (finally putting to use that Christmas present Christie gave us years ago after our first murder mystery). Eight medical school couples in total, celebrating an almost finished first year with good eats and some improv. Imagine how perfect this weekend would have been if I had fit in a phone date with my bestie too!

Back to work!