28 November 2012

Med School Update: Semester 3

It has been a busy semester for Scott, as the students jumped right back where they left off in Year 1, Semester 2, reviewing each of the body systems. The system courses are intense, usually two to four weeks long with one or two major exams covering the material.

So here goes my attempted interview with Scott...

Q: What systems have you reviewed so far this year? 
A: Endocrine (hormones), Cardio (heart), and just finished Renal (kidney).

Q: What kind of information are you tested on with each of the body systems?
A: I don't know how to answer that. There's a lot of information to learn - like function, diseases that affect the system, presenting symptoms, and drugs for treatment.

Q: Which system did you enjoy learning about the most (note: that doesn't necessarily mean that you scored well or it was easy, just most interesting to you)?
A: Cardio, because its the most relevant.

Q: What has been the most difficult part about school this semester?
A: Studying. There's a lot of it.

Q: What was your favorite moment from this semester so far?
A: I dressed up like Waldo for Halloween. A lot of the students dressed up for Halloween this year. We had a professor who was visiting from the California campus and likes to call on unsuspecting students to answer questions in the lecture. Knowing that I could be called on, I studied hard the night before his lecture. I ended up being called on to answer a question [which he answered correctly], and then after the break I moved seats so the professor would have to find me again to call on me. He was cracking up when he had to say, "Where's Waldo?"

Q: I hear you've taken on some new leadership responsibilities. What are they?
A: I was elected to be my class vice president for the rest of the school year. I help the president and attend meetings. Not sure what other responsibilities I may have.

Q: What do we have to look forward to the rest of this semester and next?
A: There's respitory (lungs), gi (intestines), and derm (skin) systems. We also have the rotation lottery coming up at the beginning of next semester. We will get more information on this in December, but basically the school tells us all the rotation tracks for third year, we choose our top preferences for what city we will be based out of and what rotation schedule we want, and then the school randomly assigns the rotations based on preferences.

Q: Anything you'd like to add?
A: Nope.

What Scott didn't mention was that he recently gave a fantastic presentation on the symptom "shortness of breath" as part of his Essentials of Clinical Medicing course (ECM, practice clinicals). He's extremely proud of it because he did a fantastic job putting together a summary of the potential causes for this presenting symptom and treatment. The ECM professor even complemented Scott on his presentation skills - particularly he said Scott was funny. It made Scott's day so much he made me watch the whole presentation like he was giving it for real when I got home from work that day.

If you have any questions (or comments from those going through it) about what happens in year two of medical school, please send them my way. I think Scott would be more keen to answer my questions if he knew someone cared about the answer!

26 November 2012

Repurposing Thanksgiving

Yesterday I repurposed the traditional Thanksgiving dinner components that we had in our refrigerator to make a whole new meal. If you're still nursing a craving for that Thanksgiving feast, I highly recommend this combo, served IKEA style:


Scott looked at me in the middle of meal and said, "Is that gruyere?"

"Yes!" I said suprised. "I'm so impressed that you know that!"

"Don't be! That taste is imprinted in my mind after eating a truck load in Switzerland." Still impressed and also a little sad that I can't make gruyere a daily routine because of the hubby's taste buds.

23 November 2012

Christmas With Love, From Oregon

We drove (carefully, mind you) behind your future Christmas tree the other day. I hadn't realized it before I saw this truck filled to the brim with bound pine tree umbrellas, but Oregon is the nation's largest producer of Christmas trees.

Now you can think of Scott and I when you are setting up your Christmas tree, wherever you may be around the United States. Happy Holidays from Oregon!

16 November 2012

Young Womens Weekend

We were fortunate enough to take our small Young Women's group on an overnight temple trip last weekend. I prefaced the trip with a lesson about the parable of the ten virgins from Matthew and how it was written for to us today. As a surprise, we took the young women to Scott's grandparents cabin near Portland for the evening, where they giggled and snacked until early in the morning. Luckily our temple appointment wasn't until later Saturday afternoon!

We arrived at the temple with plenty of time before our appointment, so we visited the new (and extremely interactive) visitor's center, took pictures of the girls, and went out to eat for appetizers. It was a pretty special trip, and I enjoyed seeing the Laurels and the Beehives bonding together that sleepover weekend!

At our next mutual night, we had Young Women in Excellence, where the girls displayed some of their activities from Personal Progress this last year. The theme for the evening was Light Your Lamp, based on Elder Bednar's talk this last general conference. Each of the girls' displays had a lamp next to it, as well as their picture from the temple taken the Saturday before. Their individual accomplishments this last year were impressive, including many hours of service, cross-stitching art, and memorizing The Living Christ. I'm so glad I get to spend time with these ladies every Tuesday and Sunday, as well as some Saturdays!

07 November 2012

How To Pursue a Career in Sports Medicine

Even before medical school began for us a year and a half ago, Scott mentioned that he believes his specialty of preference would be Sports Medicine. Scott is a sports fanatic, in fact, he says if it's a sport, then he plays it. He'd also like to sell that t-shirt slogan to Nike. During his undergraduate studies, Scott worked as an aide in a physical therapy clinic for athletes and LOVED it! He really enjoyed working with active people of all ages who were anxious to get back to the performance level they were at before an injury. He feels like these athletes were more motivated in their recovery than maybe a non-athlete would be.

We are only in the second-year of medical school now - so he's still on-campus hitting the books - but I've already started my attempt to map out what it would take for Scott to become a doctor of sports medicine. I can almost guarantee that it is too early to have this much research done considering that my student-doctor has yet to do a clinical rotation, but it doesn't hurt to have all my resources in one place.

If you're wondering what the process is to become a team physician and if you have what it takes, check out American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM)'s brochure - Sports Medicine Specialist: Could It Be A Career for You?

The brochure linked above says what I've read before - that most team physicians complete family medicine residencies and follow up with a sports medicine fellowship, since "90% of all sports injuries are non-surgical." Family practice residencies are a plenty and often need applicants. Scutwork.com has reviews of programs from around the nation from past/current residents. Since this forum has information provided by residents, it wont be complete or sometimes very detailed, but it will be informative.

To find a list of all accredited Sports Medicine Fellowship programs visit, AMSSM.

And by chance, Morgan stumbled upon this list of open residency postings  at the American Medical Association website which could be invaluable when finding residencies or fellowships that need to be filled later in the game!

Scott had an interview with the Oregon State University team physician to ask him about his path to working with OSU. When the interview was done, Scott felt even more in love with the profession, but he also felt like the path to becoming a collegiate team physician would be more difficult than even becoming an orthopedic surgeon (super competitive!).

Next up: 3rd year rotations lottery!

UPDATE 10/2014: At this point Scott has completed a few audition rotations in his fourth year of medical school and has further insight into what type of residency to apply for in order to better position yourself for a career in sports medicine. Orthopedic surgery, family medicine, and physical medicine rehabilitation are specialties that work with athletes. Each specialty will have some areas of practice that is not sports related, so there are trade-offs with each. Scott has decided to go the family medicine route because of the doors that route opens for overall practice. He had previously considered PM&R, but has heard from residents that it is more difficult to get into a sports medicine fellowship coming from a PM&R residency. This is because many of the sports medicine fellowships are primary care based.

When looking for a family medicine residency that will prepare the resident for acceptance to a fellowship and career in sports medicine, look at the residency curriculum and faculty. This information is found outside of FREIDA, directly on the residency website. Look for sports medicine rotations in multiple years of the curriculum, faculty that have sports medicine research interest or are on a local/national sports medicine boards, and athletic event coverage.

TIP: We had initially looked only at residencies where there was also a sports medicine fellowship; however, we discovered that some of the best preparatory experience was available at unopposed residencies without a connected fellowship. The key here is not having to compete for learning and CV building opportunities with other residents or fellows. Unopposed residencies allow the students to participate in all interesting cases at the hospital, and typically train the residents for more procedures. Without a fellowship connected, students will have more access to sports related events and cases because they don't have to compete with a fellow to participate.

The upside of having a fellowship in the same hospital system as a residency is that it may improve your network and potential to match with that fellowship, but it's not guaranteed. In fact, we've heard from some fellowships that have preferences for selecting outside of their connected residency.

UPDATE 6/2017: Preparing for Fellowship

05 November 2012

Pumpkin Carving

It's November. I know! Most of us would like to move on to Thanksgiving. I didn't really get a Halloween this year, though, because I was in my MBA class that night. So humor me as I show you pictures of our pre-Halloween celebrations.

Early in October Groupon offered a promotion for a local family farm with a corn maze and mini disk golf course. Knowing that I would have a class on Halloween night, but still wanting to have a special Halloween date with my hubby, I bought four passes to this corn maze on Groupon and excitedly awaited a time closer to Halloween when we would frolic through the maze while the autumn leaves of gold and red fell upon our heads.

Know this - you should NEVER pre-pay for Fall outdoor activities in Oregon. The rains came down and the mud came up, and that corn maze was a sloppy disaster. Okay, that's harsh.  We finally found a day where there wasn't any rain and hoped that would be enough for a maze outing. The maze wasn't a disaster, but it was an extreme pile of sloppy mud.

This picture doesn't quite do the stickiness of the mud justice. Our shoes succumbed to mud many times, and I had to  hang on to corn stalks to keep from falling. So many kids left that maze with mud up their backs or on their faces from a good slip!

We survived the maze, and bought two pumpkins at their patch for carving. Go local!

Here is Scott scraping the piles of mud off our shoes.

In an effort to stay warm and dry, but still festive, we invited Brian and Tabetha to carve the pumpkins. Scott actually carved ours, while I worked on toasting the pumpkin seeds.

It was fun to chat with them while we searched for pumpkin styles, ate pumpkin shaped pizza, and gutted our squash. A much better plan for Halloween weather in Oregon!

02 November 2012

Back Track to Birthday Weekend

It's slightly awkward to watch your medical school husbands "manually manipulate" each other, but note that there was studying action on the birthday weekend.

Scott is extremely satisfied with his Men's Warehouse BOGO "birthday suit" purchases. I would say that I am just very satisfied.

You should know that Scott spent a lot of time in his wardrobe that Saturday planning an outfit for the OSU blackout game. There had to be just enough orange poking through.

When I suggested he might freeze to death in shorts, seeing as it IS Oregon and it WAS raining and 40 degrees, Scott scoffed me to the car. Let's just say that on the drive home that night the heater may have been on high.

Thanks to Morgan and Chase who made these birthday outings extra celebratory!