lifestyle

Book Review: The Devil You Know

Freida McFadden strikes again with her follow-up story to the life of Doctor Jane McGill, The Devil You Know. This book is a page turner with a romantic edge and relatable characters that make a fictional story seem real. This is the follow up book to McFadden’s The Devil Wears Scrubs; this sequel focuses more on Jane’s personal life, rather than her time doing long hours of residency in the hospital. First, I recommend this book to parents, more specifically, parents with older children. Jane has to deal with all the stresses, fun, and control issues that come with her young redheaded bossy daughter, all while her husband is adjusting to a new job working from home and dodging his parental duties here and there.  The small anecdotes throughout the novel between Jane and her husband are sidebars that every parent can relate too.  For example, McFadden uses a touch of realism to show how even something as small as picking up and dropping off your toddler at pre-school has so many elements to take care of and so many areas where things could go wrong.  I really enjoyed reading these anecdotes and seeing them unfold and go hand in hand with Jane’s marital problems.  She is constantly dealing with real life situations that come with kids like, battling over what to wear to school, or having to tell...

How To Make The Most Out Of Your Summer Before School Starts

It’s your last summer before college starts, and if you’re like me you do not want to put it to waste.  You have just wrapped up four years of hard work and now get to pack up and leave your hometown, say goodbye to friends and family and go to your new home in college.  But one day, in the beginning of summer, before the big move, you look down at the empty bag of potato chips and sodas at feet, eyes burning after your ninth episode of your binge show that day, and you start to think to yourself that you are not making the most of your summer.  For me, my last summer before college was all about becoming self dependent and learning new things. So to avoid becoming a couch potato all summer and rather becoming more self dependent, here are 3 tips to making the most of your last summer before college:  Find Time to Relax Let’s be real: it’s the summer and you want to be on the beach somewhere turning that pasty year long skin, into a golden bronze.  To me, vacation is the number one step in enjoying your summer, but don’t get confused by my beach analogy, there are many types of vacations and ways to relax. Personally, I love to be outside whether that be at a beach, the hiking...

Chef Uy Presents: Orange, Mint, and Blueberry Infused Water

Natalie Uy is a resident in Internal Medicine who loves to eat and doodle. Her food blog, Obsessive Cooking Disorder, is a collection of recipes she made during her study breaks and stories on my medical / life adventures. Here is her recipe on how to prepare Orange, Mint, and Blueberry Infused Water. Some exciting news – I’ve officially moved into my new apartment, and this is the first recipe from my new kitchen! My kitchen is disproportionately large (it’s literally the same size as my entire living room), but I can live with that. Moving was not easy – it was towards the end of my q4 28 hour call month (which means 28 hours straight in the hospital every 4 days), so I was already fatigued at baseline, but with the help of many wonderful friends and, of course B, we did it! B had a golden weekend thank goodness, so he could come up to Connecticut and move things while I was at work. Fortunately, I married a very tall, strong man to make up for my rather petite size (and also my equally, if not even more petite friends whom I had recruited, as B pointed out with a facepalm). B wanted to pay for packers/movers 100% but I’m more of a DIY person, especially since we’re moving my studio just a few blocks over, so we compromised with...

Why I Don’t Wear Scrubs

Some of the nurses at work were talking about a sale on scrubs.  I was listening in, because I only have one pair of scrubs that I wear on call and they’re awful.  The top is so big that it could be a dress on me. Nurse: “Actually, I’ve never seen you in scrubs, Dr. McFizz.  You never wear them!” They pointed out that a few of the other doctors do sometimes wear scrubs during 9-5 business hours, but some of us don’t.  Here’s why I don’t: When I was an intern, I worked at a county hospital, serving a very poor population.  Intern year is hard, and I wanted nothing more than to live my life in scrubs–basically, nonstop pajamas.  But our program director said to us, “You know, these patients may be very poor and not speak English, but they should be treated with respect. And that means they deserve a doctor who is well dressed.” Some of the other interns wore scrubs every day anyway, but I didn’t.  On non-call days, I wore “nice” clothes. Those words really stuck with me, even now, over ten years later.  I feel like it’s more respectful to dress in nice clothes when I see patients. You can find Dr. Fizzy’s newest book, The Devil You Know on Amazon. Read an excerpt here. She’s got a great job at a VA Hospital,...

How To Be A Social Media Expert In Medicine

When you get into medicine, you barely have time for anything. On top of the studying, test-taking, internships, fellowships, and scrambling for resume builders, it’s difficult to keep up in our lives. Obviously, social media has become a staple of everyday life, and thought leaders, key opinion leaders, and influencers in niche fields have all used it to advance their expertise and to show the world as they are. As medical professionals, it can be a key boon in our workplace and schools, telling stories and sharing relevant information to others with a simple click. Vineet Arora, MD, MPP, shows us that it’s possible to be a social media expert while educating and teaching others in your field. Vineet Arora MD, MPP is Associate Director for the Internal Medicine Residency and Assistant Dean for Scholarship and Discovery at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Dr. Arora’s scholarly work focuses on resident duty hours, patient handoffs, medical professionalism, and quality of hospital care.  Her work has appeared in numerous journals, including JAMA and the Annals of Internal Medicine, and has received coverage from the New York Times, CNN, and US News & World Report. She has testified to the Institute of Medicine on resident duty hours and to Congress about increasing medical student debt and the primary care crisis.  As an academic hospitalist, she supervises medical residents and students caring for hospitalized patients. Dr. Arora blogs about her experiences in medical education at...

The Devil You Know: A Day In The Doctor’s Office

An excerpt from Dr. Fizzy’s new book: The Devil You Know, available now! “Jason Burnham?” I call out. A man in his late twenties rises reluctantly to his feet. Damn, he’s handsome—he’s got a soldier’s solid build with firm muscles lining his arms and visible under his T-shirt. I can tell by the look on Mr. Burnham’s face that he isn’t terribly thrilled that I’m the one who’s going to be examining his testicles. I’m sure he’d prefer a male doctor. Still, I think it’s melodramatic the way he acts like a man being led to the electric chair as I take him to the newly cleaned examining room. “Mr. Burnham,” I say to him. “My name is Dr. McGill. Would you please change into a gown for me?” Jason Burnham nods miserably. Examining testicles is not my forte. I’ve gotten better at it since my patient population has become primarily male, but I’m nowhere near as good at that as I am at, say, finding the cervical os. Testicles just seem so… delicate. Obviously. But I’m getting better. As far as I can tell, the key to doing a good testicular exam is not accidentally saying something dirty during the exam, which is extra challenging when your patient is so damn attractive. I’m going to work on that today. I return to Mr. Burnham, who is now sitting miserably...

Taking Sick Days in Medicine

As my regular readers may have noticed, I tend to write about what I know. I think it’s the best way for me to choose what to write about because then I don’t feel like a phony, which is something I sometimes feel just as a by-product of being a student of medicine. Another way in which I feel like a bit of a phony is when I get sick and have to miss school. It’s especially tough on rotations because you feel like you’re letting everyone down, as if the whole team is somehow there for you when in reality they would function completely the same without you (although they may miss your positive attitude/humor/white coat pocket snack stash). For example, I get migraines often and they are only partially managed with medication. Sometimes the meds just don’t work or I’m not able to take them in time. Once I went a whole month without them because there was a snafu with the pharmacy and I couldn’t refill them. During that time I was so nervous I would get a migraine and have to call in sick that the whole time I was filled with anxiety over the mere possibility. Even if I do actually take the sick day I just sit at home feeling nauseas and ill, arguing with myself over whether I am sick “enough” for...