Special Skills (part 2)

If you're confused as to the "Special Skills" reference click here.  But I promised y'all another terrible interview story, and I always deliver on my promises.
Now, in this story, I was going to warn you that I'm gonna use a lot of potentially NSFW words, but then I remembered that the level of socially acceptable discourse in this country has changed recently.... 
Scenario #2: I'm at the pre-interview dinner at a residency program in the deep-deep-deep South just before the presidential election.  We're at a steakhouse.  There are only two residents there, both of whom are male and from the deep-deep-deep South.  The interviewees include me, another woman, and a man. 
Now, this is one of the weirdest dinners I've been to- the senior resident has ordered multiple meals to-go and asked us, the candidates, to lie the next day and say that there were more residents there in order to explain the high bill.
These residents seem strange and like they don…


A couple of years ago Babydoll gave me this positivity guide for Christmas.  It says a lot about that year (and probably me) that she felt like a zine entitled Sh-t's F-cked would appeal.

She wasn't wrong though, I loved it and have reread it many times.

It offers great and timeless advice for when things are tough, like "find your boundaries and honor them," "borrow your friend's dog and go exploring together," or "eat good food at regular times."

My favorite piece of advice though, the one I keep coming back to is the one about making an annual theme.  The author advises us to "use themes to direct your year and help with indecision."

"What should I be doing? How should I be doing it?  Does it perfectly embody my annual theme?"

My theme for this year was: What Would Beyonce Do?

It's been my guiding principle for the year.  When I'm confused, when I'm sad, when I'm lost, when I'm scared, when I'm hur…

Five-Year Plans

In senior year of high school I took a (world?) history class with a professor named Dr. Schmidt.  I don't remember what the class was called, or, really, a ton about the content in general.  Dr. Schmidt was sweet, but a little drone-y and I had a difficult time maintaining alertness, but I tried.

To Dr. Schmidt's credit, ten years later, I still remember him talking about Mao and his famous (infamous?) five-year plans for China.

Now, senior year of high school is a point in life where everybody and their brother thinks they have a right, no, a need, to ask you what your life plan is.  And saying that you didn't know is simply unacceptable.

As a high-schooler this enraged me.

I was 18 years old, barely old enough to vote, not even old enough to drink, and everybody from Great Aunt Linda to my favorite cashier at Publix wanted to ask me what my plan was.

And every time someone asked me to describe in detail this epic plan that they just knew I had for myself all I could thi…

Why my eye is twitching

A thousand billion trillion years ago my sister and I worked together for a power-hungry monomaniacal middle management dictator.

Working with my sister was great, but the whole working in the sort of environment where mistakes aren't... tolerated, was, well, stressful, to say the least.  We did all sorts of things to make work less painful and it was mostly okay as long as no one asked questions or bungled anything.

While at work, when there was down time, we would read Yahoo news.  (Yes, that's how long ago this was).  One day, my sister started cracking up.  She was laughing so much she felt the need to read this article out loud to me.  It was titled something like "7 Secret Signs of Stress."  It did not sound funny.  I did not understand why she was laughing.

It turned out that it was funny in that horrible terrible sort of not-actually-funny way because none of the things on the list were "secret" signs of stress.  And the one that we loved the most, …


There were a lot of things I expected to do in this job.  I figured I'd be tired all the time (true).  I figured I'd take care of patients with illnesses I'd never seen before (true).  I figured I'd do a ton of "patient care" (true).

But what I didn't expect- and, really, I guess there's no way I could have known this- was what exactly that "patient care" was going to entail.

Mostly, it seems like it's asking the right questions and listening.  So so so much listening.  And that part, I'm pretty good at.  There's a lot of nodding and empathizing and validating.

But the new thing here- the part I didn't quite expect so much- is how much taking I do, how much advice I give out.  And I'm not talking just medical advice.

Patients ask me all sorts of things and seem to think I've got a good handle on them.  It's almost comical, being from a generation known for #adulting, that people ask me for advice.  I try really ha…

Special Skills (Part 1)

This is the time of year when fourth year medical students all over the country start going on residency interviews.  I just did this last year, and lots of people I know are going through this process now.

Interviews are one of those rare things that even the collective "they"  can agree on.  And you know what they say?  They say that interviews generally acknowledged to be terrible.   Horrible.  Painful.  The worst. 

You have to talk about yourself and answer stupid questions and be altogether charming for longer than most of us can stomach.

And that's on a good day.

For those of you going on an interview in the near future and worried about how it's going to go, let me ease your mind- it's gonna be okay.  Because for all the interviews you go on, you only need one job.  So that means you only have to have that #nailedit sensation on one.

Some of your interviews will be mildly weird/distressing/confusing and potentially comical, however, for whatever reason, I …