Saturday, July 30, 2005

St. Louis!

Greers Ferry

Dad and Preston at the lake


Back by popular demand.... My blog link to the world! It has been twenty-something days. Ridiculous. This real residency thing is for the birds. It's like you have to go to work EVERY weekday. Fifty hour weeks.

Call hasn't even started. The lower levels (my mates and I) start Monday. I'm the 6th of 6 this time and start call Saturday. A week from today.

So I've had two mini-rotations (four left to go). Ultrasound was first and I don't remember anything about it. What a blur! Then "reading room," which is essentially all the plain films (Xrays) from the ER, family clinic, and entire hospital. This was a huge volume of work, and the days flew by. I'm no longer afraid to sit down and dictate a stack of chest films and elbows. And whatever other body part might come my way. I load them on the computer, glance at them, take notes, and then review with an attending. He/she produces a litany of what I should say, and we blow through a stack quickly. I scribble intently! Then I sit there with a Dictaphone and whisper quickly. At this point, I'm trying to add some of my own comments that are in line with the attending but not just a regurgitation. I'm trying to develop my own style and vocabulary. Maybe a little ambitious for the mini-rotation, but I've got to learn this stuff and be a radiologist someday. I hope that I quit whispering as I gain confidence! The final step is that I have to review the dictations on the computer and correct my and the transcriptionist's mistake. One attending has already e-mailed me some suggestions about my dictations, so that will help.

NOthing in med school prepares you for reading and dictating radiologic studies. That's just how it works. So it's okay not to know anything. It's a steep learning curve.

I'm starting to enjoy it. We now have 7am and 1pm lectures - soon we'll have 4pm physics. These conferences are for the most part really good, and it's a chance for me to remember why I liked this stuff in the first place. It's a really intellectual field. Every study is a challenge. I love it.

I took a week off of running, but usually I'm getting up at 5:14 (5AM with two snoozes - alarm clock located in my closet) and running 3.3 miles three times a week. This has helped my sanity for sure. The week off was nice, too. Extra snuggle time.

Dory has discovered my pillow. Most mornings, she has worked her way up to the bed from floor and from foot of bed to right next to me. I'm now in the middle. It's wonderful.

Last weekend we went to St. Louis for a Cards game in the heat in the bleachers in the sun. They lost to the Cubs in the bottom of the ninth. Two men on base, down by one run, one out, and Pujols at the plate. The stars were aligned. But he drove out to short, and they caught the guy at second off his bag. Hit the showers, game over, fat lady.

We've also been trying to go to the lake most weekends. I think we'll go tomorrow afternoon.

I'm still reading Harry Potter VI.

Glancing at my calendar, we've had the following events lately: end of softball season with a WIN, my first time to work the PowerPoint/projector at church, Erica's B-day, baby shower for Sharon Strong (high school buddy), radiology pool party, fight night party, St. Louis, Mom's B-day, and party with the ball team.

I'll upload some pics. There are some new folders - St. Louis and Softball - on my Yahoo! photos.

Friday, July 08, 2005


This is cousin Lydia and her son, Ben, who is almost 12 months old. They live in Kentucky now, but are moving to Kansas City later this summer. She teaches junior high history, and is awesome at it! Husband John is the philosophical type and just finished seminary in KY. Just thought I would share some of my family members. More to come.


This is my cousin Robyn - she called last night, and it was a ton of fun to catch up with her. She is a graphic designer in Greenwood, MS, and she travels all over the world with her job! Robyn has recently remodeled an older house in Greenwood that I have yet to see. Her boyfriend, Jon, is an engineer at Viking (the kitchen place).


Today was better at work. It'll grow on me.

Last night, we lost our softball game. We were either tied or leading throughout the game, then they got ahead 10-6 in a late inning. Before time ran out, we only regained a couple of runs. It was so sad. It was our best-played game of the year, and I think we all had fun.

I've uploaded some pics from the Firecracker last Saturday. It was a great race. I had a lot of fun, and ran with friends I hadn't seen in a while. Plus, the T-shirt is cool this year.

There are also pictures from our trip to the lake on Sunday. Folder=Greers Ferry. For the fourth, practically my whole "dad's side of the family" was there. I don't have pictures of everyone, but it was fun to spend time with the kids. Dory loves the boat - not so much the water.

On Mon. night, Erica invited the peds residents over for a cook-out. The burgers were great, and people brought all kinds of stuff for potluck. There are a couple of pictures of everyone under "Peds.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

The Orient

I can't believe how stressful this week has been. Thank God I never have to start a whole new phase of my career with so much drama ever again. Our orientation was basically a scare tactic. In summary: "You don't know anything. You will feel stupid for a couple of YEARS. You will have to study 2 hours a night to keep your head above water." I could go on, but my dinner is already refluxing.

I'm taking it one step at a time. It'll get better. I'll even someday enjoy it. I hope.

Yesterday (Wed) was the first day. It was a blur. Today, I dictated all of the ultrasounds at the VA (twelve). My very first dictations!! This was a huge accomplishment, in my estimation. So at least that made me feel better. I go to work at seven and get off around five; we stop for about a half-hour lunch. I am mentally EXHAUSTED. And, yes, I do realize these aren't awful hours.

It will get better. Back to the books. I'm so lost, it's hard to know what to read - and no one is much help as far as advice!

It will get better.

Friday, July 01, 2005


I've got my wish list posted in my profile. I guess this is like registering without the baby or wedding. It's just for no reason in particular! Well, that's if you don't include our all-American "need" for consumption and having more stuff...


I can't believe our intern year is really finished. It seems like it flew by. Sometimes I wonder if I've learned anything at all, and other times I marvel at how far I've come. I guess the answer lies somewhere in between. I know I'm a little more confident; I also have a healthier, more robust sense of fear of (and appreciation for) taking care of sick folks.

I don't know what I'm supposed to wear next Tuesday for radiology orientation. A white coat seems excessive. And what do I do with my stethoscope? I keep trying to remember if radiology residents just ditch the steth in favor of little pocket books full of anatomical secrets.

My dad gave me my stethoscope before I started medical school. When I worked with Toni Darville, she told us to bring one to ID clinic. The one I carry now is the same one dad brought home for me to use for that summer job - an extra, a hand-me-down, used. I adore it. It's not a Cardiology III, it is totally basic and boring, and it has worked exceptionally well.

After that summer job, I hoarded it. It sat on my desk in the dorm room in Cleveland Hall for a year. It's amazing how this one instrument is so invocative of a career, a life, a moment in medicine.

I think I'll be the only radiologist with an ever-present stethoscope. It'll remind me just who I'm in this for - those people taking in a deep breath for their chest Xrays.

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