Busy bee.

Things are getting hectic, which is a good thing!

My baby brother will be visiting me today! He’s driving in from Ontario….which means he has been driving for the past 3-4 days across the country. He’s making this visit not only to see me but to bring all my boxes, my bike and personal items from home since I will be here in BC long term with husband.

I have a few things planned. Wish I could spend more time with him but I have studying to do (get to that in a bit). We are going to visit the Abbotsford Tulip Festival tomorrow morning. Best time to go during the week and in the morning. Fewer people walking around, best view, best pictures! Rain in the forecast -we’ll take an umbrella!

A week ago I was notified that I was accepted into a clinical assessment program in BC for international medical graduates. They offer 200 seats for this assessment program in all of Canada. This CAP assessment is mandatory to even be considered for an interview at Univ of British Columbia’s residency programs. So the higher you score the better your chances at an interview!

It’s an OSCE-type exam. There won’t be mock-patients to speak to and do physicals on, but we will be sitting one-on-one with an examiner, 6 stations (if I remember correctly) and we will be given patient scenarios we will need to provide DDX, labs, mx and tx, counseling etc, for each scenario.

This is the FIRST YEAR they are doing a one day assessment! Previous years assessments have been rotations in hospitals (4 weeks long!) and at the end of the rotations, you were given an evaluation score. Needless to say I am nervous! My exam is in the first week of June and I don’t have too much time to prepare for this. Found a study buddy and got to get cracking at this!

Tenacity of purpose.

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I never liked physics, I found it difficult and was barely squeaking by, but I pushed on through and at the end of the semester my physics teacher gave me my final back and told me this, I have a tenacity of purpose. Beautiful words. Thank you, Mr. Burns. I will never forget it.

I asked myself multiple times, when do I give up on medicine? Do I give up on it? The struggle is real. The answer was always, never. I wanted it (want it) a lot. I cannot see myself doing anything else in my life. I have a tenacity of purpose. I am also quite stubborn. 

I will not stop.

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Banana muffins (vegan)

I love shopping at Walmart when they stock up the discounted section. I scored myself two bags of snowpeas $1, two chayote squash (South Indian molagutal recipe for another day) and mint $1, two dragonfruit $1, 50% off coconut yogurt $2 and a huge bag of 10 very ripe bananas for ONE BUCK. That’s right! My eyes lit up and I danced at the thought of freshly baked banana muffins!

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This was my masterpiece creation on Sunday morning…..my sweet little apartment smelled so good. I need to get me a candle that smells of banana bread.

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I made two varieties, Chocolate chip coconut banana muffins and Berry banana muffins.

 

Ingredients – Choco chip Coconut Banana

  • Whole wheat flour – 1.5 cups
  • Vegan margarine – 1 tblsp melted
  • 4 very ripe bananas
  • shredded coconut – as much as you want
  • dairy free chocolate chips – as much as you want
  • vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
  • maple syrup – 1 tablespoon
  • baking soda – 1 teaspoon
  • salt – pinch

Preheat over to 300. Smush up the bananas. Add maple syrup, melted margarine, vanilla, shredded coconut. Stir. Add the whole wheat flour, baking soda and salt. Stir. Lastly add the choco chips.

Grease the muffin pan and plop the batter in. I baked for a good 20 – 30 mins. Let cool thoroughly. If they feel floppy after you let them cool (like mine did), I stuck them back in for another 10 mins and that helped.

Ingredients – Berry Banana

  • Whole wheat flour – 1.5 cups
  • Vegan margarine – 1 tblsp melted
  • 4 very ripe bananas
  • frozen berry mix – 1 cup
  • vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
  • maple syrup – 1 tablespoon
  • baking soda – 1 teaspoon
  • salt – pinch

Preheat over to 300. Thaw the berries and drain excess water. Smush up the bananas. Add maple syrup, melted margarine, vanilla, berries. Stir. Add the whole wheat flour, baking soda and salt. Stir.

Grease the muffin pan and plop the batter in. I baked for a good 20 – 30 mins. Let cool thoroughly. If they feel floppy after you let them cool (like mine did), I stuck them back in for another 10 mins and that helped.

One pot noodles

Had my first day of anesthesiology. Very fun! Many epidurals today, learned a lot! Wonderful teacher! Practice intubating with a manikin, looking forward to doing some real ones soon.

Long day so all I wanted to do was come back and make something quick….and used this recipe and dumped everything into a pot!

One pot. Whole wheat 3 minute noodles, 1 miso cube, carrots, red pepper, peanut butter, sriracha, nutritional yeast, water, black pepper. Boil. Done. 🙂

Thought of the day: do you allow a stranger to use your cell? I was on the bus coming back from the hospital and a random lady asked if she can use my cell to make a call? Hers was not working she said. Well, obviously I was hesitant ….and I was getting off in two stops. I said OK but only if I dialed the number she wanted to call. She quickly used it and gave it back to me. Weirded me out though, I was on alert if she jumped out of the bus with my phone.

I chose to…

I have a choice as to whether I let external factors bother me or not.

Woke up at 6 am, got ready, ate a good breakfast because I get grumpy without food, grabbed my coffee (travel mug) and set out to walk to the bus stop for the 7:05 am bus. I looked forward to Tuesdays because I am a trainee at a clinic that does many prenatal check-ups. I love that…Sipped my coffee, looked at the beautiful mountains in the distance and my bus arrived…. This is where the “I chose to…” began….

  • Second day in a row the bus driver didn’t respond to my good morning. Realized in panic that I forgot to load $ into bus card (my fault completely). Started digging through my wallet for change, bus driver yelled at me to get behind the yellow line. Missed my stop in the process of looking for change.
    • I chose not to be angry at myself or the driver. I requested a stop, said thank you and got off. 
  • I am still figuring out this city and its bus routes, so I decided to taxi it to the clinic as I didn’t want to risk being late.
    • It was more expensive than I expected but I chose to not take my frustration out on the taxi driver…. please, thank yous and smiles go a long way. 
  • 7:45 am. Arrived at the clinic in time!
    • I chose to be happy and smile because the staff and patients deserve that….I got some pretty awesome patients and cases today! 
  • 1:30 pm. Finished up work. Had to run over to the second clinic as I forgot to complete a patient note from yesterday. In the process of crossing the road at the pedestrian crosswalk, I almost get hit by a car.
    • I let it go, breathe….
  • 2:15 pm. Finished up my note, grabbed a coffee to get change for the bus back home. Made small talk with an elderly man who wanted to sell me pearl earrings that he had bought for his girlfriend, but….well the relationship was not going well. I politely declined. My bus arrived, waved bye and left.
  • On the bus checked my email….yikes….Received an email from a person whom I broke off a friendship over a year and a half ago. She still continues to write spiteful emails a year later….
    • I chose not to respond (just like all other emails). Shut off my phone, almost home.
  • 3 pm. Made it home. Took a shower, slipped and almost fell in the kitchen due to wet feet.
    • I am ok. I survived the day. 
  • Heated up the pizza I took for lunch and brought back because there was no time for lunch today. Skype chatted with my husband, I felt/feel so much better.

Looking back now, what would have happened if I had been grumpy from the get-go?  Maybe my whole day would have been different. The domino effect. Passing on the bad moods and vibes. Maybe it would have turned out worse. I would have made a bad impact on the staff, my attending, my patients. Not good.

I have to make a conscious effort to not let external factors bother me, my mood and my decisions. It’s a day to day learning process. I won’t beat myself up over a bad day or a bad decision but I will always try to work towards being a better person. 

 

 

Green lentil/moong daal curry.

Green lentil/moong daal curry (vegan).

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Ingredients:

  • 1 – 1.5 cups cooked green lentils/moong daal
  • 3 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 green chilli, Sriracha to taste if you like it more spicy
  • half red onion & 1 clove garlic
  • Small piece of ginger (1 inch or smaller, you can use ginger powder as well)
  • jeera (cumin seeds), salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons Curry masala powder (I use Great Value)
  • 1-2 tablespoons canola/vegetable oil

Pressure cook the green lentils (I wait for three whistles before turning it off – as my Mom taught me ;)) You can boil these as well but it will take longer than using a pressure cooker.

Heat the oil. Add jeera and stir until fragrant. Add onions, garlic and salt, fry until slightly brown. Add diced ginger and chopped green chilli. Add the curry masala powder. Stir, stir, stir.

Blend the tomatoes (I did in my Magic Bullet) until pureed. Add them to the mix above. Let simmer until the tart taste goes away.

Add the lentils. Salt and pepper to taste. Sriracha if you require more spiciness. Simmer some more.

You can have this with roti, rice, or even eat it as a nice chunky soup! I added some Indian mango pickle at the side there. 🙂

Have a great week!

 

Compassionate doctor.

My thought of the day:

Training under a compassionate and caring physician is a wonderful thing. I learn so much, not only about medicine, but also patient care that I hope to carry forward in my own medical career.

Patients really appreciate:

  • callbacks of labs/results that are negative too! It gives them a sense of relief.
  • follow up calls to patients who were put on new tx to see how they are tolerating it….are their sx getting better or worse? Should they come back in sooner rather than later?
  • follow up calls to patients who had to be sent to the ED directly from the clinic – how are they now? what tests have been done? how are they feeling?
  • home visits to elderly patients who cannot make it into the office
  • always being respectful of whether the patient is comfortable with a student in the room
  • being a good listener to the patient in front of me right now, even when the whole day is filled with back to back patients
  • doctor-patient confidentiality!!! What you tell me in this room stays in this room (unless you plan on hurting yourself or someone else).

Please share anything else that may come to mind..:)

A helpful website: I am weak in my EKG knowledge. My ED observership doc  back in ON would recommend this site: https://lifeinthefastlane.com/ecg-library/

I found a fun app: Clinical sense, download it off of the Google play store. It goes through a story where you are physician seeing a patient in your office. As you go forward in the story you make clinical decisions for their mx and tx. They get better or worse depending on what you do. It’s kind of entertaining and you learn at the same time!