Dear Anonymous

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Different words all meaning the same thing. There will always be an opportunity to speak up for your personal beliefs but I understand the fear of being the first one to speak up is always immense but just remember that one day you're going to have to look back & see that when the opportunity to stand up was there you didn't take it. 

I think I have spent the better part of my life sticking out. The first day of middle school I remember being in all the classes with my homeboys but by day two I guess my CTBS(old version of FCAT) scores came back & all the sudden I was in all honors courses for the next 3 years. Not only was I one of the few male students in the classroom but I was the only black male student for almost 2 years. It didn't really get any better for the when I was in high school but I just learned to adjust sticking out like a sore thumb. Not only did how I look help easily separate from the rest of my classmates but that I always had the readiness to say exactly what was on my mind regardless of the consequences. Most of the time growing up it was something that was second nature to me but as I got older I realized that I needed to filter myself because I didn't want to burn any bridges unknowingly & for my career aspirations I thought it was better to leave things unsaid then to bring it to light. 

But then my second month on the wards as a student happened and I learned a great deal from the ordeal. The first that I was never going to <inserts profanity> keep my mouth closed again whenever I saw something I had an issue with. It's extremely easy just to cower away when the going gets tough or play dumb as a box of rocks but the real courage comes with being able to stand up on your two feet knowing that you would rather be ostracized for your convictions then fit in. 

On a brighter note about 116 days left till graduation. 


The dinosaur is dead

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As an intern I first wrote about Dr. Dinosaur and about how my first month with the doctor was easily the longest time of my life. As the time has come to an end there are several things that I will always remember.

I will always remember before even starting the month, hearing all the rumors & even former graduates of the program giving warning of what was to come.

I will always remember getting to the hospital at 4:30am, seeing all my patients, only to get grilled about all my patient management decisions all before 7 am.

I will always remember that there was only one way to present a patient, "The Dinosaur" way.

I will always remember not being 100% sure whether I should even advance the diet on a patient because of the fear that I could be wrong & I would definetely hear about it if I was.

I will always remember the morning education[pimping] rounds and how all the easy answers seem to get said just before it was my turn.

I will always remember that an appendicitis isn't always an appendicitis.

I will always remember that the sound of squeaky shoes can make even the most confident medical student/resident cringe on the inside.

As an intern I remembered thinking to myself "this is going to be three LONG & TERRIBLE years" but as I reflect on everything I have learned in regards to my professional & clinical development I know that I am forever grateful to all the teachings Dr. Dinosaur was able to pass on to me. I really feel bad about the fact that new residents will not be able to get the dinosaur experience but I'm really glad to be able to say that I survived Dr. Dinosaur.

If I only remember one thing from residency, it's that the most important question is "Why?"

Thanks Dr. Dinosaur


Innocence fades

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In this business of hospital medicine there is an understanding that some people who walk into the ER might not leave the hospital. As residents, we are always aware of the possibility but our super hero mentality never wants to think that we have no chance of saving anyone. A particular patient in question was pretty sick & it got to the point where the team was becoming comfortable with the idea that this patient might not survive the night. So they call the code blue to the patient's bed and after about 30 minutes of attempts to bring the patient back the patient was pronounced dead.

With a veteran nursing staff who has seen this countless times & even myself having dealt with many similar situations over the past 2 years, it was more business as usual and we were going to go about our day because thats just the coping mechanism that many of us had. What made this situation different was seeing my medical student crying uncontrollably. I know the nursing staff and I was in more shock seeing the student's tears then we were that the patient passed away. I didn't even think to realize that this maybe my student's first encounter with participating in a code & ultimately seeing the efforts fail.

I can remember a time where seeing death actually moved me to similar emotions but unfortunately it doesn't anymore. I'm not sure if its a goal of medical training to desensitize us to death and the normal reactions that usually come from it but I can say that the way I deal with it now compared to when I first started class in med school has completely changed. Even as we were comforting the student phrases like "this happens a lot" & "that's a normal reaction" came out, which in hindsight is a terrible way to think about it but it's really the easiest way I know that is going to prepare them for a future in medicine where some live & some die.


Thank you

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This isn't going to be one of my resident stories or great words of wisdom, I just wanted to take the time out to thank the National Champion Florida State Seminole football team for a marvelous season which ended with my alma mater holding up the crystal ball. We spent most of the season flat out dominating our competition but last night was easily our worst performance for three quarters, but that why you play till the clock hits zero. Our Heisman QB Jameis Winston ended a remarkable season with a game winning TD pass to Kelvin Benjamin & with that I avoided slander from SEC fans & FSU haters across the world.

Thanks again Seminoles.

There is no miracle that can save you in Pasadena


178 days left ...

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      It seems like its been forever since my last post. Some of it unintentional as I was dealing with the more labor intensive portion of my residency schedule but for the most part I was just using the time to focus on plotting my escape out of residency. The transition out of residency is something my fellow resident class has been plotting since July 1, 2011. Every time an annoying patient was readmitted to the hospital again for being drunk, a senior resident decided they were going to pull rank to get out of work, or even another ridiculous rule change from GME, all we could think about is how it would soon be over. I've said it before but I thank God for my senior class of residents because there is no way in hell I would have been able to make it this far which out going crazy. I'm pretty sure all residents feel the same way going into their senior year so I won't act like its mutual exclusive but I got stories that would easily keep up with the best of them.

        In the past few months I have been working on my CV, getting all the advice I can from my physician friends who are already attendings(graduated residents) in practice, while dealing with the increasing annoyance of being a medical resident. I am beginning to feel like a 4th year medical student who is tired of calling themselves a student doctor. In fact just a couple of weeks ago I had a neurologist(ill leave him nameless) who wouldn't take a consult from me because I wasn't an attending. It's that type of BS that really has me counting the days down . I am hoping to have my job secured in the next couple of months because when I do (you'll know cuz Ill write it up) best believe you're probably not going to be able to tell me anything till graduation.

PS. I am going to be writing up a story on my residency experience for the JSNMA online. I'll keep you posted whenever that is finished.