Try and do something active each day, you’ll feel really proud, have more energy to mingle with your friends and family, and do something great for your body. Let’s keep each other motivated through the holidays. No extra holiday weight for us!
For the sake of my petite women fitsters:
I recently purchased: Topshop coated jeans (short)
Other’s that work: gap petite, skinny jeans/cords/pants-they bunch at your ankles a little. I wear a lot of leggings and dresses + tights.
On a lighter note…
I’m 4’11. Surprising? Not? People who’ve met me after only seeing pictures always say I’m shorter than they envisioned…sigh.
But honestly. I went through lots of angry years (aka high school) when I was embarrassed and resentful of my height (or lack there of). But I’m at peace now. I wore maxi skirts for the first time this month and got lots of compliments. It’s alll good.
This week I met with one of my teachers, a neurologist here at UCSF, who I’ve been seeking advice from throughout first year . I’ve come to him for guidance for a variety of topics: what to do with my summer at first year, research opportunities, supporting parents of a dear friend, Buddhist philosophy, traveling, how medical school is going…He’s a very approachable professor who genuinely cares about how you are doing. When I talk to him, I feel calmer, optimistic, and always leave with a plan in mind. I hope I can build upon this mentorship through my years at UCSF.
I haven’t talked to him since May, and since then…I’ve learned a few valuable lessons related to medical school and beyond:
On death and doctoring: Before medical school, I didn’t understand as well as I do now, the role of a physician at the the final moments of a patients life. I didn’t picture how a doctor delivers solemn news, or how a doctor shares in the moment of death with the family. Today, I can appreciate what an honor it is to be included in a family’s personal experience of losing their loved ones physical presence. I’m scared that my reaction won’t be appropriate in this scenario. I’m nervous that I won’t be able to offer any relief. And also, there will be times when I second-guess myself and ask, “Did I do everything I could for my patient?” My professor emphasize that dealing with death is an art. Sometimes you have families that look at you, the doctor, and think…”Why do you think you’re important right now? Do you know how insignificant you, someone we just met, is to us at this moment?” And other times, the caring words from a physician and the reassurance that you’ll be there for them can bring in warmth and light. He said that the natural response is to look away from death, but say you have a patient who reminds you of yourself or of a loved one…don’t look away. Use it as an experience to explore and to develop greater love and compassion for families.
On detachment: The Buddhist philosophy of detachment conflicts with many values of popular culture today. From wanting things, from comparing yourself, to falling in love and never letting go…For me, I am working on understanding the balance between letting go yet living passionately. Not comparing yourself with others, yet doing your best. Loving deeply, but accepting the end. Does being detach mean not loving someone that much so you will not be saddened by their departure? For me, I am free to love and care as deeply as my human heart can empathize, but I need to accept that when it’s time for a relationship to end, for a person to leave, for closing a chapter, I have to let go. My professor recited The Prayer of St. Teresa of Avila for me, but substituted “love” for “God”
Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
"Love" never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has “love” lacks nothing;
"love" alone suffices.
There’s so much more I want to say, but more importantly, I want to hear from you. Please share your stories and thoughts about what you think makes a wonderful doctor for families going through difficult times, your meaningful mentorships, and any epiphany you’ve had that has lifted from a rut.
I just talked to my small group instructor/mentor about how things are going for me in medical school and her own experience at UCSF. For my own benefit and maybe of some interest to you all, I wanted to recap here:
On strengths of UCSF: The diversity of experiences possible here. It’s not that UCSF is good at one thing, but that we’re good in many areas. You can really be part of the group that’s leading the field.
Challenges of UCSF: Finding mentors. They are all around you! But everyone’s busy…including you. There’s different mentors for your different needs. For example, my instructor had a “life” mentor and career mentors. Be proactive as a mentee by telling your mentor what you want to work on and ask if they can assist get to the next step in your training. Maintain relationships through the years.
Comparing yourself with others: There’s always sources for comparison…scores, honors, interviews, etc. And my instructor emphasized that even her close friends were competitive with one another. However, it’s the quality of the relationships that you make which are important in the long run.
Dating a classmate: There are times in a relationship where you can go with the flow, and there are times to be more intentional. At this point in seeing Ben, it’s worth being more intentional and using this time as a trial & error period. I think I want to give us a shot. We should find out what works for us, or if we work at all. For example, until the end of the next test, we can make a plan to: study at different places, not talk about school when we’re together, or not talk about exam grades, etc.” It’s important to maintain your self-worth. Leave medical school knowing that you have talents, no matter how a relationship turns out.
How can you tell if you’ve found your learning style?: When you don’t reject what you’re doing. It’s not just your test score, but how you feel when you’re studying. Do you enjoy it? Are you productive and less distracted when studying? Instead of seeing what other people are doing and trying to do that, find someone who studies like you and work together. My instructor mentioned that when her and husband were dating during medical school, they found that they could study Anatomy together really well, but not all subjects.
Where I’m at right now: I know the opportunities at UCSF are here, it’s just a matter of making time for it. I have good ties with some faculty, professors, and administrators now through classes, summer projects, and shadowing. I plan to maintain them and be more straightforward with what I’m hoping to gain through mentorship. I’m still working on an efficient, effective, and fun studying method, but over all I’m doing good and not agonizing over having to study. I’m really enjoying it. I need to calm down and not let myself, or overstressing limit what I can achieve.I tend to compare myself to others and that brings me down, but I’ve identified with ways and activities to ground myself which help uplift me.
Okay time to study!!
P.S. I swam/tried butterfly for the first time yesterday!