Wednesday, July 15, 2015


This summer, it seems I've had a cataclysmic weekend at every turn. I'll face a few days of relative calm, and then BAM disaster. Usually, it has to do with the clinic.

Here's something to think about: this past Friday + weekend, I have spent 18 hours at the clinic. No rounding up: 18 hours over three days. I went to two parties over those three days, which were seriously fun, but 18 hours is ridiculous. As a note, though I am a coordinator (read: an administrator on good days, an autocrat on bad days), I am still a volunteer. If I'd been paid at my high school part-time wage, I'd be pushing $200, which is about two secondary applications for medical schools.

All that was furthered by personnel issues and the fact that I have taken on a behemoth project to implement (read: force) my section to use our electronic medical records system correctly. I'm not entirely sure how this happened, but sometime in the winter, our section (either I decreed it or somebody pushed it onto us) became the one to pioneer EMR. Of course, all this is good fodder secondaries because it shows leadership and struggle and this and that, but good God is it a headache.

I am told that this is usually the responsibility of an IT team. Though I am sure their timeline is much shorter, I carry the burden for an agonizing amount of time. But what about delegation? Don't make me laugh. Delegating in a volunteer organization with a collective structure is tough shit. People are lazier here. People don't need to care because they don't have accountability. Furthermore, the oversight and accountability administrator is me. More responsibilities, more headaches.

Why the hell do I do this to myself? God complex? Masochism? Not sure.

As this lovely picture shows, this weekend was a mess of clinic obligations, personal deadlines for secondaries, and social engagements. I didn't really sleep much, and towards the end of Saturday, it was already pretty clear that I was in foul weather again.

The Han Solo to my Luke Skywalker when I was a wee trainee (and he was a coordinator) always warned me about burnout. My parents and boyfriend do it all the time, but when it comes from my peers at the clinic who were in my same training cohort and have watched me grow into this responsibility say so, I feel it. All weekend, I was griping about not being able to finish my Duke secondary on time, not being happy with anything I wrote; I was really complaining about being overextended.

I think I burn out quite often, and just after I submitted my Duke app today (!!!), I felt rejuvenated. Fair enough, but I still have a marathon ahead. I want to really change the clinic, and what sort of change is truly good enough if someone didn't have to get tired over it?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Summer refresher

I'm just beginning properly writing my secondaries for MD applications now, and nervously awaiting the downpour of emails that will surely (hopefully) come after the holiday weekend. However, I won't be writing about that here.

In the past few weeks, I've begun noticing some less-desirable attributes about myself and my surroundings. Particularly, I am annoyed/disgusted by the state of my apartment, and how generally, I tend to clutter up my work and living areas. Not to say I'm a hoarder, but I surely don't need to hold onto all my past midterms. Same thing goes for the various small things hanging around my desk. I'm at home right now, but when I return to my apartment tomorrow, I'll have to do a very thorough cleaning.

More seriously, I am inattentive to the cleanliness of our apartment. One roommate is fastidious and tends to keep to her own room, but another roommate and I have neglected to keep up the tidiness of our space. We left the apartment in a pretty bad state when the semester ended, and I still haven't gone through and cleaned out the fridge, which surely has some kinds of rotten vegetables and mold in it. I'm being honest here.

Dirty dishes, dirty floors as well. I try to clean around the apartment more often this summer, since clutter and dirt stress me out, but I need to make it more of a habit. In general, I have a lot of things hanging around the apartment that I should just toss or sell, and once August rolls around, I'll make a serious effort to sell off my old textbooks. Of course, that's not the most egregious contributor to the mess, but that's an actionable goal.

Next, I'm unsatisfied with my diet, exercise habits (or lack thereof), and schedule. Towards the end of the semester, I was less diligent with cooking, and ended up throwing together some meager and unhealthy meals. Lately, my boyfriend and I have been making a greater effort to cook more and actually enjoy food. I may have mentioned this before, but last semester, I both looked forward to and dreaded mealtimes: I would not be hungry, but then again, nothing I made tasted good. He's recently demonstrated his superior cooking skills, so here's hoping I learn something from him.

In the same vein, I want to start going to the gym. Last semester, I was flattened by boxing tryouts, and swore that I would work out to get in better shape. I was hoping to be actually put into an intercollegiate fight this year, but in general, I should increase my level of fitness. My goal is to run < 7:30 mile, increase my flexibility, and try lifting. More broadly, I'd like to get in the habit of exercising regularly. I do have a phobia of looking stupid in front of people at the gym, but if it's my boyfriend telling me I'm doing something wrong/have bad form/some other gym critique, I'll be more confident trying.

And finally, I need to go all-in for secondaries. I want to allocate more of my free time to fiction writing and seriously cut down on dead internet time. Wake up earlier, exercise regularly, eat healthier, drink more water, go on more hikes, write more articulate and intelligent secondaries, hang out more with old friends, etc, etc.

That's all for now.

*** Not really. I changed a tag from MD cycle 2015 to MD cycle 2016. This is because I plan on matriculating in 2016.