The Med Sisters Series is a series of interviews of women in various stages of their careers in medicine: pre-med, medical school, residency, fellowship and attending physicians. As women, I believe we face unique challenges within any field, medicine included. As I’ve moved along on this journey, I truly believe one of the biggest support systems we have is each other. Society works so hard to pit women against each other in every situation you can think of but, as feminists, I think it’s so important to combat that urge to try to ‘beat each other out.’ There’s room for all of us on the other side of the glass ceiling. The goal of this series is to shed light on the challenges women face in the field of medicine and how they achieve a work-life balance that works for them. This blog has always been a place for me to share the realities of this journey, both the highs and lows. I thought of this series as a way to share the perspectives of the other extraordinary women on this journey too.
Eleanora is a second year medical student in Philidelphia. You can follow along on her journey at her Instagram and blog.
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I’ve been wanting to do this post for a few weeks now and I thought today would be a good day to do it since there are a good variety of things I can talk about (and the whole post won’t be about me sitting at my desk in my PJs studying all day). I’ve seen quite a few bloggers do similar posts and I think it’s a really neat way to get to know the more ‘behind the scenes’ of the day.
- 9:00 AM – We didn’t have lecture until later this morning so I got to sleep in, which was really nice. Originally, I wanted to go on a quick run before class but didn’t sleep very well and woke up exhausted so just ended up going back to sleep. The weather has been really nice here in the mornings so I made a cup of coffee and had breakfast on the balcony.
- 10:00 AM – 12:15 PM – We had another microbiology lecture this morning on a bunch of bacterias (corynebacteria, bordatella, pseudomonas and heliobacter for those of you who are curious). One of our professors likes to do a ‘flipped classroom’ style with his lectures and I personally really love it. It forces me to prepare ahead of time and also makes much more sense because he provides reasoning for why everything works the way it does. Microbiology is so memorization heavy, which is pretty much what I’m the worst at, so any reasoning/logic to why things work the way they do is so helpful. He also teaches using cases instead of just presenting the facts about the pathogens, which helps put it all in a clinical context.
- 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM – After lecture, I rushed home to shower and change into formal clothes for pediatric rounds. I finally got to style these slacks I got from LOFT over summer.
- 1:00 PM – 1:40 PM – Before heading to rounds, I had lunch with my dad and hubby at one of my favorite restaurant downtown and had the most delicious open face veggie sandwich. The food there is so fresh and they serve the best fresh fruits as a side.
- 1:40 PM – 2:00 PM – Rushed to the hospital to meet the pediatrician for rounds. There was a bit of traffic but fortunately didn’t take that long. It was only my second time at this hospital so I didn’t really know my way around but luckily it didn’t take too long to figure out where I was going.
- 2:00 PM – 4:20 PM – I saw pediatric patients with one of my classmates shadowing a pediatrician in our community. It was my first time every working with goobers in a medical setting and it was really interesting to see the differences between caring for adults and children. We also saw a variety of ages and it was interesting to see how providing care varied from a 3 week old, to a 2 year old, to a 6 year old and a 15 year old. Also picked up some cool tricks from the pediatrician on how to get younger patients to cooperate with physical exam. Tiny humans also tend to attract various pathogens because their immune systems are still developing so we got a lot of exposure to the material we’ve been learning in microbio this block. I’m not sure if pediatrics is something I’d ever pursue as a career but it was definitely a really fun afternoon.
- 4:20 PM – 5:00 PM – There was a bit of traffic on the drive home so it took about twice as long to get back home as it did to get to the hospital. I usually get really annoyed in traffic but I’d been having such a great day, it didn’t really get to me.
- 5:00 PM – 6:45 PM – Hung out with hubby and watched a couple episodes of Dexter/The West Wing on Netflix and worked on the beginnings of this post/edited photos to add in here. I’ve recently been watching The West Wing as my ‘study break’ show and I like it way more than House of Cards. HOC was waaaaaay to dark for me. I feel like TWW keeps it real but also is somewhat uplifting at times. And the last thing I need when I’m tired of studying is to lose even more faith in the world.
- 6:45 PM – 7:15 PM – Went on a walk with hubby. We try to do this every evening that we’re home and it isn’t scorching outside. Today was a really nice day and I reached my goal of 5k steps! I know that’s not really much but when you spend most of your day just sitting around and studying, it can be difficult.
- 7:15 PM – 9:00 PM – I had put some meat in the fridge to thaw earlier in the day so that I could make dinner but we ended up having leftovers from lunch with my dad so we just reheated that. I made a iced mango black tea in bulk yesterday so I’ve been sipping that throughout the evening.
- 9:00 PM – 11:00 PM – I’ll be reviewing the bacterium that we learned about in lecture today and going over the mini-paper I’ll be presenting in PBL (problem based learning) on Friday morning. Also going to try to a quick run through of the lecture we’re having tomorrow morning before PBL so that it’s not completely foreign in class.
- 11:00 PM – 11:30 PM – Continue reading The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. I’m about halfway through the book right now and really want to finish it during this block. I try to read at least one book per block. So far this text has been really educational and eyeopening. I’ll probably do a book review/summary once I’m finished.
- 11:30 PM – And then it’s lights out! I try to sleep before midnight when I can so that I can actually process what’s going on in lecture and all that the following day.
Hope that helped give some insight into what a typical day usually looks like! There’s usually a couple more hours of studying involved but second year has been a lot nicer in terms of the numbers of hours we’re actually at school/doing required activities. So on the days that run to about 4-5 PM, I consider them more self care days. We have the long weekend coming up and I’ll be reviewing all the material we’ve covered in the block thus far and will probably try to take a day completely off to spend with family and friends. Hope you all have a great weekend!