The Perry Initiative- 11/4/17

I had the privilege to attend the 2nd annual Perry Initiative hosted by Nationwide Children’s Hospital and local members of the Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society. I was awarded this opportunity because the Association of Women Surgeons at OSU College of Medicine invited my student organization, Women in Surgery Empowerment Club. 12 of the members of our club attended the event and we all had an amazing time. The event was put on by some of the leading women orthopaedic surgeons in the country who gave talks of varying topics that left me feeling inspired and empowered.

The night before, we were invited to a female orthopaedic surgeon’s home and had a casual dinner with her, some of the other attendings, residents, and medical students from AWS. A couple of the girls in my club and I found ourselves talking with a trauma orthopaedic surgeon who works at the Wexner Medical Center. She shared with us all of her experiences that have gotten her to where she is today and I was in complete shock. I can’t imagine ever being that smart and accomplished, but she was so friendly and welcoming. All of the surgeons and medical students were very friendly and networking with them was such an amazing experience!

On Saturday, we carpooled to Nationwide Children’s Hospital and attended the event. We listened to a few orthopaedic surgeons give lectures and then we dove into the workshop–my favorite part! Some of the topics that the surgeons discussed were the pathway to surgery and the work-life balance of a surgeon. One of the surgeons revealed all of the different pathways and subspecialties in orthopaedic surgery that I was not aware of. The path to becoming an orthopaedic surgeon is very challenging and competitive, but statistics show that they are the happiest physicians and that they have the least regret about going into their specialty. Another surgeon spoke about her experiences with work-life balance. She spoke about how people outside of medicine portray the work-life balance of surgeons as practically non-existant. She said that even though she spends more hours at the hospital and at work, it is not about the amount of time spent with her family but the quality of time. She encouraged all of the women in the room that wish to have families and go into surgery to do it, because it is completely doable.

During the workshop, we had the opportunity to practice two different techniques to fix a broken femur. One technique involved drilling one rod through the entirety of the bone in order to stabilize the location of the break. I was hesitant to handle the power tools at first. I never saw myself as the type of person capable of drilling into people’s bones and putting things back together, functioning somewhat like a human mechanic. But after not handling the tools at the first station, I remembered Sheryl Sandberg’s words in the back of my mind: Lean In. At the next station, we practiced a second technique in which several smaller holes are drilled into the bone, several rods are placed within those bones, and they are connected by a series of screws and joints.  I used the power drill at this station and it was incredibly satisfying. The surgeons that helped us during the workshop were very informative and encouraging during the entire process.

This experience was incredibly eye-opening and inspiring. I have an interest in surgery because I love working with my hands, but I never saw myself as a woman capable of practicing orthopaedic surgery and balancing a family. Looking at all of the women in the room that ranged from the statuses of medical students, residents, and attending’s made me even more excited for my future career in medicine. I left feeling confident in my capabilities; if all of these women have come before me and have succeeded in this field, I can too.

Working As a Medical Scribe-Summer 2017

Lately, I have been reflecting on how thankful I am that I was presented with the opportunity to work as a medical scribe this past summer. I knew that I needed clinical experience for my medical school applications, but I had never considered scribing simply because I was unfamiliar with what it was or how to go about finding a scribe position. I vividly remember being surrounded by all of my friends that were accepting internships and jobs last Spring and I felt so frustrated after being rejected from many clerical and minimal patient care positions at local hospitals. I was worried I would get stuck lifeguarding or working in the food industry, until I came across an ad by ProScribe on Indeed.

I applied for the job that was posted from Dayton, OH.  45 minutes from home was not a big deal for me because I felt lucky to find a position in a hospital environment that required no previous experience working in healthcare. I applied for the job, received a Skype interview, and the rest is history. I found out that the position was not located in Dayton, but was located in Sidney, OH which is approximately 1 hour from my house. I was nervous about dealing with the commute so early in the morning, making 8 hour workdays even longer than they should be. I almost revoked the position, but then I remembered an important lesson that I had learned during my first year at Ohio State: when an opportunity strikes, take it. This lesson comes with heavy digression, obviously no one can accept all opportunities that come their way! But something inside me was telling myself to try the position out because it could be one of the most valuable experiences of my undergraduate career.

Valuable doesn’t do this experience justice. I adjusted to the commute fairly easily and made it worth it by celebrating the end of each work week by stopping at Chik-Fil-A on the commute home. I was exposed to what medicine is truly like firsthand. I was able to witness healthcare and medicine in real-time, and I truly grasped the reality of life as a physician. This ER staffs mostly travel ER doctors, and because of this, I was able to work with a lot of different physicians from different backgrounds. I learned so much about the elements of a patient chart, the typical approaches to common chief complaints, the normal values for vitals and metabolic panels, and what life as a physician is truly like.

The lingering question is, did it meet my expectations? Do I still want to be a doctor? If anything, this experience enhanced my decision. I say YES to medical school and to medicine over and over again, with no hesitation. I remember becoming tearful during my commute home one evening because of how excited I am to be a doctor. I cannot wait to eventually be the person serving others through medicine, and being a person that is awarded immediate trust with a patient’s wellbeing. I cannot thank ProScribe and the team at Wilson Health Memorial Hospital enough. I know that my memories and experiences there have shaped me into the kind of doctor that I aspire to be.

Young and Beautiful

Final Draft-WritingAboutDanceSP18

I wrote this paper last semester and it is something I am incredibly proud of. For my second writing GE, I decided to take the class Dance2367H “Writing About Dance.” I enrolled in this class because I envisioned that it would merge two of my passions–writing and dance. But this class taught me so much more than how to write a paper about a scene from a music video. I learned how to approach interpretation of forms of art and, also, how to effectively write about it.

This class pushed me out of my comfort zone for many reasons. Being a science major limits my exposure to the humanities, which makes me poorly versed in creative arts. But this class caught my attention because I have always been interested in cheer and dance, and I anticipated that it would be a fun class to take. The course was outlined through a series of assignments that converged into one giant paper. We were able to pick a clip from a music video, dance video, movie, musical, or commercial. And then we had to analyze the choreography and then contextualize it towards a real-world phenomenon. I chose a clip from a ballroom dance piece to the song “Young and Beautiful” by Lana Del Rey. I contextualized this piece towards the strain placed on intimate relationships between men and women as a result of society’s idealistic perceptions of female youth and beauty.

‘Women in Medicine’ Mentorship Program

Yesterday, I went to the kickoff event for the formal mentorship program hosted by ‘Women in Medicine’ at Ohio State College of Medicine. I went to the event overdressed excited to meet my mentor! All of the undergraduate Pre-Med students that sign up for this program get paired with a mentor that is either an M1 or M2 at the College of Medicine. My mentor’s name is Celia and she is an M2. I am looking forward to getting to know her better!

The event started off with a breakfast catered by Panera followed by a presentation from the director of the program and a keynote address from a female rheumatoligist that performed her residency at Ohio State. Her speech addressed the common misconceptions the average person makes about women in medicine. Women are constantly confronted with condescending questions such as ‘When will you start a family? How will you start a family? Who will raise your kids?’ She comforted us by reassuring that the answers to these questions can be difficult, but we don’t have to be alone during the decision-making process. She challenged us to utilize this mentorship opportunity to the best of our ability and to deter away from the competitive stigma that surrounds women professionals.

I am really excited to commence formal mentorship with my mentor at the college of medicine. I know that it will be incredibly valuable to have someone guide me through Pre-Med courses, the MCAT, the application processes, and other challenges as a Pre-Med student.

Year in Review-My First Year at Ohio State

I remember heading to orientation with my mom on June 24th, 2016. I was frightened but I was also excited. Even though I had spoken with students from my high school that had already attended orientation, I felt very scatterbrained and overwhelmed during orientation, and I unfortunately left with a negative outlook on my decision to come to Ohio State. How am I supposed to know what classes to take? Am I really qualified to take honors biology? Should biology, calculus, and chemistry be taken together during my first collegiate semester? I received poor instruction regarding these things and my GPA suffered after my first year at Ohio State. I realized after a few lectures in my honors biology class that I was the only student that had not taken AP Biology in high school, simply because it wasn’t offered at my high school. Yikes!! I missed the professors’ expectations dramatically. There is so much that I know now that I wish I could have told my younger self. Sometimes I get frustrated and I think that maybe if I had received better guidance at orientation about my chosen classes, then I wouldn’t have a danger zone GPA looming over my head, but I have to thank this experience more than resent it. I learned a lot of valuable lessons in my first year at Ohio State, and I truly grasped the necessity to fail before the capability to succeed.

I learned that skipping class is a big, bad idea. I would brush off the 8:00am calculus lecture because I knew the notes would be available from one of my diligent study buddies. And I took calculus in high school so I already knew everything, right? I was sorely mistaken. I occasionally sleep through my alarm and end up running to my 9:10am’s this semester, but I have learned how important it is to prioritize going to class and giving the material your undivided attention for those 55 or 80 minutes.

I learned that making flashcards is a sure way of failing a biology exam that asks you to conceptualize and analyze. My biology exams in high school were definition based, so why wouldn’t it be the same in college? *buzzer* The score on my first biology exam suffered because I was simply not connecting the dots. I learned that sitting in the SEL library for 8 hours on the Saturday prior to the Monday exam was far less valuable than studying every day 1  week before the exam for 1-2 hours.  Quality > Quantity rules the methods of efficient studying, and flash cards are useless for trying to understand the sigmoidal hemoglobin curve.

I learned that everything counts. I think back to places where I missed a few silly points in my chemistry lab or on chemistry homework, and how that could have constituted the small percentage difference between the B+ that I received and the A- I could have received. Never take anything for granted.

Most importantly, I learned that I can’t do it all. I went to the activities fair on the oval during the first week of classes, eager to join some amazing organizations, and I wound up joining 3 different Pre-Med clubs and having 20+ emails the next week from way too many organizations that I had minimal interest in. I have spoken to other students and I know that they suffered from the same behavior. As high achievers, we think we need to put our eggs in 10 different baskets and it is the only way we can achieve our goals. I learned that it is so much better to choose a few different organizations that you are passionate about than having back-to-back meetings every week night.

I am by no means an expert on all-things-college after learning from many failures during my first year at Ohio State. But I know that I came into my second year with wisdom from these experiences that has allowed me to be more successful in all of my endeavors during my second year. My first impression at orientation was quickly absolved by all of the amazing experiences I have had and the amazing people that I have met during my first year as a college student.

Values and Career Aspirations-Is There a Connection?

I think that one of the most exciting things about becoming an adult and experiencing the world on your own is the ability to develop a platform for yourself–by that, I mean making decisions about what to believe, what to value, and how to act on those beliefs and values every day. In one of my classes, we recently completed an activity that assessed our strengths by answering a variety of questions. My top 5 strengths were perseverance, spirituality, gratitude, love and humor. I was surprised at how accurate this virtual strengths assessment was, and I think that these top 5 strengths are very attributable to who I am. After analyzing our strengths reports, we were handed a set of cards with different values on them. Examples include love, diversity, service, compassion, family, friendship, etc. We had to divide the cards into 2 piles: values we found to be important and values we found to be not important. We then divided our ‘important’ category into our top 10, top 5, and then we ranked our top 5. My values in order were spirituality, love, service, compassion, and family. I find all of these values to be extremely important, and I believe that they closely align with my career aspirations.

Something I recently discussed with other girls at a bible study was the concept of defining our purpose. On any given day, if someone asked me to define my purpose, I would probably answer that I believe my purpose is to serve others through medicine. At this bible study, I realized how flawed my answer is. It is so easy to miss out on the bigger picture as a college student. Our priorities surround maintaining a 4.0, nailing savvy internships, participating in a variety of extracurriculars, and we’re all supposed to maintain a heightened social life while trying to balance all of these things. I know that my viewpoint will contrast with many based on differing spiritual beliefs (that I wholeheartedly respect and accept), but I think our purpose is severely skewed by societal norms and expectations. Our purpose lies in something greater than us, and I believe we are meant to serve others not for our personal gain, but for a God who created us.

So I have had to spend some time reflecting and asking the question: is there a connection between my values and career aspiration? If not, how can I reassess my aspirations to fit values that serve a greater purpose? If I’m being honest with myself, when I was growing up, I think I wanted to be a doctor because in my younger mind, being a doctor meant financial security (aka large home and expensive vacations) and it was my idea of leadership and success. As I have matured and have been able to define my values and priorities, I see that my predisposition of being a doctor is secure in the values of love, compassion, and service. I am excited that my values and career aspirations align, and I believe that they will continue to align as long as I remind myself that my purpose is much Greater than it seems.

Year in Review

[ “Year in Review”  is where you should reflect on the past year and show how you have evolved as a person and as a student.  You may want to focus on your growth in a particular area (as a leader, scholar, researcher, etc.) or you may want to talk about your overall experience over the past year.  For more information, go to: http://honors-scholars.osu.edu/e-portfolio. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]

G.O.A.L.S.

[ “G.O.A.L.S.” is a place where students write about how their planned, current, and future activities may fit into the Honors & Scholars G.O.A.L.S.: Global Awareness, Original Inquiry, Academic Enrichment, Leadership Development, and Service Engagement. For more information, go to: http://honors-scholars.osu.edu/e-portfolio. Delete these instructions and add your own post.

Global Awareness: Students cultivate and develop their appreciation for diversity and each individual’s unique differences. For example, consider course work, study abroad, involvement in cultural organizations or activities, etc .
Original Inquiry: Honors & Scholars students understand the research process by engaging in experiences ranging from in-class scholarly endeavors to creative inquiry projects to independent experiences with top researchers across campus and in the global community. For example, consider research, creative productions or performances, advanced course work, etc.
Academic Enrichment: Honors & Scholars students pursue academic excellence through rigorous curricular experiences beyond the university norm both in and out of the classroom.
Leadership Development: Honors & Scholars students develop leadership skills that can be demonstrated in the classroom, in the community, in their co-curricular activities, and in their future roles in society.
Service Engagement: Honors & Scholars students commit to service to the community.]

Career

[“Career” is where you can collect information about your experiences and skills that will apply to your future career.  Like your resume, this is information that will evolve over time and should be continually updated.   For more information, go to: http://honors-scholars.osu.edu/e-portfolio. Delete these instructions and add your own post.]