The One With the Appropriate Gift

During my first year of medical school, a textbook author named Barbara Fadem played a huge role in my education. An expert on behavioral health, Barbara guided us in how to address defense mechanisms, recognize substance abuse, and approach complex ethical issues.

For whatever reason, one particular line from her textbook has always stood out in my mind:

From Fadem, Barbara. Behavioral Science in Medicine. 2007: 26: 493.

From Fadem, Barbara. Behavioral Science in Medicine. 2007: 26: 493.

This concept has always made me chuckle at its seeming absurdity, because who in an urban environment even raises chickens, let alone thinks to package their eggs up for their doctor’s appointment?

But this week, my jaw dropped as I walked into a patient room.

Because there, on the counter, with “Mindy’s Farm” scribbled on top, was this:

“Mindy,” I began, giggling. “You have no idea how appropriate this gift is.”

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Also, I’m taking this opportunity to wish a very happy Father’s Day to the man who always read me countless stories and taught me to ride my bike and to drive, who still washes my car and changes my oil, answers my frantic 6 AM phone calls when my car door freezes shut, and supports me no matter what. Love you, Dad!

The One Where Fourth Year is Like Preschool

Today, I donned my bright blue raincoat and red rain boots and trekked out into a downpour on what would be my very last first-day of school. After 22 years of first-day jitters and picking out new outfits, my formal education is just one year away from its end, and I can’t even begin to believe it.


But this year, my fourth year of medical school seems to bear more resemblance to my first year of school, in preschool, than my most recent year of school, my third year, and here’s some examples of how:


Pre-school/Fourth Year:
Teacher / Clerkship Director: So I know that sitting still all morning is really tiring, so instead of going to noon conference, why don’t you play outside in the sun or take a nap for an hour?
Third Year:
Clerkship Director: All noon conferences are 100% mandatory, and we may or may not be taking attendance… you’ll never know.
PS/4th:
Allows you a leisurely wake-up at 8 AM, and maybe even a mid-day nap.
3rd:
Demands that you’re up before the crack of dawn and fully alert by 5 AM, and you sure as hell won’t be sleeping again until at minimum 10 PM.
PS/4th:
Who doesn’t love snack time?!
3rd:
Hmm… did you even eat lunch today?
PS/4th:
No exams, just simple projects to fill the time and allow you to fully explore your creativity.
3rd:
Oh yes, and on top of working 5 AM – 9 PM, we’d like you to study for an incredibly nit-picky 100 question national exam every 6 weeks. You’re welcome!
PS/4th:
Plenty of time to get to know your classmates, visit with family, and enjoy yourself with friends.
3rd:
What’s a friend?
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Happy Medical Mondays and happy June!


For my new visitors, I’m K, a brand-spanking-new fourth year medical student in the US, fresh out of my Step 2 boards-studying cave and still growing accustomed to the bright lights and free time on this side of third year. I’ve got plenty of new blog ideas and, now that Step 2’s over, plenty of time to put them together, so stay tuned. For now, take a look around (and maybe even subscribe or follow me on FB/Twitter), or hop on over to visit our lovely hostesses Emma and Jane to peruse some other fantastic medical blogs.