Friday, 31 August 2012

MedBlog: First Day of Classes

Today started a bit hectic, mostly because we had an anatomy lab to prepare for. We started off with a PBL session and I'm really thankful I have a good group.

What is PBL?
Well it's a bit like House MD :) because we cannot see actual patients, we are first provided with a case and from there we try to resolve the patients problems. In doing so there is a lot of brainstorming amongst the team, and I think a big advantage of these sessions is to reinforce what we are learning before attending our lecture, which follows our PBL session.

And now what I'm sure you're dying to know -- gross anatomy lab. What was that experience like?

When I first stood in front of the body bag, my heart was racing. I was not sure what I would find underneath and how I would react. Thankfully, right before the lab we were given an incredible speech, and in that speech was a letter from a donor. It was that letter that made me realize exactly why the donors consented to donate -- for our medical education. And so we could learn from them and become skilled physicians for our future patients. What an amazing gift.

Knowing that our donors really wanted us to learn from them gave me a sense of responsibility. Not just to dissect, but to do my best. And to learn from their body thoroughly, efficiently, and with dignity.

So, yes. I was nervous. I was scared. But once I saw the body, I did my best to learn.

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Thursday, 30 August 2012

MedBlog: Orientation Day 4

Today was the last day of orientation and my feet are so sore from running around! So much to do, but I'm around 80% done my orientation checklist. What is an orientation checklist you might ask? There is a list of tasks we need to have done, such as obtain our bus pass, schedule immunizations, and so on. The trickiest ones, for me, have been ones where I need to complete a task that is at some obscure location in a massive building. Without my smartphone, and with like zero knowledge of how to get around this city, this would be very difficult!

The highlight of the last day, personally, was a presentation on how to collect a patients history. The physician tutor and actor were great. And I kept relating his experiences to my own as a clinical research assistant. I took health historys and I feel like I'm constantly improving how I interact with our participants. And it also seems as if our physician tutor continually improves his technique as well. That is one intriguing aspect of medicine: continual improvement, continual learning.

In summary, orientation was quite busy, but I'm grateful for it. I feel like it's given me some time to get everything in check before I start with school. Yes, it scared me a couple of times, to know I'm in a field where quite a lot is expected of me. But at least I know where I stand, and I am just going to try my best to do well for a cause, much bigger than me -- my future patients.

The testable "stuff" starts tomorrow.
Thanks guys!
Comment below if you'd like.
Long weekend, I'd love to try and answer any questions you have!

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Wednesday, 29 August 2012

MedBlog: Orientation Day 3

Today we learned about how to take care of ourselves mentally, physically, and financially and the benefits of doing so. And as a reality check, we also learned about the negative consequences of not taking care of ourselves from very candid and enlightening personal stories.

We are all so early in our training and excited to start that I think it's hard for us to conceptualize a time where we will seriously become overwhelmed.

That being said, it was nice to know that there are resources out there to help us when we feel down, or beaten. Or when we get that dreaded low grade (low enough, and this carries serious consequences). In summary, it is up to us to utilize self-improvement resources to our advantage.

Sorry about the serious nature of this post, guys! Medical school isn't just wine and cheese parties, and amazing race events -- sometimes we talk about serious stuff too :)

One more day of orientation, guys!
Then classes start: and with that comes my very first gross anatomy lab.
I got my white lab coat today, so that means I'm totally ready.

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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

MedBlog: Orientation Day 2

So I took a step back and breathed yesterday. Today was a great day! Orientation is quite long though, and there are two more days of it. Professionalism. Ethics. Accountability.

All of you non-med readers, just know that we are drilled on the importance of ethics from the very beginning :)

Upon the advice of a good friend, I've been branching out from my "clique" a bit -- there are lots, I repeat, LOTS of students from diverse backgrounds.

There are 288 of us!

Now I have binders to purchase, events to schedule, and student passes to get.

Oh no -- the Amazing Race event has started!! And I'm about to get trampled over by hundreds of med students!!

Wish me luck!

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Monday, 27 August 2012

MedBlog: Orientation Day 1

Today was my first day of orientation and I've just said "Good Bye" to my boyfriend. Ah, I'm trying to describe how I feel - excited, sad to say goodbye, happy, grateful, etc.

It's a lot to take in.
I feel like I need to stop for a moment.
And breathe.
After all..
My journey has officially begun :)

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Sunday, 26 August 2012

Confessions of a Med Student: Back to school geekiness

And another Sunday, linking up
with Alyx from 
Every day is a new adventure.

1. I can't sleep the night before school starts!
Call me a geek, it's okay. Really, I can take it. But I just get so excited to go to school, and make new friends. Even when I started kindergarten, my mom was stunned when I waved her off so I could go to class on my own. I was very serious about my work.
2. Back to school shopping is AWESOME!
Okay, so medical school is crazy expensive. But it's still fun to buy binders, and folders. Maybe it's my OCD, but the satisfaction I get from pre-flagging my textbooks with post-its is priceless.
3. I have already bought a planner.
And it's completely jam-packed with my daily schedule. Girl's gotta be organized, right? Riiiight???
4. I like to shop at Winner's for playful back-to-school items.
It can take quite a bit of searching, but you can find really awesome stuff there! From notepads, to planners. Cute stationary, and desktop items.
5. I have never been more excited to go back to school.

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Friday, 24 August 2012

MedBlog: Packing Day

Just one more day until I move to start medical school. I sort of can't believe it! My stomach is in knots because there's a mixture of emotions I am feeling.

Excited to finally start the MD program!
Uncertain if I really have what it takes.
Sad to leave my boyfriend for several months.
Optimistic about meeting new people.

I am not worried that I'll forget something -- my boyfriend is still living at our apartment. So if need be, he can send me items. I am just hoping that I did the summer justice. And that all of the time I've spent putting things in order will have been well spent. Hopefully I'll have a chance to update you all next week. Orientation starts Aug 27th, and first day of classes starts Aug 31st.

*Deep breath*

Now where did I put my raincoat?

Image Source

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Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Jasmine the Cat 17: Squak!

Bird: 1
Cat: 0

|<<  <  17   >  >>|

Don't forget to share/tweet it if you like it :)
I plan on releasing Jasmine comics 
every other Tuesday! 
Exception: exam days :)
Jasmine the cat is on tumblr as well!

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Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Fall City Fashion! Guest Blog by Cass from WannaBE M.D.

For the month of August, I am thrilled to feature a blogger who I came to meet through an online forum. In just a few months, we have gone from wondering "what if" to knowing our fate - that we  have both been accepted to medical schools in Canada. With an honours B.Sc degree, she is not only bright, but passionate about fashion. Learn more about Cass's journey through medicine, and her style choices along the way, at her blog:

Grab her button!

I am honoured to feature Cass on "Secret Life of a Med Student." 

Hi everyone! I was very honoured when Cerena asked me if I would like to be a guest blogger this month and even more ecstatic when she requested me to do a post on city fashion for the fall. Having lived in metropolitan Toronto practically all my life, I've had the opportunity to be exposed to not only a plethora of cuisines, culture, and people, but to a wide range of fashion as well! Fall is one of my favourite seasons as it is not too cold nor too warm and it provides the perfect weather to wear many different outfits! In this post, I'll be featuring what I consider to be essential pieces for a fall wardrobe. I'm the type of girl that loves to experiment with different colours, textures, patterns, and styles so hopefully my post will help you ladies in having more ideas for building up your own fall collection. Let's begin!

Fall City Fashion: Outerwear
I believe that every girl should have AT LEAST 3 out of the 4 jackets pictured above as these outerwear pieces are so versatile and can be either dressed up or down depending on the occasion and weather.

1. Leather Jacket - These types of jackets are perfect for the beginning of fall when the weather hasn't gotten too cold. They not only make one's outfit look more sophisticated but it also gives that sense of "edginess" and "oomph" to an outfit which I love. 

2. Trench Coat - I love trench coats because I can wear them early on in the fall as well as in the spring making these types of coats a worthwhile investment. Furthermore, you can pair trench coats with anything! Going to school? No problem! Pair the coat with a nice top, jeans, and flats. Got an important business meeting? Pair it with a nice blouse, pencil skirt, and heels. Did that cute guy just ask you on a date? Pair it with your favourite cocktail dress, heels, and accessories!

3. Cloak - Another type of outerwear that I really love is the cloak. These tend to be a bit more dressier than the previous two pieces and might not be as "convenient" to wear as the other two. However, I love the structure of this type of cloak because not only does it provide warmth but it really makes a statement amongst all the other jackets. You may decide to wear this to dinner on a cool autumn's night with your partner or maybe for a walk in the park under the changing colours of autumn leaves. Either way, you're bound to look elegant and sophisticated when donning this type of outerwear.

4. Blazer - I'm pretty sure that most women have some sort of a blazer in their closet. These are so versatile and can be easily paired with any outfit for any occasion.

Fall City Fashion: Knitwear

5. Knit T-Shirts: In my honest opinion, I think these are the perfect transitional piece from the end of summer into early fall because you still have the freedom of exposing your arms on those hotter days and yet, keeping yourself warm during the cooler evenings. I picked this particular type of knit t-shirt for its femininity as shown through the black lace as well as the gorgeous green colour.

6 + 7. Cardigans: The perfect knit piece to put together an outfit. Just throw it over any shirt, and you've created a whole other look! What's great about cardigans is that they're really lightweight so you can easily take them on or off depending on the weather/temperature. 

8. Turtleneck Sweaters: If there's one thing that I love, it would be turtleneck sweaters AND belled sleeves. The extra detailing and construction of the sleeves completely revamps the sweater in my opinion and converts it from something boring and conventional to a shirt that's a lot more "romantic" and "feminine". 
Fall City Fashion: Tops

1. Blouse: If you refer to my post on my Fashion Obsessions, you'll see that I love silk blouses. They are soft and very comfortable to wear. Chartreuse is a popular colour for this fall season, hence my selection of this particular blouse. I think that the bow in the front adds a very nice feminine and romantic touch to the blouse and is perfect for an office look or even for a day working in the clinic.

2. 3/4 Sleeve Top: What I adore about these types of tops is that not only are they a great transition piece from the end of summer going into fall but the length of the sleeves is high above the wrist (but low enough on the elbows) that you are able to really show off some arm candy (refer to my picks on Fall City Fashion: Accessories). Furthermore, the boat neck on this top really gives it that casual vibe and the overall bagginess of the shirt really makes it comfortable to wear

3. Plaid Shirts: What I like about plaid shirts is that they're my go-to-shirt when I have nothing else to wear. I sometimes wear these shirts just by themselves or style them as a light "jacket" with a fun t-shirt underneath. 

4. Polka Dots: What's not to love about polka dots? I think they're just so cute and when done in the right colour and size, they can really complete a look. I love this particular polka dot top because the dots don't overwhelm the shirt and the nice ribbon and bow detailing along the collar really adds a feminine touch.

Fall City Fashion: Bottoms

5+8. Skirts: The skirt you see in #5 is one that's made out of wool and is a piece that I would wear when the weather is becoming a bit cooler. I love the forest green and black colour combination in the skirt and would pair it with dark stockings (ex: black, brown, or even burgundy) and a pair of knee high heeled boots. The pencil skirt in #8 is such a classic piece as it really defines a woman's waistline and just makes the bottom half of your body look very sleek. The beige-brown colour enables one to pair this skirt with any coloured top.

6. Skinny Jeans: It took me awhile to get used to wearing skinny jeans simply because I thought I couldn't pull it off. Then, I found the perfect fit for me at Aeropostale and I haven't looked back ever since! These are my go-to jeans for everyday wear.

7. Straight Leg Jeans: I own a pair of dark washed straight leg jeans that I was able to get on sale at Banana Republic and they are one of the most comfortable pair of jeans I own. With these types of jeans, I feel that they can give the illusion of lengthening your legs. Pair it with any kind of a heel and you are bound to look fantastic!

Fall City Fashion: Shoes

1. Leather Boots: These are the Ramona Tall Boots from La Canadienne that I purchased last Christmas and can I just say that they are THE most comfortable boots I've ever worn. What I really love about this boot is the fact that it's made out of genuine leather and that it has a mid-rise heel which makes it very easy and comfortable to walk and stand in for long periods of time. Furthermore, they provide great warmth for my feet!

2. Ankle Boots: These beauties are from Christian Dior and I just love the militaristic feel to this boot. I think these would look great whether you are wearing it with your skinny jeans or skirt. The dark brown colour also perfectly blends into this fall's colour palette.

3. Flats: I'm pretty much on my feet every day and thus having comfortable shoes that won't make my feet or back ache is very important. Thus, I'm definitely incorporating these shoes into my fall wardrobe!

4. Black Heels: Most of my heels are black simply because I think it goes with everything. Having a comfortable black heel (I don't go above 4 inches) is essential to any wardrobe because honestly, no one wants to look like a penguin teetering down the street right? I find that black heels are so versatile as I can pair them with jeans, dresses, or skirts.

Fall City Fashion: Accessories

If there's something else I love more than buying clothes and shoes, it's buying accessories to go along with my outfits. I think that every girl needs some kind of a shoulder bag to complete her fall wardrobe. For a city girl like me, I'm often running all over the place - whether it's school, work, or meeting up with friends, a shoulder bag is the perfect size and weight for me to carry all of my essential items. Since fall tends to be chilly, I recommend a knit beret and a cute scarf (#3 and #4) to complement your outfit. I've seen so many gorgeous styles for these two types of accessories that they can easily transform a dull outfit into something more chic. Now, if you're the kind of girl that tends to prefer monochromatic tops with not a lot of detailing, I would suggest some statement jewellery such as the ones shown above. The triangle necklace is particularly popular this season as I've seen it in various magazines. Lastly, to keep your hands warm during this season, may I suggest leather gloves? I find leather gloves add a sense of sophistication and elegance to any outfit and since they tend to be well fitted, I never have to fumble with the items I'm holding (unlike when I'm wearing mittens or those thick winter gloves). 

The picture above shows some sample outfits that I would see myself wearing for different occasions. The first being something I would wear to school or for a casual day out with my friends. The second and third being something I would wear in a more professional setting.

I hope you've enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed putting it together! Hopefully, the picks I've made in regards to various fall essentials have given you some ideas on what to add to your fall wardrobe wishlist! Feel free to let me know what you guys think about these picks - I would also love to hear what your fall essential "must-haves" are as well!

A big thanks to Cerena for allowing me to share my "passion for fashion" with you readers!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Confessions of a Med Student: Food!

And another Sunday, linking up
with Alyx from 
Every day is a new adventure.

1. Even when I have a busy schedule, I try to cook food every night!
Sometimes I'll do take out, but the most relaxing part of my day is when I come home, see what's in the fridge, and get cooking! Baking is even more therapeutic (click on the tasty treat below to see my Crème brûlée recipe)!

2. I LOVE to watch Gordon Ramsay.
He is bloody amazing. My boyfriend and I will have MasterChef marathons, though we have to watch it while eating dinner or else we'll become far too hungry!


3. My favourite soup to make is Mushroom Soup.
I promise to upload the recipe sometime soon! It's delicious, and though I use veggie broth, you can also use beef broth if you prefer a meatier flavour. My mom used to cook it for me when I was little, and still I cook it every time I get sick! Or whenever I miss mamma's cooking.


4. You can basically win me over by taking me out to a fancy Italian restaurant.
My bf realized this early on ;)


5. My go-to dish is fried rice.
Again, I'll post the recipe soon! Super easy to make, I learned how to create this from (who else) - my mamma.

Thanks for reading!
Question for you all: What is your favourite dish to cook?

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Thursday, 9 August 2012

Tasty Thursdays: Crème brûlée

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One of my favourite desserts
to make for guests, 
this dessert literally means
"burned cream."

4 cups heavy whipping cream
9 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Brown Sugar

Step 1. In a large saucepan, combine the cream, egg yolk and sugar.
Note: To separate out the egg yolk, first crack the egg and then pour the egg yolk from shell to shell until all of the egg white is drained out.

Step 2. Cook and stir the mixture over medium heat until the mixture reaches 160 degrees, or is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon.
Note: Whisk often, and do not allow mixture to boil. This will cause the mixture to curdle and will ruin the brûlée.

Step 3. Prepare the ramekins by first buttering them, and then swirling granulated sugar around the ramekin's inside and pouring out any remaining sugar.

Step 4. Ladle the mixture into ramekin bowls, up until the neck of the containers.
Note: There is enough mix to make approximately 12 ramekins. Halving the recipe will give you 6 ramekins, though it's been my experience that guests will want more than 1 brûlée!

Step 5. Place cups in baking pan. To create a water bath, add 1 inch of boiling water to pan. Bake uncovered at 325 degrees for 35-45 min until centers are set. 
Note: When creating the water bath, use a kettle to easily pour the boiling water.

Step 6. Remove ramekins and allow to cool 10-20 minutes before refrigerating. Cover with Saran wrap, and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Step 7. Remove the ramekins. Before serving, sprinkle with 1-2 teaspoons of brown sugar. Torch the top of the brûlée: the more sugar you add, the harder the coating. 

Note: I served with whipping cream over 
a home-made raspberry sauce,
made by by heating fresh 
raspberries, cornstarch, 
Grand Marnier, 
sugar & water

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Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Jasmine the Cat 16: Munch, Munch

She's back!
|<<  <  16   >  >>|  

Don't forget to share/tweet it if you like it :)
I plan on releasing Jasmine comics 
every other Tuesday! 
Exception: exam days :)
Jasmine the cat is on tumblr as well!
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Sunday, 5 August 2012

Do you want to be a guest blogger on Secret Life of a Med Student?

Hey everyone!

August to December will be a very busy time for me as I will be travelling to Vancouver to start medical school. How exciting! I am also in the midst of wrapping up a research project -- lots of work to do this month!

I do not want this blog to suffer a lack of posts, so that is why I would really appreciate having several guest blog posts on this website in the upcoming months!

1. The blog post must be tasteful, and fall into one of the following categories:

a. cats
b. baking
c. medical school
d. healthy living
e. comics or illustrations
f. lifestyle tips

2. The blog post must contain images, and text as necessary.

3. Direct your blog readers to Secret Life of a Med Student, via posting on your blog or via button.

So, please email me! You can also comment below if you are interested.
Deadline for the first round of submissions is August 15th.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

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Saturday, 4 August 2012

Moka Pot: A scrumptious way to start the morning!

When the morning is frantic, and I need a cup of coffee before heading out of the door, I run to my Bialetti Moka Pot. Simple to use, quick, and easy, it's the best way to make coffee quickly. It's been a welcome addition to the kitchen as a busy student. I have used the infamous Keurig machine, but I guarantee you, this espresso machine is so good it makes the espresso taste like a mocha without the addition of chocolate!

Bit of trivia for you, lovelies:
Keurig has sold 20 million machines. Bialetti has 10 fold more sales than Keurig.