Things I Love Lately: Roses and Fall

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Love these blue chairs! [tumblr]
Hey friends!

I thought I'd do this feature again when I have time during rotations. It's such a great time to reflect, and see what great opportunities life has thrown at you. Or to just share some fun stuff! #nerdlife

1. Getting to drive again in the mornings. Even if there's bad traffic, I love hearing some hip-hop on the radio, and drinking my coffee at stop lights. It's a fun meditative process before work.

2. New stationary for a new rotation!

3. Speaking of new rotation, I just started my family medicine clerkship with the sweetest doctor ever (and the staff are hilarious). Hopefully everything keeps going well!

4. Packing healthy lunches. As you may have noticed, I got to eat out a ton during my psychiatry rotation, and it was such a fun time but I definitely needed to get back to my normal fruits & veggies. I've been keeping better track of my calcium intake too, since it's a bit tough being lactose intolerant. The family doc is also a super healthy woman, and acts as great inspiration. Maybe next week I'll try to up my water intake!

5. I finally got around to finishing Catching Fire after organizing my time well. I think I'll try to finish Mockingjay before the rotation ends. It's all about time management, friends! That and taking advantage of the slower rotations before getting slammed by the hard ones (re: surgery, ob/gyn, internal med)!

6. Doing lots of shopping, and finally going out to the movie theatre after a long hiatus. We were able to still catch "Guardians of the Galaxy" and I adored Groot. I definitely need this baby groot for my window sill or bookcase.

7. Flowers. Any kind, as long as they're pastel or vibrant. We have dusty pink roses in the kitchen now and they bring a big smile to my face every morning.

   I make a similar variant for lunch, but this one is going to be next on my list: Tomato, cucumber, avocado salad.

Please tell me some of the great stuff you've been up to in the comments, email, or insta/twitter!


Where to Eat in Chicago: Lincoln Park + Lakeview

Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Hi friends!

I just finished my psychiatry rotation in Chicago, and it was so amazing. First off, I love this specialty! It was always near the top of my list for preferred fields, and it still remains there. Secondly, there was tons of AMAZING places to dine at during lunch or linner. Below are Chantelle-tested eateries in the Lincoln Park & Lakeview area.
Bittersweet - I've been hunting for macarons for a while now, and I'm glad to report these were just as delicious as the puffs of sweetness found in Nadege (Toronto). Unfortunately, they have only a small selection of flavors (~4). I was able to try the creme brulee tart as well, and the cream was light and delicious, without being too sweet and nauseating.
DMK - burgers the size of my torso, cooked to perfection. Take a peek over at their menu, it's quite extensive and they have an eclectic combinations of toppings and mixtures. The atmosphere is hip and fun, and I'm positive it's a bangin' place for drinks in the evening, too.

Fish Bar - HOLY GEEBUS! I had the Satchmo Po'Boy and I could eat that everyday...forever. That's how delicious it was. It's breaded shrimp, crawfish, roasted garlic aioli, and b&b pickles all loaded onto a nice toasty bun. My fellow colleague also convinced me to try oysters for the first time; now I'm no oyster connoisseur, but I found them fresh and amazingly tasty. Can't believe I didn't jump on that bandwagon sooner!

Yummy Yummy - I had some sesame chicken & rice, but they're known for the smoothies. Hoping to check it out again! The dishes weren't out of this world, but great if you're starving and need something quick. I wandered in here after reading the good feedback on foursquare.

I Dream Of Falafel (aka IDOF) - Chicken Shawarma party in my mouth! Lots of flavor, juicy and hefty for the low price. You will be full and satisfied. I also tried their quirky foreign pop, and it's exactly like pink crush but sweeter. It's practically my new kryptonite. (I believe this is a new chain resto.) 

Tandoor Char House - Another place with SOLID FOOD. I've tried the chicken bariyani (yum), but I am in loooove with the Tandoori Chicken Tiki Masala. Like, there's not even a picture for this one because the food was devoured in 15 minutes. I die. Dead. Just go.

Chicago Bagel Authority - I picked up a veggie pizza bagel. It was crunchy and flavorful, with a nice amount of tomato (which I lovee). It was also not too overloaded with cheese, so my lactose intolerance was none the wiser.

Blaze Pizza - I believe this is some sort of chain pizzeria from California, and it's such a fun place. The 11' pizzas are lightweight, and large enough for one person to eat without feeling like a heavy whale afterwards. This is such a bonus in my books! They have several variations to choose from, as well as S'MORES.

Big & Littles: I ordered the grilled cheese sandwich and hawaiian pork taco. The taco was perfection, and the flavor combination was divine for those of you who like a little sweet kick with your meat. I'd recommend ordering 4-5 tacos if you want to be full by the end of the meal. You can skip the grilled cheese; nothing spectacular.

5411 Empanadas: I tried 4 different types, and the caramelized onion & malbec beef were my favorite. My friends also suggested the banana + nutella empanada. It's a lot of fun discovering these pockets of texture and spice. I suggest going with a larger group of friends and trying out one of each!

Zizi's Cafe: I was famished after my shift at the hospital, and had this yummy meal to eat, full of protein and Mediterranean flair. I got the beef doner kebab sandwich with a side of fries. The portion sizes at this place are quite decent, so there's left over to bring home.

Native Foods Café- This was the first time I tried this chain. I had the Morrocco Rockin' Bowl; a mix of spicy, sweet and veggies. I actually couldn't believe how full I got halfway through. I chose the tofu version, and found the flavoring unique and consistent with the dish. My boyfriend, however, had tofu that tasted like french fries. I LOVED IT!  

Cafe Luigi Pizza - I was starving and needed a quick fill-me-up on the go. This place had insanely good reviews for their New york style pizza, and a deluxe veggie & pepperoni slice the size of my face was calling my name. Hit the spot, nothing magical. I'm going to go back and try it again though, since I didn't order their specialty dishes.

La Tacorea - To be quite frank, I was not a big fan of this place. I felt the chicken combination wasn't the best of both worlds (Mexican & Korean). It may be simply a personal preference, since I don't like these two cuisines being mixed together. The others in my group seemed to have enjoyed their meals, particularly the beef dish!

Molly's Cupcakes - I want to live here. The cupcakes have freaking FILLINGS. I tried the cake batter flavor, and there was literally CAKE BATTER oozing from the center. Oh goodness, the heavens sang. I had the chance to taste 4 other flavors, creme brûlée took close second.
GSP - Great burgers but not the best. Loved the waffle fries, and the pear cider. The latter is great for those of you who are not fond of the taste of alcohol.
Batter & Berries: I tried out the Banana-Nut Belgique which includes caramelized banana and maple butter smothered on a warm, freshly made waffle. It was a total mouth party. And none of the sweet breakfast plates need maple syrup, you just eat it with the homemade maple butter...and it's perfect. I also tasted the super flight french toast, and some hash browns. Absolutely fantastic.

Needless to say, we all gained a little weight this rotation.
Thanks Chicago! 


Medical School Rotation: OB/GYN Clerkship

Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Disclaimer: I am aware a lot of my experiences are site-specific. I had the opportunity to go to a very 'hands-on' teaching hospital, and was able to participate A TON!

What I liked:
I loved delivering babies, especially when the attendings let me do nearly everything.
Pregnant women are (usually) super awesome, happy people.
On L&D - Getting to do the entire H&P, and following up with the patient every couple hours. Bonus pts if I was allowed to do ultrasounds.
Babies are freakin' cute!
Gyn Surgery - I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. Surgery is so methodical and meticulous, which appeals to my personality type/character. Also, I got props on my suturing skills (practice at home kids, it really pays off!)
That time I put in a trocar... 
Having rounds at the beginning of the day where we discussed specific topics - it really helped me study ahead for the shelf, even though I spent hours reviewing all the ACOG bulletins the night before.
One particular clinic where the attending let me do all the gyn exams, pap smears, IUD removals and prenatal checks. Booya!
Scrubbing into an emergency ovarian torsion.
Three words: Da Vinci Robot.

What I disliked:
Ridiculously early hours - this has been the only time I literally couldn't function without coffee due to so little sleep.
Since this was my first rotation, and the intern's first month as well; it was very confusing and disorganized and stressful the first couple weeks.
I wish I knew more going into OB/GYN (it's not covered much in the MS2 curriculum or Step 1), and I really disliked feeling overwhelmed/lost, but it was pretty much inevitable at this stage in my education. It was a total ego check.
Standing for 9+ hours straight in back-to-back surgeries, with no food, bathroom or water breaks. I was dying! My arms and back were incredibly sore by the end of the day.
Gyn Onc - I had a really sad experience with one of the patients, and it just made me realize my heart is not strong enough for oncology, ever.
Working call shifts on weekends (womp)
I really disliked how much regular folk & medical professionals underestimate OB/GYN doctors; their job is insane and overwhelming, they deserve much more respect than they get. They're trained in medicine and surgery, work incredibly long hours even as senior attendings, and their malpractice insurance is nuts due to the nature of their job (if any of you have the chance to work in an MFM clinic, you will wonder how some of these little babies end up surviving until delivery. It's so stressful.)

Quick Guide (topics you should know before starting each block)
Labor & Delivery: fetal heart strips, stages of labor, drugs for induction, degrees of laceration, fetal positions
Gyn Surgery - female pelvic and reproductive anatomy, practice tying knots and suturing at home every day
Gyn Onc - know your most common gyn cancers, and the drugs used to treat and prevent reccurence
Clinic - know milestones/guidelines for each trimester of pregnancy, brush up on your STD's & all available contraception, know menopausal symptoms and treatments

How I studied for the shelf (I would recommend getting through all of these; I was unfortunately strapped for time at this location but ended up doing well):
UWorld - 2 passes, written notes on the 'main points', and reviewing all the charts
UWise - 1 pass, only had time to review half my notes afterwards, but I did 4 comprehensive tests
Case Files - only had time to get through 60% of this book, try to do it all at least once
2 NBME exams - underscored me by 10-15% but kicked my butt into studying extra

Final TIP: Prep for rounds every night, proactively see as many patients as possible, and volunteer to stay late on interesting cases. The more patients you see the better, especially since you'll learn a lot of skills on the wards that you can't learn properly from a book (pelvic exam, proper use of speculum, how to talk to the patient when they're in stirrups, learning how to hold & manipulate the baby as it's being delivered, suturing on real skin, etc)
    If your site for this rotation is not engaging, and residents don't allow you to do much then be pushy, ask for patients, and do an ACOG Practice Bulletin every morning/lunch break with other students on your team. 


P.S. If there's anything else you'd like me to add, just leave a comment or send me an e-mail!
image source: geekinsider

Medical School / / Clinic Oufits

Monday, September 08, 2014
Hi everyone!

I thought I would bring back another round of fashionable, professional clothing since it's so difficult to find appropriate items, and pretty easy to get into a style rut. I've also gone along and tried to find some similar pieces online to help you on your way. I'm almost done my second rotation, and I'm tired of repeating the same "look" (but I've scored a lot of polka dots, and bright colors lately!) Let's jump right in!
Sleek & Chic
Vibrant Lady

Asos floral midi dress
Caramel Love

Playful Patterns & Colors

I've also updated the blog's Shop section (top menu bar) with my new casual fall favourites! For those of you who have no need to dress up for work/school.

I hope you've enjoyed this feature. I'll try to post them more frequently since it's now a relevant part of my everyday life. 

What are your favorite quirky, yet professional pieces? Send me a link via the comments, email, or insta/twitter!


Image source: 123456

Galena Adventures & Stunning Landscapes

Wednesday, September 03, 2014
This wonderful long weekend I made my way over to Galena, IL for the day. The Boy and I had an entertaining, albeit rainy, 3 hour drive to this small town known for its infamous "Main Street". And let me tell you, that ride was glorious; there were oodles of rolling hills and valleys along the way (as well as some popping ears!). Feel free to scroll down and see some of the photos near the end, where we pulled off to the side of the road to catch some landscape photographs.

Galena is straight out of a movie set. Its buildings are protected by historical site certification, and the architecture is mostly 19th century. One of the best aspects of this location, is that it's also built into on a hill, so there are several steep staircases transporting you from one scene to another. It's gorgeous, and completely encompassed by greenery. It's almost like being transported back in time while getting hugged by Mother Nature.

So without further ado, here's our photo diary (featuring my face, finally!):

Main Street! This is the downtown core, and where the staircases of doom stream off of. The shops are great, and they all have interesting colors and typography on their signs. I was able to pick up an amazingly scented handmade olive-oil soap bar at one of the many boutiques.
A quick shot halfway through our climb to the church on the hill. Phew, what a workout! My boyfriend made me take these four times. He loved it.

A new fave coffee shop that I may never see again. I loved their chai iced latte and the vintage decor! There was live music again (remember I mentioned this happened in Minneapolis? Loves it!), and The Boy and I had a round of chess whilst sipping our drinks. I lost, as usual. Haha!

Below begins the landscape shots on our ride back home. Just too beautiful. Thank you universe for this view.

Until we meet again, Galena!