Sukhi & Dan's Chicago Engagement Photos

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Hey everyone,
Today is going to be a fun post! I finally got to get behind the DSLR and exercise my 'photography eyes'. A couple weekends ago we had the perfect opportunity to pack up our cameras (and a few outfit changes) so we could capture some fun images for Sukhi and Dan's wedding website. S&D have been friends of mine since my first year in Chicago, back when I started my Master of Science degree. Sukhi became my med school bestie instantly. We were inseparable!
Anyway, S&D got engaged this past Christmas, and they were looking to create a site so that family and friends could RSVP to their wedding, and get more information on its location. A wedding website needs its two main stars to be showcased, does it not? So with a med student budget and two bloggers in the house, it was a no brainer we were going to do this thing on our own! It was one of the best afternoons I've ever spent in the city. We had so much fun taking these photographs, and the two lovebirds are just a hoot. Always laughing!

^ my fave picture of all time

  For more pretty photos, check out their website here! Sukhi did such a great job working with the template and having a nice photo selection.


Skincare Review: Cetaphil's DERMACONTROL + Obiqo

Monday, June 08, 2015
Hey everyone!

Today I'll be reviewing a few products that were sent to me in December. I've had almost 6 months of use, and feel I can give a fairly honest and accurate opinion on their efficacy with my skin type (combination skin; acne prone on Epiduo topical prescription treatment).
Obiqo is a New Zealand skincare line that utilizes only natural ingredients. The timing was perfect when I first got these products, because I was on the hunt for a new eye cream (I used to use the Kiehl's avocado cream but didn't feel it was worth a repurchase because the skin around my eyes began burning after application), and a new nightly moisturizer for the winter. Both of these products boast anti-aging properties, however, I cannot promote the validity of those claims because I do not have much wrinkles at my age.
    Night cream: I found it extremely hydrating! Because I have oily skin it actually made me wake up with a bit too much oil on my face in the morning. Nevertheless, no breakouts! I don't use this consistently because it's a bit too heavy, so I slather it on when I put on a good hunk of my Epiduo. The latter is extremely drying (I wrote a review about it last year if you'd like to take a gander), and Obiqo does a good job at decreasing the flakiness when I wake up.
    Eye cream: Again, I cannot say much for the validity of its anti-aging claims, however I can vouch for it being extremely gentle. Even after 6 months I've had ZERO irritation or burning with application, unlike Kiehl. I have a very sensitive eye area, even prior to using Epiduo, hence gentle creams are my favorite. I'd definitely recommend this product for preventative anti-aging care and moisture for women in their 20's.
I'm just going to jump right on into Cetaphil's newer product line DERMACONTROL. It boasts the ability to decrease oil with its cleanser and moisturizer with SPF 30. Needless to say, I was excited! Once summer hits, my skin is shinier than I'd like it by midday. (THUMBS DOWN)
      Foam Cleanser: Not too impressed. My skin didn't feel clean enough after usage, I had to wash it a couple times. I also didn't find it helped decrease my oil production throughout the day. It stayed pretty much the same. Another downside: the pump top got jammed last week, and it's a pain in the bum to get product out. Wouldn't recommend.
      Moisturizer with SPF 30: I'm a huge proponent of skin protection and sunscreen. I really try to stick to my routine, and I keep an SPF bottle in my car to put on my hands between stop lights. However, this one made me oily as most SPF moisturizers do and I was a bit disappointed. I actually broke out a bit as the weather got warmer, and my skin just started to feel pretty clogged by the end of the day. Hence, I'm on the hunt for a super light SPF with a matte finish for the summer. I've got my eyes on a few already, but any recommendations would be welcome!

Medical School Rotations: Surgery Clerkship

Saturday, June 06, 2015

*Disclaimer: My experience on every rotation is very site-specific. It may not necessarily apply to your clerkships. I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.
What I liked:
You get to work with your hands.
We finally get to see the inside of a living, breathing human being. It really is a privilege to be in there, and have the patient trust you in their most vulnerable state.
Funny surgeons with great itunes playlists. When I was on pediatric surgery for two weeks, one of the two docs I worked with always blasted 70's music - I became a huge fan of Earth Wind and Fire!
Scrub Nurses
Learning a ton of medicine, which was really helpful since my Medicine rotation was the one right after.
Da Vinci Robots!

Wearing scrubs everyday- aka hospital pj's.
Meeting the best resident of life. Seriously, this guy won awards for a reason. He was instrumental in getting most of our butts on track for MS4 year preparations, as well as teaching us like a pro.
I had the opportunity to also do trauma service for my call shifts, and the nervous excitement in the room is addicting. The team works incredibly quickly to assess damage. My first evening (I did this rotation in the winter) there were 3 motor vehicle accidents within a couple hours of each other - since then I have become hyperaware of my speed on the highway. As many of you know, the faster you go, the lower your chances of survival.
Plastic surgery- I got to scrub in on a few cases with permission from my residents (they love when you take initiative and see other surgeries during downtime). The surgeons I worked with were the sweetest people I've met in this field. They were great teachers, they allowed us to participate a lot, and they just overall created a warm friendly environment (with great music) for the tech and students in the room. Also, if it wasn't for the length and lack of patient interaction, I could see myself doing this. It was like a beautiful art form. All the cases we saw involved skin cancer patients, and one patient in particular had a forehead nasal flap reconstruction to hide the deformity on her nose from cancer removal. It really changed her quality of life, and returned her confidence.

What I didn't like:
The hours - by the time we got around to morning report... it was still pitch black outside. I arrived and left the hospital in the dark. Depressingggg.
The lack of patient contact.
Witnessing terrible bedside manner.
Most of the surgeons wouldn't let us participate on the surgeries (aka suture), since the residents wanted to do everything. My friends doing this rotation at sites without a residency program got to close every case. So jealous!
Spending most of the day eating out of my pocket (snacks) instead of real food.

How I studied for the clerkship:
Review the cases the night prior: Uptodate & Surgical Recall
Take notes during the many lectures they had set up for us: this was the great part of doing my rotation at this hospital. LOTS OF TEACHING!
There was no time for much extra, the hours were long.

How I studied for the shelf exam:
Pestana x2
Surgery UWorld section
GI UWorld section (I didn't get to finish this; I would recommend finishing and reviewing it one more time)
   What I would have done had I had more time - finished GI, not done a double review of pestana (one is enough close to the exam), completed OnlineMed videos for surgery, done the practice surgery questions on USMLEasy, and reviewed a few chapters of SUTM. This was an internal medicine heavy shelf exam, and I had not done IM yet. There were very few actual surgical case questions. If you have IM prior to the surgery shelf, you'll be fine, and the sources I actually reviewed would be enough. If you haven't had IM yet, add the extra textbooks, videos and Qbanks.

Sources: image 1, image 2