Humanism in Medicine

They throw this phrase at the med students a lot. 

Yesterday we had a full 8 hours of mind-numbing lectures. At lunch time my friend Colby got a phone call from her mom that a cousin had passed away. She was bawling, confused, and basically needed to get the hell out of there. Our other friends and I marched her down the stairs to tell the course coordinator that she wouldn’t be at the last 4 hours of class. Easy, right? A family member dies, you leave work/school/whatever. 

The course coordinator told her that she was free to go, but since it was “just a cousin” (her exact words, I was eaves dropping) who had passed she told Colby that she would have to forfeit her points for attendance. See, if you go to every lecture for the rotation we’re on you get a free 3 points on the overall course grade. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but could easily make the difference between pass or fail. So…. cool, not only did this woman just belittle Colby’s grief she’s hanging her grade over her head.

I WAS LIVID. AND HORRIFIED. In every course there is emphasis on “teaching” us to be professional, empathetic, and compassionate towards our patients. Then why are we treated like this when we want to be actual humans??

I had a similar experience 2 years ago when one of Michael’s childhood friends passed away suddenly. I was in a required lab when he called me tell me that I needed to come to the hospital. I told the course director (big boss) that I had a critically ill friend and was leaving to be with his friends and family. I was told that I would receive zero credit for the work I had done that day. No problem, I told him, I had somewhere more important to be. 

I can understand not being able to leave if someone’s life is at stake, or you’re in the operating room, or really anything to do with patient care. What I can’t understand is being so insensitive to our lives outside of school. We recently got an email that one of the acceptable reasons to miss a day of 4th year was “death of self” and you better provide immediate notification. Real life, it’s in writing. 

This is just one more experience that will shape my future. I’ve had countless awesome role models over the last 3 years and I can already see myself modeling some of their behaviors. I’ll just add these little mishaps to the pile of things I DON’T want to be when I’m in the leadership role.

Deep thoughts for my first post in awhile! (I’m such a slacker) Look forward to some posts on Milo’s big adventures! Teaser: He goes to doggie daycare now and one time they had to lock him in a closet for bad behavior.  

A Thrifty Girl Outfit Post

Ya’ll know I’m poor, right?? It’s pretty much a given since I’m STILL in school and will be for the next 10 years. And yes, I do normally dress like a scrub/live in my PJs…… but every once in a while I get fancy! On the cheap!

china

You’re probably saying Anna, what do you mean you got those legitimate Tory Burch flats and that sassy Michael Kors purse in China?? Well let me tell you something. Those are not real. I got them off a website called iOffer that may or may not be legal but is definitely a great place to find knock offs. Those shoes cost $30! You read that right! Only ONE ZERO!!!!

tory burch

LEGIT

michael kors

Even the inside looks real!!!!

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The best accessory to complement any outfit is a baby. My neighbor Megan will loan you hers for a nominal hourly fee! (JK…. I think)

Macy Collage

Love her….

Bluebonnets

In Texas, we like to take pictures of our babies in the bluebonnets. No matter that this patch of flowers is less than 4 square feet and in the middle of a busy highway. We do it anyway.

If you don’t have any babies, your baby is grown up, or you’re an eccentric dog-lover (Wanda), you take pictures of your puppies!

Pee Pi and Missy:

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collage

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**Milo was not included in the photo shoot because if I’d taken him off his leash he for sure would have ran into traffic and gotten ran over and then what would be the point of this blog??**

Stress Dreams— PART TWO!!

I’m sure you all remember the time I went to Owen Wilson’s pool party. (in my dreams of course). Well, finals are coming up and my brain has been cranking out some DOOZIES!!! And guess what, this time they are all about what Milo wants to be when he grows up. Weird right?? It’s probably because he sleeps either snuggled up by my side or on my head so he is never far from my subconscious.

On SEPARATE nights, I dreamt that Milo aspired to be a senator, a nurse, and a squirrel.

I’m his mom so I say he can be whatever he wants! Also he’s already been a shark and a gangsta, so really the sky’s the limit!

stress dreams collageVOTE FOR MILO!

Pet Cave

What is a pet cave, you ask? It’s a dog bed with a roof! Milo is a natural burrower and when I saw this on Groupon, I had to order it for the little digger. He chewed on it first, like most else in our house, but after I showed him the picture he eventually got the hang of it.

pet cave

 

It probably helped that the “model” dog was a fellow beagle.

pet cave 1

Wrong.

pet cave 2

Wrong.

pet cave 3

Getting closer.

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Nailed it! Just like the package said… “surrounded by comfort and warmth”

Disappointing

My aunt and I before she got sick, celebrating my birthday at a casino! (it’s a cajun thing)

My aunt (Wanda’s sister) has been sick for about 3 years. Without getting into it, the entire family (and there are a lot of us!) have been frustrated with her care and and eager for her wounds to heal. Everyone is ready for her to get back to her old, perky self, but mostly these boys!

grandsons

“Granny” with her 3 beautiful grandsons.

About a month ago enough was enough and we dragged her to our medical center. I felt like she was coming to the best hospital in the world and would surely be blown away by the kind of care that WE can provide! The hospital in her small town did not meet our expectations and her well-being completely depended on a few assertive family members.

My sweet aunt went in for a routine GI procedure Monday morning and I was excited to show off “my” hospital!

They arrived at 7:30 am for the 9:30 surgery. She didn’t go into the operating room until past 11:30. Completely understand! The previous surgery ran late, there’s nothing they can do about it.

Come 2:00 pm and we are still waiting for her to come out of recovery. When they wheeled her in she told us that she had been awake and alert for over an hour and the recovery team told her that they were just waiting for a room to open up, the room that my mom and I had been sitting in. hmmm..

Next, the doctor orders a CT scan and an upper GI. We were informed that radiology was waiting on the lab results of her kidney function to make sure she could tolerate the CT contrast. HOURS later a nurse came in to say that blood had actually never been drawn, the lab wasn’t working on anything, and the scan would be further delayed.

Despite already having an IV in both wrists the next obstacle was having a third IV placed in the crook of her arm. The nurse told us that putting the contrast into her wrists may cause the tissue to become necrotic. More pain and anxiety.

At 11:00 pm the two of them headed down to radiology where it was discovered that the IV in her arm wasn’t placed correctly and the wrist was just fine for the contrast. They then waited an hour for someone to track down “something” she was to drink for the scan, only to be told actually she didn’t need it. The whole ordeal, which we were all told would be done around 3 pm, finished at 1 am.

At 7:30 am my aunt began asking for something to eat. The doctor told her that he would put in an order for food. What she didn’t understand (and how would she?) was that she herself had to pick up the phone and order it, the doctor had just given the cafeteria PERMISSION to bring her food. Two hours later a nurse explains this process to her, but didn’t show her how to go about it, and she couldn’t figure it out herself. At that point it had been over 48 hours since her last meal.

I will say that nearly everyone we encountered was kind and very personable. A nurse who found out I was in med school even introduced me to a general surgery resident to taught me sutures! I felt like a rock star!

But miscommunications and unreasonable delays like we encountered shouldn’t happen.  I was in the room when a hospital liaison came in to speak to us and I outlined her not-so-good experience. She was very receptive to our concerns and immediately promised to relay it to the unit supervisor.

I am so proud of the medical profession and I can’t wait to be a part of it! I hope I can take these experiences and use them to better myself and make my own patient interactions a little bit better.

doctor anna

Watch out world!

Noodle Nirvana

Yesterday Michael had a softball game (go TEAM PRIME TIME!) which meant that little Milo was left alone for a few hours. This resulted.

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What are those?! Maggots?? Fluorescent ants??

NO. Ramen noodles.

He ate 4 packages.

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I don’t know why 1 package didn’t satisfy him…. but judging from the empty seasoning packages his noodles were not without flavor.

So that’s good.