"You don’t train someone for all of those years of medical school and residency, particularly people who want to help others optimize their physical and psychological health, and then have them run a claims-processing operation for insurance companies."

- Malcolm Gladwell, from Forbes’ "Tell People What it’s Really Like to be a Physician"

It was really hard picking one section to quote because I loved almost every line of this article. <3 Malcolm Gladwell. Is he married?? Lol, joking.

Waking up like a YouTube star. #gettinguplate #ellemagazine #emmawatson #costcomuffinsftw #somefruit #lovehome #lovebreak

Updates on life & recent thoughts

  • Anxiety: self-diagnosed myself with an anxiety disorder - panic attack/generalized/social/NOS (not otherwise specified) - recently. I’ve reached out to a psychiatrist working at our medical center, and she was really nice, but don’t know if I’ll follow up. Too anxious? Haha. It’s ironic. 
  • Action plans: I feel like human beings never learn, especially me. I catch myself thinking a lot - “ugh, I hate feeling like this/I hate being in this situation. What did I do before that worked? How does it usually end for me? Do I really need to stress about it?” I got so sick of going around in circles and not ever moving forward, I came up with this crazy idea of making action plans for myself - kind of like ones you make after long boring meetings where no one’s quite sure what happened and everyone just looks at the action plans/meeting summaries to figure it out, lol. So far, I’ve got action plans for things like “feeling overwhelmed,” “feeling bad for procrastinating…for the whole day,” “feeling hurt from criticism,” “feeling weird” lol. In these plans, I give myself pep talks, inspiring quotes, and commandments on what to do - “go for a walk or go take a shower. NOW.” I’ve used it a couple times, and it works! I’m pretty happy with it. Let’s see where this takes me…hopefully forward.
  • Speaking of going around in circles, I recently finished my first Haruki Murakami book, Kafka on the Shore. My high school friend lent it to me yearrrrrrs ago when we were hanging out over one of those long college breaks. Yup. So, finally picked it up like 5-6 years later. Aaaaaaaaaaaaand, verdict? Omg, please don’t read this book, lol. It’s basically Oedipus cycle + weird kinky Japanese fantasies and metaphysics trying to be deep and meaningful but not really getting across to this medical student brain because she lost you at eating cats’ hearts. Um. Yeah.
  • I guess if I were to try to glean some meaning/lesson from that book, it could be - if you’re trying to outrun yourself, it’s probably not a good idea to run away by yourself, because then you’ve really just screwed yourself over by locking yourself in and rejecting all outside help…and there’s not much impetus for change now, is there? But then, that’s really the silver lining of silver linings for this book, because that same message was in the original Oedipus story (wasn’t it?) without all the weird metaphysical kinky-fuckery and weird metaphysical murdering…yeah.
  • De-cluttering: For the last 3 days, I’ve been de-cluttering my online/computer life. I’ve realized we spend SO MUCH TIME ONLINE. It’s like a new form of anxiety. If we don’t keep up with Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc, we will die. But really, we’d be fine. I think. But really. So I’ve unsubscribed to a bunch of newsletters/email lists, cleared 1,000 emails, cleared like over half of my bookmarks & reorganized them to boot, un-followed almost everyone on Pinterest/Instagram/Tumblr (sorry) except for a few who are good friends or stuff that I actually read…it’s nothing personal, I just really don’t read/care/want to be so information overloaded anymore. It was hard. I’m already such a rat pack in real life, but I did it. Because I’ve realized—
  • Information is not knowledge. I could read 20 articles a day and not be truly smarter. Or more capable of taking on the world. Or making my life better. Or making someone else’s life better. I’ve alluded to this before, but we really have to use the internet as a tool that plays 2nd fiddle to our lives and makes them better instead of letting it overtake and become our lives. I’ve been reading a bunch of articles as I go through old bookmarks and instagramming a lot (because I can! because it’s break!), but yesterday, when I just decided to go out for a walk (TWICE) in sunny 70 degree blue skies chirping birds weather without my phone (!!!) - that was when I felt most alive & myself. It felt so deliciously gratifying to look up through the branches of a blossoming tree at the blue sky overhead, to look down over a green field, and think it would make a perfect instagram photo, but NOT DO IT and just enjoy the moment - all to myself. No one would ever know about it, but what mattered was that I was in that moment 100%. I think we are more ourselves when we pause and let ourselves think, actually use our brain instead of inundating it with gifs, memes, fb statuses, news headlines, tweets, photos, etc etc. Like now, I’m feeling so refreshed putting words to monitor. The current internet culture really promotes more ADHD and honestly a dumber society, and that makes me sad.

  • On a similar note, I’ve been getting better evals on my rotation grades because of my “calm, professional” demeanor and my ability to actually think things through, process them, and add something more to what has just been taught to me instead of just memorizing & regurgitating facts. It’s been awesome to get some feedback that’s not generic anymore (e.g. you’re improving on your assessment & plans), and it’s taught me that what people notice is your personality, your professionalism, your attitude, and how much (it seems) you care - not so much if you know all the facts, the algorithm for working up a patient, or the pathophysiology behind every single disease out there, which, to be honest, is what I was more stressed out about before. It may seem “duh” to you, but it’s been a different experience living it as a medical student. I’m comforted in a way, knowing that I will be more judged on my character than on my knowledge, because I’m confident of my character, of myself as a good human being. :) I’m really happy that it’s finally starting to get noticed and that it’s something valued by our profession. Truly.
  • I think I’m all thought out for now…
  • This isn’t my picture, but this is a good representation of how my last few days of spring break has been, hehe:

“The most luxurious item is a beautiful bed and beautiful, simple sheets. And a reading lamp so you can read a fabulous book in bed.”

Yes you’re behind, but don’t you want to feel better about yourself later knowing that you went out fighting?!

To let yourself be happy.

Is self pity. Vicious cycle of self pity.

PRI: Do you answer ‘How are you?’ the American or the Russian way?