Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Why am I such a fucking idiot? I feel so stupid every day that I'm in internal medicine. Ugh. I sit there and i'm asked questions and I just am SO BLANK. I used to be smart, what happened? Maybe I should go into obs/gyn, it's the only thing I've actually felt intelligent at.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

lost motivation

Last week when the weather was nice I went biking every day. I couldn't wait to go outside and get my bike on. Today and yesterday the weather has been cold and yesterday it was wet. Now I have lost my motivation to ride. I have many excuses, including that I only have shorts, no tights. Though, I haven't gone to the gym to work out inside either... I'm a bum.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Burned popcorn and mountain bike races

Why oh why can't I make microwave popcorn at my apartment without it burning? It just burned within 60 seconds! And, all the popcorn wasn't finished!

In other news, this weekend I did my very first mountain bike race. It was the 1st Ontario Cup cross country race of the year and it was really good. I came third, finished the 15 km in 1:12:05, which would have been reduced if I hadn't been slowed down at the end of the course by this girl who hated descending, but hey, she motivated me to push hard on some of the uphills. I'm glad I didn't do the "try an o-cup" class, which Ben did. It was badly planned with a start time along with the older male class which i can't remember the name of, but suffice it to say it was a bunch of guys who looked like George Hincapie with shaved legs who were pretty serious racers. This lead to some difficult race dynamics for the slower racers and to a result where nearly half of the contestants in the "try an o-cup" didn't finish the race due to minimum lap times (which weren't enforced... but they asked people to pull themselves out of the race voluntarily so many people did). Anyhoo, Ben didn't have much fun and will be doing the beginner cat with me next time.

Monday, April 21, 2008

UBC has screwed me for electives. So, now I'm scrambling to find a CCFP (family doc) to take me for 2 weeks in the summer. I know one person and we've emailed back and forth, but I haven't heard from her for a week and I need to have something set up soon. I never know how long to wait for someone to get back to me.

I just started my core internal medicine today. I'm in the ICU in Peterborough. It's interesting so far and kind of scary. I'm really not cut out for internal - which makes it really super intimidating. I've heard that the exam is really brutal for this block. It's one of the American NBME subject exams. I think a few people have failed it already this year. Apparently everything is in american units and you have to convert them during the test. I've heard that there's a pretest book that you can buy, which I will be going out and purchasing before the exam. Studying starts tonight.

I have found some really cool singletrack to ride in the area of my apartment here. I'm planning on racing next weekend so it's imperative that I get in some riding this week. I also have to go back to the town where my university house is and pick up my racing stuff - bummer because it's 200 km away. Good thing there's no call in this rotation!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Waiting for the world to change

Well, I'm waiting for Ben to get home from a late day of work. We were supposed to go for dinner this evening at our favorite pub, but I think that's destined to be usurped by an installation at Ben's work. Anyhoo, maybe I'll talk a bit about Kash.

My trip to Kashechewan was interesting. When I got there we drove through the reserve and all of the burned down houses and dilapidated buildings were pointed out to me. There has been a rash of fires this year in Kash and considering that the average number of people is over 10 per 3 bedroom house (I can't remember the actual number, I think it's around 15), the loss of any housing is felt hard by the community. There are houses that people are living in with boarded up windows and tarps instead of doors. There are children who have been burned by water from stoves where there were just so many people in the house everyone else thought that someone was watching the kids. There are people who are now working at the diamond mine that has started up the coast, but they are on for 2 week shifts and are away from home, leaving their kids with relatives or teenagers to fend for themselves. The cost of employment is leaving one's family.

I got to go to a coroner's case in a neighboring reserve. Riding in the back of a NAPS (police) Ford F150 along the ice road was quite an adventure... the back seat is a wooden box that is quite hard on the bum! It was a sad case of a person who was physically and mentally ill in the community and the community supports just weren't there to keep them afloat - they fell through the cracks of the system.

The kids in Kash were very cute. The first language taught to children there is Cree, which is really neat to see. Otitis media seemed to be the illness of the week, really bad OM with perforations and draining puss. We also did some drug and alcohol and grief counseling while we were there. It really became apparent to me that the drug and alcohol problems are very intertwined with the lack of community supports for the grief and depression that are rampant in the community. There has been a lot of loss and a lot of frustration with the inaction of the government. Although there have been many people killed in fires, there is no fire engine. There are many teen suicides that affect close families profoundly. People don't really talk to each other about these tragedies in the community unless they are drunk - which leads to a perpetuating cycle of depression and drinking. A new tradition of talking needs to be established.

Really, solutions for this community need to come from within. Many of them, I think, start with empowering the members of the band to make changes, be home owners, and be proud of who they are an their ideas.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


These past two weeks things have been quite hectic. I came home from Moose to start an elective at McMaster - 1 week of general obs/gyne and 2 weeks of maternal fetal medicine. The week of general obs/gyne was fantastic. I recommend anyone who is doing medical electives in Ontario to request a general obs/gyne elective in Brantford through McMaster. I just started MFM yesterday. The good thing is that I'm working with two really cool docs and I'm the only student in their clinic. The bad thing is that there are many many medical students on the ward and in L and D. I wanted to do some call while I'm here, but feel like I'm stepping on the new clerks' toes if I do (they just started on Monday doing their core obs/gyne rotation). The clerk who's on call on Thursday when my preceptor is on call really wants obs/gyne and I don't want to steal any deliveries from her. Maybe I should just stick to clinics.

Anyhoo. I'll write more about my trip to Kash later. Ben and I are going for a walk outside in the wonderful sunshine. Oh, and, the stones are coming in for me to choose my center stone for my engagement ring! I almost have it!