As You Wish

Week 8 (2 months!!)

Aug 25-Sept 1st

Okay so it has been two months and now it is getting harder for me to remember what I have done every day. Maybe that or the long (GLORIOUS) weekend has been throwing me off. But, now I’ve got it, and I’m ready to share. The first week of Block 1 was lecture overload, but the second week was even busier as it incorporated 2 IQ cases, audition prep, and my first narrative medicine class!

MONDAY: Honestly, don’t remember most of what happened

First IQ cases of the block. Both were on diabetes (type 1 and type 2). The whole week was about diabetes, actually. Repetitive? Surely. But, by Friday, I did feel that I actually learned something. Maybe, I should put more faith in the curriculum and its designers. Maybe, they actually know what they are doing here!

In the evening, I had my second physical diagnosis (PD) session of the block. We practiced how to do a little bit of the head and neck exam. I learned how to use an opthalmoscope to look at the back of the eye (very cool), but you have to be inches away from patient’s face. Tic-Tac necessary! I also used an otoscope to look in the ear. This was the first time in my life I have seen someone’s retina or their ear’s “pearly grey” tympanic membrane. Doctors have this phenomenal privilege to see into us. And, it was an exciting opportunity to see the hidden aspects of the body—-things I will probably never be able to examine on myself. Although, PD can be very awkward, it is refreshing to work with a living person.

TUESDAY: Opening up the chest wall is a gruesome business & Narrative Medicine.

I thought I was doing well (ie tough stomach; strong constitution) with this cadaver dissection experience, but Tuesday was just rough. Firstly, we arrived to find our cadaver lying on his face. The M2 students, who were sharing the body with us, started dissection on the back of the body, realized it is not pleasant to flip the body over, and left him lying face planted so that we could flip him over again…



Okay, so we had to flip over the body, and he was a BIG man. Stiff, and large, we all had to hold him in ways we hadn’t. No scalpels, all hands, we flipped—praying that embalming fluid would not spray us.

Then we had to look at the pectoral muscles, (minor and major), and then use special pliers and a bone saw to break the ribs. The sound of breaking bone is not at all plesant, but there was something beautiful about seeing the intercostal muscles—the external and internal layers perpendicular to each other, just like the anatomy textbooks and lectures declared. The body is amazing.

Once, the cavity was opened, the heart covered in its sac, and the lungs were revealed—just as you’d imagine them. Then, the worst part began—-the fluid. Fluid filled the chest cavity, engulfing the lungs. Pink with lumps of fat. We had use a vacuum to suck out some of it. I won’t continue for the faint of heart.

Confession: I get a little hungry during dissection, which makes me disgusted with myself. My experience is not singular! I have talked with other students who have felt the same way. The link between formaldehyde and hunger is controversial. I honestly think the fumes make one hungry, because even after the rough dissection I had an appetite. Very weird. I would love other perspectives on this.

Oddly hungry, I raced out of lab, to get some sushi from the BRB cafe, and ran up to one of the small group rooms for my 1 pm Narrative Medicine course.

So what is Narrative Medicine? Narrative Medicine is medicine practiced with the ability to acknowledge, absorb, interpret and act on the stories/plights of others. It is a relatively new concept, that really is built on old ones. Doctors, deal with narratives all the time. “What brings you in today?” When the patient tells their story, a good doctor uses the skills required in narrative medicine.

I love story telling, and listening to stories—analyzing them and contextualizing them. I love studying people, and that is definitely one of the reasons medicine is so intriguing to me. And, I am excited for how this class will shape me.

Quick deets on class. NO GRADES. Once a week for 2 hours. We had reading from The Bluest Eye for this week. I’ll share about that next week. It was quite awesome. I also love that I have new people in my class that I don’t know. The class is small enough such that we can get to know one another, and it is filled with both M1s and M2s. I’m super excited to know a different group of people!


Insulin. Glucagon. Yeah…That is all.

THURSDAY: A Thoroughly busy “day off.”

Totally busy day. I had my first PD Simulation where I practiced taking blood pressure and  the other vital signs (Temp, respiratory rate, and pulse) on a standardized patient. My awesome M4 preceptor told me I did well!! I made my standardized patient laugh, and apparently she doesn’t laugh. I love connecting with people, and look forward to having the medical knowledge to back up that doctor-patient connection. One thing I have to work on is taking blood pressure a little faster. More practice necessary…maybe I should get a cuff from home…I am very impressed by how quickly Case is getting us to practice the foundations of clinical medicine. The practicality is so different from my undergraduate education…(Love UChicago through and through, though!)

My orchestra audition was so low key and fabulous. I was intending to audition for the smaller Case Camerata Orchestra, but was placed in the University Circle Symphony Orchestra, a more competitive group. I got to choose a scale to play, and wasn’t even asked to play the excerpts after Breval’s Sonata in C Maj. Best. Audition. Ever. So excited to play music again.


This is when the week gets hoppin’. Emma, Felicia, Sarah and I got together to watch some Disney movies (Made it through Hercules and 1/3 of Beauty and the Beast) and the Princess Bride because Emma and Sarah had not seen it. Inigo Montoya is the best. Him and Fezzik. Every time, I love them more.


It has been a while since I have had a slumber party. Although, it was a “working party”  and studying did happen, it was so much fun! It was so nice to just talk and lounge in community. 🙂

Felicia in her PJs


Sarah Maxin and Relaxin


Emma Bubble (Boba) Tea Extraordinaire


 SATURDAY: Korean and Outlander Live Tweets!!

Saturday evening after a day of cleaning and pretend studying, I went to Parma to eat at Seoul Garden, a delicious Korean restaurant with the CMDA. I lucked out and sat with M2s and M3s who were not only nice to me, but let me take the leftovers home! I highly recommend this place. Please go with a larger group so that you can try some of the bigger entrees.


This lovely soup prepared by Mee Jee is in my fridge waiting to be finished off.

Later than night, I live-tweeted Outlander episode 4 with Lauren Dueck. She is teaching me how to use Twitter. It is hilarious. Everyone watch.


SUNDAY: Noodlecat and Unfortunate Fellow

By now you can sense that Cleveland is definitely turning me into a foodie. I went to eat at a ramen place called, Noodlecat. It was pretty good, but I particularly enjoyed eating in downtown Cleveland for the first time.





After a lovely dinner, we came a cross a very drunk young man dressed in black lying half way under his car. I didn’t even notice him, until Nakul alerted us. Honestly, I felt so ill equipped to handle the situation, and was really grateful that So Lim and Vanessa were there to help. Thankfully, his friends eventually returned to take care of him. He was in very bad shape, and it was only 8 PM. NO lie.

MONDAY: Studying with Aaida and Dinner at the Zale’s

Studied with the lovely Aaida in the afternoon (she makes a mean batch of snickerdoodle cookies), and then went to eat dinner with the Zale Family! I was stoked to see Lizzy and Matt after a few months, and to meet her family and her cat. Such lovely people, and really yummy food!

Seriously, fabulous things can happen in Cleveland if you wish it to…

Until next week.

Medical student medical school blog diabetes narrative medicine cadavers dissection formaldehyde Disney movies the bluest eyebiochemsitry orchestra sleepover the princess bride hercules korean foodoutlander noodlecat ramen cleveland studying


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