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All Down Hill From Here

Sunday, January 19, 2014
As I walk back and forth packing for my clinical rotations I can't help but ponder about life: family, this last year and a half of didactics and what my future holds. I certainly have mixed feelings swarming my head and heart. 

Last December I wrapped up the 'Prison' portion of PA school, which reminded me of William Wallace yelling, "Freedom." The classroom with no windows, the break room with no windows, fighting the undergrads for quiet spots in the library and being frustrated with the small gym and lack of equipment are just a few of the things I won't miss. I would include tests within this list, but this next 11 months will incorporate such things, especially as we prepare for our certification test: PANCE. 

To give you an idea what this next 11 months will be like, 10 four week rotations and a test specific to our rotation every 8 weeks.  Most of which are in the state of Virginia, but some are out.  We will have: 
2 Internal Medicine
2 Family Medicine
Behavioral Medicine

I have chosen my elective in Orthopedics.  I feel the most comfortable here, but I also hope to find a job in Ortho. On the other hand, I am keeping my options open.

My first rotation is in Colonial Heights with a hospitalist for Internal Med.  My proctor is originally from Nigeria and has an extremely thick accent, which made it difficult to speak to him over the phone. I know this will be good for me because his accent will make me pay attention and be more thorough, especially since Internal medicine is known to be the more difficult due to the fact it encompasses every aspect of medicine. 

Being under a hospitalist I expect to be on rounds in the early and late hours, see patients at the doctor's own clinic and learn how to admit and discharge individuals. Also, I have been reviewing the pulmonary, cardiac and abdominal exams. I will most likely see a number of individuals with COPD, ischemic cardiac conditions and coronary artery disease. I'll need to incorporate all lab values and other exams.  I hope to be able to practice sutures as well. 

My second rotation is Internal medicine as well, but it's located in Fredericksburg with a different doctor.  One interesting point is that he has a JMU/PA alumni working for him. It will be nice to work closely with someone who has been through the same program. 

Third is Behavioral med back in Harrisonburg.  With the previous two rotations I had to find places to live and I plan on coming home on the weekends to see my family.  However, this third rotation is going to be nice for I get to live at home.  

Below is a quick catch up on our latest adventures on the East coast.  These incorporate both Thanksgiving and Christmas break. 

These first handful of pictures are from Outer Banks, NC. It was extremely cold hence the coats on the beach. I have always wanted to see a lighthouse. 

The lighthouse used to be near where we are standing, but due to preservation purposes it was moved back. 

This pic of Hannah is from Roanoke Island.  From the Croatoan area. 

This huge Christmas tree and train are at the Short Pump mall.

Just showing off her awesomely huge shell.  BTW, she dropped it, shattering it just shortly after this picture, which equals one sad little girl.   

During the Christmas break we took a trip down through NC, SC, GA and then back up into KT and  to VA. We hit up a couple of kid discovery zones.  One being the Lego Land Discovery place, which the girls absolutely loved.

This pic is a rare gem, to get all three of them looking at the camera at the same time.

This Discovery Center in Charlotte was awesome! The facility included a small aquarium (the jellyfish below), snakes you could pet, two stories of hands-on activities, building blocks (some kids were creating structures taller than their parents), a gross bug/smelling zone.  Here the kids learned why bugs and animals eat, poop and smell.  It was rather comical. 

Of course a rainforest was found within the Discovery building. 

Yes, these buildings are built out of Lego.  The Lego Land Discovery Center, a huge place within a mall in Atlanta. (Where was this when I was a kid, SERIOUSLY!)  It had a couple of rides, a 4D lego movie, a ton of area to build lego.  Also, it had a scheduled lego creation class. 

This last picture is a favorite of mine.  Knowing how cold and miserable Knoxville was, these two just played and didn't care about anything else. 


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