Hi Barbarosa, thanks for taking the time to read all of my prattle. I'll try to write what I can, but I am terribly exhausted from 8 hours of work and 6 hours of stats programming homework.
Do I go back and read my old posts? Absolutely. This is actually my second thread. My first thread was all about me going through college and stuff. I hope the growth is evident, because i'm definitely not the same person I was when i joined ST. I was 19 then; I'm going on 24 now.
How'd I go from MCB to MPH? Well, the MS med school cram program at Georgetown didn't take me (see pg 6). My grades coming out of Berkeley were a little too low to put me into med school right away. I had a good MCAT score, but it expired last year. Luckily, I got into USC's MPH program, and it's been occupying my time ever since. I'm studying epi/biostats, and it's actually not what i want to do long-term. I'm finding that i really prefer health ed. and health promo stuff. Epi is great in the classroom, but the 9-5 work is tedious as hell. I hate the academic aspect of HP, but in practice, it's deeply satisfying. I'll earn my degree in December, retake the MCAT in April, and apply in summer. If all goes well, I'll be in med school this time next year.
My thoughts on molecular bio? I like protein chemistry, and i took a pretty interesting class on bioinformatics where i learned a lot about proteomics. I didn't understand it well enough in college, but now, I think microarrays are the bee's knees. Moreover, I *really* dig protein modelling software. I still play with NCBI's Structure database and PDB from time to time.
As a career move though, MCB was a poor choice for me. The major was terribly impacted because it was a popular choice for pre-meds (like me), so it was impossible to get support and every other student was hellbent on sabotaging your work. What I fared much better with in college was organismal biology, though I wasn't an integrative bio major. I have a particular fondness for fungi. I'm also into endocrinology. I wish I would have had some formal experience with pharmacology. I do love science, though sometimes we've had a tenuous relationship.
Howd the GC talk go? That was my workshop debut, and it went pretty well, though I always jumble the names of the drug therapies. I tend to mention doxycycline for concomitant GC/CT treatment, and ciprofloxacin since that's what people tend to recognize (the joke I tell is, "If you are being treated for both GC and anthrax, you might want to reconsider your lifestyle choices." ha ha, it's funny only to me ). I have a hard time pronouncing ceftriaxone, and i mix it up with cefixime anyway, so I avoid talking about those, though i think they're the leading treatments used in LA public health clinics. The GC talk is the easiest since a lot of that ground is covered during the CT lecture.
What was cool, though, was I acutally did my first solo presentation on Sunday, and that went over very well. I had a crowd of 40 teachers renewing their credentials, one of whom teaches high school health, so I knew if I said the wrong thing, she'd call me out on it. That kept me on my toes. What should've been a 90 minute presentation went 2 and a half hours. It was a lot of fun, and i'm hoping I get to do more lectures. I won't be presenting at tomorrow's lecture (Herpes and Warts) but I will be listening in.
So thanks for asking. I am a geek. And I assume you are a nurse practitioner? That's defintiely an intersting line of work. I don't think nursing is for me per se, but I admire those who choose it as their profession. My mother and sister are RNs, but not NPs (though i suspect my sister is likely to go that route -- she's *awesome* when it comes to therapeutics).
okay, it's almost 1am and i seriously need sleep. and i'm sorry the rest of ST is being neglected because I come home so late these days. i'll be back soon enough!.
Well Gumdrop, from my view in WI you are a crane among a flock of chickens. I hold no grudge against USC, my mother-in-law broke me of that, advanced degrees in english lit and french. She did her undergrad at UCLA, then grad work at SC. After her husband of many years died she lived with us in SFV. I still laugh about our times together. We used to stay up late in her room watching old Monty Python & Fawlty Towers episodes. Laghing to tears. Strange what things bring people together.
Sorry if I go on again, I dont want to keep you up, and feel no pressure to reply, but I feel drawn to a kindred spirit.
When I was at UCLA I had 1.5 years worth of biostat in the SPH. It was great and I met up with some really super people. Broadend my horizons if you will as I very much still felt the only real research that mattered was done at a bench, with a thermal cycler, SDS PAGE simmering and a incubator full of cell cultures. I took a course series in health systems research (It was the professor, he was and is tops in my book, PhD in public policy!) and met with some folks at RAND, and in my own department doing some very interesting outcome based research. It may have been providence that my efforts to obtain suffecient mRNA from my rat myoblast - myotube cultures were yeilding poor results at that very moment.
Geez, I do ramble. I started to say a few of the students in PH were biding their time for med school application while working on the MPH, and they were great. I have no doubt the time in the School of PH will have shaped the kind of provider they became.
BTW - I your immunofluorescence slide was VERY nice.
Did folks really mess with your work in MB?That whole competative thing can really spoil the fun. It also starts some behaviors that can persist into med school and make things worse for patient care, or so I think. You know - have to be independent, show no weakness, smarter than that person, never ask for help.
The few really nice approachable folks in medschool based classes I took tended to be older that had gone back to school later in life. all the rest would just as soon slit your throat if you appeared to be a threat to them. Freaky. Happily alot has changed.
A dear friend just started her family practice residency in Boise, I took care of her and her family back in Idaho before we came here. She had a graduate degree in chemical engineering and a cush job with Potlatch. At 42 she decided to persue her childhood dream and go to med school. (I have always loved her and her family) She got into the WAMI program and destroyed curves in every class. She sent me and some journal logs, it was a hoot. Anyhoo she has 2.3 years of FP residency to go.
What kind of Dr do you want to be? My son loves life science but I am reluctant to encourage him to go into medicine. If he truly finds he loves the science AND the people aspect I would support him, with cautions. I have been trying to get him interested in protein chemistry and MB. (yeah right) I liked research so much it seemed biotech might be cool, but at times it looks like their corporate structure / climate is more screwed up than medicine and worse in some ways than academics. And I though my family was weird.
The thing that I love about this science is watching it grow. When I started practice there are so many disease states that have such a high degree of heterogeneity that I cannot see how they lump it all together. Then we get a new drug that has an interesting pattern of receptor affinity, and one subgroup gets some symptom relief, but dont give it to the other group! Holy S--- will you be sorry if you do. The amazing thing is, the more we understand some of the strucute in transmembrane proteins, the easier it is to see how a slight polymorphism could yeild the obsevered responses. Also the receptor subtype or drug affinity for different binding domains may account for these observations.
Whoo boy, I need to get out more...Could this be why patients eyes glaze over..Nah
I am glad the talk went well. It sounds like you had them on the edge of their seats. Didnt the single dose oflox tx get nixed there in sunny ca? For GC/chlamydia that is. Also how is the high dose single Tx azithromycin going? I like single dose treatment regimen but some Gm + have figured the whole macrolide thing out pretty fast. From what I have seen in sex workers abroad GC is sorting out cipro pretty well, but quinolones have always had a vunerabilty to aquired resistance.
I am glad to know you do look back on this. Helps me motivate.
Well this is your post for and about you, I swear never to post this much pent up nonsense again.
I turned 24 yeasterday and i feel ... craptastic. I woke up ill this morning. I saw it coming. I've been coughing and sneezing sporadically for the past few days, but today, I'm actually ill. I should be in bed, and I will be after I read over ST and see if anyone needs anything from me.
My coworkers surprised (or scared the bejesus out of) me at work yesterday. My boss gave me a nice bottle of wine, a skirt and a blouse. I guess she's tired of seeing me show up to work in the same t-shirt and jeans.
Last weekend, my friends came down from Berkeley to visit me. I took them to Disneyland, where we stayed till midnight. It was lots of fun.
I threw a killer party while they were in town. It was a lingerie party, and everyone showed up in their sleepwear. One of my guy friends showed up in women's lingerie. Very bold. My place is still a horrid mess and I don't have the time nor the energy to clean it.
My boyfriend's birthday present to me was a pair of tickets to see Jimmy Eat World play on Tuesday at the Glass House in Pomona. It was the perfect gift; anyone who knows me well knows that I live for going to rock concerts. It was great show; I'm glad to have seen them play in such a small venue.
Tomorrow, I'm going to Garden Grove to survey some Vietnamese people about alcoholism. It's a project for a class. I need to rest or I'll be too ill to canvass.
Happy Birthday! Dang it, I missed last years too.
Eeeek! I just read that horridly long post of mine. What a geek I am. I need to clarify one important thing tho...
I meant a crane amongst chickens in the larger sense of humanity. Not here at ST. Nothing but cranes here at Scarleteen as far as the eye can see (excepting yours truly <cluck> of course).
Send me a note when you are getting applications out for Med School if you have not come to your senses by then... I can give you the name of a helpful contact or two. Do you know where you are going to apply?
As if school hadn't done enough to keep me offline, there's a family of black widow spiders living near my desk. I should get out of my apartment before the bug spray fumes kill me. Same old crap going on here. nothing new or excitng to report. I went to a football game. I knew it was going to be boring (Even though my school's team is #1 in the country, they're really boring to watch), so I brought my GameBoy. Mario 3 is much more intersting to me.
Last Friday, I went went to present a lecture on STDs at a place called the Phoenix House. The Phoenix House is a substance-abuse rehabilitation facility (read: "rehab") in the San Fernando Valley; it houses a few hundred teenagers ages 13-18 who need help kicking their addictions to drugs.
Their program director called our offices to request a speaker to teach a class for the girls in their facility. I had just written a new curriculum to teach teens about STDs, so i was just itching to try it out, not to mention I love a big audience (they said it would be a group of 40 girls), so I took the presentation request.
When you get into social work and public health, you hear about "at risk groups." There are "at-risk" types, and there are at-risk types. I lead a pretty comfortable, sheltered life, but what I saw on Friday was nothing I could have ever imagined.
I arrived at the facility and my host led me to where the girls were assembled. On the way, I asked her about the facility, what kind of teens come into the program and so forth. The place was tidy with shiny floors. It looked like a hospital; it probably used to be one.
They weren't quite ready for me at the assembly room. I heard some yelling from inside. I sat down and showed my presentation slides to my host to make sure the photos would be suitable. There was more yelling, and i looked over to the assembly room where a young girl who couldn't have been more than 15 was standing with her arms crossed as the other girls berated her.
My host explained to me that the girl at the front of the room had tried to run away, and now she had to go up in front of the others and defend herself or get kicked out of the program. So all the other girls took turnsscolding her for trying to run away. Apparently this girl was a good student and making huge progress in the 7 months in the program.
The facility housed some 160 earlier in the year, but many had run away, so the number had dwindled to 91 (including boys, who were housed in a different wing). All of the residents in the program had extensive histories of substance use. They were mostly meth users, though they have had their share of injection drug users. Many of these girls were abused, had criminal records, endured prostitution or survival sex, the whole kit and caboodle. Most were brought to the Phoenix House by their probation officers, some were straight out of juvie. Not many are brought in by their parents nor do they check themselves in. The program director thanked me for coming to teach the girls, since STDs are a huge issue for teens who abuse drugs. She told me about a 13-year-old resident who has HPV. Then there are the girls who hook up with each other and sneak up to the roof to have sex. Another almost broke her neck after trying to jump out a window.
A nurse in the hallway mistook me for a new resident. This is what I get for wearing jeans and sneakers to work. I set up my equipment and the girls brought their chairs in closely. for most part, they were attentive (not any less than your typical high schooler crowd). They were smiling and laughing and pretty friendly. It's hard to believe that they'd have drug abuse issues. You'd never guess it by looking.
They were pretty engaged by the presentation, and pretty grossed out by the slide show (I don't even include the nastiest-looking slides in my teen presentation). Many of them have had the lectures before, so they knew about chlamydia and HIV, but they didn't know about a lot of the other STDs like syph., warts or gonorrhea. Many of them had questions, and it's hard to answer them all completely without running out of time (they only give me an hour to do about 3 hours worth of work).
With the girls sitting so closely to me, the subtler details became a lot more apparent. Their eyes were worn out, and you could tell even with all the eyeliner they were wearing. Lots of them had homemade tattoos. The girl next to me had her sleeves rolled up; I could see fresh, red scratches and cuts on her arm. I've heard so many folks on ST talk about cutting, so it's not news to me. But seeing it up close was something else entirely.
I had to wrap it up fast since it was their dinner time. I took a short tour of the facility and then went home (but not before forgetting where I put my mobile phone and keys, which almost triggered a pat-down search of all the girls).
The next day, I told my boss about how the presentation went (it went really well, actually). She cried when I told her about the girls. Neither of us have ever worked with substance-abusers. You have to be really emotionally resilient to get into it and not have your soul crushed. Not all of the girls will clean up. There will be runaways. There will be relapses. Many of them will be abused later. Seeing such a low success rate breeds futility.
Nothing works perfectly 100% of the time. If you consider only the failures, it is easy to get discouraged, but that one success can be enough to keep you going for quite a while.
I did a rotation in public health at a similar setting in the greater LA area, it was memorable at least. Calling it a "ranch" did not disguise the fact that it was basically a prison, but for the young men there it still was way better than the real jail option.
i just got back from a ski trip to Whistler (conditions were crap, but I was quite impressed with the small parts of Canada I got to see) only to be called home abruptly at 5:30am to take care of my dad because he broke his ankle last night. he's okay, but until we could get him some crutches, he was trying to hobble about the house and get to work. my dad is a stubborn workaholic who doesn't take commands like "sit down" and "close the office today" very well. he'll be okay, so i'll be able to go back to LA tomorrow.
in other news, i've finished my masters degree, which means i am now free to find a job. too bad there aren't enough opening for part-time epidemiologists. I need something super flexible because i am also studying to retake the MCAT. I did fine the first time (85 percentile), but the score expires after 2 years. So here i go again
i am now going to venture into the kitchen for a glass of water. maybe a cookie.
<rant> I'm seeing a lot of posts from girls saying they're afraid to get caught with their boyfriends because their boyfriends are a different race and they're get into trouble with their folks.
I've lived in CA pretty much my entire life, and that sort of thing is just so foreign to me. I've dated guys who are not the same race as me. My boyfriend's parents are different races. I don't understand why this is such a frightening deal for some people. Moreover, why is it only the girls who seem to have issues with it? I don't hear it from guys nearly as much. I've never been to the deep south, is it really like this? Is racial tension really that serious?
It's the 21st Century, maybe I have too much faith in mankind, but I would have thought we'd be a lot more enlightened than this. </rant>
I'm studying for the MCAT again. I'm stressed out and my confidence is hanging by a thread (that ovulation question I gaffed really did a lot to make me feel utterly incompetent). I'm pretty worn down from just taking the practice tests. In case you are unfamiliar with the medical college admissions test, it's an 8 hour exam, and it's not an easy 8 hours. Anyway, I need to decompress, so I'm going to be scarce for a few days till I can check my head.
the irony is, on my practice test yesterday, there was an entire passage of questions about ovulation and pregnancy. if i got them all right, i'll come back sooner. if not, i'll be on hiatus until i feel smart again.
Wow. Over the last 4-5 days, I read that entire thing. I feel like I'm peering into your personal life. Reading about you leaving your boyfriend actually had me in tears. Anyway, just wanted to let you know I'm waiting anxiously for the next post . I think I'm addicted now! Least your life is interesting. One question though. One day, when you have passed your exam and stuff, can you tell me what all the SP PH SH TVMDKIWN's mean? Most of them i get, like UCLA, but MPH? miles per hour? If you have a few...some day... Cool blog-y thing..
------------------ Advertising on Police cars...police cars...
On Saturday night, I got to meet Charlotte Hatherly of Ash. I love her. She's such a badass. Ash put on a good show as always. They need to tour the US more.
I got a trendy haircut. In a trendy salon. In a trendy part of LA. If you get the chance, check out Rudy's Barbershop in Silverlake. They can work miracles. Price wasn't too bad, either. $21 for a haircut; other trendy salons charge 3 or 4 times that amount.
I feel like such a rock star. Where are my groupies?
Speaking of rocking, I just procured a ticket for the U2 concert in Anaheim Saturday night. They're definitely one of my favorites, and they're getting rave reviews already by the LA Times and NY Times. It must be nice to still put out albums after 20+ years (they've been around longer than I have) and still be relevant. Do you think Good Charlotte are going to be around 10 years from now? I think not.
I have a practice test Saturday, and I'll unwind that evening with the concert. IT's going to be good.
..."check out the business school"??? But I thought you were studying... Ohh, I get it!
It sounds so very, well sort of plotting.
No wonder the stacks at the Biomed library never seemed to be populated by any available individuals, they had all gone over to the Rosenfeld Library (that is the Anderson School of Management library, isnt it?)
I am going to try to find you a hat that says "Warning; Graduate student on the prowel". Those poor business majors never knew what hit them.
hehe I had pals who would check out guys at the B-school. Business people tend to dress very neatly -- suits and ties and what not. And the B-school does have more men than our department. I tried to check out guys at the med school. They're all too busy with their studies, or they already have partners within their school.
But conversely, if there are any single male grad students out there, check out your school of public health. A VAST proportion of public health students are female.
Larry Summers might have something to say about the matter, but he'll just get jumped on for saying it.
Anyway, really, I do study about 8 or 9 hours per day. I am 12 days away from the MCAT. I'm shooting for a 34 or 35 this time (last time, I got a 31), and I think I can do it if I'm careful. With that said, I have some organic chem to review.
Test is over. The physics section was bitch-*** hard! Two months till I know my score. In the meantime, I am trying to get a job. I am also starting on my applications and what not, gathering letters of recommendation and so forth. I am also working out at the gym and taking care of housekeeping things. My life isn't very exciting, but it could be a lot more boring.
I got back from Coachella in one piece. ooh, it was good. I didn't think I'd ever get to see New Order, but I did They mashed up "Blue Monday" and that Kylie Minogue tune. Other highlights included great performances by NIN, the Arcade Fire, Sloan and the Stereophonics.
In other news, I had a disastrous job interview today. I got lost in downtown LA and was half an hour late. Running in heels tore up my feet really badly.
And other news, I started my medical school paperwork today. It's not paper, though. The process is largely online these days.
Though to be honest I wanted to go a lot more last year than this year. Darn travel costs and ticket prices, or I could have seen Radiohead and Muse and The Flaming Lips and BRMC, and alas, I'm still grouchy about not getting to go last year. Hah.
hey gumdrop girl --- hope all well with you, was thinking of you the other day and all you got to offer LA when you finish all your schooling. it's cool - hope all your exams went good...
big thanks though for the advice re. abusive partner checklist --- although i don't think my sister took it any further with any organisation it did start some kinda change... she's now back running their old travel business and not taking so much crap from my brother-in-law --- he comes in occasionally from the bar to tell her that she is doing it all wrong and she's too stupid to bother but now, she takes it but doesn't let it affect her and the business is picking up fast now my brother-in-law isn't there to sabotage.... so i don't know, ya know - things are changing and for the better. i don't think she'll ever leave him but i think just the realisation, the reading of the checklist almost gave her the ability to see the truth of her situation and therefore effect some change - it's good. so all the best to ya 'craney' (as barbarosa put it so eloquently???). cj
hey dailicious, coachella is pretty much worth the trip every year. i went 2004 and 2005. didn't see brmc. the problem with big festival shows like that are that some of the bands you really wanna see overlap, so you have to pick nad choose. this year, i had to forgo British Sea Power in favor of nine inch nails. but luckily, the bands that play coachella generally tour around again within the next few months. miss them at coachella, then go see them at the El Rey.
hey cj, thanks for the kind words. I'm glad your sister is feeling better. Too bad about the brother-in-law, but that's the trouble with being in these abusive relationships -- it's so much harder to get out than you'd think. Still, your sis is lucky to have your support, and i hope you'll always be there to give it to her.
as for my contributions to the county of los angeles, i'm *still* working my way through hman resources at the health department. they're stubborn and picky in there, and frustrating is an understatement. i'm trying to line up an interview with a project in acute communicable diseases. it's something in listeria control. I know i can impress the project director because i can almost guarantee I know more about listeria then any other applicant, but HR is really jerking me around.
in other news, i've been having some bad days. my mother's been biting my head off for various infractions like that speeding ticket i got last month, and hassling me about my med school apps, and some irregularities on my bankstatement. she means well, but i'm really trying to keep my head above water, and the real world is out to get me. makes me glad i have the love of a nice guy who knows just when to come bring me tori amos cds.
Im laid up this summer and basically stuck in the house. I had major knee surgery about 6 wks ago, and the recovery time is about 6 months to a yr.
Ive been visiting scarleteen alot since Im stuck in. I always read your advise and love to see what youre gonna write. I took the time today to read all of your posts in this thread. I feel like I know you now. Youre one strong girl!
Thanks for sharing all of this with us, as I feel like I myself and many others can learn from your life experience!
Hey Crayon, thanks for having the attention span to have read all of my babbling. that takes effort One of my biggest shortcomings on this board (besides occasionally biting ppl's heads off) is that I can't read anything beyond 4 or 5 paragraphs. If that. I lose my concentration quickly.
What's up with your knee? torn ACL? those injuries are on the rise in women. Glad to see you're digging on ST.
I was just wondering. If some feminists were irate enough over the spelling of women to replace the E with a Y, then what about menstruation? Shouldn't it be womynstruation?
Anyway, as for learning from my wisdom, always know to take it with a grain of salt. i know my biology. I know health and med because it's what I went to school to do. But life lessons? I'm still learning like everyone else. I'm definitely far from perfect. Just a few days ago, I was a total bitch to my ex, and now I feel bad about it. If there's any advantage to be had, it's that I'm going on 25, which puts me a few years ahead of most folks here. So I figure if they get this far, they can have a shot at not doing whatever stupid thing I did at that age...
In other news, somebody shot my car. I need to get it fixed.
Gosh you dont have good luck with cars, now do you? First someone breaks into in, now its getting shot... Seesh! Lol.
Anyways, I fell at work, and tore some cartlidge. They thought theyd be able to go in and do it arthroscopicly. But they ended up opening the knee and doing extensive surgery. They did a lateral release and a medial imbrication procedure. They took ligaments from my thigh and used them to replace the ones in my knee, and basically reconstructed my whole knee cap, and they moved muscle around to hold the knee in place. Needless to say its one BIG mess.
I am leaving for Thailand tomorrow. I'll be in Bangkok for 10 days just hanging around. My grandmother's 90 or 91, so my family will be taking care of her while we're there. Then we're going to attend my uncle's stepmother's funeral. Apparently she was a court lady and noblewoman, so she gets a royal funeral. This should be interesting. I'm gonna buy a bunch of stuff. Just stuff. Designer knock offs and CDs and software galore. And I'll be eating a whole lotta fruit. You can't get mangosteens in America. But no durian for me. Hell no!
When I return, I'll be starting my brand new job. I'll be working at LADHS again in Acute Communicable Disease Control, on a grant in their food and water safety unit. Specifically, it's a project intended to prevent outbreaks of Listeria in immigrant communities. Should be interesting. It actually pays well, which is rare in public health, especially with grants. So if I'm scarce, it's 'cause I've got a 9 to 5 now.
I'm in a hotel in Bangkok. The weather is good. I'm not too mosquito-bitten, don't have malaria yet. I'm thinking about my new job, and the irony that I'm joining the foodborne diseases group, and I'm in a third world country knowing ingesting things that are probably contaminated as all hell. But they're so darn tasty.They have over-the-counter trich medication here.
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