Saturday, May 15, 2010

UCSF Graduation

Yesterday, members of the UCSF Class of 2010 received their medical degrees. Families cheered. Students breathed a sigh of relief and excitement. Unlike college graduations, there's a greater sense of commitment and responsibility, and an emotional ending akin to finishing one leg of a marathon. Medical school is difficult in many is difficult to apply to medical school, accept more loans, and journey through the clinical years before applying to residencies. This difficulty underscores the fact that none of the students graduating yesterday could have accomplished anything without the support of family, friends, and teachers.

Thank you to everyone, especially my mom and dad.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Match Results:

Preliminary Medicine at Kaiser Oakland!!!

Radiology at Mallinckrodt (Washington University in St. Louis)!!!

So HAPPY! :)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Infectious Disease

Finishing my rotation on infectious disease at's AWESOME! :) I am on service with fellow med student Elaine, whom I love very much. Our fellow, Sarah, is amazing and very nice to us. The cases are fascinating and the learning is plentiful. Today, we had a nice bread and butter case of C. difficile in the afternoon.

Monday, March 08, 2010


The hospital equipment in her room surrounds her like a safety net or a fortification. She sits in her bed at home wearing a nasal cannula and a face mask, the continuous flow of oxygen and periodic puffs of extra O2 streaming from clear tubes like invisible life lines.

A strange phenomenon surrounds Wendy -- she never seems to change. Four years have passed so quickly, and when I first met Wendy in the winter of my first year in medical school, she was 14 and recovering from a bone marrow transplant. She is my PedPal, and I have followed her through numerous hospitalizations. This fall, the medical team determined that Wendy would not be a good candidate for a lung transplant, and she went home with arrangements for home hospice.

When I saw Wendy yesterday at home, she had not changed. Her days are simple -- sleeping 12 hours per day, occasional trips to the bathroom, continuous oxygen (12 L), she is breathing relatively comfortably and experiencing no pain. The static nature of her routine belies a well-hidden unrest; she continuously roams the internet and watches anime from her bed. Her round cheeks-- vestige of prednisone -- has not changed much in the last few years, and she has always been extremely shy. I have always struggled to understand Wendy's development as a person caught somewhere between childhood and adulthood -- she fell ill at the age of 12 and has not attended much school since then, she loves Hannah Montana, and she recently celebrated her 17th birthday.

Like a fairy or a sprite, she appears ageless, frozen in time, forever innocent and forever young. What hurts the most is the realization that this illusion of eternal youth is cruel. As I pondered all of the things that Wendy might not have the opportunity to do, it surprised me to realize that of all the missed opportunities, it pained me the most to realize that Wendy might never have the chance to grow up and meet someone and fall in love.


Sunday, February 28, 2010

Back to the General

Starting an infectious disease rotation at SFGH tomorrow. Even though I had neurosurgery a few weeks ago, I am feeling a slight feeling of dread about going back to the hospital!

Yesterday, Paul and I used a Groupon to visit Cuvaison in Napa, it was a very good deal. We also picked up a wine shipment at Beringer (tried both tasting rooms) and enjoyed Hill Family Vineyards in downtown Yountville. I fell in love with Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery (especially the TKO!).

Friday, February 26, 2010

Baking Cookies

The rain in San Francisco was pretty intense this afternoon, but it seems to be easing up. In honor of the poor weather, I baked some chocolate chip cookies from scratch.

Will be starting a two-week infectious disease rotation at SFGH next Monday with Elaine! Yay! :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Needlestick Update 2

Six months passed by more quickly than anticipated, and i scheduled a follow-up appointment for the needlestick incident that happened last July in the SFGH ED. The source patient was negative, but since I had time, it seemed like the prudent thing to do. (Thanks, Iris!)

Occupational hazard of being a healthcare provider...or a student one!