Friday, December 17, 2010

5 Tips for Planning a Wedding During Residency

Shauna and Matey
My dear friend Shauna (who I met on an orthopedics rotation) recently married in the last month of her intern year. I asked her to share 5 Tips for those of you who are also planning your big day amidst the craziness of residency. This is what she writes...
-------------------------------
SHAUNA:
Planning a wedding during residency might not seem like the best
timing, but in medicine (especially in my field of Emergency Medicine) we know all too well that life can be unpredictable.  I met my fiancee in my fourth year of medical school, he proposed soon after, and we didn’t have much time to plan a wedding before our big move across the pacific ocean and to New York City for residency.

We wanted our wedding in Hawaii where our families still live and to have it in the summer (during my only vacation). The challenge was ahead... planning a wedding thousands of miles away during my intern year.  Sound impossible? I thought so at first, but it ended up being better than I could have imagined. Here are some tips that I picked up along the way...

1. OUTSOURCE, OUTSOURCE, OUTSOURCE.
As a doctor; you are probably accustomed to not asking for help and handling situations all on your own; however, this is not the time. There is no time to do it all, so I suggest you use your friends and family as much as possible. Get in contact with that friend from college who majored in communications, design or fashion and now, while you are working 80 hours a week, seems to somehow have all the time in the world. The one who is talking about the awesome art exhibit going on, or being FACEBOOK tagged while doing tequila shots at that new bar that you can never make it to.. This allows you to utilize your friend’s skills and at the same time creates an opportunity to see him/her . I had a friend who works in fashion help me scout out the best boutiques for wedding dress shopping, and she also did my alterations for free. Another friend, who majored in web design created our wedding website; and my chef friend designed our menu. Also, get your physically fit friend to be your personal motivator/trainer to stick to your wedding diet and exercise regime. Tell them that their help and time is the only wedding gift you will accept. Make sure to schedule any meetings about wedding details at that great new bar or restaurant they have been raving about so you can finally have a glimpse of their glamorous lifestyle while working on the wedding.


2. AS A PHYSICIAN YOU SHOULD KNOW WHEN TO CALL IN A SPECIALIST. 
It is essential that you hire a “day of” wedding coordinator. I initially thought I could get away without one, but I am so glad I eventually came to my senses. Most charge $1000-2000, which seems like a lot to spend for one day of work, but my day-of coordinator was worth her weight in gold. Talk to friends that have hired a day-of coordinator for their own weddings, or find a good one on yelp.com or wedding websites like theknot.com. My coordinator prevented many disasters from happening, and pulled together all the
details of the wedding day beautifully.


3. CHECK IN WITH YOUR FIANCEE AND DIVIDE THE TASKS. Often when wedding planning one person finds themselves taking the reigns, while the other partner may end up feeling left out or under-represented. You already have very little time with your fiancee as it is being a resident; don’t let the wedding become a third wheel. Even if your partner states he or she has very little interest in the wedding planning; give your fiancee free reign over aspects that they find most interesting. For instance, my fiancee could care less about place settings, or flowers, but he wanted to be in charge of the band, the play list, and the alcohol. Make sure that both of you are involved, and try your best not to let wedding details become a source of discontent on the home front.


4. YOU MUST SPEND SOME TIME NOT WORKING AND NOT PLANNING.
Balance is important; you don’t want to expend all of your energy on one day and hate the other 364 days in the process. Your free time is vital and limited; use some of it doing something totally unrelated to work, or
wedding planning to develop the other aspects of your life and relationships.


5. DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF.
Seriously, you work in an environment where people live and die every day, you have witnessed much more in the last few years than most people will see in their entire lives. Your experience in medicine gives you a unique insight that allows you to see beyond the minutia (to put the inner bridezilla at bay). Yes, you might be a type A personality; partially how you got through medical school, but remember your patient’s need your attention to detail, so let the wedding planning be the more relaxed and enjoyable part of your life.

In retrospect, the time I spent on insignificant details was not really worthwhile at all. I can’t recall what color the ribbons around my roses were. I don’t really remember what font I used for the program, or who sat where and how many forks each person had… what I do remember is the look in my fiancee’s eyes when I walked into the church, the words my dad whispered to me as he escorted me down the isle, and the crazy dance moves that my 90 year old great uncle bill threw out on the dance floor to “sexyback”.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Congrats to Shauna and Matey!
Thank you for contributing to HOSPITALstyle.

(If you would like to write for HOSPITALstyle send me an email to HOSPITALstyle@gmail.com)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Perfect Christmas Gift for a Doctor you know...

 It is that time of year again, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, filled with anticipation and holiday parties. Meanwhile, there are even more patients in the hospital and you are working extra hard with the hope that you will have at least one of the holidays with your family and not on call in an intensive care unit. What do you do with little time to shop? I think that for many of us, online shopping is really the way to go. And for the doctor-(friend, girlfriend, boyfriend, sister/brother, mother/father, son/daughter, fiancee, not really defined colleague) in your life I have the perfect no-fail HOSPITALstyle approved x-mas present.

Buy them a pair of TOMS shoes to wear with their scrubs!


The story behind TOMS (shoes for tomorrow) is that their founder Blake Mycoskie after a trip to Argentina decided to form a company that is socially driven by the concept ONE for ONE. He designed a shoe inspired by the traditional alpargata shoe in Argentina and decided that for every shoe he sells, that he will give away one pair to a child in need around the world.


I have had a pair of TOMS for 3 years and love wearing them with my scrubs. I have given them as gifts and they are always a BIG hit! We spend our lives helping people on a daily basis within hospital hallways, so why not help one more child while shopping for Christmas presents.




TOMS shoes website www.toms.com

TOMS shoes are good for the sole and integrate a great cause into your HOSPITALstyle. They prevent injury to feet, prevent disease, and allow kids around the world to go to school in shoes. The perfect Christmas gift for the doctor you love!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A 15 minute Workout fit for medical residents

We preach to our patients on a daily basis that an exercise regimen is an essential element to living a healthy life. I have partnered with my good friend and fitness model Amanda Russell to bring easy to do workouts to the medical community. Having competed in marathons and triathlons prior to residency, I know find that my workout is the first thing to go on an extensive to do list (on my days outside of the hospital). I no longer have time for the endurance workouts I have done in the past. Amanda's entire fitness message (The AR Program) is about achieving a runner's body without running all the miles.  Having worked out with her on many occasions I have come to agree with her vision of quality over quantity. Check out this video on a 15 minute rejuvination workout, that any resident can make time for. Also check out her website at http://www.amandarussellworkouts.com/. Glad to have a workout that can keep me and my HOSPITALstyle in shape. Thanks Amanda!



Thursday, November 4, 2010

5 Tips for Marathon Day

It is marathon week in New York City. The banners are hung. The race route scouted out. The city of New York is ready to welcome thousands of international runners and spectators. I will be working the medical tent at mile 24, so if you are around please come say hello! Having run the marathon in the past I have 5 tips for a successful and healthy marathon.

1. Avoid NSAIDS (like ibuprofen) which can precipitate electrolyte imbalances during high endurance athletic events.

2. Drink no more than 1 cup of a sodium containing sports drink every 20 minutes to avoid hyer-hydration and hyponatremia (low sodium) see attached post: http://hospitalstyle.blogspot.com/2010/10/hyponatremia-in-athletes.html

3. Pace yourself the first 13 miles (run slower than you feel you can, the good race depends on the second half). There are often pace bands that you can keep on your wrist and check each mile marker.

4. Increase salt intake 3 days prior to race (unless you have high blood pressure). Bring a packet of salt to take around mile 20 to prevent muscle cramping. You can pick this up at any local fast food establishment, or deli around the city.

5. Keep warm before the race. There is an area to throw off your extra layers at the start and they then donate these items to charity. Stay warm. Help others.

On marathon Sunday in NYC the best parts of the city are on display. It's sense of community. It's energy. It's inherent value of achievement.  It's beauty.  Run hard. Run fast. I will be there cheering you on!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Why higher suicide rates in Medicine?

There was a recent article published in the NY Times about the increased risk of suicide in medical students and doctors. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/07/health/views/07chen.html

This article displays the EXACT reason why I started this blog about healthcare lifestyle. The truth is we need it. We need balance.  There is an interesting dichotomy that while we are devoted to others, we often forget to take care of ourselves.  The stressors we face on a daily basis constitute a psych consult for ourselves.  However, there are many colleagues who are experiencing the same situations day in and day out to whom we can turn if needed.

Ever since reading this article, I am not quite sure (having been/going through) the process of the cause of this increased risk of suicide in doctors.  I have seen burn out, but I have also seen some of the most committed, driven, and intelligent people I have ever met who meet obstacle after case after problem with a calm demeanor.  Perhaps it is not the type of people, but the process which entails hours of isolated study, numerous examinations and continuous evaluation until your 30's, lots of medical student debt that continues to accrue despite earning probably less than minimum wage throughout residency, meanwhile managing your patient's emotions, sickness, and death along the way. 

Medicine is a field in which we need to prove ourselves over and over day in and day out.  There is always a looming lawsuit around every corner.  Our hours are irregular and often offset from the rest of the workforce.  Despite all these things, the type A personality, who is achievement driven can escape victorious in having conquered all of the aforementioned demons along the way of becoming a doctor.  And I truly believe that it is worth it. Maybe that means I am crazy, or maybe it means that I believe in the true value and calling of what our profession stands for and strives for.  Maybe the arduous road is to weed out those who do not belong among us, but at what cost? I think that we must do more for eachother.  We as doctors need to figure out why our suicide rates are higher and we must do something about it. Now! We cannot spare another colleague's death.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The ART of saying Thank you.

If you are successful, it is because somewhere, sometime, someone gave you a life or an idea that started you in the right direction. Remember also that you are indebted to life until you help some less fortunate person, just as you were helped."—Melinda Gates  

Thank those who help you.  Receive thanks by those whom you have helped. And the cycle of gratitude will continue.

One of the joys of working in the healthcare field is that we get to have a real impact on real people and are blessed with the opportunity to make a difference on a daily basis. On the other hand there are many people who have had an impact on us.  Our journey is long and therefore our teachers are many. Our attendings. Our residents. Our nurses. Our patients.  In the era of Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail we are often so busy that the ART of saying "Thank you" has been somewhat lost, despite the fact that it is easier. 

The ART of saying Thank you is taking the time to write a personal note of gratitude to someone that unnecessarily went out of their way to help you (I prefer hand written, but an e-card will suffice). The acknowledgement of their efforts can be best displayed by taking the time out of your own busy day to give them a thoughtful note. With your style and in your own personal way.

Each time I get a Thank you in any form, my decision to pursue a career in medicine is validated. I feel useful. I feel appreciated. I feel valuable. It is in times like these that I can say all the hard work and sleepless nights have payed off.  If we could bring back the dying ART of a simple Thank you, our world would be a better place. A place of kindness, communication, and gratitude.  I hope you will join me and incorporate the ART of saying Thank you into your daily HOSPITALstyle.

xo Kristin

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hyponatremia in Athletes

HYPONATREMIA: The most serious cause of exercise associated collapse

 A potentially fatal condition that can be seen in endurance athletes when their sodium levels drop too low either from hyper-hydration or from dehydration.

Dehydration = a low blood level resulting in low sodium content

Hyper-hydration = diluting the level of sodium

NORMAL 135-145
MILD   131-134
MODERATE  126-130
SEVERE  Less than 126

Too much H2O (water intoxication) can cause a lethal physiologic reaction where water rushes into cells including brain cells. 

Doctors can misdiagnose it as dehydration and mistakenly treat with IV fluids

How it happens:

During high intensity exercise, sodium is lost along with sweat. Athletes can lose up to 2 grams of salt per liter of sweat.  An athlete who only replaces the lost fluid with water will have a decreased blood-sodium concentration. Sodium balance is necessary for transmitting nerve impulses and proper muscle function.   

Consider a full glass of salt-water. If you dump out half of the contents of the glass (as is lost in sweat), and replace that with water only, the sodium concentration of in the glass is far less and the water is more dilute. This can occur in the bloodstream of an athlete who only hydrates with water during excessive sweating. The result is …… HYPONATREMIA


RUNNER’S PROFILE: Mark Robinson
Completed Boston Marathon at age 27
Drank gallon H2O before race
A cup at every drink station
Drank H20 after finishing race despite vomiting
Collapsed in parents home
Air-lifted to a Boston Hospital
Misdiagnosed with Dehydration, Given fluids
Was in a Coma for 4 days before recovering.



SIGNS OF HYPONATREMIA
Headache
Confusion
Nausea/Vomiting
Cramping
Bloated Stomach
Altered Consciousness
Swelling in extremities (fingers and ankles)
Seizures
Lethargy

FOR ATHLETES: HOW TO AVOID HYPONATREMIA
Use a sodium containing sports drinks during long distance (more than 60-90 minutes long)
Increase salt intake per day several days prior to competition (except for those with hypertension)
Try not to drink more then you sweat
During a marathon a good rule of thumb is to drink about 1 cup of fluid every 20 minutes
Avoid use of NSAIDS (like ibuprofen) medicines that contain sodium during event.


FOR PHYSICIANS: HOW TO AVOID PITFALLS IN THE TREATMENT OF HYPONATREMIA
Do not misdiagnose Acute Hyponatremia as Dehydration and give fluids and cause CEREBRAL EDEMA
Do not use Hypertonic saline in patients that do not have signs of CNS involvement
Do not correct Na greater than 4-6 meq/L and cause central pontine myelinolysis.


ACUTE
When serum sodium concentration falls rapidly
Over 24-48 hours
The compensatory mechanism is overwhelmed which can lead to cerebral edema and brainstem herniation

CHRONIC
Develops over more than 48hrs
Experience milder degrees of cerebral edema for a given serum sodium level
Brainstem herniation has not been observed
The causes of morbidity and death are status epilepticus (when chronic hyponatremia reaches levels of 110 mEq/L or less) and central pontine myelinolysis when corrected improperly.

The distinction between ACUTE hyponatremia and CHRONIC hyponatremia has critical differences in proper corrective therapy.

Acute evolution of hyponatremia (as in marathon runners and high endurance athletes) leaves little opportunity for compensatory extrusion of CNS intracellular solutes.

Hypertonic saline (3%) on a rare occasion may be used to rapidly increase serum sodium level in patients with severe acute or chronic hyponatremia if manifested by severe confusion, coma, seizures, or evidence of brainstem herniation
An increase of 4-6 mEq/L over a few hours is sufficient. Further correction is dangerous and must be avoided unless necessary to correct continued seizures or other severe CNS abnormality

Equation for use of Hypertonic Saline.
Required volume = (Na desired - Na current)(TBW) / (Na Fluid- Na Current)



Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fall Fashion Trends




The Streets of NYC have been full of fashion this week with the slightly cooler weather. College football bars are packed with fans watching games, and ladies are beginning to debut their boots. This can only mean one thing... fall is here! Here are two of my favorite new fall trends.

The toggle coat/sweater (I prefer to call them Sabre-tooth button coats) is a rustic overlay to whatever your outfit might be. Also the boots with knee-high socks. I prefer this look with short boots, but it can still be rocked with mid-length boots as well.

These looks aren't exactly suitable for the hospital hallways, but take advantage of my two new favorite fall trends on the weekends and your days full of OUT of the HOSPITALstyle.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fashion's Night Out of the HOSPITAL


Hope you were able to partake in the second annual Fashion's Night Out! It was difficult to find a taxi in the city, and that can only mean one thing... Lots of people were out and about. Thankfully I had the night off from the hospital and was able to attend a couple of great events on Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue.  The streets of New York were full of style. A special thanks to my friends (Sing, Courtney and Jo), to Lauren Hutton for her fabulous talk about all her adventures and to the managers, the PR team and staff at the Armani store on Fifth Avenue for all the hospitality!




Friday, September 10, 2010

Fashion's Night Out...A reason to shop!

If you are like me, you do not need a good reason to shop. But if you do tonight is the night. This is the second annual event that was thought up by Vogue editor Anna Wintour in hopes to re-inspire the community at large and to get us excited about fashion post-recession. A percentage of the proceeds of the Fashion's Night Out Apparel with go to the New York City AIDS Fund.

Check out the collection here. http://www.fashionsnightout.com/collection/

This event creates a buzz in the city that never sleeps and a great way to kick off fashion week.  Go to the following website to plan out your evening. http://www.fashionsnightout.com/
 
Stores will have discounts, DJ's, food, wine, and there will be leaders in the Fashion Industry all about so keep your eyes open for a run in with Michael Kors or other top designers and the celebrities who love their clothes.

Founded in 1989, the New York City AIDS Fund (the AIDS Fund) has successfully increased private funding to fight the AIDS epidemic and the spectrum of HIV illness at the community level and strives to improve the coordination and targeting of those resources in the City.  It is dedicated to helping community groups provide vital programs and implement advocacy efforts that address the local HIV/AIDS epidemic. 

I am starting in Soho around 5 pm and then heading uptown to some events on Madison Avenue later on.  Hope to see you and your out of the HOSPITALstyle there!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

New York Fashion Week Fall 2010

It is that time again for Fashion Week in New York City. An exciting time when all the fashion mavens of the world flock to our beloved city to celebrate/debut new collections, new inspiration, and new style.  Meanwhile we are busy seeing patients in the hospital hallways.  The good news is... 80% percent of our time we are wearing scrubs, which means that 20% of the time we can wear whatever we want.  Our work wardrobe costs are low, so we can maximize the rest of it on fashion fabulousness!

    http://newyork.mbfashionweek.com/home
    September 9-16, 2010

Stay tuned for Fashion Week news in case you are post-call and are able to attend some of the events! HOSPITALstyle will feature some new fall street wear looks for you to rock on the street on the way to the hospital, or on your night off out on the town.

Friday, September 3, 2010

And who are you wearing to the HOSPITAL?


So fashion designers have a new market and it is that of patients in hospitals everywhere.  Instead of the typical question "So what are you here for?" it will now be more like "And who are you wearing?" Please check your Louis Vuitton bag at the door... but no worries it can be traded for a Diane Von Furstenberg designer hospital gown. No this is not the Oscars, this is not your wedding, this is not the fundraising event of the year.  It is time for your colonoscopy.  At least you will look fabulous while you get that rectal exam you have always wished for.  After all, you should dress your best for all big moments in life.  I am not sure if it will take off, but I guess I should support it. After all this blog is titled HOSPITALstyle and I suppose that is all DVF is trying to bring to Cleveland.



Take a look.....
 
http://pagingdrgupta.blogs.cnn.com/2010/08/24/von-furstenbergs-non-runway-project-haute-hospital-gowns/?hpt=T2

Looks like a modified wrap dress if you ask me.
Would you wear a designer hospital gown?

A special thanks to Dr. Roberson for bringing this to my attention!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

HOW TO survive the ER

I see it every day. The crowds. The chaos. The waiting. The emotion. The absurd environment that could only come from a place where you can literally walk in from the street and into the emergency department. This place is my home and these people are my best friends and family.  And then there are the patients (for whom we do what we do). I think all of these things about the emergency department and it is my home. What do they think of my home? They probably think it is somewhere they hope to never return.  I decided to come up with a HOW TO GUIDE of surviving a visit to the EMERGENCY ROOM.
  • If you are having an emergency please come to the ER
  • If it is something you are scared might be dangerous/life-threatening it is our job to verify that
  • If you have a cold, stay home and get some rest
  • If you are on medications, please bring a list of them with you
  • If you have allergies to medications please let everyone know
  • Bring a book, magazine, blanket, laptop to occupy yourself
  • Expect to wait a very long time (then you can be surprised if it is fast)
  • Expect us to disappear (we constantly assess who is in MORE immediate need of our attention, this is not based on popularity, but on severity of condition)
  • There will be a lot of noise, so bring ear plugs or an ipod
  • If you cannot find us we are probably in one of three places (bathroom, snarfing our lunch, or in a resuscitation room tending to a very sick patient)
  • You will have some entertainment from your fellow patients (expect the unexpected)
  • We might not let you eat or drink (in case you need a procedure) We do this for YOUR safety.
  • You will see us laugh, and joke, and seem quite relaxed at times but it is because we have learned to function as normal in this CRAZY environment
  • You might feel as if our time with you is short. We would like to have more time with you and be interrupted less, but that is the nature of dealing with emergencies (they are never at a good time, and never expected)
  • It is a pleasure to be your doctor
  • Thank you for visiting my home

Monday, August 30, 2010

HOSPITAL transport by TAXI ?

Since 2008, the New York Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) has been seeking the “Taxi of Tomorrow.” The Big Apple is looking for ideas on how to upgrade its existing taxi fleet to “more appropriately reflect the needs of its diverse stakeholders – passengers, drivers, owners and NYC residents.” The official request-for-proposals (RFP) closed on May 27 and the winning design is set to be announced sometime in October.

I recently had a discussion with CEO and founder of the Australian company Unicar, Chris Burrell, about his role in the competition. His team's new design is all about integrating accessibility for people with disabilities, function, biofriendly mechanisms, and usefulness in situations of mass casualty for hospital transport. 

Their base versions will be high-occupancy vehicles (ie, 7 seaters) and driven by a low-emission Flex-Fuel engine able to operate on either biofuel mix or LPG. Unicar estimates that by 2011, as the technology becomes available, they be fully hybrid electric vehicles.

On a daily basis there are stories of women giving birth in and patients arriving to New York City Emergency Departments by way of a yellow cab.  The changes that Unicab has instituted would allow for more space, even large enough to transport gurneys in case of a mass casuality event.  Cab drivers will be required to be trained in CPR and AED's will be incorporated into the vehicles in case of cardiac arrest.

Utilitization of Taxi's in medical transport could be beneficial to all New Yorkers and the millions of tourists who visit each year.

Check out all the designs at www.taxioftomorrow.com

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Living In Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders



Dying to see this documentary about Doctors Without Borders.  Check out the video as well as the following links.  I can only imagine what it must be like dealing with emergencies in these conditions! My hat goes off to these amazing individuals who make me proud to say I am in their chosen profession.  They truly do not need a guide to saving lives with style...

www.livinginemergency.com

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/30/movies/30doctors.html?_r=1

Let me know if you have seen it and what you thought!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Volunteer for the 2010 ING NYC Marathon

Anyone interested in volunteering for the 2010 ING New York City Marathon Medical Team? If you are not running, then this is a great way to be a part of my favorite day of the year in New York City.

Sunday November 7, 2010

Contact Sidnei Beal with New York Road Runners
sbeal@nyrr.org

Or visit the volunteer website @
www.nyrr.org/medvol 


If you are running GOOD LUCK with all of your long runs!! 

 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What is your HOSPITALstyle?

Ok. Enough about my HOSPITALstyle...what is yours?? Send me your pictures of you at conference...in your scrubs...with your favorite shoes....in your white coat....post call....with your colleagues.  Best photos will be featured on the blog!

 Email them to me at HOSPITALstyle@gmail.com

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

HOSPITALstyle in Spanish (La cara)

Back this week with some more Spanish vocabulary to spice up your conversations in the hospital...




ANATOMY: Focus on the FACE (La cara)

Eyes                                  Los ojos (el ojo)

Mouth                               La boca 
 
Lips                                  Los labios
 
Teeth                                Los dientes (el diente)

Nose                                 La nariz

Tounge                            La lengua

Throat                             La garganta

Ears                                 Las orejas

Inner Ear                         El oido

Eyelashes                        Las pestanas

Gums                             Las encias

Tonsils                           Las amigdalas

Eyebrows                       Las cejas

Forehead                        La frente

Skin                                La piel

Pupil                              La pupila

Eyelid                            El parpado

Hair                                El pelo

Cheek                            La mejilla

Chin                              La barbilla

Temple                         La sien

Nostril                          La ventana de la nariz

Jaw/Mandible              La mandibula

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Guide to Choosing a Specialty

It is that time a year again when thousands of medical students begin the residency application process for their chosen specialty.  Years of medical school and rotations have been spent trying to evaluate and pick which specialty is right for you and your abilities.  In having done this myself and having seen many medical students go through the process I have a few recommendations on deciding and realizing which specialty is The One for you. This process is a lot like dating.  Therefore you must kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince/princess.

1. Surgical or non-surgical (Are you good with procedures? do you like them?)
2. Which rotations in your third year of medical school did you like the most?
3. What is the lifestyle you want to lead?
4. Which specialty makes you want to read everything there is about it?
5. Which rotation made you most excited to get up and go to the hospital (even at 4:30 am)?
6. Which kind of attendings do you respect and wish to be just like?
7. Disregard the lives of the residents (residency is temporary: at least that is what I keep telling myself).
8.  Make your decision on the life of the attending and what it is like.
9. Who is happiest?
10. What kind of money do you want to make?
11. Where do you want to live/work (salaries differ based on areas of the country)?
12. Know that once you begin it his hard to switch (Think Carefully).
13. Find a Mentor in your field of interest.
14. Private practice vs hospital based.
15. Scrubs vs street wear (Obviously the most important..haha! Will dictate your HOSPITALstyle).

Choosing a specialty is one of the most important decisions you will make in your life and career as a doctor.  Take time to work in whichever specialty you are interested in. Befriend a resident and an attending in that field with whom you can have open and candid discussions about the positives and negatives of their specialty. Deciding early can put you at an advantage in the application process. It is true that you must kiss a lot of frogs, but it is worth it when you find the specialty you were meant to be in. Feel free to email me with any questions at HOSPITALstyle@gmail.com. Best of Luck!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

HOSPITALstyle: Best NYC coffee shops for studying



There is one thing that is certain when you choose to go into medicine. You will be studying. A lot. For MCAT's. For Medical School. For rotations. For USMLE. For Residency. For Inservice Exams. For Boards. For life. These are all reasons to find great places to study. Sure there is a Starbuck's on every corner and now with free wifi it always a great option. But for those of you with a bit more of an adventurous taste in coffee shops, who live in the NYC area, I have a few to recommend.

The Grey Dog's Coffee
http://thegreydog.com/
90 University Place (just south of union square)

Mojo Coffee
http://www.mojo-nyc.com/
128 Charles Street

Think coffee
http://www.thinkcoffeenyc.com/
248 Mercer Street
(between 3rd and 4th Streets)

Via Quadronno
http://viaquadronno.com/index_nm.html
25 East 73rd Street
(73rd and Madison, Upper East Side)

Studying is a known constant in the ever-changing world of medicine. Find a great place to study and that is half the battle. See you there!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

HOSPITALstyle on Attitude

With the new year on the horizon, I reflect on my intern year with a lot of hours under my belt. I certainly learned a lot, made new friends, and hopefully helped some people along the way. That is the point of this all right? I think it all boils down to one trait that can make you or break you as a resident. Attitude. It is reflected in how you speak with your patients, in how you speak with your colleagues, in the sacrifices you make, in the way that you approach each day and each new challenge that is revealed. Attitude dictates your work ethic and what you bring to your hospital. Is it with a willing smile? or with a grumble along the way? It is not an easy task to work a lot of hours in very intense environments without a few moments of discouragement and an imperfect attitude. However, if you make it a goal to dictate your attitude everyday you will be a positive force in whichever hospital corner you keep. Work on!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

HOSPITALstyle Feature: Cape Clogs


Style at work? Who has time? If you are like me and wear your scrubs day in and day out, you start feeling like the private school kid that is always jealous of those public schools (where they got to wear whatever they want). However, there is always a little something you can do to show your own individual personality and HOSPITALstyle . It can easily be done with your shoes.

This week I am featuring a company called
Cape Clogs.
They have a variety of FABULOUS Swedish clogs with original designs and just a little something to put your style back into the step of the hospital hallway.

www.capeclogs.com

Average price 85.00

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Travel to Colorado with HOSPITALstyle

Growing up in Kansas, the mountains of Colorado were the picture of an idyllic vacation. I have always felt very connected to the mountains and I recently found this great article from The Denver Post about 10 Things To Do in Colorado Before You Die. If you have vacation coming up or have never been, I suggest you go. Escape the Hospital to Colorado...

Check it out!

http://www.denverpost.com/style/ci_5054084

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Creating community in your department with HOSPITALstyle


Each of us in the healthcare industry has a different role in the big machine we call the world of medicine. But we all have the responsibility to fill those roles to the best of our ability. We are nurses, doctors, medical assistants, receptionists, etc. Generally though, like in high school, we tend to travel in groups/cliques. The surgeons stick with the surgeons. The emergency department never escapes it. However, long hours and challenging situations call for us to be teammates for the best interest of our patients. And in this setting, the people we work with become our mentors, our best friends, and our family.

This article is devoted to creating community within our departments and in our hospitals. I am going to include several ideas to bring fun and a sense of belonging to whichever group you are a part of.

It is important to create tradition

Just like in your own family, you have certain things you do on holidays that you would never think of changing. And they are events that everyone looks forward to.

- Create a department calendar on your MAC (iphoto) of pictures that include everyone

- Holiday parties. Need I say more.

- Slide show to sum up and to celebrate success

- Football (For example TEAM URGENT CARE vs TEAM ACUTE CARE, TEAM ATTENDINGS vs. TEAM RESIDENTS) (Have not done this but think it would be awesome!)

-Sweatshirts/Jackets. Just like any team, wearing something to represent that you are part of a group identity

-Regularly scheduled group events like bowling, skating (pic above is of me and my colleagues on resident appreciation day), rock-climbing, snowboarding, beach days, etc.

The bottom line is that when work= family=friends=fun you look forward to going. As healthcare professionals we must rely on each other for support as it is hard for the outside world to truly understand what we do.

Would love to hear your ideas/comments on ways you build community in your department.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

HOSPITALstyle in Spanish



The current statistics in the United States stand that over 34 million people speak Spanish as their primary language. Obviously areas like California, New Mexico, Texas, New York City and Miami are more heavily populated with Spanish speakers. I have had a lifelong obsession with the Spanish language. This all began with speaking to Taxi drivers while vacationing with my family in Mexico as a kid. This turned into much travel in Latin America and obtaining degrees in Spanish and International Studies (concentration on Latin America) in college. It was a big dream of mine to combine my love of medicine and Spanish one day.



That day is NOW and I find that being able to speak Spanish is such an advantage in the Emergency department at my hospital and in any healthcare environment. This is why I am making a commitment to you all to better our communication in our hospitals in SPANISH.



This will be the first of many postings of Spanish phrases and vocabulary words that are essential and helpful in any area and in doing any task throughout your hospital and mine.



I will be better. You will be better. Our patient’s care will be better.



Vámos! (Let’s Go!)




QUESTIONS


Hi. How are you? (Hola. Como esta usted?)


How are you feeling? (Como se siente?)


What is your name? (Cual es tu nombre?)


My name is doctor (Mi nombre es doctor/doctora ______ )


It is nice to meet you. (Me da mucho gusto conocerlo.)


How can I help you? (Como puedo ayudarle?)


What brings you in today? (Que lo trae por aquí?)


Do you have any allergies? (Usted tiene alergias a medicina?)


What medications do you take? (Que medicina toma?)


Do you have any medical problems? (Usted tiene problemas de salud?)


Where do you have pain? (Donde le duele?)





USEFUL VOCABULARY WORDS




El derecho (Right)


El izquierdo (Left)


El cuerpo (Body)


El dolor (Pain)


La medicina (Medicine)


La mujer (Woman)


El hombre (Man)


El apellido (Last name)


Muchas Gracias (Thank you)


De nada (You’re welcome)


Por Favor (Please)


La enfermera (Nurse)




Email me if you need any help with pronunciation. HOSPITALstyle@gmail.com


Friday, May 28, 2010

For all my gals...with HOSPITALstyle

Sorry gentleman, but this post is for the ladies. In honor of the movie release of "Sex and the City 2" this week, I am taking an opportunity to talk fashion and style with my gals in healthcare who have been confined by their scrubs day in and day out for far too long.

The good news is that there is no need to invest our hard earned dollars on work wear, but instead on fabulous attire for nights out on the town that we so desperately deserve. Right ladies?

First, my new favorite site is
www.renttherunway.com

This biz was started by two Harvard Business School graduate students six months ago. It is operated out of a Dry Cleaner's in NYC. This is how it works...


1. Log in to your account
2. Peruse the designer dresses
3. Rent a dress/accessories
4. They send you two sizes for 4 days
5. You return the dress in an already
addressed envelope

This concept is amazing.

No more need to buy expensive dresses that you will wear only once. Just rent it. Whether you are in residency, medical school, or just trying to save up for something else this site is a godsend.




Also check out Gilt Groupe (This site is for the GUYS too!)
www.giltgroupe.com


Started by a team (one a founding member of eBay, the other an integral member of the fashion industry). Gilt Groupe will send you daily emails on discounted designer collections, luxury vacations, and exciting events in NYC. You need an invitation to become a member, so email me at HOSPITALstyle@gmail.com and I will get you on the list.


Happy Shopping!