Friday, March 7, 2008

Great Suture Lab + Dr. Creger Talk!

Hey all,

I really enjoyed both of these events, the Suture lab and Dr. Creger's talk at his house. I loved that the Suture lab had so many doctors helping us, so that each of us could get one-on-one time, even though the event was just one hour. Sewing sutures on the flesh colored sponge was really fun. It was great making stitches that looked like the real thing (well, mine were somewhat lopsided, still need more practice) It was the most interactive medical activity I ever tried! I also liked talking with the surgeons, who have interesting insights into their careers.

Listening and talking to Dr. Creger in his house was also wonderful. I loved the food you guys provided, the cookies were chewy. Dr. Creger is a very nice and witty person. We talked about the possibility of a single payer system in America, and also Dr. Creger's path towards medicine. It was a very warm atmosphere, I enjoyed it a great deal. I loved listening to his more literature-based perspective into medicine, a view that really forces you to rethink what being a doctor should be like. I also liked petting his two dogs, they liked attention.

What I really liked was that the SPA team was really organized, in sending us detailed location maps to each of the events. That really helps. Also, I really liked that you send us information about the single payer system beforehand, so that we will be prepared for the discussion with Dr. Creger. I love the constant newsletters, please keep that up, it really helps us! Thank you so much, you guys exposed us to so many aspects of medicine.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Beginning Suture Workshop

I just arrived back in my dorm room after attending the beginning suture workshop held in the Goodman Simulation Center at the Stanford Hospital and let me just say that IT WAS AMAZING! First of all, I was completely shocked when I saw that the ratio of premed participants to surgical residents was in the neighborhood of two to one. Instead of one or two residents walking around the room attempting to assist and address the questions of all the premeds, there was at least one resident per table. That made the interaction with residents much more personal and also made it easier to learn the skills. It was such an amazing feeling to actually use the instruments and practice the different stitches. As an undergraduate premed, the medical profession can sometimes seem like a goal which is incredibly distant and removed from my current life. This "hands on" experience brought the medical field closer to me in a sense and definitely rekindled my desire to pursue medicine. I am so incredibly grateful that I was able to participate in this event, and I encourage all Stanford premeds to sign up for future events like this one. Way to go, SPA!

Kimberly Conner
Class of 2011

Friday, February 22, 2008

Winter Quarter for A Frosh Premed...

So this quarter has been busier than the last, but it turns out that what they say about adjusting must be true. Despite having a schedule that somehow has me doing two or three things at once, I've grown accustomed to taking advantage of every free moment to complete work...

This isn't to say that I've become the ultimate study-aholic and stopped having any sort of life whatsoever. I do, on occasion, sacrifice work and all other responsibilities to enjoy a few minutes (or even an hour!) under the (sometimes) sunny sky (key phrase here: don't let unimportant things [like work] become important). I intend on retaining my status of not being sick too (I've been healthy since I've come to Stanford!).

Sleep has also become something I value and care for much more now. I actually sacrifice other things for the sake of sleep, instead of the other way around. I am maintaining a somewhat regular schedule of sleep that allows me to get (gasp!) over 7 hours of sleep per night on average! I feel must better for it - I highly recommend this activity to anyone who has even a single negative thought on their mind. Sleep helps you see things in perspective...

Speaking of sleep, I ought to complete my Sleep and Dreams Project due tomorrow so I can get to Sleep!

Ta ta for now,
Hillary Lin

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Thank you SPA for "To Be or Not to be" Panel


I just came back from the premed panel, and I loved it! I loved that you hear from a wide spectrum of speakers: a medical student, a surgical resident, a resident ready to enter fellowship, and an experienced clinician. You get these fascinating snapshots of how your future medical experience will look like. I really liked the panelists; they were really nice, and helped me a lot in understanding the medicine today. Dr. Garcia explained pretty well what always bugged me: why would med schools value skills as diverse as English lit to engineering? I liked that they did not just lecture; they made me think, ponder why medicine, why a specialty would interest me.

I also liked the food you guys provide (the lemonade and helpful flyers were great), and just the relaxing atmosphere. (And the premed friendly time that this event was held at)

Thank you so much once again, SPA rocks!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Happy Holidays~

Hey bloggers! It's Sunday, December 23, 2007, just two days before Christmas. W00t! (btw, w00t is the word of the year--awesomeness) I'm sure everyone is as excited as I am that this year is coming to an end, and that a new year is just around the corner. There are many events and activities planned by the SPA for this upcoming year, including the mentoring program and various new community service initiatives. If you've missed out this autumn quarter, it's never too late to get involved! For those of you who are new to SPA, this association has an admirable vision and a great group of dedicated students working towards fulfilling the vision (feel free to visit for more info!). I feel so fortunate to have found SPA so early in my college career. From meeting other pre-med students who share my interests and listening to advices from the experienced upperclassman to helping lead Health Fairs for the children of my community, I've already learned and gained so much from being part of this organization. So, thank you SPA, and thank YOU for reading!

Happy holidays from the East coast,
Steve ;-D

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Small Town Girl

Hello! My name is Kimberly Conner and I am part of the "herd" of freshmen on The Farm this year. I was born in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania but I actually grew up in a tiny rural town in western Kentucky. I applied to Stanford purely on a desperate hope; you can imagine my surprise when the dream became reality! Despite my obvious excitement, it was a big step for me to leave the safety and relative security of my hometown to begin my college education here at Stanford. Initially, the culture shock was a tad bit overwhelming, but I quickly came to embrace the plethora of cultures, beliefs, and backgrounds represented on campus. Now it's hard for me to imagine life any other way!
Since I was very young, I had a strong interest in the medical field. I was one of those children that would run around the house with their little plastic "doctor" kit and harass anyone they happened to bump into. As I matured, I began to realize that medicine appealed to me both because of the inherent personal challenge of the field and also the opportunity to help other people. This passion continues to be a driving force in my life as I make academic decisions and plan my future. I joined the Stanford Premedical Association because I desired to both give and receive guidance regarding my own journey toward medicine. I have very high hopes for the future of SPA and for my own future!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Fabulous Surgery Panel

When I first arrived at the Surgery Panel, I admit I wasn't really expecting anything remarkable - I thought the doctors and residents would be tired and impatient after a long day (and they all had long days) and that what questions would be answered wouldn't be any different from what I could Google or Wiki.

So this would be one of those times I just have to use a cliche and say I was proven wrong by a long shot. The surgeons quite possibly changed my life in the way they expressed how they change other's lives through their work. I was reaffirmed in my belief that being a doctor would mean haing a chance to make a serious impact in an extremely rewarding way. I suppose I'm one step close to being wholeheartedly embedded in the path of premedicine :)

What interested me the most about the panel discussion were the questions and answers concerning how the personal life of a surgeon is affected by stress and long hours. I myself am most concerned about this - how does one balance manageably the intensity of a surgeon's workplace with the complete dedication of a family life? I have to say that Dr. Jackler's response to this question sort of hit me with a sense of reality and hilarity: "I do make it home for dinner up to four times a week." This really made me understand the sacrifice of a surgeon in terms of a family life. In a situation like this, where you might be working 12 hours a day, your life could very possibly be overrun by your job. Despite the initial shock, I was relieved to hear that the amount a surgeon dedicates to work and to family is unique to each person. Even better - the best surgeons are those who don't in fact overwork.

Other questions covered during this hour and a half were those concerning life as a medical school student (Pass/Fail!!!), resident, fellow, and finally a full-fledged physician. This look into the true reality of a surgeon's life experiences was far superior to any hospital TV show. Now I know that, like how high school was a long yet worthwhile journey to arrive at the wonderland (mecca, heaven, nirvana...for some an endless abyss perhaps...) which is college, college and medical school and residency (well...this journey is a bit longer) is an adventure course towards the goal of a way of life and rewarding career. But I feel like I'm glowing too much writing about the panel so I'll leave it at that :)