Friday, April 28, 2017

It's not over till it's over

This is my last blog post as a pharm masters student. This year has gone by so quickly and I cannot believe it is over and I really wish thay it would last longer. I have fallen madly in live with New Orleans and want to stay. Right now I'm still waiting for responses from med schools so we shall see where the road takes me, but im looking forward to what the future holds. Ive learned a lot about science, people, medicine, and culture. Jazz fest is this weekend and next so the coming weeks are going to hold a lot of excitement.
This month we didn't have too many formal classes so I had a lot of time to volunteer and shadow. One of the most amazing things I have got to see this month is a live donor transplant. Since I volunteer in TATU, I was able to shadow some of the surgeons and this month they allowed me to shadow a live donor kidney transplant. I was able to watch both the nephrectomy and the transplat and wish I could show you what I saw because it was unbelievable.
Another cool thing I am looking forward to this week is CDG day at Tulane. I will be working with children with rare genetic disorders while their parents come in for information about studies being performed here for their child. I am looking forward to interracting with the patients who will hopefully benefit from the studies that we are working on here at Tulane.
In addition, this month we all had the oppurtunity for soil collection as part of a research prohect that measures lead levels in New Orleans. Putting time towards ongoing research to benefit the people of the city was pretty awesome.
We had some really great seminars this semester and we just had the forty-fifth annual schüeler distinguished lecture in pharmacology where Eric N. Olsen discussed his research on "The Correction of Disease by Genome Editing: The Ultimate Precision Medicine" which was a phenomenal lecture. In addition I was able to sit through a few surgical conferences, so April really was a very informative month. Sad to log in hours for the last time, but I'm excited to see what the future holds.

Hours for April: 19
Hours for the second semester: 52
Hours for the year: 87

Friday, March 31, 2017

Ma ma march

March was pretty busy. Ive been doing a lot of different things outside of school. The way New Orleans has cleaned up post mardi gras is really impressive. I had another interview this month so hopefully I hear some good news soon.
I was able to do some shadowing and volunteering at clinic this month so that was pretty interesting and I feel like I learned a lot. I also took advantage of this great weather and did some park cleanup. The weather has been fantastic, we have had some good pool and beach days.
I inserted some pictures below from the park cleanup.
I honestly cannot remember what else I did this month, it seems like it has been going on forever.

Hours:  10

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

lot to do in february

Blogging live from mardi gras! This city transforms like nothing i have ever seen before !! Its awesome. The people, the culture, the food. Unreal. There is so much to do so many bands to see, shows to watch, beads to catch. I love it!! I also have somehow manged to catch a sunburn in the middle of February

, I can definitely say that is a first. 

This month we had a couple tornadoes hit new orleans pretty hard so most of my volunteering this month is from disaster relief. The resilience that I have seen in the people of new Orleans is unparalleled to anywhere else in the world. So many of these people lost so much during Katrina and barely came back and here they get devastated by tornadoes but still play music in what was their driveways, and come together as a community. I have never seen more of a sense of family in strangers anywhere in the world. 
I have added pictures of the devastation below to give you a sense of how badly things hit. 

Hours served: 18

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Is it really January?

I'm not entirely sure how, but I have made it to January. The new year. So fresh, so full of opportunity. We've started some new classes for this semester, including: cellular control mechanisms, and endocrine pharmacology. I think that cell control is going to be immensely useful for whoever is taking or retaking the MCAT this semester.
Getting back into the swing of things after Christmas break is kind of difficult, it's like going to the gym after sitting around binge watching Netflix and ordering domino's. Maybe that's just me. This month I didn't do as much volunteering as I have other months but I did get to do some pretty cool new things. I am still in the transplant unit, so in addition to volunteering as I usually do I had the opportunity to shadow the clinical pharmacist and one of the transplant surgeons.
Shadowing the transplant unit's clinical pharmacists was awesome because I got to see all the drugs that we've been learning in action. Then following up with sitting in on a surgery was great as well. What was even better about sitting in on the surgery was that we had just finished general anesthetics and surgical adjuncts so I was able to see the anesthesiologist admit and monitor these drugs. I enjoy being able to learn about something and then see it in practice. I look forward to new experiences this semester and definitely want to dabble in a few different things.
P.S. It's the last day of January and it's 70 degrees out. Winter is something invented by the North. I'm never going back.
P.P.S. We have a new president. (Stay tuned)

Hours completed for January: 5

Monday, December 19, 2016

Its beginning to look a lot like christmas

Fa la la la la, la la la la. I have landed in the big apple - amidst snow, visible breaths, and below freezing temps - after enjoying the 80 degree December's of New Orleans. Talk about a rude awakening. My apartment has been flooding on and off, my roommate moved out, and oil prices went up. Guess that basically surmises December. Markets are at an all time high, America preps for a new president, and the electoral college is being counted today. All in all it is a pretty busy time in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Last Sunday Dr. Busija threw a pretty killer holiday party at the column's hotel. Most of the class showed up and it was nice to be able to socialize with professors and classmates in a setting outside of the classroom. After one-too-many muffaletta's, and a photo-shoot session with the ladies of pharmacology (Mrs. Sanders, if you're reading this, we would love those pictures), a bunch of us headed out to spend some more time together.

Now that I have a little time off from schoolwork I will be educating myself in the art of baking, as well as perfecting the skill of present wrapping. My cat refuses to join us in the festivities and doesn't find her Santa costume to be pleasing. There's always one odd-ball in the family. What can you do? I look forward to coming back to NOLA, but it is nice to be with family (in short, intermittent doses), however I'm not too sure if I can ever live in the cold again after getting used to that Louisiana heat.

Till next year my dear readers, all 2 or 3 of you...

Hours for December: 0
Hours for the semester: 35

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


I say 'burrr' because things are getting chilly, or at least NOLA's version of chilly. I have to say, this weather is amazing, yesterday it 80's and we've had mid 70's most days this month. Going back to New York for Thanksgiving break was a little bit of a wake-up call. It snowed twice in the week that I was there, the cold was brutal to my healing pelvis, but seeing family and friends was all worth it.

This month I decided to do my volunteer hours during Veteran's Day. In the transplant unit that I normally volunteer at, we have numerous veterans, but I never realized how many. It was a pleasure to be able to give what small help I could back to these brave men who put their lives on the line for my freedom. I had the pleasure of listening to a few war stories (mostly from 'nam), and having lunch with some of the veterans and their families. One of the directors of the cafeteria organized visits to the veterans during lunch with little gifts they had made for them. I was able to help hand out these gifts, and however small they seemed, I could tell they meant a lot to the patients who received them.

In addition to all of this, I was able to join in on rounds with the residents and attendings, and was able to ask questions about drug regimens that some of the patients were on which helped me to understand pharmacology we have gone over this semester. November may have been one of my favorite volunteering months because I was able to see the impact I was making on the patients more-so than before, and attending rounds allowed me to learn more as well.

Hours for November: 3

Sunday, October 30, 2016


October has come and gone way too quickly and I do not know where the time went. This month I haven't been able to volunteer as much as the previous months because I have had a lot going on but the time I did get to volunteer, I enjoyed. I was able to see numerous diagnosis and different treatments for different patients. The more I learning in class about physiology and pharmacology, the more interesting it is to see what different regimens people are on. I'm very lucky that the staff I volunteer with are all very helpful and I feel free to ask clinical questions whenever I want. The hours I completed this month were earlier on so they have yet to actually see me walking so it is going to be fun to see their reactions. I am hoping that when I do return this week that I do not see any of the patients I have become familiar with because I hope they have all gotten well enough to be discharged from the abdominal transplant unit.
Since the hospital is undergoing renovations we actually have patients in the transplant unit that are from different areas like ICU, SICU, etc. so I have been able to see more clinical cases than before, and help more patients than I had been. Now that I am on my own two feet, I am excited to return because I feel as though I am going to be able to do more to help the staff and patients out, and expand the work that I am doing in the unit. I have noticed that the patients in the New Orleans area have many clinical issues in common and that hypertension, diabetes, and hepatic disorders are fairly common. Something tells me that the fact that there is a food festival almost every weekend doesn't help.
Aside from volunteering, I have been able to explore a lot more of NOLA now that I'm mobile again and I have to say, I'm falling in love with the city. There is so much culture, music, character, that it's hard to not love it here. The weather has been perfect these past few weeks, the humidity is low, it's high 70's and mid 60's in the evenings, there is no/little rain, so I have been attempting to do some studying outdoors and soak up the sun while I can. Meanwhile in NYC my friends and family are turning the heat on and wearing jackets and scarves already... can't say I envy them. I have the urge to go trick-or-treating tomorrow, but something tells me the med students/residents/grad students in Deming won't be humored by me knocking door to door in search of free candy. Alas, that is all I have to say for October. Till we meet again dear reader.

Hours completed: 4