Sunday, September 27, 2015

Komen Saturday!

So yesterday, I was at my old hospital working the Komen table at a health fair with Ms.R, who's currently undergoing treatment for triple negative breast cancer. And the day was really wonderful, filled with music, great health information, and focused on the primarily Hispanic and underserved population that makes up the majority of the patient population for my old hospital.

While there I found out that the dude in the little Kmart suit that posed as my former Supv, had hired someone to replace me about a month after I quit and that that person had quit after only 2 weeks. And don't worry, I won't say much more about his mysonginst little arse (that hasn't already been said, then erased, LOL!!), I'm going to keep this post as positive as possible!!! But suffice it to say, that I'm not the least bit surprised!!!

Movin' on, I decided to pick up another student to tutor in Chemistry after realizing that I need it to make sure I also keep preparing for the MCAT. And I had a moment where I thought about how unmanageable my schedule is, but then figured that a VERY busy schedule is the life of a med student and that I had better get used to it. But enough about that, it has been a beast trying to get caught back up with everything after having the flu, but I have my last assignment for the week due later this evening and I'll be sooooooooooo glad when I'm done!!

Other news is that I'm going to a premed student fair at one of the top medical schools in the US next month and received my formal invitation about a week ago. To complete it, I was required to specify my age and I wish I could have seen the look on the faces of the people who checked the date after reviewing my information, LOL!!! Still I remain more focused than ever on my future Physician goals especially now that I'm getting an up close and personal look at the field of Clinical Informatics. And if I had to choose today, I'd complete a Peds Residency followed by a fellowship in Clinical Informatics. But since I'll have my doctorate in Health Data Science by then, I'm not sure how that would work out logistically since I'll have almost a decade in the field by the time residency rolls around too.

Lastly, I'm a HUGE Janet fan, so I'm thrilled to add this banger to my exercise playlist!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thanks, but NO thanks!

*image from bravo life coaching
So yesterday, I withdrew my name for consideration for the Health Data Analyst position I was recruited to apply for last week. And my reasons are: First, I'm enrolled in classes for my certification as a Health Data Analyst and I'm not willing to drop them to work full-time and for less money than I would make because I'm not certified. Second, my past job history has clearly shown that if I don't have an offer on the table within 48 hours of the last interview, than means that there's someone else this group would rather work with. And given that I'm usually offered the gig on the spot or within 24 hours of the last interview, I've got the wisdom now to walk away from situations (doubt) that have been disastrous for me in the past. And outside of a major decision maker being unavailable, I've learned from my own experiences as a "Boss" that I don't need to think about working with a person I "jive well" with at the interview. So I politely withdrew my name. Lastly, my career over the past few years has suffered from a HUGE lack of consistency and focus and now that I have it, I'm not willing to let it go. Especially considering that being a Health Data Analyst it's not by ANY means, my ultimate career goal, being a Physician with extensive training and experiences as a certified Health Data Analyst IS. Plus, I have this idea that I could create a great EHR one day, once I know what Docs value and need..............

Speaking of career focus, I met with one of my Profs after class yesterday to discuss my plans over the next year and a half, and I must say that it feels good to get some positive feedback for the first time in a LONG time. While he did initially question my decision to leave a graduate program in Health Informatics to pursue certification as a Health Data Analyst, after I explained that there were "gaps" in my knowledge base not being filled because most of my classmates were already Clinicians of some sort, he thought my decision made perfect sense. Along those same lines, the one major thing I realized in my last data gig at a major hospital a few months ago was that clinical/medical terms, how clinical environments operate, along with the nuances of patient care and patient data, is not something that should be learned "on the fly". In fact, it's the idea that most hospitals think that little to no clinical background is required or needed to code for things like medical records and EMRs/EHRs, that's the primary reason EMRs/EHRs don't function all that well in clinical environments. Put another way, not ONE of the 4 different EHRs I've used was written by ANYONE with a clinical background. Yet people wonder why they don't function all that well in clinical environments?? DUH!!!! Even with some of the data focused computer programs I've used, NONE of them were written with health data in mind. And over the long haul, I'm going to change that.........

So for now, I'm at home with the flu (in front of  a bowl of oatmeal, YUCK!!) while preparing for my first health stats exam due on Monday. I'm also feeling darn good about not only being in a good focused place where my career is concerned, I'm also excited about everything "medical" I'm learning too!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

'Bout D@*n Time!!!

*image of Viola Davis from the telegraph

I rarely watch the Emmy awards, but I decided to watch the Sunday night event to see Viola Davis win the Emmy award for Best Actress in a Drama series (and yeah, I KNEW she was going to win!!). But I didn't know she was the first Black women to ever win in this category. Really America? So lately, I've began to take notice of a quite a few folks who seem to be getting their professional strides in their 40's.......a LOT like I'm doing now, LOL!! People like Morgan Freeman who didn't get his first big acting role until he was 52 after 30+ years spent in the business. And yes, 52 sounds like the age I'm going to be in med school too. ;)

Then I stared thinking to myself, if they can achieve such great success being middle aged in Hollywood, which is by far the most fickle and racists "institution" I can think of, then surely I can matriculate in med school being middle aged since the odds they face are significantly greater than ANY I face as a middle aged premed. SIGNIFICANTLY greater!!! Not only that, my dual doctorate degree goal ought to still be doable too, I've simply got to be smart about how I go about things. And right now, being smart means making the most of my time which is exactly what I'm doing as we speak........................................................................................................................................................

Friday, September 18, 2015

Too good to be true??

With all the grammatical errors I make while blogging, it came as quite a shock when I submitted an assignment for one of my HIT classes and was accused of copying someone else's work. But then writing scientifically in proper grammar/English hasn't been a challenge for me since undergrad. None to worry, after I explained my background to my Prof he apologized for his error in thinking though he didn't change my grade on that particular assignment( he gave me a "C"). And being the late blooming gunner that I am, since my overall grade in the class is an "A", I decided to let this one pass.

Moving on, I made a LOT of progress in my MCAT Biology review this week. But I also dropped the two students I had been tutoring because I realized that I just don't have the time if I'm going to make getting accepted to med school and mastering Heath Data before medical school (and getting paid a LOT of money in the meantime) a priority. Along those same lines, I'm also interviewing for another Health Data Science gig after a local recruiter got my attention with a potential offer that I just couldn't pass on!! And speaking of gigs, I had an amazing week working with my kids and feel like I have a couple future Scientists among my students too!!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Getting to a more organized state or negative Entropy!!

* one of my favorite things in wedding cake, my favorite flavor!!!
So in my last post, I talked about the organizer I recently purchased to help me get myself together. And so far so good, but the other thing Whitney has (indirectly) helped me with is getting my notes better organized too. Actually, by her example, I know how to use colors in a way that makes sense.
Below, is the page I borrowed from her to learn how to use colors in a way that leads to better understanding instead of confusion (Whitney, I hope you don't mind me posting this page but if you do let me know, no hard feelings either way):

* Image by Whitney
Now I would be embarrassed to show you what I used to do when it came to multiple colors in my notes. But here's what I do now:

Now maybe for some of you, this way of highlighting makes perfectly good sense. But for a person with ADD (like me, LOL!!), it's real easy to get carried away especially with coloring!!!
And speaking of coloring for my birthday which was yesterday, one of the things my daughter gave me was a set of colored pencils and a coloring book of Indian images. It works well for relaxation/lowering blood pressure, but it's also also fun too though I have to wear reading glasses to do it. And here's my second drawing (and trust me you don't want to see the first one, LOL!!):

Lastly, I started teaching at a local school system and after the disaster that was the middle school science class I had first, I've decided to work at a bilingual inner city elementary school instead. Now it wasn't my intention to select a bilingual school though I was quite deliberate about selecting an inner city one (and living downtown makes this so very easy). But when I learned that I would be giving science lessons in English and Spanish, I decided to embrace it and chalk it up to God directing my path again especially since I hadn't been practicing my Spanish as I thought I would on my own. And once again, I had a really great experience though I kept my English/Spanish dictionary readily available too!!!

Monday, September 7, 2015

MY Life

"If you looked in my life
And see what I've seen..."

Whenever I'm surfing the net reading various blogs, I always wonder about the things people don't blog about. Because it seems to me that people only really blog about good things and that's disingenuous in a way because we ALL Have "challenges" in our lives, though most people who blog don't seem to be as open as I am about mine, LOL!!! That's also part of the reason why I'm rarely on Facebook for any length of time because it seems to be more about "Hey, I got a Bentley" or "Hey, my husband brought me 'Louie'", more than things that really mean something like "Hey I just finished Chemo" or "My kid just graduated tech school". But I guess to each their own when it comes to these things....................

So in my surfing for new and inspirational blogs to read, I came across this one from a reader I had no idea had started med school( Unless I have her confused with someone else with the same name, LOL). Her blog about being a medical student at Ross University is here:

Besides being the impetus for me purchasing a detailed planner with times ie 8, 8:30, 9 ect.,

*photo bomb courtesy of another teacup from my collection

Whitney is also absolutely GORGEOUS, not that that has anything to do with anything! But back when I was in school (30 years ago), women that looked like her and this young lady didn't go to med school, at least not from what I can recall. And that's no dis to the women who did go except that more than a few of the middle age versions of these women aren't that much fun to work with. But I digress, this reminds me of once being asked where people should look for women to recruit to enter STEM fields and I responded with the cheer leading and Pom Pom squads, which was met with a dropped jaw and bulging eye balls, LOL!!! But that's actually how I feel, though I understand that there are societal stereotypes to how STEM women should look. But fortunately with this new generation, that seems to be changing!!! You can actually be cute, wear nice clothes and perfume, be feminine, get your nails done, and it's all good (though more of the "fuddy duddys" need to retire or free their minds) !!!

Moving on, things are really going great in my HIT classes and I'm also very excited about the “gaps” in my knowledge base that are being filled. Unfortunately, studying Health Informatics without being a Clinician of some sort always left me feeling like I was missing something and while I did extremely well in the program (had a 4.0GPA), it was clear that I need something more. Luckily for me, I feel like like I've found that missing something by officially switching from a program in Health Informatics to one in Health Information Technology. That also means that I decided to leave my old school too and in too many ways to count, it was good bye, good riddance!! With all the issues I had in that program, I should have left a LONG time ago but more importantly, when my mentor left the program and my adviser didn't speak well of the “Asian” dominance occurring in the program, that should have been my second MAJOR clue to MOVE ON!!. But that tenacious/stubborn thing I have going on leaves me hanging onto things that God clearly warns me to walk away from, I just blessed that now I'm in a MUCH better mental place to do what needs to be done and have the unshakable faith that God will “clear my path” for me if I'm willing to pay attention and listen.

As far as my MCAT review, I didn't get much done last week because I had a TON of things to do for my HIT classes but with today being a holiday, I have time to get back on track. I've also decided to slow things down some with the Chemistry with Kimberly website since my schedule is already pretty jammed packed and as I've mentioned before, recording those videos takes up a LOT of time.
Finally, I did find time to visit a few thrift stores where I've found a couple items to add to my teacup and saucer collection. Here's my latest find:

I have NO WORDS for how much I enjoy having a cup of coffee or tea in one of the pretty cups, absolutely makes my mornings!!! Now I'll leave you with some of the best lyrics in R&B music, Mary's music has been the "songs" of my life for decades!

"Life can be only what you make it
When you're feelin' down
You should never fake it
Say what's on your mind
And you'll find in time
That all the negative energy
It would all cease.....
And you'll be at peace with yourself
You won't really need no one else
Except for the man up above
Because He'll give you love"

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The bigger plan!!

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

I had a moment on the commuter train coming back from one of my HIT (Health Information Technology) classes, where I realized that there's no way in the world I could have continued my studies in health data science while working on my last data research gig!!! ABSOLUTELY NO WAY!!!!

Then I smiled a BIG smile when I realized that for a while now, nothing good, "bad", or indifferent that has happened to me since relocating to (hot a$$) Texas has been an "accident" or mistake. In fact, I wouldn't change a thing about all the valuable lessons I've learned both academic and personal because I became more certain with each passing day that it will all come together to make me a phenomenal Physician one day! Yep!!

So after very carefully planning out my life for this Fall semester, I realized that I need to be very smart and deliberate about the schedule I set for myself. So with that in mind, I've only taken on 2 students to tutor, a Pharmacy student and an undergraduate Premed student and that's it!!! I'm also going to work in a local school system, though I still haven't decided in what capacity. It will be science oriented but in what way, I haven't made up my mind and I have until Wednesday to do so. I also feel like I'm finally in a good groove with the Chemistry with Kimberly website, which also doubles as some MCAT review for me too. Along those same MCAT lines, I'm taking weekly exams in the biological sciences after reviewing the new EK material too.

* Expanded work station, with the MCAT always on my mind

And so far so good, it's kinda weird to look at my progress on the MCAT which is pretty substantial given where I started over 20 years ago when I totally BOMBED the exam, following a night of partying :( And I often think of the kind of Doc I would have become had things worked out the very first time I applied to medical school and while I think I would have been a competent Physician, I think these years since that time of learning, researching, and learning some more, will make me a far better Doctor than I would have become otherwise. Throw in some terminally ill patient caregiveing, raising a kid with little family support to an Engineering scholarship, and earning 3 additional college degrees in the sciences, and I'm feeling like I'm at the top of my personal and academic game 20 years later! All I need now is ONE acceptance, and I'll take it from anywhere I can get it, to put all this hard work, patience, and time tested faith to work!!! Until then, I'm GRATEFUL for ALL the trials, tribulations and challenges that I worked through to get to this point!