Battle Wounds

Be ready for a joyful struggle and a comfortable confusion

The Let’s Make You Broke As Hell List

Its about that time of the year when my bank account starts looking like a deserted island with no hope. Back to school shopping always costs wayyy to much. I mean come on we’re broke students. This year, I need to buy more than the previous year.

1. A Backpack

I have not invested in a backpack for almost 3 years now. I bought a Swiss backpack when I was a senior in high school and have used that backpack for both my freshman and sophomore years of college. That backpack, although it contains many holes and crumbs, has served me quite well. So its about time to buy a new and STYLISH one. I’m thinking of buying the backpack below from amazon. It looks both stylish and functional. This backpack will cost me approximately $40. 



2. Textbooks

THE BIGGEST RIP-OFFS IN THE WORLD. I MEAN THEY ARE UNNECESSARILY EXPENSIVE. I can seriously count on my fingers the things that I spent over $200 on. For this semester, I need a biochem and psychology textbook. Thanks to a youtube video that recommended using slugbooks to buy textbooks, I know exactly where I’m going to purchase my books. Even with great deals my books will cost approximately $300.


3. MCAT Prep Books

What more do I need to say?  I estimate that the cost will range from $100-300 but I have yet to decide which books to use. I am really sucky at the biological sciences and verbal so if anyone has any suggestions for books to use, I would really appreciate it. For verbal, I’m considering using EK’s 101 verbal passages. Any suggestions?

4. Other school stuff

This consists of things such as pens, notebooks, pencil case, highlighters, and post it notes. Nothing super extensive but just the basics. This will probably cost me around $50. 

Oh well! They say you can’t put a price on education right? 



5 things I learned while volunteering in Kenya

I really don’t know how I feel about this experience. I had many ups and downs during the 2 months I volunteered at a local hospital. Here are some things I learned during that process

1. Medicine is more than just a science

This was a concept that was familiar to me yet I lacked the understanding of what it meant. At this hospital, I got to see the effects of financial stability, culture, and social expectations have on the treatment of a patient. Since there is no government paid health care or anything that resembles it, the patients are left to pay for their own medical expenses. This places both the patients and the physicians in a difficult situation. Most of the time, the amount of money a patient is willing to spend determines the types of labs and treatment they get. There is a lot I want to say about the effects of culture and social expectations on the practice of medicine so I’ll post an individual post soon. 

2. Kids get sick twice as much as the rest of the population

THE LINE FOR THE PEDIATRICS CONSULTATION ROOM IS NEVER ENDING. EVEN AT NIGHT! I knew kids get sick often but OH MA GAWD there are too many sick kids in the world. The experience of working with a pediatrician was always very different compared to working with all the other departments. This physician had patients all day every day and usually the most interesting cases.

3. Patient Management

“in order for the patients to see you as a GOOD doctor, you must learn something that is called patient management” -Pediatric physician

Patient management and satisfaction in kenya is quite different than in the states. Since the patients here are directly paying for their care right as they walk into the hospital, patient satisfaction is very crucial. The issue with patient satisfaction here in kenya is that the patients expect instant relief of their symptoms even if its just a cold. Thus the doctors are placed in a very difficult situation of having to choose between what science recommends for the patient and what the patient wants. Usually this situation ends with the physician prescribing very low doses of antibiotics or antidepressants just to keep patients satisfied. 

4. Self medication is on the rise

Due to the effects of patient management and independent chemist (pharmacy) shops, the somali population in kenya has gotten very good at self medicating themselves. Expressing symptoms such as a headache, mild fever, a cough, or even a runny nose will lead to someone consulting you to take the latest antibiotic or fever medication. The knowledge that the general population has on the different types of medication available is shocking.

5. IV fluid is the magic touch

Most of the time, the patients are just DEHYDRATED. So giving them fluids through an IV can usually make their symptoms subside. Its effective and affordable. 



What if Medical School was a Religion?

Medicine N' Stuff

Medical school is not a religion. Sure it takes over one’s life, colors one’s perception of the world, and makes for uncomfortable dinner conversation, but it’s not a religion. That being said, it is definitely like a religion. For instance:

First Aid

Flickr | coleman and caroline

This is your bible. I mean that because it is the book that will guide your studying, which for a period of time is your life. In the stressed and uncertain times of learning medicine from scratch, this book will show you the way to a good STEP score, and with it an iota of mental peace. You will memorize this book better than most religious scholars know their religious texts,and its pages will serve as the foundation of much of your lifelong knowledge after you’ve read it.


Flickr | Peter Ras

This is your church. For the religiously inclined, there is a reasonable chance you will find yourself praying here…

View original post 384 more words

Brazil Vs. Germany: The Chaos!

I was never a big soccer fan. To be completely honest, the only time I watched soccer was when I was forced to watch the Premier league with my family. Thus my knowledge of soccer is close to nothing. 

But I still tried. I still tried to watch and understand the world cup not because I was interested but because the ENTIRE FAMILY (DISTANT RELATIVES INCLUDED) were watching

And then this happened

He walked into the stadium with a number 11 Jersey and I was a goner. PLUS HE CAN PLAY! Although he didn’t show it last night. 

So because of this hunk and many more (David Luiz, Silva, Hummels, etc) I continued to watch the world cup AND I GOT REALLLLY INTO IT. 

UNTIL LAST NIGHT! Although Neymar was injured, Silva was out for the match I had a little hope. So I made a Dumb bet!

The match began and the Germans were on a RAID! And in 10 minutes, the score went from 0-0 to 0-5 in favor of Germany. What followed half time was a lot of crying and ranting. 

I went to bed and decided I wasn’t going to watch anymore humiliation only to find out in the morning we lost 1-7. 7 POINTS





Non Existent Motivation

Ramadan, World Cup Semi-Finals, Africa … The list goes on and on. There are so many things distracting me from TRYING to study for the MCAT. I have downloaded hundreds of files, spent countless of hours doing my research on the exam but all that work for nothing. Since I’m in Kenya with no prep books, I sit around on my butt and worry about how I’m going to find time to study for the MCAT during the school year. Instead, everyday I cook mountains of food, watch the world cup, and fangirl over Oscar and David Luiz (Brazil soccer players). It’ll be a hella of a semester trying to study for the MCAT and managing school & work but hey at least I’m enjoying my summer!

Chronic Hiatus Guilt

Too long that I can’t even think of how to begin. Too long that the idea of writing something meaningful is overbearing. Too long that beginning to fathom a topic to write about is too burdensome. Its too late to apologize for the hiatus but all I can promise is that I’m back and I’ll be around for quite a while.

Too sentimental? How about a piece offering worth a thousand words. Its beautiful and serene just as I wish our upcoming journey becomes.


venice (by samgaetz)


Shelf Exams

Funny quotes from my USMLE board review book

Quote of the Day

A little pick me up

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. -Winston Churchill