“I was like a dead person. And now I’ve risen again!”: Rwanda, the World’s Modern-Day Lepers, and My Journey into Their World

It’s been a long hiatus.

But from the time I last wrote, life has moved on, at an alarmingly rapid speed.

I met my boyfriend’s family in his lovely hometown in Florida, a place hithertofore thought mutually exclusive with the the word ‘lovely.’



I studied at increasingly longer and more desperate intervals for my OBGYN oral boards (that dreaded and infamous test where you fly to Dallas, spend a sleepless night in a fancy hotel you won’t be able to enjoy, and then cry and/or throw up after the test.) Continue reading ““I was like a dead person. And now I’ve risen again!”: Rwanda, the World’s Modern-Day Lepers, and My Journey into Their World”

03/28 - 15:17

Chief Surgery Resident Dr. Arghavan Salles in the emergency room at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, California, United States on March 28, 2015.

Fear Is A Superpower: Don’t Run.

If you look at the posts on this site, you’ll notice a glaring gap between the month of August and the month of October. Maybe you’ve wondered why. Maybe you attributed it to the inconsistencies and waxing, waning enthusiasm of a new blogger.

Fear is, in fact, what happened.


I’m currently the last year of my fellowship. That’s 2 years of college, 4 years of medical school, 7 years of on-the-job training: over a decade spent preparing for a profession that I’m about to officially, independently embark on. If anything, I am over-prepared. I should be impatiently chomping at the bit. I should be eager to move on.


I was – am – terrified.

Continue reading “Fear Is A Superpower: Don’t Run.”

“Doctor.” “Doctor.” Reviews on TV Medicine: A Young Doctor’s Notebook, And Other Stories

[This is a reworked repost on TV medicine from my old site, Everywhere and Here, whose URL my boyfriend told me in no uncertain terms that no one would ever remember. And it’s true: Call Me Watson is much snappier.

In any case, I love TV, and watch rather too much of it. Here, I’ll review shows depicting medicine on TV as to its relationship to reality, and proximity to entertainment. Enjoy!]



Those four words alone should pique your interest, if not promise a certain level of quality. Also, the letters BBC. And the names Daniel Radcliffe and Jon Hamm. And in fact, it delivers.


What you wouldn’t be able to tell from the above is that this is set in snowy Russia, and is based on the notebooks of Mikhail Bulgakov, a doctor in the 1900s during the Russian Revolution and subsequent civil wars. He went on to abandon his trade for that of a writer’s (a man after my own heart indeed), most famously writing the masterpiece, “The Master and Margarita.”


This BBC miniseries follows a new medical school graduate (played by Radcliffe), who aces all his medical examinations and therefore – this being Russia – is rewarded by being promptly carted off to the middle-of-nowhere (more specifically, Muryevo) to run a rural hospital by himself. Jon Hamm plays his future self, recently released from a mental institution for an unknown reason, both recollecting his story through his notebooks and interacting with his younger self. It’s surprisingly hilarious while being surprisingly dark, which makes sense, since it is produced by the British.

Continue reading ““Doctor.” “Doctor.” Reviews on TV Medicine: A Young Doctor’s Notebook, And Other Stories”


Letters to A Young Resident, II: Stop Apologizing

Okay, before you immediately start to object: this isn’t meant to be blanket statement.

There are times when you should absolutely apologize in medicine, medical mistakes being the number one reason to apologize, and well.

But for the majority of residents who are not psychopaths, and certainly among majority of first year and female residents, the problem is, in fact, over-apologizing.





As a Canadian, and as an only daughter in an Asian household, I understand your pain. Politeness to the point of discomfort is practically the mortar of my being. I grew up differential and soft-spoken. I lived within the rules set by school, by parents, and by society. When coloring, I drew crisply within the lines. And it worked well for a while: the quiet, nice girl who puts her head down and does her work well may not be well known, but she is certainly well loved (if and when she is recognized).



I would argue that medicine is no place for this sensibility.

Continue reading “Letters to A Young Resident, II: Stop Apologizing”

manners maketh man

Rx for Daily Life: A Guide to Gentlemanly Behavior AKA How Not To Be A Creep

This is a little change of pace from norm.

But I suppose it has some merit in a relatively medical related blog because:

  • I once read in some dopey magazine article on female nerds that the category of hot nerds is usually comprised of “girls who wears Tina Fey glasses and is probably in medical school.” (At which time, I was in medical school, still wearing glasses, extremely flattered, and clearly took this article to heart.)
  • Medical schools are basically breeding stables that corral some of the most intelligent and good-looking people around.
  • Doctors are both sexy Halloween costumes and a role-play thing.

So, would you, dear men of the world, be interested in catching the attention of a pretty and intelligent woman with an altruistic heart, who will go on to earn a significant, stable income, and owns a white coat perfect for public and private use?

Well with great intelligence and beauty comes a lack of tolerance of the uncouth and ungodly.

So here is a Rx for Daily Life: A Guide to Gentlemanly Behavior. Continue reading “Rx for Daily Life: A Guide to Gentlemanly Behavior AKA How Not To Be A Creep”