Sunday, April 30, 2017

Last Post!

This month is a sad month in my opinion. We had our last exam this week and it is nice to be done with exams for a while. I can't believe it's over, it went by so fast. I learned so much this past year and this program made me so eager to start medical school one day. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to participate in this amazing program. One of the things i'll miss the most about this program are my classmates. We all have gotten so close in this past year, it is crazy. I've definitely made some life-long friends here in New Orleans. However, I'm not ready to leave NOLA yet, so I am working with CityYear next year so I can stick around in this amazing city. 

I've still been volunteering in the Neurology ICU for this month. I find the stroke unit so fascinating. We learned about strokes briefly in Principles of Pharmacology but when you see someone post-stroke and see how it effects them, is very interesting. When I started volunteering there, I read up more about strokes just to have a better understanding of what these patients are going through. I am really grateful for having the opportunity to volunteer in this Stroke Buddy program.

April Volunteer Hours: 10
Semester Total: 30
Year total: 60 hours

Friday, March 31, 2017


This was a interesting month. We finished Med Pharm and took the NBME exam. The NBME exam pretty much consists of everything we learned all year. I will admit, there were a lot of late nights prior to the exam but once I was there, it was not as hard as I anticipated. At this point, everything makes sense and flowed together in my head so even though I thought the exam was going to be impossible, it wasn’t. 

I have been volunteering with the Stroke Unit at Tulane Hospital. They started this new program called “Stroke Buddy” where I basically interact with patients who are on the better end of recovery. This is the N-ICU so there are many patients who can’t really interact well. Some patients do not want to participate which is understandable. Often I’ll only see one or two patients and other days, I won’t see any patients and do some other work the stroke unit needs done. I would ask if they want to participate in one the activities we have for them. The activities are: coloring, working with clay, or listening to music. The goal is to help with their rehabilitation and keep them company.  I really have been enjoying this stroke buddy program thus far and I hope to continue it after graduation.

March Volunteer Hours: 8
Total: 20

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Mardi Gras!!

This month was probably the most interesting yet, mostly because it was Mardi Gras!! This was my first year in New Orleans during Mardi Gras and to say it was fun, is an understatement. I am incredible grateful that our class has gotten to become so close over the year, it only made this unique experience that much better. I never fully quite understood Mardi Gras till the time came and it was everything that it was hyped up to be. I went to most of the parades and it was interesting to see what different parades will throw. I knew there were beads being thrown but there was a bunch of random items that get thrown as well. 

Unfortunately this month, there was a tornado that hit New Orleans and a bunch of the class decided to help out and volunteer. I can’t explain how sad it was to see people having parts of their home ripped out, displaced, and just nothing they can do about it but try to clean up and figure out what is next. I helped out with Red Cross to assess damage in surrounding areas. Luckily, the areas I was assessing was untouched from the tornado but what was surprising to me was the houses that were abandoned because of the damage from Hurricane Katrina. That really shocked me, seeing how many homes were abandoned after that due to hurricane. 

This month, the blocks weren’t too bad, I really enjoyed learning about the reproductive part of this last block because I am interested in becoming an OB/GYN. This was a interesting block also because learning about diabetes was relevant to me because many of my family members have diabetes. It made more worried about them because now I know many of the effects that this disease has on the body. 

February Volunteer hours: 12 hours
Spring Total hours: 12 hours 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017


I am so happy to be back in NOLA. It was great to be home in New Jersey but the cold was miserable. We started this block with Neurology and I was honestly a little nervous about it. I felt that it might be a little more difficult than the other blocks but when the block exam came around, it was not so bad. Our class schedule has changed slightly, we now have new classes added this time around. I am really like Endocrine Pharmacology so far, I love the book we are reading and it really reveals a lot about stress that I’ve never know. The presentations thus far have been extremely entertaining and I look forward to how my fellow classmates present the information. 

On top of regular classes, I began my MCAT prep classes. It hasn’t been easy trying to balance the studying out but its slowly getting more even. I haven’t started volunteering for this month yet but I plan on starting at Tulane’s Lakeside hospital. I want to become an OB/GYN in the future and I figured volunteering at the Lakeside hospital would be a great option! 

I’ve still been exploring the city more and more as this program goes on (although the amount of exploring will probably go down because of the MCAT) and I went on a cemetery tour recently! I highly recommend it, it was so informative about the entire city and not just the cemetery. The history behind the cemetery was so cool. Hopefully next time I post, I’ll have explored the city more!

January volunteer hours: 0

Spring Semester total hours: 0

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Turkey Day!

November is one of my favorite months because it includes Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it brings friends and family together. This year my parents met me in NOLA and we road tripped to Austin, which was an adventure. I usually do not like road trips but this one was not bad. This month was interesting, I went to a cemetery tour with a few classmates and it was so much fun.

This month we had our pulmonary block and I really enjoyed that block. I found it really interesting to learn about asthma because I feel like I know so many people with it so it was interesting to know more about the medications. I appreciated this block a lot. We just started our GI block and so far I’ve liked it.

I did not volunteer this month because unfortunately I kept getting sick. It is not easy to be sick away from home but luckily I had friends who took care of me from the program. To make up the hours I missed, December seems promising and I am eager to start volunteering again. I hope to do about 11.5 hours. I am excited to get back to the hospital and continue learning from this experience.

November Volunteer hours: 0
(December hours: 11.5)

Monday, October 31, 2016


So October has been an interesting month so far. We are now taking Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology in addition to our current classes. We also participated in our first simulation lab. I really was fascinated with this because when I was researching this program it was something that caught my attention when I was reading the syllabus for Med Pharm. Basically we had a "patient" who spoke to us about his symptoms and based off of his symptoms we had to diagnose what he had and what to give him. I found this so interesting because as we treated the "patient", we saw how the different drugs were affecting his ECG. We learn about how these drugs will impact the heart but it was cool to see it in person. I really enjoyed this exercise.

This month I haven't volunteered that much because I have been studying and when I wasn't studying, I was under the weather. I only went in one day but I plan on going in more next month. This month I have done some more exploring of the city. There is honestly so much to see and do in this city, so every time I decide to explore, I try to make sure it is something new. This month I went to the WWII museum which is really nice. It is so huge, we only saw one exhibit. Personally, I didn't think I would like the museum but I was pleasantly surprised. I also went to the Riverwalk which is so pretty, I find it so funny that all these things are so close to me but its taken me till now to go see it all. Lastly, Halloween is today and although currently I am in the library, I did get to celebrate Halloween here in NOLA. Halloween here is absolutely amazing, there is so much to do for all ages and I am really glad I was able to participate.

See y'all in November!

October volunteer hours: 2
Total: 18.5

Thursday, September 29, 2016


September is one of my favorite months because it welcomes Autumn. Autumn is, in my humble opinion, the best time of the year. The transition from sweating heat to biting cold brings about that middle ground where everything feels just right. Although it has been cooling down in New Orleans, its still pretty hot compared to back home. This is fine because it prolongs the frigid winter which I absolutely dread. It is actually part of the reason I choose Tulane, I've never lived in an area where it hardly snows. The change was extremely welcomed.

Volunteering has been more exciting this month! While I have not been able to volunteer as frequently this month due to traveling, studying, etc., I've still learned a lot. Last week, the charge nurse let me do rounds on the patients. I found it exciting and I'll admit I was a little nervous because I was not sure what to expect. The patients were all so kind however some could not talk but that is when their family or their friends stepped in. It was interesting to see more about how the floor operates, I like this floor because they've been so welcoming to me. The dynamic is fun and the nurses and the techs are amazing.

We had our first TBL yesterday and because I had no idea what to expect, I was so stressed. A couple of late nights of studying the autonomic nervous system and I felt comfortable but those nerves of the unknown were still there. The TBL is basically a group activity where we had to figure out what drugs are being given. Now that it is over, I feel so relieved and silly for stressing so much. Stressing paid off because we got all the questions right! That was so satisfying and made me feel more comfortable that I know the material.

That's all for now, talk to you guys in October!

September Volunteer hours: 5.5
Total Volunteer hours: 16.5