Plans began when all my plans had been shattered. On August 18th, 2011, I went on medical leave from med school just two weeks into my first year. Three, if you count orientation. I felt my life turning into an episode of House. But instead of turning on the TV to watch House work his magic, I had to see six doctors and wait six months before I was diagnosed with the rare condition of neurogenic thoracic outlet syndrome. With my diagnosis came relief. Relief of my symptoms, the return of my hands, hopes, dreams, and my life. And medical school, my plan since grade school. To be continued in August 2012.

I am not a traditional medical student. I never wanted to be a traditional medical student. I majored in History of Art, minored in Biochemistry, volunteered in hospitals in the US and in Costa Rica, discovered a lost city vanquished by the Romans in the 2nd century BCE during an archaeological dig, took a year off to do epidemiological research and am a better person for all of it. Don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't do something because "it's not what you're supposed to do." (Except, maybe, study for the MCAT. You should definitely do that.) Feel free to ask me questions about applying to medical school.

Some facts:

  • I live in Detroit and believe it can come back. In fact, it's already on its way. 
  • I play piano. Er, played. Thoracic outlet syndrome is a condition I will live with for the rest of my life and my hands are much weaker than they used to be, so that limits my time on the piano.
  • I believe the key to sanity is having your own washer and dryer in your apartment. And not having to pay in coins and sharing with 300+ people.
  • My mother has multiple sclerosis. This has been a major driving force at various stages in my pursuit of medicine, but no, I am not considering neurology.
  • Mosquitoes love me. Any insect that bites loves me. It leads to very interesting stories and interesting illnesses. Like Dengue.
  • I write about Colombia and my Colombian boyfriend, hereto known as the boyfriend. It's my first time dating someone in the medical field and it's quite a relief to be able to share your day with someone who won't bitch about why you study so much when you should have been at a party.
  • I am TB positive but my chest x-ray says I'm good to go! But it's annoying that I need a chest x-ray every year. Pre-meds, be warned, this can and probably will happen if you live and work in a hospital in Central America.