Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Best of Times

April Hours: 10
Spring Semester: 32 (KIPP)
Total Hours: 63

As this program comes to a close, I can’t help but reflect on the year. It’s hard to believe that I came here in July of last year. The friendships I have made, the relationships I have built, and knowledge that I have accumulated has truly made this year one of the best by far. The faculty members belonging to the Pharmacology department are all eager to help and see you succeed. Moving forward, I am extremely confident that what I have accomplished this year will play a vital role down the line as I begin my journey into the field of medicine. We grew not only as individuals, but as a group, and have constantly used each other as points of reference and for advice. 

Above all, this program taught me how important it is to dedicate yourself to service within the community. Regardless of the city you are in, acting members of the community should look towards each other for help and support. New Orleans, a city of such culture and history, prides itself on the strength of community and support. We were able to experience this first hand through the tornado that touched down in February. Seeing the resilience and dedication of the community was something I had never experienced. Though my time in this program has ended, I will be staying here next year and plan to continue my weekly visits to KIPP Leadership Academy. Our weekly group of volunteers may shrink, but they will absolutely continue to see the Tulane representation from all of us who are staying here next year.

I can say with confidence that I am ready for the next step. Here’s to more years like this in the future.

Friday, March 31, 2017

March Madness

As we begin a new month, it is tough to believe that things are coming to an end soon. With only a month and some change left in the program, I can’t tell if I’m eager or sad, or a little bit of both. Things have certainly begun to pick up, however.

Over the past few weeks, I have spent a lot of time working in Dr. Katakam’s lab on my project, as well as others. It has been such a rewarding experience to be a part of some unique and cutting-edge projects at the forefront of scientific innovation. My experiments for my thesis have finished up, and I have begun the daunting task of taking everything I have done and putting it into writing. I don’t know whether my thesis or the references page will be longer at this point, but it has been such a great experience, and my defense will be the culmination of a semester of hard work.

My volunteer work has been steady and consistent, as I have still continued my work with KIPP. With spring in full swing, I can tell that the students are ready to be on break for summer, and I think I’m right there with them as well. No matter the tasks they have me do, I am always happy to be there as an extra set of hands for some very dedicated and enthusiastic staff.

All things aside, March was definitely one of the busiest months so far. Having finished up the NBME Pharm shelf exam, I think I can finally after 7 months say I have a firm grasp on pharmacology. Tough to think I didn’t know what a macrolide was this past summer.

Until next month.
March Hours: 9

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

As carnival comes to a close, all I can say is wow. Mardi Gras has been without a doubt one of the most unique and enjoyable experiences I have ever had. Seeing old friends from Emory and spending time with all my new friends here, I felt like I was able to do it all. That being said, I may have to go into hibernation for a while.

We have finally finished up Principles of Pharmacology and Medical Pharmacology. Looking back, it seems like it was just yesterday that we were learning about chemotherapeutic agents in the Neoplasia block. The vast amount of knowledge I have accumulated is both striking and impressive. Now begins the strenuous 15-day period of reviewing for the NBME Shelf Exam.

Working in Dr. Katakam’s lab has continued to be enjoyable and demanding. Learning to think outside the box and use critical thinking for creative problem solving has really challenged me to expand my horizons. Writing my thesis has also been a difficult process, but I am excited and eager to see the finished product in just a few more weeks. As a whole, this semester has been off to a great start.

I have continued my volunteering with KIPP, which I am proud and happy to be doing. I truly have enjoyed my time with the staff, and hope to continue throughout the semester and next year.

February Hours: 8

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Halfway There

With the start of 2017 comes new classes, new opportunities, and new experiences. Everywhere I turn, those iconic shades of purple, green, and gold are displayed high above homes, restaurants, and buildings, as this city prepares for its most famous tradition. I can say without a doubt that I am both eager and ready to experience Mardi Gras, and looking forward to spending it with both new and old friends.

I have continued my volunteer work with KIPP Leadership Academy, as their second semester is in full swing just like ours. Continuing to build a strong relationship with the staff and students has been a wonderful experience. Our Tulane-KIPP “liaison”, Danielle, is even more of a die-hard Harry Potter fan than I am. With all that time spent in the operations office, I’d say a solid half of that time is spent quoting the movies or talking about upcoming developments in the wizarding world. My volunteer work continues to be an incredibly rewarding opportunity that I am glad I have taken advantage of.

I have also begun my thesis work in Dr. Katakam’s lab. Looking towards the upcoming months, I anticipate my schedule to continue to be busier than ever, but the entire lab is a well-oiled machine that continues to keep me motivated and driven. I thoroughly enjoy my project, and of course spending time with my cohort, the lovely Monica Dholakia.

As we continue throughout the semester, more updates are to come.  Seems like only yesterday that we arrived here in New Orleans, but I know that I, along with my classmates, will make the most out of the upcoming months for what has turned out to be an incredible experience so far.

Mardi Gras Countdown: 22 days
January Hours: 4