During these next two weeks, I will be shadowing doctors at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) through what we call a preceptorship program (essentially a shadowing experience/program) organized by the school. There are about 10 of us premeds participating in this program. The people at CHLA try to arrange our schedules so that we can gain exposure to aspects of medicine we’re especially interested in. For example, I told them that my interests were in OB/GYN and pediatric surgery, so for the first week, I am scheduled to shadow plastic surgeons in both the operating rooms (OR) and the surgical clinic. Since most of us premeds have different interests, we probably won’t see much of each other while at the hospital for the next two weeks. I am incredibly excited for this experience!
Orientation at CHLA this past Friday. We got badges that refer to us as “medical students” and everything!
No shorts or jeans.
Closed toe shoes.
“Bunny suits” for the OR, which are essentially not-so-form-fitting nor attractive white coveralls.
Largely dependent upon your own personal schedule. If we’re shadowing in the OR for the day, they expect us to get there around 6:45AM. Yikes. Shadowing in clinics begins a little later (around 7:30AM).
My first-week schedule:
Monday: Shadowing in the OR (plastic surgery)
Tuesday: Shadowing in the clinic (plastic surgery)
Wednesday: Shadowing in the clinic (plastic surgery)
Thursday: Shadowing in the OR (plastic surgery)
Friday: Shadowing in the OR (plastic surgery)
I’ll be sure to keep you all updated throughout these next 2 weeks…maybe I’ll see some child stars hoping to make it to Toddlers & Tiaras or the like :)
Studying at Caltech is a lot like crewing a spaceship. You get to work alongside some of the most talented people on Earth, you’re constantly doing science in order to survive, and the environment tends to keep you under a lot of pressure. It’s an incredible experience, and also a very challenging one, to be sure. Sometimes you’re left feeling like an impostor among your crewmates, having failed to complete every task you think is expected of you. But fear not! These feelings are not based in reality; they are merely symptoms of a benign condition known as impostor syndrome. Think you might be affected? This post is for you.
Always not quite organized, my desk is a constant, yet subtle reminder of why I ultimately chose Caltech: the people. (sigh… I bet you haven’t heard that one before!). It’s no secret that Caltech has a small undergraduate population but, in my experience, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find your people, it means you’ll be able to find them faster!
With the third term fast approaching and the status of COVID on campus pushing all major events to the spring quarter, students of the houses of Caltech were excited. The reason? Interhouse season had arrived. Interhouses, a longstanding tradition of the California Institute of Technology, are summarized as parties hosted by each respective house, usually with a theme, in which the entire undergraduate population is invited to attend. As every undergraduate house of Caltech has its own personality and characteristics, these interhouses too have their own flair depending on the house who hosts them.
Let’s face it: the US loves being just a little different from everyone else. The obvious example? Units of measurement. As an international student from Canada, even I have no clue what’s going on half the time when my friends talk to me and use these weird nonsensical units. And I’ve literally lived on the border between Canada and the States for all my life. After a year here, I’ve finally got a sense of how the two systems of measurement compare and how you can more easily get your bearings with these weird units.