Health · Medical School · Uncategorized

stress eating.

I have a tendency to snack while studying (or during stressful events) and for the longest time, I was binge eating on unhealthy snacks (potato chips, candy bars, fries, cookies, more fries..etc). I would feel awful at the end of the evening and somehow I ended up eating the same things the following day.

For the past couple of months, I have been slightly better at munching on healthier snacks. I usually buy more from the produce section (especially when fruits are on SALE! the cantaloupes here were only $1.28! what a steal!) Here’s a peek of what I bought this week:


BOOM CHICKA POP (amazing!!!! — I usually eat more than the recommended serving!)



Asian pears (one of my favorites)

Nature Valley bars (Oats n’ honey, sweet & salty nut)

vita coco (I’m testing to see if coconut water DOES really help my skin)

sanpellegrino & perrier (to help supplement my soda cravings)

Lindt dark chocolate (it’s one of the better chocolates!)

For the fruits, I like to pre-cut the night before and pop it in the fridge. That way you would not have to worry the morning of and just grab and go!

Since I have switched to eating healthier snacks (I still sneak in a couple junk food here and there! hehe), I noticed my mood is slightly better, I lost some lbs and have more energy to study after work.

I would love any suggestion snack suggestion!



FYI: My opinions are my own and results may not be the same for everyone! Let me know if you have any questions!


Being bilingual.



Growing up, I attempted to hide the fact I was bilingual. In fact, I was annoyed with how people kept asking me to ‘say something in Vietnamese’ because obviously they wanted to learn the Vietnamese language! I eventually told everyone that I only knew English and that was that. No one dared to ask me again!! (I guess I was mean back in middle school…oh the awkward years!)

However, ever since I became involved in medicine, I have the utmost appreciation for multi-linguals. I have been in situations where I assisted with translating for the provider or was the [BLS] provider during EMS talking in Vietnamese with patients.I was a bridge between the patient and provider.

Recently, I put on a holter monitor (holter monitor: personal cardiac monitor to record heart rhythms that one wears for 24-48 hours) for an eighty-something year Vietnamese patient. She had her son with her (who spoke fairly decent English) where they greeted me with warm smiles and started speaking to me in Vietnamese. (Side note: A good number of patients guesses my ethnicity wrong which doesn’t really bother me! I was surprised this duo knew I was Vietnamese or maybe my they saw my last name on my ID — that’s a dead giveaway). I never shy away from using Vietnamese and I think it benefits me since patients seem to be more open and trustworthy of me. I gave the patient and her son instructions about the holter and let them on their merry way. This story is so near and dear to my heart is because I have taken my grandmother to her physician’s visits countless times and translated for her. I like to make anyone’s time at a doctor’s visit as easy as possible.

This patient interaction (along with many others) was a friendly reminder of why I want to go into medicine. Not to only improve patient’s health but to be an advocate for the patient and invest in a kind of relationship where patients and their family knows you are wanting to help them!

I love the fact that I know Vietnamese (and English!) and thank my parents endlessly for teaching me to speak it! Even though I I try to connect myself with non-English speaking patients since they have a hard time comprehending providers that use complex medical terms rather than layman’s terms. I wished I knew more languages! Quiero aprender espanol!! Slowly but surely!

Thanks for stopping by!!




image taken from Google. 

Medical School

note abbreviations.


I like to write notes rather than typing them! Do you? There’s something about pen and paper 🙂 (More reasons to buy stationary!! hehe.) I have come up with a list of abbreviations/shorthands that I often use while writing my MCAT notes!! It might not be new for some but I thought I share some of my commonly used abbreviations!


  1. to change/changingScreen Shot 2017-03-19 at 8.17.47 PM.png
  2. doesn’t have, none, no
  3. with
  4. amino acid
  5. negative
  6. positive
  7. water
  8. reaction
  9. because
  10. phosphate group
  11. increase
  12. decrease




Do you have any abbreviations/shorthand of your own? I’d love to know!!




Medical School · Uncategorized

mini emergency kit.



I like to carry an emergency bag with me around for those just in case mini ‘personal’ emergencies! (or if a co-worker or stranger needs anything!) I’ve had many personal emergencies in the past and a number of people have helped me! Why not pay it forward?

I bought this cute medical bag a couple years ago from Etsy and I still adore it! (I don’t remember the exact store I bought this item from but here’s a similar one!) yay, for supporting small businesses.

Here are a few things in my emergency kit:

  1. bandaids – because all emergency kits need to have band-aids. And besides, I have had my fair share of paper cuts! (those MCAT books, hehe)
  2. hair ties and bobby pins – I have long hair that always gets in my way. Most of my co-workers are males where they carry rubber bands with them — which I prefer not to use.
  3. deodorant- I have run out of the house many times without putting on deodorant and luckily, I have a small one I carry around with me! I don’t want to have BO around my patients!!
  4. Ibuprofen- for headaches, abdominal cramps … etc. These are a lifesaver for those random, out of the blue pains! We do have a gift shop that carries OTC medications but why must they charge so much?!
  5. chapstick- I seriously carry at least THREE chap sticks with me everywhere and at least one stays in the bag in case I forget the others!! I am trying a new lip balm a follower suggested on Instagram! (thanks for the suggestion!!)
  6. energy beans/snack – a little pick me up during those hungry times/low energy. These energy beans are soooo good (I prefer the orange flavored ones). I don’t know if they give me the extra energy but I’ll take it!!
  7. tampons- who knows when mother nature decides to drop in and say hello!
  8. perfume – I like to dab a little perfume around my neck. It makes me feel nicer! and a little fancy 🙂
  9. hand sanitizer – I rather wash my hands when I can but carry hand sanitizer with me just in case I don’t have a sink/soap nearby!

What’s in your emergency kit?




I’m dating a med student…


…and he’s just like everyone else!

The boyfriend and I are both nontraditional, premed students (technically, he was a nontraditional premed and now an M1 #proudgirlfriend 🙂  )that met during a post bacc program. We have been dating for two years (!) now and fortunately, everything thus far seems doable.

I work at the teaching hospital in town where he goes to medical school and his classes are literally right next door. We see each other daily; before class/work where I usually scoop him up from his apartment, during lunchtime and after work where he picks me up since his class ends at noon most of the time (for the first year) — which is such a timesaver!
Catching the bus to where my car is parked takes AT LEAST 30 minutes. Oy vey.

unnamed-1.jpgWe have nothing but respect for each other. When he has a test coming up, I usually like to give him some space and time so he can focus on his test. I’d make lunches for us that week since we all know every minute counts during crunch time! I confess, sometimes I bother him with motivational texts and surprise hugs! + coffee! + dinner if I’m still on campus. I think he likes that? I hope he does. lol.

He does the same for me. He knows when I need to spend time studying for the MCAT. He’ll give me space and says ‘hi’ during my study breaks. Sometimes we’ll study together 🙂

People always talk about how difficult dating a medical student is, but honestly, it is up to the two people in the relationship. The boyfriend and I have an open communication and I believe that’s what works for us. Don’t be so demanding of someone’s time when they’re trying to work on their career! (My relationship advice: If something is bothering you about your significant other, talk about it! Don’t bottle your feelings up just to let it explode later on!

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I am applying this coming cycle and would love to stay in town but I have to be realistic about the possibility not getting into the same medical school. Nothing is guaranteed. We talked about our future  (where I might go to medical school, residency, fellowship, travel plans, babies?!, etc). We are committed to each other and willing to make it work. You just have to build a strong foundation and believe in one another.

Not a lot of people are fortunate as us to have a relationship so close, and I admire those who have long distance relationships. Stay strong, the end is all worth it!! (positive vibes!) Who knows, I might have a long distance relationship when I start school/if he lands a residency elsewhere!

I’d love to answer any questions related to dating, being a nontraditional premed, medical school application…or if you just like to chat! Comment down below or send me an email!

Sidenote: I meant to say that the open communication is 99% true, the boyfriend has no clue that I started a blog! Hehe. So if you have any questions on his end, I will ask him randomly. He’ll just think I am being me since I am forever asking him random questions!



p.s. This list. lol.


Gift guide for soon-to-be residents and medical students!

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Match day is right around the corner, and so is commencement!! Congrats class of 2017!!

Here are a few things I’ve gathered from the internet that I recommend giving to soon-to-be residents and incoming medical students:



What is a physician or medical student without a stethoscope? Stethoscope-less. #badjoke. Besides wanting a white coat, I think a good, quality stethoscope is the second item physicians-to-be dream about! Am I right or am I right? You can either go with a Littmann ~ $180 — bought one for my boyfriend for med school and he has not used it because he’s afraid of losing it! 😐 –, a StethoHope ~ $80 (the company donates a stethoscope each time a purchase is made to practitioners with limited resources! isn’t that amazing?! StethoHope, you are awesome!) or an EKO stethoscope for all you tech savvy people out there ~$300. I use Littmann at work and I can vouch for their quality! From the reviews of StethoHope and EKO on Instagram, I have heard nothing but positive reviews!!

Discount for StethoHope: use #Hope2017 for $10 off your purchase. 


Surgical caps

For anyone you know that is going into surgery that needs a cute cap to cover their hair during surgery! You can help them start their surgical cap collection by getting their first one! (Monogram with their initials to make it extra, extra special:) I have this one that I love (boyfriend bought for me!! and trust me, it’s monogrammed!), and this store has awesome designs!



We all know physicians and students have to carry their badges around with them everywhere!! Why not add a cute reel (or pin) to spice up their badge! Especially if they are going into a specialty. Conversation starter for all those single males and females physicians and physicians-to-be? (‘Hey, nice band-aid!’ ‘why thank you, it’s for fixing broken hearts!’) Love this, THIS, and this one too 🙂 This is such an inexpensive gift and the recipient will most likely love it!



This gift is questionable since most hospitals provide scrubs for their employees but for medical students, it’s a great gift (esp during anatomy class!). Scrubs can get expensive so gifting one will help medical students be in less debt! Everything counts! I like how soft FIGS scrub look, IguanaMed has really cute ones and Maevn uniforms are giving out free scrubs this month (check them out on Instagram)! There are other brands you can check out on allheart !!

Discounts: (FIGS) 15% off FIGS when you sign up on their mailing list! (Allheart) Free shipping with allheart!



I really enjoy wearing a watch. Not only do you look professional with your scrubs (or white coat!), you look stylish with a classic watch! That way when patients ask you for the time, you don’t have to pull out your phone! One of my 2017 resolution: Look at my phone less! I love, LOVE my Daniel Wellington watch! I have had it for a couple of years and still can’t get enough of it 🙂 I can do a review on it later if you’re interested!


crossbody bag

A good ‘throw-everything-in’ bag is necessary for residents and medical students when they’re on the run! I recommend a timbuk2 crossbody bag! They are built to last. I have had one for about 5 years and it’s still going strong. I use it for everything and plan on using it for medical school (hopefully, soon!). A more feminine bag for females would be a Longchamp le pilage! I currently use the Longchamp (mine’s a large) as my work bag! So easy to clean! Confession: I have at least 3 Longchamps! Hehe.

Discount: 10% off timbuk2 bags when you sign up for their emails!


water bottle

Many times, we forget to hydrate ourselves (let alone EAT!) when we are super busy! I recommend carrying a small water bottle around with you as a friendly reminder to hydrate! And who wouldn’t want to show off their cute bottle!

These are just a couple cute ideas I feel the recipients would love and use! I know I would. (I hope my boyfriend uses his stethoscope soon, though!)



all opinions are my own. images were taken from Google. 

Medical School

study schedule.

I have a full-time job where I work 0700-1530 M-F. Luckily, sometimes my work allows me to study in between patients! Here’s a glimpse a nontraditional premed’s ‘day in my life’ timeline (on a good day):

0525: First alarm. Time to wake up! Kind of.

0535: Second alarm. The real wake up (the 10 extra minutes really does make a difference!)! Who doesn’t mind sleeping in for a little bit more?!

0615: Hopefully, I’m out the door and heading to the city. The commute from my house to work is about 15-20 minutes on a good day but with traffic, it can take up to 45 minutes to an hour!!

0645: Picking up the boyfriend at his apt so he’s not late for class!! hehe. My boyfriend is a first year in medical school and has classes one building away from where I work. So convenient for now! (I hope I end up at the same medical school but will go anywhere that takes me!!)

0700-1530: Work (I do squeeze some studying in between patients depending on the day — sometimes I can study for a couple hours during work and other times, half an hour! It’s all about time management!!). I either read a short chapter, review my notes or do flashcards in between patients instead of just browsing the internet or talking to coworkers!

1530-1630: I like to give myself a break and give my a little bit of me time! Don’t forget to take a break! Since I work at a teaching hospital and is surrounded by study rooms, I usually head to the study spaces after work.

1630-2100: study time (along with mini 5-minute breaks including dinner!). As of right now, I either review my notes, do questions, take a timed section, etc. etc.

2100: Home-bound, relax and sleep!

April 28th, I’ll be ready for you!!