Shadowing a Surgeon…again

Hi friends! I haven’t posted at all during this semester, I’ve been more active on my Instagram page, but I wanted to write a bit about my experience shadowing another surgeon last week. Quick “get to know me”: I’m a pre-med student at Albion College, major: exercise science, future plans: pediatric surgeon!

I shadowed quite a few health care providers in high school from doctors to PAs to nurses. I wrote about all of them as well…go check it out!

So this surgeon is a friend of my mom’s from her camp counselor days. I shadowed him one other time about a year and a half ago. Now that I’m in college, I decided to shadow him again so that I could actually observe in the OR as well as office hours. I got to the hospital at 6am, and we immediately started the day.

I got to wear scrubs! They are hospital issued scrubs, and I couldn’t find the right size so they weren’t the most comfortable things to wear all day, but it was worth it.

We started by rounding on his post-op patients and seeing some new consults. One of the chief general surgery residents rounded with us! She was so smart and gave her opinion/asking him questions. He wanted to know her opinion on lots of things. There were several times where he took her advice and changed his plan. It was interesting to see that dynamic and to know that one day I’ll have all of that knowledge and be able to make those decisions!

*One thing that stood out to me was the male-female ratio. I didn’t see any female surgeons. There were female surgery residents, and female surgeons in other specialties (Ob/Gyn), but not general. I don’t really know what I was expecting, but I was still surprised.*

Then, he started surgery. I got to see two operations. He was the head surgeon and the same resident was his first assist. He talked to me during the operations, showed me the anatomy, and made sure that I understood what he was doing. The scrub nurse talked to me too. Of course, she was trying to convince me why nursing is the better option…which I’m used to. More on that later in the post:)

Then we did office hours. I was able to see a lot of variety. I saw two in office procedures, several post-op patients, and several new patients. It was a long day, 19 office patients in total. I was exhausted at the end, but I absolutely loved it. I loved the comraderie and collaboration among the surgical attendings and residents. It was an amazing atmosphere that I can see myself thriving in.

After talking to the scrub nurse, though, I really took the time to think why I want to be a doctor instead of a nurse. Something that the surgeon told me at the end of the day really helped me put my feelings into words. He said, “There isn’t a day that goes by that I feel insignificant. When I sit here and think about what I did just today, that’s incredible. I can walk around here (the hospital) and have all of this knowledge and know that I make a real difference in someone’s life.”

That being said, I know that nurses are incredible health care providers, and they have the most direct patient care in relation to doctors. I know that they are very smart, and make real differences in patients’ lives. However, my view of my future life lines up more with being a doctor. I want to be the person that sees a patient and is able to diagnose and then treat that person. I want to be able to collaborate with other providers and advocate for what I think my patient needs. I think that surgery, whether that’s pediatric, general, Ob/Gyn, neuro, etc. is really for me. I would get that mix of OR time where I have to think on my feet and put all of my knowledge to work and office visits where I get to put patients at ease and create a personal connection with them.

A huge consideration that I need to think about though is work-life balance. I want to be a surgeon. I want to be married and have kids. I think I can have it all. Sure, there will be sacrifices and long hours away from a family, but it can be done.

I’ve spent some time thinking about advice I would have for people looking to shadow, a surgeon specifically.


  • Get a good night of sleep the night before
  • Know where you are going before you get there or give yourself plenty of time to figure it out
  • Are you going to be able to change into scrubs? Then wear comfy clothes there so that you can be comfortable at the end of a long day. Or no scrubs? Then wear the appropriate business type clothes. Ask the person you are following to be sure!
  • ASK QUESTIONS. And then ask a few more. Typically, if a doctor or nurse is letting you shadow them, they are going to be more than willing to answer any question that you have. That being said, know when to ask the question. Unless your doctor specifically asks if you have a question during a direct patient encounter, I would say keep your mouth shut. But when it’s just the two of you, go ahead and speak up. You will have a much better experience if you do this…not to mention you’ll make a better impression on the person that you’re following. At the end of my day, my surgeon told me that he would be happy to write any letter that I need, and I’m welcome back anytime. Interact with your doctor! It will be more fun; I promise.
  • In the OR, don’t be too sensitive. If they tell you to move here, do this, or stop doing that, just listen to them. They aren’t mad at you, but they do have a person’s life in their hands, and they are responsible for you. Just listen to them and move on.
  • In the OR, if you start to feel sick or worried about anything, please step back from the table or go sit down. It is better to miss something than to pass out onto the sterile field. I promise you that the doctors and nurses aren’t going to think any less of you. They know it is one of your first times in the OR and seeing a surgery. They remember how they felt in your position. Also, don’t get discouraged if you get sick or something. I know from other experiences that I get nauseous fairly easily just watching something (which didn’t happen this time!!). But when I am hands on and doing it myself, everything else just disappears and I’m completely focused. I talked to my surgeon about this later after surgery, and he said the same thing. The 2nd surgery he had that morning was a 3 and a half hour surgery. He told me that he wasn’t tired, hungry, or sore during surgery. As soon as he was done, his back started to hurt, he was starving, and really needed to go to the bathroom.
  • Remember that basically everything you see is confidential. One doctor I shadowed told me that anything about the doctors or nurses was open for discussion. Anything with a patient though is off limits.
  • Have so much fun! It’s an honor to shadow doctors/nurses/etc. Treat it as such!

Now. I didn’t go home after I was done at the hospital. I had planned on it, but lo and behold a snow storm hit and hit hard! I drove for about 20 minutes before I had to stop. I called my mom, and she said that the roads at our house (about 2 hours away) were even worse than where I was. So I stopped at a hotel, but they told me I had to be 21 to get a room. I went to get dinner, and my mom called around to other hotels to see if there was a place that I could check in as an 18 year old. She finally found one, thank goodness. So she reserved the room for me. BUT then my phone died! So I was stuck in a hotel in Columbus, no phone, no charger *note to self: always take a charger with you everywhere*.

It was fine though. I took a shower and crashed at about 9:00. The next morning, I went out to my car and tried to turn on my GPS…but it wouldn’t turn on for more than 30 seconds at a time. My phone wasn’t charging enough for me to use it either. So, I got myself home with no GPS and no phone. Now, coming from a very directionally challenged person, I was very proud of myself!

One more note: my waitress at the restaurant that night and the manager of the hotel the next morning really made my trip better. At the end of the day, I was exhausted. Then this whole thing happened, and I just wanted to go home. I was on the verge of tears probably from being tired and hungry and a little scared. But the waitress was so nice to me. I ordered a mocha, and then she offered to bring me another free one. She did a lot to make sure that I was okay, and she was so sweet. Then, the manager the next morning, as I was checking out, acted like a grandmother, and made sure that I was okay and told me to be careful on the way home. This is just a reminder to remember to be kind to everyone you meet. Those two women probably have no idea that they helped me that much. We probably don’t realize the impact we have on people either.

So there you have my first solo adventure. It was a success:) If you made it this far, thanks for reading!! Have an amazing day and a Merry Christmas. If you have any questions, email me or DM on Instagram!! I’d love to hear from you.


Girl’s Weekend

Sorry that I missed my post last week! Nothing too crazy happened, so you didn’t miss much:)

This past weekend we had our ‘Girl’s Weekend’. We–meaning Kaitlyn, Katy, another friend, and I– do these occasionally, especially now that we don’t go to the same school. What do we do?? We eat junk, play games, and watch movies. I have a few ‘junk food’ recipes for you and some fun pictures:)

We started the weekend off by going to ‘our’ school’s Harvest Party. Then we went home and kind of just crashed. The next day, I headed over to my school for a Tutor Fest. I got some help in stats and talked to my history teacher for about 21/2 hours about lots of different things but with the focus on my big research assignment. I finally decided that I am going to do a paper on five things we don’t really know about the Constitution. It sounds interesting so we will see where that goes.

While I was gone, Katy and Kaitlyn and Hannah went shopping for our food. (By the way, Saturday was rainy and cold! Perfect day for this.)

When I got home, we started making food. First we made caramel grapes.

grapeI thought they would be SO GROSS, but they aren’t!

First, wash your grapes and dry. 

Next, chop up peanuts.

Then, melt your caramel.

Finally, stick each grape with a toothpick, dip each grape halfway in caramel, and roll in the peanuts.


Then we made Soda Cracker Candy.


First, line a baking sheet (with foil and spray it) with a single layer of saltine crackers.

Second, partially melt 2 cubed sticks of butter in a saucepan.

Next, before it is all melted, add 1 cup brown sugar. Stir constantly. When it comes to a boil, let boil for 2-3 minutes.

Next, when finished boiling, pour it over the crackers and spread evenly.

Then, take the foil off of the pan, and set it outside (if cold enough) or in the freezer to harden.

Once hardened, break the candy up into pieces.

(You can also spread chocolate on the cracker before the butter mixture. Even better!)



The last thing that we made was Koolaid Meringues.

I just had to catch our first expressions with a picture.

"It tastes like playdoh."

“It tastes like playdoh.”

I was the only one who was disgusted by these:)

I was the only one who was disgusted by these:)

Here is what you do…

(Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.)

First, put four egg whites into a bowl and beat them until they are frothy.

Second, slowly add 1 cup of sugar.

Once mixed, add 1 tsp of cream of tarter.

Then, beat the mixture until stiff–like for a lemon meringue pie. We had to add a little bit more cream of tarter to get the meringue to stiffen. It will take awhile though!

Next, split your mixture into as many bowls as flavors that you want.

Add 1 tsp of each Koolaid flavoring and stir.

Line a baking sheet with foil and spray it.

Place spoonfuls of the mixture about an inch apart. (I am just guessing here…not really sure.) The smaller the better.

Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

Eat! (Wayy to sweet and sugary for me, so I can’t say ‘enjoy’  :D)


We watched some movies as well–Pirates of the Caribbean and Harry Potter and My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  Correction–they watched the movies. I basically stayed in my room and watched Castle. 🙂

And so ends our weekend. It is back to school today. I have a guidance appointment today to schedule my classes for next semester. Yay!! Can’t believe that I have almost made it to midterms of my first year at ‘college’.

Have a wonderful week!







Delicious Fish Marinade…and Such

Good Monday afternoon! I don’t know about you, but my morning started slowly and then WHAM it got crazy. I took my first Chem exam this afternoon. I think I did pretty well…I usually say that, and then I don’t do well:) I felt confident about it though.

Finally, this afternoon I can just sit back and relax and do homework. (I don’t think that sentence should ever be written again. Somehow relax and homework don’t work together.)

Anyway, I have a wonderful fish marinade recipe to give you and then some things that are coming up this week!

It is super, super simple! Yay! Right?

Combine: (to taste)

Olive oil
Fresh lemon juice
Garlic powder

Marinate it (the fish). Grill it. Enjoy it!


Tonight, my youth group is going to see the new movie War Room. Have you heard of it? It sounds pretty good. I will let you know what I think;)

This weekend, some of my CILT girls are coming to spend the weekend with me. We have tried for a long time to put a party together, and it has been all talk. Finally, two of us said, “you know what? Be here at this time.” Guess what? It worked!

Virginia: Day 4

Another wonderful day:) We got to go back to Black Friar’s today! Today we saw Much Ado about Nothing. Oh my goodness, guys! They were outstanding. It was hilarious; the actors so energetic and friendly and talented. The two main characters-Beatrice and Benedick- were husband and wife in real life. When they kissed at the final scene, it was so cute to watch them:)

Afterwards, four of the cast members stayed on stage for a Talk Back, a question and answer session. Lots of the questions were about their training and original Shakespeare customs. One person asked, “How can you have so many plays just running through your head since you perform plays one right after the other?” One cast member answered, “One of our troupe members says, ‘I know how to make spaghetti, and I know how to make pancakes, but when I walk into the kitchen to make spaghetti, I don’t accidentally make pancakes.’ Each character you play is different. This is our career and our lives. It really isn’t as hard as you would think. You can’t imagine what someone’s job is like unless it is your job-the stress and labor and daily routine.”

I thought the whole spaghetti and pancake thing was very interesting. It’s true! It really explains the mindset of professional play actors.

Afterwards, we got a few a pictures outside the building:) which will come in tomorrow’s post if they ever come through on my email. Don’t you just love when things do work!!?

Then for dinner we went to a cute little restaurant called the Depot Grille. It used the be the train depot in Staunton. Several different shops now occupy the depot, the grille is just one of the businesses. All of the food was delicious, but guess what…they had CREME BRULEE. I am always looking for crème brulee anywhere I eat but rarely find it. Well this crème brulee far exceeded my expectations.

The top was so crunchy. The inside so soft. MMM. Perfection. Noni and Kaitlyn got their Key Lime Pie (also delicious:D) and Mom and I got the crème brulee.

(Please note that I am not the world’s greatest photographer!!)

Key Lime Pie and Crème Brulee

Key Lime Pie and Crème Brulee

The first bite...

The first bite…



The next first bites...

The next first bites…



We finished it that quickly too!

Sadly, today was our last day here in Virginia:( Tomorrow we are headed home to Ohio. Home to check my garden, start CILT work,

Virginia: Day 3

We drove an hour. For donuts. BUT IT WAS MORE THAN WORTH IT. These are the best donuts that I have tasted. The company, called Duck Donuts, only has seven locations, but they should have many,  many more:) I ordered a maple glazed donut with bacon on top. It tasted like pancakes and bacon with syrup…but a donut!

It is really interesting and simple. They only have vanilla flavored cake donuts but you get to choose your icing (or no icing) and topping (or, again, no topping). It makes it really easy to order.

The donuts are SO soft. If you ever have an opportunity to visit a Duck Donuts, I highly recommend it.

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The sign says, ‘Caution! You will be hooked.” It is true!

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We ate there for elevensies. From there, we drove to Staunton, Virginia. This is the main purpose for our trip. To see Shakespeare plays at the Black Friar’s Theater. They do such a wonderful job putting on the plays. They make it funny and modern-ish and easy to follow.

Last year, my mom and sister and I saw Romeo and Juliet. We loved it so much that we wanted to go back ASAP. So we did! And this time Noni came with us.

Today, we saw Hamlet. We all loved it. The actor who played Hamlet was fantastic, all of the actors were. They were all musicians as well. They provided us with pre-music and interlude music. Singing and dancing and instruments. We had a wonderful time.

The theater itself is very interesting. It is modeled after Shakespeare’s original theater in London. It is small with wooden seating, some without backs. They have on-stage seating, and the actors include those sitting on the stage in the play somewhat. They leave the lights on because Shakespeare always held his plays either outdoors in the daylight or indoors by candlelight. This theater had (electronic) candle chandeliers to stay true to the candlelight tradition.

The stage has one large set with a couple of doors and a balcony. They only change the props so there are no set changes. As you can tell, it is very unique:)

For dinner, we found a restaurant called ‘Byers Street Bistro’. The food was delicious!! I did have pictures for you (of the donut as well) but I couldn’t get the email to come through. I ordered a chicken, bacon, corn relish, fresh green salad. Yes, it did have a name, but I can’t remember it:) It came with creamy avocado sauce and a homemade tortilla. Yum!!

And the mountains are gorgeous. We haven’t been able to get any good pictures of them yet. Take my word for it:) We have passed several overlooks that have great views. Maybe we will stop at one, one of these times.

Have you ever seen a Shakespeare play? (Believe me, it is much better to watch than to read.)

Churro Waffles

Now how can you not make those??? I planned on making these yesterday morning with my friend, but we ended up making her favorite: French toast. I decided to share this recipe anyway and try it later. (I found this recipe on the Chica Choclatina blog.)

Churro Waffles
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Author: Becca Rychener
Those delightful, buttery sticks of goodness. Those yummy, fluffy cakes of goodness. Put them together and what have you got? Magic.
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 shakes of cinnamon
  • For the churro topping-
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of cinnamon (depending upon how much you love cinnamon!)
  • 1/2 cup of melted butter
  1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking powder and sugar; set aside. Also mix your churro topping and set it aside. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the milk, butter and vanilla. Add the milk mixture into the flour mixture. Fold in three shakes of cinnamon and beat until blended
  3. Melt your 1/2 cup of butter used to pour over waffles. Next generously spray your waffle iron with no stick cooking spray. Fill your preheated waffle iron as usual. Cook the waffles until golden and crisp. Once fully cooked immediately pour melted butter on each side of the waffle and then dip each buttered side into your cinnamon/sugar churro mixture.
  4. Devour as soon as you make each waffle.
  5. Oh and if you know me, I have a huge sweet tooth! So you can also drizzle your waffles with maple syrup. Either way tastes amazing.
  6. Enjoy:)


I do plan on making these ASAP:)

We just arrived in Virginia. I finished unpacking and just getting settled in our hotel room. Pizza is in the oven and TV on. I am convinced that it is the only way to spend the first night in your hotel room. It is really hot here, close to 90 degrees, but our room is very comfortable:)

I have still been doing the yoga challenge. I thought that I would give you a little update! I have missed a few days so far, but I made them up as quickly as I could. I am a little behind right now, but I plan on catching up soon. I also plan on doing yoga during vacation as well!

I have loved the videos that they have sent me. You can choose between beginner and advanced, and they are very clear that the beginner level does not mean ‘easier’. 🙂 And they are right! The moves stretch me and make me really work, which feels great! Again, allow me to say how much I love yoga. I highly recommend My Yoga Works. To have full access to the site, you have to pay, but there are certain videos that are free. Head on over there and check it out.

So there is a little update on things. Hope you have a great Thursday evening.


Driver’s License

I need to get better with posting things as they happen. But anyway, last Wednesday I got my license!!! I can’t believe it!!! And my wonderful Noni so kindly gave me her old car:) So I have my license and a car very suddenly.

With my brand new license

With my brand new license

Anyway, enough of that:) Today my is my 16th birthday party! That sound very cliché and ‘little kid-ish’…but I am having my friend who I used to go to school with. We are going to have my mom take pictures of us in different locations, and then tomorrow, we are going to put together little scrapbooks for each other. Also, tonight, we are going to have a Hunger Games movie night. I haven’t watched the movies yet, and she loves them, so I thought it would be fun to watch them together!

This Thursday…duh Duh DUHHHH…my mom, sister, Noni, and I are all going on vacation! We are all very excited about it and can not wait for Thursday to get here:)

I have a recipe that I found on Pinterest that I am going to post either today or tomorrow. It is very unhealthy, but I am going to see if I can make it at least a tad healthier. If not, oh well!! It just looks too yummy to pass up.

Talk to you soon.

Wonderful Wednesday #4

I haven’t done one of these in awhile! So I guess I will just recap what has been happening recently. I also want to start adding recipes on here. THEREFORE, I will start that ‘hope’ right now! I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but it is apart of my new food plan and it looks pretty amazing:)

Let’s just start with some of my favorite posts recently:

Shadowing a Podiatrist
Shadowing a Surgeon
Whole 05

And here are some of my favorite posts from other blogs:

Tom’s of Maine (A-Doctor-in-the-House)
Strawberry gluten free cupcake (Treble in the Kitchen)
Did you know you can print on index cards? (Musings from a Curvy Romance Writer)

Here is the recipe that I am dying to try! Click here to get it at Bless This Mess blog.

See you soon!!




Ok listen. I survived the Whole30 for 5 days. I learned that I can live without chocolate or donuts or dairy or breads or sugar. It was a challenge sometimes, but I did push through the cravings for all those things–mainly chocolate. I also learned that strictly following the Whole30 doesn’t make me feel the best. Sure, my body feels great, but I don’t feel like myself.  ?

I don’t think the Whole30 is for everyone. I know all of the arguments: it is only for 30 days, you really can live without it, you can always go back to eating grains and such, it isn’t a restrictive diet it is a way of life,  etc. But I don’t feel that the exact Whole30 is right for me.

Therefore, I have decided to kind of make my own eating plan. I don’t want to restrict what I eat. I love the benefits of eating the Whole30 way. I definitely feel much better and not as tired. Maybe I have the wrong mindset about it, I don’t know. I just think that I would feel better if I ate healthily without excluding anything from my diet and exercising as much as I can.

For that reason, I don’t believe that I am quitting. I know I said that I started this to see if I could finish it. Well, I have realized that I could if I felt it was benefitting me. I don’t view whole grains and dairy as bad food. I realize that most Whole30-ers don’t either. In my opinion, for me to be really healthy, I need to eat some of every food group. Still limiting the sugar to special foods. Still staying away from processed junk. I absolutely love almost all of the Whole30 foods that my family has made, and I will most likely still eat what my mom (who is still doing the Whole30) eats for meals. I just might add in some yogurt or a piece of toast.

So there:) I didn’t really know how to say this without making it sound like I was quitting. So don’t think that! Because if I thought that I was being a wimp about it, I would push my way through.

What do you say about choosing ‘your own healthy’?

PPFT, Happy Mother’s Day, and surgery

Good Monday morning to you all.

I took the final tests in the Presidential Physical Fitness Test (PPFT) on Thursday. I did…ok:( I am probably the most inflexible person in the whole world! I scored National for that and the mile. I ran an 8:44 mile. I am pretty happy with that time, it just wasn’t fast enough for the Presidential award. So I scored Presidential for the majority of the tests and National for two of them. (National Award is a little bit easier to get than Presidential Award.) I didn’t quite make my goal, but I am happy with what I did get.

Saturday brought 70 degrees with a beautiful breeze. Mom mowed the yard and did some other yard work, and I sat on the porch making key chains as a goodbye present for my kindergarten Latin class. We had a wonderful day outside.



I have to make 9 altogether.

I have to make 9 altogether.









Yesterday was Mother’s Day, as everyone should know:) Happy Mother’s Day–one day late!!! My sister and I each got my mom some potted flowers. Now she sits on our front porch staring at them happily:) Picture is coming soon–once I talk my mom into it. [Update: Picture…finally. Sorry that it is sideways.]


This morning I got a call from a doctor at our local hospital. I get to shadow a surgeon tomorrow! Starting at 7:15- about 3:30. I get to see some very interesting cases. The nurse there made sure to call me in when they had an interesting case load. So that is where I will be tomorrow!

Also, my mom and I officially started Whole30 today. And so starts the 30 day countdown finishing on June 10, right before we leave for our vacation with Noni to Virginia. Great timing, self!

How was your weekend? Did you take full advantage of the glorious weather?