WIWS: Linen striped skirt + espadrilles

Sunday, June 30, 2013

I have a week off before my next rotation and you can tell I'm on vaca because I painted my toes and fingers (rare occurrence) with this bright, lovely shade. Stephen is also off for the week; he works 7 shifts on/7 off and his week off happened to coincide with mine. We are beyond thrilled to have a week off together after not seeing each other much this past month between his shift switch back to nights and me being away for my rural rotation. We are going on a little two night getaway to Niagara Falls tomorrow (Stephen's first time ever seeing the falls!) and I can't wait.

 These last few days have been full of good news: I found out on Friday that I passed the exam that I took down in Lansing a few weeks ago (thanks for the prayers!) and that I was nominated for the medical school honor society. I also found a suit for residency interviews this weekend: after trying on suit after suit this past month with no luck, I literally walked into Ann Taylor and tried the only black suit in my size that was in the store which also happened to be on the clearance rack. It fit perfectly (seriously, how often does that happen) and was 30% off the clearance price + another 20% off for showing my student I.D. I'm so glad the search is over.

Top and necklace: Loft
Stripe linen skirt: J. Crew Factory
Espadrilles: Lands End

We are visiting Stephen's parents this weekend and it's 20 degrees warmer than it is up north, which gave me the opportunity to finally wear the skirt that I found during the 50% off J. Crew Factory sale. I paired it with these espadrilles (thanks Shannon for telling me about them!) for mass. Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple for WIWS and with Plane Pretty. And since tomorrow is supposedly the last day of Google Friend Connect, follow me here on Bloglovin if you wish!

Last but not least, Happy Birthday to my beautiful sister!

7 things I learned on rural family medicine

Friday, June 28, 2013

Lake that I visited close by my rural rotation
Last night I drove away from the town of just over 1,000 people where I lived the last two months. Yesterday was the last day of my rural family medicine rotation and it's hard to put into words the impact that it's had on me. I'm not going to try to put it in words now, but I am going to share 7 things I learned on rural family med (joining Jen).

1. Delivering babies will never cease to be amazing. If you've been following along at all, you probably already know that delivering babies (or being involved in a patient's pregnancy and/or birth in any way) is my favorite thing and nothing really compares to it. On family med I got to help parents hear their babies heartbeat for the first time, see women through their pregnancies, do the delivery, and then see their baby afterward in clinic for a well-baby check.

2. The value of caring for the whole family. Family doctors have a role like no other specialty since they care for the whole family. It wasn't uncommon on a clinical day for us to see a new baby and his/her mother postpartum, then that baby's siblings, grandmother, and great-grandmother. The doctors that I worked with also all grew up in the community where we worked and so they had a unique understanding of the challenges and strengths of many of the families we saw in clinic.

3. The art and importance of the physical exam. Despite my background as a nurse, I admit that I felt like I was going through the motions when I did my physical exams during first and second year (and it was not much better in the beginning of third year). The doctors I worked with on rural family medicine did a thorough exam on every.single.patient and I learned firsthand how crucial this is. During the rotation, I got to feel an abdominal aortic aneurysm and realize the necessity of a thorough abdominal exam, listen to many heart murmurs and finally feel comfortable diagnosing one, discover a mass that would never have been found without a complete physical exam, and diagnose a brain tumor that only manifested itself by a subtle change in the patient's eye movements.

4. The difference it makes when a physician truly cares for his/her patients.  The physicians I worked with on rural med were both incredibly knowledgeable and genuinely compassionate. They listened to their patients, comforted them, did everything they could to help patients in difficult situations, and treated their patients like their own family. 

5. The role of spirituality in medicine. Despite how important my Catholic faith is to me, there is a part of me that has always been afraid to mention prayer to patients. But too often there is an end to what we can do as physicians for a patient. The doctors I worked with weren't afraid to tell patients that they would pray for them or encourage them to lean on their spiritual beliefs when there was no longer anything that medicine could do. And I saw how this gave patients tremendous comfort.

6. Medicine is a vocation. Small towns don't have the luxury of having a doctor on every corner, and our clinic didn't just serve the town that we were in (we had patients frequently come from an hour away). There were some days that we would be at the hospital in the early hours of the morning to round on patients, see 30 patients in the clinic, and then go back to the hospital to admit a patient and round again. The doctors on rural med sustained this lifestyle by viewing their job as a vocation.

7. Do what you're passionate about. The doctors that I worked with during my rotation were at the top of their medical school classes and could have had a more 'glamorous' and high paying job than a small-town doctor. But they chose to become a family doctor because they wanted to return to the communities they grew up in and serve the people they knew and loved. And they're happy with their decision (in contrast to some of the highly-paid and prestigious specialists that I've met). Seeing them helped me to make my decision against going into dermatology like I'd been encouraged to do by many, many people I respected. During my rural medicine rotation, I re-discovered the importance of pursuing a specialty that I'm truly passionate about and will find meaningful for years to come.

I admit that I've looked at this picture of myself at my White Coat Ceremony the day before medical started and wished for that girl back. I was passionate about becoming a physician to help the underserved that I'd encountered in various places around the world. As I continued in medical school though, I sometimes questioned why I embarked on this journey. It's challenging, sometimes isolating, often discouraging; and I've found myself forgetting at times why I started this in the first place. But these last two months helped me remember again why God called me to be a doctor.

Bittersweet endings...

Sunday, June 23, 2013

This week marks the last of my rural medicine rotation. It's definitely bittersweet; I won't miss driving back-and-forth or living out of a suitcase, but it's been an incredible experience. Out of all of my rotations so far, I can say that this is the one that I believe will impact my future practice the most. The doctors I'm working with are not just intelligent and professional, but they truly care about their patients. They make sacrifices so that their patients can have better medical care, their patients rely on them, and they strive every day to be a better physician. This is also the first rotation where I've seen physicians integrate their faith into their practice. 

I haven't wrote as much about this rotation as I've wanted to, but I think it's because it's hard to put into words what I've learned these last few months. It's easy for me to write about the things that aren't as meaningful to me (ie clothes, ha) but harder to write about the experiences that have really impacted me (hence why I haven't written about Haiti yet). Part of it stems from a fear that I won't really do what I've experienced justice....

Onward to what I wore Sunday. Stephen and I went to Latin mass today because he's working night shift and it's the latest Sunday mass. He whispered to me halfway through "I have no idea what's going on!" I picked out a few words thanks to my Spanish knowledge (at least enough to know when we were supposed to stand and when we were praying the Our Father). 

About the outfit: I've been waiting to pair this neutral baseball sweater with my mint pencil skirt (I hope that mint never goes out of style because I can't get enough of it). I also attempted the half-tuck that J. Crew is always touting and I think I half-way succeeded? And I'll be wearing this again to the clinic this week and possibly for my presentation on Friday because I'm original like that...

 Baseball sweater: J. Crew
Pencil skirt: J. Crew Factory
Shoes: Madewell
Necklace: Loft

Linking up with Fine Linen and PurpleJenni, and The Pleated Poppy.

Maxi skirt x 2

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I have a confession to make: I have too many maxi skirts. When I find something that I love, I buy multiples (which is also why I own that green Loft sunwashed tee in five colors). Anyways, there's something about being able to throw a skirt on that feels like sweatpants and look pulled together. I spent a good part of studying for my medical boards last summer in my favorite J. Crew Factory striped maxi skirt.

My maxi skirt recipe is the skirt + tee + statement necklace + sandals (mine are these Target ones). I think it's the perfect summer dinner date ensemble.

 Tee: Loft/Skirt: Leanne Barlow via Etsy/Necklace: Etsy/Sandals: Target

And maxi skirt numero dos. This is my original maxi skirt; I bought it final sale from J. Crew and it looked blue-ish on screen but ended up being a saturated grape purple. I thought it was too purple until I saw this inspiration.

This crystal flower necklace is from J. Crew and was part of a little post-exam retail therapy last week (I still feel slightly guilty).

Purple maxi skirt: J. Crew (old), similar/Shirt: Shade (old)/Necklace: J. Crew

Linking up with Marionberry Style, Alison, Shanna, LaurenAgi, and The Pleated Poppy.

Sunday decisions...

Sunday, June 16, 2013

This week flew by, between the 20 hours total I spent driving (back and forth to my exam and then back and forth to my rural medicine site), the big test, and last minute decisions on my electives for next year. I was offered a spot at a top dermatology program for an elective next month, and I keep struggling over the decision. Going means postponing my obstetrics rotation in St. Louis to January, which is not ideal since it's my number one choice right now for residency if I do OB/GYN. At the same time, the derm rotation is a such a good opportunity that it's hard to pass up. I've been encouraged by a lot of people to look into derm, and while it's interesting and a perfect lifestyle for when Stephen and I have a family, I have this nagging feeling that I didn't go to medical school to become a dermatologist. The work that I did in Haiti and Ecuador was a huge influence on my decision to become a doctor, and the other specialties I'm considering, OB and ER, seem more in line with what motivated me to go to medical school in the first place (and continue when things got difficult). I have to decide by tomorrow...

Chambray/sweater/capris: J. Crew, shoes: Madewell

In other news, what I wore Sunday: the chambray shirt made a repeat appearance (I'm convinced that this shirt layers under anything and everything) with a summery pink striped sweater (I love this sweater but for some reason it's been sitting in my closet for too long) and nude shoes. The J. Crew cafe capris also made a repeat appearance, but these ones were thrifted for $15. Joining Fine Linen and Purple

Last but not least, Happy Father's Day to my wonderful dad! He is such an inspiration for me of the doctor and parent I hope to be. 

What I Wore Sunday: Chambray + Pink

Sunday, June 9, 2013

I'm being a rebel and writing this post even though I should be either studying or packing, since I have to leave this afternoon and drive to Lansing for my big exam mañana. I went to mass last night and I really loved this outfit, even though it isn't anything that you haven't seen on Pinterest a million times before. The chambray shirt is old-ish and I've missed wearing it lately (I just don't feel like I can wear it to work no matter how much I dress it up). The pants are J. Crew cafe capris which I'm newly obsessed with...the fit is perfecto. I picked up this pair in the tea rose color (translation: bright coral-y pink) on sale (about 50% off of the sale price right now) + two more pairs in black and camel thrifted for cheap, and I'm set for summer. I'm planning on wearing them to the clinic (with my knee-high pantyhose of course since bare ankles are taboo). 

My sisters came over to catch up on the Bachelorette last night and it did not disappoint. Probably the best line: "Love is like a butterfly, you hold it too loose it flies away, you hold it too tight, it's gonna die." We were dying laughing.

Prayers for my test tomorrow would be much appreciated! I'm woefully behind on responding to comments from my last few posts but I loved each and every one; I definitely took the advice on choosing a suit for residency interviews to heart along with the encouraging comments about blogging on Friday. So, thank you :)

Shirt: J. Crew (old), this year's version here and here
Capris: J. Crew on sale
Shoes: Madewell skimmers (similar)
Necklace: Loft (old)

Linking up with Fine Linen and Purple, Camp Patton, DorandaPlane Pretty, and The Pleated Poppy.

Friday Quick Takes

Friday, June 7, 2013

Joining Jen.

1. I meant to post some pictures last Friday from Memorial Day weekend but I never ended up finishing a post. Anyways, it was beautiful: visiting my favorite waterfall growing up (that I hadn't seen in 10 years!), wildflower spotting (shocking with how cold it's been here lately) and a gorgeous view from a hike nearby.

2. Things have been hectic lately and there has been more than a few days that I wondered if I should keep blogging. It's been a fun hobby for me, but I haven't written about anything really deep or life-altering yet and I realize that there are an overabundance of style blogs out there (and mine in no way compares to any of them). Anyways, I got a note from a new Catholic reader saying how much she loved my blog and style and that she was adding it to her list of reads (even though she had promised herself not to add any more blogs to the list). It completely made my day. I also stumbled upon this pin on Pinterest which was kind of thrilling:

So I'm going to continue on my little endeavor for now. I'm hoping in the future to write about some deeper topics (like the time I spent in Haiti and NFP) but for now it'll continue to be a scattering of outfits (some better than others) and occasional stories of med school and newlywed life.

3. I posted on Monday about finding a suit for residency interviews and I just loved all of the tips that people gave; they were extremely helpful for a girl who has never purchased a suit before. I did order a J. Crew suit with the 30% off sale and I was not impressed with the fit, so I'm going to try Banana Republic like a lot of you suggested. I also found out that Ann Taylor has a 20% off student discount so I'm hoping to go there when we visit Stephen's parents in a few weeks. I must have one by early July for our residency application pictures so I'm crossing my fingers...


4. Speaking of looking for a suit, my mom suggested this website.

5. My sister sent me this Anthropologie link and said that this is basically me in a pillow (pink, pearls, and striped). I love it (but not the price or the fact that Stephen would probably not appreciate having these on our couch).

6. My sisters and I are planning to have a Bachelorette party tomorrow to catch up and I'm counting down the hours. I must admit though that I'm not super impressed with the guys so far. Also, I'm bummed that Desiree sent the ER doctor home last week (he seemed genuinely funny despite his weirdness and lack of dancing ability) and kept the silly dental student wearing his short white coat (speaking from personal experience, why anyone would want to wear their short white coat when they didn't absolutely have to and think it was cool is beyond me). 


7. I'm headed to our main med school campus (7 hour drive from my rural medicine site) on Sunday for a big exam on Monday and Tuesday, so posting will probably be a little spotty next week. I have made some decisions recently (I think) on what specialties I'm going to apply for, so I'm feeling much better about that. And this quote is very fitting:

The Chiffon Diary


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Between these white linen pants and my white skinny jeans, I've had most days covered lately. Stephen actually asked if these were "the same white pants you wear every day" so he must have noticed a slight difference between my skinny white jeans and these linen wideleggers (boys). As wrinkly and stretched-out as linen gets, it's still my favorite fabric to wear in the summer. It's just so lightweight and comfy, and there's something about the flowy fit that's ever so flattering. 

My all-time favorite outfit is comfy pants, a tee, and a fun scarf. My sister asked me if I got this scarf in some exotic place on one of my travels (most of which happened pre-medical school) but in actuality, it's just another J. Crew clearance find. Complete with the earrings, I though that it this outfit felt very Bohemian. I had to add my chambray blazer because it's still cooooold here.

Things have been rather stressful lately with lots of decisions to be made about the future. I've had a couple sleepless nights but also some really good moments mixed in, like a couple long evening walks with Stephen and my first solo baby delivery since Haiti (!).

Chambray blazer: J. Crew Factory
Tee and scarf: J. Crew (old)
White linen pants: J. Crew Factory clearance
Earrings: Express (way old)
Sandals: Target (my new favorite)
Linking up with The Pleated Poppy, Style Elixir, Shanna, and Alison.

What to wear for residency interviews

Monday, June 3, 2013

Ann Taylor Long jacket/ J.Crew drape jacket / J.Crew fitted blazer /  / J.Crew pinstripe jacket / J.Crew dress pants / J.Crew pinstripe skirt / Ruffle top / J.Crew button up shirt /Banana Republic Tailored Non Iron Dot Shirt J.Crew cotton shirt /

My original plan for today's post was to write about how much my rural medicine rotation has impacted me so far or the revelations I've had recently about what specialty I should choose, but instead I'm writing about what to wear on residency interviews. We had a long session on Friday all about residency applications, interviews, Match day, etc. We also were told that we need to have a professional photo taken in a few weeks for our applications. And I realized that I don't have a suit (for medical school interviews, I picked up a blazer at Express and wore it with a black skirt that I already had). So I spent some time this weekend looking for suits online, and here's what I found:

The Suit

There are a lot of options: black vs. navy vs. grey, pinstripe vs. plain, skirt vs. pants. I think that I'm going to need two suits, since it is looking like I will be applying to two specialties (yes, I'm that indecisive) and so I'll have to go on a lot of interviews. 

The options (above).

1. Ann Taylor: I've never bought anything from Ann Taylor (although I do own a few things from Loft). This grey suit was 40% off sale price this weekend, so I ordered it on a whim (and probably will be returning it, but we'll see). The grey seems like it would be very versatile.

2. J. Crew Factory: The navy pinstripe jacket and skirt (there's also pants) are available right now on their website for a decent price (with the 20% off coupon that I have). The navy pinstripe is a nice alternative to solid black, but I also think that sticking with black and grey might be a safer bet. I wore a skirt to most of my medical school interviews and I tend to have an easier time with skirts fitting right then with pants, but pants would be much more comfortable for walking around hospital campuses on the tour portion (and nylons do not last long when I wear them).

3. and 4. J. Crew: They have amazing suits but I never thought that I would shell out the $$$ for one of them. If I do go with one, I'll be watching for a promo code for 25-30% off (or one of the suits to go on sale OR ebay...but that's probably risky). I would probably go with basic black so that I could wear it forever and ever (and hopefully eventually get my money's worth). I'm not sure about the Hutton trousers vs. the 1035 trousers, or the 1035 blazer vs. the Sidney. I've heard that the 1035 trousers run small and I don't think my self-esteem can take going up a size, ha, since I'm already wearing the larger of my two pant sizes (thank you, medical school). About the blazers, I like the 3/4 sleeves on the Sidney, but the 1035 jacket might be more professional. 

The Blouse

This is a potential problem since I have a notorious button-gaping problem in the chest area (and if I go one size up, I'm swimming in the shirt). I would probably do best with a blouse like the first option above, the sleeveless ruffle one from J. Crew factory. Button-up shirts seem to be the most common thing to wear though on residency interviews. I love this mint one from J. Crew or this pink one from J. Crew Factory. And last but not least, the subtle polka dots on this Banana Republic button-up are perfect (not to mention that it's supposedly 'no-iron') but are the polka dots a little crazy for residency interviews?

Suggestions? Chime in :) Linking up with Medical Mondays.

Sunday graduation + an Anthropologie dress

Sunday, June 2, 2013

This navy dress....it's from Anthropologie, and was hopelessly expensive when I discovered it on another blog. I own one other dress from Anthro; this gorgeous watercolor print that I wore for my brother's wedding. Both dresses I stalked until they went on sale (50% off) and then snatched them up. I love that this dress is work-appropriate, classy, and comfy (bonus: it has pockets).

And you may be wondering why I'm wearing my boots: it was 37 degrees this morning. Any small glimmer of hope that I had left of convincing Stephen to come back up north after graduation so I can be a small town doctor is gone (he's still in disbelief that it was this cold on a June morning). 

Dress: Anthropologie clearance
Boots: Madewell Archive
Necklace: Target (old)

It was a busy weekend: lectures on Friday about residency applications and interviews, a bike ride with Stephen around the lake yesterday, catching up on the Iron Man movies, mass yesterday, and the main event today: my little sis's graduation. I'm so proud of her and the lovely lady she's become :)

And my big, wonderful family (minus my brother in Afghanistan and my other brother Guy):

Joining Fine Linen and Purple for What I Wore Sunday.