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Hello everyone!

I’m writing you post-Neuro, Thanksgiving, post-Musculoskeletal/Rheumatology and now on the final home stretch of Dermatology! Its amazing how this year has flow by!

Neuro took up most of November, ending just in time for Thanksgiving. The entire month is a hazy memory to me! It seemed like every minute of the sequence was consumed by endless study marathons, and as a result, little sleep (ironically, not healthy behavior). The countless hours spent studying certainly wore me down emotionally and physically, but it also was my first glimpse into the intense pressures that most people associate with being in medical school. Neuro was hands down the hardest sequence of M1 and M2 year, and since passing it, I feel like I overcame the first big hurdle of medical school.  I guess next up is Step 1!  4 months left!

Even with the challenge that was Neuro, I still managed to escape during one of the non-quiz Neuro weekends to New York City where I celebrated the 30th birthday of a close friend. I flew out Friday afternoon, celebrated Friday and Saturday, and then flew back to AA Sunday morning. Not that the craziness of the Big Apple was particularly relaxing, but the trip was exactly what I needed to refocus and get motivated for the last week before the big Neuro final!  

The view as we landed in NYC!

I love food.. and NYC has LOTS of it!

After surviving Neuro, I flew home early Wednesday morning to Panama, just in time for Thanksgiving celebrations with my family (and my adorable dog – Patchi). Once I got home, I had the great post-Neuro reward of having my childhood best friend, Alana, fly in from Spain to experience her first Thanksgiving ever! I don’t think Alana was disappointed in any way with my mom’s AMAZING dinner – turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and the delicious Zingerman’s corn bread I brought from AA! If you’ve never tried Zingerman’s, I highly recommend it!

Patchi and I have one thing in common - we LOVE food! His favorites include arepas, muffins, and turkey.

After all that Thanksgiving fun, coming back to school for MSK/Rheum was difficult. I tried really hard to focus but it became increasingly clear that it was going to be a Sunday night final for me. Apart from trying to studying in those two weeks, I attended one of the Latin American Native American Medical Association (LANAMA) Friday afternoon coffee outings with interviewees for the UMMS class of 2016! I LOVE meeting applicants and talking about Michigan and LANAMA, so it was a great way to spend a Friday afternoon between classes! I had great conversations with all of the applicants and was incredibly impressed with their diverse backgrounds, experiences, and career ambitions. One of the applicants told me she reads my blog too! I always get super excited to know someone is reading and interested in the craziness that is my life! If any current or future applicants out there have questions or need advice, feel free to email me at

In the end, the MSK/Rheum final did become another Sunday final exam (a new Hema M2 pattern perhaps?) – mostly because I decided to take off some time the weekend before the exam and then the night before the exam. The weekend before the final, I went for some late night ice skating with Elias (my boyfriend and fellow M2). He knows I love to skate and don’t get too many opportunities to practice, so the skating excursion was just what I needed! 

Ice skating! Did I mention I have my own skates?

Later that week, on Saturday night I attended the lovely Christmas party hosted by my friend Andrew (fellow M2). He had a group of friends over  for his annual Christmas Extravaganza for which he jokingly referred to as – the real Family Centered Experience. He prepared an amazing assortment of cookies, chocolate braided bread, hot chocolate, and cupcakes! To end the night, we were all given scratch off lotto tickets as part of his family’s holiday tradition! Unfortunately, I did not win the big bucks with my lotto ticket, but I did leave with a prize – a cookie “to-go” box to share with Elias back at school!

Andrew’s party certainly got me in the holiday spirit and made me eager to return home to spend time with my family (and Patchi, of course)! I’ll be home in less than 1 week!!!! Yay! I’ll be sure to blog about my exciting winter break, so stay tune!

In the meantime, Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad! Happy New Year! Feliz Año Nuevo!

Delicious cupcakes... I had two!

Christmas cookie heaven!

Enjoying a few "to-go" cookies in the Learning Resource Center study room! Thanks Andrew!