DHAL: June 8-10, 2014

Highlights:

  • June 08 – Starting a new show called The Blacklist. I’m really enjoying it and it reminds me of Alias, one of my favourite shows. A female protagonist, working for the FBI and a male antagonist (but is he really a villain?) with a unique relationship with the protagonist and a clearlyΒ deeper motive to his every single action.
  • June 09 – Saw X-Men: Days of Future Past with Sarah and Amanda, I loved it! I was also surprised to see Blink (Asian mutant who can create portals) played by Fan BingBing, an actress I grew up with for her role in the extremely popular Chinese series, Princess Pearl.

xmen-share-characters-blink

  • June 10 – Good teaching sessions today. Ended the evening with a dinner from McDonalds. I know… I shouldn’t have.

Lowlights:

  • June 08 – Not getting much studying done because I was too busy watching the Blacklist πŸ˜›
  • June 09 – Had to tear up all the weeds in the backyard. Our landlord refuses to provide any gardening equipment and we will not spend our own money on such tools. Therefore, we have to tear them up by hand whenever there’s a house inspection or they make a big stink about it. A good workout, but wouldn’t need to do it if the landlord would do something about his backyard like the real estate agent said he would when we first moved in 3 years ago.
  • June 10 – Long day! Headache by the time I got home but ebbing with some Tylenol.

No excuse for not blogging!

Hi friends!

Yes, I have no excuse for not blogging, I am on vacation after all!

How is everyone doing? Getting excited for the holidays yet?

For once, I am (mostly) on top of Christmas preparations! That even includes putting up the Christmas tree by myself at the beginning of December, yay! Not to mention all my presents have been wrapped… which normally never happens until the night of the 23rd or 24th.

Here are a few scattered moments since my last blog post:

Remember when I said I was digitizing all our old photos? Well, I finished! But I have not yet organised them T_T

IMG_0843

Mum made delicious guacamole!

IMG_0863

Got the tree up and this was my first present wrapped!

IMG_0866

Grilled cheese on a panini grill

IMG_0887

Snacking

IMG_0888

Made some macarons with the bro. They were successful in that they had feet, but failed in smoothness and texture – overbaked and way too crispy! We’ll try again soon…

IMG_0894

One of my favourite fruit snacks – pineapple with salt and pepper, yummy!

IMG_5970

Don’t know what made my mom think this would be good – smoked oysters (from China) in a can by Clover. Needless to say, she tasted one and didn’t get further.

IMG_5993

A little bit of a lot going on in this photo

IMG_5994

It snowed so hard on Dec 15! 😦

IMG_6009

Which was also the day my sister came home for the holidays from Vancouver. Thank god my uncle (Cau Hai) drove us to pick her up… or we would’ve died on the road.

The flight was, of course, delayed. Our poor grandparents had to chill at the airport until close to 3am when Jenni finally arrived!

IMG_6011

IMG_6013

IMG_6016

IMG_6018

December 16 – day after my sister came home. And Michael came up, finally! ❀ We went to see the Ottawa Senators vs St Louis Blues hockey game at the Canadian Tire Centre!

My sister, the biggest Toronto Maple Leafs fan… forced to wear a Sens jersey

IMG_6043

One of the most exciting games I’ve been to with the winning goal scored by Ceci in the last minute of overtime, yay! Note: I dislike hockey and have not watched many games in person.

IMG_6046

My brother “studying” before we left for the game.

IMG_6044

December 17 – breakfast with mum at Cora’s before driving her to work! Cora’s food was a disappointment, this is my 4th or 5th time going and it just… never wins me over.

IMG_6050

IMG_6049

IMG_6048

And homemade jajangmyun (Korean noodles with black bean sauce) that night! Mmm!

IMG_6061

Of course, Michael couldn’t visit Ottawa without having lunch at Play! Love the current menu options, although they have since increased the pricefrom 2 plates for $20 last year to $22. Still a great deal though!

Started off with house bread and frites with aioli sauce.

IMG_6090

Our first plates. beef laab / hoisin / jalapeΓ±o / daikon / romaine / ginger for Michael. So fragrant and delicious! Great contrast of flavours and textures, definitely a favourite.

IMG_6091

I enjoyed the pappardelle / chorizo / duck / celeriac / winter squash / shallot. Also very tasty! The pappardelle (broad pasta noodles) was cooked just with with really nice flavours but way too oily for me.

IMG_6093

IMG_6092

Onto our second plates! rabbit meatballs / pork / cornbread / eggplant agrodolce for Mike. Tender and moist meatballs against fluffly cornbread made for a very hearty meal.

IMG_6096

I chose the pork belly/edamame/Thai sauce/apricot/red bell pepper/onion. The flavours danced across my tongue… easily our favourite dish of the day! Crispy pork belly on a bed of wonderful delights with a good amount of heat. Unfortunately, the sauce in this dish was too oily, which was worse than my pappardelle because the pork belly is already so fatty. Still a delight though!

IMG_6095

And finally, guess who!

IMG_0917

Vancouver: Day 01

November, 17, 2013

After a long flight and losing feeling in my butt more than 6 hours before we arrived, we finally met up with my sister in Vancouver! Thanks for picking us up sis!

IMG_5621

For those who don’t know, Jenni moved to Vancouver in August for graduate studies (Master of Occupational Therapy) at UBC – her dream school. Her blog HERE.

She lives in a cute and bright basement apartment with her wonderful housemate, Erin. Little things they had that brightened up the home!

IMG_5625

IMG_5627

And look what we had pre-purchased – tickets to the Vancouver Canucks vs Dallas Stars hockey game that night. I am not a fan of hockey, but how can I say no when both Jenni and Mike are such huge fans?

IMG_5623

After dropping off our stuff and seeing my sisters place, we headed out for a walk and a little bit of sight seeing.

IMG_5629

Oh, I haven’t mentioned it was gloomy and rainy. Yes, it was depressing weather. But what could you do?

IMG_5630

IMG_5633

IMG_5659

We just missed the autumn colours!

IMG_5631

IMG_5632

We passed by a cupcake store (Cupcakes by Heather & Lori)… need I say more? The shop was oh-so-cute, as you can see in the photos below.

IMG_5634

IMG_5635

The selection of cupcakes was great and I loved their names!

IMG_5636

Loved that they offered both regular and mini sized cupcakes of most of their selection.

IMG_5637

The cakes were tasty! Nice and moist yet light. Unfortunately, although the consistency of the icing was awesome, we found it to be lacking in flavour!

IMG_5638

IMG_5641

IMG_5644

In the afternoon, we met up with Di Thanh (Aunt Thanh) and her daughter Hayley. Di Thanh is my mom’s cousin on her dad’s side – her dad is my grandpa’s younger brother. My first time meeting her, she’s such a beautiful person, inside and out! She took us to dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant and for dessert, took us to La Casa Gelato!

This wasn’t an ordinary gelato shop, they have 218 flavours of gelato onsite at all times! You prepay for your ice cream (we all got single scoop cones) and get a chip to trade in once you make up your mind. And you can have as many samples as you want!

IMG_5665

They had all the traditional flavours plus others that were… perhaps less appealing? Haha, interested in trying seaweed, garlic, or curry flavoured ice cream? What about wasabi, vegemite, or porcini mushroom?

IMG_5660

IMG_5661

IMG_5662

Family photo!

IMG_5664

Soon it was time to head to the hockey game! We met my sister’s friend Alison, who joined us for the game as well.

IMG_5667

IMG_5671

With a much better view than anticipated, we enjoyed the game even more. But unfortunately, Vancouver lost 😦 Still a good time though!

IMG_5678

IMG_5676

Ended the night with pizza on the way home at Uncle Fatih’s! Yum yum πŸ™‚

IMG_5679

IMG_5680

IMG_5681

And that’s it for Day 01! πŸ™‚

Random recent moments

As I mentioned in the last post, I haven’t done much in the last 3 weeks but there are aΒ few things to share!

My dear friend Amanda gifted me with lovely chocolate covered sultanas by Melba’s and a bottle of Chenin Blanc (Coriole Vineyards), both presents from South Australia. The chocolates are rich, smooth and delicious and of the course, the wine was very tasty. She even wrote a really touching note… just because she’s an awesome friend and is always thinking of other people. πŸ™‚

IMG_5526

Having some of the chocolates and salted cashews = winning snack.

IMG_0742

Craving for Korean food led us back to our usual spot – Madtongsan II for dinner on Oct 16!

IMG_0699

Oct 19 – Could not resist the great lunch specials at Wagaya. Went for my new favourite dish, tonkotsu ramen, so delicious! Even comes with dumplings and an amazing bowl of fried rice!

IMG_0713

For dessert, we chose to share the green tea cheese cake with green tea ice cream. Have been wanting to try this for a while but probably not worth getting again.

IMG_0714

Mike’s squishing me! Long but fun and extremely worthwhile days in hospital this rotation. But sooo tired when we finally get home, not much studying gets done.

IMG_0720

Yoni was in town from Nambour and staying with us Oct 19-20. We went to see Gravity which was good, although I was glad we didn’t see the 3D version because I think I would’ve gotten motion sickness. And we never go without food! My favourite wedges from Beastie Burgers and burritos from Guzman y Gomez, yummy picnic!

IMG_5531

IMG_5536

IMG_5534

I ordered a few BB Cream replacements recently, and look at all the amazing samples I received! All well known Korean brands too… can’t wait to try some of these out, especially the Ice Mask!

IMG_5551

Boiled quail eggs with some salt and pepper – delicious snack!

IMG_0724

How do you cut a pineapple? This is how I learned from my mom, least amount of pineapple wastage!

IMG_0753

Yummy! Honeydew melon with pineapple and lychee – can’t go wrong!

IMG_5547

Tried frozen yoghurt for the first time not too long ago – how delicious! Biscotti and coconut pandan flavour with fruits – yum!

IMG_0702

A new favourite in our house, basil & blueberry gin and tonic – try it! Very tasty πŸ™‚

IMG_0716

Home made food update? Here are a few things!

Crispy oven baked sweet potato fries

IMG_5540

Creamy mushroom soup – delightful!

IMG_5544

More mango sticky rice with coconut cream, mmm

IMG_0741

Vegetarian pasta salad with Greek yoghurt based dressing

IMG_5524

Pear cupcakes with passionfruit icing for the students in my group

IMG_0745

Chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter icing and carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing as thank you gifts for my med team.

IMG_5557

Mental Health: What’s the deal?

Wow,

I am terribly behind with my regular blogging! 😦 There’s no excuse, but it’s been busy and blogging about our recent vacation took a lot longer than usual.

So what’s the deal with school now?

Well, I’m 5 weeks into my Mental Health rotation, and yes, I’m quite enjoying it! By random luck (or is it bad luck? Haha), both Mike and I got placed as the only 2 students at a private mental health hospital in Brisbane.

The experience so far has been very enlightening. We found it initially daunting and awkward learning to take a psychiatric history from patients and formulating our thoughts. The feeling is quite similar to being in first year again, learning how to take a medical history and talk to patients. Fortunately, we’ve gained a lot more confidence in the last few weeks. Taking a medical history is like second nature to us now, hopefully taking a psychiatric history will, in time, feel the same.

We are humbled and grateful every time a patient agrees to talk to us or allows us to sit in during a consultation. If you think about it, these people are sharing with us, complete (not yet qualified) strangers, the most personal aspects of their lives. Some people have been victims of sexual and/or physical abuse, others have gone through great losses, some struggle with their spouses having affairs, while others have thoughts of self harm and have even tried to kill themselves. Every single patient we’ve met has taught us something, in some way, that we could never learn from a textbook.

Every patient we’ve met has a different story and is fighting a different battle. One of the first and biggest challenges for us has been, “How do we talk to these patients? How do we approach sensitive topics in a way that will not be upsetting?” We quickly learned that despite all the differences, these patients are all still the same in one way: Like you and I, they are people too.

Talking to patients with mental illness or a difficult life/past can be hard. But it’s not necessary to over-think how to talk to them. As long as you are patient, empathic and a listener, most people will be more than happy to talk to you and share their stories with you.

We also get scheduled teaching time with 3-4 consultants every week, which has been great. They have all been great teachers and we’ve learned so much already! Not just in terms of knowledge aspect, but also plenty of real life stories and experiences – something you can never learn from reading a book.

Have I mentioned we have a great Registrar? Yes, thank goodness! Most of our day is spent with him and the patients. He’s pretty awesome with them and definitely a good role model to try and emulate. As one of our profs said, “Shamelessly steal!” Adapt the styles, sayings and techniques from your seniors and colleagues that can make you a better doctor!

The most scary aspect of Mental Health at this moment? The fact that we are approaching the end of Week 5… only 2 more weeks until final exams. Absolutely crazy. It’s insane how quickly time has gone by!

Visiting Fi in Toowoomba!

Kristen, Christine and I went to visit Fiona in Toowoomba last Sunday! What a lovely opportunity to catch up with the girls, how I’ve missed them!

IMG_4848

Fi, our very lovely (and free!) tour guide, took us on a ride around town and we eventually drove up to Preston Peak Wines for lunch. Fun and friendly wine tasting but a limited lunch menu. The location was beautiful and peaceful, it’s too bad the sun wasn’t out for very long!

IMG_4850

IMG_4849

IMG_4854

IMG_4855

IMG_4856

IMG_4857

The day was short and soon we were on our way back to Brisbane. With exams coming up, we left with the promise to be back for a hiking and boardgames day – looking forward to it!

Until then, surgery study time!

The “REALLY COOL” car we saw during the drive home:

IMG_0352

Picked up a little something for Michael, a bottle of fortified wine. Golden Gleam – Fortified pristine White Muscat juice. Lychee and marmalade characteristics; a very fruity wine. πŸ™‚

IMG_4914 IMG_4917

Groceries and study break at Cafe Siena

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Cafe Siena is located in a convenient corner at Westfield Chermside Shopping Centre, next to Coles. The cafe is bright, spacious and inviting – the perfect place to have a bite and study for a couple of hours before doing some desperately needed grocery shopping.

IMG_4775

The menu looked enticing and we soon found ourselves soon ordering at the counter, looking forward to a nice couple of hours. Service was extremely friendly and full of smiles.

It wasn’t long before our food arrived. Mike ordered the turkey panini with a flat white and I ordered the chicken panini with a side of chips to share.

IMG_4770

IMG_4769

Hungry and excited to dig in…

IMG_4771

Unfortunately, despite the nice service and dining area – the best part of our meal were the chips. The panini bread was very white and just too crumbly in texture (you can probably see it in the picture above). There was hardly any chicken in my sandwich and I had to pick through rotting lettuce in my side salad.

IMG_4774

Despite the meal, we will probably visit again. It is a good priced area away from the chaotic throng of shoppers, however, I think we will stick to the bakery items from now on. πŸ™‚

IMG_4767

Cafe Siena - Westfield Shoppingtown on Urbanspoon

High Tea at Coffee & Chocolate

Christine Q invited me out for a high tea and study date at Coffee & Chocolate, how could I say no? πŸ˜‰

IMG_4657

We met last Sunday at Queens Plaza with reservations for 12pm and were told we could each select any of the hot or cold beverages.

Christine chose a Callebaut Strawberry Hot Chocolate, which was served on a stylish dish with some marshmallows.

IMG_4655

I got a refreshing Mango, Guava & Lychee Frappe.

IMG_4656

We chose seats by the window and didn’t have to wait long for our high tea, which came out on 2 tiers – savoury on the bottom, sweets on the top.

IMG_4662

Pretty Christine with the goodies!

IMG_4659

Started off with the savoury goodies – chicken salad finger sandwiches, puff pastry triangles with a meat filling, mini quiche tarts, and bread rusks with cream cheese and smoked salmon. Quality of food was good, everything was tasty but presentation could use a bit of work!

IMG_4661

On to the sweets! Warm soft scones with jam, butter and whipped cream, chocolate cake, strawberry bar, macarons and mini muffins (blueberry and chocolate). The desserts were all average, nothing that wowed us but they were all enjoyed. The macarons were unfortunately undercooked and the turquoise one, despite the lovely colour, had no flavour.

IMG_4660

For $12 a person, we had a good time and left with happy bellies to get some studying done πŸ˜‰

I have to say, I was a little concerned after seeing so many bad reviews on Urbanspoon, but I was glad to have been overall proven wrong. Decent food with prompt service, hurray! Would I come back? Well, I would like to give their chocolates a try, so maybe if I’m ever in the area?

Coffee & Chocolate on Urbanspoon

My Ways of Being a Better Medical Student

I believe trying to observe the following makes me a better student doctor.

Here are My Ways of Being a Better Medical Student:

(Didn’t realize this post would be so long, so I added some pictures from the internet. Photos are linked to their sources!)

Always introduce yourself – to patients and to other staff members. You’ll be meeting people all the time, under a variety of circumstances, at all times of the day. It is only polite and respectful to let everyone know who you are – even just in case you’re not even wanted! It has happened to me a number of times, sometimes patients just want medical students to sit out from consults. It can definitely be awkward, even scary, to find the opportunity to introduce yourself but you just have to man up, find an opening, and do it! Trust me, I know first hand how awkward it feels, especially when it’s one of your registrars or consultants you’re finally seeing for the first time (maybe during rounds) but completely ignoring you. But, more often than not after introducing myself, people will treat me differently – I’m no longer invisible and even addressed by name, who would’ve thought! πŸ˜‰

Say hello when passing others, and smile. It takes no effort from you and can brighten someone’s day. Win win.

Don’t gossip. And if you must, do it outside the professional environment and out of earshot from everyone else. It makes you look unprofessional and you never know who might be listening. The medical world is small and word can travel fast – don’t sink yourself! You never know who you will cross paths with again and that one person you bad-mouthed could end up being your preceptor, your examiner, etc. If there’s someone I particularly don’t like, I always try to find someone else more constructive to my learning and morale and spend my time with them instead.

Never be afraid to ask questions. It shows you are listening, processing information and are willing to learn. Some people are great teachers and love the opportunity to share their knowledge – they’re just waiting for you to take initiative. Of course, with that being said, there’s always a proper time and place for questions. If someone is having a heart attack, no one wants to hear, “Could you show me how to read the ECG?” And you should really have enough common sense not to ask “stupid” questions that will only make you look bad. If you’re a 3rd year medical student asking, “What’s aortic stenosis again?” you are going to be in big trouble and look ridiculous!

Never be afraid to say “I don’t know.” I have no problems saying, “I’m sorry I don’t know, could you show/tell me?” when I really don’t have a clue how to answer a question I’ve been asked. If I can give an educated guess, I do, but otherwise, there is also nothing wrong with, “I’m sorry, I’ve forgotten, could you remind me?” Sure it’s embarrassing for you, but you will learn on the spot and/or never forget that information again. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve heard, “That’s okay, this way you learn and won’t forget again!” For example, the other week, my surg team was commenting on the long half life of the drug Rutiximab (21 days). The registrar then says, “At least it’s not as bad as Amiodorone! Sandra, what’s the half life of Amiodorone?” I laughed (as if I would know this) and replied, “I know it’s more than 21 days!” Now I will never forget Amiodorone has an extremely long and varied half life of 25-100 days. However, not knowing the answer should happen much less than 50% of the time you are asked questions, otherwise, you don’t know enough and you should go study!

Learn as much as you can on the spot. At this point in our lives, we’re not going to have our hands held and be told what to study. Pay attention on the wards and learn as much as you can – that’s often the useful stuff that you can’t learn as easily from textbooks. Bring paper or a notebook and jot down all the things you learn throughout the day. Write down topics that come up which you need to go home and read up about – follow through with it. Interns are a wealth of knowledge, it wasn’t too long ago they were in the same position as you, ask them questions and listen to their suggestions.

Be keen and willing to learn. Someone who shows they want to learn will be taught more and given more responsibilities. Put in the time and effort you think is necessary for you to reach your learning goals. Ask to participate and ask for opportunities to practice your clinical skills or to broaden your knowledge. Try not to decline a learning opportunity that comes up.

Be that medical student you would want to be partnered with. It’s great when you’re paired with another student who’s friendly, encouraging and easy to get along with, who’s knowledgeable but not cocky, who helps you learn without stealing your thunder, who can shine without throwing you under the bus, who’s not the super keener but not a lazy bum, who’s respectful of patients and confidentiality, etc. But it’s even more important to try and be that person for others. You surround yourself with the people you deserve, so be deserving! πŸ™‚

Bake. Everybody loves home baked goods. If you can bake, you should share that deliciousness. No one will fault you, people will love you.

Keep up with your studying. Cramming doesn’t work anymore. Unfortunately, you have to remember everything you learn and build upon it. It’s hard, I know, I’m continuously working on this point.

Eating is important. But don’t just eat, eat healthy – your body will thank you. Also keep snacks on you – granola bars, nuts, chocolate, etc. They will save your life when you are too busy to take a break.

Get enough sleep. If you function well with 5 hours of sleep, that’s great. If you need 7 hours – make sure you get it. That also means you need to time manage well. Don’t sacrifice your studying or your eating time to make more room for sleep. You really need a balance.

Do things that make you happy. Keep up with your hobbies, take up new ones, see your friends, have quality time with your partner, take time for yourself to rest and relax. Otherwise, you will be lonely, stressed, and crazy.

I’m sure there are lots more that I can’t think of at the moment! πŸ™‚

What about you? Do you have any tips?

The end of GP and 1 week holiday

GP Rotation is finally over after a multiple choice exam last Wednesday and 2 oral exams on Friday.

How did I do? Only time will tell. I always find it hard to gauge my performance, especially during oral exams because I can always think of things I could’ve said or things I could’ve managed better. All I can say is I hope I didn’t fail!

Ended my GP rotation performing a wedge resection of an ingrown toenail – sounds gross but I was pretty excited!

We have this week off before starting our Surgery Rotation next week. No plans to go anywhere or do anything in particular but time is flying. It’s already Monday!

I miss the GP Clinic already, it was such a wonderful place to learn. Thinking of starting a new rotation next week makes me nervous already…

Sandra & Sandor

One of our favourite places to study is at The Edge, right beside the State Library of Queensland.

Window bays overlooking the Brisbane River with comfy benches, free wifi, projectors, etc – everything you could possibly need for a good study session. Did I mention there’s also a little shop to buy drinks and snacks? What more do you need?

You can book a maximum of 2 sessions (2 hours each) per day. Laughed when we came in and saw this sign, thought someone couldn’t write my name down twice. Turns out, just a coincidence that a Sandor was using the bay after us!

IMG_4524

Michael hard at work

IMG_4527

Mike, Christine Q, and I had a good 4 hour study session. On the way out the bus stop, we realized Buddha Birth Day Birthday Festival (largest annual Buddhist Birth Day Festival in the world) was going on in South Bank and decided to drop by and have a look. We didn’t stay for long (too much studying to do!), decided to only browse the food kiosks. Lots of food being sold, although I was disappointed there wasn’t any “mon an chay” (vegetarian dishes) that are normally sold at pagodas during special occassions – oh well! πŸ™‚

IMG_4528

IMG_4530

IMG_4532

IMG_4533

Theobroma Chocolate Lounge

Mike and I had big plans last Saturday:

  • We were going to wake up and study
  • Then off to South Bank, we were going to go back to Beastie Burgers and eat their delicious wedges
  • Then we were going to watch Iron Man 3 in all its glory in 3D
  • And then end the night getting fat and eating delicious waffles at Gelare.

Our plans were slightly foiled when we arrived over an hour early to book tickets for the 2:30pm show – they were already sold out. Oh no!

But that was alright, we bought tickets for the 6:00pm show instead ($8 – so cheap!). But now it left us with an extra, unplanned 5 hours of time.

We had passed by Theobroma Chocolate Lounge on the way to the movie theater and made a note to come back someday. Turned out today would be the day!

Greeted by friendly staff as we walked in and offered our choice of seats. We decided to sit inside by the open windows. Although I adore Max Brenner, I dislike how there’s always a huge line and the place is always packed. Theobroma was quiet, definitely more inviting especially because we were thinking doing some studying.

IMG_4475

The mirrored wall gave the illusion of an extra spacious lounge. And comfy chairs! Another good sign this would be a nice place to settle for a couple of hours.

IMG_4470

A very extensive menu that offered not only chocolatey deliciousness in all forms but there were savoury food items as well. A little something for everyone. Because we already had plans to eat elsewhere later, Mike and I opted for drinks only.

IMG_4473

Mike got a flat white. The coffee was just okay, unfortunately not much love was put into this coffee. I think he plans to stick with chocolate drinks from now on.

IMG_4471

And I can’t remember the exact name of my drink – and it’s not listed on the menu online. It was along the lines of an iced mint chocolate. There’s a choice of white, milk, or dark chocolate – I chose dark and it was delicious! I also liked the fact that it wasn’t too rich, especially because it was quite a large drink. The chocolate design on the inside of the glass was an additional nice touch. Not to mention I could scrape and eat it as well. πŸ˜›

IMG_4472

We studied for a few hours and never felt pressured to leave – thanks Theobroma!

They also have an impressive display of chocolates (approximately $2-3/each) at the counter.

IMG_4474

We bought 2 on the way out: Pineapple caramel and Creme Brule. Could not taste any pineapple or caramel flavour of the first one. The chocolate was also dry which made us think it had been sitting around for too long. The creme brulee, however, was super tasty.

IMG_4476

Good prices, friendly service, quiet ambiance, and lots of choices to choose from off the menu. We will be back! … But not for the coffee πŸ˜›

And the rest of the day went exactly as planned. What a great day!

PS: If you haven’t seen Iron Man 3 yet… watch it. You won’t be disappointed πŸ˜‰

Theobroma Chocolate Lounge on Urbanspoon

GP: Coming to an end

Friday will be my very last session at the clinic for my GP rotation. How quickly 6 weeks have gone by!

We will having our final exams next week:

A multiple choice question exam on Wednesday and 2 oral exams on Friday. These are 13 minute stations (with an additional 5 minutes perusal) where we will have to perform a diagnostic case and a management case.

For the diagnostic case, we will have a patient come in with a presentation where we will have to take a history, talk through the physical examinations, provide our probability and differential diagnoses and lastly, provide a list of problems that should also be addressed.

For the management case, we will be giving a patient the diagnosis of their illness and will be working with the patient to manage their health. This will include assessing the patient’s knowledge, educating them on the diagnosis, coming up with short and long term management plans, taking the opportunity to discuss preventative health issues, providing resources, planning to follow up and safety netting.

Am I scared? Extremely!

There’s lots of time to study from now until then. I will definitely continue to practice cases and make sure I actually know how to manage diseases! I think the worst thing that could happen is to walk into a scenario where you have no idea what the disease is, let alone how to manage it!

And after next Friday – ONE WEEK HOLIDAY – YAY!

Note to self: Buy a stop watch for exams. Managing your allotted 13 minutes for oral exams is impossible if you have no idea how much time you have left.

Photo #289: Wanted: NZT

December 13, 2012

If you haven’t watched the movie Limitless (with Bradley Cooper), that’s where NZT comes from. A nootrophic or ‘smart drug’ that makes you entirely awesome in every way. Low doses of that drug to help me with my studies would be amazing πŸ˜‰ I think too much would just make me scary.

Home: Comforts and responsibilities

Like many people say, home is where the heart is. But after being away this year, I felt a little estranged walking in. I guess it’s simply because certain things changed and I wasn’t around to witness the process. Even little things like a replaced mat, a new appliance and small cracks in the old paint are taking me by surprise. I’m actually spending time staring at them!

I’ve also almost forgotten how much busier you can be when living in a family household, especially as the older sibling/eldest child. Someone can always use a hand, something here or there can always be done, and there is so much catching up to do when you’ve been away for so long!

I’ve come back right in the middle of home renovations, which are always such a joy! (Note: Sarcasm) Completing renovations is always very satisfying, but the potential long journey to that point is often tiring and can really test your patience. However, there are still good aspects of undertaking such projects, such as hanging out with family and using my non-existant muscles – which are already feeling the burn. We’ve barely made a dent in anything so I can’t wait to see how happy my body will be by the time we’re done. (Note: Very serious, no sarcasm meant. I really need move my butt)

The current state of our study. Hopefully the next time you see it, there will be no messes!

Besides family (and friends whom I have no time for yet) and the bed, there are many other comforts of home I often take for granted, primarily FOOD.

Things like, Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal… the taste you can see!

Vietnamese dishes I would never make myself like warm Soy Bean Pudding with ginger syrup, perfect for the cold weather!

Additionally, I’ve forgotten how many delights a fridge stocked by my mom can contain! πŸ˜›

My sister still has her claim on my old bed. She’s joined both our twins to make a massive… king sized? So she’s stuck with me in ‘her bed’ along with her life-sized teddy. I sometimes worry he might come to life and kill me in my sleep.

She’s also bought a new pet – a 5 month old yellow bellied slider turtle, which she named Franklin. Very original name, I know πŸ˜› As you might see, his shell looks pretty unhealthy. Franklin’s previous owner didn’t take the best of care (provided no proper heat/UV-B lamp… the poor turtle) so my sister is making sure he’s getting a lot of love.

I’m also still debating on whether or not I will write the USMLE Step 1 and if so, when I will be writing it. In the meantime, I’m still going to study over the break. Pocket medicine was the only physical book I brought back with me, but everything is on my iPad, so should be fine! I’ve decided to begin studying by going over Pathoma lectures, starting with Chapter 1 today. We’ll see how that goes before I plan anything further! πŸ˜›

And while you’re here, I wanted to share with my year book profile – written by Roger and Christine with a few things added by Michael and Yoni (yes, we were supposed to get our friends to write one for us). After reading the profiles of many other classmates, I’m quite thankful my friends are nice and don’t have a cruel sense of humour! πŸ˜‰

Part 1: A Delightful Wednesday

October 24, 2012

Met up with Christine for study date – lunch at Petit Four in Wintergarden Queen St Mall. Christine had a ‘tasting’ voucher – $15 for the 2 of us which I thought was definitely worth it!

I had read a number of negative reviews on Urbanspoon but was quite happy with the pleasant service! We were patiently instructed on our options and what we could choose:

  • 2 hot drinks (approx $5/ea value) – I chose a hazelnut chocolate milk while Christine got a strawberry mocha. My milk was nearly hot enough to even melt the chocolate so I ended up with a clumpy chocolatey drink. Fortunately, it still tasted good.

  • 2 chocolates ($3/ea value) – Wild passionfruit for me and a rose shaped fudge for Christine. Yummy chocolates!

  • 4 small macarons (approx $3/ea value) – Pistachio and citrus for me, strawberry and pistachio for Christine. I really enjoyed these but haven’t had them enough to know if these would be considered ‘great’ or not.

  • 1 tart (approx $5/ea value) – Lemon meringue. Nothing special but tasted good.

  • 1 square (approx $5/ea value) – Chocolate mud cake. Didn’t really like this – barely enough chocolate flavour and not very moist – definitely not a ‘mud’ cake.

  • 4 finger sandwiches – We got one of each flavour: egg & dill, chicken, tuna and tomato/cheese/ham. Again, nothing special but they were good!

Overall, the food was quite decent. And really, how could you complain when you paid $15 for all of that food, in Brisbane?

There were also numerous people who came to redeem the same voucher (which expired the next day). I was amazed at how impatient and stuck up some customers can be. Hello?! You chose to be cheap and purchase this great deal… what on earth are you so high and mighty about? Some people really need to learn to be a little more respectful!

Anyway, Petit Four is located in a corner of the mall so you don’t expect much. But they do have a cute environment withΒ  clear plastic chairs and little tables (seat 2 or 4) as well as clear stools for 2 big counters for customers to sit at. We set up shop at one of the counters and ended up staying for close to 5 hours, mainly studying with some chit chat πŸ˜‰ Not once did we feel pressured to leave and the tasting definitely filled us up for a while!

Would I come back? Yes! But only when I’m not so cheap and poor… πŸ˜›

Petit Four on Urbanspoon

Finally got home around 5:30pm to these! So pretty!

From this guy! πŸ˜‰

We had a dinner date that night (you’ll see in Part 2!) so he decided to get me flowers… awww, so sweet!

A wonderful Friday surprise

Last Friday (October 19), Mike and I decided to have lunch at The Coffee Club in West End after PBL. We had bought a voucher that was expiring within a few days – $25 for 2 breakfasts or lunches and 2 glasses of wine/juice, so had to use it!

After a delicious lunch, we did what we usually do when we go out for food: hang around for a few hours and study. During that time, I got a message from Joseph saying “OSCE marks are out!”

I told Michael excitedly and then with trembling hands and a pounding heart, we logged onto Blackboard to check our scores. I don’t know If you remember, but a few weeks ago I wrote a blog after the OSCEs detailing my experiences and the fear that I may have failed.

I held my breath and loaded the page:

Yay! I passed! Michael was slower and was even more nervous to load his page, but he passed too! Yay us!

I was unbelievably happy. A huge weight was lifted off my shoulders and I could finally breathe a sigh of relief. Michael and I booked our flights back to Ottawa for the second week after final exams in case we’d have to redo the exam but now we can have a real holiday in Australia before going home instead!

Headed out after studying and stopped in Bent Books – sooo many books! Loved it!

Three Monkeys Coffee & Tea House on Urbanspoon

We then decided to stop at Three Monkeys Coffee & Tea House for a slice of celebratory cake. πŸ˜€ Our friend Lauren introduced this lovely cafe to us last year. Although it has great ambiance, cozy indoor and breezy outdoor seating, their cakes are unfortunately quite average while overpriced. Nevertheless, fun times! And make sure to check out the decor if you stop by! All the different “See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil” monkeys really gives the cafe its name!

Kimono on Urbanspoon

Decided to call it a day and head home. But during the walk back to Cultural Centre bus stop, we passed by Kimono – a sushi train restaurant we’d never seen before. Sushi is our weakness… so we decided we had to give it a try!

We were loudly greeted by the chef as soon as we walked into the door and felt immediately welcomed. A server showed us to our seats and briefly outlined the dinner options, which included an AYCE buffet option! Alas, we weren’t hungry enough for that so we ordered a few rolls instead. They were made on the spot, well priced and all were quite yummy!

When we went to pay, the server commented that we didn’t eat much but we told her we’ll definitely be back!

What an amazingly happy day! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

A study date at Bellissimo Coffee

October 11, 2012

Mike and I were in the area running an errand and decided to stop by Bellissimo Coffee during down time to study. What a neat little place! Although I’m not a coffee drinker, reviews on Urbanspoon certainly agree that Bellissimo deserves being the most awarded coffee of 2010 and 2011.

The shop has 2 levels. You can place your orders downstairs, check out some coffee roasting and even buy some coffee beans to take home.

We didn’t get any food but will definitely next time!

Then head upstairs where there’s plenty of room to grab a seat. Neat tables made from milk crates and coffee machines line the wall.

I’m not a coffee drinker but Michael said it was great coffee and we were both quite impressed at the latte art

Productive study date, yay!

Bellissimo on Urbanspoon

Procrastinating… as usual -_-‘

I have 2 exams this Saturday: Clinical Science and Ethics & Professional Practice.

Am I ready yet? No.

Will I be ready? Maybe!

But as usual, I’m taking many breaks to go on (what Michael likes to call) YouTube Adventures!

Join me for a smile as I procrastinate!

Medical Terminology Concerto
(Not everyone will find this amusing as I do…)

2 Hamsters 1 Wheel
(Mike laughed so hard, he cried – for real)

Sugar Painting: Chinese Dragon
(Such a low cost business and so good! I wish I had such a talent!)

and because one video is never enough

Painting on Water
(Reminds me of doing marble nails if anyone has ever done that before)

Flexipan Small Cakes
(I really really want these pans now…)

Funny Japanese Pranks
(Because they never fail to make me laugh)

Gangnam Style!
(Come on… don’t tell me you haven’t seen this yet? :P)