The last six months have been a whirlwind of change and good things for the future. I was fortunate enough to secure a spot as a PGY-1 Obstetrics and Gynecology resident in Oklahoma this past February. This was a difficult year for the match and I feel very blessed and fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue the career path I have fallen in love with over the past two years.
After Match Day, my husband and I started the journey of first time home purchasing. Finally after three long months we are finally getting settled into our new home and our new city. Whoever said that buying a home was fun lied. The first weekend of looking at homes was fun and then watching homes being put under contract the day we put an offer on one was a bit heartbreaking and emotional. Don’t get connected to a house until the closing date has come and gone is my advice.
Finally adding a new addition to our family has been an experience. We added a silver labrador to our family in March. He went on my last rotation with me, traveled with us on our house hunting experience, and has finally started to get cozy in his new home. He probably wondered for awhile if we had one house that we were going to live in. His name is “Doc”. He was my graduation present to myself which is also a good amount of my life commitment. He is healthy and fun. We have managed to keep him alive since we got him. Here is hoping he is raised to be a great hunting dog and running partner. My instagram account has become a documentation of his life. He is loved and the closest thing we are going to have to a child for quite some time.
Graduation is happening soon. I will add the title of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine to my name. Lots of life changes. All for the better. Hopefully I will have more interesting things to write about.
All of this snow and cold weather that Oklahoma and the rest of the nation seem to be getting is a significant amount of snow, sleet, ice, and just freezing cold temperatures. Is it really that different than any other winter. Last year Oklahoma had a warmer than usual winter, but then the summer was a bit milder than normal also. We have not had a significantly cold winter in quite a few years. This has caused so many schools to be closed, businesses to be closed, and things to be rescheduled. I do not remember ever getting out of school for snow, rain, or cold temperatures. Am I just imagining this?
Even with all this complaining that I am doing I still like winter. It gives me a reason to wear warm cozy clothing. It has made me second guess training for a spring marathon. Oh runners problems. Hopefully this moisture will stop by this afternoon because running seven miles on a treadmill does not sound to exciting to me. I can put on all my winter running gear and hit the trail. That is one thing that is definitely a priority here in Tulsa. The trails are always cleared. As I was pulling into my neighborhood the Tulsa Trails workers were out clearing the trails, pushing the ice and snow off to the side. They were also clearing the damage to a pole and tree in the middle of a trail from a car that decided it looked like a good place to park this morning.
I wish I were on a ski slope somewhere. Seven weeks left of rotations, maybe I can get a ski trip in at the end of rotations? Maybe, maybe not. One can only wish. Six more weeks of winter, according to that groundhog.
Well somehow or another I lost my flip flops this weekend. Good thing I remembered my tennis shoes to golf in this weekend.
It was a great Sunday morning on the golf course with the men of the family. I was pretty amazed I golfed 18 holes and used the same ball the entire time. Pink ladies golf balls must be my thing.
Whether it is hitting the pavement in my running shoes or on my bicycle I love it! I love to spend 30 minutes to an hour, just my ipod, my running shoes, the beautiful outdoors, and me! I am glad that I live in a city that there are trails all over it, and I just happen to live one block off of them. Is it really spring? My allergies say it is. Weather, please keep getting warmer so that I can workout outside. I hate the Dreadmill. I need to get my daily amount of Vitamin D. I love the sun.
The National Rural Health Policy Institute was a few weeks ago, Sunday, January 29 – Wednesday, February 1st. This was a great school trip, a great professional experience, and a great way to learn about legislation that will be affecting the my profession, the hospitals I will work in and with each day, and my patients one day.
One of the many themes of the Policy Institute was that: cutting rural funding does not make fiscal sense. This would mean cutting close access off to many many families that live in rural America.
There were many things that I learned at the policy institute.
Sequestration: If Sequestration passes then it will disproportionately harm rural providers and should be modified. The Budget control act mandated that Medicare spending sequester that will disproportionately harm rural providers and should be modified to avoid crisis in access to care. People, politicians, most of the population does not realize the actual obstacles faced by health care providers and patients in rural areas are vastly different than those in urban areas. Rural facilities are more dependent on Medicare reimbursement based on the population of patients they serve. With all of this being said if a two percent cut where taken from rural providers it would cause catastrophic gaps in access to care for a large percent of the population.
Here is some more information that I learned about rural healthcare:
There is a higher uninsured and Medicaid population that is serviced at these hospitals. Small rural hospitals also operate on a much narrower financial margin. Keeping the 2% is vital to keeping the doors at CAH, MDH, and HMC facilities open.
1/3 of hospitals in the United States are Critical Access Hospitals, which accounts for 5% of Medicare expenditures.
PLEASE GOVERNMENT, DON’T THROW RURAL MEDICINE AND HEALTHCARE UNDER THE BUS!
Each physician in a rural community brings 23 jobs to the community
25% of the population in American lives on 90% of the landmass in the United States and only 9% of physicians in the United States practice in rural communities. This seemed to be a statement that was restated many times throughout the conference. LESS THAN 10% OF PHYSICIANS PRACTICE IN RURAL AMERICA
One major point also trying to be driven across is that you should not have to go to a major city to get the best medical care , technology can help improve the quality of care in rural America: There are new telemedicine grants available, these are through the Rural Network Enforcement development grants.
there are so many great opportunities offered to medical students and physicians through the National Rural Health Service Cor: Home – NHSC. They can help with loan repayment and job placement. Ms. Mary Wakerfield talked about how this is important for helping get physicians into the rural or underserved areas and hopefully getting those people truly invested in the community so that they will stay in the community after their service time is up.
One of the most important things that was learned and experienced at the National Rural Health Policy Institute is how important it is for physicians to stay active in the politics of medicine. It is only the people that actually live in, practice in, work in the hospitals, and rural communities not only of Oklahoma,but of all the areas in the US that know what we truly need to improve healthcare. Our voice needs to be heard.
Stay active throughout your career, no matter what part of the healthcare field you are in.
Last year we learned that medical school snow days are not always the greatest thing to happen, but judging on how many people showed up for class today: OSU should have called it a snow day!
There’s enough snow on the ground that it’s pretty and it feels like winter outside. I think enough public schools were closed today that traffic actually flowed like it was a weekday mid-afternoon, instead of morning rush hour. If the wind wasn’t blowing it would be a great time to play in the snow. The snow is wet enough you could have an awesome snowball fight, but you’d have to be prepared to be wet afterwards.