With Thanksgiving

The holiday season always puts me in a state of reflection. Maybe it’s a result of my annual ten slices of pumpkin pie. Since Thanksgiving is still a recent memory, I wanted to write about a few things for which I am grateful:

A controllable thermostat in the Alumni Hall classroom. When nearly everyone has vacated our lecture hall, and the faithful few remain, I am so thankful that we can turn the temperature up to the 70s and be nice and toasty while we study for eight hours or until our eyelids become too heavy to lift (whichever comes later).


I’m dreaming of a sunny Christmas…

Wednesday/Thursday $3 burritos. I find it hard to prepare meals for myself throughout the week. There are some weeks when I survive on free food given at events and kind friends who love to cook. But when all my containers are empty and nothing in the community fridge has my name on it, LLU Church UReach $3 burritos save the day.

California sunshine. After experiencing seven Midwest/East winters and enjoying the “winters” here in SoCal, I would be reluctant to go back to a white Christmas, no matter how romantic and song-worthy it sounds.

Tutors and big sibs. At every session, material that would normally take me five hours to digest is compacted into two glorious hours of epiphanies. My tutors are brilliant and funny, and they deserve a lot of credit for helping me succeed in medical school. Meanwhile, my big sib (student mentor) gives me hugs and food, and who wouldn’t be grateful for that?!

friendsgivingFriends. They help make the med school life worth living. In just a few short years, these amazing people will be changing the world, one patient at a time.

Jesus. The author and finisher of my faith. When the world seems to be crumbling from within and more eyes grow cataracts of anxiety and fear, I continually look forward to His promise of a perfect world, where there will be no need for doctors (Revelation 21:1-4).

After three more tests and two mock board subject exams in less than three weeks, we’ll be home for Christmas! I can’t wait!


The holiday season is by far my favorite time of year.  It’s the time for snuggling up in cozy sweaters and warm blankets, sipping peppermint mochas, spending time with friends and family, and celebrating all that we are thankful for.

This year, the holiday season comes during a hectic and harried time.  According to our second year predecessors, our upcoming exam set will be the most difficult exams that we will face all year.  This is made evident by the fact that I have been sorely neglecting my duties as a student blogger because, let’s face it, I’m busy being a student!  Yet in the midst of studying heart sounds, respiratory physiology, genetics, anatomy, biochemistry, and immunology the holidays remind me to pause and appreciate the things that matter most in life.

So, as I sit here snuggled up in a blanket, sipping a warm cup of tea on this last night of Thanksgiving break, I thought I’d share just a few of the things that I’m thankful for this holiday season.

Faith – The trials of medical school have taught me that faith is a crucial component of remaining grounded in what truly matters.  I am so blessed to attend a university that encourages me to grow not only in my knowledge of disease processes, but also in my knowledge that we are not the ones who do the ultimate healing.  We may suture wounds and treat diseases, but God is the ultimate healer and only He can offer eternal life.

Family – This Thanksgiving I got to spend time with my sister in Davis, California.  She is a fourth year veterinary student at UC Davis and her clinical responsibilities make this the first Thanksgiving that she has been forced to be away from home.  After not seeing her for months while she’s been away at school, it was amazing to be able to visit her in Davis for a few days.

Friends – One of the things that has made medical school the phenomenal experience that it has been thus far is the people that I get to spend each and every day with in my class.  I have made some of the most incredible friends along this journey and I couldn’t be more blessed.  Moreover, my long-time friends from years past have stuck with me through this time. Although I hardly get to spend time with them, they continue to support and encourage me.

Holiday Shenanigans – Part of the fun of the holidays is all of the holiday festivities!  This year our class had a Thanksgiving Potluck in the park to start off the holiday season right.  A special thanks to Theresa Tran and Lauren Parker for helping to plan this event!  We have a few more fun holiday parties planned for the class so stay tuned for more updates!


Within the one and a half days of orientation, we met faculty, made new friends, donned our new white coats, signed up for extracurricular activities, went through the student handbooks (which is more impressive than you might think), and even got our first homework assignments. Rightfully so, for a Christian institution, those assignments were for our religion class, Orientation to Religion and Medicine.

As for all the new faces, I’m excited to get to know the administration, professors, and my classmates. I’m not very good with names, but I’m inspired by the faculty. I have already been approached and watched Dr. Lamberton, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, and Karen Schiller, Office Manager of Student Affairs, connecting the faces and names of every student. If they can do it, I can definitely try. Repetition also helps. I remembered some of my classmates from the alumni picnic and a get-together at Hulda Crooks planned by my fellow freshmen blogger Paige.

The personal connection with classmates and faculty and the school’s Christ-centered foundation are just a few of the reasons that moved me to apply to this university. LLUSM

Me and Dr. Hadley, Dean of the School of Medicine

was such a high priority for me that I chose to apply through the Early Decision Program (EDP) which only allows you to choose one school. And, I haven’t regretted my decision once.

Today, we start our Orientation to Medicine (shadowing doctors in the hospital)!

For more pictures, visit www.medschoolsurvival.wordpress.com.