Neurology – Day 0

Today was the first day of neurology. The morning was jus orientation and some review lectures and then I was told to go to clinic in the afternoon. I switched into this rotation a little late so I missed some emails with info from before, but mostly I was brought up to date. Originally I was primarily supposed to work back at the county hospital, but last minute they switched me to be primarily at a site in Downey which is close to where I’m living which I thought would be a good deal because I would have lighter commute. I was told to go in after lecture at 1330. I got to the clinic and there were already 3 other medical students working there with the attending I was assigned, and that isn’t even counting the 3 other 4th year USC medical students who are supposed to be working there, but were apparently told not to come in today and have their first day on tomorrow. The clinic seemed a bit hectic and fast paced. I got to see one patient, and the expectations for presentation weren’t well laid out, but probably partially due to the fact that I came in mid day. I got to meet the other students, and sounds like I may not have to come in every day. This will definitely be an interesting experience, logistically.

Dried Out

The snake plant in my room as looking pretty dried out. It’s a hearty plants and it’s still green, but it just looks a little more wrinkly than it did before. I tried to give it some water yesterday, but it still looks a but dry. It prob needs more than the little trickle of leftover water I gave it. I haven’t been taking the best care of it, but thank goodness for it’s resilience.


Different people have different standards for what they are are willing to accept for themselves. And those standards can change over time and depending on specific circumstances. Sometimes things that seem like the end of the world at one point seem pretty insignificant in another. If at any point something seems insignificant, does that mean it ever was actually that important? We should be constantly asking ourselves what we are willing to accept for ourselves, and what things are trivialities(?) in the bigger picture.

(1) People watching
(2) Christmas markets with local vendors
(3) Shared retail/vendor spaces

Surgery – Day 24

Last day of surgery, and it was a call day. Thankfully it was only a day call, and actually our residents let us leave early. Overall I’m glad to have had this experience. Surgery is really its own world. Honestly if the school was less and the lifestyle was better I would definitely consider surgery, but that time is necessary to become a good surgeon. There are a lot of other things I want to do with my life which is evidenced by my performance not always befitting a future surgeon. It’s not over though, I still have my exams, but we’re almost to vacation.

(1) People who decide to make lifestyle changes when they are already older.
(2) Quinoa salads.
(3) Vests.


When I see the lines at the In-N-Out drive through (literally every one), I can help but wonder if all those people actually think this is the best thing they’ve tasted in their life, or if In-N-Out is a master of marketing and culture and have elevated their food and brand beyond a source of sustenance and into a symbol (a symbol of what I can’t say). It always blows my mind that people wait as long as they do for a meal at In-N-Out. Don’t get me wrong it is a decent burger and a great price (though looks like even they aren’t immune to inflation) and they do an excellent job keeping things moving despite the crowds, but to willingly subjecting yourself to 30 mins a car queue that is 17 cars deep seems a bit much.

(1) Snake plants
(2) Self Checkout at Target
(3) People who use their blinkers

Surgery – Day 23

Weekend swing shifts are the best. No clinic, just rounds and floor work. Get to spend time with patients without having to go to the OR. Today we discharge one of the ladies who’s been on our service for pretty much the whole time I’ve been here. She was a very sweet lady and I was happy that she was able to finally go home. There was another guy on our list who was here longer that I have who we’ve been working on getting a wheelchair. It is surprisingly hard but we finally got one and we went to go work with him to get up and try it out. It was gratifying. Almost done with ACS, thank goobness.

(1) Being alive in a time of video calling.
(2) Cute puppies.
(3) Cozy sweaters.

Surgery – Day 21/22

It was a crazy one, and I got the trauma case I was hoping for. The majority of the daytime was relatively chill, but after around 4 pm everything started rolling in. Had some motorcycle accidents, falls, assaults, stab wounds. The big case was a gunshot wound to the abdomen. When we were all looking into this guy’s belly, trying to figure out it injuries it was almost reminiscent of a group project. Everyone had their own thought and suggesting of what to do. Different responsibilities were getting passed around and everyone was joking around despite the gravity of the situation. It was good kind of group project.

Another thing I thought about though was how many resources were pouring into saving this guy life. 4 people with 6 figure salaries, 1 student with 100k debt, countless (actually carefully counted) disposable and plastics just being consumed with reckless abandon. And I get it, we are trying to save this man’s life, so maybe it makes me a little psychopathic, but that’s just where my mind went.

It was a super cool surgery and glad I got to be a part of it. Overall it was a busy night in trauma, we didn’t even get a chance to rest our heads for a teeny tiny bit. Cheers to the last 28-hour call of the rotation (maybe of my life).

(2) Ethics discussions
(3) Layers

Surgery – Day 20

Pre-call day is always nice an chill. Though this morning I got to see a pretty interesting case. I didn’t get to scrub in because I guess it was a pretty difficult case so there was 3 attendings, 1 fellow, and a 3rd year resident all scrubbed in. They were placing an interpositional graft for a patient who had their carotid artery transected by a bullet. This was my first time seeing a thoracotomy and a thus a beating heart inside a living person’s chest. It was very cool (though I still think maybe the kidney transplant was a little cooler/ more interesting to me. That said this was probably a pretty rare case, also given that the patient had some unusual anatomy, an aberrant right subclavian artery.

Also later today I went to Target to get some deodorant and this older gentleman started talking to me asking if Old Spice was a good brand. We talked about deo for a while and then started talking about life and stuff, very nice guy, but also just a very random encounter (at first wasn’t sure if he was trying to sell me something or something).

Also got a chance to get dinner with my line, always nice to see them and catch up.

(1) The consistent ones.
(2) Random shopping encounters with strangers.
(3) Cheesy fries.


Coffee, beer, veggies, wine, dark chocolate. What makes us crave things that objectively leave a bad taste in our mouths? Is it the abstract knowledge (not sure if I’m using this term correctly) that their consumption has some type of desirable property outside of its flavor (i.e. stimulation, intoxication, health benefits, etc.) or is there something about the bitterness itself that we actually crave or is there something about these things that we seek out despite the bitterness and despite the their effects. I supposed it could be, and likely is, multifactorial as almost everything in this life is. Even when we subject ourselves to some form of physical or mental hardship (e.g. exercise, studying) there is both some form of direct and future reward that is motivating us in the form of endorphins and health/ vanity or the elusive flow state (neural mechanisms not well understood) and job prospects. Wouldn’t it be more advantageous to experience all these things as pleasant through and through? C’mon evolution! I guess that would make for a very boring life.

(1) Small, hidden, out of the way watering holes.
(2) Very large doors.
(3) My dad’s parallel parking formula.

The Option

Sometimes I wish my eyesight was just slightly not good so I could have the option to wear glasses. I always thought they looked cool, but I also realize that this is probably a terrible thing to wish for. So I guess I’ll just have to settle for wearing my blue light glasses in the privacy of my home and appreciate a more refined, intelligent looking Niko all by myself.

(1) Vision
(2) DIY YouTube channels
(3) Quilted blankets that aren’t too thick