Let's Talk About Love

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” 
― Martin Luther King Jr.A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

With the onset of fall and the drops in temperature that is to follow, there is a certain level of closeness that tends to occur during this time of the year. Sadly, the world is in a disjointed state and evil is more rampant than ever before. Within the last week, I haven't been able to listen to the radio or scroll through my phone without receiving some notification of another tragedy both locally and internationally. Added to that, school offers its fair share of unrest as well to the pot.

This past week I took the time to be honest with myself regarding my performance during my senior Surgery rotation. I could have done better and studied more. Period. After voicing some of my concerns based on observing the interactions of my colleagues and the messages that are posted in WhatsApp groups that we have, I was saddened once again, because I've realized that medical school has made us professional fakers and all the more better at being selfish.

One may think that being surrounded by the sick and studying medicine would foster an attitude of compassion, love and generosity towards patients and each other. If you've been following KevinMD you would have been surprised by one of the recent articles on Physician suicide where rather than encouraging conversation amongst medical students and persons who are directly affected the medical community is doing their best to keeping things quiet. We encourage our patients to seek counseling when they are feeling depressed, or having thoughts that are not normal, yet we're keeping our feelings, things we've encountered that may have troubled our spirit to ourselves allowing ourselves to become overwhelmed.

It is vital as a student to learn to express yourself so that as a doctor you will be able to cope with the ever changing environment you will be working in. Find the time to encourage healthy communication amongst your peers in a controlled setting to discuss things that may be on your mind, find the time to volunteer if possible and to journal. Something that would allow you to address what you are experiencing.

Here are some ways to ensure you demonstrate more love and less hate towards your colleagues, professors and of course the patients you encounter.


1. Resource Sharing

Preparation is the key to success and what better way to prepare than ensuring you have the necessary resources for the various courses. 

Some medical school provide their students with notes for the different courses that can be purchased through their University's bookstore. Other schools leaves it up to the students to get the course lectures, textbooks, etc the best way they can. 

In medical school sharing of resources with an open heart, fosters unity within your medical school community and demonstrates a level of professionalism as well. Rather than hoarding material and dispersing it to persons in your circle, try sharing the information you may have received from an upper year with others in your class. After all the goal is for everyone to graduate at the end of the day. 

By practicing good habits now, you're building character not just as a person but as a medical professional as well. Wouldn't you want to be known as the person who was always willing to share his/her resources rather than the miser who sat on what they had, shared nothing with anyone whom everyone kept at arm's length? 

2. Show Concern

As you advance in your medical career, you'll soon learn that the challenges you face change and what you once thought was unbearable or impossible to overcome will soon be a joke in comparison to what you will face. Chances are if you're feeling overwhelmed, defeated and just not sure what to do next, someone else has felt the same way or is now experiencing what you overcame. 

It is good to get into the habit of asking your colleagues, the person you sit next to in lectures, your  lab partner or even the upperclassman who you happen to sit next to in the library on occasion, how they're doing; and mean it. By showing some concern of another's well-being you're getting in touch with your empathic side and of course sharing some of their burden at the same time. 

It's vital to be interested in the well-being of others. We are all struggling with our personal issues and the simple act of showing interest (not to go back and gossip about what was shared with you) in what others are experiencing allows you to work on your listening skills which comes in handy during the clinical years. You may be able to share some things that may have worked for you when you were having a hard time. 

A simple genuine "Hi, how are you doing today?" may be just what someone needs to hear to know that someone cares. 

3. Seek Counseling

Sometimes we're not ready to open up to our colleagues or peers regarding what we're experiencing. Be it a bad grade on an exam, how a consultant made you feel on rounds etc. and this is where counseling comes in. 

Find out whether or not your medical school offers counseling services for its students and sign yourself up. The first step is the hardest but it's definitely worth it in the end. 

With Physician suicide rates skyrocketing worldwide, and with reports of medical student suicide rates on the rise as well, don't feel as though you have to go through things alone. Before you decide to take your own life and miss out on all that you are capable of achieving once you're able to overcome your present fears and challenges, speak to someone about it. Listen to what they have to say and of course pray about your situation and be patient. You're not alone. 

4. Be Mindful

Our attitudes have a big role in how others relate to us. Therefore it is important that you're mindful of your attitude on a day to day basis. 

Every day may not be a good day, but it doesn't mean you have to go around wearing "grumpy pants" all day just because your morning started out on the wrong foot, or your afternoon didn't go as planned. With everything in life, we have a choice. We can either be bitter or we can choose to be happy. 

So you woke up late which now sets your whole day back by an hour; are you going to stay in bed and sulk and waste more time or are you going to decide on making more of an effort tomorrow? 

I encourage you to make every effort to be a bit more mindful of your attitude on a daily basis. Make a note of how productive you are on the days you're in a sour mood versus when you're in a more happy mood. Make a note of whether or not your interaction with patients was better or not as effective and also note how you interacted with your peers and if your attitude may be the result of distance or tension between you and others. 

5. Avoid Negativity

This may be easier said than done especially when your medical school may have more issues than Vogue magazine. Everyone is seeking an outlet and a listening ear. Sometimes this is good. It's good to have open forums for discussion on issues that are dear to your heart and the school at large. However, when you find yourself being sucked into all that's negative, you'll soon start to see a change in your attitude from one that was more positive to one that's now more negative. 

Negativity is draining! It takes on many forms and its main goal is to suck all of the happiness out of you. We all know the saying 'misery loves company'. try not to be the company. When others are ranting about the same thing and not making any steps to be a catalyst for change, encourage them to either let it go because the issue is now turning them into a Negative Nancy or make a step to change whatever it is they're ranting about. 

Wouldn't you rather spend your study session discussing medicine or whatever it is you're studying rather than the same thing EVERY single time? 

Give these five things a try and let me know whether or not it helped you in some way or form to show more love and less hate. 

Come go for your Yellow Corn Grits

Travel has never been easier. One can choose to travel by boat, or air throughout The Bahamas and regardless of your mode of transportation, an adventure is yours to have, if you simply decide to travel. 

Harbour Island, or 'Briland' is a small island northwest of the island of Eleuthera. It is known for its pink sand beaches, picturesque landscapes and Loyalist cottages. Each island of The Bahamas, offers visitors a unique experience as no two are the same despite what may be said. The residents are different in their own special way and the hospitality gets sweeter the more you travel down the archipelago. 
While in Briland, I took the advantage of exploring this gem of an island and I must say, if you've yet to visit, this is one island you must add to your bucket list. 
I traveled to the island by way of boat-specifically-the Fast Ferries. I took the last boat leaving Nassau, headed to Current Eleuthera and was met by family there. From one dock to another to catch the water taxi to Harbour Island, we made it just in time for one of the last ones over and before the rain began. Just a disclaimer however, during the summer months, particularly on the out-islands of The Bahamas, mosquitos are in abundance and the limited street lights, allow them to come out in large numbers to feast on tourists and locals alike, who aren't coated in insect repellant. 

Since I stumbled upon AirBnB back in 2012, I can't recall the last time I voluntarily stayed in a hotel. My family and I were able to secure a three bedroom, two bathroom cottage for a fraction of the price of staying in a hotel. One main advantage of booking through such a site as AirBnB is that you're afforded the luxury of cooking for yourself which can reduce the cost of your trip if you're traveling with a large group and can travel with your groceries. 

The weather wasn't the best during my visit as I left during the peak of hurricane season but the trip was enjoyable nonetheless. 

This little island is truly a gem. Golf carts is the main mode of transportation and on every corner there's an opportunity for a 'selfie'.

Where's the water?

Freely walking

The people are friendly, the island has it's moments of "liveliness"  and there are some locals who hold true to their Bahamian roots and culture and offer items such as handbags and hats made from straw 'plait' which they design and sew together all in store. A and A Hidden Treasures is definitely a hidden treasure that won't remain hidden for too long as their work is meticulously done, reasonably priced and authentic; which is so hard to find.

 Overall, Briland although it's quickly becoming modernized with the increase in vehicles infiltrating the island and in some areas the emergence of outdoor bars who aid in noise pollution with their music; it still has an aesthetic that is all its own and rest and relaxation can still be attained. It was a much needed staycation for me, even though I still traveled with my Surgery notes and had some time to study in a new environment, it offered some peace of mind.

Where are you planning on going for your next trip? Let me know in the comments section below. If you've visited Briland either in the past or recently, what were some things you enjoyed about your trip? Do share.

Who said Rompers aren't for 'brunching'?

Dressing up was never something that required a lot of effort on my part. It was a means of expressing myself and came naturally. While in college, I was able to utilize what I had (since my sister's closet was not an option anymore) to create outfits that not only revealed to the world my personal style but allowed me to limit needless spending on clothing which could be used for those late night Taco Bell excursions when chalupas and bean burritos fueled weeknight studying.

Maintaining modesty has been instilled in me from an early age and is something I value to this day whenever I'm shopping for new items to add to my wardrobe and when I'm pairing pieces for my daily outfits.

Today I'm going to share with you, how I turned a 'ratchet' romper into a brunch appropriate piece that can easily double as a lunch date outfit with your girlfriends.

My sister and I recently spent a day together enjoying Starbucks, grocery shopping and such when we came upon the simplest romper at one of the local stores. The material is cotton, it has a faux drawstring and falls nicely at the ankles. While we both were over the moon with the style and shape of the romper, we failed to inspect it fully taking into account the large cut out at the sides.

How could we BOTH not pick up on that minute detail? Well maybe it's a good thing we didn't otherwise this post would not have been birthed.

So for Mother's Day, I wore my 'ratchet' romper to brunch paired with one of my black blazers, a Panama Hat and my go-to black booties, for a look I'd definitely wear again.

The simplest way of modifying any outfit is to add a layer. Be it a blazer, cardigan, bolero or vest, it offers a look of completion to the outfit. They can also, depending on the color of the piece, offer  neutrality to your outfit or make it stand out if your layered piece is bright and bold in color or print.  Because the romper was on the darker end of the color wheel and the hat had a black ribbon adorning it, I went with my black blazer versus tan.

Blazer: Forever21 (years old) similar can be found here | here | here
Panama Hat: SunTime, Mall at Marathon. Similar can be found here | here
Ratchet Romper: Body Beautiful, Mall at Marathon
Booties: Shoedazzle. Similar can be found here | here | here
Shades: Gifted. Similar can be found here

Shopping in your own closet offers you to be your own stylist and to reinvent items that you've forgotten you own and to create a whole new look without spending a penny. 

This romper was the perfect choice for brunch with my mom and sister for Mother's Day as it was breathable, soft, comfortable and easy to dress up and most importantly the blazer pairing offered a modest and polished look that is so me. 

How do you pair your romper? Leave a comment below and let me know how you dress up a simple wardrobe staple.