March 30, 2014
Stream of Consciousness

The following is a teaser, perhaps from the 'I See How Your World Shakes' series, which is a continuous work in progress…

Problems of being an introvert. Eating cookies and stressing away. Retrospect. Introspect. Don’t be shy, speak up. No Professor Arrogant, Pinenut did not do the dissection. It was me, can’t you see? Can’t you see? She tore away my ascending cervical. Said she was “cleaning it up.” Pinenut, you just ripped our ascending. Who me? No, she says. Sigh. Our dissection does not need cleaning. Clean your side, not mine. Look at the superior cervical ganglion I found, she says. But no it wasn’t you. It was my group that cut yesterday. Very nice, says the professor. I stare down. Pinenut points to me for a split second. Yes it was me. Can’t you see? Can’t you see? No, of course not. I’m not working hard enough. Drink more coffee. Doesn’t matter. More coffee. Another cookie. I had studied for that last exam. But nothing to show for it. Take a break. Internet not working. Can’t watch, can’t Google. Where’s my Kindle? Crumbs in my book, crumbs on my lap. Can’t take a break, can’t take a break. Nothing works. Nothing’s right. Island life. Med life. If only. You could have done better. The past. Stop sleeping. Speak up. Chocolate chip cookie. Everything’s crumbling. Matches the coffee stain on the page. Look there’s the tear drop that smudged the letters of those antibiotics. Yes, my lacrimal glands are working. So many words. Too many words. Blurred vision. What future. Always working. No shortcuts. But never any credit. No credit. Doesn’t matter. No, I’m not working hard enough. Read, study, memorize. Understand. More pictures, more slides. No Professor, nothing’s ailing me. I just don’t know what’s wrong with my brain. Histology. Pathology. More “-ology”. Don’t panic, the good professor says. But I used to be top of the class. I won’t panic. You can do it. Speak up. Don’t be shy. Think of all the patients you can treat. Think of all those smiles. Everyone looking up to you. Big sister. Retrospect. Introspect. Meibomian glands. The ascending cervical is gone. Because that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

October 3, 2013

Guess what’s in the making? Part 3 to this here story: “I See How Your World Shakes.”

Where’s Part 2 you ask? Oh yes, that’s still in the writing process as well.

June 1, 2012
I See How Your World Shakes (Commentary)

cranquis: A fictional tale that has surely occurred in real life many many times for many many pre-med students. A bit of a long read, but worth it — for the story, and for the enjoyable writing style, too!


I can’t tell if this is fiction or truth. It drips too much truth, even if it is fiction. I am very, very angry for the author’s sake. And so, I would like to address the author, and any anyone whose shoes might resemble hers.

Dear Tina:

First, you write beautifully. Don’t stop. Writing is a skill, not everyone can do it or even do a mediocre job of it. Fucking be proud of yourself, girl!

Second, your Mother is wrong to behave that way to you. Her job is to support you through success and failure. Not to tear you down and compare you to your friends- that is so unnecessary and unkind. I would suggest politely telling her that you are hard on yourself as it is, you don’t need her criticism and disappointment magnifying things; if she doesn’t have any encouraging and loving words, she can keep them to herself. You’re an adult now (I myself forget sometimes), so you don’t have to put up with emotional bullying like that.

Trust me, my parents worst punishment in their arsenal of torments was to tell me they were disappointed in me. It used to destroy me to think I was disappointing them (then I did things like move in with my boyfriend, get tattoos, stop believing in their religion, and I resigned myself to being a constant disappointment on some level). When my mom told me on my 21st birthday how proud she was of me for supporting myself and trying so hard in school, I broke down and cried after hanging up the phone.

This is a message to all pre-meds, med students, doctors, whatever the fuck you are. You don’t need negative people in your life. It doesn’t matter who they are: professors, friends, roommates, siblings, parents. How shortsighted is that person? This path is really fucking hard and try as you might, you will probably fuck up somewhere. SO. WHAT. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not that big of a fucking deal! If you are struggling, they should lift you up, not add some more weight to your emotional load. That’s cruel and heartless, not loving, not acceptable. Don’t keep those people around any longer than necessary (ex: family you can’t get rid of, but you can minimize contact with them until they start being positive).

In one of my interviews we got way off track, and the doctor interviewing me told me a story about a friend of his in medical school who committed suicide because the pressure from his family was too much; he felt worthless and hopeless because that’s what they told him he was. Parents especially often don’t realize what a negative impact they words and attitudes can have on their children- disappointment and criticism are not the right ways to drive someone to succeed.

If someone is treating you this way, please please please stand up for yourself. You’re awesome! You want to be a doctor and help people! You deserve hugs and coffees and cookies and rainbows! All campuses have great counseling services for students. Talk to them, don’t let someone else’s negativity define you.  Listen: your dreams, your path, and your life are yours and yours alone. Whatever you do, do it for yourself and be proud of those decisions. You are brave, you got this.

First off, I’m so happy and honored you all like this story (humble much?). I just want to clarify, for my mind’s sake, that my mom is awesome…

I, creator of The Medical Chronicles, wrote this story, and like every writer, I think even when we write fiction, there’s a bit of us in the story. That being said, I’m not Tina, although there is a bit of me in Tina. Many of us pre-meds are Tinas, which is why I tried to capture it in the story (especially those of us that come from family-oriented Asian cultures!).

But aspiringdoctors (by the way, if you’re not following her already, you should!), you wrote some great advice to other pre-meds out there, and I totally agree with it. This piece of fiction is just some humor, and in the words of Cranquis, it’s “lasix for the soul.” I’m hoping to continue a (pre)-med series of short stories, so stay tuned…

In the meantime, study hard but make sure to enjoy yourselves everyone! I hope you all have a very wonderful summer! And remember, the ask/submit box is always open for suggestions, comments, questions and more :)

(Source: themedicalchronicles)

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