Super Star Blogs!

Day in the Life of an Endocrinologist

Endocrinology is the branch of medicine focused on managing hormonal imbalances and disorders. This includes conditions such as diabetes and metabolic disorders, thyroid disorders, adrenal disorders, gonadal disorders, pituitary disease and bone disorders. Our training consists of 4 years of medical school, 3 years of internal medicine (residency) and 2-3 years of an endocrinology fellowship.

I chose Endocrinology as my subspecialty because I consider it to be a practical field with a relatively good lifestyle. With the epidemic of diabetes and obesity (especially in the African American community), I wanted the opportunity to make an impact. I’ve always been intrigued by very mysterious diseases which once solved can often be attenuated by balancing ones hormones. I’d like you to follow me as I show you a typical day for me.

Rise and shine. I typically wake up at 6:30am to start my day. A few times a month I travel to a satellite clinic which is quite a distance so I’m up by 5:30am on those days.

 

Got to start the day right. I typically get in a 20-30 minute work-out at home. Morning exercise has a ton of benefits like boosting energy, lowering blood pressure, burning fat, building muscle, preventing diseases.

All done as the sun rises. Let’s get this day started!

Breakfast of champs. I pretty much eat a bowl steel-cut oatmeal and drink my full glass of water every morning while I chat with the wifey. 

Kissed the wife and baby and I’m off to work.

I practice primarily in a smaller blue-collar, town (population 30,000) with median household average below the national. The population is predominantly Hispanic.  I serve as the only Endocrinologist in this town and neighboring cities covering an area of 100 miles.

Pulling into my beautiful clinic. We have a total of 4 medical doctors (primary care and pain management) and 3 advance practice providers (nurse practitioners). Our neighbors next door are surgeons, primary care, and neurology. Most of us (including myself) are employed by the hospital in town.

My first patient is scheduled for 8:30am. I typically see anywhere from 16-25 patients a day.

Long morning. I saw a good mix of cases from diabetes, thyroid cancer, low testosterone and a pituitary tumor. What’s for lunch? I typically rush to the hospital cafeteria or pack my lunch and eat while I work on my clinic notes. 

I have to clear my head after the long morning. I typically go for a 15 minute walk before clinic resumes at 1pm.

Done for the day (sort of). I typically still have some notes and tasks I will still need to complete at home. really need to tidy this place up. I’ll need to share a pretty mysterious case I encountered with you very soon. Stay tuned! 

And… I’m out! Technically, I’m on call 24/7 for my patients and the local hospitals but it is very unusual to get an emergency Endocrine case. Occasionally, I will have a patient I need to visit at the local hospital.

My beautiful drive home.

By far the best part of my day! 

Thanks for following me today. Feel free to message me or ask any questions if you are interested in learning more about the field of Endocrinology. 

Congratulations to Nichelle.  Student of the Week.

1. Tell us about yourself.

My name is Nichelle. I’m 22 years old and obtained my B.A in Psychology at Brooklyn College in May 2019. I love psychology and am working to become a Psychiatrist. Currently, I am at Texas Southern University completing my pre-med post-bac.

2. Who was your favorite teacher in school and how did he or she impact you?

It’s so hard for me to decide on a favorite teacher because I’ve had so many, however, one that comes to mind is Mr. Lucas. He was my 10th-grade geometry teacher. Whenever I fooled around in class he’d always threaten to tell my dad because he knew my dad didn’t play those games and that’s just what I needed. Before I graduated high school, I remember telling him I was going to become a doctor and he called me “Dr. Solomon”. He was speaking it into existence for me and I’ll never forget him saying that.

3. When did you first decide you wanted to become a doctor and why?

I first decided I wanted to become a doctor when I was in high school. My pediatrician Dr. Maria, who I’d been with since I was a baby was amazing. I could tell she really cared about me and my family and she inspired me to become a doctor. She told me about her and her daughter’s journey to becoming a doctor. She both encouraged and inspired me.

4. What area of medicine are you interested in?

As of now, I am interested in Psychiatry.

5. What’s the coolest experience you’ve had so far on your premedical journey?

My premedical journey has just begun but I’m excited about everything I expect to experience with all the new people I’ve been meeting. I recently got a new job in a hospital and I’m looking forward to learning a lot and meeting even more new people.

6. What is your favorite book?

My favorite book currently is Christine by Stephen King. I love horror novels and he’s one of my favorite authors. There’s also just something about a good mystery that keeps me on my toes.

7. Tell us one thing interesting about you that most people don’t know.

I love Anthropology. I took my first Anthropology class to fulfill a core class requirement and then I fell in love. I actually decided to minor in Anthropology along with African-American studies.

8. If you couldn’t be a doctor, what would you want to do?

If I couldn’t be a doctor, I would become a Psychologist. My passion will always be in the world of psychology and helping others.

9. What has been your biggest obstacle as a premed and how did you (or are you) overcome it?

My biggest obstacle as a premed student has been myself because I dealt with a lot of doubt in my abilities. I overcame these doubts by having an amazing and encouraging support system. When I was explaining some of my doubts, one of my mentors asked me, “Why wouldn’t you be able to become a doctor?”. Her question made me really think about it and realize that there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to as long as I put in the work.

10. What do you like most about Diverse Medicine?

What I like most about Diverse Medicine is that it connects Doctors, pre-med students, and medical students together. Networking is very important and beneficial. The mentoring aspect is also great especially for someone like me who doesn’t personally know any Doctors or medical students. 

How to make an IMPACT!

How to make an IMPACT!

Day in and day out, we go about our business. We do all the little things we believe we’re supposed to be doing. Checking off all our little boxes just to make it to the next task. For most people, that’s an okay way of living, but for those who have a growth mindset, checking the boxes isn’t enough. People like us want to have a real I.M.P.A.C.T. I’ve created this acronym to help you evaluate your impact score. Go through each letter and see how you’re doing.


INDIVIDUALISM

In today’s society, this has almost become a bad word. People always want you to hop on the bandwagon and do what the group is doing. When you veer a little off path, they’ll reign you in and say you’re getting out of line. That’s very unfortunate. The truth is, we need people to express their individualism for innovation to arise. We need leaders who are willing to go against the grain and challenge modern principles based on their own individual experiences.


MENTORING

One of the greatest ways to impact society for good is to teach those coming behind you to be successful in the areas of your expertise. Mentoring is critical for everyone to progress in life. A major factor in your impact score is whether or not your pouring into the next generation. You don’t want your good works to live and die with you. Leave a legacy via mentorship.


PARTICIPATE

While it’s important to be an individual and leverage that to be avant garde, it’s important that you connect with others and participate. Keeping all your talents to yourself if a major waste of your potential. It’s important that you participate in initiative of others’ as well to help move their projects and ideas forward.

**Bonus P=Prayer. I believe in the power of praying for others. Never underestimate it!


ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE

Society progresses based on our understanding of the world we live in. Part of our goal as leaders in whatever field we’re in should be to advance it’s knowledge. This is the drive for academic excellence. Without knowledge, there is no progress.


CHALLENGE THE STATUS QUO

To have a true impact, you have to be willing to challenge ideas and people. This plays strongly off ‘Individualism’ above. You need to stand your ground and ALWAYS act with integrity. That means truly valuing your values.


TELL YOUR STORY

This is one of the most underrated aspects of making a major impact. Once you’ve achieved something great, it’s important to tell your story so others can be inspired, motivated, and educated. There are countless people out there who would benefit from hearing how you’ve made it this far. Tell them!


What suggestions do you have for our community to help them have a greater impact?  Please share.

Thanks for your service!

On this day we celebrate our vets!

Thanks to all the veterans out there including Afghanistan vet, Greg Proctor who has been an active member on Diverse Medicine supporting his peers and was even voted premed of the year 2018. Below are some of his recent pictures while deployed to West Africa. While there, he sought out opportunities to assist school-age children. He created various fundraisers generating up over $5,000 to support this community. Electronic equipment was purchased, school transportation repaired, power restored to the off-site office, teacher salaries were paid, and food was purchased. He has sought for further assistance to help this community. Check out Greg’s diversemedicine profile and his feature as premed of the year. Help wish him well on his premed journey and a happy Veteran’s Day.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=127&v=BabZhWSUe8w&feature=emb_title

Keeping up with the Joneses

Dr. Dale and I were honored with distinguished alumnae awards at our old high school over the weekend. It was special seeing our former teachers and having the opportunity to thank them for all they did for us. We were given the opportunity to share a special high school memory that impacted our lives and this is what I shared:

Every year during the off-season, our basketball team would march out to the track for our annual mile run. As sophomores, we were the youngest but wanted to prove yourself. This was our first time on the track. An interesting thing happened as the race progressed, you quickly recognized that the leaders were all sophomores. So much so that we were beginning to lap some of the upperclassmen. At the end of the race, the top finishers were celebrating giving one another high fives while coach patted us on the back. We were on top of the world after destroying all of the upperclassmen. Little did we know we would be back out on the track the following week.

You should’ve seen our faces the following week when coach told us we had to run the mile run again but this time, he wanted us to beat our last week’s time! I wanted to yell, “but we gave it all we had last week and we even beat the big bad upperclassmen!” I still remember the snickering coming from the upperclassmen as they watched our faces. They purposefully paced themselves the week before because they knew the real race was not finished.

You’ve got to stay in your lane and run your race!

Needless to say, I learned a great deal that day. I learned to pace myself; it’s not how fast or well you start but how you finish. I learned to dig deep and find a way to be better today than I was yesterday. Most importantly, I learned not to compete with others. I am my biggest competitor. So many students struggle trying to keep up with the Jones’. I’ll let you in on a little secret… the Joneses are broke! Well, not necessarily, but we really never know what the next person is going through or what they did to get there. I’ve seen too many students become so focused on what their peers are doing that they become anxious, depressed, jealous, or end up hurting themselves in the long run. There is nothing wrong with gaining motivation from others but never lose yourself because you are competing with them. We all have our own timeline. Make sure to stay in your lane and run your own race. This can be extremely liberating.

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Dr. Daniel is a practicing Endocrinologist and blogger at www.diversemedicine.com

Diversity Inside Out

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had a few stories written about my team’s efforts to develop leaders in the field of medicine with a specific emphasis on diversity in medicine. I’m always grateful and honored to be featured, however, I’ve began to notice a recurring theme; one that has been bothering me a bit.

One of my favorite children animation films is Inside Out [SPOILER ALERTS COMING]. In this film, a young girl by the name of Riley moves to a new town and struggles to adjust. It becomes clear that she feels “boxed-in” and trapped in a situation that she doesn’t want to be in. She even goes to the point of trying to run away from home.

This film does an excellent job of showing the mixed bag of personified emotions leading to Riley’s decisions. The real star of the show is her favorite emotion, Joy. Throughout the film, Joy works relentlessly to change Riley’s mood and bring the “joy” out of her. You see, Riley’s external environment was controlling her. The move to a new town along with it’s various adjustments impacted her performance and subsequently the way others viewed her.

Lately, I’ve felt boxed-in. I’ve felt like Joy trapped in Riley’s mind. I get the sense that people look at our efforts, and lump them solely into the box of diversity work rather than what they truly are; leadership development and systems improvement efforts. The impact of our work, and many in the field of “diversity” goes far beyond meeting quotas and making sure we have enough representation. The true fruits of the work are the outcomes in system improvement.

It’s a constant battle working to help people appreciate that. It’s a constant battle reminding them that just because we do “diversity” work, doesn’t mean we are great in other areas as well. It’s important that we don’t box people into diversity, but rather, we realize that diversity emanates from inside every individual, and out into the world. It’s inside out!   


Have you struggled with similar feelings as mine?  Being boxed in when you know you are so much more.   Please share your thoughts.

Med School Application Timeline

Hey Diverse Medicine. It’s that time again! For those of you applying, it is important to have your timeline set. Check out our timeline we’ve provided to our community the past few years. Many have found this very helpful so wanted to share again this year.

NOVEMBER 2019

Prepare study plan for Spring 2020 MCAT. Register for MCAT and consider prep course.

DECEMBER 2019

Research medical schools and create list of those you are interested in. Consider liking and communicating with schools in our Diverse Medicine Recruitment Center.

JANUARY 2020

Request for letter of recommendation (LoR). Provide writers with CV and personal statement draft if available. Meet with pre-health advisor to establish application plan

FEBRUARY 2020

Update your Diverse Medicine profile. This will make completing the actual application easier. You may use the profile link on your email signature or use the share button to let others know about your accomplishments. Begin drafting your personal statement.

MARCH 2020

Send reminders to LoR writers.

APRIL 2020

Review your transcript and ensure it is accurate. Complete final personal statement draft. Have at least five people edit and proofread your personal statement. Send reminders to LoR writers. 

MAY 2020

2020 AMCAS, AACOMAS, and TMDSAS application opens!

JUNE 2020

Start submitting medical school applications.

EARLY SUMMER 2020

Retake MCAT if needed.

SUMMER 2020

Begin submitting secondary applications.

SUMMER/FALL 2020

Practice mock interviews. Interviews begin.

OCTOBER 2020

Acceptance letters being sent out. Primary applications closing.

EARLY SPRING 2021

Keep schools on waitlist updated on new achievements and activities.

FALL 2021

Start Medical School!!!

STOP Doubting Yourself!

The great enemy of success is doubt. Many people have failed to achieve their goals even before they stepped foot on the court. Too often, we think we lost the match because our competition was better than we were, when in reality, we lost because that negative voice in our head was too loud.

Be real with me right now; do you struggle with self-doubt? If your being honest, the answer is probably yes. At one point or another, we all doubt our own abilities. I know I do. Doubt is the killer of great dreams. It’s the assassin of hope and the murder of fulfillment. Unfortunately, in this day and age, it’s hard to escape it. Here’s why.

We live in a social media world. One in which people are constantly promoting themselves only in their best light. Instagram, facebook, and twitter are full of people’s “perfect” lives. When we look at those pictures, one of two things often happens. Either we say, “Hey, I’d love to have that for myself” (i.e. covet), or we say, “I’ll never be able to achieve that” (doubt). In other words, we’re constantly comparing ourselves with other people. This is why we can’t escape doubt!

Here’s the solution to your doubt problem. Stop comparing yourself to the next person. Who cares how green their grass is, just water your own lawn. What God has planned for their life might not be the same thing planned for yours. When I’m coaching my kids’ sports team, I tell them one simple truth. The important thing isn’t winning the game. Rather, it’s about giving it your ALL EVERY TIME! Even if you lose, you’ll get better. And day by day, you’ll keep improving until you win one. After you win that one, you’ll feel good. Then you’ll win another and another. Ultimately, you’re confidence level will go up, and you’ll doubt less.

It all starts with the simple ideas of not comparing yourself to others, and always giving it your best. Do these two things, and you’ll see those doubts fade away!

What other suggestions do you have to help people get rid of doubt? Please share.

What I Learned From Hip-Hop

Hip-hop raised so many in my generation. The dancing, the battle rap, the gear; there was no dodging it’s influence. For my 80’s babies out there, we were blessed to witness many lyrical giants rise to the top. Unfortunately, we had to witness a lot of senseless violence and tragedies along the way. A common debate I’ve had with many of my friends over the years is whether hip hop has an overall positive of negative influence on the culture? I believe there are good arguments that can be made on both sides but today I want to share a few major positive lessons I picked up over the years.

1. Consistency

Do any of you remember Mims’ song “This is Why I’m Hot” or the Luniz “I Got 5 On It” song? Many would consider them one hit wonders. What were they missing? The talent was obviously there but what I would say they lacked was consistency. I’ve always believed that passion and consistency are the secret ingredients to success. Why do you think P Diddy constantly yells “Bad Boy, can’s stop won’t stop.” The most impressive premeds, med students, medical doctors I have encountered are those who are consistent. Those who continue volunteer activities for years. I have a few mentees who like clockwork message me to check in. This is supper impressive. Medical schools look at this because they know that an inconsistent student will struggle through the rigors of medical school. In life, we all want to work with, marry, and care for consistent individuals.

“Even going into the second album, it felt more like a job than it did like something I was passionate about. And the second album, everything about that went horribly bad between my relationship with the label, that after that process, I decided that I would never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever be signed to another record label again.”  -Mims     

2. Stay on the Beat

The only rapper I know who made a career of being off beat was Silk the Shocker but his career didn’t last too long. It is important to stay on track and to keep a calendar. It is also important to recognize that life follows a rhythm. Everything is cyclical and once you find the pattern you can follow it. You have to search for it by seeking counseling, meeting with advisers and getting mentors. When you are in sync you will be much less stressed. There are important dates and deadlines you need to stay on top off. If you fall off, it can be very tough to get back on the beat.

3. Believe in Yourself

Nearly all hip-hop moguls have been self-made. Many would say that others knew they were talented but people hated on them or discouraged their passion. In that dog-eat-dog industry it is important that they can fend for themselves and they know who is truly in their corner. Confidence is not an easy trait to master. Being underconfident or overconfident can damage you. I’ve heard of a few rappers who bragged their way all the way into a pair of handcuffs. In medicine, many of us struggle with the imposter syndrome. With hip-hop, it is interesting that when the beat comes on you first start to bob your head and rock but in no time you are stepping and signing the words. You can have 50 people staring at you but if your song is on its like you are singing all by yourself in the shower. It is crucial that you find that trigger in your life that sparks that same confidence.

Nas


4. Money Can’t Buy Everything

So many rappers opened up about being depressed despite being filthy rich. Some even let us in on a little secret “mo money mo problems”. It doesn’t matter what career you are in, chasing money and fancy things will not bring happiness. It is important but you should never let it control you. Growing up in the Houston area, so many of the local greats resorted to codeine syrup and other illicit drugs ultimately leading to their demise. These things don’t bring happiness but meaningful relationships and fulfilling one’s purpose will. There was a great article about a now deceased young doctor by the name of Richard Teo who illustrated this point so well. Check out the article sometime. The book When Breath Becomes Air is also an amazing story.


5. Be You

Some of you may remember a rapper by the name of Guerilla Black. He sounded just like the Notorious BIG but his career was short lived. You can only go so far imitating others. People may be impressed initially but will later label you, place you in a box or get bored with you. Now we all know Lil Nas X and the controversy he stirred up in the music industry. His unique style allowed his song “Old Town Road” to break the record for the longest song on at #1. His rise to fame is is praiseworthy. We all have our own God-given gifts and talents but sometimes we misplace them while running in the rat race. Your gift has the potential to impact your career or the world. Last week, a good medical doctor buddy of mine was on the Kelly Clarkson show for his artwork. He found a way to auction his artwork to help pay for his patient’s procedures. He has been able to incorporate his art into his career. You don’t have to be like everyone else but instead be unique and find your special niche.

Lil Nas X and others. Picture from the Washington Post

Well those are 5 life lessons that hip hop taught me. How about you? Is hip hop a good or bad influence? What have you learned from it?

Rise Up!  Become Your Potential!

What is your life’s calling? What are you supposed to do with your time here on Earth?

If you’re like most people, you don’t have an immediate answer to these questions. Society has trained us to be like mice and chase the cheese that is put in front of us. We believe we’re supposed to live our life within a certain framework and if we step one toe outside of that, we’re failing. That’s a very limited view of life, one which I drastically disagree with.

My question for you today is: What is your life’s calling? I’m not asking what job you want to have but rather, what is your work. What’s the difference you ask? Let me explain.

A job is something you do in exchange for compensation. It provides a means for survival and advancement through Maslow’s Hierarchy of life. You don’t have to be tied to your job. At any given moment, you can walk away or be fired. It is not a part of you.

Your work, is your life’s mission. This is a major part of your very essence as a human being. You can’t be fired from it. You can however, fail to acknowledge it, and fail to embrace it. You can ignore it, but you can’t walk away from it. No matter where you try to run to, you’ll always feel that sense of unfulfillment. You’ll know something is wrong. Deep down inside, you’ll know that something is missing.

Here’s an example, my job is to take care of patients as a doctor. I get paid for this and I enjoy it. However, that’s not enough for me. When all I do is care for patients, deep down inside, I’m unfulfilled. My work is to help others reach their God-given potential. As a doctor I do that by improving health and survival, as a mentor and coach, I do that by getting in the mind of other people to teach them how to thrive.

The next logical question you should have is, how does anyone know what their work is? Well, let me explain. God has given all of us special gifts. We all have something in our lives that we’ve noticed (or someone else has pointed out) we’re particularly good at. My eureka moment came during medical school when a Dean pulled me into her office to tell me that people want to hear what I have to say. At the time I didn’t realize the significance until more and more happenings confirmed her statement. One of my gifts is discernment (rightful understanding) and the ability to innovate a solution. I feel most satisfied when I see that translate into success for someone else.

Have you ever taken a moment to evaluate your gifts? What are you uniquely great at? Don’t say nothing, we all have something. It might just be that you haven’t taken the time to develop it yet. After you’ve identified what that is, think about how to best use it to bring fulfillment into the lives of others and yourself. That’s your life’s work!

Rise Up! Don’t just reach, but become your potential!

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