Sunday, July 3, 2016

Non-knitting segment: What do doctors wear?

A bit of lighthearted fashion, in celebration of the start of the doctoring life. 

Friday was my first day of being a *real doctor*. On Thursday afternoon, I was notified to pick up my long white coat (only students wear short coats), and promptly discovered that my name was embroidered incorrectly. My coats were whisked away to be redone, leaving me in a panic on Thursday night. 

What was I to wear? 

I had counted on being able to hid behind the long white fabric, but now, I would have to wear something more formal to be able to convince patients that I was competent and a legitimate doctor. My blessing/curse of a baby-face complexion only serves to enhance my youthfulness and inexperience. I brought out outfit after outfit only to banish them all back to the closet: too tight, too short, too casual. Finally, running out of choices, I went back to my med-student standards of a bright cabled sweater and black pants, with black work shoes. Boring, but safe. No one said anything on Friday, and I sighed in relief. 

I wondered what the proper dress etiquette for young female doctors were, and was delighted to find several resources already analyzing the issue: 

Corporette, a fashion/lifestyle blog for women in the corporate world, did an analysis in 2015 and the advice of several women physicians and patients boiled down to this: 
1. No messy hair
2. Dresses or suits are fine, as long as they are comfortable  and not too revealing for your day's work (bending down to examine patients, etc) 
3. Comfortable, dressy shoes are a must (no open-toes for safety reasons)

The Atlantic stated that there is no single standard for professional wear, as studies asking readers to rate clothing revealed a wide range of feedback, from profession to "smart casual", "business" to "semiformal". Which means that as long as the above conditions are met: no revealing clothing, no messy hair, almost anything may be worn. Helpful and unhelpful at the same time. 

In a NYTimes piece from 2006, Dr. Erin Marcus lamented the state of the dress code and had this piece of advice, that women should not wear clothing that was too revealing, and that makeup could help increase board scores during oral exams. While I don't know that these are necessarily useful: I would hope that most young physicians who have going through medical school have already honed their dressing skills to not be too revealing, it is definitely interesting that these issues were brought up. 

I soon realized that while these articles are helpful, I had all the answers I was looking for: good common sense. I just had to spend some time shopping. With that, I'm off to the shops! 

Edited to Add: I did find a very interesting Corporette article about appearing too young, and tips to address this issue, here. They had some good advice on makeup and accessories.  

Saturday, July 2, 2016

New Home!

Welcome to Cleveland!
I have been operating on automatic mode for the last few weeks, and it really hasn't sunken into my brain yet about where I am. These last two months have been so crazy, from my travels to Europe and China, to graduating from medical school, to moving across the country to Cleveland, and starting my new job as a resident physician.

I've been in Cleveland now for almost three weeks. While I technically start working this Friday, I've been at the hospital for eight work days now, doing orientation. It is so surreal sometimes, that we are being taught all of these "big medicine" techniques and procedures, from doing intubations and putting in chest tubes, to running codes and ordering medications. Somehow, it all seems like a dream, like this is practice, that it isn't real. The journey has been a long one, to get to this place, to be a doctor, and I still can't quite seem to grasp the fact that medical school is done and over, and I don't have to ever worry about whether or not I'll pass another block exam. I am a doctor. Wow.

For the first time, I'm living on my own, on my own salary (waiting for that first paycheck!), and making my own decisions. It seems so crazy and surreal, this time and place that I've been hoping and longing for, to finally be here. And yet, somehow, not quite what I thought it would be. I would have thought future doctor me would be smarter, more efficient, and better able to manage under stress. Nope, still the same me, just older and with slightly more knowledge (and a lot more yarn).

The last four years dragged on, and yet seemed to fly by in a flash. I'm excited and nervous to see what the next four years brings. Hopefully, I will live up to my residency's expectation and become a competent, fully-fledged doctor!

 Now, onto knitting! In all my travels, I've also been knitting. I started a TGV shawl when I was in Europe (and actually knitted on it while I was riding the TGV between Paris and Barcelona), but wasn't able to finish it before I left Vegas, and had to leave it behind.

I also worked on quite a few pairs of socks, including reknitting Al's wedding gift socks and finishing Isal's promised Christmas socks from last year.

I am also working on a pair of socks for myself, out of Heather/Highland Handmades's sock yarn club colorway, which will also qualify for Into the Wool points. (I got a LOT of knitting done on these during orientation, lol.)

I also finished a shawl, for our knitting group's shawl exchange, which was our way of saying goodbye, as Sarah and I ventured on our separate, independent, adulting journeys. We knit the Darwin shawl, and I made it out of Verdant Gryphon's Age of Asparagus, and a picot edging using some gorgeous light blue yarn I got at Stitches this year, which I sadly can't remember.

I'm so excited and nervous for the year coming, but I am happy to know that I will finally be able to focus on the next step on my journey, and was relieved to find some friends in my intern class who also like the fiber arts! Can't wait to see what the next few months bring! Stay tuned!