Hey Beautiful People!
I’d first like to apologize for my absence. My site had a MAJOR overhaul and then it was time to study for my OKAPS. Yes #thestruggleisreal.
I wanted to talk to you about one of the awesome things that I did while I was away. I was fortunate enough to be selected to represent the ophthalmology section of the National Medical Association at the Student National Medical Association conference in Austin, Texas, March 24-27 2016.
Saw this artwork every day on the way to the conference. Gorg Right?
Getting there was an adventure in and of itself. My flight got into Dallas Forthworth and because of lightning I ended up being stuck on my plane in front of our gate waiting to be towed in for about an HOUR and a HALF. As this was going on, I kept watching my phone for alerts for my connecting flight, which I was guaranteed to miss. But wait, the connecting flight got delayed. Good right? Once we finally got towed in to the gate, I ran to the connection gate, only to discover that not only had the gate been changed but the terminal as well. Have any of ya’ll been to the DFW? Different terminals might as well be oceans away. Needless to say, I ran/trained/sweated profusely to the new gate. We had a new departure time. Great right? Well I ended up waiting there for about an hour only to hear that my flight was CANCELLED. I then prepared to settle in for a nice night on the airport floor, because the airline had run out of hotel rooms to offer. A random respectable guy came to my gate and said that another random respectable dude was driving to Austin and for FREE would transport the brave to Austin. Maybe it was delirium, or maybe just frustration, but I accepted. I then proceeded to have a pretty incredible ride to Austin with 3 complete strangers.
Have I told you guys about my love of meat? Well when I got into Austin, I took a 45 minute nap and proceeded to lyft myself to wait in the bitter cold for Franklin’s BBQ. I have heard about Franklin’s for about 1 year and I was absolutely determined to get my hands on that brisket. I was promptly rewarded 3 hours later with probably the best brisket in the world. Definitely worth the wait.
My Prime Spot in Line Waiting for BBQ!
The line outside of Franklin’s. Yes this was real life.
Don’t even need a caption for the above photos. What you are seeing is expert hands on masterful meat. Glorious Meat.
Then the truly awesome part of my journey began. My roommate and I walked over to the conference center and set up. The event was massive and bustling. The venue itself was perfect. Food was flowing from every single orifice. They kept us well fed and entertained. The excitement of the medical students and undergraduates was palpable. It took me back to being a medical student and I remembered how I had no clue what I wanted to truly do with my career. I decided on ophthalmology relatively later in the game, but had an incredible mentor who guided me through my path, which I why I ended up matching into this incredible field. Coming from that background, it was only natural for me to pass my God given blessing forward. I was able to talk to medical students and tell them about ophthalmology. I was able to encourage the discouraged and let them know that ophthalmology, though competitive, is an attainable residency.
My partner in crime, Sailu and I! She is a Medical Student from UNC that participated in this past year’s Rabb Venable Research Program. I was able to mentor her during her journey. She successfully matched into an Ophthalmology Residency and will be starting her Residency at Duke in the Fall!
Trying to give some serious ophthalmology advice. #ILoveWhatIDo
As an aside, there were also many goodies, and by the end of the conference, I had perfected the “grab and go”. I stopped at a table, smiled, grabbed a goodie and I was gone. I would not recommend going solely for the goodies. There were so many booths, from USMLE prep, to medical missions, to medical schools, and medical specialties such as myself. To any medical student and undergraduate student interested in the medical field, this conference is for you. There are only a few good opportunities to network and create the connections of a lifetime, and this is one of them.
By the way, I have to give a plug for Texas! Austin was so delicious. I had some of the most delicious food that I have ever had in my life. One of those places was an amazing breakfast taco joint called Torchy’s Tacos. Visited by even President Obama recently. I got two ooey gooey meaty goodness. I don’t regret a thing.
In awe pretty much about my experience and this fantastic artwork!
For more information about this year’s and future conventions:
If you are interested in ophthalmology and research:
Be sure to check out my Instagram/facebook page/twitter for photos from the conference and other neat things 🙂 And as always, comment, like, and share. I’d love to hear from you!