2017. november 2., csütörtök

First month in Buffalo

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been “in the Buff,” as they say, for nearly one month already! I didn’t know what to expect when first arriving here, but I’m slowly coming to appreciate the city’s eclectic nature.

But first, the arrival: I drove to Buffalo from New Jersey in one day, about an 8-hour scenic journey through Pennsylvania and New York. I am staying in the same apartment building as the other students, but directly 5 floors beneath them. We all arrived on the Thursday prior to our start so that we could go for a brief orientation on Friday. This also allowed us to overlap with the previous group and meet them in person. On Friday, we went to the main hospital and received our badges and took care of administrative business. Other than that, we were free during the weekend to get acquainted with our home for the next three months. I was also able to spend some time setting up the unfurnished apartment with some basic necessities: a bed and desk.

My first rotation here has been in an outpatient endocrinology clinic, about 8 miles from the apartment. I am fortunate to have a car here, because it would be difficult to commute otherwise. The clinic specializes in diabetes mellitus management, but there are also a number of patients who go there seeking specialist treatment for thyroid disorders, hormone replacement, and other endocrine pathologies. It is a bustling place – there are patients filling the rooms all day long, and aside from a brief lunch break around 12:30, I spend the day meeting them with a resident or fellow for initial visits and follow-ups. In between seeing patients, the residents, fellows, attendings, and I review the cases and discuss management in this conference room.  Sometimes there are disagreements about where to set the thermostat (it is an icebox in there!), but otherwise, it’s a very comfortable workspace! My hours are 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

What I like best about the rotation is the vast diversity of patients who come into the office; diabetes affects so many different types of people, after all. Through meeting them, I have gotten to learn about what motivates people (or doesn’t) to change their eating and exercise habits. Because the course of diabetes can be slow and insidious, it is also interesting to see that, sometimes, even the most educated and motivated people have a hard time recognizing how their present behavior can have huge preventative benefits later on in life.

It’s not all work and no play here, though! One of the first touristic things I did in Buffalo was visit the Martin House Complex, a beautiful home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in the early 20th century that happens to be just a few moments away from our apartment! It’s also possible to go on a tour of the inside of the house, but I just walked around the outside of the complex and the surrounding neighborhood, which itself has many majestic buildings.

Recently, the girls and I went to visit the (Erie) Canalside district in Buffalo. The evening we went was incredibly windy, but we braved the weather and walked around to see the USS Little Rock, a Navy cruiser ship. It’s in an area of downtown Buffalo that is clearly undergoing revitalization, and I can imagine it would be lovely to spend a sunny afternoon sitting in this large lounge chair by the waterside.

Some of my favorite moments so far, though, have been getting to know the other students better and spending time with them at home after returning from the hospital. This often includes me observing and participating in mundane domestic chores such as meal preparation and laundry day – the more the merrier. Here is the group trying to remove a pizza stain from a white coat.

In the coming month, I am looking forward to do some more traveling around the area. I would also like to explore the local restaurants and shops on nearby Elmwood Avenue. Updates to follow!

2017. október 19.

Charlotte Schwarz

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