CRAFTING WELLNESS STORY

You Are Not Your G.P.A or The School You Decide To Attend...

Nanette, a second year medical student sat down with MDF Instruments to talk about attending med school in the Caribbean. We discuss being a first generation college graduate, and how someone with dreams of becoming a doctor, actualizes them. Nanette has great study tips, excellent time management advice, and gives a detailed summarization of what life is like in the fast lane of all that is med school.

TRANSCRIPT

Nanette
The school doesn't make you who you are, or what you're going to be. The doctor that you're going to be is going to come off of who you are, and the hard work that you put into what you want to do. You could go to the Ivy League school if you wanted to. But if you don't really put in the work, and maybe you're not going to be a good doctor, that doesn't mean that Ivy League school didn't make you a good doctor. They taught you what you needed to know now, what you did with the knowledge or with the resources they offer you that's up to you. That's something why I wanted to go to a Caribbean school because of that. Yes, there is a stigma the stigma is not is not as it used to be back then. But there still is some of it. And it's we're here to say, you know, the school is not going to make me the doctor the school is gonna give me the resources the school is going to teach me. The professors are going to teach me the professors are going to guide me through where I need to go. But the doctor that I'm going to be is who I am.

Brooke Smith
Hi everyone. Welcome to MDF instruments Crafting Wellness Podcast. Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to the Nanette.

Nanette
My name is Nanette Bonilla. I am currently a medical student at St. George's University in Grenada. I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. And my parents are Hispanics. So I am also Cuban. So I'm bilingual so I know how to speak both Spanish and English. Since I was born and raised here, I did go to undergrad here I went to Florida International University. And I graduated with a bachelor's degree in biological sciences. And I finished with my Magna Cum Laude. I applied to multiple schools, I did the MCAT. And the whole process into getting into medical school, which I guess we'll get into it a little bit later on. And I applied at St. George's University. So I just finished my first year of medical school. So far, it's going great. And it's super exciting to be on the whole journey of being a medical student and the pathway of becoming a doctor.

Brooke Smith
I love watching on social media when you're at school in Grenada, how beautiful it is there. I love hearing that you just finished your first year. So you have a little bit under your belt of what what to expect moving forward. I would love to hear a little bit about how you found this career in medicine. Why are you pursuing a career in medicine? Did you always know that you wanted to be a doctor?

Nanette
So my family is very in depth in the medical field. So my mom is a registered nurse. And previously when she was in Cuba, she was also a nurse. So she might want you migrated to the United States. She wanted to keep pursuing the career in the medical field and she did her nursing degree. And my aunt is a nurse as well. So I am going to be first generation doctor in my family and college graduate. So I did grow up a lot of being in the medical field. And I did she back then it used to be like home health. So she used to do a lot of home health. And she's a single mom, so she would take me with her in all her patient interactions that allowed her for her to take me and I did like see a lot of patients with her and I saw the interaction that she had with patients like a nurse patient interaction. And I loved it I was super into it. But there was always something inside of me that I was like, Oh mom, like I was little but I was like mom but why? Why do the patient has like diabetes or why are you injecting them insulin? Or why are you like fixing some type of like wound and I was just like, Why? Why I wanted to know more. I wanted to be like what can you like, fix it? Why are you just injecting them with something and she was just she would just be like, oh, you know, it's just things and she tried to like say it but I was always like into it and I was like I want to know more. I want to go into the healthcare field. I love the I love the patient interaction being able to create connections between a provider being a nurse or a doctor or any health care provider and having that patient interaction and being able to you know hear their story try to help them out as much as you can be that person that's there whenever they may need help and I always knew it once I finished high school was like I know I want to become a doctor.

Brooke Smith
I love that. It's really inspiring to hear that by seeing what your mom was doing as a child and having an and also as a nurse that kind of inspired in you that that feeling in your heart where like I want to do this I want to help people I'm When it but I want to fix them, I want to make them better. Is your mom still a practicing nurse?

Nanette
Yes, she is. She works in, in the fields of the elderly. So she right now is doing really good with all the COVID She does a lot with she doesn't work like in hospitals more with like, like home health, like the facilities that take care of patients after like big surgeries, or they usually live, they're more like an outpatient after care. So she she does that type of work as a nurse, and with a lot of COVID patients, patients that you know, are like in recovery from surgery, but so are like tested COVID They go to her facility as well as she maintains, you know, monitoring them. But at this point, she's already like charge nurse. So just mostly overlooks a lot of things.

Brooke Smith
That's awesome. I just talked back and forth like Do do you discuss healthcare stuff with your mom, like while you're in school and ask her ICER questions? Are you kind of already at a point where you guys talk to each other about about just any kind of care?

Nanette
Oh, yeah, of course, sometimes when I'm even like to learning things in school, I like when I'd call her since like, she's in Miami, and I'm in Grenada in school, I call her and I'm like, Oh mom, like in Spanish, because we talk Spanish. Like, Oh, mom, like I did the cardio, the cardiology section, I was talking to her about all the EKGs. And she was like talking back to me and telling me everything I was learning. And I was like, wow, how do you know this? She's like, oh, it just years of experience, you start learning things. And I talked to her and she understands me. So it's like a language that we're both speaking and we both understand the like, it's super cool. Just be like, Oh, mommy, like this is super, super cool. Like, I learned this. And she's like, Yeah, yeah. And then on top of that, like, she kind of gives us the perspective of like a nurse, you know, it's still a doctor and nurse, they too, they're too big roles and too big, different roles. So her perspective on what I'm learning, and then she kind of gives me like, the more clinical they're like, Okay, she, she gives me like different perspective. And it's, it's super cool. And I haven't gotten into like big clinical section yet, because I'm still in the first year of like, basic sciences. So I'm just learning, like, overall, everything basically bookwork. But she starts giving me like these little insights of like, how it is in the real patient interaction scenario. And it's, it's super great. And it gives me a better learning, understanding, because then she'll explain it to me, and I'll be like, Okay, now I can see how I can incorporate that into like, how I'm learning or concept that I'm learning I don't really understand shall be like, Oh, but in real life, it kind of presents like this, and gives it a perspective. And then I can put like a with b. And it helps me out a lot as well.

Brooke Smith
That is so fun that you get to kind of bond with your mom over your passion and her passion. And I've just like banter back and forth to different perspectives and get some advice from her too, which is really awesome. I know that you're going in Grenada there to school, and I just wondered why you chose that. And what the what the process was like for applying to medical school. I've talked to other people who, who didn't get into medical school the first time and like the process of reapplying and taking time off. Did you get in right away, just tell us a little bit about what your journey has been like?

Nanette
Okay, so the moment that I graduated high school, I went to community college here in Miami. So I did my first two years of community college. Once I finished it, I did the other two years at our, our university, which is Florida International University, and I did a bio, but like a biology major. So if you're always interested in wanting to go into like some sort of doctorate degree in medicine, most of the time they tell you, you know cover biology because biology normally will cover like all the classes that require medical schools, when your transcripts and they look at it, they you've covered all the classes that they require. And you will cover the classes as well for the MCAT, which is the entrance exam into medical school. So most most, like counselors recommend for you to go into a biology major, but um, over over the time that I've noticed things I always say like do something different because at the end of the day, you are always going to want to like enhance your application going into medical school. So a biology major works perfect. But I always tell whoever asked me like what do you recommend to majoring like in an undergrad? And I always tell them, try to do something else that you love other than your science classes because at the end of the day, you can take those classes extra and add them to your major. So you know if you're interested in language arts, you can do a language arts major and take the science classes, and schools take that into consideration. And they really like the diversity of students, you know, if you like Spanish and do a Spanish major, and then do your, your science classes, and that helps out a lot. In my experience, I did biology, so I did a full bio major. And that takes into consideration all of your courses to apply for medical school, I was in around my junior year, I started doing a lot of volunteer work in order to enhance that application, because most schools, of course, you need some volunteer work shadowing some doctors, so you they know that you know, what it is to be a doctor, just applying to medical school is, is extremely difficult, the rigorous work that you have to study for the MCAT and just all the amount of money that it takes to apply for this. And work and time, it's it's huge, the whole journey of you know, applying you. So having your volunteer work, I did also research I had done two full semesters, and my head of biology department in Florida International University, I did a lot of community out work as well with the not so much health care, because I didn't really want to just have volunteer work only in the medical field. But as well, you know, going to a women's shelter here in Miami. And you know, it's called Lotus and you just participate in help the women, they're just provide some type of help. And, and at the end of the day, you you know, at the end of the application, you're going to write out all your experiences, all of your volunteer work, all of your research, all the shadowing that you do. So I personally did about like four or five, shadowing opportunities throughout my whole entire undergraduate degree. And that helped me out a lot. I also had open the business. So I had a lot of leadership opportunities that I had already acquired throughout the whole years of my undergraduate degree. And I had participated in a lot of national honor societies that I had of leadership and success. So I did have a little bit of everything. And I participated as much as I could. And then I finished my my degree in Biology at Florida International University in 2019. And my plan was to study for the MCAT, which is the the exam that you need to enter into medical school with your application. So when you apply to medical school, you're going to need your full application, which includes all the nitty gritty things that has to do with all your grades, your transcripts, etc. And in there, you're going to also include all your volunteer work, the descriptions of what you do your essays, all those things were included on a normal application. And on top of that, you're going to need your MCAT score. And normally, some students depending on how they like to do it, they like to study while they're finishing their undergraduate degree, and then take the MCAT. But how I did it, I wanted to finish my degree first and then take time to study for it. So I finished in 2019, and I started studying in September of 2019. And my plan was to take it in May of 2020. But what happened in May of 2020 was COVID-19. So everything got completely shut down. And I wasn't able to take my MCAT when I was originally set for in May of 2020. So imagine I was studying like rigorous every day, I had all my Kaplan books I was doing you world questions. And we were studying day and night for this test because it is a very difficult test is taking into consideration a lot of topics that you have done throughout the undergraduate career mainly focusing a lot of science topics. So it is a very hard exam and you have to learn how to take this exam because it is an eight hour exam. So it's a very difficult exam and it takes time and stamina in order to take this test. So once I was ready and my mind was like okay, I'm gonna take it and in May and I was almost already done COVID-19 hair and it was like no one knew what was going on. So there was no really like, opportunity for me to say okay, I'm going to take it next week or I'm going to take it next month and I know for sure. So every every testing center kept canceling my testings exam date, and I couldn't take my my MCAT until September of 2020. So I had like a whole full gap year. Just I kept maintaining studying for the test. So you know, that's the only thing I could have done throughout that time, because I had already graduated. So my focus was just studying for the for the test. Once I took it in September, I had already sent my application. But at the end of the day, some schools because the scores coming back, they don't really like that. But I expected some schools to, you know, take into consideration everything that was going on that year. And I went ahead and I sent it and I sent my application. And I applied to a couple of schools, including St. George's University. And because I didn't want to wait any longer, because I had already had one whole gap year, I was like, already want to start going into school and getting the process started, because I was already having some downtime from school. And I was just like, I want to start school already, I don't really like being you know, without doing anything, just studying and doing some volunteer work and shadowing, just to fill in the gap and not just feel like I wasn't doing anything the whole time. So once I applied to St. George's University, they sent me the interview, and I did their interview with an amazing alumni doctor, he was super, super nice. And he explained his whole experience that he had at St. George's University. And I personally love the story. And I had met other students that have gone to St. George's University and gave me their perspective on how was the school and their own experience, going to a school in the Caribbean. And I, I know, there's a lot of stigma with going to schools in the Caribbean, and everything that has to do with a international student. But I felt like, at the end of the day, everything has stigma. And people have their own choices, and they take their own path in every career. And I said, I'm gonna take this one, I think this is a great opportunity that I can come out and show everyone, you know, yes, you're on, you're an IMG, you're in a Caribbean school. But how does that make me any different of a doctor? How was that not gonna take my knowledge and my patient interaction skills, my communication skills, my interpersonal skills, how is that any different just because I went to another country, just like I could go to another state and go to another school in the United States. It's the same concept. So I said, I want to jump on that I want to be that one person that helps anyone behind me, because as a first generation, doctor and gotten in college student in my, in my family, I had no one to guide me through the whole process, I had to find out everything by myself. So just being in that position of helping someone that doesn't really know how to go through through a bout of the process of wanting to be a doctor, or just interested in any Caribbean score anything. I said, I want to be that person to help a lot of other students in the US in other Caribbean schools. And I came to a decision that St. George's University was one of the best options that I had for myself. And for what I wanted, and I went with it, and I accepted their, their acceptance for me. And it's super exciting, just getting that acceptance and going upon and you're like, Okay, now it's the next step. Now it's actually studying for, for what you want to be in life and what you're looking in your career. And that's what's all important at the end of the day.

Brooke Smith
The MCAT was eight hours, I did not know that that's a really long test. But it sounds like there's so much work that has to happen before you even get into medical school, that by the time you get there, it almost sounds like you're a year in it's like okay, now I'm finally focusing on what I want to do. And it almost seems like I know medical school is extremely difficult. But it sounds like just getting to that point is a lot of work in itself. And not a lot of people talk about that. So I appreciate all the information. I want to know. So I have a couple questions just based on the things you've said. I would love to hear more about how you found these volunteer jobs, shadowing positions. How did you find those to be doing them? Was it through school? Or did you know someone just for anyone listening who might want to be able to get into shadowing he needs to do that for medical school. And also, I know that you talked a little bit about having your own business or starting your own business. And so I did want to go into a little bit what what that is obviously you're very busy person. I know from just our interactions in the past, like you are super organized. I don't even know how you get so many things done in a day. Like your time management skills are amazing. So I do want to dive into that in a little bit as well. But yeah, can you just kind of talk a little bit about the shadowing process volunteering, what exactly specifically you did for the volunteering and how you got that and a little bit about starting a business?

Nanette
Yes. So in my undergraduate I do participate in a lot of clubs. And one of them was called cure. And also medics. So with medics, I did a mission trip to Dominican Republic that I participated in, we did a lot of community artwork there in Dominican Republic. And with cure, they did offer a lot of volunteer work. So being part of these clubs, and they send you Well, a lot of like, opportunities that they have with a lot of communities that work around my area. So when they send out the emails, then I would sign up to those. I also personally reached out to, for example, the American Red Cross, I sent them an email and I'll say, Hi, I'm interested in volunteering for this certain event that I see that you guys have coming up. And just putting yourself out there for these things is super important. It might seem like, you know, a lot of people are like, you can't really be reaching out to people, they don't like that. But it's like, at the end of the day, you have to put the hard work and dedication to whatever you want. If you want to volunteer in a certain place, email, the the head Department email, their contact information, but out your name, let them know who you are, what is your your goal, or what you want to be a part of. And most of the time, they are looking for people, they want people who who want to be a part of whatever event or cause they're going for, and they just want people to help them out. And at the end of the day, they love those emails, and they want people to just go out there and help them out, the more healthy we have, the better it is for them. And it's just being able to put yourself out there I think is the most important. A lot of my shadowing opportunities, I found my own family doctor. And it's just again, asking a simple, most doctors love to help other future students. And if you just ask maybe your own doctors, if you're interested in obstetrics, in obstetrics and gynecology, ask your OB GYN if you're a girl, ask your OBGYN say, Hey, I'm a pre med student. And I'm interested in in having some shadowing, do you offer that shadowing or any type of volunteer work? Or if you even know other doctors that that provide that that shadowing service for students? And I will totally tell you what 100% There will be doctors that are going to be of course, yes. Just you know, set out a time. And you come in and participate and see well how how the office runs or whatever specialty it is. It's just asking is simply starts with asking the question is like, hey, I'm interested in this and go for it most of the time. Like I said, doctors and other people would love for students just to participate in whatever they're doing. I simply asked my professor, I was like, Hi, my professor, like, Do you have any open research spots that you have coming up in the summer, or next for next semester, like what's going on, I want to jump in, I want to help out. And most of the time, they will look for the opportunity for you to jump in on a cause. There's always really good big, like, programs that help out with volunteering as well. I personally have not looked into those because when I did them, I simply joined a lot of clubs at school and themselves. They that's how you communicate and participate, the more you participate, they will notice and then no, they will come up to you and be like hi Nanette, I have this opportunity to have this this volunteer work. And I know you really liked this and you want to participate. Do you want to sign up and it's Yeah, go for it. You know, the opportunities are there, you can do it, you just got to reach out to the correct people, send the email, put yourself out there. And I think that's the best, best best way to find these type of opportunities. Most of the time your school will offer like those clubs and just finding your way through them. And if there's not a club for you, make it schools love that. They love for you to be that person to be that leader. If you have something that you've never, your school doesn't offer it be that person to offer a look for those opportunities, make it happen, they it's just something that's gonna say, hey, this person is dedicated for what they want, but yourself there and just look for the ways and you will find opportunities and you will find everything that you want and what you need and accommodate for yourself.

Brooke Smith
I think that it's such great advice that you're talking about creating the opportunity for yourself as well. Because if it's not there and you can think of it and it's not something that's like active We're reachable to create it. And I love that I had a few friends in college who did something similar to that would create their own clubs and create their opportunities. I think you have such great advice for people, you're gonna be an incredible doctor, I can tell how big of oh, how hard of a worker you are. And so I'm just I'm really excited to see the rest of your future. And I would love to talk a little bit about how your first year has gone. And is it what you expected it to be? Or there were there unforeseen challenges that came up that you didn't think we're going to be challenging that we're and then things that maybe you thought were going to be challenging that weren't? How was it being away from your family? Can you just tell us a little bit about what that first year was like actually being in medical school,

Nanette
Just the process of going to Grenada was the biggest step two, just getting it we got the acceptance. Now the second big part was literally leaving everything I had here at home and then move to another country basically, that I've never been to, that I have no clue by myself, and just start this big, like this big step in my career. Because, yes, medical school, everyone tells you medical school is hard medical school is hard. Medical School is hard, but you've never experienced it. And so you really don't know what to expect. So the big part at the beginning was the hardest was to leave the fat my family, because we can't we are very close, nitty gritty, like Hispanic families are super close. So it was very hard, but I kinda like really, to take my mind off of that I really was like, Okay, I'm super excited, I need to find things that I really like. So my idea was like, Okay, now we have to start packing, what do I need? What do I what do I take to the school, like, I have no idea, everything. So I just I went into depth on packing and getting everything done. And just setting everything, all the paperwork, of course, you need to send in and everything, just get your flights and everything just to go over there. Once I got over there, I before that, we make a lot of like group chats with friends and stuff like that. So I had already made friends, I was going with one of my friends from undergrad here. And I did get together with a lot of students that were going from Miami as well to SGO. And I did meet with them before. So I had already had a couple of friends going to school already, which is very important, I think, meeting people and you know, not just doing everything by yourself, because it is a very hard journey, especially a lot of a lot of, you know, dedication takes into this and, and it's hard just to go to another country by yourself with a bunch of bags full of stuff that you need, and just go and put yourself out there. So going over there, I had already met a lot of people. And once we got to school, everything was super good. They give you like a lot of tours, the school offers tours, they give you like, all the schedules and everything that it has, you have like a whole week of orientation before where they show you everything or the security on campus. The resources that the schools gave you. And honestly, that whole process, I really expected because, again, it's like undergrad, every school has your their orientation. And you know, gives you the whole idea. But what I never expected was the amount of content material, whatever you want to call it that you get in medical school, it is oh my god, it is too much. I think that's what everyone meant when he says medical school is hard. Because I don't mind my personal opinion. I don't think material wise, like what you get taught, like what lectures and stuff like that. I don't think that is hard. You know, you're gonna learn a material, you're gonna learn a concept, you will learn it once you learn it, you'll know it. But it's the concept that you're getting 100 concepts at the same time that one day you're getting at least I can even explain to you we have in my school we have two lectures and we cover so much material within those two lectures and imagine is two lectures for a whole week set for five days of lectures. And you're getting you're doing a whole system for example was we did our anatomy week we covered the whole bag, upper limb, torso, abdomen, everything in one week, and it's a lot and don't get me wrong I at the end of that week. I don't know all the material because to be realistic, it's hard. It's a lot of material. And it's it's it's hard to learn all of that at once but At the end of the day you yourself, you have to put in that work, you do have only two hours of lectures, you might have extra activities. But the rest of the day, you need to focus on me like I need to learn these concepts. And you spend the rest of the day learning and knowing that this type of concepts, and that's what I think everyone refers to us, medical school is hard. Because it is so much material, that I didn't expect that that's something I didn't expect. And it's something that I really had to act on me to that first couple of weeks before that first test, that first set of medical school, just the amount of material there was, and just getting the flow of studying. And just getting, like the idea of how is medical school, how to study for medical school, because it's not what you've done in undergrad where you just get a lecture. And that's it, you know it and that's it, no, you have to put in the work, you have to get the concept, you have to get the clinical concept, you have to get the book concept, you got to get all the concepts because not every patient is going to present itself the same way. Yes, you know, the, the book is going to teach you one way, but maybe your patients not going to come that way. So you really, you really need to understand the concept really good. So whenever you see it, you can identify or kind of go through it, you have to be very organized, you have to know what's going on on a daily basis, you have to set daily goals for yourself, because if not, you're gonna fall behind because this is a rolling game, this is going 100 miles per hour. And it doesn't stop for you, it doesn't stop. Because you don't feel good one day and you're sick, you can call out, you're still gonna have to get up and go to class and learn your material. And it doesn't it doesn't stop for you. Medical school doesn't stop for life and life doesn't stop for medical school. That's how I That's how I see it. To have to keep your life going. You have to take time for yourself. Definitely mental health breaks all the time. 24/7 Because at the end of the day, sitting and reading and learning and answering questions and reading things and getting to know everything, it takes a toll on yourself. Personally and I know from friends and being in the whole stigma of medical school and it is very hard on yourself and on family and and friends and your own colleagues. And it's super important. Just always be on the lookout for everyone know that everyone's on the same boat. Everyone's trying to get to the same goal, you know, different pathways, same end goal. I definitely say I live by a planner, I have two planners, but that's how I work. And that's how I work on my best. And I I know that if I set my goals down my daily goals, I say I'm gonna finish this by today, I have to complete their goals, because those are my daily goals. And I have monthly goals, I have yearly goals, I have years of goals that I want to accomplish. And if you don't set that discipline just to complete a daily goal, 24 hour goal that you have to do, you know, you, you could set up that cell for you. And at the end of the day, you're going to, I feel personally that you could complete anything, you know, if you tell yourself, I'm going to complete this in five hours, and then I'm going to go to the beach for another two, then you can do that. You could be disciplined enough and say I'm going to complete whatever task I'm going to do in five hours. And then I'm going to go and relax or go out with my friends or go to dinner. And that's going to help you balance it out. Because you have to do it fast. You have to learn how to do this fast. Because like I said, you don't have time you start medical school and everything is coming at you fast and you have to learn how you study, you have to change your study strategies. Every single time you have a new module, or a new test or a new topic, you might not learn everything at the same time. And it's it's consuming. So you have to be able to say, Okay, I'm going to do a task, I really need to go out or I really need to take time for myself then added to the schedule. And if you added to the schedule, you add it to whatever you want to do, then do it. And to set up realistic goals you know, not say I'm going to complete, let's say 200 questions or 300 questions and then they like we can be you can be that strategic because that's not going to be realistic. You want to be productive, and you want to have good outcomes at the end of the day. It's a growing process and a learning process. It's not just okay, I learned how to do this one day and I move on no medical school comes every module every concept starts with a new challenge. And what I've learned is as as the terms go by and as like let's say I already did my first year and now I look into what I have coming for the second year then I look back at the whole you When I say okay, what do I want to change? What do I want to improve in? What do I really want to make myself do better? Or change? Or what ways did I not function properly and just grow from that, learn from the mistakes that you've done previously, and change them and move on to the next year, and that you are the first day is not going to be the person that you are, when you finish medical school, or where you go into residency, or fellowship and just the doctor that you will be at the end of the day.

Brooke Smith
Yeah, so that's a lot of knowledge on top of knowledge on top of knowledge on top of knowledge, so it's, it's a never ending if you don't, if you don't learn the the base of it, that you can't start stacking the knowledge. Do you find that like when you're on breaks like that, right now that you are using that time to kind of still catch up on what you learned this past year and your first year of medical school? I wonder about that? That's one question. And the other question I have is when you don't reach your goals, because you know, sometimes that happens to me out, I'm a big I love my day planner, too. I, I swear by it, it's how I get things done. It's how I can gauge where I'm at, with all of the goals that I have. But I think what happens, how do you handle not reaching at the end of the day, there's only so many hours in the day, right. And sometimes things can take you longer or just think life happens and things pop up, you get sick, you get a migraine, whatever. I'd love to hear about how you manage when you don't reach your goal for the day or that week, how you make that up.

Nanette
So when I set up my daily goals, or the goals that I want to complete, and as I go through them, I usually like to, like scratch them out onto like a big line across it when it completed. And whenever those things do pop out, you know, you take a longer lunch, or you know, like you said, a migraine pops out and you just can't deal with any any studying, I always write it down, then say, okay, if I'm gonna take time, extra, let's say I'll take a nap or whatever. And then I'll say, on the next day, I have to wake up earlier and complete that task. Because at the end of the day, I have to complete it by the end of the week. Or if it's something not as important, then I can say, okay, I can I can complete it in the weekend, instead of going to the beach for two hours, then I only go for one hour, you know, you try to set it down as much as you can, and, and just organize yourself in a way that you can complete those tasks and be realistic about it. Like I said, you know, you're not going to set yourself with things that one day, because at the end of the day, you need time for yourself, you have to go to lunch, you have to do other things in school, because it's not just about having lectures, you have other activities as well. So you need to work around those things. And when you don't complete the things, keep them in mind. And don't go to the next task until you complete that one. Because then, you know, you have many things accumulate at the end. And then you could feel overwhelmed. And that's not something that you want to have because medical school is very overwhelming itself. And imagine if you're not completing these things, at the end, let's say by the end of the week, you want to complete so many things that you have it then you you can like put more pressure on yourself. And I feel like that's, that's worse upon you. And it's just something that you need to really learn how to balance out really good. So, you know, again, you have to be realistic, we're all human, you know, if you don't complete something, it's okay, move on. Take it day by day, that's something that I go by everyday, what is today, don't worry about what you have to do the whole week, don't worry about what you have to do next week. But just take it day by day, because it can be very overwhelming. All the amount of things that you have to do in one week.

Brooke Smith
You know, one foot in front of the other. There's that quote about you know, a journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step. And when I find myself overwhelmed and I have so much to do, rather than looking at all the things that I have to do I just say, Okay, what's the first thing that's just one thing at a time, one thing at a time, I even do that when I exercise if I'm gonna go for a five mile run, and I'm like, I can see the distance and how far we have to go is I get I get like, Oh, I'm never gonna make it this is gonna take forever. But what I do instead is I kind of look to the ground and I just focus on like, the road in front of me or like, if I'm gonna go up a hill, you know, if I see the hill, I'm like, oh, no, that's gonna be but if I just look down and I look just at the pavement, or the hike the trail or whatever, then I don't really it doesn't feel as hard because I'm just I'm focusing on what's right in front of me rather than the whole entire big picture. It's good to have the big, big picture in mind for where you're trying to go. But it's not always great to have it always at the forefront of your mind. But you need to just kind of start simple. Do the one task. Next move on to the next move on to the next so I think it's really great advice. And that you are amazing. Like I just don't even know I have so many more I think questions and things I noticed, correct me if I'm wrong, but I feel like on social media, I saw that you have a big whiteboard, right? Where you like, is that a monthly thing you do? Or is that a weekly thing? I feel like it was a monthly thing where you start over for the month, and you're like, already filling out all of the things that you have to do, so that you can visually see that is that in your dorm room?

Nanette
Yeah. So I have my own apartment. So I did ship out a huge whiteboard like a teacher's whiteboard. And I have it in the middle of my living room. And as I start a new module, and I do, I use this app called Anki, which is like a flashcard app. And as I do my cards, and I finished my notes and reviewing everything, I go to the whiteboard, and now start dropping down everything that I remember, just from the top of my head, God cover all the material that I do, and what it is, depending on whatever we're doing that week, and I won't erase it, I would leave it there. So like, let's say, if I'm cooking, I could be looking at it and reading it and just be like, Okay, I'm reviewing this material, I could read it and just having it there in front of me most of the time, it helps me because then I'm like, Oh, I forgot this little detail. And I'll read it. And then I see the big picture. If it's like a concept that's like, for example, other biochemical pathways, I had pathways all over the place, and I could see the big picture. So it was, it's, it's great for me, I love it, I used to have the little small ones. And then once I like, again, I learned that the small ones were too small for me at one point, so I was like, I need something bigger, that was gonna help me like make everything a big picture. So I do do it. Like every module, it depends. Again, I don't always do it for other modules, because some of them can be more or less a anatomy heavy, and I can already like draw anatomy, I don't message an amazing dollar. But like concepts and stuff like that, and pathways and things like that, whatever works best for me in the module, then I'll go ahead and do a pick a big study strategy that I've learned that works really good for me, everyone has different study strategies. But using a whiteboard for me helps a lot for for studying and I do have is right in the middle of my living room. And that's one of my one of my ways of learning is definitely using my big whiteboard in the middle of my Oh, my kitchen living room area.

Brooke Smith
Yeah, such a good tip trick. Because if you think about it, your, your people learn differently, you know, some, some are auditory, you know, but for you, you're writing it down. And then you're also visually seeing it and you're seeing it just like almost unconsciously when you're just doing something else. And I think it's it's so smart to just always have it at the forefront of what you're doing. But I can imagine that might not work for everyone that might create anxiety for some people, because they're like, oh, no, I like I don't know this yet, you know, and it's like, right in your face. But I think I love it. I think it's really smart. I noticed it on social media, how you're reviewing things before the lecture and going over things that you know are gonna be in in preparation of the lecture so that when you're actually learning it from the professor, you're understanding it at a different level than you were if you were hearing it for the very first time. I think that's really great advice. I'm really smart. Okay, so we get that you're such a hard worker, you're really good at time management, you're obviously super intelligent, super passionate. Obviously, you're a very giving person because I know you don't have a lot of time but you do your skill. Use your social media to help other students inspire to teach them to help give them tips and tricks on how to study better. I love that. I do want to say that Nanette is an all her work because I know you took a vacation. Right? So that's important too, because we talk about mental health. And we talk about balance, right. So can you talk a little bit about the trip you went on and how much fun you had?

Nanette
Oh, I went to Columbia. So when I got home straight to Miami, I was like, I have to go somewhere like I need to take a break. So we went to Colombia, me and my boyfriend. And we had so much fun. We went with another really good friend of mine that I have known her since middle school. And we went to Colombia for like about a week, I think and it was super, super, super fun. We went to a place called Medellin, Colombia. So it's like one of their bigger cities. And we went to everything that has to do with like Pablo Escobar and just learning about all the history that was composed of the years when he was you know, doing a lot of things in Colombia. And we went to another part where we went to like the mountains, and I stayed in the mountains for a couple of days. And that was more of like, connection with nature where I wanted to get away from the city and just have a connection with nature itself and just getting away from everything from social media. Yeah, as well, because I am doing social media, I am doing school and it's a lie. And sometimes I'm like, I need a break from everything as well, just to, to for my own sanity. And honestly, it's, it's super helpful. I loved it, we were like in a bubble hotel, and it was a great, great experience. I love it. And I am actually leaving to Mexico in about three days for my mom's wedding because she's gonna get married. So yes, guys. Yeah, so she's gonna get married, we're gonna go to Mexico to spend time with a family. And then when I come back to from Mexico, I leave back to Grenada. In a couple of days, from me, we're coming back from vacation again. So I, we had a big break. So I wanted to let you know, take take the time and, and enjoy because this upcoming year is going to be a very hard one is one of the toughest, toughest years. So I wanted to be able to relax a time for myself, and just, you know, be ready to go into the next year with good energy, good, hard work, set the goals and I it's just, you know, setting time for yourself is very important. And it's been a different journey. And I definitely love it like I could have not had a better opportunity to go to school in the Caribbean, I think it was the best thing. For me, I would have not been any happier in any other school, I believe on like, at the bottom of my heart, I don't know, like, I'm such a Miami girl. And it's the weather. For me. It's amazing. I love going to the beach. I'm such a beach girl. And it's just like, I love it. I feel super happy. You know, it's and it's something that's very important a decision that you make, because it's going to be for four years, and you'll want to be in a place where you really love it because of not, it's not going to help out at all.

Brooke Smith
Yeah, I think he made a great decision. And I'm glad we talked about going to school there and Grenada and what that's been like, I know that we touched a little bit, but on like a stigma there for just being an img. But I've talked to a few AMGs. And I think it maybe isn't as much of a stigma as it used to be because I was just talking to a veterinarian to veterinarians, actually, who one of them had gone to school in the Caribbean and her partner was like, older than the other girl. And so that wasn't really an option to when she was become a veterinarian, and she's like, oh, man, it's just like, if I had the chance to go back in time and go to this go to school in the Caribbean, I would have done that. Because the knowledge that you're getting, like you're only as good as the work that you're going to put in, it doesn't matter where you're going to school as much as it matters about the work that you're going to put in the knowledge that you're going to soak up, and how hard you're going to work to retain that knowledge and the care that you put into that. And obviously you're going to be an amazing doctor, I'm really excited to follow it further along. As you go through continuing medical school there,

Nanette
I agree with your friend on the concept of the school doesn't make you who you are, or what you're going to be, I definitely think that is accurate on your part. Because you can go to any school and the doctor that you're going to be is going to come off of who you are, and the hard work that you put into what you want to do. And the type of person you are, you know, you could be, you could go to the Ivy League school if you wanted to. But if you don't really put in the work, and maybe you're not going to be a good doctor, that doesn't mean that Ivy League school didn't make you a good doctor, they taught you what you needed to know now, what you did with the knowledge or with the resources they offer you that's up to you. And honestly, you know, that's something why I wanted to go to a Caribbean school because of that. Yes, there is a stigma the stigma is not is not as it used to be back then. But there still is some of it. And it's we're here to say, you know, the school is not going to make me the doctor the school is gonna give me the resources, the school is going to teach me, the professors are going to teach me the professors are going to guide me through where I need to go. But the doctor that I'm going to be is who I am, who I am as a person and my interaction with my patients, my knowledge, how I come about situations, or how I interact with other people. The school is not going to teach me that the School doesn't teach me how I need to interact with a patient or how I give them the the love or how I give them the attention that they need or the compassion that I need to offer them. And you know at the end of the day, you you need to go to wherever you feel comfortable with. I think because it's super important to take that into consideration the school. Yes, the school is a Caribbean school but the school is gonna get I'm gonna make you the doctor, you're gonna be, like, personality wise, they're gonna give you the knowledge. Yes, they offer you the knowledge they offer you how to how to learn the material that you need to learn how you're prepared for it. That's up to you, how much work you want to put into it. There, they give you all the material, they give you all the resources. Now, how much work are you going to put into it? That's the big question. And that's going to be how it's gonna like determine how good of a person you're going to be, how good of a doctor knowledgeable you're going to be. And, and I just think a lot of people assume like, yes, how much the school prepares you, the school is going to prepare you the school is ready for to make doctors is just how much work you're going to put into it. How much knowledge? Are you going to sit there and study all the other materials? Are you going to take time and go, volunteer and go help out? That's all part of everything is not just a school, you have to put in your work? And that's a lot of things I think like people just saw, yeah, the school was gonna make me a doctor and talk to the patient and book in book language because they don't know what that is. Yeah, you got to be able to break the break the words down, because yes, we know more than them. But we got to be able to change that language in a way that they can understand it. And that's all skills, skills that a School doesn't teach you is your skills that you acquire, through experiences through opportunities that you've gotten throughout your career. And it's just important for people to understand that, yes, the school takes a big part, that type of school it is. But you also got to put in the work for yourself because it doesn't come easy.

Brooke Smith
I would say that I don't really care what grade you got on your test. I want to know like, can you help me? Can you talk to me? Can you level with me? Can I trust you do I feel like you're going to understand me and you're going to try to help me the best that you can, I would much rather have a doctor who didn't go to the Ivy League school, but that can talk to me and level with me and care for me than someone who doesn't have good bedside manner. So I think bedside manner is incredibly important in health care in general. woman that is here, she's on social media, you can find her I'm gonna let her give you her app symbol, so you can check her out. But she has tons of resources for students who are going through medical school, if you want to follow her journey. She's incredibly inspiring. She'll help you with time management, she'll help you with how to memorize things. She'll show you how to study what to study. I mean, she's amazing. So go check her out with that. Can you give us your ad on social media?

Nanette
Yeah, it's Nanny, N a n y y y under underscore x three. @nanny_x3 And I am super grateful to be here with you and be part of MDF instruments I love them so much. I love your stethoscopes. And just the the goal orientation that you guys have with community and everything. Stethoscope. And I'm super excited. I will love working with you guys. MDF Instruments. And I hope later on in the future we can create some some big important amazing campaigns

Brooke Smith
I've enjoyed so much just watching your journey from the beginning. I've seen you grow so much just in a really short amount of time. And I find you extremely inspiring. I think like watching the net on social media, you if you're feeling like lost or a little bit like behind you watch her and she shows you how to she keeps you motivated because she's so busy all the time showing she's showing up all the time. Stethoscope. And it's very inspiring. I'm glad to hear that you are happy with our partnership with small because we are thrilled to have you and I'm excited to keep watching your journey and see how that goes for you because I know you're gonna become a great doctor. And I love working with you. And yes, if you ever go on any more medical missions or any volunteering in the future or anyone listening, or watching, we love donating, we have a crafty wellness initiative. So we love donating stethoscopes to those in need. MDF Instruments Stethoscope. A lot of times we'll give them to the healthcare workers who go over there and then they leave them for the healthcare workers who are actually in the place so that there they have medical equipment, because we believe in health care for all and wellness for all so I'm happy to see that you're you're with that as well. Stethoscope. Thank you again so much for joining our crafting wellness podcast. It has been such a pleasure having you on.

Nanette
Oh, the pleasure is mine. Thank you so much.

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