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  • doctorsdayoff
    Ifeoma Dennis, MD
    @doctorsdayoff

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As doctors, it's true we heal our patients, but in the process, our patients also heal us.

Today, after discussing my last patient's health related concerns/ physical exam, he said, "I was wondering if I should tell you this but why not. When I saw your last name, I wasn't sure who you are but I assumed you would be a male. When you walked in, my heart burst into several little thousand applauses. You are not only black but female. You are a hero. You are living the dreams I had as a child. The dreams of Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. And I know it took many little steps to get to where you are today. It didn't start all of a sudden...
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"Which is the problem many blacks have. We go to bad elementary schools, read bad books, sometimes don't even have the best teachers, no parental support at home...and then we get to college- if we even get there- and realize our knowledge never even grew to the extent of our privileged counterparts and it becomes an endless cycle...
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"And I wanted to tell you that the next time you see a little black girl or boy, don't just tell them your name. Remember to say you're a doctor. They need a hero that looks like them, to aspire to."
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I may have had tears in my eyes afterward. Thank you, last patient of mine. ❀
As doctors, it's true we heal our patients, but in the process, our patients also heal us. Today, after discussing my last patient's health related concerns/ physical exam, he said, "I was wondering if I should tell you this but why not. When I saw your last name, I wasn't sure who you are but I assumed you would be a male. When you walked in, my heart burst into several little thousand applauses. You are not only black but female. You are a hero. You are living the dreams I had as a child. The dreams of Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. And I know it took many little steps to get to where you are today. It didn't start all of a sudden... . "Which is the problem many blacks have. We go to bad elementary schools, read bad books, sometimes don't even have the best teachers, no parental support at home...and then we get to college- if we even get there- and realize our knowledge never even grew to the extent of our privileged counterparts and it becomes an endless cycle... . "And I wanted to tell you that the next time you see a little black girl or boy, don't just tell them your name. Remember to say you're a doctor. They need a hero that looks like them, to aspire to." . I may have had tears in my eyes afterward. Thank you, last patient of mine. ❀
I've been spending a rather unhealthy amount of time these past few days (given that I have upcoming in-training exams) looking up recommended hotels on conde nast traveler, tablet hotels, even here on Instagram that fit our budget (because I'm very picky with hotels- could be boutique, quaint or modern but with some distinct character and view, and lots of light) and planning a general itinerary for our upcoming vacation. Then I send the list to my boyfriend. 
I love doing this but really not at the expense of studying.
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Today, after calling me and telling me about the intubations he did (he is currently on an anesthesiology rotation) my boyfriend said, "I'm about to head to the gym right now but wanted to say thank you for taking your time to plan our vacation. I really appreciate that. I don't really care where we stay but I know you do and that's why I let you choose which place we go and I take it from there."
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Sometimes, it's the little acts that someone notices and appreciates that counts.❀ And I am so glad I get to go on adventures with someone who's not just my boyfriend, but a teammate who gets me😊
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In any case, I'm glad itinerary planning is over and I can get on with studying.
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What sources do you use to pick hotels when you travel? Do you stick with chains, boutiques or both?
I've been spending a rather unhealthy amount of time these past few days (given that I have upcoming in-training exams) looking up recommended hotels on conde nast traveler, tablet hotels, even here on Instagram that fit our budget (because I'm very picky with hotels- could be boutique, quaint or modern but with some distinct character and view, and lots of light) and planning a general itinerary for our upcoming vacation. Then I send the list to my boyfriend. I love doing this but really not at the expense of studying. . Today, after calling me and telling me about the intubations he did (he is currently on an anesthesiology rotation) my boyfriend said, "I'm about to head to the gym right now but wanted to say thank you for taking your time to plan our vacation. I really appreciate that. I don't really care where we stay but I know you do and that's why I let you choose which place we go and I take it from there." . Sometimes, it's the little acts that someone notices and appreciates that counts.❀ And I am so glad I get to go on adventures with someone who's not just my boyfriend, but a teammate who gets me😊 . In any case, I'm glad itinerary planning is over and I can get on with studying. . What sources do you use to pick hotels when you travel? Do you stick with chains, boutiques or both?
One of my favorite things about Atlanta is the distinct character of each neighborhood. Love these Tudor styled houses!😍
One of my favorite things about Atlanta is the distinct character of each neighborhood. Love these Tudor styled houses!😍
When I was growing up in Nigeria, I remember reading the newspapers (because we had little electricity and so rarely watched TV): and seeing Condoleeza Rice become the Secretary of State and she made a statement in her February 2002 interview with Oprah when they were talking about the freedom in America that allowed a black woman like her from Birmingham become Secretary of State. 
She said: "I'd much rather be a minority in this country than any place else in the world."
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It stuck with me! 
When Obama became President six years later, it solidified my thinking that America was a place one could be anything they wanted- regardless of what they looked like- if they worked hard.
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And many years later, here I am- living a dream that was once unimaginable to me and my small town folks in Nigeria. 
Happy 4th of July, America!πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ
Inspite of all the things that we could still fix in this country, I'm thankful for your embodiment of freedom, for the opportunities you've given me as a foreigner, and of course, for the gift of my favorite American (cutie) pie πŸ˜‰πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜. Hope everyone has a great 4th!!πŸŽ†πŸŽ‡πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ
When I was growing up in Nigeria, I remember reading the newspapers (because we had little electricity and so rarely watched TV): and seeing Condoleeza Rice become the Secretary of State and she made a statement in her February 2002 interview with Oprah when they were talking about the freedom in America that allowed a black woman like her from Birmingham become Secretary of State. She said: "I'd much rather be a minority in this country than any place else in the world." . It stuck with me! When Obama became President six years later, it solidified my thinking that America was a place one could be anything they wanted- regardless of what they looked like- if they worked hard. . And many years later, here I am- living a dream that was once unimaginable to me and my small town folks in Nigeria. Happy 4th of July, America!πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Inspite of all the things that we could still fix in this country, I'm thankful for your embodiment of freedom, for the opportunities you've given me as a foreigner, and of course, for the gift of my favorite American (cutie) pie πŸ˜‰πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ˜. Hope everyone has a great 4th!!πŸŽ†πŸŽ‡πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ
Glass ceilings are meant to be broken 🌞🌞🌞
Glass ceilings are meant to be broken 🌞🌞🌞
One last one with these beauties that have helped make Atlanta fun for me so far❀ so many memories together! Alabama on The Boombox 🎢
One last one with these beauties that have helped make Atlanta fun for me so far❀ so many memories together! Alabama on The Boombox 🎢
Such a beautiful, fun wedding! Congrats, Sabrina and Taylor!πŸ’πŸ‘°β€
Such a beautiful, fun wedding! Congrats, Sabrina and Taylor!πŸ’πŸ‘°β€
With Elyse😘
With Elyse😘
So much dancingπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ...so much happiness...so much love...celebrating Sabrina and Taylor in Sweet home AlabamaπŸ’πŸ‘° #sabrinaandtaylor
So much dancingπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ...so much happiness...so much love...celebrating Sabrina and Taylor in Sweet home AlabamaπŸ’πŸ‘° #sabrinaandtaylor 
If you see me with a spring in my steps today, it's because I'm strutting into my last year of residency!πŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ
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Was PGY2 rough? Yes. Did I make mistakes? Yes. Were there days I wished I was already done with residency? Yes.
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But there were also victories: like getting through this last month on medicine wards ---(where I managed an average of 23 patients every 5 days- 18 on call days, and 5 extra new ones on short call days)--- without any of my patients dying or getting transfered to ICU, very sick patients getting miraculously better πŸ™πŸ™, nailing the right diagnosis when a patient has a complicated presentation, advocating for my patients.
And even more so, the prayers, love and support of my loved ones got me through my worst days.
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"For if God is for us, who can be against us? No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."- Romans 8: 31, 37. πŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ˜‡πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰
If you see me with a spring in my steps today, it's because I'm strutting into my last year of residency!πŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ . Was PGY2 rough? Yes. Did I make mistakes? Yes. Were there days I wished I was already done with residency? Yes. . But there were also victories: like getting through this last month on medicine wards ---(where I managed an average of 23 patients every 5 days- 18 on call days, and 5 extra new ones on short call days)--- without any of my patients dying or getting transfered to ICU, very sick patients getting miraculously better πŸ™πŸ™, nailing the right diagnosis when a patient has a complicated presentation, advocating for my patients. And even more so, the prayers, love and support of my loved ones got me through my worst days. . "For if God is for us, who can be against us? No, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."- Romans 8: 31, 37. πŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ˜‡πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰
Somewhere on a beach 🌴
Somewhere on a beach 🌴
I've been to many beaches here in the States, but somehow sitting in this beach club last night and talking about life and dreams with my Stevedreamy brought back the best memories of being in the Caribbean and hanging out in my favorite beach club there after work- with no care in the world. So it was such a fuzzy good feeling being here last night...so freeing, such a great dopamine rush to my soul. ❀
I've been to many beaches here in the States, but somehow sitting in this beach club last night and talking about life and dreams with my Stevedreamy brought back the best memories of being in the Caribbean and hanging out in my favorite beach club there after work- with no care in the world. So it was such a fuzzy good feeling being here last night...so freeing, such a great dopamine rush to my soul. ❀
Advice from former president Bill Clinton (who just released a thriller with James Patterson!): if you feel stuck somewhere, don't let your spirit get stuck, keep focused on the future and the great things you can do...and let that be your light 🌠🌞
Advice from former president Bill Clinton (who just released a thriller with James Patterson!): if you feel stuck somewhere, don't let your spirit get stuck, keep focused on the future and the great things you can do...and let that be your light 🌠🌞
My words for the week...and always.
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In this current world of outspokenness, political divisiveness and righteous indignation...don't forget: the wrong words can end our careers, the wrong words can drag the ones we love down, one negative word could take more than a thousand positive words to make right.
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And if you have been abused by words in the past by a parent/ex/someone you looked up to, you could end up doing the same to other people who love you as you grow older. Have to watch out for that cycle, AND BREAK it.
My words for the week...and always. . In this current world of outspokenness, political divisiveness and righteous indignation...don't forget: the wrong words can end our careers, the wrong words can drag the ones we love down, one negative word could take more than a thousand positive words to make right. . And if you have been abused by words in the past by a parent/ex/someone you looked up to, you could end up doing the same to other people who love you as you grow older. Have to watch out for that cycle, AND BREAK it.
Here's to the ones who dream...foolish as they may seem...a bit of madness is key, to give us new colors to see, who knows where they'll lead us?🎢🎢
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Someone asked me two days back if I'd traveled to other African countries. I said nope, actually leaving for my Caribbean medical school at 21 was the first time I entered a plane lol. (one day, I hope to see more African countriesπŸ˜‡).
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And I realized just how crazy it might have been then leaving the only place I knew to even consider being a doctor in the US. Small town girl. Far fetched, ridiculous dreams. I honestly was just taking it one step at a time, one prayer at a time.
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Now, I have bigger dreams that seem even crazier (and not all of them have something to do with medicine, btw)...and I'm not even sure of exactly the paths to take to achieve them. But it's okay. It's still one step at a time, one prayer at a time. πŸ™πŸ™
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Where ideally do you see yourself three years from now? Go for it.❀
Here's to the ones who dream...foolish as they may seem...a bit of madness is key, to give us new colors to see, who knows where they'll lead us?🎢🎢 . Someone asked me two days back if I'd traveled to other African countries. I said nope, actually leaving for my Caribbean medical school at 21 was the first time I entered a plane lol. (one day, I hope to see more African countriesπŸ˜‡). . And I realized just how crazy it might have been then leaving the only place I knew to even consider being a doctor in the US. Small town girl. Far fetched, ridiculous dreams. I honestly was just taking it one step at a time, one prayer at a time. . Now, I have bigger dreams that seem even crazier (and not all of them have something to do with medicine, btw)...and I'm not even sure of exactly the paths to take to achieve them. But it's okay. It's still one step at a time, one prayer at a time. πŸ™πŸ™ . Where ideally do you see yourself three years from now? Go for it.❀
View on my walk to the park today😍😍😍
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 It was beautiful, but my favorite part of the day was discussing Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi with my dad who lives in Nigeria (currently 207/300 pages in). As an African, I couldn't help being terrified at the absolute horrors and wickedness the slaves went through after being sold by their own (like having to sleep in crowded dungeons with no bathrooms and barely any food, hanging the ones who tried to escape etc😭😭😭). And wonder if people like Kanye West who say "slavery is a choice" saw the whole picture- the past and how some of the scars may still trickle down to the present.

My dad got really excited and we had a lengthy discussion on that. Then he recommended I should read the 1976 book "Roots" by Alex Haley after Homegoing if I can still emotionally handle it. 
Which was surprising because I didn't even know my dad read books like that apart from his Economics/Finance books and daily newspapers. It's the little things. ❀❀❀
View on my walk to the park today😍😍😍 . It was beautiful, but my favorite part of the day was discussing Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi with my dad who lives in Nigeria (currently 207/300 pages in). As an African, I couldn't help being terrified at the absolute horrors and wickedness the slaves went through after being sold by their own (like having to sleep in crowded dungeons with no bathrooms and barely any food, hanging the ones who tried to escape etc😭😭😭). And wonder if people like Kanye West who say "slavery is a choice" saw the whole picture- the past and how some of the scars may still trickle down to the present. My dad got really excited and we had a lengthy discussion on that. Then he recommended I should read the 1976 book "Roots" by Alex Haley after Homegoing if I can still emotionally handle it. Which was surprising because I didn't even know my dad read books like that apart from his Economics/Finance books and daily newspapers. It's the little things. ❀❀❀
I'm one of those people who need a getaway at least once a month lol. Which is a big dream in residency with busy work hours and hardly more than one off day at a time. But traveling is such a personal big stress-reliever, and rejuvenates me! 
Daydreaming of earlier this year when my boyfriend and I took a quick 1.5 day trip to Charleston, one of my favorite small cities in the Southeast!

What helps you relieve stress and re-inspires you?
I'm one of those people who need a getaway at least once a month lol. Which is a big dream in residency with busy work hours and hardly more than one off day at a time. But traveling is such a personal big stress-reliever, and rejuvenates me! Daydreaming of earlier this year when my boyfriend and I took a quick 1.5 day trip to Charleston, one of my favorite small cities in the Southeast! What helps you relieve stress and re-inspires you?