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Shirlywhirl, M.D.
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Two weeks ago, I finished my clinical obligations for residency. Since then, I’ve 1) done 2 podcasts and 1 hour long presentation 2) met with multiple people in the film industry about my book and am now represented by one of the top film agents in the industry??? What is my life 3) did a couple commissions even though i said I wouldn’t lol 4) planned a small ceremony / luncheon and then got MARRIED I HAVE A HUSBAND NOW GUYS. Needless to say…even though all of this is incredible, I haven’t really been “vacationing.” (I also need to study for boards, finish my Hopkin’s modules, write a grant application…. a girl is spent.)

Anyway, this is a PSA that ya girl will be operating at 50% capacity for the next two weeks. Limited social outings, bc the introvert battery been dead, so if you know me don’t ask me to hang out pls 😂😂. I won’t be doing any more talks / podcasts / zoom connecting until the fall/winter, when I’m a bit more accustomed to fellowship. Planning to spend the next three days vegging out watching LOTR with hubby before I go gallivant around Seattle with my sweeties @linnliu and @sashimiii07 . What are my fellow grads planning to do with their sweet sweet time off? Jumpsuit courtesy of @fabletics.

#fableticspartner #fabletics #moveinfabletics #myfabletics #resident #residency #intern #inpatient #doctor #womeninmedicine #blackdoctors #graphicmedicine #premed #premedmotivation #internalmedicine #medschool #medicine #medicalschool #medlife #md #medstudent #nurse #physician #webcomic #comic

Say please and thank you to @triciamelvin.md for commissioning Radiology Girl, despite being a whole Orthopedic Surgeon! Now that’s sisterly love right there!

Although (Diagnostic) Radiology Girl lives in the darkness, she is one of the few Medical Magical Girls who has been blessed with the Sight. Meaning, she can literally spot disease before anyone else, which puts her in high demand. Though she rarely wanders from her cave, actually enjoys being visited by the other girls, and is always happy to give help! Let’s let @celia.lalala tell us about her field:

“Radiology is the keystone of medicine and perhaps one of the most omnipresent specialities in the both the inpatient and outpatient setting. We play a key part in diagnostic workup and can make a change in patient care with a single dictation — whether it be via action or non-action. A proper skillset in radiology can catch a developing 1 cm lung cancer, or save a patient from an unnecessary procedure. Additionally, the breadth and technology used in radiology is rapidly expanding. The amount of information in radiology can be daunting to conquer, but for the life-long avid learner, it is the perfect specialty.”

#magicalgirl #anime #manga #medicalmagicalgirl #Radiology #radiologist #resident #residency #intern #doctor #womeninmedicine #blackdoctors #graphicmedicine #premed #premedmotivation #residency #internalmedicine #medschool #medicine #medicalschool #medlife #md #medstudent #nurse #physician

I actually had a different comic planned for this week. But then I kept getting messages like the one I will highlight in my Insta story today, and I decided enough was enough.

One of the things I have been intentional about is approaching others with compassion. I genuinely try to understand and acknowledge the humanity of the people I engage with on this platform, even if, and often especially if, they don’t agree with me. I answer as many of my DMs as possible because connecting with so many people has been one of the things that make SW so rewarding (and makes my job as a physician fulfilling.) In a lot of ways, that made this space into a safe, comforting one for me.

Recently, though, this has changed. I’ve put up various boundaries and broadcasted them in my stories, in highlights, in my captions…only for people to blast through them like balsa wood . And I’m tired. I feel dehumanized- like I don’t exist to people as a person, but rather as a mule to produce work or a human battleground to fight for global and social causes. Most recently, the fact that I am passionate about systemic racism and health equity has been used against me to justify a lot of HARASSMENT (yes, I will use that word) about my PERCEIVED silence (bc actually, I have not been silent) on other injustices.

I hate blocking people, esp those who aren’t blatant trolls. But nah. The Banhammer shall swing HEAVY from now on. I need y’all to remember that this space was created for my well being — you benefit by proxy. Go look at my “House Rules” highlight before you check for me again. I will no longer be offering explanations for cutting people off. :)

#resident #residency #intern #inpatient #doctor #womeninmedicine #blackdoctors #graphicmedicine #premed #premedmotivation #internalmedicine #medschool #medicine #medicalschool #medlife #md #medstudent #nurse #physician #webcomic #comic

Honestly, this doesn’t even feel real. It didn’t feel real when I first signed with my agent @helmliterary, it didn’t feel real when I got the phone call that Lucia Macro(!!!!) at William Morrow/ Harper Collins (!!!!!!!!) loved my book, and it certainly didn’t feel real when I signed the contract and accepted the offer. And now this brainchild of mine, conceived in my third year of med school after Juno Diaz reminded me that it was okay to write about people who were like me, typed furiously on my Google Docs app during 28s in the MICU, and then eventually finished during my alternating weeks off in the COVID ICU… will be available in hardcover and audiobook in Summer 2022.

I have so many people I want to thank. My parents, who have always reminded me that yes, I CAN do it all, my fiancé, to whom I’ve read this book out loud multiple times between revisions, who loves lil ol erratic overwhelmed me. to @linnliu and @neftieboni , who have been my beta readers, editors, and confidants through this entire process, to @shrutipatel , who literally read my revision live and offered feedback, to @rissyyriss_ , my writing big sis, whose suggestions/ thoughts / guidance honestly have made this book about 3x better than it was at its conception. To @vela9143 and the late Tony Montag, who were two of the only people for a long time within academic medicine to see my art and writing as a boon to the field rather than that cute thing I did on the side. To every one of my close friends who offered encouragement when I was whining about the process of being “on sub” (it’s worse than Match). And finally to all of you, who shared my initial pitch, have given me the courage to share my innermost thoughts, who have leaned into my vulnerability and quirkiness and reminded me that not fitting the mold is a good thing.

So. Without further ado— I give you, ON ROTATION. (Available for preorder in the fall!) #bookstagram #debutauthor #writing #onrotation #medschool #medicalschool #books

A brief interlude from comics. I first met Eunhye as a high school senior. We’d both journeyed to St. Louis for Washu’s (no longer extant) straight Med program, and instead of heading straight to our meeting spot, I took a detour to get a vanilla frap from Starbucks. This was objectively a jerk move, but Eunhye thought it was hilarious, + thus our decade long friendship begun.

The thing about close, long friendships is that they quickly become familial, and that’s the case with me, Eunhye, and her mom, Myungeun Rhie. One of my favorite memories with Mrs. Rhie was sitting at her table, eating some of the best bulgogi I’ve had in my life, and having a spirited conversation (with Eunhye as our very amused translator). Even though it’s been years since we’ve been able to sit down for another chat, we’ve kept up with each other. Recently, Ms. Rhie went back to school to pursue her dream of becoming a painter, and I’ve ogled her work in awe from a distance, and promised that the moment I got the funds, I would commission her.

Well, imagine my shock/ delight/ surprise when Eunhye sent me this painting, of me, by Ms. Rhie. there is something so deeply loving about taking a brush to canvas to recreate another person’s image, and I feel that love deep in my bones right now. Ms. Rhie , when you read this- I just want to say thank you, I’m in awe of you, and I wish I could have made it to your gallery. (And I hope that any of you who can consider it!) #art #oilpainting #myungeunrhie #portrait

I’m organized, but not “ICU nurse running 4 pressors, 3 antibiotics, and blood in a lattice of lines and pumps stolen from the floor below” organized.

Happy Nurse’s Week, and thank you for all you guys have taught me over the last three years. (Featuring @_nursebebe , who actually has to deal with me wreaking havoc irl!)

I had two comics planned for Nurse’s Week! I might miss the actual end of the week because #residency, but I’ll try to get it up my Monday.

#nursesweek #happynursesweek #nursesday #nurse #resident #residency #intern #inpatient #doctor #womeninmedicine #blackdoctors #graphicmedicine #premed #premedmotivation #internalmedicine #medschool #medicine #medicalschool #medlife #md #medstudent #physician #webcomic #comic

Some of my favorite conversations with patients are the ones that happen via facial expressions. (See also: the CHF patient who swears up and down that they’ve stuck to a low salt diet but has three boxes of half finished Chinese food next to them…like, sir, why are we lying). Sometimes I can’t help it and will say something, and ironically those conversations usually help with rapport.

(A disclaimer: I usually will take a more thorough social history, and this isn’t supposed to be stigmatizing to people with addictions!)

#thingspatientssay #heroin #addiction #resident #residency #intern #inpatient #doctor #womeninmedicine #blackdoctors #graphicmedicine #premed #premedmotivation #internalmedicine #medschool #medicine #medicalschool #medlife #md #medstudent #nurse #physician #webcomic #comic

Whenever medical students ask me what to look for in a residency, I tell them to look for culture. I spend more time with my colleagues than I do with my fiancé, so it’s important that I actually LIKE them. Over the last two weeks, I’ve been with my lil’ cherub 👼 @nickowalz and it’s been as fun as night shift can be.

(Just so you know how similarly our brains work, the other day we had a slowish night. We were deciding which movie to pick, and I made a comment about how we needed to pick quick in case we got a “deluge” of admissions… and Nick picked 500 Days of Summer. Out of curiously, I asked him whether he picked it because I said the word “deluge,” which is a word used in the song “Apres moi” by Regina Spector, who also sings “Us” and “Hero” from the 500 Days of Summer. He was like 👁👄👁 “yes.” We been shook since lol.)

Anyway the hospital is going to be a lot less lit without us having dance parties on the way down to the ED 😢

#resident #residency #intern #inpatient #doctor #womeninmedicine #blackdoctors #graphicmedicine #premed #premedmotivation #internalmedicine #medschool #medicine #medicalschool #medlife #md #medstudent #nurse #physician #webcomic #comic

Physicians have a problem. We as a profession feel the need to constantly try to “one up” each other in suffering, in a way that seems to prevent us from advocating for better conditions for ourselves. I was just thinking about how it really shouldn’t be considered ridiculous that I want to be able to pursue a career in Cardiology while also being a present member of my family and continue with my creative pursuits…. but it is. The longer I think about it, the more I realize that we simply need to organize. Any good physician unions out there that I should be looking into in 3-4 years when I eventually become an attending?

#resident #residency #intern #inpatient #doctor #womeninmedicine #blackdoctors #graphicmedicine #premed #premedmotivation #internalmedicine #medschool #medicine #medicalschool #medlife #md #medstudent #nurse #physician #webcomic #comic

Comic inspired by @i.am.dr.arumala post, and all the discussions I’ve had with black women following it.

A lot of my life has been spent carefully modulating my responses to / interactions with white people, and white women in particular. And it doesn’t matter where I’ve been or how “woke” someone claims to be- I am always on guard and frequently disappointed. WW- the effort we undergo to not offend you is immense. I regularly edit my friends’ emails to be gentle enough for you. I swallow indignities to avoid your ire. Because the reality is- upsetting WW isn’t healthy for my career. And yes, WM do this too- but they can’t hide behind the misogyny they face, and they don’t weaponsize their status as a “damsel in distress” to get their way, then insist that punishing me wasn’t their intent. They don’t claim to be my sister and then stab me in the back. 🤷🏿‍♀️ y’all remember Amy Cooper? She’s more familiar than you think.

The truth is: I feel conflicted recruiting other black women into medicine sometimes, where I know that if they aren’t as disarming / bubbly as I am, they will be labeled as “aggressive”, “difficult to work with” or “scary” for voicing their dissent. They’ll get evals calling them “cold” or “unfriendly” simply bc they are quiet or tired. They’ll be reported more frequently, and more frequently disliked. That tension is distracting and alienating. I sometimes wonder how much of my personality is a farce, crafted to protect myself from a white gaze that will punish me as soon as it perceives me as a threat.

How do we fix this? First - I think the threshold to report a Black colleague needs to be high. We’re ppl and not a monolith so some of us are awful, but if you have a disagreement, you have to have tried to engage (open mindedly + with the benefit of the doubt), ensured that you are being fair / would confront a WM for the same, + modulate your own feelings about the situation. Escalate only if necessary, + after informing them. Don’t talk trash about them- bc ppl will most certainly take your side without having theirs.