A Day in the Life: I Actually Get to Have a Social Life!


Today I discovered a wonderful aspect of academic medicine – Grand Rounds. We all get the lengthy emails sent every Thursday notifying us of the wide variety of activities Mount Sinai has to offer yet I had never considered the notices about grand rounds to be directed at me, the first year medical student only 1/8th of the way to the MD degree. In last week’s announcement however, the Oncology Grand Rounds on the Role of Autophagy in Lung Cancer caught my eye. Armed with my knowledge from the Molecular Cellular and Genomics course that I just left behind in December, I went to the session held at noon in Seminar Room A in the Hess Center. Granted, there were several instances where I felt I knew nothing but then they would be followed by moments of illumination, where my classroom experience and medicine in the real world aligned. Grand rounds have since become one of my favorite pastimes.

At 2:30 pm this afternoon, I went to the Upper West Side to check on my Longitudinal Clinical Experience patient who is enrolled in the Visiting Docs program. As always, it was a joy to spend time with her. In the few months that I have had the opportunity of regularly visiting my patient, my partner and I have gotten to know her quite well and there is an ease of communication that exemplifies the type of relationship I strive to have with my patients as a doctor.

My last commitment of the day was at 6:30 pm with my resident mentor with whom I will be conducting HIV research with in Ethiopia. Today’s meeting was to outline the aim of our research and to begin the much-dreaded process of seeking IRB approval.

As you can imagine, today has been a long, busy day and I’m just about to begin preparing for my Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) tomorrow. Thank goodness for FlexTime (a half-day of protected time each week for us to dedicate to any educational pursuit we’d like).


The OSCE was today. I was scheduled to be tested at 10:45 am. It was the moment to prove how well I had mastered the communication and interviewing skills essential to any good physician. There were four stations at which we were tested and at three of them, I walked out feeling like I had done a decent job. However, at one, I immediately recognized there was more work to be done in polishing my interviewing skills. Although the OSCE had initially appeared to be a daunting hurdle to get past, I do believe it gave me the opportunity to self-assess in order to determine where I need to focus my energy more.

This evening, I attended a Global Health Fieldswork class on Mobile Technology in preparation for my summer projects abroad. I decided to take the rest of the night off and treat myself to dinner with a college friend at a cute Chinese restaurant in Midtown called Radiance. This friend came to visit me at my home in Ghana this past winter break and it was fascinating listening to her reflections on her first trip to Africa.


After graduating college and deciding to matriculate into medical school, I believed that it was time to bid my social life goodbye. Today made me realize that that was a misconception. Yes, I spent seven hours studying immunology and pathology, but at 7:30 pm, I made my way down to Le Poisson Rouge on Bleecker Street to indulge in one of my favorite pastimes—a spoken word show put on by the phenomenal Striver’s Row. As always, I was blown away by the magic they create with their words. Immediately after the show came to an end, I hurried over a few blocks for my dear college friend’s birthday celebration on Bowery Street. Surrounded by many “Yalies,” it was a soothing balm for the nostalgia for college that occasionally hits me. As much as I love my college gang, at the end of the night, I joined ISMMS folks at an Afropolitan event just down the same street.

Medical school in New York, and most importantly medical school at Icahn School of Medicine, has meant that I did not have to put my 20s on pause. There is nowhere else I would rather be these next few years.


I love Sundays! It is the day I get to go to church to worship God and fellowship with those who share a similar belief. The Hillsong church of New York is unique in many ways. I remember first walking into the dimly lit club that doubled as a church on Sundays.  I must admit, I was taken aback by the disco ball spinning lazily overhead as the band serenaded us with gospel music, but the church quickly became a place of solace for me and a place I could recharge my faith in Christ. As always, after the hour and a half spent at church, I felt rejuvenated and went straight to the Yale Club to get a few hours of studying in.

MountSinaiJan2013_169Efe “Chantal” Ghanney is an MD Candidate, Class of 2017

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