Intersection of Art & Medicine


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Deeksha Sikri, MD

Candice Blacknall, MD, MBA

Candice Blacknall 00:03

As you all know, these motivation Monday conversations are all about normalizing the human experience along the journey to medicine. This is all born out of the movement that GABA currently has to make everyone aware that you don't have to be perfect and you don't have to be this cookie cutter person in order for you to be successful in the career medicine. Oh my gosh, your hair looks great.

Dr. Deeksha Sikri 00:29

The Caribbean humidity is working well for me.

Candice Blacknall 00:33

Are y'all celebrating?

Dr. Deeksha Sikri 00:36

celebrating work? What are we celebrating?

Candice Blacknall 00:38

In the US now? It's like Christmas and New Year's is coming up and all that kind of stuff. So Are y'all in class?

Dr. Deeksha Sikri 00:47

No, no, no, we will be when we finished our term. Our next term starts on 10th of January. We have time. Oh,

Candice Blacknall 00:54

yes. I'm so jealous. I want I want to

Dr. Deeksha Sikri 00:56

know what happened on the island. There was an outbreak in in one of the resorts here. Because of which our numbers went up like crazy. So we are on a curfew. We are on a night curfew right now. So there have been no night Christmas parties. Nothing was being

Candice Blacknall 01:13

asked feel like I've lived. Yeah. Sounds fun. It sounds like a lot of watching shows at home. Hey, everyone. Thank you so much for tuning in. I'm Candace from Gabba, I'm so excited to have you all here for this amazing conversation about the intersection of medicine and art. And I am like not going to even try. I'm sure many of you have benefited from her Awesome work so far. So why don't we jump in and share for folks that are listening kind of a little bit about why you chose medicine and then maybe your journey to medicine.

Dr. Deeksha Sikri 02:02

Okay, first of all, I want to say hi to all my students from India who seem to have joined in. Because it's been a really long time I interacted with anyone ever since I came here, I haven't really taken a class online for anybody. So it's really nice to see everybody here. And thank you so much for giving me this opportunity on Instagram to talk to everybody. So I am from India, for those of you who are watching from outside India. And our medical journey begins in high school when we pick up biology, physics and chemistry along with some other subject. We do that for two years. And then because of the sheer competition for the entrance exam, I had to take another year to prepare to get into MBBS. And the MBBS itself to medical school was four and a half years long. And then one year of internship, which then gave me the chance to put the doctor in front of my name fine. Yes. And way back in my second year when I opened Robbins for the first time I knew that I have found the thing I'm going to do for the rest of my life. It was it was like love at first sight, it is the most successful relationship. Yeah. I'm very thankful I feel very blessed that at such a young age and young time in my career, I figured out what I want to do, because for a lot of us, it takes a lot of time to pick that one thing we would want to do you know, so I feel very blessed. I think I was privileged enough to find out what I wanted to do. Then, again, because of the competition, I had to take another almost a year and a half to prepare for the residency. And after two attempts when I finally got a rank, which would give me what I wanted. I started my residency in pathology. And three.

Candice Blacknall 03:56

Yeah, like,

Dr. Deeksha Sikri 03:59

what we do at MBBS is probably what point 1.01% of what pathology is. And the third thing I realized the three years are definitely not going to be enough.

Candice Blacknall 04:09

So yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Dr. Deeksha Sikri 04:12

So that was my journey in medicine. It was tough. But I still would say that I got lucky at at very, you know, important times of my career for you know, being in the right place with the right people, which doesn't happen with everyone. So I know I had it. I had it good. And I wanted later than to help out people who are not so lucky who still need a push who would still need some way to you know, make their way into this crazy maze. That is medical career.

Candice Blacknall 04:48

Yeah, yeah. First of all, you had a totally different experience with with Robbins The first time I opened Robbins I was like, What is this I was horrified. I was like, You want me to read this?

Dr. Deeksha Sikri 05:04

You have to give it time to talk to you. I've always said every page of Robins is like an epiphany. Just give it time.

Candice Blacknall 05:13

I'm still waiting online. What happens if it doesn't come?

Dr. Deeksha Sikri 05:17

It will come later. I'm telling you later when you do bigger things, and then you'll realize oh, my god Robbins had simplified it so much. Let me just go back to that book. It will happen. I did that. At every stage of my education. I've gone back to Robbins, even today, I go back to Robbins whenever I have a doubt, and I I feel very happy when I see students called Robbins to me as I got anggota reading the book.

Candice Blacknall 05:40

Well, okay, well, I I will wait on my epiphany. It hasn't hit me yet. But it's gonna come for me. But I just like love. So I'm thinking like, as I was a student, if I had what you do in past, maybe I would have had a different experience, you know, maybe I would have been able to relate to material. So how did you? Were you?

Dr. Deeksha Sikri 06:08

Are you out in the dream? Could you repeat your question? Yeah.

Candice Blacknall 06:10

Did you always did you always draw? Are you always an artist?


I'm wondering,

Dr. Deeksha Sikri 06:19

I mean, um, I think my mother is a much better artist than I am. She is. She got her. She did a graduation and entomology and you know, insects. And also I've seen her work where she would draw everything very artistically. I am creative, but I never really indulged my art as much. But in pathology in the back in medical school while doing anatomy, histology, then pathology, you know, when it's only when you start doing something, you realize you're you're kind of good at it.

Candice Blacknall 06:51

Yeah. So that's


what happened with me, I realized it I it's not bad. And then, and then when it came to teaching, and I started drawing for my students in class, that's when I realized that Oh, yeah. Okay, so I can convey what's needed. By the drawings. They need not be beautiful, but I think they are getting conveyed. But all the time, I've gotten better.

Candice Blacknall 07:15

If someone just said, she's being very modest, she's extremely creative. So they're calling your bluff.


See, I admit it, I'm creative. But the drawing has taken time. The drawing has taken time. Yeah. Especially, you know, working with the software's and figuring out which one will help me the most and how to go about it. That's taken time, but it's a learning curve.

Candice Blacknall 07:38

So I'm getting better. What what software's Do you use, like, how did you figure it out that whole thing. So


I used to take my classes on one note, I have a Surface Pro Microsoft Surface Pro. So I would take I would attach it to the projector and just simply take a class in OneNote. It has different kinds of pens, so I could draw, and initially I would use that but then the problem with OneNote is you only have two three kinds of textures and I wanted more textures. Yeah. So I checked on what would work well on my Surface Pro and the software I use now. sketchbook

Candice Blacknall 08:13

elite Yeah, yeah.


sketchbook and then I take the drawing, I put it on my PowerPoint, I make a slide out of it. And yeah, that's the work process.

Candice Blacknall 08:28

Okay. Well, I have to say like, it's very inspirational, because every time my pathology professor would say something like bread and butter, or she or cauliflower, like make some kind of comparison to food, I never saw it. I never


eat food. I don't know why I'd really like to delve into it some days. It Why Why are we so obsessed with food? But yeah, it does take imagination, I think. And I think one of the most important jobs of someone who's teaching pathology is to bring about that comparison. So I've always tried to show the original first that okay, this is bread and butter. Now let's see if we can find it in this picture. Or,

Candice Blacknall 09:09

yeah, this


chocolate. Let's see if you can find chocolate in this cyst somewhere, you know, it takes time. And sometimes students will not understand it. So that's when you see just just like, Just trust me.

Candice Blacknall 09:22

Trust what I'm saying here. It's bread and butter. You don't see it yet, but it's there. So I'm thinking and I love these questions that are popping up folks that are listening, please keep them coming because I'm making a mental note and I'm going to ask them near the end. Okay. I just saw the future of pathology, we'll go back there. So I'm thinking so you you are originally inspired to do this because of your students. Right? That is amazing. Because I think what happens sometimes is it's only one way the teacher tells the students but you really were able to kind of create a connection with your students and let them influence you as well. Which is really beautiful.


It was it was because of them. Because the more I interacted, the more I thought I realized where they are facing problem and understanding something on or and I think there were two things that I felt was missing in the way we were being taught pathology. And something that I had promised myself, if I ever start teaching, this is what I'm going to do. One is to simplify things. Because pathology comes from OKC. It's it's not just what's written yet, it's more than that these are people whose biopsies or resections, we are seeing or, you know, this has a huge impact in patient management. Yeah, that look. And secondly, revision, because it's a vast subject.

Candice Blacknall 10:49



One of the things which I which if you go to my posts, you'll see I'll try and compile things in one place so that, you know, 10 days down the line, 10 months down the line, anyone wants to see things like just yesterday, I shared something on lung carcinoma. So that's three most common lung carcinomas everything you need to know about them in three posts, and you're done.

Candice Blacknall 11:11

Wow. Yeah, that's it.


That's the I think that's what drove me first that I want to give them material to simplify, and I want to give them material to revise that. So yeah,

Candice Blacknall 11:21

yeah. Yeah. That's amazing. So do you encourage your students to also draw, as is, does that feel like it's important to the learning process? I think


it is, I think it is, because I like this. Like, they always say, you know, a picture speaks, you know, you don't need so many words, if you've drawn something, right. So I could, I could say that plasma cell is circular with an eccentric nucleus and a blue cytoplasm, but I'm a droid with me, I think it will make more sense to them, they will remember it better. So definitely, as much as as much as possible. I encouraged flowcharts, diagrams, schematics, tables, you need to consolidate and simplify your material, because because of the vastness of the subject, it can very quickly get out of hand.

Candice Blacknall 12:08

Yeah. So yeah, that makes total sense. Now, you mentioned that you it wasn't you were you were creative, but not necessarily. You didn't realize this was a talent of yours until you kind of got into it. So like what, what inspired you to just try it, I feel like we get so busy in medicine, we don't even have time to try hobbies or trying new ways of learning, but you were really able to create space to to try something new.


Again, it was just


it was it was it was easier to draw something and tell them than to write it.

Candice Blacknall 12:47

Yeah. So it makes sense. Especially for something like pathology,


exactly. And so much of it is visual. And so much of it is is it I always tell my I always tell my students, it's just pink and blue is like it's two colors, you don't have to worry too much about it. So if we can just get the hang of pink and blue and you know what means what it becomes easy. So, I think the only I'm telling you, all I'm doing and all that started it has been because of the students

Candice Blacknall 13:19

I love that I like the fact that you have such a great relationship with your students that you were able to let them influence you like, I just love that because it's, it's not usually like that. I know, we talk a lot about the culture of medicine and how it can be very challenging sometimes to talk to people who are consider your you know, your higher ups, there isn't a lot of support built in to have those kinds of relationships. And so I just love that you were able to kind of take down the wall and and create a real human feel for this subject. Up, we


all need someone to help us, like I said, work our way through this means it's very tough. And you know, it's not just about the academies. It's a very challenging branch medicine. You know, it takes a toll on your mental health. You're working long hours, you know, you have to work so hard you have to sacrifice so much. So I don't know I the whenever I found an opportunity to maybe tell them that it's just it's going to be okay. Yeah. We need we just need someone to say it's gonna be okay. Like, you know,

Candice Blacknall 14:22

yeah, you


do it. I know. It's hard, but you will do it. So whenever I can whenever I can. I try my best to just say it's gonna be okay. It's fine. I understand. Sometimes.

Candice Blacknall 14:33

Yeah, because you you get it you don't you don't. I think people forget that. Not everyone takes the exam the first time and Ace Is it like you? I remember telling you I had to take mine twice. You had to take yours twice. And so sometimes it shifts in a workout.


And that's literally all we need. We know we'll do it. We always know what we need to do. All of us know We have all the resources, all of us have it in us. We've chosen this field, we know what it asks of us, you know, but if someone can just say that, yeah, you do it. Yeah, it happened. Yeah. And that's all we need. I really feel this already.

Candice Blacknall 15:15

Yeah. And have examples, like you have people who have had who have done it, who had real, real experiences doing it and weren't perfect, but made it their own, and really, you know, was successful as a result of that, like I yeah, I think that that that's very important. So speaking of mental health Now, I know right now, I'm sure drawing and your doodles are really great for stress relief in some way. Right? Yes.


If you see three, four fours, coming in a goal, it was a particularly tough day.

Candice Blacknall 15:55

It helps her mental health and stress relief. It really does. Because


it works both ways. One, I feel constructive, I feel creative. I feel like I'm doing something useful. So I don't feel useless. Because I think that's one thing. We've been fighting this this year, so much, that feeling of what the hell am I doing with my time. And then when I posted and I see students reactions, it sort of makes me It gives me such great feedback to Okay, it's sort of validates the job that I did on a tough day. So for me, that's why I could I think I took passive doodles from it. It's been one year passive doodles is one year old on Instagram.

Candice Blacknall 16:39

It's grown so much. I'm


just last week I hit 20,000 followers, and I'm just so grateful for, for all the students who followed, then the amount of people I got to meet and interact with not just from India, but outside. I mean, we connected because of pattern odors. Yeah.


Good for mental.


Health on a bad day. It really helps.

Candice Blacknall 17:05

Yeah, I love the idea of building community around art. And I think you said something really important. Like, it's, I think it's hard to, it's great that what you're doing is great, because you feel like you're still doing work, but you're also doing something that's good for you. And I hear a lot of students say, you know, it's hard to step away from studying because you feel guilty. You feel like what, what am I doing with my downtime, like I need to do I need to be working? I know. Yeah, but you found a way to to do both. And there is a way to do both and make learning fun.


No, it's not just about learning fun. One thing I have, like you said, like I was not an artist, before I started teaching, to be honest. But I did indulge creatively in things that I could like I write, and I read. So I there were times in medical school journey when I let that go. But over time, I've realized how important it is to do not give up on things that make us feel good. Yeah. Yeah, you know, and our bodies are interested, so important, because they we are more than just medical students or doctors or pathologists to human beings. So you can't like most those things. And, and these things, they fill you up when you're low on energy. And sometimes you won't even realize you're low on energy, you know, but these things fill you up. And with that filled up energy and positivity, when you go back to your books, your productivity or efficiency, your learning your revision, everything will be better. So I remember whenever I would be interacting, I interact with students who are preparing for you know, tough exams and like, we're feeling guilty, I'd say just take the day off.

Candice Blacknall 18:52

Yeah, just


get your preparing for something, sleep, go out, read whatever go out is not an option as much now, but you know, just just indulge in something that makes you feel good so that you can come back and hit your books with him.

Candice Blacknall 19:13

I love that, that we're not just medicine, we're human. And you kind of can get into this routine where you just think medicine, medicine, medicine, medicine, and it's not healthy, it's not sustainable. You need something to feel you more than just studying. Exactly watch a movie, go to watch a movie, take a nap. And I am so I think about the culture of medicine and I'm wondering you know how how what can we do as a medicine as a culture to make students understand how you absolutely can and you should continue those hobbies that help you feel full. Like wonder what what needs to happen.


One is people who can set a good example because when we see arsenio is running around and basically, you know, we we've glamorized lack of outs outside of work life. Yeah, glamorize the fact that if you don't have a life out of work, it's a you that person has made it or

Candice Blacknall 20:15

Yeah, that's that. That's


absolutely not. It's not.


I mean, sure, if you're doing it and you don't feel anything missing in your life, that's fine. That's good for you. But everyone needs to figure out what is it that that works for them. Because I have been through different phases. And I've also been through a phase where I didn't give a damn about anything, and it was just work. But then over time, I've realized where you know, like, okay, now now I need something more. Now I need some time to myself,


and let it come


naturally to you. But don't, don't don't disregard the fact that like I said, there's more to you than just medicine. Yeah, don't disregard it. Because it adds up. You know, of course, we have to work hard, we have to sacrifice, there will be missed birthdays, weddings, there will be people, we will disappoint, there will be cause we won't take all of that will happen. But you, you will find a balance if you consciously try to find a balance.

Candice Blacknall 21:19

Yeah, that's Yeah. I agree. I can definitely say I was a much better student, when I took time out for myself, and even just hung out with friends that weren't involved in medical school at all, that was a lot better for my mental wellness than, yeah, because the culture


somehow isn't toxic everywhere. It's very important for us to have positive people around us. And people who you know, there are some people who, whose wives are very negative, and then there are some very positive. So over time, I have realized that we have to pick and choose even the people we surround ourselves with, you know, you need positive people around people. Yes, you

Candice Blacknall 22:03

do, especially for this journey, in particular, because it's so hard. And it's so long. And you're right. For some reason, the doctor that doesn't sleep, it doesn't eat that doesn't take bathroom breaks, is the doctor that we all admire. And it's like, that's not real. That's not realistic. And you're right, it's everywhere. Even in the US. It's like every person I've taught so far, we were talking to people all over the world for these. And it's it's unanimous that being a doctor at you, almost you sacrifice your humanity. And that's crazy. No,


but like I said, it's needed. I'm not denying the fact that this job does ask almost everything of you. But if together as a community, we can try and you know, make it easier for each other to be, you know, as yours make it easier for our juniors as as the incoming juniors, when you become a senior, you're like, Okay, I'm not gonna I'm not going to make it tough for them, I'm going to make it easier for them. And then maybe when you're in a position of power to bring about change, you can you can change those. So I think it will take a very conscious effort on everyone's part, to try and take away this toxicity. Until we can do that on our own. Personally, we can just take away the toxicity from around us. Yes,

Candice Blacknall 23:23

yeah. I love that kind of within your bubble, you're going to help someone within your bubble. make someone else's experience better. Yeah, because otherwise, you know, you have the person who's like, well, it was hard for me to make it hard for you. And you're like, no, don't make it hard for me to make it easier for me. Yeah, yeah. So hold on here I have before we go to questions for our folks that are listening, but to make sure that I so okay, for students that are listening that want to learn how to draw through medicine, what are some some tips or some words of advice that you can give them for anyone that may be wanting to get started?


for drawing in medicine, yeah. Just just draw a socket and a socket inside it and just read the, you know, whatever the microscopic description has been given. Just just use that to draw in your own way. That's it. Like I said, no cell is perfect. Even inside a body your diagrams don't have to be perfect either. Yeah, so just just draw is just begin with drawing a circle and a circle inside of the draw the nuclear, just start there and then see whether the description says they are grouped together like a like a tube, or they are grouped together like our nest, start from there. I always tell students, you know, go from outside to inside, whether you're working on grass or microscopy. So if you have like a broad Good idea of we are looking at long lines of cells, okay, then I'm going to draw cells in a line or neck of cells. I'm going to draw a circular, you know, groove. Yeah. So just go from outside to inside. And if you are systematic, that's how you will remember it. And that's how you will tell someone who wants to understand it. And you will recall it better.

Candice Blacknall 25:21

Yeah, yeah. Because you'll have a better relationship with it. And then the other question before we kind of dive into questions that have been asked is, what are and this is not related to art, I will say, this is the what are the three actions that a student can take glistening can do to prepare themselves to overcome the challenge of being a medical student?


Because it's a very challenging field, and it will, it will get even more challenging. We are all witnessing right now how important our field is. Finally, I feel like the world has woken up to the fact that we are nothing without scientists, doctors. So it's finally happening. You know, the most dismissed branches becoming In fact, I was reading an article yesterday, the Fauci effect, there have been increased the number of medical student enrollments? Ah, maybe because Dr. Anthony Fauci has inspired everybody. So yeah, so it is picking up but like I said, it's a very demanding job. So yes, work on your mental health. So that's one advice I would like to give every medical student listening. Second is, don't fret too much the hard work becomes second nature. Yeah, that's something I've even I've realized over time, because I would I, a lot of my friends who are not in the field, would look at me and go, like, how are you studying so many hours? And to you, they don't seem like so many hours? Because that's just what you have


to do.


Yeah, you know, so the hard work becomes second nature, give it time, just give it time, it will come to you. And the third thing I would really want to tell everybody is I know exams are important. And I know topics that are testable are important, but don't learn something because it's going to be asked, learn something, because you will use it to manage a patient tomorrow. Be curious about learning things, because I feel really bad when I see somehow curiosity is going away.

Candice Blacknall 27:24

Yeah. So much


pressure of exams. Of course, they are important. But if you if we look at them in the right way, maybe you know, if you're curious about things, we will be wanting to know more and something that we learn with interest stays with us longer than something we would have mocked up a day before the exam.

Candice Blacknall 27:45

That's very true. Excellent advice. Someone asked a little while ago, did you have a role model pathologist mentors?


In my medical career so far, some professors in my medical school Dr. Hema KEANEY has really inspired me, then I got a chance to work with and interact with Dr. sumeet gujral, from one of the best cancer hospitals in our country. Then my own head of department where I did my residency, he he would he would walk in at eight o'clock for rockslides seminar every Tuesday morning, with his bag and a novel in his hand. And I would feel reassured that at his age at a stage, he's still taking out time to read something because I think it was very reassuring to me that I could, I could maybe if he's okay, if he's if he's reading, I can read. I can read

Candice Blacknall 28:43

Yeah, I could find something enjoy.


And then the place where I worked Dr. Samir Satie, where I studied for so long, all our faculty there because they molded me from, from their student into a teacher. And I'm very, very grateful for that to them. And then my head heads of department here. So I, I feel like at every stage in my career, I got blessed from above with great mentors, which is why I said it's very important to, to work hard, and then be at the right place at the right time somehow make that work. You know, some life life can change if you can just

Candice Blacknall 29:27

yeah, and being able to connect with people with is very important, which I'm going to say something at the very end of this. So folks that are listening, stay tuned, because I think it's going to help you build those connections, but I'm going to wait for the end. The next question is what is the future of pathology in India? This person is thinking about taking pathology in his his or her PG.


Okay, so first of all, please pick up ecology. It's a beautiful subject. I'm on a secret mission. Mission to recruit as many people for pathology

Candice Blacknall 30:00

It's not it's not so secret if it's out you should have one because


cancer is on the rise. Is that's not a that's not a positive reason, though, but it is on the rise, and diagnostics and therapeutics and diagnostics. Everything comes under pathology now. So our job is not just saying this is quaner cell carcinoma, we go beyond that now. You know, we we tell how far it's spread, we tell what markers are positive, we tell what markers can be used for treatment. So it's a it's a beautiful developing branch, if it wasn't developed enough, we are going way into such minute details of the oncogenesis that I think anyone who enters pathology today, would would have so many options to explore in the coming years. So future is definitely great. Now, another question that I hear from students sometimes is artificial intelligence is going to take over and take over. And I've seen that question for radiology as well, because both are the sister branches. We are we are diagnostic branches. But no matter what you do, even to teach AI to pick up patterns, you need a pathologist. Right? So I'll give you a simple example. Very, very basic thing on a complete blood count given by the machine. I can get thrombocytopenia. If the platelets are clumped together, the machine is going to count them as one. That's a spurious thrombocytopenia. That's not a true thrombocytopenia. At that point, my I'm going to see the slide and I'm going to see it under the microscope myself to see Oh, no, they're clumps count is fine.

Candice Blacknall 31:43

Yeah. You know, yeah,


that's a very small example. Very tiny example. But that's the difference between a machine reading report and a pathologist repeating,

Candice Blacknall 31:51

you know, reading. Yeah, yeah. So definitely need that.


Even never be out of just because machines have come, we will never go out of importance, we will always be important, and it will keep growing, because diagnostics and therapeutics and diagnostics are interlinked. Now,

Candice Blacknall 32:06

yeah, yeah. I love that. I mean, and also, I think this, it's odd how much paranoia comes about, because of all of the the machines and technology totally without humans involved in the process? No, no, no, I mean, no, I don't teach them also, you need a baton. They only know what we know. Yeah, I get that. Someone asked, I want to know, what is the advice for you, g teachers,


undergraduate teachers, so I'm one myself. So read extensively, because we need to, you know, no, I think read 100 things in order to teach 10 things because you can only go from abroad to a, you know, a smaller vision. So do that. Never forget that. When you're teaching undergraduates for the first time, they are a clean slate, they are going to hear about the disease for the first time from you. And you are going to make their their foundation for adding on to clinical and treatment and surgical and you know, all of that. So, I always tell even when I'm teaching, when I tell students to revise, I say, just keep a capsule in your head age, sex etiology, pathogenesis, clinical features, and what are the tests you're going to do if you can just remember these basic things about all the diseases that we're going to keep teaching you? You can build on them slowly? Yeah. So my advice to use your teachers is just this Do not forget that you were a medical student at some point of time, who knew nothing

Candice Blacknall 33:45

yet? So


remember that and then take take it further for your medical student.

Candice Blacknall 33:52

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. That is great advice, especially as a as a medical student. Currently, I think sometimes professors forget that. Things get boring sometimes. We gotta jazz this up a little bit. So someone asked, Can you study pathology from basics? I think the question is, how do you start studying pathology?


Um, we divide pathology in general Pathmark and systemic. That's how our book has done it and that's basically how you should do it. But it Yeah, there is no timeline here. If you're reading it for an exam, you know, like, an entrance exam, your university exam or term exam, you need to clarify your goals in terms of these are the objectives I need to cover. These are the absolute important things I need to know. Like, maybe 10 things or 15 things. These are the must know things in this topic. Read them. test yourself testing is a very effective One component of learning. Yeah, yeah. Unless you test yourself, you will not know how much you have remembered and where you are lacking understanding. So you need to complete the cycle of learning and then testing, and then testing, you go back to your notes and figure out where you went wrong, why and how you need to work

Candice Blacknall 35:17

on it. Yeah. So


depending on the exam, you need to figure out your goals. And if you like, I think someone had asked in three months, if you have your goals defined? Sure, why not?

Candice Blacknall 35:31

Yeah. Yes, you know, what you have to read might not do it. Yeah. Don't let anyone tell you. You can't read it. It started. Yeah. It's not gonna tell you hey, what No, you're not allowed to read that at this point?


If I say no, I, you know, gonna try. Of course, you're gonna try.

Candice Blacknall 35:52

Yeah, yeah. And I and I feel like this last question is totally in your alley. This person asked, they are a pathology resident, but they find that sometimes pathology gets boring. What can they do about it?


Okay, so Bhutanese will become boring to you, if you don't link it up with why you are reading it, or why you are learning? Yeah, if you forget that the slide that you're seeing belongs to a patient, a pap smear is, is from a patient who's undergoing screening, Could she have a pre malignancy of the cervix? Or does she have just an infection? That's a big difference between the two, if you can tell yourself the implication and the consequences.


It will bring about a sense of conscience. Yeah, well, while seeing the cases, but that might sound too idealistic to some of the listener. And maybe it is. But to make it more interesting, maybe read a little more, apply it a little more talk to people don't read pathology in isolation, because it is a very theoretical subject, I understand that I can get it, it's a lot to read, it can get a little overwhelming. So have a group of people around you who you can talk to, or maybe become part of online forums where you can listen to people talk to people interact, make it interesting on your own, because it's a very rewarding branch. You just have to give it a chance.

Candice Blacknall 37:27

Yeah, yeah. If someone said you have to understand the, the the how and then the clinical correlation, and that makes it fun. Yeah, definitely bring that human aspect back into it. Or you're not just you know, remembering facts.


That was one of the past papers, my guide and my god back in my residency told me that whenever you look at a case, when you're holding a specimen in your hand, consider it to be maybe what if it's your family member? Or what if you know and that's something we teach our clinical students as well you know, treat every credit bureau patient like he's your family member. The same holds true for the specimens you are seeing because they have been taken out of somebody they are not detached from life, you know, important so yeah, if we can if we can constantly remember the implication and the consequences of what we are doing it will it should take away a bit of the of the boredom

Candice Blacknall 38:23

Yeah, well, I mean, and draw and draw and mean art is like the ultimate way to make things fun. How much do


you need there's so much to read. How can you be bored I'm still excited every time a new journal article comes out or a new who comes out the new Robbins 10th edition came out this year you will not believe I woke up as soon as I got the

Candice Blacknall 38:53

one I didn't know there was a new Rob 10th edition now I know


in my in my first time like the first time the first Robbins I held was the sixth edition. So we've got I've come such a long way with this book.

Candice Blacknall 39:10

I don't know what version of Robbins I have but I know that I just waiting I'm gonna wait for my inspiration. I'm gonna wait for Robbins to be my favorite book in the world. It's gonna do it. Yeah, one day I would just look up and I'll be like, you know what I want to do I want to read my Robbins Robbins beautiful pictures in it though. So so maybe that's my ticket is your army


knife. And you know all those colored boxes with the morphology and everything itself. You need to work your way around it, but you will I really feel someone who wants to appreciate medicine will appreciate Oh,

Candice Blacknall 39:47

yeah. So you use world who for your updates. How do you stay up to date on all the past?


I jumped today by subscribing to a lot of Yeah, I stay up to date by attending As many webinars conferences this year has been a boon for everyone because usually for conferences, we are limited by faculty, you know, like who can travel who cannot, but just COVID all the conferences have had international faculty that we might not have been able to interact with, you know, otherwise.

Candice Blacknall 40:21

You know, yeah, I


guess attending conferences I'm very I'm very fond of reading so journal articles whenever something comes up. And then social media is is a boon in the space because I recently joined Twitter I'm very new to Twitter because I was still working my way on Instagram. And then the moment I joined Twitter and undiscovered hashtag path Twitter I was blown away. There's a hashtag path Twitter. I was blown away because the number of pathologists online sharing their cases, not just not just for medical students, but between pathologists you know taking each I think you can not be disconnected with updates anymore.


It's not possible.


They will come at you from somewhere there are so many they're coming to you from somewhere.

Candice Blacknall 41:16

I think someone else someone else knew about past winter to


come in did that is that is a pathology resident from Germany, who is amazing with her art. She makes calendars and postcards and scrunchies and face masks of histology pictures. She has a beautiful shop on Etsy you should check it out. She's amazing. I'm waiting for my calendar

Candice Blacknall 41:40

to find her now. You messaged me a pat and I wrote that message me you love lemonly podium. Send me something send me something. Let's connect. Yeah, someone said passing past Twitter was the need of the hour. I can. I need to look this up. I've been missing out on all the fun. Twitter was fine. Now Pac Twitter. Okay. No, no, no, I


started posting my posts with my Twitter as well. Because initially, this password and our realized met Twitter. So I've met student Twitter met school on Twitter.

Candice Blacknall 42:13

Yeah, yeah. Now Yeah, there's so many of them. I'm so so grateful for your time. I like yay. Thank you. please message me. I'm so so grateful for your time like this has been phenomenal. I I just love what you do. And I love that you were inspired by your students. And so I'm excited to just continue to follow your journey. We're gonna wrap I think, yes, we Oh, yes, we're like closing in on time. I tried to set an alarm, it obviously didn't work out. For those of you that are listening, if you would like to share your story with us and with other students, dm us at go GABA Co. And then also for those that are listening and listening that do not know about GABA. GABA is a platform for students to network with other students and mentors. And so I would like to extend an offer to you all, if you join the platform, it'll be free for the first year for you. So go to go GABA Co on the website, and you sign up totally free to you just because you've tuned in and connect with other students. There's virtual study groups there, there are chat spaces for students to connect. So yeah, so let me know how you think about it. I'm excited to connect with you all on Gabba. And I'm excited to connect with the next folks that will be on our motivation Monday. I hope this has been inspiring for you all and I hope you will tune in next time. For the folks that are listening that want to connect with you after this conversation. How should they find you?


On Twitter, fatter doodles on Instagram and other doodles on Facebook and YouTube. Yes, and I need to welcome to my youtube

Candice Blacknall 43:56

and YouTube, find her on YouTube. You have such a great disposition. I'm sure it's gonna be an amazing show. Tune in very soon. So make sure you send me a link Thank you


so much. And I'm so all the students from India who joined it I feel so nice to be able to connect with them after so long. And I'm so I really admire what you're doing with GABA Co and I hope to see it reach wherever you want it to reach. And I'm so glad I got to be a little part of the journey. And I hope we can stay connected and do more things.

Candice Blacknall 44:30

Together. Oh, can you hear me? Yes, yes, yes. Yes. Thank you so much. I'm so excited to have you and I'm excited to have you as part of the gavel family. So let's see, we'll stay in touch. Don't worry. We're not going anywhere. Everyone's sending you so much love. Can you see so much? We have a bunch of hearts really quick Har Har Har Har Har Har Har Har heart gave her love her love. And because we're gonna wrap up in like, five seconds. So all right. I will talk to Oh, look at the hearts. Thank y'all. Have an amazing day. I'll try. I'll message you a little bit later today.

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