Valentine’s Day Plans

This weekend marks one of my favorite holidays of the year! I know last year I posted about how I think Valentine’s Day can be great fun regardless of whether or not you have a significant other to share it with. I absolutely still feel this way and was excited to spend my Valentine’s Day celebrated properly as Galentine’s Day.

I still have the same (wonderful) boyfriend that I had a year ago, but this year I spent part of my Valentine’s Day with my former Co-Resident from my residency site. My boyfriend and I decided to put off some of our celebration because we have tickets for an upcoming showing of Book of Mormon the following weekend! We tend to enjoy low-key dates and just spending time together, so we squeezed in some movies and taco night at home, but decided to save our big date for next week!

Since my boyfriend is up in Dallas now, I get to see my former co-resident often. She is a great friend and didn’t have any set plans for Valentine’s Day, so we decided to visit the Dallas Zoo together to celebrate the day. In January and February admission to the zoo is only $5. It was too good of a deal to pass up! Lately we’ve had some great weather (although it probably won’t last!) so it was an ideal to spend some time outdoors. Overall it was a great zoo-we particularly enjoyed their “Wilds of Africa” exhibit. It was a great day and a great weekend. I feel especially lucky to also have next weekend to look forward to as well!

Erin

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Oral Exams

As a part of the Healthcare MBA program, we must all complete and pass a comprehensive oral exam prior to graduation. We all knew about this requirement coming into the program, but when you’re in your first semester it seems as though oral exams are a lifetime away.  Now that it is February, I’m beginning to realize just how quickly they are approaching!

Students in the classes before us talked to us about how they prepared for orals. Some noted having group study sessions while other preferred studying alone. A panel sits in on your exam and asks you questions. You do not know who will be on your panel until you enter the exam room. This means you have to be prepared to answer questions from any of the classes you’ve taken during your time at Baylor!

I’ve never taken an oral exam outside of foreign language classes, so I’m a bit nervous in terms of just not knowing what to expert. I know I’ll be doing a lot of studying when the time comes as well-but there is some good news! No one has ever failed the exam more than once! So…in theory….all of us will pass and get our diplomas!

Erin

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End of First Five Weeks!

Next week marks the end of the first five weeks of my program! It also marks my last week of Finance and Economics classes. We have five week core MBA courses every semester . This has helped to keep what we have learned fresh and also allows us to build on our knowledge throughout the program. After being away from Baylor for my residency, however, it was definitely challenging coming back to these classes!

Finance has always been one of the more challenging classes at Baylor for me. Although I was nervous to get back at it, I was also looking forward to seeing what all I remembered! The first few weeks of getting back into core MBA classes was a little challenging for me. I had forgotten some basic principles from multiple core classes. Although I will never be the best at Finance, I did feel like I got back into the swing of things as the five weeks went on. I started remembering terminology that we used in prior semesters and that I hadn’t seen in awhile. It’s good to know that although I may not have immediate recall of terminology, that I’m able to remember concepts fairly easily after they’re re-explained to me. I may not have my great professors to do that for me after graduation, but searching the internet can be a great help for that too!

Erin

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Epidemiology

I have to say: I absolutely LOVE my Epidemiology class. This doesn’t exactly surprise me. As a former Biology major, I tend to get excited when a rare bit of science trickles into my MBA classes.

As a part of our class we have been reading the book Spillover by David Quammen. We most recently read the section “Thirteen Gorillas” which is about Ebola and how outbreaks of Ebola have been documented. When the book was written, Ebola hadn’t touched America yet. Last fall we saw a case of Ebola be brought to the US and cause secondary cases here. Since I was working at my residency site near Dallas when this occurred, I was able to see how my hospital and hospitals in the area responded.

In class we talked about the balance of preparing to treat rare and very dangerous diseases with the cost that is necessary to do so. As the section in the book shows, Ebola outbreaks tend to come and go without much explanation. Their reservoir host has yet to be identified and predicting when a new outbreak will occur is difficult to do. Although Ebola is very deadly, outbreaks tend to taper off as we are seeing in Africa now. This asks the question of was spending all the money on new PPE, training, and preparing centers to care for patients who potentially have Ebola worthwhile? It’s a difficult question to answer. Right now Ebola will be at the forefront of training because its so recently affected the US. In time, however, new diseases will draw the public’s attention and that is where training efforts will lie.

Many of my classmates noted that their hospitals responded to the threat of Ebola by developing their response protocols and training to respond to highly infectious diseases-not only Ebola. This is a pretty practical way to respond to an ongoing problem and do so while using your investment in a meaningful way that will impact your organization long-term.

Erin

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Rainy Weekend

This past week we have had gorgeous weather in Waco. Most days the high has been above 70 and it’s been wonderful to walk to class and enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. Unfortunately the weather took a slight turn for the worst this weekend. Rather than being sunny and warm it has gotten a bit colder and has been raining off and on.

Usually on rainy weekends I like to stay home and play board games, watch movies and relax. This weekend has been no different from that so far! Rather than going up to Dallas this weekend, my boyfriend came down to Waco. We’ve spent the weekend relaxing, but also made a trip to Waco’s Dog Park. Since we didn’t have a dog when we were both in Waco last we had never checked it out before. It’s about 15 minutes from Baylor’s campus and is well worth the drive. It is gorgeous and quite large! We were able to enjoy it without many other people there early in the morning and also decided to venture out in the rain to check it out once more. It’s definitely on par if not better than most dog parks I’ve seen in Dallas!

Other than spending time with our dog, we have primarily relaxed (we should have been doing homework though!) and also got some of the local grub. Surprisingly there is not a Ninfas close to where we spend out time in Dallas, so we made a trip to Ninfas (we really like it!) and also made a stop at Bangkok Royal. It may not be the best food ever, but they are both places we went together when we were in Waco more often (and first dating), so it was fun to go back and enjoy them. We are planning on spending tomorrow outdoors rather than indoors! It is supposed to still be a bit chillier, but the rain will have stopped. I’m looking forward to it!

Erin

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Residency Presentation-One More Time

At the end of my residency I was required to complete a residency project with a project presentation. My presentation seemed to go very well and I was happy both with the outcome and with what I learned at my residency site. In addition to presenting at my residency site, I knew that there was also the possibility that I would be sharing my presentation back at Baylor to my classmates and to the new class of Healthcare MBA students.

During my first year of the Healthcare MBA, I sat in on presentations from students from the class above me. It was a neat opportunity to learn about their residency sites and about what they worked on during their residencies. When you’re in the first year of the program it can be a little bit difficult to visualize your residency and what you’ll be working on (especially if you didn’t have work experience like me!). For this reason I enjoyed being able to see what some of the students ahead of me worked on. Needless to say when I was asked to share my presentation back at Baylor I was happy to do so.

Although it had been over a month since I last gave my presentation, I still felt great about the material. Having spent so much time helping out with the project, it’s hard to forget! It was great to share my project both with my classmates and with the new students. They had a lot of great questions (more than I was asked in my formal presentation!) and it was actually pretty fun to share with them. I also was able to learn about one of my classmate’s projects and am looking forward to hearing a few more!

Erin

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Dallas Weekend Fun

Although I am living in Waco for this final semester, I have already found myself traveling back up to Dallas during weekends. I’m sure I won’t leave Waco every weekend, but it is great to have ties to a larger city and to be able to enjoy it for part of the week.

During my residency my boyfriend started his own Master’s program and now lives in Dallas full-time. Although he’s farther away for now, I’m definitely not complaining because it gives me a great reason to enjoy the city! Even though I spent over a semester in Dallas, I still have so much more to explore! I did explore several regions of the city, attended a rodeo, and made a trip to Fort Worth, but there is so much more to do! I’m hoping to return to Dallas after graduation for work. I really enjoyed living in the city and would like to spend at least a few more years there.  In the mean time I plan on enjoying my weekends.

One upcoming weekend that I’m excited about is a trip to the theatre! We bought tickets to see Book of Mormon in Dallas and I’m super excited to go! I have always enjoyed going to see shows and am excited to check out what the WInspear Opera House is like. I’ve heard great things! I also have tickets to see Taylor Swift in October (clearly I’m really hoping to return to the city!). Several of my friends from college are coming into town to go to her concert with me and to check out Dallas. I have definitely started to find a bit of a home in Dallas and know I’m going to continue to find things to love about it!

Erin

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Spring Course Schedule

Now that I’m on to my second week of classes I’ve had a chance to adjust back to being in school and enjoy my schedule. Although I did enjoy not having homework to worry about after leaving work during my residency, I missed the freedom of downtime between classes and the ability to take a quick trip home for lunch and a break. There are definitely trade-offs between work and school! Since I only have one semester of grad school left, I definitely want to enjoy all it has to offer-especially those breaks!

I scheduled my courses so that I have a break between all of them. I typically don’t like having back to back classes because I like the avoid the possibility of having back to back exams. I have always scheduled my classes like this to the best of my ability-both in college and in graduate school. Sometimes this results in ‘wasted time’, but I enjoy the ability to either review prior class work before going to class or stopping back at my apartment for a little bit. I definitely already have homework to complete, but I’m happy to take it for the trade-off of breaks and some relaxation during the day. I’m sure by the time graduation rolls around I’ll be looking forward to working though!

One of the required courses for the Healthcare MBA is Managerial Epidemiology. So far I have to say that it is my absolute favorite class of the semester and likely one of my favorite classes throughout the whole program. This doesn’t really surprise me though-since my background is in biology and I definitely miss studying and learning about science. I really haven’t had any classes on epidemiology though, so it’s a great opportunity for me to combine my background in biology with new material that I have learned during my time at Baylor. I know it’s going to be a great semester!

Erin

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First Day Back!

Yesterday was my first day back to school with my classmates. It was a busy day, but a really great day. I hadn’t seen my classmates in quite a long time, so it was great to see all of them and to quickly catch up about some of the basic details of their residencies.

My morning classes are all my five week core MBA classes. This five weeks I have economics and finance. Finance is one of the most challenging classes that I have had during my time at Baylor, but is also a very interesting class as well. My first day back I had economics and two healthcare electives. One of my electives is a class that Col. Garner holds on Mondays and Wednesdays to bring the two Healthcare MBA classes together.

While away at my residency a new class of MBAs began their classes at Baylor. This year’s Healthcare MBA is a good bit larger than my class. I hadn’t met any of them prior to leaving for my residency, so it was nice to see the new students and put faces with names. I know that I was really nervous about beginning my residency last summer, but hearing residency stories and projects from the class above me was helpful in making me feel confident that I could do it. I ended up having a wonderful residency and am looking forward to sharing stories about my experiences as well! It should be a great semester!

Erin

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Ready for Classes!

After a long break I am back in Waco to begin my last semester of my Healthcare MBA! I finished up my residency in Mid-December and headed home to Ohio soon after. I was able to spend several weeks at home and still had some down time back in Texas before moving back to Waco and getting ready for school again.

During my residency I didn’t have much school work to complete, so although I’m excited to get back to school, I imagine it’s going to take me awhile to get back into the swing of things! This semester I will be taking my third and final round of five week classes as well as several healthcare electives. After being gone for so long I’m a little nervous for my five week classes! Each semester we take five weeks of core MBA classes. I enjoy all of the classes, but I definitely find several of them challenging. I’m interested in seeing just how much I have forgotten in the time I’ve been away.

Before graduation Healthcare MBA students are also required to take and pass an oral exam. A panel asks us questions about any of the courses we have taken during our time at Baylor. Apparently no one has ever failed twice! I know I’m going to be anxious for orals when it gets closer to May, but for now I’m just going to focus on adjusting back to life as a student! I’m looking forward to taking classes and to also seeing my classmates and hearing about all of their residencies soon!

Erin

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