Welcome to AndreaTooley.com! I’m so glad you stopped by the blog. This space started as a medical school blog in 2012 (formerly known as “A Doctor In The House”) and transitioned into a residency blog, where I shared my passion for health, wellness, and medicine. Currently, I am a fellow in ophthalmic plastic surgery in New York City. This blog is no longer active, but serves as an archive of my experience in medical school and residency.
If you are new here, a good post recapping things can be found here.
What I love the most about this blog is hearing from YOU! Please don’t hesitate to comment, tweet, or instagram message me.
Here’s a little bit more about me:
I was born in Sarasota, Florida and lived there until I was fifteen. My dad still lives in Sarasota, and my husband and I visit often. There’s nothing better than sunshine, runs on the beach, and relaxing in the breeze.
My grandmother also lives in Florida, but in Naples. She is the only other doctor in the family. When she went to Yale medical school over 50 years ago, they didn’t wear gloves in anatomy lab! Can you imagine? Her stories from residency are incredible.
In the middle of my sophomore year of high school, my mom, step-dad, and I moved to a beautiful small town in southern Indiana. It was in Evansville, Indiana that I first decided to go to medical school and discovered my love for ophthalmology.
I flew airplanes in high school and got my private pilot’s license when I was seventeen. One rainy day in the airport I met another pilot who told me about ORBIS International, an organization made up of ophthalmologists, pilots, nurses, engineers, and countless other volunteers who travel around the world to help save sight. I learned that so much of blindness is preventable, and that simple surgeries can change someone’s life by giving him or her back their vision. Then and there, I decided this was my purpose in life: to become and ophthalmologist and work for ORBIS, to help restore vision, and to teach and learn from other ophthalmologists around the world.
I entered Butler University in Indianapolis as a “pre-med” biology major, but after flipping through the course book for bio and realizing I had botany and zoology ahead of me, I quickly changed my major to chemistry. Chemistry is fascinating to me, and I enjoyed all the classes associated with the major, especially biochemistry, but didn’t feel fulfilled with this one major. I made the decision to double major in Chemistry and English Literature, so that I could experience something outside the sciences. Reading had always been a pastime I enjoyed, and I thought an English major would broaden my literary horizons and help make me a more well rounded student.
During college I started to become interested in health and fitness. Some of my friends were working out at the school gym, and I joined them. It didn’t take long for me to discover I loved the feeling of working out, especially cardio workouts, Pilates, and yoga. I think my weekly pilates classes got me through studying for the MCAT over the summer. Working out became a great stress reliever and study break.
When I moved out of my sorority senior year, I started cooking for myself for the first time. I found that making big batches of healthy foods like soup or stir-fry would get me through the week and help me to not eat fast food when I had a late night studying.
In the fall of my senior year, I applied to Indiana University School of Medicine early decision, which means I could only apply to the one medical school and if I was accepted, it was a binding acceptance. I vividly remember checking studentdoctor.net over and over the day acceptances came out. Everyone had gotten a generic email about a background check but I had not. I was sure this meant I hadn’t been accepted and I was devastated. The next day, I got the email and shortly after, an acceptance letter in the mail. I was going to medical school!!!
The first two years of medical school were the hardest academic years of my life. I studied more than I knew was possible. I missed out on times with friends and family. There were days I felt exhausted, defeated, unsure, bitter, and burnt-out. In spite of the rigorous schedule, I kept up a daily exercise routine and kept cooking on the weekends so that I could pack a healthy lunch and dinner every day. I think I spent hundreds of hours on the elliptical and treadmill with my notes.
After I took Step 1 of the medical boards, I made the decision to start this medical school blog! I had been reading healthy living blogs for close to a year, and wanted to document my own journey of staying healthy while in the medical field.
This blog contains some great moments from third and fourth year of medical school:
I confessed I’m not a fitness fanatic. I don’t particularly excel in any one area of fitness. But, I do my best to get to the gym 4-5 times every week.
Andrea Tooley MD