About jannamv

Hi! I am an incoming med student with mixed feelings for the year ahead. I’ve heard pretty much all the stories: inspiring, encouraging, horror, etc. But now, it’s my turn to live and tell my story, and to help others do the same. Broadening my horizons at Pacific Union College with a Public Relations/Journalism major, I am excited to get back into the sciences. “I want to be a doctor,” has been my goal since I could form complete sentences. And, believing in the school’s mission—“to further the healing and teaching ministry of Jesus Christ ‘to make man whole,’” following in the footsteps of my relatives, and playing Pomp and Circumstance on the flute for five LLUSM graduating classes, I dreamed of studying only at one medical school: Loma Linda University School of Medicine.

Step1 | WSMRF | snowman

Janna, Second Year Medical StudentOne more day of tests! Then, second year will be officially 2/3 completed which means only 121 days 12 hrs and 29 minutes and 14 seconds til the looming Step 1. Step 1- it seems like the biggest test of my career. But then again, I felt that way for the SAT, MCAT, my weekly spelling tests in elementary, this set of tests I should be studying for right now, and basically every test I’ve ever taken… which means there will probably be another “biggest” test to come: Step 2?

On another note, I am excited to say I had the opportunity to present a poster and oral presentation at the WSMRF conference in Carmel, CA. There were over 20 students from my class at the conference and some of our mentors even came up like Dr. Blood. We had a great time learning from each other’s posters, attending presentations, and hanging out. It was a mini-vacation!

And, we have another mini-vacation after this test set. Our officers planned a retreat for our class at Camp Cedar Falls. I can’t wait to frolic in the snow with my classmates. Maybe we will build a snowman!

Disclaimer: I didn’t actually calculate the countdown to Step 1, but it’s around there. 🙂

Nikoleta Brankov presenting her poster to fellow student Casey Harms.

Michael Giang in front of captive pulmonologists.


Anthony Yeo with mentor Dr. Blood.

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Me rolling up the poster.

Olaf from Frozen. Maybe we will build a snowman at our Camp Cedar Falls retreat!


Last Summer Ever

Janna, Second Year Medical StudentGoodbye summer…  Hello second year!

So, another year has begun. From what I’ve heard, this year will be as tough as a femur, possibly the most sleepless year of our med school lives. We’ll have many things to look forward to, such as OSCEs, labs, clinics, exam weeks, and the ominous step one.

We’re supposedly renewed and rejuvenated from the nine weeks of summer. I’m not sure how much rest I’ve stockpiled, but my summer was certainly packed with fun activities. Outside of the eight to nine hours a day of researching, I started wedding planning, finally said “yes!” to the dress, acted as a skit character in VBS, went back to my childhood and watched Disney’s Suite Life of Zack and Cody, listened to Adventures in Odyssey, grilled corn over a campfire, ran a half marathon, and completed an Olympic triathlon with my med school buddies. Click here to see the highlights of our triathlon.

My body was pushed to its limits, and now my brain will get a turn.

Goodbye summer.  Hello second year!

IMG_0652 IMG_0270 IMG_0417 half marathon

Family Day

Janna, First Year Medical Student
Last Friday was Family Day! Students excitedly showed their parents where they have lectures, burrow away to study, dissect cadavers, practice with ultrasound machines, and more.

I felt blessed to be able to sit between my mom and dad during the first lecture of the day by Dr. Chase. My dad was in a fluke skiing accident just the week before. One of his skis got stuck between two trees and he fell onto a thin, icy double black diamond in Mammoth. Sliding down on his back, he went head-first into a tree, shattering his helmet.

By the grace of God and the skilled hands of the ski patrol and hospital personnel, my dad underwent CT scans, an MRI, plain-film x-rays, and a jet evacuation to Reno. Having completed my first section of neuroscience, I had learned terms that I was nowhere near prepared to apply to real people, especially family. Even with a rudimentary knowledge, it was terrifying to know the implications of words like subarachnoid hemorrhage and C6 fractures.

Despite his injuries, my dad insisted on attending Family Day. He woke up at 6 am to put on his suit, so we would not have any excuse not to take him when we left. However, my mom and I (and probably the wearing off of the Norco) convinced him to go home to rest after the first lecture. After sleeping all day, he came back in the evening for the alumni dinner and dedication vespers.

My family thanks God for keeping my dad alive, and his healing hand as my dad is on his way to a slow recovery. Thank you to all who have been praying and are continuing to pray.

If any of you are going skiing or snowboarding, please, please, please wear a helmet. To see a picture of my dad’s helmet, click here: Wear a helmet.

Family Day

New year!

Janna, First Year Medical Student

It’s a new year and time for new things! We received our first official final grades for a science course- biochemistry/genetics, and now have new classes: neuroscience, human behavioral science, and (for me) a medical ethics religion class. Within the first week, we have already covered the gross anatomy of the brain, learned how to empathize and encourage patients to adhere to a treatment, and faced the ethics of medicine in a documentary about a boy who became a girl and later went back to being a boy because his penis was burned off when he was 2 months old.

I also saw my first “patient” named Harvey in the Harvey Stimulation Lab for Physical Diagnosis. However, Harvey isn’t quite like the normal patient; he’s a robotic head and torso lacking limbs but complete with heart murmurs, pulses, and JVPs. His abdomen even rises when he “breathes”. He helped integrate the information we learned from lecture.

Fellow blogger Lauren (second from left) and her classmates practicing on Harvey when they were freshmen.

Fellow blogger Lauren (second from left) and classmates practicing on Harvey when they were freshmen.

Lastly of my new experiences, this week I also joined some of my classmates and co-blogger Abby at the BATs (buns, abs, and thighs) class at Drayson Center. We jumped, punched, and kicked for an hour! My muscles, used to sitting around all day, are still in shock. But, the class was a great de-stresser and fun opportunity to hang out with friends. I can’t wait to go this week!

Communication Convention

To and back from the sunshine state, specifically Orlando. This past weekend I took a brief break from my med school studies––sort of, I still studied on the flights and in the airports––to revisit my college major, Communication: Public Relations and Journalism. Part of my course work included conducting a quantitative research study which I was now going to present at the National Communication Association 98th Annual Convention.

My co-author and I had been invited to a panel under Lambda Pi Eta (the National Communication Association’s honor society for four year colleges and universities). We had submitted our paper last spring not expecting a response since only a handful of papers are selected from the worldwide submissions. But, our paper was accepted! Upon arrival, we were even more pleasantly surprised to find our paper had made it into the top four papers for Lambda Pi Eta, along with another research group from our class at Pacific Union College (PUC). Our professor, Dr. McGuire, also presented her own research paper at the conference, so she was able to come personally support us at our presentation.

We presented our research on a panel for 8-10 minutes, listened to a respondent, and ended with Q&A. The experience of presenting was very educational, as well as the exposure to the other various communication research studies. I even attended panels on health communication. The studies in these categories looked at improving physician communication in the context of end-of-life care and health care websites.

So, I’m probably a bit behind on my studies, but this experience was definitely worth the extra time I’ll put in over Thanksgiving break. I stopped off in numerous states and Disney park shuttle stations, reconvened with old friends, and furthered my communication knowledge. I was even offered a full ride to a communication university. And, while the thought of no debt is intriguing, the reason for my interest in communication is to facilitate better healthcare and patient interaction, so I’ll stick with pushing through med school. 🙂