Monthly Archives: July 2013

3rd Year – Neurology

Sorry I’ve been MIA for a couple of weeks. I’ve thrown myself fully into the AWESOMENESS that is the third year of medical school! I’m currently on my neurology rotation, and I genuinely believe this is what I want to spend the rest of my life doing. The future Dr. Meghan Brown, Neurologist. Actually, as of right now I’m thinking of doing a neurology residency followed by a stroke fellowship followed by an interventional neurology fellowship to become a neurovascular interventionalist. That’s a total of 8 years AFTER med school…yikes.

Here’s what I’ve figured out – I learned more in 5 weeks in the clinic/hospital than I ever could have in 2 years of classroom learning. I now fully understand diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, Myasthenia Gravis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, and so many more because every day I was seeing it. I can take a history and do a neuro exam with confidence (and YES I can even tell if reflexes are 2+ or 3+ and whether strength is 4-,4,4+ or 5) and have learned how to navigate the waters of difficult and even comatose patients. Some days are really long, and sometimes you work for 7 days straight, but each morning I wake up and I’m so excited to be going back to the hospital.

Trust me when I say I could go on for hours about how much I love neurology and the amazing patient stories that I’ve seen and heard. It’s really given me such a perspective on life and how lucky I am to be exactly where I am. This year is such an affirmation of why I’m in medicine – I could not imagine myself doing anything else. And sure, the hours are long and standing for 11 straight hours is rough, but I couldn’t be happier. Don’t let me fool you though, I walk around confused 70% of the time and make mistakes (never life or death ones though). [funny story… I actually mixed up room numbers once and saw the ENTIRELY wrong patient pre-rounds. I realized this of course after I was done and then went and saw the correct patient. At no point did the patient ask why she was seeing neurology though…]

All of this real life learning has significantly decreased my free time – to the point where I only made it to jiu jitsu once every week or so. But that’s ok. I know jiu jitsu will always be there, and right now I’m focusing on becoming the best medical student and future doctor I can be. And actually really enjoying learning! 

We officially wrap up our neurology rotation on Friday with our shelf exam (aka our NBME subject exam in neurology) and I move onto Psychiatry next. I’ll be sad when I have to leave the amazing attendings and residents of the neurology department behind, but I’m sure I’ll love the rest of third year too! (So MAYBE I’ll get to train on Saturday!)

I’ll leave you with the coolest word I’ve learned (and seen) on my rotation… neuroacanthocytosis


Buckeye Border & Team Support at Tournaments

This past weekend was the Buckeye State Grappling Championship… aka the Buckeye Border. Thanks to Deon Thompson from Brasa for the great tournament! Our team did AWESOME! The kids fought hard, the adults fought hard, and Ribeiro walked away with a ton of medals! I’m always proud of how hard my teammates train for a tournament, and how much heart they show on the mats.

Buckeye Border 2013 – 1st place!
In a crazy stroke of luck there ended up being 2 other blue belt girls in my weight class(there were actually going to be FOUR of us believe it or not, but one was a no show). Not bad at all for a local tournament. And I won both matches to get my first gold medal (and yes, I’m proud of my medal collection)! I had incredible support from my teammates, and had great coaches. Even my family and my best friend came to watch my matches!  I went in and played my game, and felt 100x more comfortable during this tournament because I was controlling the game.  (First match won by points from a flower sweep… ironically the very first jiu jitsu move I ever learned… and second with an Ezekiel).

The two girls I fought were amazing! They both were fierce competitors but also wonderful people, and I’m happy I got to meet them.

The two wonderful blue belts – Sarah and Hope! 

So, what did I learn most at this tournament? I need to learn a good single x-guard pass. But more than that, I learned that even though you’re the only one fighting, you are never alone. I don’t really think jiu jitsu is a “solo” sport as much as it is a team sport. Every single move I made during the tournament was because I had repped it or encountered it over and over again with my teammates in the academy. I was able to remain calm and focused because my teammates were there to remind me to calm down and to flow roll a bit to warm up. I could play my game because I was confident in my abilities knowing I put in the mat time with my teammates and could figure out the best game for me. And I could do all this that day because I had incredible coaches on the sidelines during the tournament.

So I think of my medal as much more of a team effort than an individual one. As a black belt once wrote you cannot do this sport by yourself. This sport is hard, but it’s so rewarding. Trying to explain to someone who doesn’t do jiu jitsu what it’s like for your hand to be held up at the end of a match is impossible because it encompasses so many emotions and feelings, but it’s what keeps you going back day after day.

Vince Lombardi once said,

“I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.”

And I couldn’t agree more.

Also, a huge THANK YOU to all RJJA guys from all the other academies who took a second or two out of their day to wish me luck on Saturday and/or introduce themselves. I absolutely LOVE being a part of the Ribeiro family!
Part of my awesome team!


It was also SO GREAT to see all the girls who represented at the tournament 🙂 Small but fierce and proud group!

Real Medicine and Teaching BJJ

Quick med school update: I officially started working in the clinic/hospital and I LOVE it! I actually get to put the years of knowledge and skills we’ve gained to use. And the patients are wonderful about it, and the physicians at UTMC are incredible mentors and teachers. I’m currently in neurology, a specialty I thought I would never be interested in, and actually am seriously considering a future in it. We’ll see what happens!

Jiu jitsu: One of the greatest things happened a few weeks ago: Chris (my coach) asked me if I wanted to help out with the teen class. Quite honestly, I think that’s better than any medals I’ve won or stripes I’ve gotten. I see it as trust that Chris has in me and that he sees that I’m improving enough to help teach and help coach the teens. I’m so grateful. Well first, because now I get additional classes in, and second because you learn so much more when you have to help show a move or coach kids through it. I absolutely love it. (But then, I’ve always loved teaching: I was an assistant dance teacher in high school, a teaching assistant for chemistry in college, and now I get to help with jiu jitsu!) I feel incredibly lucky and honored to be given this opportunity. Plus, the teens are the closest to my size, so getting extra training in with them is really helping me out, probably more than them some days.

We have a tournament next weekend, and I’m excited! It will be my first tournament at blue belt, and a bunch of my teammates are also competing so it will be a great day. Win or lose, we’re all out there to learn where our strengths and weaknesses are and to improve our jiu jitsu! Taking home a medal is just a bonus.

I found this quote by Marcos Souza, and I thought it summed up everything I think those in jiu jitsu should know, so I’ll leave it here:

None of this lasts long: the fights, the gold medal and the prize money. The medal will rust one day, the fights will be remembered by only a few people and the money is almost gone. The most valuable thing in Jiu-Jitsu is the opportunity to live special moments forever. Whether at breakfast, a hotel, in practice all together and even in the sauna, in every corner you have fun. The friendship and the good times last forever. The rest is fleeting, there are people and moments in Abu Dhabi that I will carry in my heart forever. Some people don’t really know what Jiu-Jitsu can do in your life and give more importance to be the champion or to a simple gold medal. Another important lesson: if only a few believe in you, fight for the few who believe. It is for them that you should give your best, no matter what others say. The dream is yours, chase it.