Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Transition Day

The end of my second year in medical school is fast approaching. In fact, I have only one day of real class left and finals start on Monday. This is scary for a number of reasons. The first is that I just have a lot of work to do between now and finals. I have to finish a number of projects and study, especially for the cumulative pharmacology exam that has around 500 drugs on it. Another reason school ending is scary is that it means that I immediately have to start studying for Step 1 of the boards. I'm taking the test on June 22 so I have a month and a half to study. I've heard that a person's score on their boards is the number one thing that residency programs look at so I would like to do well. I'll have to relearn everything I'm supposed to remember from the first 2 years of class. Perhaps more of a problem is that I'll have to have the discipline to study a certain number of hours each day and not get distracted. It's going to be interesting to say the least.

The end of 2nd year in a larger sense means the transition from all day in a classroom to rotating through the wards. We had transition day last friday where we heard from other med students and program directors what will be expected of us for the next two years. It is definitely going to be an adjustment. My schedule is going to be a lot more intense. Certain program directors made it sound like they were doing us a favor giving us one day off a week, as in Sunday only. Others stressed that even though there is technically an 80 hr work week cap for medical students it takes much more time than that for us to learn what we need to learn. It seems very overwhelming. I think it will be fun and interesting also but at the moment I'm also worried about my ability to function with little to no sleep and remain competent and pleasant. I also really don't like getting yelled at so I'm worried about that. My first rotation will be Psych in July. I thought it would be a good one to start out with because I do not want to go into psych so I can worry about learning the system rather than worrying about impressing people. One of the subjects of a workshop on transition day was blogging. Since we have to be so concerned about patient confidentiality it seems like I probably won't be able to talk very specifically about my experiences in the hospital. A med student that talked to us said her blog showed up on a search the hospitals regularly do for patient confidentiality violations and she got in trouble. So yes I would like to avoid that.

Other than that, I've been studying Blood and Infectious Disease. They are really concentrating on making us go to small group sessions for 2 hours every morning instead of uh... teaching us anything. I guess we are teaching ourselves and eachother, but really it feels like I have to sit around doing research all the time when if they just gave me a lecture on it I would know already. Also I'm bitter because I hate getting up early. Every course evaluation I do I say No small groups! But I doubt they will listen. It doesn't help that for the first time in two years I'm sick. Of course I get sick now! It makes me just want to sleep and watch tv more than usual if that is possible. How will I watch tv next year?!

Friday, March 13, 2009

almost spring break!

So it seems like I just had finals, though it has been 2 weeks since then. Guess what I get to do next week? Finals! We finished our renal and endocrine section and it was a bit of a rough finish. I did well on all my finals except for renal which had me worried. Mostly I was worried because I originally miscalculated my score so it was lower than it was supposed to be. Thank god it was a mistake is all I can say. Now we are finishing the whole 2 week course of Eye and GI. Not the most interesting topics in my opinion but I guess it is fun to learn more about celiac disease. Today we had eye clinic where we got to examine eachother's eyes and learn how to flip people's eyelids inside out. It was fun except they dilated one of my eyes only as a part of the exam. Now one of my right eye is unfocused and freaky looking and will remain so for the next couple hours. How am I supposed to go out to a coffee shop to study when I look like this?

Gorgeous. Other than that, for the past couple weeks every 2nd year has been obsessed with scheduling. We had to choose our schedule for the next 2 years all in a week's time. It was very stressful. Our class has 20 more students than any of the previous years so there is more competition for spots. We all have to take the same required courses so it was really a battle to try to fit in all the courses you need at a decent time. They tell you you should take all your required courses in 3rd year. This overlooks the fact that for me there were no open spots in Med II until the 2nd to last period in 4th year! Ridiculous! So basically you end up taking whatever course is available at that time rather than strategically planning for your future. So I'm a little worried about the timing of everything since I definitely need to do certain things before I have to apply and interview at different residency programs. But hopefully it will all work out okay. At least I get some vacation time this summer and throughout the year as well. I have a feeling I am going to be very stressed out for the next 2 years. It's all a part of the process I guess. For now I am just thinking ahead to finals next week then Norway! Then I will have some not freaky pictures to post.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Back in the swing of things

So I've been back in school for a month now. I finally finished midterms last week but it seems like finals are fast approaching. This period we are studying kidney, endocrine, and reproduction. I'm not a fan of kidney but the other two aren't as hard. I've done reasonably well on my midterms so hopefully I have a little bit of a buffer when it comes to finals week. Then I will get to go home! On a related note, I started taking calcium and vitamin D supplements since I learned that they are not kidding around with this osteoporosis business. Also we get basically no vitamin D since we are so far north and get little sun exposure. So you guys should take vitamin D or drink supplemented milk, otherwise you aren't absorbing the calcium that you are taking in.

Last weekend was Winter Ball or what we like to call Med School Prom. I went with a bunch of people from Phi Rho and we went to Origami for sushi first. It was excellent but it also meant that I had to carry around a bottle of soy sauce for the remainder of the night. It was a fun night though the DJ was lame. I didn't really drink much since I don't like wine or beer which is what they served for free. I also had volunteered to teach kids science the next day so I didn't want to stay out too late. Science Saturday was fun so I guess I like kids sometimes. I've come to the conclusion that I am basically a teenage girl since I talked to a 7th grader about the Twilight books and movies for a very long time. Though maybe I'm not so much of a teenager because I don't understand the appeal of either Miley Cyrus or the Jonas Brothers (They're totes gay right?).

I had to choose an advisor a couple of weeks ago in my "chosen field." Since I'm not sure what I want my chosen field to be yet it was difficult. I've basically narrowed down the possibilities of what I want to do in the future to OB/GYN, General Surgery, or Internal Medicine. I'm sure it will be much easier to figure out what I like once I actually do rotations in these fields. Anyway, I chose an OB/GYN as my advisor. She is supposed to help me with scheduling and getting into the residency program I want to get into. I decide my schedule for the next 2 years next month. We have a bunch of required rotations most of which are 6weeks long including Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Neurology, Psychiatry, Surgery, OB/GYN, Family Medicine, and more. I'll start doing rotations in July and keep going until I graduate. Before rotations, I have to take the first step of the board exam in June. Step 1 seems to be the most important part of the boards as far as determining what residency you get into. So it is going to be a very stressful few months before the test. We get done with school at the end of April so I'll be studying all day everyday for the month of May, hopefully with a little time off to come home.

I next come home at the end of February, so I will finally get to see Dillon then! Also, Kelsey my best friend is getting married next summer and I get to be a bridesmaid! So I'll have to get my dress then. In unrelated news, everyone should watch Friday Night Lights because it is amazing even if you don't like football.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Things I'm addicted to (Procrastination edition)

To help prove that I am a better and more dedicated procrastinator than Mallory. I have assembled a list of the multitude of things that occupy my every day and are mostly a complete waste of time.

1. TV shows- I spend multiple hours a day watching tv shows. Usually I do this on the internet so I can watch during lunch or dinner or other periods of time when I would not otherwise be doing anything useful. However, it must be said that due to the number of tv shows that I watch, I definitely spend time when I should be being productive catching up on tv. Let's see, every week I watch Samantha Who, Jon and Kate plus 8, How I Met Your Mother, Gossip Girl, House, Bones, Private Practice, Pushing Daisies, Top Chef, Grey's Anatomy, 30 Rock, and The Office. The advantage of watching these shows on the internet is the lack of commercials so the shows are 20 minutes or 40 minutes instead of 30min and 1hr. But still, lots of time wasted.

2. Jezebel.com- Jezebel is a website which is an interesting mix of celebrity news, politics, science, history, and random weird stuff . It is a feminist website, so it is written by women for women. They write tons of articles and post videos every day so it can take a fair amount of time to look at everything and read all the articles. There are also often interesting discussions in the comments so then it takes time to look at those too. Basically it is just a place where all the news of the day be it serious or silly is assembled, critiqued, analyzed, and probably made fun of. I love it and it is a complete waste of my time.

3. Cute Things- Cuteoverload.com, Winston the cat (seen here dressed as ET for halloween), and Capucine. Capucine is the cutest little french girl ever. There are many videos of her on the internet and I have watched all of them.

This is Capucine's letter to Santa as dictated to her mother:

“Père Noël,
I would like a nice gift, and I would like to see you.
Because I have been very good throughout the year. I have listened well, I have cleaned up my room by myself and I had fun at school, and I have played with my friends.
Also, I am going to move, I will have a nice house and a mezzanine.
I eat everything, but sometimes, I don’t.
Then I would like to see you for Christmas and Halloween and talk to you. I would like to sing you a song-poem. When is winter coming ?
Also I would like to talk to you, but if you leave and go far away, I would like to see you in your house.
If I hug you, your beard will not sting, it will only tickle.
And I would like to go into your sleigh. How will I do that ? Do I have to climb up the trees ?

4. The Rachel Maddow Show- To quote Jon Stewart, "Who is this complex, articulate, even-tempered lady?" She is clearly not your typical host of a political show on a news network. I watch her show every day. Mostly because she has made every episode available by podcast so it automatically downloads to my computer. She is funny, smart, and a self-professed "policy geek." I especially enjoy her segment: "Lame Duck Watch: Quackitude" which keeps an eye on our extremely lame president as he continues to try to do sneaky things while no one is watching. At least watching this show keeps me up to date on the news right? Right???

5. Brotherhood 2.0- I blame Mallory for this one. She introduced me to John and Hank Green, two brothers who made a video blog a day for a year to communicate with eachother. John Green is an author of YA novels which are extremely good! I just finished his book Paper Towns. But obviously the bad thing here is that there are over 300 videos on youtube that I must now watch because the Greens are extremely nerdy and funny. They do happy dances, put things on their heads, make up songs and get punished for not following the rules of their video blog.

This is one of the best punishments that John Green had to do involved a blenderized happy meal and leg waxing. You can find the video here:


6. Reading- This is one thing that I refuse to feel bad about even though I spend an hour or more a day doing it. I have never understood people who say they don't have time to read non-school books. I've read about 20 books since school started in September and it was time well-spent.

Weeeeee books!

I believe I've made my point.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Look! An update!

Well hello again. I'm not so good at the whole writing blogs thing when I get busy. As you all know I was home for Thanksgiving last week after a tough period involving Psychology, Neurology, Ear Nose Throat, and the usual Pharmacology and Pathology. I did well on my finals considering they were hard. Sometimes I look at the class average to measure my performance but often that makes me depressed and annoyed that my classmates are too smart. I got As and Bs on my tests which feels good and I was above the average , exactly at the average and also below the average on the various tests. Mostly it was just nice to do nothing for a week at home and recover a little.

So now I am in the midst of period 3 involving the exciting bones, joints and connective tissue (yes that is a class), skin, and pharmacology and pathology. This period is 2 weeks long followed by 1 week of finals. So I am already halfway done with the period and really should be studying for finals right now. Unfortunately I find bones joints connective tissue and skin veerrrry boring. But I suppose I must learn. At least I'll be done and on my way home for christmas break shortly.

Though this period should be relatively easy, they have decided to throw a bunch of other stuff at us also. So I am feeling pretty overwhelmed. For one, I started the Internal Medicine rotation of Physician and Patient this past Wednesday. It was my first time in a real hospital with real sick people. They put 2 of us with one patient for the morning where we interview and then examine them. The exam part is a little awkward because they are in a hospital bed and we aren't used to that. Also they don't seem to like being put through an entire exam when it doesn't seem to have any relevance to their condition and takes a long time. Anyway, then we spend a lot of time writing a note on the history and physical that we completed. Then we meet in small groups with a doctor preceptor and do long or short oral presentations on the patient. This is to prepare us for what we will be doing the next 2 years in the hospitals presenting patients to residents and attendings. It is a little scary since it seems they like the presentations to be formal and structured in a particular way and they don't want us to look at our notes. As if we should be able to recite the 10 or more drugs the patient is on including dosage and route off the top of our heads. Perhaps we will be able to do that more when we actually know what the drugs are. I will be on the internal med rotation for the next 3 weeks so I will have more of a chance to get comfortable with the whole thing before next year when I will be thrown into the hospital with little guidance.

Another exciting thing I get to do this next Tuesday is learn how to do a male genital and rectal exam. yippee! Okay I'm not so much looking forward to this but I guess it is something I will have to learn. I get to wait to learn the female one in January at least.

Oh I almost forgot. We also had a field trip this past week where we went to a local college that teaches chiropractics, massage therapy, and other alternative medicines. They are trying to open our minds I think. Mostly it is kind of funny because all the med students listen to them talk about energy and qi and how the person can feel skull bones moving and use that to diagnose problems with their arms crossed and a skeptical look on their face. I think the alternative medicine people speak a different language than us. If they would only speak in terms of physiology and scientific studies we would all understand. One thing they thoroughly convinced me of is the benefits of massage therapy. They gave us all foot massages for 20 minutes and it was wondrous. I certainly wasn't about to let the chiropractors do a neck manipulation on me since we learned that that can cause carotid dissection. Not cool!

Anyway, it will be a busy couple weeks then home for christmas so I'm sure I won't update till January at least. See you all soon!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Yay for no more finals!

So I've been MIA for a few weeks because we had our first finals week of 2nd year. It was intense. Unlike first year, where we had a number of tests throughout the semester that determined our grade, we now have one test per class that is the entirety of our grade. That is scary considering all the tests are lined up in one week and are very difficult. But I actually did pretty well on my tests last week so I am happy. I did surprisingly well on Cardio which is fun. I like when I actually do better than the average because too often I get a decent B and then the average score is even higher. Lame! Oh well, as long as I feel like I understand what is going on I am fine with my grades. It is pass/fail after all.

The plus side of finals week is the weekend after finals with no commitments or obligations! I went out with my friends on Friday which was fun. Then I spent the rest of the weekend catching up on sleep and TV. One show that I am absolutely in love with is Mad Men!

It is on AMC of all networks and follows an Ad agency in New York in the 1960s. The show is really complex and doesn't sugarcoat the racism, misogyny, and various other non-PC issues that were widespread at the time. The show is actually funny too and just really interesting. I love it so much! Everyone should rent the first season, seriously!

I'm looking forward to coming home this weekend. For one, I need to get my warmer clothes and jackets to prepare for colder weather. But I also will get to see Elliott play soccer so that should be exciting. I think Mallory and I will also fit in Nick and Norah's infinite playlist so that should be good too. Well, perhaps I should do work or something. Hope to see everyone this weekend!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Goodbye gross bugs!

Okay I needed to update so I didn't have to look at that gross bug picture anymore. After killing many more of those centipedes, I finally made time to invest in bug killer spray. I am happy to say that I am now encountering bug carcasses rather than live scary scurrying bugs. Thank god! It was hard to sleep imagining those things crawling into my mouth at night. Now I just have to worry about getting cancer from the bug spray! Yay medical school for making me so positive! Anyway, here is a stupid quiz I took which I feel is pretty accurate:

Your result for The Quick & Painless ENNEAGRAM Test...

5 - the Observer

Thanks for taking the test !

you chose BZ - your Enneagram type is FIVE (aka "The Thinker").

"I need to understand the world"

Observers have a need for knowledge and are introverted, curious, analytical,and insightful.

How to Get Along with Me

  • Be independent, not clingy.

  • Speak in a straightforward and brief manner.

  • I need time alone to process my feelings and thoughts.

  • Remember that If I seem aloof, distant, or arrogant, it may be thatI am feeling uncomfortable.

  • Make me feel welcome, but not too intensely, or I might doubt yoursincerity.

  • If I become irritated when I have to repeat things, it may be becauseit was such an effort to get my thoughts out in the first place.

  • don't come on like a bulldozer.

  • Help me to avoid my pet peeves: big parties, other people's loud music,overdone emotions, and intrusions on my privacy.

What I Like About Being a FIVE

  • standing back and viewing life objectively

  • coming to a thorough understanding; perceiving causes and effects

  • my sense of integrity: doing what I think is right and not being influenced by social pressure

  • not being caught up in material possessions and status

  • being calm in a crisis

What's Hard About Being a FIVE

  • being slow to put my knowledge and insights out in the world

  • feeling bad when I act defensive or like a know-it-all

  • being pressured to be with people when I don't want to be

  • watching others with better social skills, but less intelligence ortechnical skill, do better professionally

FIVEs as Children Often

  • spend a lot of time alone reading, making collections, and so on

  • have a few special friends rather than many

  • are very bright and curious and do well in school

  • have independent minds and often question their parents and teachers

  • watch events from a detached point of view, gathering information

  • assume a poker face in order not to look afraid

  • are sensitive; avoid interpersonal conflict

  • feel intruded upon and controlled and/or ignored and neglected

FIVEs as Parents

  • are often kind, perceptive, and devoted

  • are sometimes authoritarian and demanding

  • may expect more intellectual achievement than is developmentally appropriate

  • may be intolerant of their children expressing strong emotions

Renee Baron & Elizabeth Wagele

The Enneagram Made Easy
Discover the 9 Types of People
Harper SanFrancisco, 1994, 161 pages

You liked the test?
so S P R E A D I T ! tell everyone!!!(use Quick-Paste below)

you wanna know MORE?
so check out, what Wikipedia says about your type...

...even more you'll find in Google

or do you prefer to

You are not completely happy with the result?!
You chose BZ

Would you rather have chosen:

  • AZ (THREE)
  • CZ (ONE)
  • BX (NINE)
  • BY