Sunday, September 23, 2007

Another week, Another test

Well, it is test week yet again here at the U of M medical school. This Friday will be our final anatomy test concentrating on the myriad of structures in the head and neck. In case you were wondering, there is a lot of crap going on up there. Lab for the past week has been very interesting. We use a saw everyday meaning we dissect one area of the head one day and then saw through it to see different structures the next day. That makes lab pretty frustrating because you are continuously ruining the work you did the day before. Also, it is almost impossible to study for the practical exam except out of a book.

The good thing about this exam is that it is the last, so I know exactly what percentage I need to get on this test to pass anatomy as a whole. They average all three test scores and I need a 70% overall to pass. With my two first tests being around 80% without the curve, I have calculated that I need about a 50% to pass anatomy. Of course, my goal will be to pass this individual test with a 70% or above but it is nice to know that I have some leeway with my score. Truthfully, this crap is hard! There are a million bones all fused together, with a bunch of holes in the bone where all the nerves and blood vessels exit, and the nerves go innervate a million muscles with different functions. So basically, I need to be able to name every hole or foramen in the skull and what comes out of it and which bone it is in and where those vessels are going and what they are doing and what the individual muscles are doing too. To this I say, boo. This information is interesting and important but seems less so when it is all flung at me in 2 weeks.

Basically, I am ready to be done with anatomy, though I have learned to enjoy dissecting. I wonder though if different classes will really be better? We start Biochemistry and Histology next week and we only have histology lab about every other day. I am not particularly excited for these classes since they are so much more hands-off compared to anatomy. Looking at slides through a microscope is just not that appealing to me and that is all that histology lab is. I'm pretty sure biochemistry will mostly consist of memorization of chemical reactions in the body. But I guess, I am ready for a change. And frankly, ready to not spend 4 hours a day watching my body buddies do next to nothing. It makes me bitter.

Well, the theme of the week is study study study! (because I definitely did not do that enough for the past 2 weeks.)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New additions

So, the test was hard. The good news is I studied harder for this test than for the first test so I got a slightly better score than I did on the first one. The high score on this test was a 95% so that means that I get to add 5% to my score, giving me a nice B. That works for me! So now I just have to keep up with the massive amount of information that comes with the Head & Neck unit, the final portion of gross anatomy.

In head & neck news, I was surprised today to learn that there would be two new additions to our body buddy group. We were bequeathed two human skulls for our own study use. They came in padded wooden lunch boxes which we apparently will carry around for the next two and a half weeks. I had seen in an upcoming lecture that we were asked to bring our study skulls, but I guess I thought that was some kind of head & neck inside joke that I had not learned yet. I was mistaken.

Also, I thought I would post a picture of the elusive man with whom I spend most of my time outside of class.

His name is Frank and he is quite the hottie. He is an artist with a penchant for drawing anatomically correct pictures of himself as a young man (for real). He is the "author" of our wondrous anatomy textbook and we've had a date every night for the past month. He is also seeing 182 other people as far as I know, so we're not exclusive.

Friday, September 7, 2007

2nd test= no weekend

Well, the second anatomy test is this Monday. So that means that tomorrow (Saturday) we have a final review session and a practice practical exam and Sunday is our final study day. I personally do not support Monday tests. It means that I really do not have a weekend at all and have less time to study compared to the first test. We do get Tuesday off after our test but that isn't the same as a nice long weekend of relaxation after a Friday test.

This test should be interesting. We have covered the thorax, the heart and lungs, the abdomen, and the pelvis for this unit. In the course of our dissection however, we have removed the legs to get better access to the pelvis and have actually removed the pelvis in many cases. So basically all of the anatomy that we had dissected in the abdomen is ruined. I have no idea how they are going to find any preserved structures to tag. But I'm sure they will figure something out.

After this test, we move on to the head and neck, which should be pretty difficult. I have a feeling I will really want to be done by the end of September. The scrubs that I wear everyday for lab smell horrible and are greasy. My lab partners are finding that their talents for using the scalpel (cutting through all the important structures with the scalpel) are no longer needed so they aren't much help. I am the go-to person for doing the delicate dissections. I actually enjoy finding all the nerves and arteries and finding all the branches but it gets old when I am the only one doing the work. When I do take a break though, Jon tends to poke around the area that I just cleaned and mess it up. Tam just sits on a stool and watches, and Rebekah is pretty helpful but she doesn't really like finding vessels and nerves. So anyway, I will be studying this weekend and not watching football, maye.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Anatomy is half over!

Well, another week has gone by and anatomy is half over. The dissections are getting more intense every week. This week we opened the rib cage and examined the abdominal organs as well as the heart and lungs. I cut a couple of the ribs myself which was interesting. We use tools like wire cutters or tree trimmers in these sort of dissections. It is a bit crazy. However, it is less surprising for me as time goes by. Shortly we will start on head and neck which is supposedly the most difficult part of anatomy. Up to this point, the heads of our bodies have remained covered which I am thankful for. It will be pretty different when we start on head and neck for that reason. Even though anatomy is pretty difficult. I am definitely getting used to it and will probably miss it when it is over. After anatomy, we start biochemistry, histology, and nutrition. That will definitely be a change of pace. And on the plus side, I won't smell so bad!

So one of the things I have been having a hard time with is finding safe stuff for me to eat. This past week, I had a reaction to gluten and it was very annoying. I was really tired and ended up napping for four hours every day which is really unproductive. That is proof enough for me that it is really important that I stick to the diet. So hopefully, I'll get that figured out. In other news, I went to the Vikings game on Thursday with my body buddies because Tam likes the cowboys. We bought five dollar tickets in basically the last row of the upper deck and then we proceeded to sit in other people's empty seats until someone kicked us out. It was fun even though it was the third-stringers who actually played. I enjoyed busting out the Tony Romo impression at every opportunity (this involves me mimicking someone bobbling the snap for the last minute field goal.) I also got to see the back of T.O. whom I think is hilarious though everyone else hates him. I'm looking forward to fantasy football starting as yet another distraction from school. Yay Peyton Manning!