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.