Our current block is called “Endocrine, Digestion, and Reproduction,” running twelve weeks long. At five weeks in, I have three more before I disappear into the black hole that is studying for the weeklong test making up the last week of April. If Homeostasis (our previous block) is any judge, I will spend most of Nate’s Birthday Month getting fatter than the Michelin Man from inactivity and Chipotle, pretending to study anatomy until I break down in crocodile tears of frustration, and wearing pajamas to class.
In a session this morning, our course director gave every man, woman, and needle-wimp (me) a glucose meter, a bag of syringes, and a bottle of saline that was to be our proxy for insulin. For the next three days, we are all Type I diabetics – the type that has to take insulin shots daily and before every meal. The idea is that we’re supposed to learn how onerous it is to be compliant with your medication when you live with this disease. Continue reading →
Being a medical student has a few major drawbacks besides your standard “my life is consumed with never ending hours of studying obscure medical facts.” One of the biggest problems is that school is so all-consuming that it’s very challenging to talk about anything else – either with your classmates or with other people. When I call my mom (okay, more like she calls me), we can usually make it 5 minutes before I start yammering about hormones or V/Q mismatch or EKG changes post-MI.
Even though I know no one cares, I still can’t help it. None of us can. Continue reading →
I am consumed with a fiery undying hatred for anatomy.
Last week we began our new unit, endocrinology, by dissecting the neck. Rather, we started dissecting the neck. We were given a two hour lecture and a three hour lab to take apart and learn the neck – but it wasn’t even close to enough. Most groups had to return later in the week to finish. Continue reading →
Last week contained fourteen hours’ worth of exams – our comprehensive “end of block assessment” for the systems of the heart, lung, kidney, and blood. Plus anatomy and many other things I didn’t know. The Friday portion of the exam was a three-hour multiple choice exam of boards-style questions. For those of you that aren’t medical people, boards questions are notoriously difficult and are representative of the test all graduating medical students must pass to match into a residency program. An example: Continue reading →
We have a test coming up next week, and it is a huge one. Normal and abnormal stuff for hearts, lungs, kidneys, and blood. There is a lot of stuff that is supposed to go right and a lot of things that can go wrong. (See? I’ve been studying!) The test is three days long, starting on Tuesday.
I’ve written quite a bit this academic year about our Physical Diagnosis class, including encounters with standardized patients. But starting in a couple of weeks, things change dramatically. Instead of practicing skills on standardized patients, we enter the hospital under the guidance of an assigned “tutor” to apply our lecture knowledge of the physical exam. Continue reading →