The Grind

I’m finishing up my teaching service internal medicine month, which is arguably the hardest month of a third year medical student. It requires a lot of hours- including weekends,- a lot of work, and most importantly for a student- a lot of learning. The learning curve is steep and its sink or swim. It’s not the teaching service grind I’m talking about here though. I’m talking about the grind I have coming up. The study grind. Step 2 While its nothing compared to Step 1 boards, I do have boards coming up. Again. šŸ™ Two of them. One is in Pennsylvania and it is a full 8-hour day of seeing fake patients and writing fake notes on those patients and tthe examiners watch you on video and read your note and somehow decide if you are fit to move on in this thing we call medical education. That’s in June. The day after which, I get to see my bestie in D.C. The other is a multiple choice 8-hour test in a testing facility much like Step 1/COMLEX. Mine is in July. The day after which, Dru and I fly to Cancun for our honeymoon. I think its pretty obvious I like the idea of “TREAT YO SELF” after a big test. šŸ˜‰ Below is the beach I get to look forward to Ā šŸ‘šŸ» Source For next month’s big grind, I will be staying 2 hours away from Tulsa on my surgery rotation with what I have heard are pretty decent hours- perfect for studying. Unfortunately this means I’ll be away from my distractingly perfect husband and distractingly hilarious...

Olympic Years and Boards Fears

You guys. It’s an Olympic year. Rio 2016. I don’t know how many of you know this, but I friggin’ love the Olympics. I’m not really that patriotic any other time,Ā there’s just something about the USA’s best of the best going to compete against the world. And- even better everyone gets to seeĀ the runners that I love perform on the world’s stage. It always surprises me that the best of the best of America’s runners train together. You would think they would hide in their respective corners of the country and conceal their earth-shattering workout times and world class coaches and not let anyone know their secrets. In reality, its quite the opposite. They gather in FlagstaffĀ like Amy Cragg and Shalane Flanagan, or Portland, or Boulder and take training trips up to altitude together. They run their tune up races stride for stride with each other. Its a pretty great example of how no one truly succeeds on their own. They push each other, help each other come back from injuries and pregnancies–yeesh!- faster than anyone would think possible. Once they make it to theĀ World Champs and Olympics these runners face the reality that they are now competing against their best friends, sometimes roommates, and running partners for the gold metal. But, they all know they never would have qualifiedĀ without their teammateĀ pushing them there. My class is freaked out about boards. So freaked out, in fact, that our school cancelled a previously mandatory class this semester to make room for a mandatory board review class. Today, during that class, one of our professors told us how the last class...

Second Semester Classes

I’m a little over 2 months deep in my second semester of medical school. I have finished my cardiovascular block, and am now a week into neurology/neuroanatomy. Its a doozy, but it’s nothing compared to last semester. I got an email to talk about the classes I have, and I wanted to do it before Neuro gets too crazy, so here it is! The second semester of medical school: My school is in its second year of switching to systems-based learning and we officially start the systems in our second semester with cardiovascular. That basically means we go through every system in the body and cover everything that entails in about 6 weeks per system. We learn physiology, normal function, and review some anatomy, then we dive right into everything that can go wrong with it, what the symptoms are, the diagnostic tests you run, how to diagnose, and then finally the drugs to treat it. The only thing is that there are so many different things going on now that I get a little overwhelmed. In addition to our systems block (which is the heaviest part of our lecture hours each week), we have Clinical Problem Solving, Clinical Skills Class and Lab, OMM Class and Lab, Developing the Physician, and now a Neuroanatomy Lab each week. Clinical Problem Solving gives us a clinical case each week and is incorporated strongly into our systems courses. We learn to write SOAP notes and discuss diagnosis and treatment in small groups with a practicing physician. Easily my favorite time in class each week! Clinical Skills teaches us how to perform physical...

How A Random Run Reminded Me How to Med School

Its been a pretty hellish week. Last week, I think I was operating on the fumes of a month long exhaustion situation and just got flat out sick. I was nauseous, my back hurt, I had a headache, I couldn’t eat, I had no energy and no amount of coffee was helping. I was falling asleep anytime I sat still. I went home early one evening for a dentist appointment. And oh goodie, I have TMJ! Guess what causes it? STRESS! I told my dentist my situation with medical school and all got the “bless your heart” look. He knows what it’s like. Anyway, I had a huge Friday test in Histo and then another one on Monday in Anatomy that I didn’t do well on at all. I could blame it on many things: Not feeling good, having too much material, the awful Friday/Monday test situation, etc. But, I’ll take the blame for it and just say that I was not ready for that test. Still, I know myself well enough to know that I won’t get them all. So I took the good with the bad. I did pretty well on Biomed, I just didn’t get the anatomy one this time. I stepped outside on one of the first truly chilly nights we’ve had this October. Some generic Pandora hiphop station starts up in my earbuds and I start to feel freedom in my very first steps off the porch. I didn’t bring a watch. Didn’t need one. This run isn’t for time. Its for clarity. By 16 seconds in- I guarantee you- its not school on...

Medical school paradox

Everything is so fast. Full speed ahead barreling down a never-ending hill of unimportant, yet necessary, mind-boggling yet mindless knowledge. Speedily tracking down who-knows-what going somewhere none of us knows anything about, at such a dizzying pace that I really have no idea if I’m so exhausted I’m invigorated or the other way around. I look at my watch at 3:46 PM wondering how it got that late without me learning anything. All I know is that I look at my watch at the end of the day and wonder if I did anything at all as the hours flew by and I’m another day behind. I feel like December could have already come and gone and I wouldn’t know. Yet, it’s so freaking, painstakingly slow that I’m not sure if I’ve been here my whole life or if I’ve forgotten my life previous to this. The hours drag on so slow, you’d think I was listening to lectures on quantum theory while someone was literally picking me apart cell by cell. So slow I can’t keep my eyes open and I can’t fall asleep. I feel the seconds tick by like hours reminding me that as slow as it’s going, I still don’t possibly have enough time to get everything done. Every second slinking by as sleepily as me, groaning “Study, always study!” as they wither and die, breathing their last breath for an eternity. I sit in lecture wondering how it could possibly be only 8:23, knowing I have at least 40x the amount I’ve been sitting here before I get to go home and study more....