I have started my second year of medical school. I’m actually two and a half weeks in.
I’m still in the classroom, but since only years 1 and 2 are done on campus, it gives all of us MS-2’s this false sense of being “top dogs”. We’ve been showing the first years around all summer, and now we can pop backs so we think we are some hot stuff. Then the dream stops and we wake up to the nightmare reality every morning that we still actually only know very little and boards loom on the horizon like that scene in Apollo 13 where the astronauts are all walking toward the space ship dramatically. Will we all just burst into flames and never make it there?! Will we get halfway to the moon and then freeze to death?! Will we make it home to our lives and loved ones triumphantly?!
Sometimes I don’t feel like walking forward towards that spaceship. It seems like too great of a risk. Studying for the MCAT depleted my gumption reserves. It gave me mono and walking pneumonia and insomnia and anxiety and the sweats and nightmares. I always felt like crap, just completely run down for that 6 weeks or so I studied; only surviving by way of coffee and sonic drinks. Now that such conditions are normal for me as a medical student, I wonder how preparing for my tortuous first round of boards will plague me.
Okay, think happy thoughts! That test is not til next June and I am loving school for the most part. The transition back into a routine is always a little rough after a break though. Especially with the added change of living situations.
I moved out from living with my parents back in July. I live much closer to school now, with two classmates. My house turned out just the way I wanted it! (Easy to say when your dad is the contractor.) It’s cute and cozy and it felt like home right away. Though it was still hard to move out permanently- even at 23.
I think I got burned out being at the school all the time last year, so I study at my new house a lot more so far this semester. Since all of my roommates are medical students, (which I highly recommend doing!) noise is never a problem, and I get a lot done at home. Sometimes I think I live by myself, it’s so quiet!
It’s strange how my study habits change so quickly and seamlessly when I’ve been doing this school thing for so many years.
I want to do a study doing a functional MRI on medical students’ brains before first year and then after they graduate. Just to see what the heck goes on up there. I think it probably actually gains mass from sheer info and also probably starts to just fritz out on occasion during important situations especially. It would also be great to do a study on how many words we read a day or some other way to quantify the vast amounts of information that pass through in ear and out the other.
I’m also open to writing a book or piloting a TV show about the medical school experience if anyone with money or power is reading this. Its the most exciting thing I’ve ever been through, which is sort of sad because the majority of what I do is sit there. However, when asked, I bet money that YOU, Regular Joe, would like to see the process of taking a mostly kind and hardworking (but still dumb) person and turning them into a wonderful, knowledgable doctor- I think Regular Joe would want to see that. It’s got everything:
Romance-there IS dating in med school
Roller coaster of emotions- test grades, fake patients, and prostate exams, oh my!
Drama/Tension- “They said we would have 2 full hours, not 1 hour 50 minutes for this test!”
Fun/Action- med students have been known to throw a nice formal ball AND get down in sand volleyball. That’s riveting stuff!
If fishing for crabs in Alaska gets a show, medical school should have a show.
That’s all for now!
Eat, class, study, run, sleep, repeat!