When I toured medical schools as an undergrad, I viewed the medical students as these extremely focused, competent, professional people. Now that I’m here I see that we are that, but we are so much more. Medical students are funny, fun-loving, kind, caring, sarcastic, silly, curious, multifaceted, friendly, fascinating people with all kinds of backgrounds, senses of humor and experiences. Despite our differences, our common thread of medicine has bonded us in less than a week. The sense of belonging and the great privilege to know these people and learn to become physicians with them, has me so excited to be a part of this class of 2018.
What a fun couple days it has been. It feels like its been a week since I’ve posted!
So orientation on the first day included a big volunteer event they do every year mostly run by students. They split us up into groups and we went around Tulsa to various organizations and helped them out with whatever they needed. I met a lot of great people and laughed a ton! The school fed us breakfast and lunch and gave us a volunteer t-shirt! Woo! I love new t-shirts.
The second year’s put on a mock lecture to show us what NOT to do. They crumpled chip bags, asked “Will this be on the exam?” repeatedly to the professor, had their cell phones playing youtube videos during class, one guy even brought a freakin’ blender and turned it on in the lecture hall. It was pretty dang funny. It felt like a very OBU thing to do, so I was glad to see them having fun and being ridiculous about it.
Overall, the experience felt a little like camp, but I was glad for the relaxing environment to get to know people in and truly enjoyed getting to know my classmates. I picked up my white coat and scrubs they give us for free, and then went home where (some) of my nieces were waiting for me. My family and I went out to dinner and then shopping that evening so it was a great day in my books!
The white coat ceremony was a blast. And if I hadn’t been so crazy giddy about the whole experience actually occurring, I would have cried. I thought the ceremony was extremely well done. It felt official but still warm and friendly. They filed us in to the auditorium after the audience was seated and just walking in with my white coat draped over my arm, I got the warm fuzzies and just felt extremely accomplished. We were joking around in line saying how the whole ceremony feels so misguided since all we have done thus far is gone to ONE DAY of orientation. But still, it gets you excited about what is to come and builds your confidence and pride. My sister Stacie in Arizona was watching the live stream online which made me extremely happy, and Zach and Jenna both got to come to watch. I have the best family and friends!
It was pretty hilarious once I was “coat-ed” to watch the struggle that is having-someone-else-put-your-jacket-on-you. You’d think it would be easy, but it most certainly is not. You have to shake their hand, give them your jacket, slip into it while they’re holding it out, fix your hair after, take a picture, say thank you… its exhausting and requires a great deal of focus. So much so that I don’t remember walking across the stage because I was so focused on making my fine motor skills work properly at each little step of the process. Hopefully mine looked smooth. I do remember that I was ready to take the picture, but the professor was still fixing my collar. Oh well. Whatever trauma it caused me was gone when I took the Oath and filed out to more applause. I still feel warm and happy inside!
My posse and I went out to brunch afterwards, so I was fine by then.
Here are some pictures!
EEEKKK! It’s one week until orientation. Everything is coming hard and fast and best of all, I feel ready. My summer checklist is all but crossed off. I got back into decent running shape- I did 25 miles last week! The study room is done. I got new
school grown up clothes. I rested, and enjoyed my family and friends.
It’s weird that this is the last week ever in my life that I will NOT have been to medical school! How many people can say that they’ve been to medical school? Probably millions but it sounds pretty crazy to me!
Still, next week this time will be very busy and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous!
This weekend though, is this girl’s birthday!
She’s not this little anymore but it feels like just yesterday I was making her first birthday cake!
But now she’s this gorgeous, sassy, little sweetheart and I’m making her fifth birthday cake!
I love you Julie. Happy Birthday!
Well folks, as much as I love writing, when life comes a-knockin’ unfortunately the blog takes the beating.
This week I went for a last minute lake cabin retreat with two girlfriends from OBU. We had a wonderful time! We used floaties to lay out and tan on a very calm, clear lake. We partook in hot tub time, ate, played board games, attempted to fish, laughed, laid in a hammock, and even kayaked. It was a little vacation I didn’t even know I needed. It came at the perfect time too. Right before I left, I realized I had a little email conundrum with medical school where I realized I wasn’t getting all the emails I should have. (I should have known, no wonder I hadn’t heard about orientation and the white coat ceremony yet!) Once I straightened out the correct email with the administration, I was forwarded a flood of information including my test/class schedule, orientation schedule, info on becoming a student ambassador, and most importantly a self-study block of a class that has already begun! Whoa. Who knew medical school started the summer before?! Since I was on vacation though, I anxiously tucked them away for reading and absorbing as soon as I got back on Thursday.
I would love to share the scheduling and everything I will be up to this fall since that is a lot of what I have been curious about for so long. Questions like, “How grueling is it really?” “What is the day to day schedule like?” Unfortunately, I don’t think sharing these google docs on the interwebs for all to see is something that I can do. You see, every medical school is different and takes pride on their exact brand of medical education- how it is structured, set up and scheduled. So giving that information away feels a little like copying something that isn’t mine. As for MY schedule, daily life, opinions, and whereabouts- I’ll be glad to share those as much as I can.
Also, as I begin my medical education, please take the time to read my disclaimer.
This class that has already started (and I am already behind in!) is called Expert Skills and the information we have to read is mostly about personality types and how it affects your learning style/how you can study better once you know your type. I think its really helpful and it is a great idea to finally understand why I do so bad on multiple choice tests! Ugh! There are also a lot of tips on how to overcome and learn other styles of learning so that it fits with what comes easiest to you. Already I feel like I’m being taken by the hand (figuratively) and being given the tools to succeed instead of being worked into burnout, then drowning and flailing on my own.
The professor knows that I am behind and highlighted specific phrases in his email like “Don’t get overwhelmed” and “Don’t feel alone, just feel energized.” Things that were personal and helpful to me instead of just “Here are all the documents you need, figure it out and turn it in when you’re done.”
This class will also meet during the semester and we will progress into how to study for multiple choice exams like the boards and also how to learn best while on clinical rotations. I’m excited!
I can now happily say that the study room is done! It is so beautiful and I’m in love and obsessed with it. And I have already been using it thanks to my pre-medical school homework and blogging! I love all the handmade details and chic vintage feel.
Today marks one month until I start medical school orientation. Just 31 days until I reach the beginning of this crazy goal I’ve had for what seems like forever. One lunar cycle until I begin what I’ve been told is both a great time with what will become lifetime friends and a time of overwhelming stress and suffering.
Without further ado, here’s what I’m looking forward to in the coming months.
1. The rest of my summer. Honestly, I’m looking forward to living out the rest of the summer. I’m going on a float trip with my girls, meeting up with some future classmates again, going to a lake house with some girl friends, reading, resting. All that good stuff. Here’s to the last of my freedom until Christmas!
2. Orientation. It might be boring and drag on entirely too long for some people (its 6 days long), but I think its a good way to dip my toes in the water. It’ll be a lower stress way to get to know everyone before the bomb drops. I also like the last chance to get organized, “orient” myself (see what I did there?), and mentally prepare.
3. Meeting everyone! I’m not a ‘big group’ of people kind of person (it gets exhausting after a while) but it’ll be exciting to get to know people and make some new friends and have some new close bonds with people who love medicine. Which takes me to my next item…
4. The medicine! I love learning science, especially of the biological/human variety. I’m excited to learn so much and meet the cadavers and talk about the human body and read and study diseases and learn OMM and learn how to touch patients. YAY!
5. The White Coat Ceremony. This I’m excited about because its a “dress up” ceremony celebrating the accomplishment of having done absolutely nothing yet. It’ll be weird, surreal, and undeserved but it’ll be fun to get that short white jacket to wear
to Target on official business.
6. Change. As fun as doing nothin’ is striking my fancy, I really do prefer routine and structure. It’ll be good to get into a new groove. Wake up, eat, class, eat, class, work out, eat, study, sleep. Repeat. Remind me that I said that when I’m crying because of how many things I have to do come September-ish.
7. Adversity. My old college roommate was sending me motivational quotes the other day for a project I’m working on and a lot them she sent me struck a cord with me, and- not surprisingly- were about pain. Maybe I’m a masochist, but I like the idea of “enduring” something and the rewards of coming out changed and stronger on the other side. This won’t be an easy journey for me. I’m a worrier, an anxious mess at times. I have a lot of doubts in myself, the process, but I’m excited to see where the adversity gets me on the other side. Bring it on!