Medical School

2nd Year Rut: Revisited

Apparently I scared my mom with my last post. I didn’t mean to be all dark and twisty. In medical school though, the drag on and on is not really a huge negative every single waking minute. We still lead pleasurable lives. To all of us, the huge amount of work is simply a fact of our lives right now. No more depressing than a weather report.
“It’s 14 degrees outside.”
“I have to spend 14 hours studying today, tomorrow and the next day.”
They are one in the same.
After that blog published, several classmates told me they felt the exact same way. We just keep on going. So in that, I find inspiration. We just keep moving forward, trucking on through. I wouldn’t rather do this journey with any other group of people anywhere on earth.
Allow me to bring last weeks post into a more positive light. One of runnings’ most fulfilling qualities, to me, is its incessant ability to apply as a versatile metaphor for medical school and life in general.
The semester stretches ahead of me- my last body systems courses, my last months in the classroom, my first board exam, studying for both as much as possible- it all looms ahead like a road race I didn’t train for.
I’m nervous. Scared I won’t be able to finish. Dreading the pain and suffering. The anxiety is enough to make me want to sit this one out. Wait until I’m better prepared. Go back home to my warm bed, and promise myself I will start training for a different race…tomorrow of course.
Suddenly I remember all the other runs I’ve dared. How they empowered me and I always came out stronger on the other side. I remember how sometimes I was cold or uncomfortable. Maybe I was having a hard time breathing or got spooked by a shadow. Sometimes I had other things I wanted to do but I chose to invest in a little run to get my heart rate up and my mind in the right place. This semester stretches ahead about 97 times longer, harder, and more daunting than I would like. Something always keeps me coming back to it though, just like how I do with running. Signing up for road races- and medical school for that matter- seems to be a lot more difficult than I bargain for a lot of the time.
I’ll make it though. I always do. And I always look back at how far I’ve come, amazed, legitimized, privileged and strong.
Will it hurt? Yeah. Could I be doing something else more fun with my time? Probably.
But with my heart already racing, mind full of worries, and soul growing weary with the weight of it all; I can’t help but take a deep breath, put my toe on the starting line, and wait for the gun to go off, so I can give it all I’ve got.

Life Lists Medical School


Things got a whole lot more difficult this week. Honeymoon phase = definitely OVER.
One of the things I most wanted to do this blog for was to give an honest depiction of what medical school is like, and I can’t do that without sharing the bad parts too.
The title of this post is med school probe for two reasons:
1) These aren’t really problems that apply anywhere else in life.
2) Because I know that they aren’t really that big of problems. I would much rather have these problems than have a problem like oh, NOT being in medical school. Read: I still love what I’m doing. 🙂
My problems- NOT a comprehensive list!
Anatomy has begun. I liked to think that my expectations were realistic. I expected it to be a continuation of my love affair with the human body- albeit a difficult one. But it has not been that so far. It has been a stressful whirlwind of not having a clue what is going on. I really almost cried after the first lecture. What I heard during the lecture was “blah blah blah, scapula, blah blah, acromion!” And then our clicker quiz questions popped up like ” What nerve innervates trapezius and where does it originate and what germ layer is it derived from and what can you not do when this muscle is crapped out and what do you do if shot in such and such artery?” Okay, that was an exaggeration but that is what it felt like.
I was all
“I’m sorry what? Is this a joke? Was I supposed to read something? Did I miss four weeks of class without knowing it? Am I stupid? Was this a mistake? Should I drop out before I gain anymore stress weight?”
Panic took hold and I lost the rest of my motivation to pay attention that day because its worthless if I haven’t looked at it myself first. I started thinking
“This is what your life is like now.”
I woke up with a sore throat the other day and thought, “I don’t have time to be sick.” When would I go see a doctor?
I get no fewer than 665 emails everyday telling me more things I have to do and more places I have to be.
I ate cold oatmeal for lunch.
I can’t remember what I studied yesterday.
I legitimately have right arm pain from writing so much.
I’m writing this blog through talk to text on my drive home. (Do not try at home)
Sleeping in is 7:30.
Getting to bed early is 1AM.
Peeling fat off a muscle is surprisingly soothing.
I’m too tired to study, but too behind to sleep.
They tell us to eat right, take breaks, get 7 hours of sleep (because let’s not be ridiculous with 8), don’t drink caffeine, exercise, and take time for family- but don’t forget to study and know everything at all times.
Me time is either sitting down to eat a snack without a book in front of me, or- if I’m really lucky- run 4 miles.
Naps are few and far between and I wake up feeling guilty and stressed out.
I walk to the bathroom at school, passing all the groups study rooms thinking, “oh my gosh all these people are studying right now and I’m peeing, I’m so far behind!!”
I only shower when absolutely necessary.
Yesterday I got to go outside for 2 minutes BEFORE dark to get something out of my car between classes. So that was cool.
I didn’t do well on my test we took this week after studying all Labor Day weekend. 🙁
Everything that smells bad to me, now smells like cadaver.
I keep shopping online to hide my feelings.
It’s exhausting and hard and nothing seems to be paying off immediately, especially since all I feel like I have learned is about how NOT to study. I find solace in my classmates though, who all seem to be struggling with the same things as me. Sigh. Glad I got some of that off my chest. I’ll be okay.