Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Homestretch!

I'm 5 days away from regaining my life and getting out of the library.

5 days from an extremely long run.
5 days from watching countless movies from my list of "movies to watch."
5 days from spending time doing nothing.
5 days from relaxing and lounging around in the sun.
5 days from freedom.

Short-term memory utilization has begun. It's time now to memorize all those rare lysosomal storage diseases, biochemical defects (that have extremely long names and look the same) and the complement cascade. Plus- all those drugs with their rare toxicities. The next 5 days are going to be splendid fun, full of forceful memorization.

I just hope there is space in my brain, which is overflowing with medical facts that keeping spilling out.

Until test day, I'm staying calm and thinking of this time next week, when I'll be done!!!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Counting Days

I'm still here, counting days to freedom.

Nothing too interesting going on. Just the usual studying marathon. Enough said. Watching spring time emerge from my window, yearning to be outside.

This shall pass...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Almost 50% MD

We bid farewell to the Essential Core today. The Essential Core represents the pre-clinical years, where we are learn the basics of medicine.

We completed our clinical final over this past weekend, with a series of patient interviews and physical exams. We officially ended our second year with a small group about common ethical dilemmas in older adults followed by an interview with an elder, who spoke about her life and the challenges she confronts as she gets older.

After the interview, we were joined by our deans and administrators, who congratulated us on making it to the half-way mark of our medical education. It was more of an early congratulations, since we still have to take our life cycle final and that other big test (the boards). In what has been described as a "milestone," we will now see a shift, where the center of education shifts from the medical student to the patient, as we move to wards.

With some games, a raffle and a burrito, we walked out of the lecture hall- to the library to study for the upcoming exams (it's like a marathon). As I walked away, I realized that were all about to go our seperate aways; this was the last time we would officially assemble as a class of preclinical students. Hard to believe.

We move from lectures and small groups, where information has been spoon fed to us, to the real clinical world, where we learn from our patients. The third year became more real after we received our rotation schedules on Friday.

We will face an entirely new learning curve ahead. I am excited and apprehensive. I'm just pacing myself through the next weeks to get through the boards.

After we complete our life cycle final on Thursday, we become third years with half of an MD.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Countdown Begins

"It is what it is." This has become my new motto, whenever I am asked about how board prep is going. Quite frankly, it's almost like pushing a heavy boulder up a mountain that keeps getting steeper with no end in sight.

At the same time, I realize this time shall pass and we'll move forward. It's just a temporary inconvenience.

The countdown to test day has begin, as I reach the one month mark.

A typical day for me consists of the following:
1. Study
2. School (usually just small group sessions)
3. Study some more
4. Exercise
5. Eat
6. Study
7. Sleep

And then repeat.
It's very regimented and monotonous. Not too exciting. Just got get through the next month.

We'll find out our third year schedules on Friday, which will give me a sense of what to expect for the next year. Once I know where I will be, I'll be able to finally RSVP to all the weddings and graduations I'm supposed to attend.

Aside from ongoing boards prep, we enter our last week of life cycle next week with our final on Thursday. According to some of my classmates, attendance to lectures has dropped off (~20-30 students). So sad. It's that time of the year, when all the second years disappear to study. Sigh.

We now enter full test training. Let the endurance training and countdown begin...