Med School Begins! …Kind Of

The last time I posted, I was living in a different city, gainfully funemployed, and still technically a premedical student. Three weeks ago I moved in to another apartment (that’s five moves in three years, if you’re counting) and two Wednesdays ago started medical school.

So this blog will change a little bit, from highlighting the weirdnesses of being a postbac/applying to medical school to highlighting the trials of learning to be a doctor. Scary, but awesome. As I did with the premedical stuff, I’m going to try to be funny (current hit rate: around 20%) and I promise not to complain too much about how much work we have, because again we all know people that do that and they suck.

So for starters, I have 99 classmates and yes Grandma, everyone is nice, and no, Grandma, no one has tried to beat me up. Yet.

This past week was a course devoted to introducing us willing peons to the basics of medicine – not biochemistry or anatomy but what it means to be a doctor. It was a fun and enlightening week, and if every “block” was like Foundations, med school would be the greatest thing in the world. We went out a lot, and I got the sense that everyone (faculty, older students, ourselves) was pushing us to get all the fun and games out of our systems because it’s about to get really intense.

To wit: on Monday we have four hours of lecture on biochemical pathways and genomics. Fun’s over.

Anyway. No complaining remember? About those 99 classmates, we come from all over the place and from very different backgrounds. For example:

  • First and most importantly: There are 5 who went to Duke and only 4 that went to UNC. I am chalking up this unacceptable discrepancy to the fact that in-state tuition at Carolina costs approximately $7.85 over four years, and that most of my former classmates opted to train close to home. Go to hell Duke, as usual, but the Dukies are remarkably cool kids. For Dukies.
  • On Day One, the dean of admissions called us out alphabetically one by one and read out our academic credentials. The first person he called was an international student with two bachelor’s degrees, a masters’, and a PhD. Didn’t set the bar high at all. Personally I got “graduated from the University of North Carolina with a degree in peace, war and defense.”
  • Everyone then looked at me and thought, “well, at least I had a real major.”
  • Our first weekend as a class we had an enormous campout in a field. The second years organizing the trip rented a floodlight and portable generator and we danced until 3AM. Well, some people danced. Some people took videos. I won’t tell you who did which, and no you can’t see.
  • Last night there was another party, themed as an Alma Mater party, and one of the Duke girls punched me in the nuts for being a Tar Heel. I rescind what I said about them being cool people.
  • We have to elect class officers this coming week, which will be an interesting exercise since we’ve all known each other for like 10 minutes total. I almost know more about the people running for class president than I do about the governor of Tennessee. Almost.
  • I don’t know the name of the governor of Tennessee, but I do know his plan for Medicaid expansion is probably not going to work. #optimism (that was ironic healthcare-themed sarcasm, y’all, let it go)
  • I offered to fly with whoever wants to partake in the miracle of powered flight, but I have no takers. My classmates are afraid of flying with a near-stranger in a single-engine plane that’s been in the news a lot lately for crashing into apartment buildings. I wonder why they are nervous.
  • Really, though, everyone is unbelievably nice (back in the South, y’all!) and welcoming and warm and humble and way way way smarter than I am.

I may have ended on a fuzzy note, but give me a week of mitochondria and platelets and I’ll be back to writing about how veganism is stupid and jacked-up RoidMonsters in the gym.

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