(Not that kind of phalanx.)
My last post was three weeks ago, because just about three weeks ago this happened:
As I mentioned last week, I’m currently taking a hybrid classroom/clinical duties course centered around immunology and the immunocompromised patient. I’ve just finished a week on the stem cell transplant unit, where most patients have received a bone marrow transplant to treat leukemia. In general, these patients come to the hospital for one of three reasons:
Holy sh*t, neurology is hard.
(I’m off the soapbox to give y’all a break. Don’t worry, I’ll be back with more faux-righteous anger, probably about how white coats are pretentious germ blankets that we should categorically ban from medicine, next week or so.) Continue reading
Back when we were working our way through our microbiology block, I wrote a post called “We Are All Going To Die.” If you remember back that far, it was about a phenomenon called medical student syndrome, where nervous medical students think they have the diseases they are studying. Depending on the day, I either had Ebola, anthrax, hookworm, a particularly virulent strain of E. coli, or a face-eating fungus called blastomycosis. It’s a miracle I stand before you today on my psych rotation.
Alas, not all is well in the world of Nate. You see, in one of the great all-time ironies of medical education, your writer has managed to contract a somewhat common condition known as “Bell’s palsy,” or in fancy medical words a “peripheral seventh cranial nerve palsy.”
I haven’t written in quite awhile because I was busy. Busy training for PROBABLY THE TOUGHEST EVENT ON THE PLANET, otherwise known as the Tough Mudder.
(Okay, maybe I wasn’t grinding out ten-mile runs or doing burpees at five in the morning. More realistically I was eating Doritos and watching Game of Thrones). It’s also probably not the toughest event on the planet; that distinction likely belongs to the Death Race, a 48-hour monstrosity that includes chopping up an oak tree stump with a hacksaw to reach the starting line and psychological torture like eating a bag of onions and counting out $500 in pennies while squatting in an icy pond. Continue reading
…Said no one, ever.
I know last week I wrote a fairly graphic account of what it’s like to do a pelvic and butthole exam for the first time. Also, there’s no way I can ever top that on this blog, so don’t expect it. We actually finished our reproductive unit before the end of April; the practice exam itself was just rescheduled till recently. Our current unit is called Brain, Behavior and Movement, and covers head and brain anatomy, neurology, psychiatry, and the musculoskeletal system.
When we finish “BB&M,” we’ll be done with first year and start rotations. Woof. Continue reading
This post is not PG. Just… yeah.
Up until this point, most of what we’ve done in medical school could have been taught as part of some unusually advanced undergraduate human biology or physiology major. Yeah, the heart and lung exams were probably out of scope, but learning about how the body works is still in the realm of possibility for someone not in medical school.
Until this week. The Exam That Shall Not Be Named. The genitourinary exam. Continue reading
One of the coolest things about going to school here is that we are constantly supported, advised, and mentored by faculty interested in our medical education. The experience is so extensive here that it sometimes verges on too much. For instance, here are the titles of the people involved under the general category of “advisors” to first-year students: Continue reading
I am not mature enough for science.
Our current block is called “Endocrine, Digestion, and Reproduction,” running twelve weeks long. At five weeks in, I have three more before I disappear into the black hole that is studying for the weeklong test making up the last week of April. If Homeostasis (our previous block) is any judge, I will spend most of Nate’s Birthday Month getting fatter than the Michelin Man from inactivity and Chipotle, pretending to study anatomy until I break down in crocodile tears of frustration, and wearing pajamas to class.
This is not an exaggeration. It happened. Continue reading