So it turns out that when you are on your research block you have absolutely nothing to write about. Patients are funny, residents are funny, and hapless medical students are hilarious, but there is absolutely nothing funny about research. My project is in the field of medical education, which I find intellectually stimulating and worthwhile but primarily involves attending meetings, reading journal articles that freely use phrases like “cognitive load” and “contextually embedded orchestration of skills,” and sitting in front of a computer. Continue reading
A little over two weeks ago I took Step 2. About two weeks from now I should receive my score. Neither of these two events particularly matter, considering Step 2 is largely a test that exists so that you can pay money to the testing service. Continue reading
When I started my embarrassingly long trek toward medical school three years ago, I studied for and took the MCAT. That exam was hands down the worst testing experience I’ve ever had – a six-hour MonsterTest covering basic science. I wrote about the studying process while cloistered in isolation in my Charlottesville apartment, where I didn’t see the sun for three or four days at a time. It was often hard to stay focused, which I covered.
I am currently on my pediatrics rotation, which is a wonderful and fantastic world for a number of reasons:
- Everyone is nice, although this means by definition I cannot be a pediatrician;
- The patients get better;
- You get thrown up on all the time.
Upon returning from winter break, I started up rotations again with psychiatry. Psych is unlike every other block in so many ways: there’s no physical exam, you spend tons of time with patients, and we have basically no idea why any major treatment works. Really.
I need to qualify the rest of this post, as usual when I say untoward things about people or fields where I’m working: patients here are clearly sick and need intense treatment, and there is nothing funny about people who are seriously mentally ill. Continue reading
My time on trauma was probably the most intense three weeks of medical school so far – even compared to the three weeks leading up to a major block exam, like I’ve written about before. When you hear “trauma,” you think of crazy accidents and dramatic TLC reenactments and emergency surgeries. There is some of that, but the majority of the time is spent in the ICU after someone has been stabilized “status post” getting hit by a Volvo. In other words, critical care. Continue reading
A week after our final physical diagnosis exam was our last “end of block assessment” of first year, which is fancy med school terminology for “final exam.” Like our other tests in first year, it was remarkable only for how long it was (fourteen-ish hours over three days) and for how absurd some of the questions were. 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