Chomp. Chomp. Chomp.

Last week contained fourteen hours’ worth of exams – our comprehensive “end of block assessment” for the systems of the heart, lung, kidney, and blood. Plus anatomy and many other things I didn’t know. The Friday portion of the exam was a three-hour multiple choice exam of boards-style questions. For those of you that aren’t medical people, boards questions are notoriously difficult and are representative of the test all graduating medical students must pass to match into a residency program. An example: Continue reading

Going Down Swinging

Two posts in one week? Must be winter break.

Working through the lung unit is the perfect time to get a lecture in about hypersensitivity reactions. “Hypersensitivity” is medicine’s fancy word for “my head takes on the size and consistency of a watermelon when the weather changes” or “my body thinks a cashew is smallpox.” Continue reading

The Cup Of Shame

My dad taught me to play chess when I was seven or eight. We played intermittently from that day until I left for college ten years later.

(There’s a medical school-related part to this, chill out.)

I learned the game easily enough and began developing a strategy. But for four years, I never won. Not once. Not when I first learned the game at eight and didn’t know how to pack my own lunch. Not when I was failing long division at age nine. And not when I was ten and learning how to find the value of x in 2x+2=4. Continue reading

We Know We Don’t Know

We just took our first exam, a two-day test on six weeks of biochemistry, basic anatomy, and a few in-depth cases. On the first day of the exam, Thursday, we spent four hours writing essay answers to questions about metabolic disease, diabetes, cancers, and (weirdly) Tylenol poisoning. Friday’s part was half multiple choice and half short-answer identification of histology and anatomy slides. It was, in a word, hard. I probably failed, but whatever. Continue reading