Surprise, I’m alive and still in disbelief that I’m a quarter of the way done with medical school! I’ve been meaning to blog more but the workload of Spring Semester picked up and didn’t slow down. If you would have told me from the beginning that the past 44 weeks were going to fly by and that I was going to make it through, I would’ve laughed.
Now that I basically have the next 2 months off, I feel kind of lost. For the past year, I was essentially in the routine of waking up, going to class, and studying for the next assessment/exam (because let’s be real, there was always one exam or another right around the corner). But now that I’m “free”, I feel overwhelmed with all the possibilities of things to do (you could argue that boards are “around the corner” but I would say that you’re out of your mind).
I survived! Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to go on a preceptorship at a pediatricians office, and all I can say is it was an eye-opening experience and exceeded all of my expectations. Going into the clinic, I expected to follow the physician as she tended to one sick child after the other. And to an extent that’s what we did. The number of Rapid Flu, Rapid Strep, and Strep culturesordered were too numerous to count. What else was too numerous to count? THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO DIDN’T GET THEIR FLU SHOTS! It’s funny, the correlation between people who were diagnosed with the flu and whether or not they had gotten a flu shot was uncanny. Moral of the story, get your flu shot.
Aside from the strep throats and runny noses, I didn’t realize people just came in for wellness visits. Maybe it’s because I’m a few years out of seeing my pediatrician but I don’t remember ever going into the pediatric office just to tell them I’m doing well.
One visit that stuck out in particular was a child with a history of hyperactivity and inability to concentration in school/tendency to interrupt others. Because this had been going on for quite some time (and based off outside feedback), the doctor diagnosed the child with ADHD. The conversation of medication came up and it was intriguing to see the personalities the pediatrician had; one that was tailored to children and another towards parents. The child had no clue what was going on and the parents were concerned that being on meds would take away from who the child really is.
Six months ago, I started my first day of medical school. Last Friday marked the end to my first semester, how nuts is that? There is so much to reflect on.
Over the past 6 months, I have learned an insane amount of information. Anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, … the list goes on and on. I have learned how to take a detailed patient history (don’t forget your LOPQRST, ICEE, and ROS folks!), perform physical exams (anyone need their upper extremity, lower extremity, back or thorax checked?), dissected a human cadaver head to toe (alright more like neck to toe; head/face will be next semester’s hurdle and neuro will be a Year 2 problem). I’VE HELD A HUMAN HEART AND LUNG IN MY HANDS! Each day I’m reminded of and amazed by how complex and incredible the human body is. Mechanisms such as pressure differences drive our hearts to pump blood to where they need to go and allow our lunges to expand and deflate to allow for gas exchange. We have an army inside of us, ready to attack foreign invaders should they enter our body. If there is anything I’ve learned this semester it’s that I have so much more to learn.
Block 3 started a couple of weeks ago and we’ve finally started to learn about organ systems. Blocks 1 and 2 were more of our foundational sciences; learning about the cellular biology, biochemistry, immunology (and so many more -ologies) of the human body, and now we’ve made the shift over to learning about organ systems; cardiac in particular.
If there’s 2 things I’ve learned so far this block…
1. The physiology of the heart is FASCINATING. There are so many regulatory processes and intricate ways the heart can respond to different situations
2. I don’t want ANYTHING to do with cardiology
Block 3 has been relentless with information being constantly thrown at us with little time to fully understand it all (at least that’s how I feel). We took our first progress test just a week and a half into the block and second progress test today (yikes). Yes there’s a lot of info but what I’m loving about this block is that all my classes seem to build off each other.We spent time earlier in the block learning about cardiac physiology; understanding how blood fills the different chambers of the heart, understanding when and how the heart contracts to get that blood to different places in the body, what happens when our blood pressure gets too high or too low and how our body reacts to that change and brings it back to normal, etc.
I’VE COME OUT OF HIBERNATION! The past 72 hours have been a whirlwind. Block Week 2 is done, I’ve driven a total of 1,014 miles, and today I defrosted my car (where did the fall weather go?). Friday marked the end of Block 2 of medical school:
October 1 – HERPes October 4 – Progress Test 4 October 8 – Donor and Live Donor Exam October 10 – Clinical Skills Assessment October 12 – Medical Knowledge and Clinical Skills
For the past two weeks, I feel like we’ve done nothing but study and take exams. This past weekend was a much needed one; I was able to visit and see some amazing people from undergrad and live it up without feeling like I should be studying. For a while, I forgot what it felt like to not be a student.
It’s official, we’ve received our FIRST WHITE COAT! Yesterday, on the 22nd of September, the Class of 2022 celebrated the 22nd annual White Coat Ceremony (it was meant 2 be, haha).
For those unfamiliar, the White Coat Ceremony is considered a rite of passage for those starting their journey in the healthcare field. It symbolizes the hard work put in to reaching this point in our lives, all the tests we’ve taken (and will take), all the sacrifices made to achieve our dreams, the compassion/empathy we must show, and it symbolizes our transition from students to student doctors.
Today has been quite the day, I was able to scrub in on a couple of surgeries! Tuesdays are great because they’re half days. Lectures in the afternoon mean I have my mornings to sleep in, catch up on work, etc. At my school, we also have the chance to use our free mornings to do preceptorships (basically just a fancy word for shadowing), which is pretty neat since it gives us the chance to explore what we want to go into. One of the most common question I probably get asked is “What kind of doctor do you want to be?”. Short answer: I don’t know. Long answer: I’m planning on going in with an open mind. But I’m interested in surgery, emergency medicine, OB/GYN, and pediatrics. So anything could happen.