Saturday, September 1, 2007

Two weeks down....and many more great ones to come!

So the last three weeks (orientation + the first 2 weeks of classes) have been absolutely amazing. I've met almost our entire med school class, and everyone really seems great! It's so nice to be surrounded by people who are fun, but can also have really interesting conversations.

The last two weeks have pretty much been a big jump into med school, but so far it's been what I expected: a lot of work, but mostly interesting stuff. Also, everyone has remained pretty social, which is nice; however, the number of social outings has decreased, but that's to be expected.

Since so much has happened in the last few weeks, I'll try and hit the highlights:

We had our white coat ceremony at the end of orientation week and most people's parents/families came in town. I was a bit skeptical of the white coat ceremony because I thought it sounded kind of dumb, but it was actually really nice. It was also really cool to be able to get to meet a lot of people's parents/siblings/etc. Since I hadn't been home for almost a month, tt was great to see my parents for the weekend and get to hang out with them!

Last weekend we had the diversity retreat/ropes course. About 4/5 of the class came, which was awesome. We had the diversity retreat friday night and then stayed overnight in a hotel. The next day we went to a ropes course, which also included a climbing tower and some team-building activities. The diversity retreat was pretty fun, and we talked about some different case studies and how preconceived notions and assumptions about different types of people could affect the way you treated a patient. That night there was a killer dance party, where almost everyone there danced and had a GREAT time! The next day we broke into groups and rotated between the ropes course, climbing tower, and team-building activities. We were divided randomly into groups, which gave a great opportunity to get to know new people better. I was really impressed with how well everyone cooperated. I thought with so many high-achieving ambitious people it might be difficult, but we really didn't have any problems!

Last week, we started anatomy class and lab. It's definitely a little weird, but I think that it will be really valuable to see what we learn in class in a real body. I was really fine the first two days and then on Friday, I got a bit nauseaus, but I think that I'll get used to it. I guess part of me doesn't really want to get used to it just because I don't want to forget that we are dissecting a human body. It's tough striking a balance between objectifying and personalizing your cadaver.

We also had our first Primary Care Preceptroship (PCP) this week. PCPs are a part of the Practice of Medicine class ( you can see we like abbreviations). You have 4 PCP visits throughout the year with the same physician. Mine was with a Internist whose office was about 20 minutes away from campus. He was amazing. He was very very nice, and he had a fantastic way of personally connecting with his patients. He also let me do a lot of things, like practicing how to interview a patient, which was really cool, but definitely kind of scary, since I've only been in med school for 2 weeks.

Today was the float trip (i.e. a tubing trip, for those of you from TX). I didn't go because I wanted some extra down time this weekend to rest and try and get some things done, like cleaning, but I suspect it was a fantastic time. I'm really glad I didn't go though because I think I'm getting sick, so it was good to have the extra time at home.

Well, I think that's all of the highlights for now.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Nerdy Med School Pick Up Line of the Day!

Hey, you want to go back to my place and anastamose?

**For those of you that weren't in class today, anastamose was defined as "hooking up"

Will post more later.

A quick anatomical anecdote

I never hesitated with the cadaver. I saw it as an object from the start, and this is clear in the manner in which I dissect. While everyone else pokes timidly, I follow my Grant’s dissector verbatim in that “in the context of this dissection manual, the meaning of dissect is to tear apart.” I dive in as I would do when taking apart a car, computer, or vacuum cleaner. Today, however, I stopped for the first time. In order to relax the pectoralis major, the arm needs to be adducted and flexed. One of my partners was struggling to get his hands under the muscle, so I grabbed the cadaver’s hand to pull it toward the median. That’s when, for a split second, I paused; in lifting the arm, the fingers tightened a little. It is horrendously cliché, but it really reminded me that this human body was once a human being.

Monday, August 27, 2007


So suddenly there is a lot more about which I should write, but as a result there is only a small fraction of the time to write. Here’s my lame attempt to catch you up on what it means to be an MSTP:

So starting from L’s definition of rocktastic (a word derived as a description of what it feels like to be at a bar with most of the 1st years and a $1000 tab that needed to be polished off), the last few weeks have been an absolutely amazing time. The remainder of orientation week went like this: be at the LTC by 8:30 AM or so, be orientated until anywhere from 3 to 5 depending on the day, nap for an hour, go out and party like rockstars until 1:00 (or 3:00, or 6:00 AM, depending on the night and your degree of rocktasticallity) only to wake (assuming you went to bed) and go back in at 8:30 the next morning. The class bonded exceptionally well, and the MSTPs for the most part are an even tighter subsection of the med class. This is not to say that we aren’t completely rooted with the rest of the M1s, but the MSTPs tend to have dinner parties or other functions before the other events because we really enjoy the conversations we have as a group. Pool parties, sports in the park, movies, and pub crawls have been the norm. Classes started and everyone dove right in, taking it very seriously and at the same time making plenty of time for fun. The diversity retreat was awesome (everyone, literally every single person, had a blast. Do it next year.) and we have the float trip coming up next weekend on top of all that.

Honestly, these three weeks (WUMP through present) have been the best I can remember. Plus, anatomy is SO COOL and we MSTPs get to have a free lunch after our Wednesday lab, and the smell of formalin makes you really, really hungry.

Things that suck:

· A lot of food in my fridge went bad because I haven’t had the need to eat more than 3 or 4 meals at home in the last few weeks. This isn’t so bad, because that means we’ve been dined a lot.

· Some of the IT stuff has still been rocky, especially for the MSTPs here this summer. We couldn’t log into the carrel computers for a while, our medportal (the site that has all of the class notes) has been sketchy with access, and the wireless was a bit of a pain to set up since the IT dept. needs to commandeer your laptop for a day or so to do it for you.

That’s about all I can come up with. Sorry about the poor writing here; I am watching a dissection video online while writing so my attention is about 25%.