Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Yes, I am alive.

So, it's been forever and a half, since I last posted, and for those of you out there that were worried I am still alive (which I'm sure weren't many of you....except maybe my mom, but since a) I talk to her everyday and b) she doesn't know what a blog is, I don't think she was concerned). Anyway, I thought it was time for a post.

Lots and lots has happened. 2nd year is hard as everyone said it would be, but it is also interested. The sheer amount of information is definitely overwhelming at times, but a long time ago I accepted that perfection was unattainable and I feel OK even if I don't know every detail and minutiae. I think that has been harder for some of my other classmates. I also have been trying really hard neither to beat myself up over unproductive times nor to become overwhelmed by the amount of work that still needs to be done. Although I have had my moments of freaking out (no one's perfect...see above).

I had heard that CPR block was hard conceptually but GI block was hard because of the sheer amount of material, and I think that that was pretty much true. I had also heard that it was really hard to start GI block right after CPR block because you don't have a long weekend in between (as you do between the first 2 blocks). I think that this was true, but I don't think that the long weekend really would have made a difference. I was definitely just burned out after CPR block for about a week and I really never regained the same intensity during GI block I don't think, but it all seems to have worked out alright.

I really started focusing on Lecture Objectives as a way to study, and that seems to be working pretty well, so I've been sticking with it. I also have really liked small groups/labs as a way to go over things and hear them another time and in a different way. I definitely like repetition.

I had been studying at the carrels a lot more than I had first year, but I got really sick of it during CPR block, so I wasn't there as much for GI block. I also started just studying at home more, partially because it really started getting cold out (at least for my wimpy constitution), which makes me become somewhat of a hermit. The only problem with that is that I definitely felt a bit lonely and isolated, which is largely due to the fact that I live by myself (which I actually usually enjoy quite a bit). I don't know...I definitely need to work on some kind of balance. I think the other issue is that I've found it hard to hang out with a lot of my friends because we all have such limited non-studying time, and that time doesn't always coincide (i.e. you started studying earlier so you want to take a break earlier than your friends, or you were planning to take Saturday night off, but they weren't etc. etc.). It definitely takes some more planning.

In an effort to try and maintain some semblance of sanity and social interaction this block, many of the MSTP girls (and some of our med school friends) planned to get together once a week and watch the PBS version of Pride and Prejudice (featuring Colin Firth...insert swoon here). We weren't wholly successful (we only met twice), but it was really fun and I believe will be continued next year.

On a totally separate note, I've been helping to choreograph for the med school musical (yes, the med school puts on a musical every year, which at least last year was quite good. There is a surprising number of EXCEPTIONALLY talented people in med school). I have limited dancing experience and ZERO choreography experience, but it's been really fun.

We've also all been trying to figure out the whole USMLE process (for those of you as clueless as I was, USMLE are the licensing board exams that you have to take. There are 3 steps, which you take at various points during your medical career. Step 1 is taken after your 2nd year of med school). I have gotten registered and tentatively picked a date. I haven't done major studying at all, but I am doing a bit of review of Biochem over break, esp. since I took a grad school class (molecular cell biology) in lieu of med school biochem. However, since I haven't taken biochem since my junior year of college, I figured a little review and some focus on clinical biochemstry would be a good idea.

Ok, well I think I"ll leave it at that. Happy New Year to everyone!


Christine Kim said...

My name is Christine and can I ask you some questions regarding the steps you took to get to where you are now? If you're busy it's ok.
Thank you,

R said...

Christine: you can leave any questions you have as a comment and I can try to address them. Comments are screened, so if you don't want them published, lead with that request and I won't let them go public.