Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What just happened?

I am DONE with first year! It really doesn't feel like summer yet -- for one thing, it's freezing -- but it's Very Nice Indeed to take a break from studying. I went out to dinner with med school friends on Monday (the day of our last exam), and last night I finished off the leftovers in my defrosting minifridge while watching Bleak House on DVD -- guilt-free! It's awesome.

One really good thing about being done -- I get to spend more time with my friends who aren't in med school.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

You know those anxiety dreams where you go to take an exam and as soon as you get the paper you blank out? That was me and the neuroanatomy exam yesterday. I was exhausted from a marathon study session the day before, and apparently I actually fell asleep during the exam. The parts where I was awake weren't much better.

Oh well! The other exams were alright, and I really am not stressed about anything. (Sleep-deprived, yes, but not stressed.) I took yesterday night off to recuperate and eat applesauce and watch a melodramatic costume drama on DVD. Good times. There's one more to go, and then I am done.

It's really shocking to think that the year is almost over. In a lot of ways, I feel like we just got here. I'm moving back home on Thursday; starting work the day after Memorial Day. Perhaps I should have looked into something international -- I'm very interested in global health as a possible career, and I'm exceedingly jealous of my friends who are going abroad (postcards, please!) -- but I think the job will be interesting, and I'm not going to deny that it'll be nice to be home and taken care of for a few months. (I'm grown up, really!)

Now playing: Virginia Hullabahoos - Your Song
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Not that I loved trees less, but that I loved passing more

Yesterday I printed:

-a 22 page review guide for epidemiology
-a 14 page review guide for psych
-a 124 page review guide for neuro
-a 54 page review guide for endocrine

Also miscellaneous practice exams, one-off review sheets, etc. The goal for today is to quit slacking and get through at least the epi and psych.

Poor rainforest.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


The anatomy memorial service was this afternoon. As far I could tell, there were no families there -- I don't know if that's a common occurrence or just because the date got switched around a lot this year. Several of my classmates read poems or short essays. One theme that came up over and over in the student readings was the difficulty of knowing the body so intimately and the person not at all. I understand the need for privacy, and knowing too much, especially at the beginning of the course, would have made it even harder to do what we had to do. Over the course of the year, as we got to know each other, we got to know her as well: she had severe scoliosis, blue eyes, pierced ears. Something of her past medical/surgical history as well: a hole in her skull for trepanning, a stent in her inferior vena cava, no gallbladder. But knowing the little things would have provided a little closure. What was her occupation? Did she have children? Grandchildren? How old was she? What language(s) did she speak? Did she live alone? What did she like to do in the evenings? I don't mean to sound sentimental, but the relationship with the cadaver is such a unique one -- intimate strangerhood -- that I can't help but compare her to my grandfather, who was a donor as well. Presumably, she had a family as well.

Looking back, I don't really know how I got through anatomy. I detested lab; dissection never came naturally to me, and the phenol made me tired and cranky. I still can't recall the goalpost labs without wanting to throw something at a wall. There were good moments, though. My group was perfectly amazing, and those friendships are the best thing to come out of lab -- better even than my actual knowledge of anatomy, which is tenuous at best.