Monday, June 4, 2012

Year end

Last post was more than a month ago. Sort of understandable as I was pretty much held hostage by neuroscience (or, if you are Nobel laureate Eric Kandel, neural science). Could only wiggle out of its hold by learning a shit load of information and passing a test. That test also marked the end of my first year in med school.

[Take a moment and pretend I wrote up a bunch of cliches about how fast time flies, and how only yesterday was I blah blah]

Currently enjoying the remaining two days of my brief break before I report back to duty in my research lab in St. Louis for summer research. A friend messaged me couple days ago asking if I could do a brief retrospective on my first year (specifically for the non-med school readers) and posed a bunch of questions. That's as good an excuse as any to get me back to this blogging thing.

  • What was the worst part of it? You know, this is a difficult question to answer because overall, I enjoyed the experience. There were moments that left me pretty exasperated and desperately in need of a walk (things like memorizing tracts or nuclei of nerves, for example), but in the grand scheme of things, it was nothing.
  • What was the best part of it? Anatomy. A while back I wrote in glowing terms about anatomy. Good stuff.
  • How did you keep sane? That's easy. Med school (first year, at least) didn't pose the threat of driving me to insanity. I found myself having loads of free time on my hands, and made good use of it. At various points in time, I picked up quirky hobbies. Read a lot. Wrote here and there. Made friends. 
  • Was it as difficult as people say it is? The previous answer touched on this. Not difficult, just requires you to digest more information in shorter time than in undergrad. 
  • The most surprising aspect? How much stuff there is to know before we can get even remotely competent to start seeing and treating real patients. I mean before going in I knew I have a long way to go, but I was still surprised by my own staggering ignorance.
  • The thing people may not know about med school that you'd want to share? Med students are pretty normal people, just like you. They have the same desires, interests and quirks. They like to celebrate occasions, party and enjoy life just like any other breed of students. 

Saw these bumper stickers on one car while driving around town:

"Ignorance killed the cat. Curiosity was framed."

"I get enough exercise pushing my luck."

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