Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Things Could Always Be Worse?

This exam week is really the exam week to end all exam weeks (hah, just try using "exam week" more times than me in a single sentence). Yesterday we had our Anatomy Unit IV exam (head and neck), coming up on Friday is our Anatomy shelf exam (basically a national, standardized final - see this post if you want to know more of my thoughts on shelf exams), and then the following Monday is our final for Ethics, Humanism, and Professionalism.

This is by far the busiest week in terms of tests that I have had so far in med school. BUT before you start feeling tooooo bad for me, I look to other med schools to make myself feel better.

NJMS has a block schedule, which means we really only take one major class at a time. Just as a reminder (in case for some weird reason you haven't memorized every single word I've ever written in the blog), our first block included MGM, or Molecular and Genetic Medicine (basically biochemistry) plus a Physician's Core class of Medical Interviewing.

Our second block, which we are finishing up right now, is ACE (Anatomy, Cell Biology, and Embryology - with Histology thrown in there too, but apparently it doesn't deserve it's own letter in the title) with a Physician's Core class of Ethics, Humanism, and Professionalism, or EHP. People really freaking love mnemonics in med school.

Coming up next is Physiology with Physical Exam.

But people I know at other med schools take alllll of their classes at once. Yes, they move slower than us in each subject (because the class will last the whole year), but it's still like, 7 classes they have to be able to keep straight at once. And come exam week - now that is an exam week that makes my exam week from hell look like the easiest exam week ever (woo, beat my record!).

Obviously, there are pros and cons to both a block schedule and a regular schedule (for instance, some schools have a systems-based curriculum, so in every class they will be learning about the heart at the same time - the biochemistry behind it, how it develops in the embryo, the anatomy of it, how it works in physiology, drugs and diseases related to it in pharmacology - and that's sort of a cool way to learn).

But come exam week, I am VERY happy with our block schedule. Not only do we rarely have more than one exam at a time, but we can also actually enjoy ourselves for a night or two after an exam instead of struggling to catch up in all the other classes we abandoned while cramming for the exam for that one class.

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