Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Quotes From a Non-Gunner

I have certain friends that I can tell you the exact reason that I am friends with them (and some I couldn't tell you WHY I'm friends with them).  One friend of mine in PA (physician's assistant) school apparently had never heard the term gunner before until reading my post on it.  I expressed my surprise because I didn't know that it was possible for someone to be in grad school and not have heard that term before, and this is the exact email response I received:

"i had never heard gunner before because while all of the gunners were at the starting line strangling each other, I was getting a manicure. or in line at starbucks. or making cookies..."

And that is why we are friends (amongst a fewwww other reasons).  Now send me some of those cookies.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Third Year

We finally had an info session about third year (which starts June 4) this week.  Very briefly, let me explain how third year works.  You rotate through many specialties - 10 weeks of Medicine, 8 weeks of Surgery, 8 weeks of Ob/Gyn, 6 weeks of Pediatrics, 5 weeks of Family Medicine, 6 weeks of Psych/Neuro.  There are 12 different "tracks" that you can choose between for your third year schedule, so you get to decide which order you want to do those rotations in.

To pick your track, we were assigned a lottery number and the lowest lottery number gets to pick their track first.  BUT we carry these numbers through fourth year when it basically goes in reverse order, so if you had a great lottery number third year, you're sort of screwed fourth year, and vice versa (with a couple extra caveats about picking electives).  We picked our lottery number at the beginning of the week and we had until today to switch lottery numbers with someone if we wanted.

I sat at my dining room table with my roommate discussing for hooooouuuuuurrrrrsssss the pros and cons of the tracks, and whether or not I should try and switch my number (41 out of 198) so I would have a better number for fourth year instead of for third year.  Here is a recording of our conversation (start at 45 seconds):

Ok, maybe that's not exactly word for word what our conversation sounded like, but it was pretty close.  "Well I don't want to have surgery in the winter because I'll never see the sun, so clearly I can't choose tracks 1, 2, or 4.  But I don't want it in the summer so I can enjoy the sunshine so clearly I can't choose tracks 7, 8, 10, or 11.  And I don't want medicine last because it's so important for the other rotations, so clearly I can't choose tracks 10-12.  But I can't have medicine first or I'll seem stupid during it so clearly I can't choose tracks 1-3..."

It was even worse when we tried to factor in people switching.  I wanted a higher number for more choice my fourth year, but as soon as someone else with a higher number was willing to switch with me, I immediately got suspicious and started to think maybe my number actually was better.

At the end of the day, I switched with someone for number 179, which means I am close to last for picking this year (not THE last, that honor goes to my roommate who is number 198) so picking my track is out of my hands - I'll get whatever everyone else doesn't want.  And next year, I'll get to pick my schedule almost first.  That may have been an excellent decision, or it may have been the stupidest decision I've ever made.  Most likely, both glasses were poisoned.  But if med school has taught me anything, it's never get involved in a land war in Asia and never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line, and that is information I'll probably be able to use in any and all of my rotations, right?

[but seriously, cue constant panic attack now...]

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

True Medical Student

Everyone says anatomy is the true initiation into medical school.  Since we started first year with biochem, I didn't feel like a "true" medical student until day one of cutting open my cadaver about six weeks into school.  However, I would like to revise this.  You are not really a true medical student until your finger has been in an orifice which it has never been in before... in a [living, thinking, breathing] complete stranger.

We've had clinical skills sessions where we got to listen to hearts, listen to lungs, do a musculoskeletal exam... and then last week (or two weeks ago?  three? I've been so busy, I can't keep track anymore) we had our genito-urinary session.  Our standardized patients for this session are people who are trained in training us to feel their inside and outside parts.  "No no, my ovary is a little more to the left.  There, now do you feel it?"  "Keep going, my prostate is a little further back."  Because they were so professional, what could have been an incredibly uncomfortable afternoon turned out to be one of the most educational experiences I've had yet in school.  It was still a little uncomfortable, because after all, I was still directed to strum someone's scrotum like a guitar, and that's a weird order no matter how professional you are.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Mental Block

There are some things I just have a mental block against learning:

Resorption, Reabsorption, and Absorption

I will never learn what is what, and which process increases blood calcium levels, which one decreases it, which one keeps it at exactly the same level, and which one increases it only on every other Wednesday between the hours of 8-12 if school is in session and it's not a street cleaning day and Jupiter is aligned with the fifth house of Venus.

It's just not gonna happen.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Well, this slide from the gynecology lecture goes against everything I ever learned in high school and college physics...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Looking Into the Future

One thing I like about watching recorded lectures on my own is that it's like looking into the future.  You can see that there are 25 minutes left in a lecture even when the professor says, "OK, I'm gonna finish this up in 15 minutes."  You know they're lying because you can see it's going to take another 25.  Which is nice because you don't get your hopes up only to be disappointed when there are still three more pages of slides to get through after 15 minutes.  But it's not really so satisfying to yell, "You lie!" at your computer screen instead of someone's face - however, it will get you weird looks in the study room.