Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Anyone who has ever worn a t-shirt that says "Washington University" on the front, and "it's in St. Louis, dammit" on the back can commiserate with me - it is annoying to have to explain where you go to school (we're smart, we swearrrr). So let me try to do this. And then never ask me about it again.

UMDNJ stands for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. It is a state-run health-science institution that is an umbrella organization, not a school itself. It is comprised of eight separate schools: three medical schools- New Jersey Medical School (NJMS), Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJ), and the School of Osteopathic Medicine- and five other schools: nursing, dentistry, public health, and biomedical sciences. I go to NJMS, and we are affiliated with University Hospital, located right next door to the school. Most of the schools are at the Newark campus, where I live, but RWJ is in New Brunswick, and the osteopathic school is in Stratford.

Immediately upon beginning orientation, we learned that as students at NJMS, our mortal enemies include the students at RWJ and the dental students. Why, you ask? Because apparently we're better - a second-year told me that, so it must be true. Sounds reasonable, so they are now your enemies too if you have any loyalty to me.

Ok let's talk a bit about classes. The curriculum has been changing every year since 2004, when they adopted the Jubilee Curriculum (Jubilee! Makes med school sound fun, doesn't it?); they've been tweaking it each year since then. Basically we have a block schedule, supposedly with less lectures and more small group and team-based learning. Physician's Core is the name of a course we take year-round, every Tuesday. Right now we are in the Medical Interviewing portion of the class, where we learn to say things like "what's bothering you today" and "show me where it hurts." Every other day of the week we take MGM, Molecular and Genetic Medicine. As much as it sounds like MGM studios, it's basically just biochemistry and genetics rolled up into one big, fun class.

I know what you're thinking: WHEN DOES SHE GET HER CADAVER? I know I know, it's bugging me too. Most (all?) medical schools start with anatomy - first day of class and right away you're cutting; it's as much a rite of passage as getting your white coat. But, since MGM is more similar to a college science course (and way less time intensive than anatomy will be), the reasoning is that it is a better transition course to begin med school. While I totally agree with that, and while I love having lecture only three hours a day instead of like, eight, I can't waitttt to start anatomy, which is our second block and starts in the middle of October. Anatomy is actually paired (tripled?) with embryology and histology, sooo I'm thinking I might be pretty busy once that starts. And at the same time, the Physican's Core class switches from Medical Interviewing to Physical Examination.

Last few boring things, stick with me! I live in the dorm which is also attached to the school and hospital via a skyway (which, I'm not gonna lie, is totally as creepy to walk through as it is to walk outside). The dorm is only five years old, and it's apartment style (with a dishwasher!), so I don't quite feel like I'm reverting back to freshman-year-in-college-Elena. But the lack of grocery stores in safe walking distance does make me rely on the generosity of my mom's cooking and shopping for me more than I would like (although her frozen meals beat what I could make any day). The drive from Newark to my parents' house is shorter than their drive to the train station, and the train to NYC from Newark is a whopping 18 minutes. But most importantly, Don Pepe is like two seconds away - lobster every day, yummm.

OK I know this post is totally boring and you're all gonna stop reading the blog because you're like blah blah blah I don't care about your classes. But I had to get logistics out of the way! I promise all posts after this will be super fun and entertaining, because med school is super fun and entertaining!

i'm "diene" to start anatomy!
teehee, chem jokes

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