Friday, October 28, 2011

We're Getting Fooled Again

For your viewing pleasure...

"How is this relevant to anything?" you ask.  Well, it's not really.  But I'm pretty sure NJMS is trying to trick us again in the same way they tried to with Mind, Brain, and Behavior (get it, get it? we won't get fooled again?).

Remember how our schedule is supposed to be a block schedule?  One science-y class plus one how-to-be-a-good-doctor-and-learn-social-skills class at a time?  They're doing a bad job that.  The science class we're in right now is DPPT - Disease Process, Prevention, and Treatment.  This class goes from last week until mid-March.  March!  That is like a 5-month course which is very un-block schedule-like.  Plus it incorporates both pathology and pharmacology, basically the two biggest subjects ever in med school.  So uh, no big deal putting them together, because neither is really that intense right?

All my complaining aside, it does soooorta make sense to lump the two together because the course is organized in a systems-based way.

What does that mean?  Well, we have a cardiology unit where we learn about all the things that can go wrong with the heart and then we learn about all the ways we can fix those things.  Then we have a pulmonary unit where we learn about all the things that can go wrong with the lungs and how to fix them, and etc. for the other organ systems in our body.

But don't pretend this is a block schedule.  Come on now.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Aren't new versions of things supposed to have more features than the old versions?  Apparently not always.  I have a Macbook Pro which came with Quicktime X already installed.  OK, great.  Haven't really used it.  But I recently discovered the joy of not going to lecture.  Our lectures are all recorded and put onto ITunes which is SO NICE.  Since I like to get things done in the morning, I would rather wake up and get it all done, and then watch the lectures on my own time.  If I went to lecture, then by the time I get home I'm exhausted and don't do anything the rest of the day.  Plus I usually ended up re-watching lectures at home anyway because I wold inevitably miss something the lecturer said.  Blah blah no one is ever going to want to lecture for med school again, I'm ruining medical education blah blah blah.  I like watching lectures in my bed.  Sorry.

Quicktime X: Bad News Bears
But everyone since MGM - remember biochem? - (ok not everyone, but a lot of people) have been watching their lectures in Quicktime instead of Itunes on 1.5 speed, or 2 speed so that the lectures go faster.  I had not jumped on that bandwagon.  "No, no, you get more out of it if you watch it at the normal speed."  Wrong.  Recently there was finally one lecturer who spoke soooo slowlyyyy that I decided to try watching the lecture on 1.5x.  AND I COULDN'T FIGURE OUT HOW TO DO IT.  I asked my roommate who gave me very explicit instructions.  But the menu options simply did not exist.

Quicktime VII (just kidding, 7)
So what does someone of my generation do when we have a problem?  Google it and see how other people fixed it.  "Where are A/V controls in Quicktime X?"  GUESS WHAT.  THAT FEATURE DOESN'T EXIST IN QUICKTIME X.  What version does my roommate have? 7 (although I think it should be written as Version VII).  So I had to download version 7 even though I have a newer version so that I could listen to my lectures faster.  And this is not such an easy feat - if you try and download quicktime, it (it = the internet) tries to give you version X obviously because that is the newer one, and why wouldn't someone want the newest version of something?

But all the trouble has changed my life for the better!  One of the other perks of watching the lectures at home is pausing them so that you can make sure you write down every word the lecturer says, but that often turns a 50 minute lecture into an hour and 20 minute lecture.  But when I watch it at 1.5 speed, even with pausing, it only takes about an hour to watch the 50 minute lecture.  Time Saver!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Shameless Plug

Here's the poster we made that's hanging in the school and in the hospital to advertise some of our events.  I just wanted to share it with you all because I'm weirdly really proud of it.  And I spent the whole morning printing it.

Ahh, Busy

So much going on this week, no time for a post!

But here are some of the things I'm involved in that are coming up, and that you can look forward to (some only if you go to NJMS and some only if you're in my family, sorrrrrry):

  • My review (on this very blog!) of Dr. Tony Youn's book "In Stitches," a humorous take on his journey through med school
  • Lecture by Dr. Jaime Torres, regional director of Human Health Services on the future of US Healthcare (Mon, 10/24)
  • Primary Care Careers Dinner Banquet (Wed, 11/16) to celebrate National Primary Care Week
  • LGBT and AMSA are sponsoring a panel on what it's like to be out and in medicine (Thurs, 11/3) in honor of National Coming Out Week
  • Global Health 101's major event of the year, Around the World in 80 Minutes, where students teach everyone about the healthcare system and health issues of different countries and serve food from that country (Wed, 11/2)
  • Our first test for our new class today (take-home, but closed book - I really wonder how many people in the class will actually be honest with that)
  • Some very fun family events this weekend! :)

Lastlyyyyy, I just started the third book in the Game of Thrones series and it has really been taking up a large portion of my non-studying time.  In fact, had I not started it, I probably would have had time for a blog post, and to finish studying for my test already, and to run a marathon, and to learn how to play the guitar, and to learn a new language, and to....

To read excerpts and learn more about "In Stitches," check out Dr. Youn's website here

To learn more about National Primary Care Week or Primary Care Progress (the organization), click on their names.

To learn more about angora rabbits, click here

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"You Can See This Grossly"

I knowwww that words have more than one meaning, but sometimes when I hear a word, I think of the definition I like best, and then I get fixated on it and can't snap back to the "correct" definition which is "relevant" to the situation.

He's really grossed out

For our new class which started yesterday, DPPT (what? it's an acronym?! who would have guessed?), we have both histology labs and gross labs as part of the course.  In this case, in the histo labs we'll look at tissues under a microscope while in the gross labs we'll look at structures you can see with the naked eye (gross = macroscopic).  I get that.  I do.  I promise.  But I CANNOT help but assume the gross lab is going to be similar to one of those haunted houses where you're led from station to station and shown disgusting things like a bowl full of eyeballs (peeled grapes), or brainz (spaghetti?), etc.  The histo labs are where we look at tissues and the gross labs are where you look at gross things - obviously.

Something tells me I'm going to be grossly disappointed when I get to lab :-(

Friday, October 14, 2011


IHR, Infection and Host Response, comes to an end today (and because all of our course titles require an explanation, this class was Immunology and Microbiology).  If microbiology has taught me anything, it is this: it is a terrible idea to eat someone's feces.  Also, I should stop biting my nails.

A lot of the parasites we learned about are more prevalent in children/toddlers because they can't help but put their fingers in their mouths, so any parasite eggs they may accidentally touch (in the soil, or on any infected surface) get directly into their bodies.  Pretty sure I'm at the level of the toddlers on that one since I have absolutely no self-control when it comes to not biting my nails.

But it's a lot worse for me because first of all, I'm almost 25 and should be done with that by now (ALMOST - I still have two whole days before I'm in my mid-twenties, so stop rushing my life away, goshhhh) and second of all, I'm a med student and have seen the horrifying disgusting pictures of these parasitic diseases - which you think would scare me into never putting my hands near my face again.  But at least I've also learned that my immune system is wayyyy more developed than a toddler's - so ha-ha, whatup now toddlers?!

That's also why we can eat honey but babies can't; their crappy undeveloped immune system can't deal with the small amount of germs that are sometimes found in honey.  Adults - 1, Babies - 0.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Over 10,000 hits!

Granted, half of those hits are probably me - but still, that's exciting!

As a reward to all my loyal fans, I give you a surprise WEDNESDAY post with.... more ugly pictures!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Triaging Information

The "normal" medical definition of triage is prioritizing patients based on their urgency of need of care.  However, we (me and Jenna - remember her from all those Ecuador posts?  She's still around, I just can't seem to get rid of her) have created a new, and in my opinion, better, definition of triage for medical school.  Basically it means skipping over any information that we decide is not important enough to spend precious study time on.

There are overwhelming amounts of information to memorize for each test, so we have to prioritize where we spend our time, ideally spending more time on the topics that are more likely to show up on the test.  Usually we do a pretty bad job - we'll spend 2 weeks studying like 5 lectures (you know, so we can learn them reallly realllly well), and then all of the sudden we have 3 days to study the rest of the 30 lectures (and then forget everything about the first 5 lectures anyway).  So when it comes down to crunch time, you just can't spend the time on learning the inane details of all 30 of those lectures.  We started using triage as a synonym for prioritizing our time, but it's quickly taken on its new meaning.

"Do you think we need to know the serology for all the hepatitis viruses?"
"Triage it"

"What about the names of all the mosquitoes that carry encephalitic viruses?"
"Triage it"

"Horse viruses?"
"Triage them, and why are they even included in this course?!"

And so, ladies and gentlemen, triage now means skip.  Try to use it at least once in a sentence today.

Breathing? No - Dead. Thanks, triage card!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Jewish Housewives' Disease

In honor of all the Jewish holidays that go on during this time of year (I really want to be mad that our exam is the Monday after Yom Kippur, but since we haven't had lecture with new material since Tuesday, it's sorta hard to say we don't have enough time to study....), I thought I would shed some light on the disease called Jewish Housewives' Disease as a DIRE WARNING to people who are heading in that direction.

Jewish Housewives' Disease's less fun name is Diphyllobothriasis, and it's caused by a tapeworm that's found in some types of fish.  If you cook the fish that contains this tapeworm (full name: Diphyllobothrium latum), then no biggy.  But if you eat it raw or undercooked, then you can get an infection that's sometimes hard to diagnose because you get very non-specific symptoms - stomach pain, anemia, fatigue [read about a real-life tale of a tapeworm from the NY Times].

So why are Jewish housewives most infected?  Because the world hates Jews?  Maybe.  But more likely it's because Jewish housewives make homemade gefilte fish (or at least they used to) - which is basically a delicious mushed-up ball of all different kinds of fish as well as an excellent excuse to eat gobs of horseradish.  And like any good cook (not that I would know), they would taste the gefilte fish to make sure it was perfectly flavored before they cooked it - aka raw.  And then... they would get INFECTED.  And to get better, they would have to take MEDICINE.

It's the making for the perfect horror movie, right?  I already thought of the tag line (read slowly in a deep, menacing voice). "All she wanted for Passover was to impress her mother-in-law with homemade gefilte fish.  She didn't ask for the uninvited guest ...   in her BELLY." 

Stephen King and I are already collaborating on the script, if anyone else wants in.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Happy October!

Look, we got an itty-bitty pumpkin because we're merry med students!

Worth every one of the 79 pennies it cost!  It may be hard to carve though - I'll need an itty-bitty x-acto knife.  How many pumpkin seeds do you think are inside?  Five?