Monday, March 30, 2009

One more week

I have the attention span of a two year old. I am dragging this week. I give my classmates and all who have gone through this before me a lot of credit. I can only handle this for so long. This last week is going to be a tough one for me. I can study hard for a lot of the day, but I'm starting to need longer and longer breaks. But, it's coming fast, and I"ll get there. One more week. One more week. One more week.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My typical situation

I feel like all I talk about is "I need to study for boards!" And it occurred to me this morning that most people won't have the pleasure of ever finding out what that is like. Hence I present "a day in the life of a medical student who is studying for step I: written in my 10 minute lunch break."

For these 3 study weeks, my typical day starts with Mugs crying in his kennel so he can go out. I know J just let him out about an hour ago, but I'm a sucker, and he's really, really annoying, so I get up. I brush my teeth, get dressed (sort of, I put on a sweatshirt and socks and remain in my jammie pants...for how long, who knows?) and let the monster out of his cage. The three of us go downstairs and I take the little one out on his leash and let Rocky have at it. Inevitably, they leave a present on the lawn and I take care of it.

I go inside, go to grab a cup of coffee. J left me a quarter cup...sigh. So I put my pan on the stove for my morning egg, let it heat up and start a new pot of joe. I eat my egg and fake breakfast sausage in about 5 minutes while I check my email and the weather on my AWESOME new iPod touch. Once said breafast is down the hatch it's time to hit the books. I read the review book, take notes in First Aid, then make flashcards of all I've done. This goes on for about 4-5 hours; usually from 7-12ish. At about 11:30 I could eat the aforementioned review book, so I throw some sort of garbage in the microwave and chow down while I continue to write flashcards. I usually take about 10 minutes to read blogs about now. I go on with this for about another hour.

Around 1 I take off to my "safe haven" which has now become the gym. I am a lazy person in my nature, so you know it's bad when the thought of a sweaty workout gets me all excited. Being as it's my only real break of substance throughout the day, I'll take what I can get. I usually take my time in the gym, shower there so I don't have an annoying puppy licking my legs as I get out of the shower, and head out. Break time's over. By about 2:30 or 3 I'm back at it. If I am very likely to kill the dogs on that particular day, I go to the library and set up shop there; if they aren't on my last nerve, I go home and study there. Usually I head home. The kids in the library are equally annoying after 3 so it's kind of a wash anyway. Around 6 J comes home; I tease him about leaving such a huge cup of coffee for me we whip up some dinner; I chow down and leave him with the dishes. I head upstairs for about another 3 hours of Kaplan Q bank filled fun. Then straight to bed to start it all again.

All told, this is not very fun. This is why I am taking the exam as early as I feel I can get away with. It makes me glad I am not a lawyer studying for the bar, since I hear it's just as bad if not worse.

Rest assured though, I'll be looking back fondly on this time when I need to be at the hospital by 6 (or earlier) for rounds in a few months. Grass is always greener..

Back to work!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


In an odd twist of events I've decided to take the Step 1 exam a few days early, on April 6th. I figure, it's my dad's bday, so it's probably lucky, and my scores are going well on practice exams, and I really don't want to forget any more of the little details I've crammed into my head in the last week, and will cram in there in the next two weeks. So, I need to update my countdown. This also gives me a little more free time before third year so I'm looking forward to meeting up with friends and forgetting all about that test.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Git 'er done

I really never thought I would study so many hours in a row the day after my finals. I am beat. I have to say though, I had a great birthday yesterday, and I really loved getting together with those who could make it. Knowing that everyday from here on in is going to be this long is a bit of a downer, but the material is interesting and I'm ready to get this thing done!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

I love my birthday! I always have, I always will! Today I love it even more because today is the last day of my pre-clinical curriculum in medical school. From here on out, I'm actually going to be reminded of why I did this in the first place. Don't get me wrong, it's a little scary. I've never really been anything but a student, and so this is going to be an adjustment. But I'm so excited for it. I know I have to get through boards first, but it's just another necessary bump in the road. And honestly, I've been looking forward to this time of boards prep. It's not hard to study when that's all you have to do.

It's shaping up to be a great day. This morning was hilarious. During our microbiology course we've learned about fungus (and a lot of much more disgusting stuff, but, another time). The professor who talked about this would constantly say "when you see that under the scope It's Miller Time, that's your diagnosis." He must have said "It's Miller Time" 30 times per lecture. So, during the exam, when someone got up and wrote "Miller Time" on the board with an arrow pointing out the door, I chuckled a little and finished my test, thinking nothing of it. I couldn't help but giggle when I turned in my test and left the room to find a sign on the wall that said - "Now it's really Miller Time" with an arrow pointing down - to a big ice bath full of Miller Lite. I took some pictures, I'll post them later. For now though, I'm off to call my friend from college to catch up, pop the cork on some bubbly, and just enjoy one more day before the road to Boards really begins. Feels good.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Sorry for the hiatus. Let me just say I am trapped behind a pile of books and can't get out. If I never hear the name "Bronfenbrenner" again it'll be too soon. And parasitic worms are the single most disgusting thing I've learned about medicine thus far. I'm out.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Everyone has a bucket list somewhere in the back of their mind. You know, that list of things you absolutely must do before you kick the bucket. Well, mine came to the forefront today when we did our geriatric interviews. I felt honored to meet the wonderful woman (89!) that I met today. She still had every one of her faculties, and was quick-witted to boot. We practiced doing screens that we should do on our geriatric patients, including a depression screen. When my classmate sitting next to me asked this lovely lady if in the past month she's felt depressed or hopeless, her response was "I feel every morning that this is going to be the best day of my life!" And my classmates' response was "That is sooooo lucky." We all cracked up because I don't think she meant to say that last bit out loud, but it was hilarious. I think that attitude of seeing everyday as (at least potentially) being the best day so far is one that I want to adopt so badly. I think that with my eye problems, I've been trying to take on a new attitude. That the things that happen to us, are just that, things that happen. They aren't retribution for some sort of past life, they aren't perpetual bad luck. They are just things that happen. And I think that looking at them that way makes me realize that it's not about the things that happen, but how you deal with them that counts. And I know that I can deal.

So, that bucket list. I think I have less of a true "bucket list" and more of a "third year list." Gotta start somewhere. More than things I need to do, there are people I need to see before I get swept up into what will surely be just the beginning of a very fulfilling, but very busy clinical career. You know who you are. And if you don't, just call me! Chances are excellent you are one of them!

One thing that I never pass up the chance to do is visit Golden. My alma mater is here, but much more importantly, it is just a place I love to be. I'm sitting here, in Golden, writing this in a coffee shop just off campus, and it makes me so happy. Even better, it's 70 degrees outside and I took a nice leisurely (read: slow) run along Clear Creek this afternoon after meeting with our geriatric patient. Life is good. I actually did come to Golden for a reason, though. Tonight I'm giving advice (who me?!) to the newly formed Mines pre-med society. When I went there, there was no such thing, and I'm glad they have one now. I always get excited to see Mines students applying for med school, and even more excited when they get in. Afterwards, I am meeting with some friends from college and that just makes me all warm and fuzzy.

It's always a little bittersweet to go to Golden when so many of my friends are all over the country. Some of my best memories are of walking to the restaurant/bar at the end of the street with my friend D for happy hour. Toward the end of school we did that...a LOT! But it was always so much fun, and a great way to fill up a lazy afternoon. I thought about going there today to kill the time before the pre-med meeting, but it just wouldn't be the same on my own. Oh nostalgia.

Well, this is a pretty random post, but I wanted to wish everyone well, and here's to the hope that everyone can wake up in the morning and think "this is going to be the best day of my life!" It's at least worth shooting for.

Funny stuff from lecture

So med school isn't all work, work, work. The lecture today was actually pretty entertaining. He opened with this joke:

"A priest is talking to a rabbi. The priest says, 'Rabbi, have you ever eaten pork?' and the rabbi blushes a bit and says 'Yes, Priest, occasionally I have partaken of pork.' Then the Rabbi says 'Priest, have you ever had sex?' and the priest says, 'yes, before I was a priest.' The rabbi says 'better than pork isn't it...'"

Then he tells us about a worm (a parasite of the human GI tract) that can easily be treated with drug therapy. There is actually a group that is against the use of drugs to cure this bug because it may lead to the eradication of the worm and its subsequent extinction. Unbelievable.