Saturday, March 27, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Si se puede!

What do we want?

Immigration reform!
When do we want it? NOW

Si se puede!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring Break!

Freedom! I made it through a grueling week of final exams, and then Abs and I hopped on a plane for DC! Really excited to be a tourist for the next 10 days. If you have advice on hidden gems of DC let me know. Tired, relieved, and happy to have a much earned break from studying.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

New med school building!

The benches in front are perfect for reviewing neuro!

Winter quarter reflections

Sometimes the irony of studying memory consolidation, sleep, memory disorders, and expression of emotions while in the midst of final exams in med school is too much for me! Once I get over it, and get beyond the basics, I realize that I really genuinely enjoy learning about the brain, the different disorders, the different pathways. It is so fascinating, and we still don't know so much about all the things that make us human, things that endless amounts of animal studies will never be able to answer for us. How we learn, the role of sleep, how we produce language is incredibly fascinating.

In retrospect, I have learned an incredible amount of material this quarter, including details on bugs (viruses, bacteria, fungi), common respiratory tract infections, head and neck anatomy, all the basics of our immune system, and of course, fundamentals of neuroscience. It's a good feeling to know that I can now carry on endless conversations about all of these topics, I have the vocabulary and structure to understand all of the complexities I'll be presented with in the future. If you asked me a week ago how I enjoyed winter quarter, I would have had a low rating. For some reason the experience of learning all of this at once was quite overwhelming from a day-to-day perspective-I wish that could be changed, because I actually LOVE all of the material and information now that I've learned it! It's all so intriguing. Once again, hindsight is 20/20. 4 more exams to go before I get to go on a true vacation! Watch out D.C.!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thought of the day

Never worry alone. 

~Jim Conway as relayed to me by Dr. Welton

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Need a check up?

Tomorrow afternoon I have my physical exam assessment. 45 minutes to conduct a comprehensive physical exam on a standardized patient, with my preceptor watching the whole time. I've been practicing all week, with classmates and willing family members (thanks Abs-you're the best patient ever!). I feel confident in my knowledge: inspect, palpate, percuss, auscultate, repeat. The extent of my current skills includes:

Vitals (Pulse, Respiratory Rate, Blood Pressure)
HEENT (Head Eyes, Ears Nose and Throat): Say Ahh!
Pulmonary Exam: Take a deep breath in and out...
Cardiovascular Exam: Now I'm going to listen to your heart and check your pulses...
Abdominal Exam: Palpating the liver, spleen, kidneys, intestines
Musculoskeletal Exam: Check for joint pain, range of motion
Neurological Exam: Mental Status, Cranial Nerves, Sensory, Motor, Coordination, Reflexes, Gait

After much practice, the order feels smooth and is easily remembered. I wouldn't say it feels natural yet, I still have trouble thinking up relevant questions, and often lack an easy flow of conversation since I have to concentrate so much on my task at hand... I've come a long way though. In January, it was so foreign to listen to the lungs, or look into someone's ears, I am really impressed with how much I've learned. Far from perfect, but significant strides have been made. Fall quarter we learned the basics of talking with patients about personal medical information, I now feel the added weight of examining their bodies closely. Without  realizing it, I'm becoming more "doctorly" every day. I remember back in September when even wearing a white coat felt so foreign, like I was an imposter, pretending to play doctor. I'm slowly earning the white coat, and becoming more comfortable with the responsibility that comes with the coat and the stethoscope.

Finished with Anatomy Lab

On Tuesday we had our final anatomy lab of the year. We've now officially completed a memorable chapter in our training to become a physician. Final exams are around the corner, so I'll still find myself in the lab over the next week. Anatomy has been full of emotions for me, sadness, humility, hunger, joy, pain, annoyance, and deep reverence. It was nothing like I expected and everything I expected.

Yesterday marked the beginning of my studying for winter quarter final exams, two more days of class left. I actually enjoy studying for exams, the days are very long, even brutal, but I really enjoy the completeness and concreteness of it. No need to worry about more information coming my way, the goal is to attack and understand everything you've already learned. Med school is still amazing, it builds up a great endurance in me that I didn't even know I had. I will never be a ultamarathoner, but I am a medical student, and there's not much difference between the two. Slow and steady, keep your priorities simple and focused, mind over matter and repeat.