Friday, July 31, 2009

Counting Down

The days draw closer, it's very exciting! Monday is Day 1 of orientation, which will last approximately 8-5. It will be the same on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday is the first official day of classes. I already read through the chapters about insect, spider, mite, reptile, and marine organisms that can hurt you in my "Principles of Internal Medicine" text - the largest of them all. It is 2,754 pages long, with a 16 page appendix and 150 page index. It has about 400 chapters, and I read the last three chapters. It makes me excited to get started!

I've already started to plan out my back-to-school routine. There are a few side-goals I would like to work on in addition to the whole "doctor" thing. Firstly, I will be listening to language lessons at least on the commute to school, and possibly the commute back from school. The languages I plan to learn, in order: Japanese, Spanish, German, Russian/Chinese. I'm pretty strong in Spanish, but I need to refresh my memory and learn more conversational stuff. As for Japanese, I took one class, and have watched anime for over 8 years with subtitles, so I love the language and am familiar with it. Plus, I love almost everything Japanese, so that one is the top of my list. German is for all the music I listen to and for when I visit one day. Chinese I may learn simply because so many people speak it, and Russian because I want to visit also. Second, I want to get a workout plan going - perhaps I will aim to do 30 minutes on weekdays at the gym on campus. 10 minutes on arms, 10 minutes on legs, and 10 minutes on the abdomen should be good. Plus it would be a good way to de-stress after eight hours of classes.

Where and how to study, and on what to snack are other concerns of mine. I'll be borrowing Dad's nice book stand, I am already in the habit of brewing 92oz of unsweetened iced tea and drinking that in place of sodas, and there are a few study foods I am putting on a mental list: dried cranberries, popcorn, blueberries, baby carrots, raw sliced bell pepper, almonds, etc. I still need to work on my insect collection, photography, art, writing, etc. but I think languages and working out are the highest priority for now.

In other news, LASIK will be happening! My pre-op appointment is September 28, and I'm trying to get my "surgery" scheduled for October 2nd. I'm also counting down til the Tokio Hotel album is released, coincidentally also on October 2nd (theoretically).

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Books Are Here

Well, I came home to 30 textbooks waiting in their boxes. Didn't take me too long to tear through them all. Now I just need to double check the list and make sure I got all of the ones I needed - I actually ended up with an extra one, but I have already found someone on the school listserv who will buy it from me. I'm all moved in back home too, though I need to get some gloves still! Darn! Almost forgot about that. I'll be staying inside the next two days at least on account of my face - we shall see how red it gets. Anyway, here are the book photos as promised.

Also, as far as the physical, apparently I am missing proof of immunity to Hep B and Varicella, so I won't be able to send out my form to student health services until the doctor gets the results. She was a Touro graduate as well, so I asked her a few things here and there, between the wonderfulness of a physical. She went to UCSD like I did, then applied only to Touro and got in, then applied to just one residency (at UCSD) and got it. It's funny how some people apply to 50 medical schools and get into none of them, then some apply to one or two and get them all. She also said that most of her friends were happy where they matched as well, which is reassuring. Especially since hers was one of the first few graduating classes at Touro. Hopefully match day will not be a nightmare for us.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Classes Overload

Well, looks like classes are going to be pretty hectic - our class schedule has been put up and good grief, it's going to be intense. We spend two weeks on metabolic biochemistry and organic chemistry - the equivalent of which I spent at least a year on at UCSD. We do spend a significant amount of time on embryology, to my surprise - I wasn't expecting it to be such a major class. Then there's the OMM stuff, tons of miscellaneous "how to be a doctor" classes, etc. But it looks seriously intense - check it out. I am going to spend so much time reading. I wish they would hurry up and post the information about my class statistics - I'm curious how we measure up to the freshmen classes of earlier years.

In other news, this will be my last week in San Diego - I drive for Norcal on Sunday morning. Tomorrow I get to go to my physical, which will be evaluated by a TUCOM-CA graduate, coincidentally enough. So once I get her to sign the papers saying I'm in tip-top condition, I can mail those off and soon be enrolled in the student health insurance program. Hooray for cheaper copays! Anthem SmartSense pays for squat. Friday is my aunt's birthday, so I'll be taking her out to CPK for lunch, and between now and when I leave, Kit and I will celebrate our 3-year anniversary. Technically the day is on August 8th, but I shall be up north and he'll still be down here, so I'd rather celebrate while we're still together and before the stress of school attacks.

In miscellaneous news, here are two interesting medical procedures I'm getting done: Probably LASIK, and on the 27th is my third treatment of skin laser stuff; the correct term is photodynamic therapy. LASIK is pretty simple - They reshape my cornea with a laser and tada! After I heal I can see without artificial lenses. The photodynamic therapy has light (preferably blue light) bombard my skin after it's been chemically treated in order to reduce pore sizes, redness, and acne causing bacteria. So far I've had two sessions and my skin is starting to look better. Well, I've gone a whole week without an acne-related skin breakout - so I'd call that progress. Not that I had bad acne to begin with, but it's not pretty and I'm glad my mom is sponsoring my treatment - a late graduation gift.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

More Supplies

Today I went to the UCSD bookstore to determine my white coat size - I figured they would have the same size scale and similar styles. Sure enough, they had the same sizes as the ones Touro plans to order, so I ended up deciding on medium 10 - the 8 and 10 had the same sleeve length, but the 10 was more comfy, so I went with that one. I didn't buy the coat, since Touro is purchasing them with our names for the ceremony, but I did buy two new pairs of scrubs. One is the color of JD and Elliot's below, the other is navy blue like the one I already have. I could have just bought one pair, but my old pair I ordered online for cheap and it ended up being a bit too the material of the ones at UCSD felt nicer and I wanted a couple NICE scrubs. Speaking of scrubs, I hear the show has continued after that hiatus due to the writers striking...but I have since moved onto HOUSE.

Other supplies we need to get before anatomy lab include non-latex gloves (or at least powderless) and it's optional to get eye goggles. I doubt I'll get the goggles... They're going to provide us with our own anatomy dissection kits and there will be representatives on campus to give us deals on stethoscopes, sphygmomanometers, and whatever other gadgets I'll be needing. I'm also all registered and about to send off a few more forms. When I go back home, I should have about 20 packages in my room waiting to be opened - all textbooks of course. It'll be like Christmas! For the time being everything is going on my credit card until Wells Fargo disburses my loan money on the 22nd.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Judaic Principles

One of the benefits of attending a school founded with Judaic principles in mind, is all the holidays and days exempt from examinations. The calendar was just released for the 2009-2010 school year and in September alone we have Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Tzom Gedaliah - producing 2 days where exams may not be administered, and 5 days the university is closed. There is a nice weekend on which Kit may be able to come up and visit. It is also right after an exam block, so the timing is good. Also, it looks like the set date for the White Coat Ceremony is August 23rd in the afternoon - the college of pharmacy and the college of medicine are both having their ceremonies that day. The below is where ceremonies usually take place - does it not look a bit like UCSD?

Some other programs at Touro, in addition to Pharmacy and Osteopathic Medicine, are for Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, Master of Public Health, and Master of Arts Education programs for teachers. Also, according to the Osteopathic Medical School booklet from last year, Touro is expecting to enroll 135 students for the freshman class. My science classes at UCSD were almost never that small - usually twice as many students per lecture hall. Touro still doesn't have the class finalized unfortunately, so I cannot see the demographics yet - I want to see how we measure up GPA and MCAT-wise to previous classes, and which were the feeder schools. Here are the statistics from last year, if anyone is curious.

Here is also a Photo Tour of the campus. They were very wise to take the photos on a rare sunny day in the bay - we all know the San Francisco Bay Area is not the sunniest place on earth.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Getting Closer

Every little piece of news brings me a bit closer to the first day of medical school. The latest tidbit is our hefty book list, each text costing about $50-$75, with a few costing in the $200s. I know I'm geared up for school when simply the NAMES of the books make me excited to start! Principles of Internal Medicine, A Guide to Microbial Infections... information that I will actually use in the real world at my job! First things first, though, I will need to get my loan money before I can afford such a pricey set of texts.

*Just bought them all - about $1,400 all together. I'll take a picture of them all once I get them - I have a feeling they'll look rather impressive.

Trade schools really are a great option after or in place of a traditional 4-year bachelor's program. I hate to see people waste their education, like when they major in something general like art or political science and then never use their major to get a relevant job. That aside, I am very glad to be out of the public education system right as the state budget is collapsing. Private institutions do not seem nearly as affected by recessions and state budget crises as public ones. I am proud to have graduated from UCSD, but I feel the reputation of California's public schools will not last much longer if they lose funding, increase class sizes, lay off teachers, and eliminate research and other academic programs. They may go the way of Athens after the Golden Age, still claiming to be the intellectual center of the world because it gave birth to great philosophers and playwrights, but I suppose that is closer to Berkeley's fate than UCSD's.