Monday, September 21, 2009

Hooray for Tools

I'm watching the House premiere, got all my test results back (beat the average, that's what matters), and have a pretty easy week ahead of me. We're starting pharmacology, cell death, immune system, etc. and we also are starting to learn how to use all these nifty items we got from various companies. Here's a picture of them all assembled in their glory:

Golly gee, what else am I up week we only have three days of class, since there are two Jewish holidays. Friday's my last face zap, Saturday night I'm going to a Touro student LAN party for Left 4 Dead at a friend's house (hey, we gotta have some fun), then Monday pre-op and Friday operation. I know I keep mentioning it, but it's exciting - finally I will have clear vision! No more being a slave to contacts. By the way, our professors this week are better than the last couple weeks' professors - both are very well-educated and decent lecturers (with decent powerpoints) so this shall be good. Anyhow, back to House!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Man, such a week. On the plus side, I keep overestimating how difficult all the tests will be. I suppose I should be glad they don't want to torture and weed us out - they do need our money, after all. Just came out of my FOOM exam about... 2 hours ago. I took my time, and out of 64 questions I think I missed 4 (after careful review and conferring with others). I really wish the FOOM and anatomy practical exam were not so spaced apart was scheduled to end at 10 and my anatomy exam time, the earliest of the 3 times, is not until 1pm. I live too far away for it to be worth driving home, so I'm just hanging out at school.

In about 20 minutes or so I'll start cramming for the anatomy exam - there's a list of 30 or 40 things we need to be able to recognize - shouldn't be too hard. Between 12 and 1 I get to pick up a parking decal, so I won't get ticketed in the future. After my exam, I get to pick up my medical equipment - that is going to be cool. If I had more energy, or were staying home this weekend and not going to San Diego, I would totally play with all these things and look in/at my family's ears, noses, eyes, hearts, valves, and lungs. When you get the stethoscope, you know you're on track to be a doctor.

Anyway, this weekend shall be fun and relaxation. Then I can look forward to my 5th and final face treatment on Friday, my pre-op appointment for LASIK on the following Monday, and my actual LASIK surgery on the Friday after that. That weekend I go to see Wicked with the family, and then on the 5th I'm off to San Diego again, but for a week! Good times ahead.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Blocks coming up...

Here I go off studying again - after which I fly down to San Diego for the weekend and then come back for Pharmacology. On the plus side, we should all be getting our medical equipment soon, so we will start learning how to use all the common doctor tools! In the meantime though, it's study study study! I'll have to corner my parents at some point this weekend and do all the techniques on them. I'll have a checklist and practice them all!

A friend of mine also made a program that I can load with a word bank to self quiz - I'll probably make a few versions of it - one that quizzes on anatomical stuff, another for actual disease names, etc. I'll also probably distribute it to my classmates, see if any of them would like to try it out. So...self-quizzing and practice quizzes; drawing out the muscles, landmarks, and the nervous system; reviewing histology slides; and practicing OMM seem like a decent way to study for this thing. So, until further notice, I am locked in my room studying with my study buddy:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tests again...

Just when the Mid-Blocks finish, the week after the next it is time for the 1st true Block exam. Thanks to my more efficient note-taking strategy, I feel less stressed about it at least. And I have a 3-day weekend visit down to San Diego to look forward to when it is finished, but I feel like I need to step up a gear or two. The last two weeks we've been focusing on the nervous system and genetics - both pretty familiar to me. The osteopathic doctoring stuff and OMM questions will be the challenging ones - there is a lot of terminology that I haven't forced myself to learn yet. Also the anatomy lab will probably be a challenge.

Today in our team-based learning groups, we had a session on the autonomic nervous system, and the detail we were expected to know seemed much more sufficient, but the reading material we were given as prep was sorely lacking, in my opinion. As far as clarity and ease of was just not very good. I need to look through my old UCSD textbooks to see better discussions of the nervous system. I hate to make any negative comparisons, but I definitely appreciate the caliber of my science lectures at UCSD more now that I have seen another school's. It's not just the faculty, I think there are some really smart faculty here, it's just the presentation, the accompanying texts, the organization, and the powerpoints that seem to be lacking. Course, the school is a lot newer, with many new faculty, and UCSD WAS recently ranked #2 university by the Washington Monthly magazine, so it's not a fair comparison.

Anyhow, this weekend will be a lot of studying - good old-fashioned writing stuff down and trying to put it into memory, rather than my last bout of studying where I was frantically typing up answers to questions and hoping I would remember the answers 60 pages of typing later.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Getting in the Grooooove

Today was quite productive - I turned in this autonomic read-and-answer-Q's packet, filled in and turned in the "Meditation" sheet, attended my classes very attentively, worked on my objectives, and talked to classmates and professors a decent amount. The meditation sheet was an assignment from our "Managing Stress" class, designed to keep medical students from freaking out or dropping out or going postal. I just put lying with my kitty on my chest - she purrs so nicely! She even massages me half the time.

Anyhoo, I'm renewing my studying zeal - finding a new way to focus, study, attend lecture, etc. It's working out pretty well so far - it's even helping in my absorption of my Japanese audio lessons. Say what you will, but I think I'm decently proficient now - Japanese is pretty easy anyway, since the language is so vague you can get by without knowing much vocabulary. It's the writing system that'll take me a while to get used to...

Now for some good old studying! Again! Kit comes down this weekend, and after next week is the first block exam, including an anatomy and OMM practical.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Another test down the hatch

Today was the practical for OMM techniques - mostly soft-tissue type techniques. I managed to do the technique satisfactorily as well as diagnose where treatment was needed - the latter part was not necessary, but kinda looked good at least. We also had a lecture on membrane potential, which I personally think was really helter-skelter and poorly explained. Maybe I've just learned about membrane and action potentials a lot, but I feel like the professor had really poor diagrams and was not getting the message across effectively.

At any rate, I really cannot wait until Friday - we get a three day weekend on account of Labor Day, I'm getting my 4th face treatment, and Kit's coming up to visit. This week we are essentially learning the basics of neural biology and learning a little more about surface anatomy. We do get to look at nerves in histology, which should be interesting. I really should study some more for the block exams that are coming up - September 14-18.