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Board Already

Wow.  So M2 year came and went.  And I certainly enjoyed the relaxing 36 hours of vacation before Day #1 of the STEP 1 boards study period began.  A lot has happened in the past 3 days since I began studying.  Actually wait, that’s not true.  I think I spent 10 hours each day in a single seat study room in the library reading through an endless sea of facts, mnemonics, and quiz questions, all to arrive at one conclusion:  I have a LOT of work left.  I must say though, as badly as I am being tossed around by the boards study monster right now, I haven’t had this many productive study days in a row since I studied for the MCAT.  And I’ve been able to go to the gym almost every day too.  I am a machine right now.  But I am sure in 4 weeks there won’t be enough Red Bull in the galaxy to keep the engine running this hot, so it’s important for me to stay rested and healthy, and to maintain as much balance as I can by exercising and NOT talking about boards when I leave the prison.  I mean library.  But it won’t be long before this chapter, too, will be over, and I’ll be climbing my way up the treacherous slopes of the M3 learning curve.  And I know this from seeing all the M4’s who have successfully found their homes at great residencies all around the country this past week (congratulations!).  Match Day is an awesome experience and it helps to have that as motivation in the back of my mind.  I have to keep telling myself that all this work will pay off–and despite how difficult things seem right now, I truly do believe that.

G.I. Dave

Happy Valentine’s Day! I can’t say I love the colon as much as the heart, but that’s what I’ve been learning about the past couple weeks now.  It’s actually very interesting because a ton of doctor visits are due to gastrointestinal complaints.  And here we get to learn about them.  Nice.  We also took our CCA exam recently which allows us to move on to M3 year.  Yet another milestone before boards and before we know it, the learning curve will be reset once again as 170 short white coats migrate into the depths of the hospital–which I am actually looking forward to more than words can describe.  Don’t get me wrong, school is great, but after 6 years of intense classes I am more than ready to break up with PowerPoint for a while.  I’ve been hitting the music factory pretty solidly too the last several weeks.  I love to compose music and it adds much needed balance to my very busy life.  It’s also great to be able to share something so important to me with others.  I was raised as a classical violinist but I also like electronic music.  And somehow I keep trying to mix the two.  But talking about it is no fun so check out my website!

Semester 2. Here we go.

Well the machine that is medical school is back in high gear, beginning with a unique course entitled “Hematology & Oncology”.  Basically we’re learning about blood and cancer–two highly important topics that will be a part of our career-long arsenal of medical concepts.  So far we’ve focused primarily on blood, particularly where it comes from, what it is, and how it works.  This coming week we’ll be learning about lymphomas and leukemias, which are topics that are familiar to me but ones I do not fully understand yet.  Also on the med school front, I will be taking my clinical skills exam soon, also known as the “CCA Exam”.  Passing this exam is necessary to progress to M3 year, so it is kind of important.  Not to mention it will get my skills into shape before I hit the hospitals.  (Wait, we’re getting ready for the hospital already?  Feels like I was at M1 orientation not too long ago!).  I am also putting in my bid for an M3 schedule lineup which will determine the order of rotations for the entire next year.  It’s definitely a turning point for me!  And finally, next Saturday, Jan 15 (at 6:30pm) is the med schools’ big annual Biorhythms show at Mendelssohn Theater.  This show is a free event hosted by medical students that showcases various acts that incorporate music and dance.  It’s always a blast!

Home sweet home

I thought I’d stop by the blog just to check in before I completely let myself go.  I am currently sitting in a comfy chair in front of the TV listening to music while the dogs take a nap.  My dad is painting a wall, my mom is out running errands, and my sister will be home any minute.  The best part is, there is not a single powerpoint slide in this house right now and I will make sure it stays that way.  Dermatology was a great sequence for me and ended nicely with a fun birthday.  For the next 10 days I really won’t do much but I’ll definitely be ready for the last lap of the pre-clinical years of med school come early January.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to go crack a Red Bull and watch my dogs run in their sleep.  Happy holidays!

In the red zone of semester #3

Thanksgiving was definitely the best compensation for the past few weeks of school.  So many donuts, so much pie, so little time.  I chilled with the puppies quite a bit too which was nice.  They make good pillows because they’re always warm.  The most difficult thing I did over break was decide which wide receiver to play this week in my fantasy football league.  But now that I’m all refreshed it’s time for the final lap of this semester.  Three weeks of class and yet another semester of med school will have been stashed away in my history.  The good news is M3 year will be here soon which I will take over sitting in class any day of the week.  The bad news is that there is a rather important quiz (aka Step 1 of boards) in between me and M3 year that will help decide where I go for residency.  No pressure.  But for now I will be learning about muscles, bones, and skin.  And then it will be my birthday and I will go home.  And that will be the last time I relax for a looooong time!