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This sequence makes me nervous

So it turns out the brain is pretty important.  There are so many parts though–even if you google mapped the brain you’d probably still get lost, even with the aerial view on.  This week is the last of three where we give our brains a chance to learn about themselves.  Historically, the neurology sequence is among the more difficult sequences for us–there is a lot of semantic memorization as well as some harder conceptualization that takes place.  Last year’s neuro sequence was somewhat overwhelming for me since chemical engineers don’t really learn about that.  The anatomy alone was a huge monster to tackle.  Now here we are for round two, learning about many of the various nervous system pathologies that we may encounter later in our training.  It’s very interesting because since it’s the nervous system, we learn about movement, sensation (including our special senses), and cognition, including a lot of things our bodies do that we aren’t really aware of throughout the day.  Pretty neat.  Also on the med school front, this month I completed a required autopsy experience as part of our M2 curriculum.  I have to say it was one of the most unusual experiences I’ve encountered, and of course very different than our gross anatomy course last year.  It was fascinating though to see the methods used and the care taken to preserve the deceased throughout the entire procedure.  I always enjoy these opportunities since it brings me a little closer to real medical practice.  But for now it’s back to the land of lectures.  One more sequence to pass before I get to go home for five days of turkey and football.  Mmmm!

Happy Halloween!

The scariest part of Halloween this year was fitting in that Psychiatry final exam into the last remaining hours of a fun weekend.  The motivation was not really anywhere to be found but our one-week crash course in Psychiatry is over just as fast as it began.  Now for the next three weeks we’ll be cruising around the brain making stops at all kinds of places and learning about all sorts of pathology.  Oh and by the way, the Deadmau5 concert on Monday was amazing!  As a med student it is definitely unusual to go out on a Monday, but it was definitely worth it.  I uploaded a little picture for your reference (Deadmau5 is the dude in the middle wearing the mouse hat).  I’m also inspired to reacquaint myself yet again with my ProTools software to lay down some tracks of my own.  I certainly miss the amount time I used to spend creating and playing music but that shift in my time is just one of the realities of being a med student.  But three more weeks and it’s Thanksgiving so hopefully I’ll have some time to unwind a bit.  Stay tuned!

CFM = Awesome

Ahhh the renal sequence is over.  The first half went smoothly since it was mostly physiology.  But for the second half I had to plug my ears at night to make sure all those facts didn’t leak out.  So much info.  Interesting nevertheless.  But it’s done and this week is our second week of CFM.  Topics include breaking bad news, energy balance, and, of course, doing the full history and physical exam.  There is still work to be done but not nearly as much work outside of class, which is nice because the Neuro sequence has been training all year, getting ready to beat us all up a bit.  But for now, it’s CFM time.  And what better way to end CFM than with our annual Fall Ball (a.k.a. Med School prom).  It was a ton of fun last year and I expect nothing less this time around.  On a different note, I included a picture of the UM vs. MSU game from last weekend.  I was quite sad after the game but managed to snag some sweet seats so I’m over it.  I definitely hope I can go to another game this year!

Life outside of South Lecture Hall

So check it out, I’m not going to talk about school this time.  Instead, there are some exciting things coming up that are worth knowing about.  First up, I got tickets to go see Deadmau5 in October.  In case you are not familiar with him, Deadmau5 is the DJ name for Joel Zimmerman, an electronic music artist who throws down some of the best beats out there.  That should be fun.  Second, I scored some tickets to the MSU vs. UM football game coming up in just a couple weeks.  It’s the same weekend as my Renal final exam.  Perfect.  But I need this.  And then last of all, in case you haven’t noticed, UM football is sweet this year.  Our team struggled the last few years but I’m glad to see we’ve begun to restore our reputation, which makes the games that much more exciting.  Being a med student is like having two full time jobs, but we still manage time to attend football games and enjoy some of the great things Ann Arbor has to offer.  And on that note, thought you should know my fantasy football team crushed the competition this weekend.  Boom.

Kidneys. Gotta love em.

Two sequences down.  Not bad.  This year is BUSY but somehow still manageable.  The good news is that we are learning all kinds of interesting things about the organ systems but it certainly is hard for me to feel as proficient as I’d like to be in these topics.  It seems sometimes like you can never really over-study—that every extra detail or bit of info you learn may help you on the boards or later in the hospital.  It’s not quite like year one where there is a set number of concepts that you either know or you don’t.  This time there is way more to learn so we just keep studying until our exam time runs out hoping that the chunk of info we carved out for ourselves is the same chunk that is on the boards.  Having glanced at some of the USMLE prep books, it looks like we’re being prepared very well for Step 1 of the boards though, which previous classes have also said.  So that takes some stress out of this year.  The biggest de-stressor I’d say is not having a test EVERY week.  It averages out to a little more than every other week.  So instead of rolling the dice each weekend on whether or not you’ll have any time to yourself, there are certain weekends that are guaranteed to be free.  NICE! Ok back to this kidney stuff.