Waking at 6am is now late for me….
I finally had the opportunity to sleep in, but my brain won’t let me. Guess, back to the grind.
Waking at 6am is now late for me….
I finally had the opportunity to sleep in, but my brain won’t let me. Guess, back to the grind.
As far as I am aware of, at least most medical schools have it so that your first semester would consist of the basic science courses. In other words, it is second semester when you start going more into a system based system, studying the illnesses and drugs for that system. Since they are differently structured, how does second semester compare to the first?
You will hear a lot of different things because everyone is a bit different, so take what I say with a grain a salt. However, so far, second semester has been tremendously better. Now I know it is still the beginning, but I remember my state around this time last semester. Compared to that, I feel a lot more at ease and confident in learning the material, it also has a logical flow to it which is vastly different from the subject jumps you get with all your basic science courses.
Of course, there is an element of you getting used to the barrage of material. Furthermore, you do get better at studying and managing your time. At least you really should, else you will feel the burn again. However, with everything mentioned above, things will start to follow more of a smooth path and you start finding some time for yourselves, and this is very important. You need to take care of yourself, otherwise you might not be able to take care of others at optimal capacity. It doesn’t matter what it means to take care of yourself, though I’d say healthy eating habits, sleeping habits, and exercise are the biggest three. However, there is the mental aspect of it as well. That means some people find relief from eating out with friends on occasion, or playing video games for an hour a night. Find a way to do that while not compromising your studying, then you will find yourself able to continue to study for longer periods of time because there is that reward.
There might be several of you who know all this before school, because you learned it in undergraduate, high school, wherever. In that case, good for you! I truly mean that, I am just speaking of from what I had to learn about myself within just one year. This path definitely requires some maturity growth.
Classes are back in session. The best part of second semester first year is no more anatomy labs. While some people enjoy them, I am not the hugest fan for multiple of reasons. But that’s for another time. I will say I am a bit sad to return to the grind after relaxing and experiencing fun things on break, but I am trying to stay positive. Afterall, we study hard so that we help people. Also side note, the importance in me saying to “help people” instead of “saving lives”.
Anyway, with this semester, I want to become more organized around my studies and this blog as well. I guess I never really knew this, but I’m the type of learner that likes to jump around and learning whatever interests me at the time. I used to think I just wanted all the knowledge, and I do. But if I am honest with myself, then I do jump topic to topic a lot. Therefore, some structure would do me some good.
For this blog in particular, I am thinking about posting stuff I have learned for that day, week, or something just as kind of a review tool for me to make sure I stayed within the topics I needed to. Again this platform was mainly for me to just say my thoughts, hence this blogging style format. I just hope people have enjoyed my content so far, and it seems several have which I am very thankful for. Anyway that’s all I have so far, thanks for reading!
P.S. please feel free to leave any comments or questions on any posts.
In one of my adventures last December, I was exploring the city of Seattle, Washington. Here is Part 4 out of 4.
Part 4: Planes and Magic.
I am a fan of Harry Potter. Now, I wouldn’t say I am the biggest fan. I don’t play
Quidditch—yes, people do play a game that is supposed to mimic Quidditch—and I don’t know every small fact about every character. I will say, however, I do own the books and the wands. I never really needed to own the movies because of ABC specials, but that is besides the point. Now, you might be wondering why I am talking about Harry Potter so much. Well that is because of University of Washington. Their library actually looks very similar to the eating hall in the movies. Furthermore, with all the books, I did feel a sense of magic and wonder in the air. Makes me wish I attended there for undergrad.
After the magic, I visited the Museum of Flight. It was not the biggest museum, but it was fun and neat. Don’t know really what to say about it other than that. Here is a picture I took, however.
This concludes my blogging about my Seattle Adventures. It was a fun trip and I saw lots of wonderful things. There was one huge negative, however. The rain! But what can you do? Anyway, thanks for reading.
In one of my adventures this month, I was exploring the city of Seattle, Washington. Here is Part 3 out of 4.
Part 3: Tower and Art
When you visit Seattle, how can you not see the Seattle Tower? As you have probably guessed, that is what I did. To be completely honest, once you see one tall tower, you’ve seen them all. I know that sounds very cynical and I can have some appreciation to architectural designs. However, it’s just one of those things when you visit a place and that is it. I went to the tower and I saw it. I guess some of my “downy downerson” side could also be from just looking at the tower and not actually going into it. I did not go to the top simply for one main reason, there were a fair amount of people there. Anyway, I did not take a picture of it and simply moved on to the place I was most excited for.
The Glass Garden is a small building containing the artistic works of Dale Chihuly. You can read more about him on the Glass Garden website. I am going to be honest, the tickets are the not cheapest as tickets go. However, I think it was worth it. I especially loved the outdoor ones where there is this combination of glass art and nature. It was as if I was transported to a new foreign land, kind of like the movie, Avatar (not the horrible film version of the Last Airbender).
We were allowed to take pictures, but I feel as if I should not post them. For one of the joys is going without a good idea of what you may see.
For the night, I went to a “Crab Pot”. Basically, where they put food on the table, and you eat it. To be honest, it was not the best crab I have had, but it was a fun experience.
In one of my adventures this month, I was exploring the city of Seattle, Washington. Here is Part 2 out of 4.
Part 1: First Starbucks
This part is rather short. It was a busy day, but there was one memorable spot I went to, the First Starbucks… sort of.
I love coffee, like most of my colleagues. It is the substances that helps with all those late night and early morning study sessions. So, how could I give up the chance to go to to the first Starbucks?.
Like any other location, it had the same drinks you could get anywhere else. However, they also had a couple special drinks just for that location. It was a particular brew, I guess. Either way it tasted good which is all that matters right?
Well one more thing, I guess I visited the wrong location. The location I went is not apparently the first one? I went to the address on the official site, but as I walked around the market there was another smaller one with a long line of people and a window proclaiming to be the first one. So shrug*
In one of my adventures this month, I was exploring the city of Seattle, Washington. Here is Part 1 out of 4.
Part 1: Pike Market
I love markets like this one because of the environment. There is something energizing about being in an area where there is so much commerce. I saw book stores, coffee shops, even stores selling figurines made with the ashes of Mt. Helen.
One thing I loved about this market is the availability of seafood. I love seafood. There was one location where I was able to get fresh Dungeness crab and cooked. While it wasn’t up to the standards of the sweet crab meat I had in Asia a while back, it was still amazing. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture.
Speaking of food, I had to try two things I have been hearing a lot about: the Pike Place Chowder and Piroshky Piroshky bakery. As with famous spots, these places had long lines even on a cold rainy December day. However, they were worth the wait.
The chowder I had was so creamy and rich with seafood, it was a musical in my mouth. Unlike many chowders I have tried, it wasn’t too salty either which was a huge plus.
The bread from the bakery had the texture that you expect good bread to have. While I did wish the coffee bread was a little bit sweeter, it is a small complaint for what was just my mouth hovering midair due to the wonderful fluffiness of their bread. I never really say anything is perfect, save for a few exceptions, but this place is close to it.
So for break, I have been traveling around, exploring. Upon this, I realized something about myself. I used to want to live in the suburbs or in a small town. I like the quiet and peace that comes with it. However, I started fancying the idea of a bigger city. I think it’s because of the energy I feel every time I just walk passed down the walls of the buildings. Everyone has something they are up to, and you just become lost in the sea of ideas and actions. There is life in it. It’s exciting. It’s adventurous, and I like adventure.
It’s been a while since my last post. Mainly because, I’ve been busy with finishing my term. I am glad to say that I have passed all my courses.
So what does that mean? And why should you care that I passed?
Well for one, I might be your doc in your future, lol. Or if you are wondering how medical school is structured, this post might be helpful.
Semester 1 has been about basic science. Literally we go back to biochemistry, anatomy, histology, etc. This is to establish the foundation for what is to come.
Starting next semester (Semester 2 of year 1), I will be in systems courses. From what I hear from my upper classman, these courses will entail the medical aspect of things such as illnesses and drugs, etc. You know, one of the reasons we are in medical school. So I am really excited. These system courses will continue on until the end of year 2. So that means for both semesters of year 2, I will be in systems. Afterwards, there is Step 1. This is the first of many standardized examinations because who doesn’t like those? The Step 1 score will be the huge contributor to placement in residency so it’s no joke. Probably more important than the MCAT for some perspective.
If you pass step 1, you can move on to clinical rotations. This is when you actually go out to hospitals to work and study. You don’t get paid, and by work I am told you are literally at the bottom of the bottom. And frankly, you can’t complain because in that high and mighty: “look at me I’m a medical student mindset”, you realize you don’t know anything. So stop trying to show off or be arrogant, and study. With these rotations, you will have shelf examinations at the end of each one. This is to make sure you actually learned about the specialties you are rotating in. I believe between year 3 and 4 you take Step 2 PE. Basically, to make sure you know how to treat patient, so you know don’t be Dr. House.
With the end of year 4, you apply for residencies and hopefully get in.
I know all this info seems rushed and not detailed. For one, I am still in year 1, so this is just everything I have learned from professors and upperclassman. Also, of course there are more factors to consider, a big one is what specialty one would want which would require different things: e.g. Ortho vs FM. And by FM, I mean family medicine and not your “car radio which somebody stole”…(TOP anyone?). And honestly, it might seem like a huge headache, and it is, at least it is for the part I am right now. But you just have to take one thing at a time. And this goes with anything that you do. Losing weight? 1 calorie at a time. Binging Netflix? One episode at a time. ETc.
Anyway glad to be back, but logging off,
I feel like I see this more in medical school than in any other academic institution I have been in, and that is the “what ifs”. Having talked to several people, I know it is not just me. When school started, I was very optimistic and happy. The hardest part was over right? Well, no. It was just a bump on a long road. And that idea seems to aid in the manifestation of “what ifs”. There is so much done for that acceptance letter it feels like a contract. I must continue on and finish otherwise all that hard effort would have been for nothing.
Now, I am not saying I regret choosing to pursue medicine. However, I am trying to explain where this what if mentality may come from. With all the pressures to succeed, the what ifs appear. “What if I can’t keep up with this pace of learning?” “What if I can’t get a passing score?” “What if I can’t remember this detail?” “What if I am not preparing enough for boards?” “What if I laugh at the word ‘frenulum?’”
While the last one might not be as relatable to everyone, the others probably are. The thing is not like I haven’t had similar thoughts before in the past. They just have not been as reoccurring and frequent. Even now as I type this, I am having these thoughts. This is interesting because of the development from when I first started. These thoughts while still frequent are becoming more like murmurs on a crowded street. I started not caring at them, and that happens. I am told things will get harder and worse. Yet, we will become so apathetic about the pain we move on. I get why things have to be this way, but just seems kind of unfortunate. But that is just my thought for today.