Thursday, June 30, 2011

MSIII: Day 4

General orientation week is nearly over! We went over how to be a nice person for about 5 hours today. Fun stuff. Glad I found out that a person tends to get snappy when they're sleep deprived, I never would have figured that out on my own! ;)

We went thru some radiology films, which was fun. I'm remembering more than I thought I could, which is a bit of a relief. I was starting to think that everything I studied and committed to memory for Step 1 was wiped away in the 2.5 weeks of holiday I took before MS3!

I did my Basic Life Support certification tonight. An interesting medical story I learned from the preceptor:: When he and a colleague were setting up for a large group CPR training session, a young mother pulled out a gun and shot her 6 month old baby in front of everyone. The baby died soon thereafter. He said that that image has haunted him constantly throughout his life. He proceeded to say that we, as student-doctors and eventual doctors, will see everything...and the babies' and infants' and children's tragedies will stun you and stick with you forever. I am scared.to.death to confront such situations. I'm so soft, I'm afraid that I'll a.)cry hysterically and be completely worthless, b.) I'll have the images seered permanently in my memory, and c.) I'll be totally inconsolable for weeks. At least I know that I have an understanding and loving better-half that will always be there to help me through the worst of my days. I don't know how I would ever get through this without him by my side...!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

MSIII: Day 3

Finally we had a bit of hands-on time today! We went to the Nursing School's Simulation labs and learned how to give a gentle yet effective pelvic exam, how to keep a sterile environment whilst gowning for surgery, how to place an IV, and how to suture a laceration. Even though I am pretty sure that I'm not interested in surgery (poor lifestyle) or OB-GYN (sometimes its just downright nasty), I really enjoyed today's practice. I definitely feel confident that I can provide these procedures for my future patients, albeit with some professional guidance.

...I have the desire to stitch and sew tonight, after the suture session today! As mundane as it might sound, I look forward to my first real-life stitch. I know that my first rotation will be extremely time and labor-intensive, but I am just so excited to learn so many new things and to be a part of so many new experiences that surgery will undoubtedly showcase. It will be a huge workload, but I am so excited at this point that I don't even care if my whole life consists of medicine for the next 52 weeks! I think this feeling will subside, once I am forced to spend days without so much as a glimpse of my fiance, but for now I could not be more excited about my third year of medical school! Many doctors have said that the time in their lives when they have learned the most new and useful information was in their third year of medical school; that is enough to thoroughly excite any 3rd year student!!

Pearl of the Day: "Don't tell your patient to 'spread your legs'. I know we have a problem with this, but we need to think before we speak!...There is a real power in our choice of words." - 3rd Year OB-GYN Resident

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

MSIII: Day 2

Today was focused on how to communicate with patients most effectively. We talked about handling families, treating children with disabilities, breaking a diagnosis and treatment plan with a patient and his/her family, interacting with geriatric patients, how to deal with end-of-life situations (and how to stop aggressive treatment and begin pain management and comfort measures), and how to handle conflicts between the medical team. It was like a crash course of How To Interact with People, which many of us needed, considering there has been little to no interaction with other people in the past 2 years of our lives. It's unbelievable how socially awkward people can become if you isolate them from normal life and surround them with mountains of books and notes for two years...!

I'm finally starting to feel like I am in exactly the right place in my life. I am excited about the future, I am content with who I am becoming, and I have never been more confident that I have chosen the best life-partner in the whole world! Things are looking pretty good, and I can't wait to see where the future takes me!

Monday, June 27, 2011

MS III: Day 1

After an all-too-short summer break, we're back into the groove of things. I had my first day as a Third Year Medical Student today! First thing this morning, we were greeted by the Dean of the College of Medicine, who graciously reminded us that even though we sometimes doubted we'd ever make it this far in our medical education, we have finally actually made it through the didactics and we're on to patient-care. He then admitted that he "hopes to see most" of us make it to graduation...uhm, I thought we could breathe a bit easier now, having the tempest of Step 1 done and over with!haha

That got me to reflecting upon how much I have grown in the past 2 years...I think the person that I was 3 years ago wouldn't even recognize the person that I am today, I have changed that much. I believe that I have become a better person, for the most part, but it is astounding just how much the pressures of med school can change someone. To be honest, I am a bit scared of how I will change in these next two years, as I frequently witness pain, suffering, and death, as well as healing and life. I am exceedingly overjoyed to finally reach this stage in my education, but I am scared to death of how much I have yet to learn before I will feel comfortable as a trustworthy and knowledgeable physician. I do find comfort knowing that all of us are in the same boat; As Third Years, we're all complete novices in the grand scheme of things. I am looking forward with much anticipation to the amount of knowledge and experience that I will gain throughout this year. And I will try my best to share interesting experiences with all of you as you watch my eventual transformation from an eager student into a real physician.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Time Off!

Apologies for my significant lack of blogging lately. I finished the last 2 weeks of Step 1 revision with most all hours of each day being consumed by first aid and DIT. Mike and I went down to London on Sunday, June 5th. We stayed in a nice hotel right outside of the Prometric testing centre. We spent Monday walking around London, checking out Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace and Big Ben and things like that. I was lucky to get a few hours of sleep Monday night before I went to take my exam. It was hard. It was really long. It was exhausting. After 8 hours, the exam was finally finished and I walked outside to be greeted by a big hug, kiss, and a smile from my fiance. All that work, all of those hours spent on revision, and it was finally over!! So we went, with our luggage in tow, and walked around London again. I took a few photos and I have a pretty sweet video of a marching band playing a pure tune, but you'll have to wait to see all of that until I have some time to post them! But for now, I'm taking in all I can of my last week of freedom before the real work begins again. So, I'll be in Liverpool with my fiance, soaking up every minute of the Scouse life while I can. I'll be sure to fill everyone in on the details of the trip to London, the week in Marbella, Spain, and the weeks in Liverpool when I finish loving every minute over here in rainy, chilly, cloudy England. (I guess you can't have it all!) ;) Hope you all are well! :)