One week down, forever to go!

August 3, 2015


You guys... I did it. I survived my first week of medical school. It was insane.

I was warned before I started that medical school was a lot like drinking water from a fire hose, and I never had a reason to try to conceptualize that before, but the analogy is quite accurate. I was whining to my good friend, Heather, the other day about the fire hose and she responded with, "well, at least you're hydrated!". Touché, my friend. Thank you for keeping a smile on my face.

But what she says is true. I'm trying to be good about reminding myself of this as well.. but everything I'm learning is amazing. I'll never be able to know all the details or feel 100% comfortable with the material (there's just TOO much), but being able to step back and remember that I'm a physician in training.. well, that's just pretty amazing.

We learned a lot about cell signaling pathways, metabolism, and proteins, AKA I spent a lot of time wrapping my brain around a whole bunch of tiny little proteins in pathways inside a cell. All the tiny molecular details can drive anyone crazy, but at the end of the week, my school does what they call a basic science correlation. It's when they lecture about all the science they threw at us during the week and how it applies to clinical cases. The material was so engaging and I could pull back to ook at the bigger picture - " OH! When patient X has Y disease, we use drug Z to work at that specific point in the pathway I spent all that time memorizing. ".

Beyond trying to synthesize all the material, I'm doing my best to doggy-paddle and keep my head above water. It's a whole new ball game, this medical school thing. I'm working out the kinks in my approach to note-taking, studying, etc. I'll find a rhythm somewhere along the line, but I'm not in a groove yet.

Our first exam was today and it was relief to have a way to evaluate my study habits. I felt really good about the material and I passed - HIP HIP HORRAY, a small victory. I'm learning that it is easy to get bogged down in all the science and the stress, but intentionally setting aside time for myself is going to need to be a priority. Slowly, surely, I'm going to find a balance between being a medical student and a normal human being. That happy place has to exists - and I'll find it soon.

And one last thing I'll leave you with is this incredible TED talk we watched at school during our ethics course this week. Some may agree or disagree with what this video is all about, but to me, it made me  revisit all the reasons I wanted to be a doctor in the first place... and gosh darn it, I'm really excited to have the opportunity to work my butt off to become one.

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