Six months ago was my first day of med school!!!
I know you haven’t heard much from me in a while, and I wish I had a good reason for that. However, the best I can come up with is that nothing’s happened. My days mostly consist of lectures, labs, and never-ending studying. I promise, you haven’t missed much! Last week we had a ginormous anatomy test (covering ~30 lectures!) and then the rest of the week was pretty chill. This week is kind of the same, and time normally spent in lecture is instead free (study) time. Personally, I dislike the lack of concrete responsibilities. I thrive off of schedules and deadlines. Well, maybe not thrive, but my motivation is certainly better! I also just get nervous when I feel like I should be doing something but don’t exactly know what. I have a hard time just sitting in the library and studying for hours on end. I’m usually ok for a few hours, but then once I break my concentration for lunch or a meeting or something, it’s really hard to get back into the groove.
I actually had no classes today so I’m trying to study for my standardized patient (SP) on Friday. This will be our fourth one, and instead of 40 minutes we’ve been cut down to 30. It’s still more than next year, when we’ll be expected to complete 2 “encounters” in the same amount of time, but at least then we’ll be allowed to do a focused exam.
(A focused exam means that we’ll just have to examine what the patient is complaining about. For example, if they present with a sore throat we can limit our examination to that area of the body.)
For now, however, even if the person has a sore throat we still have to do, say, an eye exam. And on top of vitals and HEENT (Head, Ears, Eyes, Nose, Throat) they’ve added a complete thorax and abdominal exam. Like, I don’t think I’ve ever had this thorough an exam done to me. Has anyone ever heckin’ measured my spleen??? I don’t think so!
Every day I feel like I’m questioning as to whether I’m really cut out for this. Or if it’s even the right career for me. Sometimes I think I’m going to be so good at it one day. And the next I wonder if I’m going to enjoy the job at all.
I suppose I shouldn’t be complaining; I know this stuff is important to learn and that it really is clinically relevant (at least most of it, anyway). It’s just hard to see the forest for the trees right now.
And that’s why you’ve been getting radio silence.
A couple of fun things have happened in the past few weeks, however, so here they are!
- I was “elected” (given the position of?) president of the Med-Peds club for next year! Club leadership is a bit shifted in med school because the second years are getting ready to take Step 1 (the first set of board examinations) and will then be starting clinical rotations, so they need the time freed up. I’ve never “presidented” anything before so I’m hoping this isn’t actually as hard as it seems! Luckily, it’s a pretty small club as it is, so if I can make it just a little bit bigger/better, I will have been successful!
SIDE NOTE: Apparently Step 1 (actually part of the USMLE, the MD boards) is going to become pass/fail instead of a number score in 2022. DO students have the COMLEX, but most of us end up taking both just because of the way residency is set up. (That’s changing too, but I’ll save that for another time.) There’s concern that this is going to hurt DO students, who often relied on the USMLE to show that we are just as capable as the MD students. (Which we are, obviously.) Regardless, it’s ultimately just going to put more emphasis on Step 2 for all med students, and I am Not Pleased.
- PCOM’s gala was last weekend and my sister E came to visit and went with me! It was nice to be out with actual adults instead of incorrigible high school or college students for a change. The next day we went to the Liberty Bell (underwhelming, I assure you!) and then walked wayyy to much of the city of Philadelphia, an activity I do not plan on repeating any time soon!
Well, back to trying to figure out how to palpate the heart through the chest wall.
Not giving up this easily,
Bridgette ❤ ❤