August 22, 2007

Gettin' toasty in here

So we've started to hit stride in the academic side of this whole medical school bit, and let me tell you, the stories of the wealth of information you are "afforded" are far from exagerrated. We received our first packet of material we are required to know for GIE (Gross Anatomy, Imaging, Embryology), and well, see for yourself:

My first impression was that "that isn't too bad for the whole 11 week GIE block" only to be informed by a classmate that it isn't the whole block, but rather for the first exam... two weeks from now. Boy did I feel like a dumbass.

So yes, 2" of material for 12 days of lecture. I was trying to find some comparison to undergrad, and I think the most accurate equivalent I could draw is that every day of lecture in med school covers about as much material as a whole week of lecture for an upper division biology course at GU. So we're covering the equivalent of 5 weeks of material a week.

To make matters... interesting... the information in the syllabus is highly condensed (see below). There is very little background on concepts, which means I'm often in a textbook looking up the background to the sentence I'm currently covering in my packet.

A very different style of studying which can leave you feeling scatterbrained. No more neat chapters in one textbook to skim before class. I feel the real barometer will be that first test, but some MS2s I talked to said it can take most of the entire first year to figure out your most effective and efficient studying regimen. The idea of floundering around in the library for 7 months before finally hitting stride isn't appealing, but I've been lucky to be pretty adaptive.

For all the crazy amount of material I'm being fed, it strangely doesn't feel overwhelming. I've been able to grasp everything conceptually, and above all...


To be learning things that, in their own small way, will help me save someone's life someday... well it makes it a lot easier to throw the books into the bag and wander down to the library. And this is coming from the guy who went to the GU library TWICE in all four years of college.

I'm also really digging the integrated curriculum. Having embryology alongside gross anatomy is really awesome for me, considering I want to do some form of pediatric surgery, and pediatric surgery deals a lot with teratology (children born with malformed/deformed structures or organs) and this helps really hammer home the relation between development and structure.

Anyways, first day of cadaver dissection tomorrow. I'm sure another post will be following soon. For now you'll find me here:

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