April 23, 2009

MedZag fails at the internets.

I've come to find that blogging (wow, its hurts me to type that) about medical school during the first two years eventually loses its momentum and eventually reaches this steady state. In the beginning, everything is cool and interesting "WOW! MED SCHOOL TESTS! WOW! ANATOMY! WOW! DONE WITH FIRST YEAR! Hahaha I'm a quarter of a doctor! If you have 4 of us stand together we make a whole doctor! Hahaha!" But really, the life of a medical student during the pre-clinical years is about as interesting as stale bread. After the excitement wears off, you realize that even though the subjects change, your life stays pretty much the same, and after a while you run out of things to say about it, because at its core its a perverse form of Groundhog day (minus anything nearly as humorous as a young Bill Murray). And frankly, that's definitely had an impact in my absence from posting these past 54 (wow) days. Neuroscience was a bear of a class, spring break was an opportunity to recover, and I finally decided since I have this "little" test called Step 1 coming up in 7 weeks that I should probably start doing some review for, so facetious things like blogging have unfortunately fallen by the wayside, especially when I don't feel like I have anything interesting to say. Do interesting things still happen? Probably. But you tend to notice them less because you have an exam coming up on Wednesday or you've had a swamped week and have been ignoring your significant other or the weather is nice outside and you just want to go catch some rays.

A couple of highlights of the past 2 months:
-I learned some stuff.
-I did my first pelvic exam, and successfully found the cervix on the first try. It's the little victories that get you through the day.
-The "Prostate exams performed" ticker has quietly climbed up to 1.
-I have amassed 1472.8 miles driving to and from my preceptorship this year, and have only 56 miles to go until I never return to that far away land.

Currently I am suffering from a bad case of what has affectionately been termed "2nd yearitis" (inflammation of the 2nd year?), otherwise known as a completely and utter apathy towards everything involving the pre-clinical years of medical school. We're currently slogging through our "Human Growth and Development" class which is roughly the equivalent of "Gynecology Gynecology and Gynecology," and 4 more exams, a book report (yes, a book report), and an OSCE separate me from being blissfully done with the monotony of the first two years of medical school. And frankly, I cannot wait for it to be over.

At the beginning of medical school, the clinical aspect of things can often be trepidating. And the lecture hall is a refuge of sorts, where you engage in an activity you've been doing for pretty much all of your life... that your long-term memory tells you anyways. Namely: class, note-taking, studying, ad nauseum. Regurgitate, rinse, and repeat. Sure the material is at an enormous volume, but studying is studying and its not really any different in med school, so its a comforting activity compared to trying to do a history and physical on another human being when you can barely tell a uvula from a vuvla. But along the way of the first two years, it's been my experience that something switches. You start to gain a certain level of competency in the clinical setting and start to find the intellectual engagement from patient problems instead of focusing on not f*cking up enough to let the patient and your superiors know what an idiot you are. And once that happens, its all over, because the lecture hall becomes a place where you're forced to sit, absorb, and later upchuck banal facts and minutiae that have often have no context or application to your actual fund of medical knowledge. And the clinical side becomes the place where the really interesting things happen.

It's in a way analogous to the "senioritis" of high school, when you feel like the trivial things that high school involves are behind you, and you can't wait to get to college and start the next stage of your life, but you're forced to gut out another few months or weeks of the same old crap just to graduate. Likewise, I've been slogging through the staging of prostatic cancer and whether a mature Graffian follicle has a single or multilaminar layer to its antral chamber. I could care less about this stuff, but am forced to go through it for the sake of crossing the finish line. Even though all the while my eyes are set on June, when I'm out of the classroom and into the real action. Sure, third year and beyond involves its own set of aggravations and monotonous activities, but they're different aggravations and monotonous activities.

And there's sure to be more interesting stories for a medical student blog than "woke up, went to class, ate lunch, studied, ran, studied some more, made dinner, watched True Life: My Life Is Boring, went to bed."

1 comment:

sarah said...

hi medzag! having started a blog in med school (during the clinical part, though) i can totally relate. i'm a 2nd year resident and still going strong (although interestingly, my blog is less and less about my job and more an attempt to cling to some sort of a life outside of work).

don't worry - the coming years will be SO much more exciting! i went to duke (still there too) so we only had one pre-clinical year. even then, i was so ready to move on when it was over!