Friday, July 10, 2009

Don't Say I Didn't Warn You Part 1

Alright, so it appears I am 1/4 doctor. Yep, passed all my tests, jumped through all my hoops and didn't kill anyone in the process. I may be able to tell you where the ductus arteriosus is (heart), what the muscles of the rotator cuff are (Supraspinatous, Infraspinatous, Teres Minor and Subscapularis), where the deep tendon reflex for L4 is (patellar tendon), what bug is gram +, coag +, cat + (Staph Aureus) and about 926 mnemonics and acronyms. (Real Texans Drink Cold Beer, Cadavers Are Dead People, MONA, MUDPILES) blah blah blah, but somehow I feel like I know nothing. In fact, if there is anything I do know its that I know nothing. I have such little medical knowledge that I am still insignificant, but I know enough to make me dangerous. Not 007 dangerous but SAW III dangerous.

Having said that, I am here to quell all your fears. Well, any of you who are wondering what to do and what not to do during your first year, or if you are beyond that and want to compare your experiences. I am here to let you know some rules to live by. These are influenced by my experiences, observations, and/or swift judgment. I am no way trying to insult anyone so don't get it twisted. I am guilty of many of these things myself and I am way cooler and better than everyone else not perfect. I am going to stretch this list into a few weeks, so deal with it.

1) Do not listen to people on your interviews, they are lying to you. Remember, they want you to go there as much as you want to be there. If no one was impressed, they wouldn't fill seats, and would be out of a job. Make sure you understand that no school is perfect. After studying for the MCAT, filling out applications and getting interviewed, an acceptance can make you put the blinders on in such a way that you overlook some important details such as how they test, how they teach, and what is expected of you. A lot of it, unfortunately, you will find out once you are there. Just be ready for it. Because your interview was perfect and the campus has a Starbucks in it and you hooked up with a second-year during your interview does not mean that it is the perfect school for you. Make a list of what is important to you (board scores, location, rotation locations, board prep, not getting herpes from that second-year, whatever, etc.) and make your decision off that. This is, of course, assuming you are fortunate enough to have multiple options to choose from. If you don't, take whatever you can get and go for it (except the herpes).

2) Wait to buy books until you absolutely need them. Right now I am looking at a shelf full of books. I can pick out 5 that I have actually used more than once. If I could do it over again I would pick maybe 3 of them to buy. Your school pays teachers to teach you information. They should give you enough in their lectures to do well on tests. It is impossible to read the "assigned reading" for four classes each day and still study without being up all night. Your library should have the books on reserve so use them from the library if you need them. Plus wikipedia is free so use it. Don't be the one who is so excited for school that they buy all the books. Waste of money. Do not show up to orientation week with all the books purchased you little eager-beaver. Pay down your interest, or better yet use it for something fun on the weekends to keep yourself sane.
2b) Don't buy your books from the campus book store. What a joke. eBay,, amazon, 2nd years, etc. have books for a fraction of the cost of your campus book store. It's just another way to suck up your living expenses. Again, use the money for something fun. If you say "but reading med school books is fun" I want to punch you in the face.

Bonus: Unless you like finding flesh and melted human fat all over your stuff, do not bring your anatomy books into the lab. Let someone else ruin their book.


1 comment:

  1. Do you start becoming a doctor from the top down or the bottom up? You ought to start a little 'body chart' coloring in to show how much doctor you are at a given point.
    The time seemed to go by quickly for me. I hope it did for you as well! So glad to see your sense of humor has not been affected!
    Do you know what kind of doctor you are going to be?
    I suppose that might affect what part of the body you start coloring...