Hey everyone! I haven’t updated the blog in a couple of months–I was busy studying, but now I’m out on break for a while, so it’s a good time for a status report! Here’s what’s been happening since the last time you heard from me:
- We finally finished preclinicals the Friday before Christmas! We technically had a total of 6 exams in the last week.
- Our Physical Diagnosis final was technically composed of 3 different evaluations: an open-book multiple choice final, an “oral exam”, and a third exam that can only be called an “end of preclinicals” evaluation carefully disguised as a Physical Diagnosis final. the “oral exam” included getting a detailed history and physical from standardized patients and receiving feedback from faculty. I was super anxious about that part, but it turned out being a lot better than I thought it would be. The tutor who evaluated me gave me a positive critique and said i was “ready for clerkships.” 🙂
- The essay exam for College Colloquium (medical humanities/professionalism/leadership) was a lot better than I thought it would be. I was stressed about it since the one last year was timed and I didn’t finish before time was up, but there was no time limit this time, so everything worked out fine. And the Continuity Clinic final assignment went well, it just took forever (I had a movie running in the background while I worked on it; finished the movie with time to spare)
- Brain and Behavior was quite a behemoth, but at the very least, we all survived the exam (I don’t know about passed…we haven’t gotten the grades back yet). The second years will be starting clinical clerkships in March, with no classes from now until then.
- Speaking of clerkships, I now know what order I’ll be taking mine in. I got the 2 preferences that I requested back when we took the survey. Here’s the rundown:
- surgery — March 10 – May 2
- pediatrics — May 5 – June 27
- psych/neuro — June 30 – August 22
- OB/GYN — September 2 – October 24
- medicine — October 27 – December 19
- My class organized a charity pageant featuring the faculty and deans. It was held on December 7th, on campus in the auditorium where Match Day and other such events occur. In addition to the talents and evening wear that the contestants displayed, VMS Dance and Radial Grooves (the a cappella group) performed a couple of numbers. You can find highlights from the whole show here.
- things at church have been fantastic. Another dinner/game night with the young adults, an outing to see Catching Fire with a friend, Bible study, the last Live on the Row showcase of the year (featuring youth/young adults from the church)…they’ve been keeping me busy. Also, I finally got to meet the head of the Worship Arts ministry and talk to him a little bit about my interest in joining the worship team roster. Things haven’t really moved since then, but with me being out of town and about to start clerkships, and with him being as busy as he is, I’m not too concerned. At least he knows my name.
- I spent both Thanksgiving and Christmas in Nashville with my extended family on my mom’s side. Over Christmas, I got a lot of reading done, knocked out an a cappella arrangement in 2 days (I can’t believe it took me a full week to do my first arrangement 4 years ago!), and of course ate too much, laughed too loudly, exercised a little, and enjoyed my relatives a lot.
- Step 1 is looming ever closer on the horizon. February 20th is the day of reckoning. Over Thanksgiving break, I came up with a day-by-day schedule based on the books and other study materials I have or will buy, much like I did when I studied for the MCAT. I don’t know if it’s too ambitious or not rigorous enough, but I’ll do the best I can with it. I’ll mainly use First Aid 2013 edition, Goljan’s audio lectures (fairly popular among med students all over), the USMLE World Question Bank, and practice tests, along with some other books from the High Yield, BRS or Rapid Review series if time permits. I’ll be home for most, if not all, of the time, which is good because I know my parents won’t bother me while I study but I’ll still be able to interact with humans when I’m feeling stressed (and I don’t have to buy/make my own food). I start with a “diagnostic” practice test on January 3rd.
I hope you had a wonderful holiday and that 2014 is off to a good start!
Also, if you know of anyone who ever has questions about me, med school, or anything else, please let me know! I’ll answer just about anything as long as it’s not super-personal.