Class-Notes and Quotes

So today we started our next block of classes and I'm pretty excited and a little apprehensive: Community and Preventative Medicine (final in 3 weeks), Neuroscience (love the topic but after the self-assessment quiz I'm reminded how much I really don't love anatomy. Time to learn names of a million structures, oh goodie!) and Physiology (Cardio, Renal and Pulmonary, oh my.)

Today was all intro so I don't have much to say except the profs seem great, funny, nice and ready for us to hit the books. But I did manage to find a quote that pretty much sums up each class, so without further ado.

CPM: "If people are falling over the edge of a cliff and sustaining injuries, the problem can be dealt with by stationing ambulances at the bottom, or erecting a fence at the top." -Dennis Burkitt

Neuroscience: "Don't be afraid." Oh and don't forget to take the on-line self assessment quiz where you must label and learn a few hundred gyri, vessels, sulci and nerves. No big deal.

Physiology: "Skin, skin its a wonderful thing, keeps the outside out and the inside in."


Study Break link of the Week: Play Patient

So, I'm one test down (Parasit went well, now this it is over I can honestly say I enjoyed the class, was happy with the exam, and am sad that Dr. Macpherson won't be taking a trip to Africa during my summer break- nope, I'll be here in Grenada term 4 instead of building biconal fly traps... sigh) Just one to go (yes I should be studying, and I'll get back to in soon, but I read Experiencing Life, Briefly, Inside a Nursing Home this morning and its just too good not to share.)

Thinking of doing geriatrics,? Okay, then go live in a nursing home for 10 days! That is exactly what students at U of New England are doing. Now, I do not have dreams of geriatrics in my future but this program impresses me. I don't know how helpful it will be to the shortage of physicians entering into geriatric care but its a novel idea. And one that could probably be applied to other specialties as well. Rehab therapy or inpatient pscychiatry for instance. Or maybe it should be required that all medical students spend the night in a hospital (as a patient). For the majority or us, we are all fortunate enough to have not had some major medical trauma that caused us to be admitted and a "patient". There are books written about this, the cardiologist who has a heart attack, the neuroscientist that has a stroke but maybe it should be an added part of the cirriculum of our medical education. Of course short of actually experiencing these medical problems: having disabilitating arthiritis or suffering a stroke and subsequently the inability to move one side of your body it is hard to fully experience what these patients go through ever day, but maybe this program is a start.

Many years ago I was in a car accident and what I remember most vividly is the ride to the hospital and the fuss at finding my insurance card- the EMT was just doing his job but since I only had superficial face wounds from my head going through the windshield, this took up time between vital sign checks. I then remember having to pee but since I was on a backboard awaiting CT scan to rule out fractures or internal bleeding I had to lay there. I finally grabbed a nurse walking by and begged for a bedpan. I really thought I was going to urinate on myself but somehow I got my x-ray next and was able to walk myself to the bathroom. In any case, my point is that I was only a patient for several hours and my memories are of the insurance and being left in the hallway on a backboard with a headache. So combine those with 10 days in an institution and maybe I'll become the empathetic doctor I hope to be.

Oh, and I guess study break is over, genetics is calling... I love term 2!


Is there such a thing?

as too much studying? I don't really think so, but after the busy schedule that was term 1 it seems we have an abundance of time term 2. We have finals already, give it up for 1 credit classes taught in just two weeks. aka Genetics and Parasitolog. I'm loving it! Well, we'll see if I'm as excited about them after the exam but as of now, I feel like we had plenty of time to prepare and its a nice change from term 1 when it was all about cramming as much in as possible and hoping most or at least some of it would stick. There is only a certain amount of material that can be covered in 16 lectures so... bring on the exam -this girl is sick of studying!


Colors from Carnival

So I experienced J'ouvert. This is the Spicemas Jab-Jab parade portion of Carnival festivities. (Follow the link for a short history and more pictures.)

It was all I had heard it would be and so much more. There was paint in the regular black and red and then some silver, orange, green and even some rouge pink and purple.... I can't begin to describe it, just imagine thousands of people in every color or paint dancing behind speakers strapped to the back of a truck. Then repeat with a different color and another group of painted dancers.

The painting and gathering started in the early morning hours (2am, 3am) and lasted until well after sunrise. We arrived in time to see the finale march and it was worth looking at. I'll be back next year, perhaps as a participant instead of spectator. Today I was happy to watch the festivities from afar. Enjoy the pictures!


The Hardest Part

I got married less than 2 months before starting medical school. (Granted we dated for 7 years and were engaged for another one. But in a way, that makes it harder as we were never more than 30 miles apart. Now we live 2000 miles away from one another.) My husband is finishing his residency back in the US while I am here in Grenada. We may both find ourselves in NY in 18 months as I start my clinical years and he completes his fellowhip. Or we could end up in different cities and not live together for another four years. In which case, maybe this is just practice.

But back to the present, I am lucky in that I get to live in married housing. I won't complain about my studio apartment or balcony view. But its just me and my lonely self staring across the terra cotta colored rooftops out at the shimmering turquoise sea. It is easy to fall in love with the view and the surroundings, but it makes you all more aware that you want to be with the love of your life to share it.

I rarely blog about being away from my hubby and it is not because I don't miss him. To me, its a given that I will and do miss him and so I negate to mention him. Not because he is not on my mind, but precisely because he is on my mind, all of the time. Yes Skype helps and so does being busy with studying, but after spending the summer together it is difficult not to notice the silence and absence of your partner. Good friends help. I don't know what I would do without them. But try at the might, they are not boyfriend.

I don't regret for a second being here and I know we will survive the long-distance relationship... but in case you were wondering, doing this is the hardest part.


The Same but Different

I am back! I made it despite a bit of a layover in Trinidad and now that I am here I'm feeling quite unmotivated... maybe I did a little too much this summer, but I still have a few days before classes begin to sleep in, get settled, enjoy Spicemas, go to the beach, etc. so it should be okay.

It is official, I am a 2nd term student. I registered today and got my term 2 schedule. First up Parasitology and Genetics. Four hours of class for not quite two weeks and then we take finals. So that will be short and quick, nothing like diving in. But I think I'm ready, or I should be by Tuesday. Class starts at 8am so that will be a bit rough, I haven't had to wake up at 7am regularly in a very long time...

Grenada is just as I left it. Not too much to report. I am starting to recognize faces as I walk across campus. I have an amazing balcony and view so I love my studio apartment and am happy I decided to stay on campus. I'll post some pictures soon.

I am trying to ease back into studying, the goal was to pre-read Genetics and I am more than half way done with the book so I should be able to accomplish this. The island is still pretty quiet but there are more students by the day. The first termers have orientation next week and I can tell they are staring to arrive as they walk around with parents and look a little lost but I think once they are all here I'll feel a little different... right now it feels kind of like first term again, minus all the excitement and anxiety.