This is part three of the series Confessions. Reflections on my medical school infancy and childhood can be found here: Part I and here: Part II.
Part III. The Third Term Breakdown.
One class. 5 subjects. 6 credits. 6 weeks.
aka. Psychiatry + Biostatistics + Epidemiology + Health care policy + Law and Medicine + Bioethics cont. = Behavioral Science and Medicine.
Maybe because I was a psych major in college, or maybe because I tend to like the non-science part of medicine- recall first term, my favorite class was the one most students couldn't stand (bioethics)- but for whatever reason I really liked third term. Because it was so many different subjects you couldn't really get bored or bogged down with any one thing. Perhaps I'd seen 80% of the material at some point in my prior education. I wonder if that is how the undergrad biochem majors felt during first term. Or how the students with master's degrees in neuroscience felt during 2nd term. In any case, I enjoyed what was for me by far, the easiest of terms. And I got to enjoy the island a bit too. I went sailing. I fully lived my weekends. I had friends over. I went out. I baked. And I planned and anticipated fourth term.
Fourth term is known to be the hardest of all terms at SGU. You hear rumors. Like- the average of the 2nd exam is a failing grade, 1/4 of the class above you had to decel and 100 students are retaking the class. It is hyped up to be the big bad fourth term, the mountain you must scale and the raison de etre of medical school, it is pathology. All of pathology. Taught in 4.5 months alongside microbiology and clinical skills because just one class at a time would be humane. Be scared. Be very scared. Or so the rumors go... (you'll have to wait for Part IV to find out my take.)
So in summary: third term is created to torture you before fourth term starts. Since four and half months away from home is not long enough third term ensures that you will be on the rock for a full six months and I think this is why it gets a bad rap. That and people have to do math. And read. Or so my theory goes. As for me, third term was finally a step in the right direction and a great start to what is the 2nd year of medical school.
Stay tuned for fourth term. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Or something like that.