So here I am, at the end of week 2. I feel like it’s gone pretty well so far, but as far as the rate we’re getting new information while still reviewing the old, we’re reaching exponential growth. The stress is almost palpable.
I am very happy to announce that, as of right now, I am “honoring” anatomy! I did well on the one small quiz we’ve had so far, which I was very nervous about even though it wasn’t worth many points toward our final grade. I only announce this because there is a very real possibility that this will be the only time in my medical school career that I can actually say it. My school has a Pass/Fail grading system, so we don’t really get the traditional ABCDF grades that everyone is used to. We just need to pass, >70%. Anything at a 90% or above is an “honors” grade (so basically an A) while passing is anything greater than 70%. Below a 70% is a fail–and we all want to avoid this like the plague. As the saying goes, “P = MD”, although P =/= Neurosurgeon. I’ve probably mentioned that before, but that’s generally why you’ll hear medical students say that. We just need to survive. (This is why I say to strive for excellence, not perfection!)
Next week, things get a lot more stressful. We have our first embryology practice quiz/exam, histology lab & quiz, ICC small group meeting, my vitals clinical with small groups, and a big embryo/anatomy combined quiz. So yes, things are picking up rather rapidly. The information really isn’t that much harder than it was in undergrad, there’s just so much more of it. And there is never, ever going to be a break. The whole drinking-from-a-waterhose analogy is dead-on. Each week, our notes for just that week have filled an entire binder. I’ve used up at least two highlighters that were brand-new. And I totally have had that feeling of, I-just-want-to-live-under-a-rock-and-study several times this week.
Which brings me to today. A Saturday, and I am fresh out of the cadaver lab from two ours of a teaching/studying session that we’re using as review. It was totally worth it to see the other bodies in the lab–we get to busy during our dissection time that I never have enough time to go around and see the other bodies. So I feel like a learned a lot even in just such a short amount of time already today, but I still have a lot more to do this weekend just to prep for next week. So far, I’ve been on campus every single day since August 5th. Maybe I’ll take tomorrow off and just study at home.
While it’s just so much information, I’m still sleeping at night and I’m not feeling completely inundated or overwhelmed. Still no nightmares about cadaver lab (yet). From what I’ve seen so far, none of us look too stressed yet. The majority of the girls in my class still fix their hair and wear makeup every day, so that’s got to be a good sign. When I do feel a bit inundated, I just think to myself, “This is what you wanted.” Overall though, I’m still not feeling like it’s too bad (yet).
So there’s the update for Week 2. It’s a beautiful and cool day, so I’m going to get back to studying outside at school.