Wednesday, March 26, 2014

a day in the life of a first year medical student


6:47 : grumble that it's been the shortest five hours of sleep. Jump into the shower, do my make up (this comes in handy every single day for those under eye circles), and dry my hair.


7:31 : time to figure out what to wear. I know that I need to wear my newly acquired cardigan for the Fran versus Fur post, so I decide to really go out of the neutrals comfort zone, and wear it with my new periwinkle skirt. A steamer is a busy gal's best friend - not quite as effective as an iron, but it does the trick for removing the majority of wrinkles (I use this one, and quite like the fact that it isn't too bulky or ugly)

7:50 : picture time! The stars have aligned, and the weather, sunlight, and willingness to put together an outfit all mean I should take a picture. When I was working, I used to take pictures in several different locations on my 20 minute drive to work. Now, school is 3 minutes away with no secluded roads along the I've kinda defaulted to just doing it right outside my house in front of a brick wall. It's pretty boring, but unfortunately not something I really see changing too much until school is done for the year in May. I take the pictures myself, using a gorilla pod to hold my camera, and a remote. I take about 20 pictures, with about 3 of them turning out where my hair or cardigan isn't flying all over from the wind. 

8:07 : I'm a pretty big creature of habit, so I have scrambled eggs with a piece of toast every morning. I'm out of just about everything, so I have to steal a piece of my roommate's bread. I quickly edit down the pictures I just took, and throw together a blog post about how a dog is more stylish than I am

8: 42 : puppy prep time. My dogs hang out in the house while my roommate and I are in school. I play a pandora station for them as they are pretty yappy dogs, and bark at every noise outside, so I try to add background noise so they don't bark as much. I like to come home to Disney music (who doesn't, right?!), so they've been getting a lot of that. They each get a bone or kong with a bit of peanut butter to keep them entertained, at least for a few minutes.

9:00 : My school is somewhat unique in that they offer several different learning pathways. I'm in a directed study pathway, which means I usually don't spend a lot of time in lecture, but rather learn from books and objectives we are assigned. We are currently taking neuroanatomy though, which requires us to spend more time in lecture. Today we only have one lecture - it's the last one before our exam next Monday. Some days we have up to 8 hours of lecture, sometimes we don't have any. 

10:00 : neuro lab. Our first 2 labs were wet labs - we actually handled and picked through brain slices. Now we're at the part were we're mostly learning what different parts of the brain do, so it's atlas work. I move down to the cafeteria with three of my friends so we can drink coffee and get out of a room full of on-edge medical students. 

11:40 : surprise! Even though our section had a quiz during the last quiz, we get another one this time. None of us have any idea what the picture is, or what we are supposed to identify, but make some educated guesses and have it eventually work out in our favor. 

11:55 : lunch time. I would usually bring leftovers or a sandwich + salad, but...nothing in the fridge. I buy a chicken sandwich and tater tots from the cafeteria, and spend the next hour partially studying neurophysiology and partially playing around on the internet. 

1:00 : neurophysiology review. Our learning pathway learns the physiology on our own instead of being lectured at, so we have two hours with the professor where she touches on the important aspects of the material, and discusses things we may have not picked up on our own. It was a pretty helpful meeting, and left me motivated to get through the rest of the material as quickly as possible.


2:55 : home again, and time to hang out with the dogs. We go outside, Baer looks for his new friend, the opossum who lives under the trailer across the way, and Hans wonders how much longer we have to spend outside. My most worn pair of shoes, my rain boots, come in handy, as it's muddy and gross outside. 


3:10 : time to put study clothes on. I'm working on a post about "cute" study clothes, so I snap a quick picture. Hans wants to be a part, so we take a few pictures together. He's look fierce with his new teal bowtie and wants all of the ladies to see how good he looks.

3:15 : time to waste time! I lay in bed with my dogs, write some e-mails, catch up on celebrity gossip, and play tug-o-war with Baer. 

4:00: nap time. I don't know how it happened! One minute I'm awake, the next I'm not...

5:03: no longer napping :( I get up, make a box of mac + cheese, eat half, pack the other half for later. I really need to get groceries. 

5:22 : I pack my bag for the library. Tonight will be all about getting through more physiology, and through at least one cranial nerve lecture. First Aid, every med school student's BFF, comes along.

5:55 : arrive at the library. I don't like our own school library, so we often (read: almost every night) hole away to the local undergrad's library. sommmeone doesn't seem to be pleased to know that we have to be here for the next six hours.

6:15 : actually start studying physiology. 

8:55 : got through as much physiology as I had planned on.

9:05: time to start those damn cranial nerves. ughhhhhhhh

11: 45 : can't do it anymore - I just keep reading the same line over and over again. Time to pack up, and leave. Conveniently, it's snowed three inches since I arrived, and I wore flats. wonderful!

12: 44: bed time! 6:45 is going to get here quick.