A Black Female Medical Student

Archive for September 2008

In the student lounge. We had the morning off, and I had studied pretty late last night so I indulged myself by having a deliciously wonderful time sleeping in this morning. I came to school feeling (and looking *wink wink*) so refreshed.

Semi-exciting news: Our class is going on a boat cruise this Thursday. Its a dressy occasion so it’ll be fun to see everyone all dressed up. Sadly, I have nothing to wear. Ordinarily a shopping trip would be in order, but I don’t have time for all that. Its the same day as the my Head & Neck (last one of the quarter!!!) and we’re giving presentations directly afterwards.

What to do, what to do…

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I failed a test for the first time in med school. It wasn’t as bad as I thought…. its just like, well…. that sucks. When’s retake?

Ironically I think its because I pushed myself too far the weekend prior to the test. I was completely burnt out by the time the test rolled around Monday, I was so mentally exhausted that I forgot what I had studied. Not a good look. Anyways, I have to retake both the exam and the practical, but I’m going to wait until after this particular module.

We’re in Head & Neck now. Its a lot of material, but I think I’ve been pacing myself a little better. I have also been enlisting the help of my classmates. Before I was reluctant to study with others because I was afraid of looking stupid, but I’ve come to realize how beneficial this is. If they know more then me, then I just ask them to teach me what they know.

I also volunteered in a clinic for the first time as a medical student. It was completely overwhelming as the  clinic was PACKED. Its a pediatric clinic in a severely underserved area and its back-to-school time so we had a lot of patients. My first patient was a 5 yr old boy with a serious case of autism. He kicked and screamed the whole time and also tried to bite me. I learned a lot, primarily that I still have A LOT to learn. Quite sobering to be truthful.

Off-topic, but I’m watching Pride & Prejudice. I absolutely loooooove this movie. We’re at the scene where Mr. Darcy comes walking across the field during sunrise. Could a man be anymore perfect? Not to mention, Kiera Knightley was gorgeous in this film. Self admittedly, I am a bit of a cynic when it comes to romance, but this movie is so sweet…. I don’t mind being a little sappy for a couple of hours.

Speaking of romance…. I think one of my classmates asked me out on a date today. I’m really not sure. I texted him to clarify, and I feel like we’re in the midst of a huge misunderstanding right now. Further exacerbated by the fact that my roommate thinks that dude’s roommate likes me too. Crazy, huh…. I feel like I’m on Grey’s Anatomy.

Speaking of Gray’s Anatomy…. I really need to get back to it. No more failing tests for me!!!

Oh… here goes my favorite line from the film:

“You may only call me Mrs. Darcy when you are completely, totally, incandescently happy.”

“And how are you this evening, Mrs. Darcy…… Mrs. Darcy….. Mrs. Darcy….. Mrs. Darcy….. Mrs. Darcy” ***swoon***

I have church in the early morning so I’m packing up. Good night all.

Sitting here listening to Terrence Howard’s new album and preparing for another late night of studying. I have my 4th medical school exam on Monday morning. We are being tested on the pelvis. Sigh.

I really must work on my time-management skills. It always comes to me feeling guilty and stressed and rushed and frustrated the last 2-3 nights before a test, and this can’t be good for me. I’m subjected to enough stressors as it is, without me doing this to myself. I think the problem is that I have been trying to attend class daily, even though I gain very little from it. I’m thinking about just skipping class altogether, but the flipside of that is that I would never see my classmates. I definitely feel like lab is a waste of time for me, but I don’t want to leave my lab group hanging like that.

Still its my grade and I have to whats best for me. I know that I could get so much more learning done withing those 3-4 hours sitting by reviewing on my own time, and I really want to raise my grades in the class.

Well, I may experiment with the whole at home learning thing next week. We move into head and neck next week and that is a CRAPLOAD of stuff. I was looking to the Netter’s flashcards for it and I almost started hyperventilating but I put the nerdy gunner side of me in check with a quickness.

So, I have just finished my first month of medical school.

Academically, I would really like to do better. I improved considerably on my last test, which is a good thing. I’m not hanging on by a thread at the bottom of the pile, its more like I’m floating around near the middle now. I would like to be somewhere in the top half, so I still have some work to do. But I’m passing, which is most important to me right now.

I would say that my most important study tool right now is my Gray’s. Contrary to what some may tell you, simply memorizing the Netter’s flashcards does not suffice, at least not at my institution. However, my school is a bit unique in that the tests are configured a bit differently. There is no simple multiple choice; tests questions can range from matching, to fill-in-the-blank, to essay questions, to drawing diagrams, to multiple choice questions with multiple right answers (they’re actually like a series of true/false), so its a bit hard on the cranium.

Its not too bad though.

Emotionally, I’m pretty happy. Its kinda hard for me to keep in contact with friends and family back home as much as I would like, but do try. I’m making new friends here, and they are amazing. So smart, supportive, and fun. The other black people in my class took awhile to grow on me, but I’ve really come to like some of them. I may never be good friends with a few of them, but I like most of them.

If you’re interviewing, I would say that you should try to find a pass/fail school…. it is more important than I thought it would be and to do a through check of the kind of people who are there. You will be spending soooo much time with classmates, and if you don’t like them, you could very well be miserable in med school which isn’t fun.

Okay. Gotta go to bed.