Another semester done and only one more left before I take boards and never have to set foot into a formal classroom again. As I did last semester, I’m going to talk you through my the courses, systems, and just the overall tone of the semester and let you know how I survived. Before I get into the good stuff though, I just wanted to let you lovelies know that this will be my last blog post until the new year. I’m going home on Saturday and want to use my time with my family and not work work work work work. I’ll also be taking a break from posting on YouTube but I think you guys understand. This med-student is tired and just wants to cuddle up with her sissy and watch cartoons.
Now…for the reason you came here. This semester we had three main systems: Cardiology, Pulmonology, and Renal (Nephrology sounds better here)! Attending an osteopathic medical school, of course, there was OPP and PCS (Primary Clinical Skills) and those presented their own challenges. As a second year, you’re supposed to know more about OMT and diagnosing and treating “patients.” This semester, as part of my training in Osteopathic Medicine, I got to put my hands on a real patient with real pathology and that opened my eyes to that fact that what we learn in class and lab is not useless and that very soon I will be someone’s doctor and need to practice the skills that I’ve been taught, while appreciating that I have so much more to learn.
Of the three courses that I mentioned, Cardiology was my least favorite. Maybe it was just getting back into the swing of things or maybe it was just the physiology. I don’t know but the material was difficult. I can’t sugar coat it. I had to drill the physiology into my head because it was important and hard. There weren’t any memorization tricks that I used during these two months. I continued my tradition of hand-writing notes and using sketchy pharm whenever possible but a lot of Cardiology came down to discipline. I must say that I love how my school organized the third semester for us. Obviously, cardiology and pulmonology flow together (#duh heart and lung) but the sequence actually helped my learning the entire semester and my dedication to learning the physiology during those first few weeks allowed me to make connections even down to the very last week of Renal.
In the third semester of medical school, you start to feel the fatigue (as you deal with classes and clinical integration) and burnout becomes a real thing. You’re also thinking about boards and where you want to do your core rotations. Lots of things are bubbling around in your head. Not just lung things. My learning style didn’t change much for this system but I started keeping my notes in a 1.5″ binder and leaving them there (for reference) even after I took the test for that block. Each of our systems this semester had three tests and, so for Pulmonary and Renal, I had two dividers in my binder to create three sections, one for each test. Finishing test one, I’d go on to the next section and add notes but wouldn’t remove/throw away notes from the previous block. My binder became an amazing textbook with drawings and illustrations and notes from the lectures that professors had the audacity to expect you to remember two tests later.
The last push. Kidneys. This was my favorite course this semester. Maybe because it came easy to me or maybe because, in my nerdy years, I had made myself learn lots of kidney things. It doesn’t matter. My birthday and Thanksgiving fell in the middle of this system so I had to learn a lesson in prioritizing. I utilized Quizlet a lot during this course because I felt like I was on the move and needed my notes to be handy. With all of the bugs that can cause urinary tract infections, Sketchy Micro had my back. Three semesters in, I am able to make connections much easier now and things that didn’t make sense in first year’s anatomy are as clear as day. I hope that spills over into board study but only time will tell.
Thanks for reading lovelies. I know that this is one of my longer posts but I really wanted to share some of the things I’ve learned this semester. It’s been a really good few months and I’ve learned a lot. I can’t believe how amazing this medical school journey has been so far and I’m looking forward to next semester’s obstacles and lessons. Oh and I’m also looking forward to board study!
Until next time. XX!