Sunday, May 21, 2006


So I already watched Season 3 of 'Scrubs' this weekend, AND read Harry Potter 3, and took a full-length USMLE practice test. It was supposed to last 8 hours (7 hours of test + 1 hour of breaks)--is it bad that I finished in about 4.5 hours, including breaks? Probably. Oops.

I'm bored. My fiance is watching some season of '24' (does it matter which one? There's a giant disaster to be avoided, and it's all on Jack's head), and my eyes hurt, so I really shouldn't be typing, but it's better than flipping through the channels trying to find a "Law and Order" that I haven't already seen. Man, Christopher Meloni's character on 'Scrubs' was priceless--I think I almost wet myself I laughed so hard.

I just want this damn test to be over so I can worry about the wedding without feeling guilty about it. I'm not sure whether it's awesome, or highlights my pathetic-ness, but I've started receiving emails with offers of food, since I should be studying so much I forget to eat. I am such a freaking slacker! I'm definitely NOT forgetting to eat, that's for sure. Good thing I'm also not forgetting to go to the gym, or my wedding dress and I would have words here in 3 weeks. Oh my GOD I'm getting MARRIED in THREE WEEKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Better go bust out that "Worst-Case Scenario" book so I can learn how to make a bridal gown out of a table cloth. You know. Just in case I outfat my dress with all the stress eating.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

School of Incompetency

There are many things I love about my medical school. Its location in one a large medical center is ideal. I have had some excellent professors, excellent and caring course directors, and great preceptorship opportunities. For the most part, the administrators seem to listen to students; when things go wrong, they listen to us and try to correct the problem.

However, therein lies part of the issue: the lack of foresight into what could potentially be a problem. For example: we have a very secure grade website. It can only be accessed with a digital ID, stored on an eToken, used on a computer with the software to download the ID. This data is then password protected. Great, right? Well, sorta. It's only great if they actually upload the grades to the website. It turns out that this uploading of grades is a volunteer job, unassigned to any actual worker. The departments can all turn in their grades, but some nameless, faceless person deep in the bowels of the IT department has to actually type them into the computer. Either that or it's all done by fairies. Very slow fairies. Our grades came in on the pharmacology exam around Thursday, over a week ago; I was finally able to access mine tonight. Why the fuss? For me, the fuss is in being OCD and wanting to know my grade. However, there are people in the class who needed to schedule the remediation test who would have been much more inconvenienced. (I'm just really anal that way.)

Then there's today's example. I'm supposed to show up at 8 am on Monday for a two-day long "Technical Skills" class, where I'll get to poke various classmates in the arm and hope that whomever pokes my arm does a good job. To date, all the communication I've received about this class was the email 2 months ago telling me that I got the May dates. I know I'm supposed to be there from 8-5 for two days, but where? Doing exactly what? Should I bring my white coat? Stethoscope, otoscope, ophthalmoscope? Extra bandages? A lunch? Will I get time to go eat lunch? These are important questions, especially those about the food. I get very cranky if I miss a meal, especially when some moron is poking around in my arm veins with a needle.

I might not be so worried about this if this lady coordinating the class hadn't already displayed amazing powers of incompetence. She requests the class to email her back with their first choice of session (of 3), so we do. There are over 200 of us, so this is an arduous process, I understand. Yet, oh wait, uh, um, it's your JOB. Don't send me a snippy reply when I do what you asked me to do. Don't be bitchy with students emailing you to try to swap dates because they're getting married on that date. My favorite, though, was when she sent out the roster list, and my name wasn't on the May dates. It was in June, conveniently located the day I come back from the wedding as a Mrs. and then proceed to my honeymoon. I emailed her frantically, waving my confirmatory email as proof of her error; she finally said "oh, don't worry about it, you're in the May session". No updated roster, no further emails.

Can you blame me for panicking a little? I started to think, what if I didn't get an email because she forgot? What if I don't get to practice poking people and they don't let me be a third year? GAH! But nobody else got an email, either, so at 2 in the morning, I finally found an email address belonging to a "Course Director" for this thing and emailed her, begging for information. We'll see. Perhaps I'll show up on Monday to find 70 med students wandering the halls in varying states of professional/casual beach attire, some (like me, the aforementioned anal one) carrying bags of medical equipment, others without even a pen in their tiny shorts and tube top.

So yeah, sometimes I love my medical school. Others...

Monday, May 08, 2006

TGIO: Thank God It's Over

So I survived the end of second year, and the end of the BS known as basic sciences. I had a test question about premature ejaculation where the answer was "prescribe the squeeze technique". I had a test question about a girl who said she "has fooled around a lot, you know, but I've only ever slept with my boyfriend [an IV drug user], and we use condoms most of the time", where we were asked "which behavior puts her at highest risk of contracting HIV? The answer (I think) was "anal intercourse, using condoms 'almost always'". Yes, they 'quoted' her condom use, which is doctor talk for "she's lying out her skanky ass". Any 18-year-old female patient with unexplained joint pain is automatically gonorrheal arthritis (because they're all sluts!) but a male with similar symptoms probably just has ankylosing spondylitis, which isn't his fault because it's genetic. We had multiple questions about the young nurse who collapses at work, found to be hypoglycemic with high insulin and low C peptide. What's the diagnosis? Surreptitious insulin injections--she's making herself sick!

I could go on, but I just woke up and I can't remember any more test questions. Suffice to say, it was bad.

After leaving the test, I worked out for the first time in weeks, finished David Sedaris' Me Talk Pretty One Day in about 2 hours, and got a FABULOUS haircut. That man will be my stylist forever. Period. I went to the mall with my newly engaged friend Basia, where we were utterly, completely girly. The estrogen was stifling. But ooooooh, so much fun! I got all dressed up and took my fiance out for Thai, then to the symphony, where they had Gustav Holst's The Planets set to film footage of, uh, the planets, taken from various NASA voyages. After such a long day, I have spent most of the rest of the weekend asleep, eating, wishing I was working out or cleaning my apartment (I've done neither), etc.

We did go to help a friend move. He's leaving a NASTY apartment for this gorgeous brand-new place with tall ceilings, crown molding, hardwood floors, granite counters, stainless steel appliances, and a big round bathtub. No, I'm not jealous AT ALL. Maybe I, too, should join a MD/PhD program so I'm flush with money. His nasty scuzzy apartment killed our vacuum cleaner, so we then played the great shopping game and went out and bought a new one, which is so shiny and pretty! (And also on sale!) All in all, a totally relaxing weekend, full of much nothing.

Now time to start getting ready to study for the USMLE Step 1, which I'm taking in 3.5 weeks. Ugh!