Monday, June 29, 2009

Week 3 of Boring Hannah

Argh...can't believe I haven't posted in over a week.

I am hanging in there. I just finished my first two big exams in both anatomy and biochemistry and guess what, am already behind in both classes. We have our exams at 6:30 am so that we don't "have" to miss any class...I call bull$h*t. I am starting to figure this school thing out to a degree.

It is 5x more intense than my previous undergrad degree of computer engineering, but the concepts aren't really any more difficult. It is just the amount of knowledge in a few weeks that we are supposed to get that make it tough.

I am bad at bulk memorization and really need to spend time getting visuals and figuring out things that can help me. I had a steep learning curve on the first tests of both classes because I don't actually think my puny few prerequisite classes were enough to prepare me for this program. A vast majority of my peer have MUCH MUCH more knowledge than me coming into the program. I am studying my ass off though and think I did well enough on my first two exams. I held a human heart today and cleaned the blood out of its vessels...the whole experience is surreal and awesome so I can't complain that much.

My life or what used to be my life is definitely suffering right now. I only have time for eating, commuting, studying and semi regular gym trips right now. Fun things like Saturday's on my mountain bike just aren't happening while I figure out how to survive this program.

Anyway, I am taking off for the weekend to head to San Diego on Friday. I may regret it when my next exam rolls around and I will definitely be studying part of the time there, but with no major tests next week, it ocean time baby.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Firehose Part II

For today's blog update...see last week's.

No seriously. More fire hose drinking, more dead bodies, more insane amounts of anatomy stuffed into a brain that had been on a mental diet for the last 3.5 years.

We have our first exam next week which covers 1/4 of the body. It is a four hour exam. Yes I realize that I have only had 2 weeks of school. This is how we PAs roll.

I am going to be spending this entire weekend studying, because for some reason, I am having a hard time memorizing 75 muscles and their innervations, orgins, insertions and actions (x3 because most have multiple). Memorization wasn't a big part of the engineering it is different.

I still feel very behind the curve as far as previous anatomy knowledge. Most people come from the health care world and just know a lot of the easier stuff. I have to learn it all right now and it is showing. Can't help but feel stupid at times. I am sure to catch up at some point, once we get past the stuff that my fellow classmates already know. Or maybe I am just not as smart as my mother thinks I am. It will be fun uncovering this. Sarcasm...sarcasm.

I have been faithfully to the gym but I am sorely missing things like mountain biking. My "I always drag him along when camping" husband is going camping without me inFlagstaff. Boo freaking hoo...what is the world coming to? I have virtually given up reading all blogs right now (and news/tv/any activity that can't be coupled with studying anatomy...i even study on the stairclimber). My brain is tired, but all the thinking it burning calores (my lowest weight in awhile) so that is good right?

Well enough bitching, time for my 40 min. commute. In all reality though, if you asked me whether I would rather be back at In-hell (my previous co., figure it out) or doing this new insane dance of the first year medical student, dance on my friends.

Signing off for another week. Cross fingers I won't fail my first exam.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Fire Hose Drinking

Wow...can't believe it has almost only been a week since I have posted. During orientation, they told us that the pace of learning would feel like we were trying to take a drink out of a fire hose.

We all laughed then. It is so true. We had four days of class this week, and I can't even believe how much information we both learned and are responsible for learning. We had 8 separate anatomy lectures and 9 hours of anatomy lab dissecting my first real human. We had 4 biochemistry lectures along with about 12 other lectures on everything from medical documentation, taking a patients history, etc. We have four days of class, but every Friday, they schedule study session and lab reviews so I will be on campus that day also. Lectures are so fast that it is impossible to catch everything so a lot of weekend review is needed to master the topic before the brain dump starts again.

It is equals parts amazing, ridiculous, fun and exhausting.

Alert. I will probably be talking about things like dissection of a cadaver quite a bit this if that type of stuff bothers you, take note.

We started off day one with 5 hours of lecture followed by the immediate dissection of our cadaver's back skin and muscles. When you cut away the skin and reflect it (pull it back) it allows us to see all the fascia (connective tissue), fat and hopefully the outer back muscles. Our cadaver is a larger lady so we had to contend with a large amount of back fat which we had to remove before we could examine the superficial layer of extrinsic muscles. We uncovered layers of muscles until we were able to examine the spinal cord. We also cut into the spinal cord to see the layers inside of it. Lab was my favorite part this week.

My commute too and from school was about 40 minutes each way. It is shitty but actually better than I expected. I find that the amount of focus needed for the 8 hours of class each day followed by a couple hours of studying and a gym workout burns me up so bad that I do struggle on the drive home. I definitely foresee my caffeine intake increasing dramatically but that is unavoidable. I did find a carpool partner that I will switch some rides with, but she doesn't like to stick around to study or spend extra hours in the lab so I won't trade rides with her every day.

The program is going to be 1 year of this insane schedule, but the amount of information I will learn in that 1 year will be amazing. I did meet a cool biker friend in my class who I took out to Black Canyon Trail on Friday morning for a quick ride.

Okay, gotta study again. Party on my friends.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Schools Not Out For Summer

Orientation is over in all it's amazing glory.  Two days of 8 hours of fun.

This is what I learned.

1.  We can have a keg on campus but don't get drunk.
2.  Don't cheat.  No one wants a doctor who cheated their way through school.
3.  Wear old clothes to anatomy lab.  Dissecting bodies is grusome business.
4.  Expect to get stressed/anxious/depressed.  Apparently PA students use the counselor the most.
5.  Studying is generally a good idea.
6.  My commute is going to be around 40 min. each way.  It is going to get real old real quick.
7.  I need to read actively not passively whatever that means.
8.  Everyone needs some down time. 
9.  Everyone who works at Midwestern seems to love their job.  Even the librarian and the security guard.
10. This next year will be one of the most exciting and crazy years of my life.

I am very excited for school to start tomorrow.  Let the good times roll.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

When Fun Must End

My ticket on the unemployed with nothing to do train is coming to an end. It was a great 2 .5 week ride while it lasted.

I can't keep track of all the fun things I did...and I am finally getting into shape again. But alas, tomorrow begins the new journey of excitement and good times studying in the library so cheetos and flappy arms here I come.

Orientation is tomorrow. I am excited to meet my new classmates who I will see for 8 hours a day for the next 14 months. I am electing myself "chief adventure officer" and plan to see any of them want to go explore a waterfall this weekend as a "welcome to arizona" trip.

Speaking of waterfalls, I hit up Christopher Creek canyon a couple of weeks ago and although the water level was a tad lower than last year, it was burrr... freezing. I am made of steel though (aka have body fat to keep me warm) so I didn't freeze as much as some of my puny friends Angel and Tim.