Thursday Born

The everyday life of a psychiatry resident (who was born on a Thursday).

Halfway mark!

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This week marks halfway through my first semester of medical school. Anatomy lab is divided into thirds, but my other classes are bisected and this is our exam week.

I’m still overall content with my decision to come to medical school, and more specifically, with my particular school. I like my classmates, and my classes and my professors. There’s things I’d change but education’s one of those things that needs constant reworking and evolution (like our online system… It’s a little upsetting to know that it won’t be changed till I’m in my clinical years, but it is good to know that they know it’s a problem and are working on it). I also still like this city, and my apartment, and I’m getting along well with my roommate (we were friends before but had never lived together).

While in general, anatomy lab feels like “just another day in anatomy lab,” there is always something new to react to. I think (I hope) it takes a while to become completely jaded about dissecting a dead human. The sight of his hands uncovered deeply bothers one of my lab partners, and I admit that I do sometimes get a tiny bit of a chill when I see his hands, his feet, or his face (their heads are covered but I peeked under the covering yesterday, to see if it would affect me as much as seeing his head at all did the first time I stopped into lab before we started dissecting). His head and face I expected to be disturbing, but I had no idea how much hands and feet are connected to our idea of human, of person.

We cut off Frank’s right leg the other day, and that was… bizarre.  I did the final cuts of soft tissue with a scalpel, essentially hacking through the not-bone that remained in our way. It felt like butchering, a feeling missing from lab since we cracked open his ribs to open his thoracic cavity. I must say though, I am glad to be done with the pelvis and perineum and I really hope the limbs are more enjoyable to dissect. One would think the pelvis and perineum might be much more interesting dissections, but they’re just not. From the rear approach there’s way too much fat to get through, and from the forward approach there’s a lot of vague structures. I miss the thorax and the abdomen, with their obvious organs. Yup, that is definitely a kidney, and I’m willing to bet that’s a lung.

I still really like lecture though, when I’ve been going. Missed a few these past few weeks but hoping to get back on track after this week of exams. I really enjoy the clinical lectures we have in general, and especially the anatomy ones. We had a guest lecture on Urology that was surprisingly fun. Who knew urology was actually a rather interesting field?

On the other side, I’m rather shocked by how little I like biochemistry. I shouldn’t be shocked. I rather disliked my intro to molecular, cellular and developmental biology class, and I wasn’t a huge fan of the more cell biology/biochem aspects of the others I took (that makes it sound like I took many. I didn’t. I took  Intro to Ecology Evolution and Behavior, Reproductive Biology, Genetics, and Reaction to Injury, and three of the associated labs).  This is part of why I initially didn’t want to come to medical school. I’m really not a huge fan of biology and how can you want to be a doctor but not like biology?

I think it’s different though, liking biology and liking medicine. There’s overlaps, of course, but they’re still different fields. And as soon as biology becomes just a step or two higher level ( on the scale from cell to person), I start to tune in. This is important because this is the pathway for this disease? Ohhh. Ok. Maybe I’ll commit it to memory then. In general, it’s a struggle convincing myself to study for biochem. I just don’t want to know this stuff, and it’s really hard to learn what you don’t care to know.

I think I’ll enjoy the second half of our biochem course a lot more. I’ve touched on these subjects before and I remember more about them still. I just really hope I passed this midterm today because I don’t want to have to study this again, and I don’t want to have to take that test again. That was not a fun test taking experience, and yes, test taking can be fun. At the very least, it can not feel like a chore. A good test experience feels challenging, but not a struggle, and I don’t mind checking my work. An unpleasant test taking experience ranges from being boring to feeling hopeless and futile, and making me go back and check my work feels like a daunting, annoying task.

I feel I should add that I don’t think this is the fault of the teacher. I think the course is fairly well run and I really like her both as a person and as a professor. I just don’t really like biochem, much like I just didn’t like organic chemistry, and I just don’t like math either (but I enjoyed physics; obviously, I am a fan of applied sciences and not of the foundations).

Still, so far so good. Looking forward to part two (of #???).

Written by Aba

October 12, 2009 at 9:03 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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  1. urgh. my take home midterm feels like an odious chore.


    October 13, 2009 at 9:26 am

    • =/ Sorry it’s such a pain.


      October 13, 2009 at 10:21 am

      • lol. it’s over now! and you should be done with midterms too when you read this! woohoo!

        and um… yeah. i thought someone should comment here. <3


        October 15, 2009 at 12:36 pm

      • I wonder why word press limits the threads you can have going in replies. Weird.

        Anyway, yup! I’m done! Now hopefully I passed everything so I’m actually done. :)


        October 15, 2009 at 5:43 pm

  2. Agreed on the pelvis!!

    Though I wouldn’t be so certain about the obvious organs (our second day of anatomy: “wait… is that a lung or a liver??” i’m impressed by the self-restraint of our TAs not to die laughing at our attempts to identify structures).


    October 15, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    • haha, yeah, my group’s had a few moments like that. Our best (worst?) moment has to have been the perfect circle of skin left around what was just very much not the anus. Our TA did laugh, but we were all laughing so it was fine. =D


      October 15, 2009 at 5:51 pm

  3. Finishing up midterms is always a huge relief!

    Also, In anatomy if you’re getting started on extremities (or maybe it’s more useful in the neck) and have problems remembering the brachial plexus, I have an almost guaranteed way to remember it. (Anatomy gets easier psychologically the more you dissect, I find)

    James Morosky

    October 16, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    • Ooh, what’s your trick? We’re not there yet but I love mnemonics and other fun ways of remembering things.


      October 17, 2009 at 11:36 am

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