Thursday Born

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

Archive for August 19th, 2010

Into the frying pan

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This is apparently 3 weeks of material... Yikes.

Three weeks worth of Course Packets...

I think second year is the frying pan stage of medical school, and third year will be the fire (note the idiom: Out of the frying pan and into the fire) . First year was difficult, yes, but I am already working harder than I did at any point first year and I still need to up the ante if I want to make High Pass, or maybe even Honors. Yes, we have grades this year. Pass, High Pass, and Honors.  Pass is usually about 70-80%, High Pass 80 to 90%, and Honors above 90%. It varies from course to course, but one consistency is that there is no grade curve. Everyone can get honors, everyone can only get a Pass.

There are six blocks this year, which in a way are mini-semesters, minus the vacation after each one (we have the usual 2 or 3 days for Thanksgiving, 2 weeks in December, and 1 week in March. Plus a day off here or there for a public holiday, but I forget which ones we actually do get off). Three blocks each semester, and our first block is a rather alarming 3 weeks. Well, alarming or comforting. Alarming because, only 3 weeks (almost 2 already!) till our first exams! Comforting because, only 3 weeks of class? How bad could it be?

I still haven’t ordered my copy of First Aid for the USMLE but I really should. I’m unsure what else to get or do for board prep, but I’ll figure it out along the way. I decided to follow conventional wisdom and not study over my summer vacation, so I should be consistent and also buy First Aid and review the relevant section after each block. It blows my mind that in theory, after this year is over I should only need about 2 weeks of hardcore full time + overtime studying to be ready for the test, but I know I burn out easily so again, I’m going to trust the masses and plan on that. I haven’t decided yet where I want to take the test, and more importantly, where I want to hole up for two weeks to study. My roommate Hao has offered to feed me if I stay, but Ahmet has also offered to house me, so we’ll see what happens. I can see benefits to both, and thankfully, I have ten months to think about it.

So far I’ve managed to keep up quite well with my classes (but it’s hard to gauge how well things are sticking in my head). I’m watching lecture videos the day of or the morning immediately after, but even more surprising, I’m consistently taking notes. This is a Big Deal for me, capital letters intentional. I am not, not, a note taker. But I’m making myself one. I finally really tried it during Neuro Block at the end of last year and I have to say it was helpful, so I’m trying to keep it up. It remains to be seen if I’ll use One Note or paper more, but I’ve already switched back to paper after just two days of using One Note. Handwriting is slower, but it’s familiar. And I can draw pictures and write formulas, which is key.

Last year of classroom learning! Time to put 18 years of practice to work and make this the best year of the bunch. Aside: 19 years of classroom learning once this is over?! And yeah, that math is right; I don’t mean 18. I could mean 20 if I wanted to count Montessori, but that feels like cheating.

Written by Aba

August 19, 2010 at 11:37 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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