So….yeah…week two. Week two has been even more grueling than week one. I would say that, on average, between class, lab, and straight up “study time,” I am spending somewhere between 10 and 12 hours a day learning. Tuesday I was basically at school for 14 hours, with a quick 45 minute break where I ran home to shower (and wash off cadaver guts) and shovel down two microwaved eggrolls. Honestly, it’s a lot like studying for finals in undergrad, except that the finals never come and you just keep getting more and more new material. And none of it is too hard or anything, it’s just the sheer amount of material that you are expected to learn. At the end of the day I am just mentally and physically exhausted. I am starved come dinner time because I’ve hardly had time to eat all day. And the worst part is, there is no end in sight. Right now we’re all just looking forward to Monday because we have a four-hour block exam, and then we’ll get ONE WHOLE FREE AFTERNOON without studying. But really, this is all we’ll be doing for the next two years. Studying.
All you do in medical school is study and think about studying. If you’re not studying, you feel guilty because you should be studying. Even if you’re eating, showering, sleeping, or whatever…you feel like you should be studying. I lay in bed at night and go over things I studied, trying to remember the names of certain diseases and the origins and insertions of specific muscles. As I type this, I feel guilty because, in all reality I have a quiz this afternoon that I should be studying for. And we have a quiz every day. Sometimes two. And you’re never prepared for them because there just aren’t enough hours in the day. In undergrad you would study maybe ten hours and then reach a point where you feel comfortable with the material…like you have a good understanding of it and you’re ready for the exam. That doesn’t happen in medical school. There is too much information and you will never…EVER…reach a point where you know everything. And that is really hard to cope with. You have to settle for a surface level understanding of everything because that’s all you have time for.
As bad as it sounds, I am really happy. Stressed, yes. But happy. I guess that makes me a masochist, but med school is fun. It’s interesting, and I am learning a ton! Last week we had our first ultrasound lab, and we got to look at each others’ throats and see the blood vessels and even determine the direction of flow. This week we started OTM lab, where we got to begin learning how to palpate. We even got to draw all over our partners with washable markers. Who knew you’d get to use markers in med school?! AND, best of all, we started dissecting our cadavers…which was AWESOME. Not to brag or anything, but my dissection of the upper arm was pretty great. Not a drop of fat left on the muscle. TMI, I know.
Anyways, that’s what’s going on in my life. We have our first 4 hour block exam on Monday. It’s going to be oh so much fun, and then Monday afternoon…I am going to take a nap…and probably dream about studying.