The past few weeks have been really busy and incredibly stressful. I overheard a fellow student saying that it felt like they took our training wheels off. To me, it feels more like they pushed us off our bikes and kicked us.
Last week we had an OTM midterm and critique. This meant that we spent a lot of extra time practicing our palpating skills and trying to diagnose somatic dysfunction in the vertebra. I managed to pass, even though I really had no idea what I was doing. Now we are starting to learn a few Osteopathic Manipulative techniques, which is pretty cool.
We had our first lab practical this past week, which meant we were all spending a lot more time with our cadavers. I think overall I spent an extra 14 or 15 hours in the cadaver lab this week. We also had to dissect three times this week, while we normally only dissect once or twice. The extra time in the lab really adds up when you include time we studied for the practical outside of the lab as well as the time it takes to shower afterwards. It will be really nice not to quite so smelly this week. If you have never smelled a cadaver, well, you are lucky, because they really don’t smell that good. And every cadaver has a different smell. And if you are working with cadavers, then you begin to smell like them, even though you wear scrubs and gloves. The worst is when your hands smell. I will shower an wash my hands a dozen times, and they will still smell. It can really make you lose your appetite when you go to take a bite and get a big whiff of cadaver. At least I haven’t gotten any cadaver bits in my mouth yet (which happened to someone this week). Oh the things they don’t tell you about becoming a doctor….
Also this week I had to help give school physicals to the 7th grade youth in Kirksville. Naturally, I had no idea what I was doing, as we have yet to learn how to use any of our diagnostic tools. I was paired with a second year and another first year. We just had to check the kids for lice, look in their eyes, ears, and mouth, and check for scoliosis. We also took their blood pressure and listened to their heart and lungs. I don’t know who was more uncomfortable, the seventh graders, or us.
And, of course, we have a block exam tomorrow. I spent 16 hours at school yesterday studying, with a short break to check out the Kirksville Bacon Festival for lunch. My friends and I arrived at school at 7:30 am, and half the study rooms were already full. The nice thing about studying at school is that you have other people around who can feel your pain. Having friends in med school is pretty much the best thing ever because I don’t know if you would survive without them. Everybody was miserable (and still is), and I’m pretty sure there will be a lot of crazy med students roaming the streets of Kirskville tomorrow after the exam is over just happy to have a free afternoon for once. I already have a list of things to do tomorrow when I finally have some free time. I have been looking forward to cleaning our bathroom, catching up on laundry, going grocery shopping, and painting my toenails. And we have a quiz Tuesday and a Histology practical in one week, so I will probably have to start studying all over again. More than anything, I need to catch up on sleep!
In other words, I am surviving med school for the time being. I thank God every day for allowing me this opportunity, even when it is hard. I know that many people would like to be in my shoes, so I am very grateful to be in med school. Say a prayer for your future doctors…we definitely need it!