Year One: A Reflection

I am officially done with my first year of medical school!  I wanted to take a moment to write down a few of my favorite memories and experiences from the year.  Enjoy!

1.  White Coat Ceremony.  I will never forget walking out of the auditorium and seeing all of our professors in their white coats standing along the sides of the sidewalk applauding for us.  It was such an honor to be welcomed into the profession.  I can only imagine how it will feel when I become a doctor for REAL.

2.  Walter.  I know I have talked about Walter a lot, but he was a really big part of my year.  I will never forget meeting him for the first time.  We were all so hesitant to unzip our bag and meet our cadaver.  It didn’t take much time before we became comfortable with Walter.  We gave him a name.  We made our first cut.  We sawed him in pieces.  Good times…

3.  First Lecture.  I am pretty sure almost every jaw dropped at some point in time during our first few lectures – our first Embryology lecture especially.  I remember looking at my friends and just shaking my head.  I was so overwhelmed.  Slowly I learned not to get freaked out if I didn’t understand a word that my professors were saying.

4.  Injection Lab.  I don’t think I have ever been more terrified for anything in my life.  Turns out it wasn’t that bad.  But let’s just say I’m glad it’s over.

5.  Standardized Patients.  Seeing standardized patients throughout my first year has been such a wonderful experience.  We are blessed to have so many members in our community who are willing to help us with our education.  I have made a fool of myself many times in front of standardized patients, but they always make me feel so good with the kind words they say and the helpful tips they give me.

6.  OTM Lab.  One of the unique experiences I have as an Osteopathic medical student is learning to perform Osteopathic Manipulation.  I have probably had close to 150 hours of hands-on experience working with my fellow classmates, and it has greatly enriched my understanding of human anatomy.  Although many days I dread OTM lab and having someone attempt to perform manipulation on me, I have a lot of wonderful memories from my first year.  I will never forget having to palpate the pelvis for the first time and laughing that the partners next to me who accidentally got a little too friendly…

7.  GU Exams.  There was nothing more awkward from my first year of medical school than learning to perform genitourinary exams.  Well, I take that back.  There was nothing more awkward than running into the girl I performed my first GU exam on and trying to pretend that I didn’t know her…and hadn’t performed a bimanual exam on her…

8.  Clinical Skills.  I remember getting my bag of “goodies” during orientation.  I tore through it pulling out a bunch of tools that I had no idea how to use.  Why are there tuning forks in here? I thought.  I remember the confusion we all had trying to figure out how to charge our opthalmoscopes for the first time.  Mine didn’t come with a charger cable, I overheard a classmate say.  (Turns out you can twist part of it off and plug it straight into the wall…like, how many medical students does it take to change a lightbulb?)  My cell phone background is still a picture of me using my stethoscope for the first time…and it is on backwards.  It is a nice reminder to myself that I am idiot.  Keeps me humble…

9.  Studying.  This is how I spent the majority of my time this past year.  And, honestly, I have a lot of fun memories from it.  Medical students do some pretty weird things when they are stressed and sleep deprived and spend all their time locked away in tiny study rooms.  Once my friends and I almost got into a rumble with some second years who thought we were being a little too loud during finals week…

10.  Friends.  Nothing in my first year of medical school can compare to the friends I’ve made.  It is such a blessing to know people who are also interested in medicine and share the same goals of becoming a doctor and helping people.  Med school can be really stressful at times, and it is comforting to know that I’m not alone.  Thanks to all of my friends who have supported me and helped me get through the year!  1/4 of the way done!

About emilyehoward

My name is Emily, and I am a Hospitalist in Nebraska. I live with my husband and three beautiful daughters. I hope you enjoy my blog!
This entry was posted in Doctor, Health Care, Medical Student, Medicine, Osteopathy, Physician and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Year One: A Reflection

  1. Jodi schulte says:

    I have enjoyed reading your blogs,Emily! Are you ready to have Randy as a patient yet? He will wait for you! Enjoy Ireland and get some rest!

  2. This is brilliant! I’m hoping to become a doctor myself, but I won’t be starting medical school until 2014. It’s great to hear the accounts of a medical student and I’m looking forward to seeing what else you have to say.

  3. Karen says:

    A wonderful synopsis.

  4. Ah this is beautiful. I’m afraid my first year wasn’t this much fun. Medical school in South Africa is… different. But still a blessing. I loved reading about this though. I hope that more med students can have a great first year!

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