Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I didn't know then what I know now

I wanted to write a post reflecting on my experience and gleaning some insight, or something. Well, I can say I was so exhausted that it took a lot of effort to do any type of intellectual work (i.e. my paper and this blog) for over a week after finals. I also learned that medical school, at least term 1, is nearly pure memorization. I wish I knew how my brain memorized information before I started school, but luckily I quickly (re)discovered my visual learning style. The Netter Anatomy cards became a godsend.
Now it has been a few weeks since school and the next semester starts a week from Monday. I figured I would be posting about all the neat medical things I was reading over the break, but I got sidetracked everyday on random websites, going out to eat, walks around Boston with a slightly different perspective after being out of town, looking up computers, watching adult swim, etc. It was also freezing here and has been snowing most of the time, so it's been more of the coach activities than the walking ones. Some good material for facebook updates, but not this blog.
Perhaps the most rewarding part of the break was the applications of what I learned. A friend of mine mentioned how when he was diagnosed with cancer, the physicians said he had fluid around his heart and needed to go to the ER immediately. Ah, I thought in my head, Beck's Triad. It took some thinking/googling to figure out the items of the triad and the actual condition associated with it(not just the image of the ppt slide from lecture), but that was the nature of my training to that point: random associations would come back, sometimes out of context, and not always complete. But it was there. Watching medical programs with wikipedia became a combination quiz and review. As my awareness of my knowledge, and its limitations, grew, I began to get more excited about next semester and wanted to fast forward to clinical years when I could see my knowledge in action, just like on Discovery Health channel.