I’d say it’s a pretty accurate description of medical school. Last week was orientation, so this has been my first true week as a medical student. It’s definitely a fire hose of information!
Day 1: covered the lifecycle of the cell, had an overview of cellular models of disease, touched on anemia, leukemia, Alzheimer’s disease and a few other obscure genetic disorders related to malfunctions in DNA replication. Which brought us, then, to a lecture on DNA replication, some of the problems that can occur, the medical ramifications of these problems, and the cell’s method of preventing these problems…which naturally included a detailed peek at cell cycle checkpoints and cyclin-CDK pairings throughout the cell cycle. Oh, and we also went over different types of cell death and their causes and a few examples of associated diseases. Oh, and also a few diseases related to protein malformation…what am I missing?
Day 2: we had a case study on a theoretical patient who presented with fatigue, irritability, shortness of breath, dizziness, weight loss, tingling sensation in her legs, elevated pulse and no fever. Megaloplastic anemia resulting from a deficiency in vitamin B12. (Obvious. Right?) We discussed differential diagnoses, the relevance of the absence of a fever, the specific mistake in the cell cycle that leads to the development of hypersegmented neutrophils. We then had a solid review lecture on DNA transcription and translation–that wondrous journey that takes a DNA transcript and turns it into a protein. In the afternoon, we had our first partial patient exams (they call them “interviews”) where we practiced our new skills (derived from copious readings) for establishing empathy and patient trust via non-focused, open-ended questions before continuing onward to address the 7 characteristics of a symptom. Good stuff. (I’m not being sarcastic!)
As you can imagine, most of my free time is consumed with studying and preparing for the next day. But writing helps keep me sane. (And I prefer to be sane.) As does spending time with my incredible and supportive Hubs and our two rag-tag mastiffs–who, I might add, are fast becoming the boorish behemoths of our apartment complex. (The dogs, that is, not Hubs–who is still the GQ Model on the Block.)
So there. I’ve said my piece and made my first post as a medical student. Now it’s family time, then bedtime at, errrr, 9:00pm…)