It has been a while since I’ve written anything, and it all has to do with this being the craziest semester ever! My schedule has reverted back to the MD1 days of 8-5’s, minus the hands-on labs. This time around it’s straight lectures, all day, every day. Not only do we have some of the more dense courses (ie. Path, Pharm, & Micro), but we’ve also been killed with loads of assignments and presentations. There was a point last month where I had 4 presentations in under 2 weeks! That’s the down side of attending a smaller medical school – participation marks count, and so instead of burying your head in the books studying for blocks (like you wish you could), you’ve got to get in what’s called “active learning”. To me, it’s silly, but I just accept it and move on.
The first round of blocks were awful. The average for our Pharm exam was 60% and I believe the average for Micro was 65% (for reference, anything below 70% counts as a fail). The major flaw of this program is that they have pharm crammed into 1 single semester. Can you believe it?! Almost all other medical schools spread it out over 2 semesters, and even that seems to be too short a period of time to learn everything that is required. Those two exams were on the same day, 2 hours apart, and so of course most of the weekend was devoted to studying that material instead of micro. Micro was difficult because (again, scheduling flaws) it included the Immunology portion. And when I say Immunology, I mean every topic under Immunology that is required for the Step 1 exam was taught to us in 6 days. SIX DAYS!!! For a point of reference, the Kaplan Step 1 Immunology section is about 300 pages long. Naturally, the effects of such an overwhelming workload were reflected by the exam average. We all took comfort in knowing that the same result occurred for the previous two classes who came before us, and moved forward.
Last week we finished round 2 of exams, which were far more successful. I believe the class average for Pharm was 88%, and Micro was somewhere along those lines as well. It also helped that this past block had less material (ie. block 1 pharm exam covered 15 lectures, block 2 covered 8 [why they spread it out like that, I don’t know]). Additionally, the profs gave us…erhh…*very* comprehensive review guides to study from.
And so now, here I am typing away, hardly able to believe that I am already half way done the most difficult semester of medical school yet! May God help me through these next 2 months, so that I can relax on my three week Christmas vacation in Vancouver with the family.
That catches us up for now, but I’m about to write 2 more posts on my trip to Bequia and also Halloween, so keep your eyes peeled for those. Hope you all have a wonderful day, and I will see you in the next post!