I’m Still Sprinting.

I don’t think I like having exams on Mondays.

Actually, I know for damn sure I don’t like having Monday exams.

But alas, we have our first Biochemistry exam tomorrow…and guess what Biochemistry topics are going to be on the exam? Go ahead, take your best shot. I insist.

Enzymes? Yeah.

Bioenergetics? Yep. Keep going, there’s more.

Lipid Metabolism?? Uh-huh.

Amino Acids??? Yuuuuuup.

Are you starting to catch the drift? You guessed it, we’re being tested on ALL of Biochemistry tomorrow. Yes, we started the topic less than three weeks ago. How they managed to pack a class that took me a treacherous semester to get through in college in 18 days, I will never understand. And that’s including weekends and Thanksgiving y’all. I’m pretty amazed that I’ve been able to retain all this information in such a short amount of time…or at least I think I have. We’ll see tomorrow. Granted, all I’ve been doing since my last post is studying, studying, and studying. Almost every waking hour this past week has been spent poring through biochem notes ranging from pH to Carbohydrates to Interorgan Metabolism and everything in between. It’s been ridiculous man. I’ve even had to push back my bedtime so that I wouldn’t be too far behind in the class…to tell the truth, I have actually been playing catch-up in the class up until last night 😒. Shiii, I would still be like three lectures behind if it wasn’t for my awesome peers in my class. I greatly appreciate the fact that the vast majority of us are so willing to help each other out. It really reinforces how far teamwork and collaboration can get everyone…and it turns out that those are both highly essential skills that are needed in order to be an effective physician. Look at us working together like the little doctors we’re trying to be! So a HUGE shoutout to my class here at Wake and our guardian angels in the classes above us, y’all are much appreciated!

But like I said last week, I’m ready to keep this sprint going until I’m finally free for winter break. I’ve been working hard and it’s been an intense week, but I knew what was coming. I knew that I had to take on this exam tomorrow, take my clinical skills exam on Wednesday, and then take my medical ethics test on Friday. I also knew that I had to power through the very last day of class before break where I’ll be taking my Genetics/Pharmacology exam. None of this is fun…but at least it’s making the time fly by. Now I have only a two-week sprint in front of me. 😊

Positive vibes, Positive vibes.

I mentioned being an effective physician earlier and it made me think of what we discussed in our medical ethics class this past week. We focused on both bias and stigma, and how each of those implications of health in society could affect the doctor-patient relationship as a whole. I found it especially interesting how easy it is for some doctors to seek medical labels for people who differ from them in order to make their jobs easier. Kind of like fitting a patient into a box of some sort, you know? We also discussed how stereotypes can affect the way patients are treated, and how it can stifle opportunities to learn about people of other races, classes and cultures. As doctors, I’m sure that we’ll be trained to screen for specific diseases based on a patient’s ethnicity or race. And in my opinion, that’s all good because if it’s proven by research that people of a certain ethnic group are more prone to a certain disease or genetic trait, it only makes sense to use that knowledge to help guide the doctor in curing the patient. Stereotyping becomes a problem when it’s used to make judgments about a patient that doesn’t help the patient get well. Asking a young, uninsured black African man if he has been screened for sickle-cell disease is different from assuming that he is unintelligent and is probably living off welfare. Screening out diseases for a susceptible group of people is being effective and looking out for the health of the patient ; assuming character traits is not. Being an effective physician also means not only realizing that every patient has their own unique life story, but also how to use their story to come up with a solution to their health issue. Trying to judge a person by what they look like just won’t work. That plus it’s a very simple-minded approach. Hell, you could be a more effective person in general just by remembering that everyone has a life story just like you. The world would be a better place if people just simply treated others the way they would want to be treated.

But I digress. I need to finish preparing for this test tomorrow, not spilling out my thoughts.

I hope that your week turns out to be a remarkable one!!!

– Black Man, M.D.

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