Second Test, No Stress.

Can we talk about why everything in anatomy/medicine is SO hard to pronounce??

It’s like the scientists and doctors in years past just huddled together played the “How Hard Can You Make The Life Of Future Med Students” game. Brainstorming words like pancreaticoduodenal and ischiocavernosus and shiii…try saying preganglionic parasympathetic nerves five times fast. If you can, try saying it ten times fast while doing backflips, ya damn showoff. Lord already knows I pronounce regular words wrong all the time, now I gotta learn how to speak in medical language (PIG LATIN) without sounding illiterate. Smh. Whatever. I’ll be fine with sounding illiterate, I’m still gonna be a doctor lol.

But in other news, I’m finding it incredible that my brain is starting to get used to retaining a crazy amount of information at once. Like, I’m actually starting to learn how to study properly in medical school…or maybe just for anatomy. Although I kept my cool before my first exam a couple weeks ago, I was still pulling hairs out trying to figure out if I knew everything I needed to know. Now even with my second exam this Friday, I find myself strolling into anatomy lab everyday with a smile on my face. Maybe it’s confidence, maybe it’s the first signs of insanity. I don’t care. It’s either this or crying myself to sleep at night feeling like anatomy slapped me across my face.

I’m also amazed at the fact that I’m starting to make actual free time for myself during my marathon days of studying. Just last Friday, I went to a pregame, a party that the school threw for Homecoming and an after-party where I met Melissa Harris-Perry. Great times, great times. I’m also making time to volunteer for different organizations to help keep me involved in my new community. I started volunteering last week at a free clinic where I helped with vision tests and I’m going to start tutoring high-school kids in a couple weeks. Studying is vital to doing well in school, but I personally just can’t do that 24/7…I need to be doing other things to keep my mind fresh. It’s just how I’ve always operated. Plus I like to meet all kinds of people and learn how others see the world. Who knows, you could end up changing someone’s life for the better…or they could even end up changing yours. You’ll never know if you never put yourself out there.

Speaking of volunteering, I beginning to wonder what the hell I’m gonna do this upcoming summer. I don’t know if I should go abroad and help set up free clinics, stay in the country and do some ground-breaking research to try and get published, find a summer job and get some money, shadow doctors, chill and travel around, etc. People say it’s your last free summer, so I wanna make sure I spend it doing something I really want to do…but I have no idea what I want to do. I feel like I need to do something productive, which I have no problem doing…I just want to enjoy whatever it is I get myself into. I spent so much time and energy trying to get to medical school that I never thought about what I would actually be doing (other than studying) now that I’m here. I guess I got time to figure it out, but time is slick flying by. You’d be amazed at how fast you can make time pass by staring at notes and cutting up dead bodies in lab. Creepy as hell, but you get the point.

So yeah, back to this test on Friday…I plan on doing the best I can because that’s all you really can do in anatomy. Between the gastrointestinal system, the renal system, the anterior abdominal wall and the pelvic region, I’ve just come to the conclusion that I’ll never know every little detail by Friday…or ever. If I get the general concepts down cold, I’ll be able to make a good amount of educated guesses, which is what being a doctor is all about. No point in overly stressing myself out. Sooo I’m just gonna keep smiling, studying, and sending prayers up to God. 🙏

Positive Vibes!

– Black Man, M.D.

Another Week. 😒

Here goes the start of ANOTHER week of fresh, brand-new material to study.

SMH.

Is it bad that I’m not feeling as pressed about this new section of material as I was about the material before my first exam? Like my next exam is next Friday (Oct. 2) but I’ve been pretty chill about studying and I’m just more lenient with what I’m studying. Maybe it’s because I know how I’ll be tested so some of that beginner’s anxiety is gone? Maybe it’s because I’m finding more efficient ways to study? Or maybe it’s because I’m just starting to slowly burnout already?? Nahhh…It’s only been about a month since anatomy started, I can’t possibly be burning out. I’m actually all caught up in my studies from this week…or at least I think I am. We’ve gone through the whole GI (gastrointestinal) system and pelvic region in a week as well as had four lab dissections of the GI tract in the same amount of time. Try and imagine what that smelled like. 

But even with all that, I feel alright…almost like I’m starting to get used to the flow of medical school. Sure, waking up around 6:45-7:00 AM everyday sucks ass, but I’m also going to bed around 11 PM so that I can still get my 7-8 hours of sleep. I’m also starting to learn how to find what is going to be high-yield for exams in my notes, allowing for me to study more effectively. I’m really trying to learn the material not only to pass these exams, but to be a better future doctor overall…but it’s hard man. There’s just too much material to try and learn every little detail exactly, so I’m learning how to completely understand all the overall concepts while being at ease that I simply won’t ever know everything. Guess that’s just something you eventually learn while in medical school.

Something that’s been kind of bugging me though is the fact that I’m actually becoming an adult…as a matter of fact I technically am an adult. Not only that, but I literally went from college where people all around me were around my age to being the fourth youngest person in my class…damn near everyone around me is grown. I’m still tryna wrap my head around that. I feel like a small part of my mind is still down in Miami in college and is unable to accept the fact that I’m not a kid anymore. I’m in the real freakin’ world.

Ain’t no more dining hall bih.

Ain’t no more stroll-offs bihhh.

Ain’t no more free merchandise bihhh.

Just me, this crazy world and all this damn debt that I’m putting myself in. It’s still crazy to me that I have my bachelor’s from undergrad and even crazier that I made it to medical school on my first try by the skin of my teeth. Sometimes I wonder what I would have actually done if I had decided to take a year off…

I’m also trying to wrap my head around the fact that medicine is literally going to be the rest of my life. Like, I’m actually going to be working in the medical field until the day I die. This is going to be my job, my passion, my desire. This is where my place will be in this world. It’s honestly a surreal feeling. I’ve been working my whole life up to this point to make it into medical school and now that I’m actually here, I’ve really started to understand that this will be a lifelong journey. I just gotta make sure I make it worthwhile and that it doesn’t take away my sanity…

F- it, I’ll be good. I’m just airing out floating thoughts. Y’all didn’t help support me all this time just to see me get anxious about my future!

If there is NO struggle, there is NO progress.

Y’all have a blessed week!

– Black Man, M.D.

First Exam Down!

So I took my first anatomy exam last Friday…

And it actually wasn’t that bad! As a matter of fact, out of the 120 questions that were on the written portion, I felt unsure about 20 questions at most, which means there’s a great chance I passed! And the practical portion was pretty straightforward too, much better than I expected. And there were hella CT scan questions, something I literally reviewed for the first time the day before…God was looking out y’all. Thanks for all the prayers y’all lol. So with that out of the way, my weekend has been pretty chill overall. Got to go out for a lil bit last night and also got to get some late night iHop…it reminded me of college. I freakin’ miss undergrad man. Also saw The Perfect Guy with Morris Chestnut, Michael Ealy and bad-ass Sanaa Lathan. That movie was too much 😂. Too bad the weekend is already all over now and that the whole study cycle is about to start all over again tomorrow. These next three weeks are going to be all about the abdomen and the pelvic area.

*Sigh.*

Plus this week is about to be 8-5 days pretty much every day. I have seven lectures, five labs, a case-centered learning session, a clinical skills foundation session, and an ethics in medicine discussion. Why they doing this to us man? How TF am I supposed to review and study my lectures everyday and get adequate sleep if we got all this other stuff going on? They really tryna make us embrace the skill of time management…or maybe they’re secretly enjoying watching us struggle on a day-to-day basis. I’ve personally been slowly increasing my coffee intake too (free coffee at my apartment complex has been hella clutch). Guess I just gotta make it all work some way, shape or form. Nobody said becoming a doctor was easy.

On another note, having lunch with Dr. Damon Tweedy right after my anatomy exam was fantastic. We all talked about how although black female enrollment to medical schools has more than doubled since 1978, black male enrollment to medical schools has decreased nationwide since then. We discussed reasons as to why that may be happening and also possible ways to fix that. He also talked to us about some interesting aspects of his life and how he came to writing the book “Black Man in a White Coat”, a book that I ended up buying and getting signed by him. He ended up being a pretty cool guy and is tall as hell too (6’6). He also apparently was pretty personal in the book, so I’m definitely gonna give that book a read whenever I get a chance. It’s also obviously pretty applicable to me since I AM a black man trying to earn my white coat.

So yeah, now I gotta cook some pasta or something for dinner and get ready for this packed week ahead of me. Gotta keep pushing if I want to be the best physician I can be! Y’all stay up!

– Black Man, M.D.