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.

Three Week Sprint

I hope that you had a phenomenal Thanksgiving break!

I can’t complain about my (unofficially extended) break at all. These past 11 days have been very refreshing for me. Getting out of Winston-Salem to see friends and family in Miami and Virginia was revitalizing, to say the least.  One of the highlights of my trip back home had to be all the free, home-cooked meals I had on Thanksgiving Day. The leftovers were hella clutch too. (Shoutout to my mom and my little sister! 😄) Another highlight was the fact that I wasn’t walking into freezing temperatures due to the unusually warm weather that hit Hampton Roads this past weekend. Like, the sun was actually beating down on me for the past few days and I could actually wear a T-shirt and cargo shorts out. Pretty crazy. And oh yeah, I can’t forget about my airport experience that further confirmed my belief that taxi drivers are MAJOR a-holes…but that’s another story for another day. All in all, between gaining several gratifying pounds in three days and showing no mercy to everyone I crushed in Mortal Kombat and FIFA, my few days at home were pretty relaxing.

But of course, you can’t ever be totally relaxed and in medical school at the same time. I was playing catch-up with biochemistry the whole break and every time I thought I was close to finally being 3/4 of the way done, there would be new material to study. Not only that, but I had several assignments to complete, one of which was an essay. Good thing I still have another week to finish that…because that definitely did NOT happen over break. I meant to get that done on the plane to VA, but I only got up to the brainstorming phase of it 😅. Although I’m still playing catch-up with biochem, it’s really helpful that I’ve already studied most of this material back in college. Therefore, I’m not stressing. As a matter of fact, I’m very ready for the all the chaos that these next three weeks are about to bring.

We got four different exams to take before winter break? Shiiii, bring it.

We have about 20 lectures between now and break? Whaaateva.

I’m pretty much going to be studying non-stop until Dec. 18th? STUDYING IS LIFE.

All I needed was some time off out of Winston-Salem with friends and family to get re-energized. And now that I’ve done that, I’m ready to give 100% everyday until I leave here again for winter break. It’s also worth noting that being done with the repetitive and drowning cycle of anatomy has given me new life. SO here I am, a rejuvenated man, ready to take off on this harsh three-week sprint to my next break.

Before I take off though, I have to get back to studying the biochem that I neglected over the break. 😐

So stay blessed and make sure you have a productive week! And happy Cyber Monday shopping! I would have loved to indulge on the deals myself, but you see, the way these student loans (BLOOD MONEY) work…

Also, if you’re currently going through the med school application cycle, stay strong and keep on pushing! 

– Black Man, M.D.