Rejuvenated.

My summer vacation is officially over.

I’m sitting here back in Winston-Salem wondering how fast time can fly by as I prepare myself to start my second year tomorrow. My summer vacation was very relaxing, thrilling and rewarding to say the least. I enjoyed every minute of it. As a matter of fact, my summer break was so great that I feel completely rejuvenated! I’m actually very excited to begin this new chapter in my medical career! Everything we will be learning this year will be absolutely critical to know if we want to blossom into effective doctors. It will also just so happen to be vital information for our impending Step 1 exam, which is my #1 priority this school year. (The fact that I’m taking it in less than a year though…) This year, we’ll be focusing on organ systems and learning about the physiology and pathophysiology of each one, starting with Hematology/Oncology (Blood & Cancer) tomorrow. Studying the organ systems and how they make the body work is what I thought I would be doing when I first embarked on the pre-med track in college…instead, I got bombarded mercilessly with multiple years of Evolutionary Biology, Organic Chemistry, Physics, etc. So being finally able to actually learn about how the human body functions on a day-to-day basis sure does invigorate me! Plus, the medical school building moved to a new building downtown…which just so happens to be literally next door to my apartment 😁. I can actually make it from my bed to the classroom in less than 5 minutes if I really wanted to! So needless to say, this is going to be a hell of a convenient year.

Before getting back to the good ol’ Dash city, I spent a week at home with family and friends. I didn’t really do much except hang with my little brothers, run errands for my mom, watch the Democratic National Convention (I just might drop a few tears when President Obama leaves office 😢😭), chill with some of my cousins, catch up with childhood friends, and play FIFA/Mortal Kombat/Monopoly. It was such a chill final week of summer. Oh and guess what?

I FINALLY FINISHED BLACK MAN IN A WHITE COAT.

Martin laughing cheering cheer 2x01

Took me almost a year to get through it, but I did it! It really shouldn’t have taken me that long to read through it…but on the other hand, in that long span of time, I was able to fully absorb Dr. Tweedy’s story chapter-for-chapter. There are so many topics in the book that could potentially used for great discussions, that’s for sure. Lol, I could literally write a series of posts concerning several of the many topics brought up in the book.

On a side-note, before I left home to come back here, I visited an older cousin who works as a Nurse Practitioner and her two kids. While I was there, we had an interesting conversation about how different the mentality of receiving healthcare is in Cameroon and other countries like it. I don’t even know how we came up on the topic…but we ended up talking about it for almost an hour. She was telling me how a good number of people in Cameroon would rather pray or look for other sources of “traditional” care whenever them or one of their loved ones became ill and because of this resistant mentality against Westernized medicine, the nation of Cameroon as a whole has a lower life expectancy and people there tend to wait until the last minute to receive adequate care. She also talked about how certain conditions are stigmatized there, with an example being epilepsy. The craziest thing about it all is that if any one of us from America were to go there to help inform them about the benefits of Western medicine as well as the inherent dangers of some aspects of their traditional mentality, we would most likely be seen as “know-it-alls” and viewed as if we thought we were in some way “better than them”. It just goes to show how powerful a mentality can be, especially when it comes to giving and receiving healthcare. This is very important to keep in mind if you are going to be providing healthcare to people of various populations. Hell, it’s important to keep in mind in general. Trying to understand where someone else is coming from can really help you reach a compromise when it comes to solving issues.

Man, I lowkey can’t believe I’m about to start up my study routine again. Yes, I’m ready, but at the same time this really is the last day of my vacation. So I suppose I’ll go and enjoy it now before having to start classes at 8 AM tomorrow. But before I do, I just need to shoutout the students I worked with in the Motivation Program this summer one more time. They actually made an appreciation video where each of them expressed their gratitude to the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs for their experiences in the program. Click here to view the video that warmed our hearts!

Here’s to a spectacular start to this new school year! Shoutouts to all the new medical students around the nation starting off their medical school careers!

Make sure you have a resplendent week! You have the power to do so!

“When someone tells you it can’t be done, it’s more a reflection of their limitations, not yours.”

– Black Man, M.D.

Christel Wekon-Kemeni, (1/4) M.D.

*sniff*  *sniff*

Aye, you smell that?

*sniff*

What does it smell like? You can’t tell?

*sniff*  *sniff*

I’ll tell you what it smells like.

It’s the sweet, sweet, sweeeeeeet smell of THE END OF MY FIRST YEAR OF MED SCHOOL!!!

You know what that means? If you couldn’t tell from this post’s title, it means that I’m 25% of the way towards obtaining my medical degree! (Let’s not think about the other 75% in the way right now) 25%! That’s half of a half! That’s equivalent to a huge piece of some warm apple pie! That’s a quarter of a dollar bruh!

I’m getting the feeling that you get the idea 😅.

It’s pretty cool saying that I’m a second-year student now, mostly because I’m now one step above being on the bottom of the totem pole lol. The personal growth that I’ve gone thru this past year has been quite an experience. It’s also been interesting watching all of my classmates expand their knowledge base throughout the year. It’s hard to believe (and quite hilarious) that there was a time when most of us couldn’t clearly tell the difference between sympathetic and parasympathetic innervation 😂. What I’m really looking forward to this upcoming fall is helping out the incoming first-years and being able to provide them calming & positive vibes whenever the stress of school begins to try and creep up on them. But like I said in my last post, I’m very ecstatic about this much-needed break from lectures and exams this summer. Having the time to do things that don’t require me preparing for a looming exam is becoming more and more of a foreign concept to me…truthfully, it’ll feel a little weird not having to study for an exam for a while. I ain’t complaining though. I’ll be happy to find things to do that doesn’t involve studying. Plus, it’s not like I won’t be keeping myself busy with the Motivation pre-med summer program that I’m helping out with. By the way, I almost forgot just how HOT & HUMID it gets down here in Miami during the summer…

Soooo remember that third Neuroscience test I told you about on my last post? The one that I had a good feeling about before I took it? Yeah, the one that had questions about Xanax and whatnot on it. Turns out that my performance on that test was the best performance I’ve had on any subject test thus far! Not only did I hit my personal goal for the year, I also actually beat the average score in my class for once! I think the last time that happened was at some point in Anatomy or something. If you didn’t already know, I’m in a class full of geniuses. So yeah, although it’s not one of my main goals, it’s nice to see that I’m able to beat the average every once in a (long) while. As for the ethics test (more like quiz) I took last Monday, it wasn’t that big of a deal. It was 20 questions and most of the questions had multiple answers that we could pick. Most of it was pretty much common sense and a couple questions were based specifically on some of the readings assigned to us. *sigh* It pains me because this class has so much potential to be better…and I’m not a fan of these quizzes. But that’s neither here nor there. Moving right along. I finished my year up with the cumulative 160-question Neuroscience exam on Friday. That was A LOT of questions to click thru. However, the vast majority of the questions were much clearer than the questions we’ve been getting on the previous three Neuroscience exams. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that these questions weren’t written by our professors…anyways, the exam wasn’t too bad. But like I said, it took forever to get through. After submitting my exam, the first thing I wanted to do was jump in the air and click my heels. Knowing myself tho, I would 1) look like a damn fool and 2) pull a muscle in my leg and/or trip and bust my lip open. Ain’t no one got time for that. So I proceeded to be normal by saying bye to a few people in the school and taking my happy tail on home. Overall, I feel like I finished the year off with a BANG, which is all I could have asked for.

Ahhh Summer ’16, Summer ’16.

You’re finally here.

So much to look forward to in the upcoming weeks. You surely will NOT be wasted. Gotta enjoy your presence to the fullest since it’s my last summer break and all…

Go on and start your week on a prosperous note! ✌🏾

If you believe it will work out, you’ll see opportunities. If you believe it won’t, you’ll see obstacles.

– Wayne Dyer

– Black Man, M.D.

 

Beginning Of The End

Dude…

I only have three weeks left until I finish my first year of med school.

This is crazy yo. I’ll literally be a second-year student by the end of this month! It’s exciting and a bit spooky at the same time. Time is only moving forward. I’m getting older. More responsibility will be placed on me. I’ll be taking Step 1 soon. There will be new first-years in a few months.

Wow.

It’s just weird because it’s one of those things that you always know it’s coming but you always tell yourself it’s in the far future, you know? Like, I knew first-year would eventually end, but I always thought about it as ending “sometime later in the future”. Well that “later” is three short weeks away. At the end of the day though, I feel ready to move on up in the medical school totem pole. I’ve been at the bottom long enough. I won’t lie tho, I’ll miss both the naiveness as well as the relative comfortability of first-year. I’ll also miss having minimal responsibilities outside of studying and volunteering. Ah well, c’est la vie.

Now about my second Neuroscience test I took last week…that ish was looong! We had 3 hours and 40 minutes to answer 129 questions. I haven’t taken a test that long in quite a while. Now some of those questions were simple and straightforward (bless those professors that picked those questions) but others were unnecessarily difficult. But I expected that…some professors never fail to pick ridiculous questions. Turns out that six questions on the test happened to be bonus questions and several others were dropped. Thing that gets me is, why do ridiculous questions continue to be picked on these exams? Some of these questions don’t have to be that hard man…but then again, I’m not about to complain that we got free points lol. Shiiii, if you wanna keep picking bad questions and dropping them/making them bonus points, be my guest. I left the test overall feeling better about it then I felt about my first test, but you never know with these kind of exams. I got my grade back a couple of days later and I can happily say that it was one of my better performances of the year. 😊 Guess I was doing something right in the four weeks leading up to the exam! I also believe that my confidence was well-placed. I wasn’t cocky or anything, but I was comfortable enough to control my performance on the test and not let anxiety take over me. Gotta believe in yourself to achieve success!

Speaking of anxiety, this section of material we’re currently in is mainly based in psychology. So far, we’ve talked about personality disorders, anxiety + drugs to deal with anxiety, learning theory, mood disorders, psychotherapy and somatoform disorders. We have several other interesting topics to touch on in the near future, including but not limited to, childhood development, antidepressants, eating disorders, alcohol and marijuana usage. Turns out my psychology minor is being put to good use after all 😎. This section has been so straightforward so far and easy to digest. Plus, it’s very interesting. Too bad our next block test is next Friday. And that we have a medical ethics final the Monday after that. And that I have a clinical skills test (my fourth CPX) this Wednesday. And that we have a cumulative Neuroscience test the Friday after next.

In other news, I had my last CCL (Case-Centered Learning) class last Tuesday! 😭😭😭 That was one of my favorite classes this year because it was such a cool concept and my facilitators & group members were sooo chill. I was here thinking that we would have the same CCL facilitators and groups next year but it turns out that they’re changing up the course in ways I have no knowledge of yet. One of the doctors even brought us bananas and some good-ass homemade peanut-butter/chocolate brownies for our last day! Mannn ima miss them. Also, I learned what a Seder dinner was last week and even participated in one with a bunch of my classmates for the first time. For those of you not familiar, Seder is an annual Jewish ritual feast that celebrates the beginning of Passover. It was filled with songs, stories, food, some really good (& a little too sweet) red wine, and fellowship. It was cool that the school funded something like this; it definitely helped me further appreciate a culture that was outside of my own, which I believe was the overall reason that the school helped fund it. Understanding where different people come from and what rituals they practice in their culture or religion is not only instrumental in being an effective physician, but is also a cornerstone in destroying ignorance in the world while promoting unity in humankind. Plus, it’s fun to expose yourself to things that you aren’t familiar with! I guarantee that you’ll learn many new things that you were unaware of before.

Well that’s all folks! Be sure to have a dazzling week!

No matter where you are in life, celebrate it. It’s either a product of your growth or a place that will help you grow. – Unknown

– Black Man, M.D.