Stepping Back Into Step

Well I must say, I like being a fourth-year so far.

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Yeah I know it’s only been a week and all, but man has it been chill. It has actually been one of the most relaxing weeks I’ve had in a while. I mean, I did have to go through my Procedures OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination), my final CPX (Clinical Practice Examination), and ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) training over the course of the week, but even with those things in place, it’s been a chill week overall. I haven’t had to study for another looming Shelf exam nor have I had to prepare myself for a shift in the ED/clinic/OR/wards. I literally have been able to calm all my nerves down and relax for a little while….sort of. I may not have another Shelf exam coming up, but I do have this little thing called Step 2 CK that I’m gonna have to pounce on in less than a month. With that said, I’ve had to mix my relaxation with the initial phase of my preparation for the exam. This means that I’ve been forcing myself to complete UWorld question blocks for the past few days while reviewing material that I’ve learned all throughout the year, just like I was doing for Step 1.

frustrated fainting GIF

In addition to beginning my Step Study Block, I’ve been having to make time to fulfill my duties as the External Affairs Committee Co-Chair for the SNMA. There’s quite a bit of work that goes into this position and I’m still grappling on how to be as efficient and effective in this role as possible while continuing to put forth my best efforts in my studies. I’m sure that as time passes, I’ll grow even more into this new role and I’ll also figure out ways to complete the things I need to do in a more efficient manner. There’s just so much paperwork that I need to keep straight but as long as I keep my organization game A1, I should be good. Plus with a Co-Chair as good as mine, I’m confident that our committee will be strong and healthy well before our quarterly National Leadership Institute, which is where the Board of Directors of the SNMA meet. This first one will be taking place at the end of June in Minnesota. I ain’t never been to Minnesota, nor did I think I would ever have to travel there. But then again, never in a million years did I think I would ever be blogging. Yet here I am. Just ty-ping my thoughts away.

So yeah, gist of this post is that I’m liking my final year of school so far, I’m still busy even when I’m not, I’m glad to be done with the testing I had to do this week (OSCE and ACLS went fine. This CPX was definitely my best performance yet, but even with that said I definitely screwed up a few things…and it wasn’t that easy of a test. I’m pretty sure I did alright on it overall…but I’m still gonna pray on it 🙏🏿) and I’m starting to crack down on this Step 2 studying. I’m so not looking forward to four straight weeks of question blocks and review…but whatever, it’s gotta be done. Plus, I’m going to be with my girlfriend most of the time so that should already make these next few weeks better than last year’s Step Study Block!

Alright, back to studying I go. I have a couple hours to get some in before I attend Wake Forest’s annual SNMA graudation banquet tonight. Wow! I’ll be a graduate in that banquet next year! 😆😆😆

Be sure to have an awesome week!

“Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit others because of your own limited imagination.” – Mae Jemison

– Black Man, M.D.

P.S. – Okay this is really random, but I got a professional massage for the first time in my life a couple days ago. Maaannn have I been missing out! And I also watched Deadpool 2; it’s freakin’ hilarious. You definitely gotta check it out. But be warned, there’s a lot of gruesome action scenes. And very crude humor. Lots of it. 😂

Home Stretch!

So the time has finally come.

It’s the LAST week of my first year as a medical student.

Wow. Just wow.

It’s been a long time coming, that’s for sure. Summer break is literally less than a week away and I couldn’t be more ecstatic! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a good time this school year and have had fun learning everything I’ve learned. Spending countless hours studying the dense school material that I’ve been fortunate enough to study while getting comfortable with the city of Winston-Salem and the people that make it up has really helped me evolve from a fresh college graduate to a young and budding professional. It’s amazing what can happen in just a year. However, everyone needs a break once in a while. This summer is going to provide me that much-needed break and will also allow me to get all charged up for next year’s experiences. Plus, I’ll be afforded a change in scenery and will get the chance to meet and interact with young pre-meds that are aspiring to enter the medical field someday. What more can I ask for? It’s sad that this summer will be the last full summer break I’ll ever have…but then again, I learned last summer that I don’t really need ten full weeks of doing nothing. I honestly get very restless after sitting around for a week or two. So although it’ll feel strange knowing that I’ll never have a typical summer vacation again, I feel that I’m ready to accept this change in my life. Yeah yeah I know, I’m crazy. But do I actually have a choice as whether to accept it or not? I’m gonna have to accept it eventually…so I choose to accept the reality of the situation now rather than later. I actually will have “summer breaks” in the future, but they’ll be substantially shorter. They’ll be like a week or two long. So, yeah.

But before this summer starts, I need to power through these last two exams first. 😐

The first one is our short ethics exam tomorrow (that no one really cares about because it doesn’t make much sense to have a multiple-choice exam on a topic as broad as this…and if they’re insistent on an exam then they should just prepare us for the ethics portion of Step 1, not question us on the 100-or-so readings that were assigned to us over the past few months…this class could be designed so much better but that just my humble opinion 😊) and the second one is our cumulative Neuroscience final exam on Friday that’s sure to have almost 200 questions on it. They’re hell-bent on making us earn our summer break, I swear lol. On a brighter note, I did just take my third Neuroscience exam a couple of days ago and I think it went well overall. At the very least, I felt that I got many more questions right than wrong. There were 108 questions and they dealt mainly with psychiatric conditions as well as with the drugs used to treat them. Relatively speaking, I felt more comfortable going into this exam than I did for the first two Neuroscience exams because the material was easier to digest and it felt much more practical to everyday life. I could also relate some of the drugs we learned about in this section to pop culture. For example, “Poppin’ a Xan” = Taking a Xanax, which is the brand name for Alprazolam, a benzodiazepine used for anxiety reduction and relaxation. So next time you listen to “Xanny Family” or just about any other Future song out there, you can smirk to yourself and feel good about knowing that a Xanax is a benzodiazepine. Future probably can’t even spell benzodiazepine. (By the way, mixing Xanax and alcohol is NOT A GOOD IDEA. Don’t let these rappers outchea fool you.) Another fun fact: Purple drank/Dirty Sprite is a mix of promethazine & codeine, which is an antihistamine and a weak opiate, respectively. You probably already knew that this concoction is cough syrup and that people that drink this for fun end up ingesting much higher amounts than what’s recommended. Drinking this chronically (like Lil’ Wayne does) can lead to a physical dependence on it and can cause withdrawal effects when you try to quit. Also, mixing alcohol and dirty sprite is NEVER A GOOD IDEA either. Moral of the story: Just say no to drugs kiddos.

Being able to relate the drugs that I was learning about this section to everyday life has definitely made learning them more bearable. Also, SketchyMedical is the truth. That program really helped me in organizing all the drugs and in remembering their names. Thank God for SketchyMedical. All in all, I’m ready to wrap up the Neuroscience block and to start playing around with all the free time that’s waiting for me after Friday’s test. Speaking of, I actually have to start packing for the summer…*siiiigh*. I really hate packing.

Before I wrap this up and go about my day, let me just tell you about this SNMA banquet that’s about to happen later on tonight. It was designed to celebrate the achievements of the 4th years that were involved in the Student National Medical Association during their time here at Wake. I’m especially excited about it because I was one of the banquet chairs that was responsible in making this event happen 😁. Both me and my partner-in-crime (the other banquet chair) have been working with Student Affairs in getting the banquet organized by helping with the program booklets, serving as liaisons between the Student Affairs office & the students, helping with food choices, acquiring the gifts for the graduating 4th years, etc. I can’t wait to see the end result of all our work tonight! Hopefully the 4th years love their gifts! Plus we’ve invited Dr. William T. Grimes, M.D. to serve as the banquet speaker. He was the first African-American graduate of this medical school, graduating back in 1972. I’ll personally be looking forward to hearing what he has to say. Can’t believe the banquet is actually happening tonight…it has always felt like one of those things that was in the distant future. But here we are!

Okay I’m done. Hope your week is an impressive one!

Being positive doesn’t mean you don’t ever have negative thoughts. It just means you don’t let those thoughts control your life.

– Black Man, M.D.