Study Block

Sooo we have our third Cellular & Subcellular Processes (CSP) test tomorrow. It’s going to have concepts from Immunology and all types of bacteria, ranging from the morphologies of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria to what specific antibiotics treat each of them. Mechanisms of action, mechanisms of resistance, somatic hypermutation, STI’s, Amoxicillin, Tazobactum, Klebsiella pneumoniae, you name it. It’s all fair game for this test.

But if you know me or have been following this blog for a while, you already know that it takes quite a lot to faze me. Simply put, I’m not really fazed by this test. Better yet, I’m actually ready to get it over with and move on to learning about viruses, parasites, fungi and immunodeficiencies…..just so I can repeat the whole cycle of studying for the fourth CSP test. 😓

Sigh. 

You ever reach that point where after studying and reviewing day and night for so long, you find yourself looking forward to test day just so you can feel sort-of free and have one less thing on your mind? I can already hear you going, “Hell nah fool, you cwwwazy.” And you may very well be right, but that’s just where I’m at now. I’m having to force myself to review more practice questions for tomorrow’s test. I literally was watching a movie last night and as this man was crawling through soil and mud in the wilderness with open cuts, all I could think about was how high-risk he was for a Clostridium bacterial infection. Like, c’mon man. I can’t watch a movie or even cook a meal without thinking about bacterial infections and the proper way to diagnose them. It’s almost like when I couldn’t fall asleep back in the good ol’ Anatomy days without mentally naming the origins and insertions of the Cranial Nerves. Lol. I’ve grown to learn that whenever I begin to incorporate what I’m studying into my everyday thought processes, I’m more than ready for a test. I guess that’s what happens when you stay glued in your apartment to your notes, First Aid book and laptop for a week. And can’t forget about SketchyMicro. Lord knows that’s how I’m getting through the rest of CSP.

With all that said, just because I say I’m ready doesn’t mean the test isn’t gonna be hard. I felt ready for the last test I took before winter break and they hit me with the okie-doke with some ridiculous questions. Had me feeling some type of way going into winter break, smh. But on the other hand, if you aren’t confident in your abilities, you’ve already lost before you’ve even started. And I don’t like to lose. 😜

I honestly don’t really have much to say today, only thing on my mind is getting a good score on this exam. And what I’m wearing to Wake’s Med School Prom this Friday. Yeah, we have a prom for medical students. 😎 And oh yeah, what the hell I’m doing for the summer. I’ve been doing some extensive browsing on summer research opportunities and I have a few that I’m willing to take a shot at. My options are ranging from diabetes to cancer to eye research. However, the worst part about applying for summer programs is that you don’t hear back from them till like March or even April, which makes it hard to plan out any other options in the chance that I don’t get accepted into the programs that I’m applying to. Talk about annoying. Well regardless, I’m going to be doing something productive this summer. I’m not giving myself a choice.

Y’all have a splendid week!!

 

– Black Man, M.D.

Breezing Thru Break

I’ve forgotten how easy life could be sometimes. This past week has been the chillest week I’ve had since summer break, and it has felt amazing. Just being able to wake up and not having to plan out where and how I’m going to study has been a blessing in itself. The free and authentic food I’ve had this past week has been a BIG plus too. I’ve been having a pretty great time sharing laughs with my family and friends here in VA and just relaxing in general. From playing video games to sleeping in to reminiscing on childhood with my siblings, there hasn’t been a dull moment being home from school. I gotta say, both my life and the people in it are surely blessings that I’m truly thankful to have. Growing up and understanding the true meaning of Christmas and the holiday season in general has made each subsequent holiday break I’ve experienced that much more meaningful and enjoyable. It’s come to the point where I don’t expect anything for Christmas anymore…I’m just happy to be able to come home to a strong and healthy family that is continuously being blessed by God. Seeing my siblings and parents happy and doing well is a good enough gift for me. The pajamas and wheat bran flakes I got for Christmas are just a bonus. 😂

I still have another good week of relaxation before school starts back up again, but I’m well aware that when school starts, IT’S GONNA START. With that said, I’ve been doing some real planning on what I’m going to be doing this next semester as well as this upcoming summer in order to become a more effective student. Not only that, but I feel that it’s about time that I start seriously considering how I’m going to approach the USMLE Step 1 exam that I’m taking in less than two years, since my score on that exam pretty much seals my fate. People keep telling me it’s never too early to start studying/reviewing for that test, so I’ll take their word for it. Lord knows I can’t screw up on that exam. I think the best thing I can do is get some Step 1 review books and review high-yield material in them while I’m learning the actual material in class. Much easier said than done I know, but I gotta start somewhere right? Also, I’m thinking about doing research possibly in regenerative medicine next semester because that field has really piqued my interest. It’s so freakin’ cool to me that cells are being engineered to grow into tissues and organs that can replace damaged ones. It’s almost like science fiction, except it’s real life. Regenerative medicine really looks like it’s going to be a big part in the future of medicine, so why not take a peek at how it works? But besides that, I’m thinking of also doing some research in ophthalmology or something relating to that field of medicine for the summer. I apparently need some kind of backbone in research to be seen as “competitive” when it comes to an ophthalmology residency, so I figured this upcoming summer would be as good of a time as any to get involved with that. And if research doesn’t work out for me in the summer, then I’ll maybe do some volunteer work abroad. I’ve been looking at this opportunity called Unite for Sight, where you can go to one of three countries (Ghana, Honduras, India) for as long as you want and help break down patient barriers to healthcare by educating the population about the importance of healthcare, performing glaucoma screenings, performing eye exams, testing visual acuity, observing eye surgeries, and doing many other things. Regardless of what ends up happening, I know for a fact that I’ll be using my summer in a productive manner. I’m not really giving myself a choice.

Well that’s really all I got to say today. See you in the New Year and enjoy the rest of the holidays with the company you plan on celebrating them with! Stay happy and true to yourself!

Bless up! (Shoutout to DJ Khaled 😂)

– Black Man, M.D.

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.