A Different Angle

I’m only a week into my Immigrant Health/Public Health elective and I already love it! This unique rotation has been unlike any other I’ve had in medical school thus far. While I’ve been able to spend some time in clinics with various patients afflicted with conditions like HIV and Hepatitis, I’ve also gotten the chance to spend some time at the Forsyth County Department of Public Health, where I toured the facility and their in-house laboratory,  and learned about many of the resources that the county has to offer to its residents. I especially learned a lot more about the ubiquitous WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program, which I appreciated because although I knew what it was, I didn’t have as firm of a grasp on the details of the program as I should have as a future Pediatrician. 😅

I spent another day tagging along with Community Paramedicine Emergency Medical Services, where I got the opportunity to learn about the special role that these medical professionals have in the community. These medical professionals were seasoned paramedics, but their role as a community paramedicine EMS responder was quite different from what you and I would expect when we hear the acronym “EMS”. Instead of riding around in ambulances all day responding to 911 calls, these people moreso respond to acute calls concerning behavorial health, only responding to acute medical emergencies if it is absolutely necessary (i.e. an unforseen shortage in emergency responders in the community).

As they described it, the main reason as to why the county created their position a few years ago was to identify the people in the community who call 911 the most and find ways to reduce the call volume from them by connecting them to useful community resources that they may have otherwise never heard about. By doing this, the theory was that there would be a potential decrease in the number of unnecessary Emergency Room visits, thus saving time and money for everyone who was involved in the coordination of care. Over time, this group of paramedicine EMS responders have shown that their work does decrease the number of unnecessary visits to the ER and because they have been able to save the system money, they are increasing their team size in order to have a bigger impact in the community. It was cool learning about their unique role in the community and although there was a paucity of calls the day I was there (I only went on two trips), I am grateful that I got to appreciate the important work that they do. 🙏🏿

According to my schedule for this upcoming week, I’m going to have even more experiences in the community than I did last week! In addition to rotating through infectious disease and refugee clinics, it looks like I’m going to be participating in community talks, board meetings, and an ID card drive with FaithAction for immigrants. I feel like it is about to be a very interesting week, with plenty of dope experiences to learn from.

I don’t really have much else to talk about today. I’m scheduled to help out with medical school interviews tomorrow morning, which should be pretty straightforward since I’ve already done this two other times this year. I’m also still working on my rank list, which I’m sure will continue to be a work in progress for the next week or two. Not gonna lie, life as a second-semester fourth-year medical student is pretty smooth. 😎

I hope that you have a terrific week!

AND SHOUTOUT TO BLACK HISTORY MONTH!!! WE OUT HERE!!! ✊🏿🙌🏿🔥

“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” – Booker T. Washington

– Black Man, M.D.

It Doesn’t Have To Be So Complicated…

First off, that test I took last Monday was some bull. Like, sheeeeesh! I felt betrayed while I was taking it man. Like I said last week, I was feeling pretty confident last Sunday night and that confidence carried over into the testing room on Monday morning. I had my coffee on one side, water on the other, and some Winterfresh gum to help keep me alert. I was ready. I started the test with Question 1 and blazed thru it. Got to Question 2 and wasn’t too sure about it, so I answered it but also marked it for later review. Then I proceeded to blaze through the next few questions and I felt like I was on a roll…until I arrived at question 11. The question was worded in what I felt was a tricky way and it looked as if there could be more than one answer. That’s when the haze started to set in. I ended up marking that question, but then I hit another question a couple minutes later that I had to mark because I didn’t even recognize half the answers. This “marking for review” trend was starting to unsettle me quite a bit. I prodded on thru the test…but then I hit question 25 and my mouth dropped. I had distinctly remembered being told that we didn’t have to worry about knowing specific drugs for this test, but yet I was looking at a question stem asking for a specific drug to treat a specific condition. Boyyyyy was I livid. I think I smacked my teeth a bit louder than I meant to after reading the question. So, of course, I marked it and even left a comment for the Neuroscience director about it, which is something I hardly even do. Most of the rest of the test proved to be an uphill battle. I think I started to truly realize how hard the test was when I got to question 35 or so and I had already used up an hour of my time. Not to mention the sighs of frustration from my fellow classmates that kept piercing the silence in the room and the number of times I smacked my teeth throughout the hour. I continued to press on and would breathe a sigh of relief whenever I got to a small stretch of what I thought were easy questions. But then I would get slammed with another stretch of tough questions. It was as if the professors were trying to make the questions as difficult as they could. Smh. After I finished answering all the questions, I painfully realized that I had marked about a quarter of my test and that I had about 45 minutes left. I then looked around the room and realized about three-quarters of the room was still full, which was unheard of. So I went back and checked each of those questions again and after about 30 minutes I had about 12 marked questions. I took one last rapid run-through all my questions and with 45 seconds left to spare, I submitted my exam. Even then, there were still about 20 or so people in the room when I ended up leaving. That just goes to show how unnecessarily difficult that damn test was.

Even so, I still thought that I did pretty decent and was sure I passed it. So I went about the rest of my day kind of annoyed, but content I was finished with that exam. I also watched Deadpool that night, which was freakin’ HILARIOUS by the way. We proceeded to learn new material the next couple of days, but in the back of my mind I was very curious to see how I actually performed on that test. We got our scores back two days after the exam and I opened my email to see how I did. My eyes popped when I saw my score. I had passed, but did not do anywhere near as good as I thought I had. As a matter of fact, the grade I got was worse than my first Anatomy exam…and that’s saying something. Even the average for the class (80%) was much lower than normal, and the standard deviation was 8 points. Like, c’mon man! I was mostly annoyed because I knew that I knew the material well, but the test was just unnecessarily difficult. Shiiii I’m still annoyed. What annoys me even more is that although they dropped a few questions, the people that actually got those questions right didn’t even get any points for it. I got two dropped questions right and was awarded nothing. Arrghhh. I kept my calm throughout the rest of the week, but I was lowkey feeling like:

But hey at this point, I’m just glad I passed. Even after going through all of that, I still like this block. I ended up reviewing my test and I had missed both hard questions and “easy” questions that I thought for sure I had gotten right. Best believe I took major notes. Guess I just need to study both harder as well as smarter for the rest of this block. They say the next test is gonna be easier…but I don’t trust ’em no more. Who’s to say Young Metro does? 👀👀👀

Okay I’m done venting. On a lighter note, we learned about the eye this past week, which if you didn’t already know, is one of my favorite structures of the body. We only spent a day on it, but we went over the anatomy of it, the physiology of the different parts of the eye (cornea, lens, retina, etc.) and went into even further detail about how vision works. I’m having a great time learning about all that. 😊 We also learned about hearing and balance the very next day and about dizziness the day after that. It looks like they’re already trying to stuff us with an insane amount of knowledge for this next test…but what’s new?

This past weekend was also Second Look weekend here at Wake. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Second Look is an opportunity for the students that have already been accepted at a medical school to literally check out the school a second time to see if they truly want to attend that institution. It also gives the school another chance to reel in the prospective students and to persuade them to attend the school. So with that said, I got to meet a good number of students that have already been accepted here and I had a pretty great weekend hanging out with them. Some of them have also already decided to come here for next year, which is great! I personally never got the chance to attend Second Look, because I didn’t even get accepted here till later 😅…so I was especially curious to see how it all worked.

 

Aiiiiight I’m done. Have a spectacular week!

 

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

– Black Man, M.D.