Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"Med School Just Got Real"

There's nothing like a massive physiology exam that sucks all the words and thoughts out of you. They're somewhere inside my brain, but the nuances of respiratory/cardiology/renal/GI/endocrinology keep rising to the top. That, and the desire to nap for the umpteenth time today.
I believe this is the first course that has broken the barrier between student and student-doctor. It's not biochemistry, or anatomy, or epidemiology, or health policy--it's medicine. The nuts and bolts of how our bodies function. The exquisite mechanisms our organs and cells use just to stay normal. Integration. Complexity. Regulation. Secretion, absorption, growth, flow. Feats of chemistry, physics, engineering (premed requirements make a cameo!). How we can meddle with it all when something goes awry.
It's fascinating how far research has come in explaining how everything works--and still, how much is conjecture, yet to be elucidated via a precise pathway or even concept. It is humbling to learn about the big picture... but frustrating to study the pixels.
We've covered a textbook's worth of physiology content in just over a month. Some sticks, some bounces away. Thank goodness they tell us we'll re-learn this in future classes, and on the wards as well. My brain's RAM is nearly maxed right now.  The last few days have been mundane--hanging on by a thread to pass that next exam. I suspect I'm not alone, but others seem to be hiding it well.
As one of my classmates said, "Med school just got real."


  1. We're wrapping up physiology over here too (blissfully, in modules, so I'm happily finding a lot of space and balance and not nearly as much madness as your post describes), and I must agree. I finally feel like I'm learning medicine! We're actually learning about things that I can apply in my preceptor's clinic and when I go out and volunteer.

    It's a lovely, delightful feeling.

    Wishing you warm feelings and much rest!

  2. We've had weekly modules too, which were also very welcome. All that is shot to pieces, though, when it comes time to integrate for the beast of a final!

  3. I agree that self-forced reflection & writing helps bring perspective. But I'm hanging by a thread too, just FYI!

  4. This is one of the most exciting part of med-school. It's just like you are beginning to realize how serious your chosen study is. Some students are starting to chicken out at this point.

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