Jun 10, 2007

More for you Inquisitive Incomings...

And why not? Things are going well in jolly old New England... which is actually accurate to me, since coming from California, everything in New England is old. Heh.

I'm shadowing an orthopedic surgeon, which is highly awesome, and I'm learning early what I already knew: love nurses. Generally, I trail after the orthopod like an obedient puppy except for when a nurse "pst's!" at me and jerks a head, at which point I go trotting off to observe something cool.

I've also discovered that you shouldn't wander around in the morning looking like you have nothing to do or you'll end up with your left arm in a cast. I chose the red color! What's particularly nice about a cast is that if you don't actually have anything wrong with your arm when casted, they're *great* to beat people with. Mwa ha. I had to cast my left arm, because my right arm was my "drinking coffee" arm, and there's no WAY anyone's putting a cast on it.

So basically, now I know the theory behind putting on a cast. Whether I could actually do such a thing on someone with a broken arm without getting punched remains another matter.

Critically though... I GOT HIGH SPEED BACK!!!!! Comcast FINALLY kept a promise as of two days ago, making that the sixth appointment they'd made since mid April when my mom first tried to get them. Oh, it's so beautiful. Not only that, the TELEVISION. So many channels!!!! Even all the music ones... the actual ones, not MTV or any of that. Combined with Netflix, I may not leave the couch save for the shadowing.

But you probably want to know more about SGU... I know I certainly did. All right, I mentioned my dorm room in Superdorm 1. I'm too lazy to repost pictures, so here's the link to the entry with them; just scroll to the end of my ramblings.

For computers, bring an ethernet cable with you. The campus has been fitted for wireless and you can get it at spots around campus like the library and study rooms but the dorms are made of concrete and not conducive to getting the signal into most of the rooms, so definitely have that cable with you if, like me, you really prefer studying in your own place. Not all the dorms have internet, but the school's working on it. I believe all the SUPERdorms do though, which is where they put the majority of first termers, and yes, you have to live on campus unless you have a significant other, a pet, or a really good excuse to a person having a good day.

Books and Classes:

You get your first term books on the island, they're included in your tuition, and there's nothing you can do it, speaking as someone who already had about 400 bucks worth of the term one books due to taking undergraduate anatomy. Doesn't matter. You get the booklist that you have. Good idea to bring a heavy duty bag to cart them too. When I got mine, they were distributing them nowhere NEAR my dorm, so I had to haul them.

Some of these are optional, but a brief idea:

And my workspace... this picture was taken AFTER finals, thus having Eddie Izzard paused on your laptop probably isn't the best use of study time...

I *highly* recommend the Netter flashcards. They go fast from the bookstore so it's worth bringing your own.

For your first term, you take Developmental Anatomy, which is 8 units consisting of 6 units of clinical/gross anatomy and 2 units of embryology, combining into a single grade. Many people cope with this by utterly ignoring embryo, and while I may have employed this tactic somewhat for the final, I wouldn't recommend it.

Tips... uhhh... study lymphatics... not because it's hard but because everyone tends to ignore them and it's a dumb way to lose points.

You take biochem for 6 units. This class is pretty damn hard and most students just tell you to "know everything". Particularly know what can go wrong and little tweaks of such information. I'm scared of anything involving the word "chemistry" and if you've been following this blog you know the results of it, but minus the sleep deprivation, I ended up liking a lot of the information in the class and felt really prepared for it. For those of you who, like me, got completely violated by organic chemistry, I didn't find biochem to be anything like it, but instead has some cool stuff about how the body deals with stuff. Oh, as far as tips, besides "knowing everything", know insulin/glucagon like the back of your hand. It will come up again and again and again, and just when you think you couldn't possibly need it anymore because it's on the midterm, it will come and bitchslap you in the second half of the class.

What really helped/helps me with biochem is understanding the logic for why things happen. There's a lot of pathway memorization too, but for some stuff (like insulin/glucagon), understanding it well enough means you can apply common sense.

Histology. 4 units. Don't make the mistake of neglecting it completely. The main problem with histo is that it goes SLOWLY. There are massive numbers of lecture slides and it takes forever to go through them, in my opinion, disproportionate to the units of the class, but thems the breaks. If you are lucky enough to get Saint Paparo as your head, he rules more than can be expressed. The big thing with histo too is that Dr. Paparo is probably the fairest instructor I've run across. There don't tend to be trick questions, and he's good about tossing questions he doesn't like.

Clinical Skills. This class carries over for two terms, and at least for me, you don't get a grade for this one, and I believe it's P/F. Patient interviews are worthwhile and you get some good informations. I consider the rest of the class to be a complete waste of time. Sorry. You will have arbitrarily scheduled labs just when you think you have a morning off. They will be at strange times and not weekly. Any time you feel like you have a couple days to chill or an afternoon or morning, you will have something with clinical skills come up and have to fire off a CV in the knick of time or "write" a personal statement (ie, copy the one you used for medical school).

What's also fun about clinical skills is how obtrusive they will be is determined by your last name. For instance, some of you may have something due when you're between everything and have nothing else going on. Others will have that same project due the Friday before midterms. Fun, eh? Just stay on top of it.

DES sessions. Some people SWEAR by them. I'm not a big group studying and tend to study by recopying the lecture slides and my notes. It's incredibly inefficient, but it works for me. Due to this method, I found DES sessions to be useless, but at least try some out and see how you like them.

Also, NEVER miss an exam review session. Just don't do it. Especially in histology. They're gold.

For each term, there are Macdaddies which tend to consist of tidbits from past terms which vary in usefulness. You shouldn't be paying for these, but should get them from upper termers, with footsteps buddies being a good primary resource.

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