Sep 4, 2008

A good professor...

Unfortunately, one from a year ago.

Ahhh... pathophys... does anyone have the remotest idea how to study for this class? Alas, I fear not.

The physiology department magnanimously decided to allow some of our old notes to be put back up on Angel so we can make some sense out of what we're doing now, and by "magnanimously", I am not being sarcastic. This also served to remind me that I STILL HAVE MY PHYSIO NOTES, which is absolutely awesome, because with the glaring exception of pulmonary physio, the notes for that class were really good. Hard as hell and full of equations, but well spelled out, particularly the cardio notes, which is the only reason I was able to get through something that physics-ricious the first time.

This whole physio path pathophysio thing is a conundrum for me. You see, I hated physio. Really really really did not like it at all. This was my feeling despite the fact that the class (again, except pulmonary) was well taught, the notes were organized, the labs relevant, and the material extremely important. Just didn't resonate, and it confused me.

Contrast to path. I really like pathology. I really didn't like the way the general philosophy and structure of the class, so I abandoned it (sans labs, which were good), which kept me from chewing off my own face last term.

So now we have pathophys, which is combining being new and completely disorganized without much in the way of clear objectives, with physio, which I never fully "got" and didn't like, but without the instructors that say "I'm going to assume you guys think the heart is something in a valentine and go from there". Because that is still where I like to start out. I still literally have to draw out the heart any time I'm trying to figure something out with it so I can follow the blood flow around like I'm figuring the maze on the side of a Happy Meal box.

BUT, now I have my physio notes, which I had forgotten at some level that I had, and now that I'm going back over the stuff that mystified me in second term due to its math/graph heaviness, *I'm actually understanding it* now that I've gotten older, wiser, and have gotten used to having to teach myself material. And as I'm going through it, I'm remembering just how much I loved Dr. Parry because a lot of her little expressions and analogies are suddenly firing back up in my memory from when I was watching her on Sonic Foundry back in the day (some things never change). And since path wasn't as difficult for me (no math), I'm now able to apply disease pathologies on top of the physio stuff I hadn't fully understood before.

Which I think is the point, though damned if I'm going to know that until after the first exam. Or until after I fail the boards; one or the other. Unfortunately, it's taken a month for me to even be able to sort out where to BEGIN to approach, so I'm hoping it's not past the point of no return. And having pharm (aka micro on crack) is not helping at all, though mnemonics are helping me sort some stuff out.

So how to celebrate this drowning feeling? I'm thinking Saturday hash, I truly am...


Dibasic said...

Hi Ishie, you're in the home straight now. Pathophys has always been like that from what I can tell. I don't really know why they call it that though when it's more like a clinically orientated review of the whole 2 years of medical school, you know all the phys you need to get by unless it has changed since a year ago it's not really about putting the path and the phys together.

Hope all is going well

Anonymous said...

I am in 5th term and drowning. Can you please help? How did you study for Pahtophys? Would you mind giving some details? Really appreciate the input - Thanks

Ishie said...

Hi Anon! Like this post said, pathophys was kind of a crapshoot, so it depends on where and why you're drowning. Have you taken any of the midterms yet?

For the infections stuff, that was the first I cracked First Aid while I was in basics.

Honestly, I'd tentatively say FA is a good place to start for pathophys because it does synthesize stuff. You'll need to expand on its material with the notes and objectives, because it's not as in detail as you need for class.

If you're drowning due to cardiology, I don't know where to help you. The lectures when I took it were like Step 3 study stuff so I just hail mary'ed it with First Aid, Wikipedia (the horror!!!), complaining, and faith in the curve.

If you haven't taken the first midterm yet, it may not be as bad as you think. This was the first class in basic sciences where everything where I felt curve-dependent, and I don't know if they still do it, but that turned an 83 into an A.

I'm strong in path and weak in physio (as noted) so my physio notes were key for the pathway stuff. If your physio notes are gone or lacking, use the Costanzo BRS for physio. It's really good at explaining key concepts.

Good luck with everything!

Anonymous said...

Ishie- Should I do UWorld questions for Pathophys? I am not getting the Cardio questions on UWorld right. Any other sources for Cardio?

Ishie said...

UWorld isn't really about "right", particularly not when you're still in basics. I briefly tried it during pharm (should have committed earlier, probably) and got a 15% on cardio drugs. Just learn from the explanations.

Review the Constanzo BRS. That's probably the best cardiac physio review I found, keeping in mind that I kind of loathe physio.

Check the FA stuff.

If it's any encouragement, I did really well in pathophys in the long run despite feeling dead on cardiac physio AND not figuring out the cardiomyopathies until right before Step 2 and I'm still weak on murmurs. Just do your best. Also don't get so bogged down in the cardio stuff that you neglect the others. When I hit a point where I really had no idea what the cardio notes were talking about (frequently), I just strengthened the other subjects, since I could recoup the points.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Ishie-
You are awesome. Thanks for the encouragement. Keeping my fingers crossed. Still don't know if I am studying correctly. Just want to be done with this and off to the main land.

Anonymous said...

Read all your updates on where you are going etc... Super Congrats. Could not have happened to a better person. I am so happy for you. It gives me some hope. Upcoming boards are inducing a lot of stress. How did you get your score up? Did you do Uworld in the 5th semester or did you only do it during board prep? This is what I am doing - please tell me what I am doing wrong. first aid, goljan, Robbins- still only at 48% on Uworld path and pathophys for GI. Need some guidance- Thanks for your patience.