Jul 28, 2010

Too true

Hello all, I'm in USMLE study hell again though I'm taking a little bit of a turn from last year's Step 1 hell and making my current experience less hell and more "I don't have to be at the hospital! PARTY!!!!" Weirdly, it seems to be working pretty well though the actual exam will tell, but stress has always been my big killer on exams and enjoying life is making the gears run smoother. Plus I spent a great deal of this last year transferring a number of hospital lunch breaks into UWorld time at the library because sometimes that cafeteria pizza is just so gnarly that it's better to cram a granola bar and surf a computer.

Due to that tendency, I actually completed all 2200+ questions on USMLE World last night after a year long subscription to that brain-ripping, ego-destroying program, which felt a bit like this:

Of course, the actual test still comes at the end of this, which is sort of like defeating Mario Brothers only to discover that King Koopa is real and lives in your bathroom.

Speaking of random youtube videos, I chased this link thinking it was an actual tutorial on heart sounds because I suck at them and the brand new audio feature I experienced on Step 1 emphasized that to me. I admit, I loled.

And yeah, that's pretty much what I did on Step 1.

Anything else? NYC (as well as a great deal of the rest of the country) spent the last couple weeks being miserably unbearably hot. Like a good medical student, I chose to attempt to run Prospect Park on a day where the heat index was 105, which fortunately, at a mile and a half, my body saved me the hospital trip by crapping out on me entirely and made it difficult to even walk home. If my life were a USMLE World question stem, it would have read:

"A 29-year-old female with no documented medical problems is brought into the Emergency Department unresponsive, seizing, and with a body temperature of 109. She had previously been running in an unshaded section of the park despite an actual weather alert advising against doing exactly that. Despite aggressive management, she codes. What is the physiological mechanism behind her cause of death?"

If you picked anything regarding temperature regulation mechanisms or denaturing proteins, you're wrong. The answer is "mind-blowing stupidity". It's actually a more common cause of death than the usual statistics indicate.

So I consoled myself at my favorite bar with True Blood because damn, I'm hooked on that show and I don't get HBO at home because I'm cheap. Sookie.

Jul 12, 2010

Ways to make a good impression...

1. Come early
2. Don't leave until you're told to go. This may periodically involve staring at your attending an hour past leaving time like a dog waiting to be fed.
3. Ask questions at appropriate times
4. Don't write vitriolic, misspelled, profanity-laden hate mail to your entire department

Wait, what?

Yeah, so apparently some resident thought it'd be a swell idea to do number 4. Now, I grew up in a beautiful world where the internet was increasingly providing a veil of anonymity to flame warriors and Thundercats fanfiction authors, but how dumb can you possibly be? The resident pool within a department is not *that* large... you are in a group of people that has gotten to know you over years, including your mannerisms when you're at your worst (2 am post-scut) and your personal idioms, and if that isn't enough to protect you, blasting nearly everyone else in the department including your colleagues is probably going to narrow the suspect pool to the cat not mentioned in the letter. Not rocket science. Or brain surgery. Or garbage collection.

And yes, I realize the irony of pointing this out in a blog... but I've also been relatively cautious not to email said blog to any of my superiors with "RE: YOU SUK AND SO DOS EVERYONE YOU LUV" in the subject line. Plus I'm relatively sure most of my superiors already know exactly who I am and thus can avoid my application letters with impunity. I'm also hoping someone with a love of sarcasm and path-geeks will embrace me into his/her grasp and give me a job with the caveat that I'm not allowed to talk to others without a handler. Which I think is fair.

What else... ummm... I'm studying for that pesky exam that comes after Step 1 and before Step 3. I have 10 percent of the questions on UWorld left to do and am finally beating the clock by a fair margin while skimming the questions going "blah blah blah useless" and then reading the last line. I think after you do the first 1800 questions, you just stop caring, so I think I'm going to avoid my pre Step 1 anhedonia, but time will tell. The increased time on UWorld is also giving me an appreciated bit of quality time with my iTunes playlist so I'm discovering some new bands, by which I mean "bands that have been occupying my hard drive for half a decade".

I've been studying with a friend at various locales in the interim to try and mix it up. We had a conversation at an Asian fusion place (tres chic) about preventative screening measures because I'm useless at it, so we really know how to live it up. This is sort of a running theme from my "stercobilin in the line for the Finding Nemo ride" from a few years ago.

This is my last week of heme/onc, which I've really enjoyed despite having kind of a soul-crushing day that will make me more appreciative of being on the other side of the microscope.

I'm also learning that while I don't particularly care for Spongebob despite being a cartoon focused adult, he is absolutely hypnotizing to children. Like forget Lidocaine; the second they hear "He lives in a pineapple under the...", you are effectively dead to them.

I've also learned that I can be puked on without moving my hand or relaxing my grasp, which was a useful little piece of information about myself I had not previously been privileged with. Oh, the little bits of medical school that aren't in the brochure.

Summer got a little miserable so I've been basking in finally having an A/C and occasionally venturing out to hit concerts in Prospect Park or wander off to see True Blood in a place with both HBO and and cheap nachos. I drew the line at Twilight though. Shirtless werewolves? No thank you. Shirtless werewolves with extremely gratuitous violence? Shakespearean.

I also joined the Apple cult of iPhone because I'm a weak weak person and I'm too destructive to be affected by the network problems because everything I own already requires a case lest I spill stuff on it. Just ask my (miraculously still working) laptop, which survived the great Grenadian cornflake barrage of 2008.