Oct 26, 2010

More Hijinks

So, there's often talk about us medical types being impossible to talk to by anyone not specifically ensconced in our field, because we're dorks with god complexes who can't fathom anyone not being interested in our "most disgusting/disturbing digital rectal exam" stories at dinner.

In an attempt to derail myself (usually unsuccessfully) from this white coated stereotype, I'm trying to get an appreciate of the arts. It still makes me insufferable, but a different kind of insufferable, and that's all I'm going for.

One of our friends is a dancer, thus has known about this adaptation of the usually mind-numbing (sorry) Swan Lake. After confirming that would would be able to get the cheap nosebleed seats (last student loan ever!), we made a Wednesday of it.

The reinterpretation looks something like this:

As far as art, an interesting adaptation bringing swans more into their actual role as aggressive nasty creatures rather than the ballet's traditional role, which has them as fluffy females helplessly waiting on a handsome price.

As far as my own perspective, replacing tutu clad ballerinas with hard bodied males wearing nothing but feathered capri pants and extended guyliner wins two enthusiastic thumbs up.

Because I like emotional whiplash, Thursday we headed to the Oktoburlesk celebration at our local Gowanus dive bar. They also featured an accordion/alpine horn player and I did something I referred to as "polka" but to the untrained eye, probably looks more like spastically hopping around on one foot while wearing heels. No sprained ankle this time.

Also, sometime in the weeks before, I finally managed to get the tickets to the Daily Show. That's have been on my New York bucket list since I got here. With Sam Harris as a special guest, which gets me street cred for something. Now, onto the Colbert Report. And yes, when Jon Stewart walked out, I screamed and clapped like a Jonas Brothers fangirl. Yes, he is that hot (and short) in person. We had a guy warming up the crowd that was fantastic, and we all got free audiobooks, which was an unexpected bonus, plus directions to the Jon Stewart-approved BYOB Thai restaurant we later attended.

Oh, the life of a fourth year would be sweet if I wasn't about to eat about two grand worth of airfare. On that note, I'm still really thrilled about how interviews are coming, and I get to go to New Orleans, which is always exciting, made more exciting by going in the dead of NY winter.

Speaking of fourth year, I'm actually enjoying Family Medicine more than I expected. Though it will hardly divert me from my desired route back to microscope-hugging, it's the closest I've come to feeling like a real doctor because it has all the associated doctor framework. I thought Internal Medicine would feel that way, but IM seems to be more constructed from existential angst and despair. Outpatient clinics get the have patient, check patient's wellness, provisionally diagnose patient, possibly refer patient to specialist. Follow patient's progress. Check on patient in a week to a month to gauge problem list. Doctoring. I enjoy it a lot; I'm just not sure I'll enjoy it in twenty years, nor will I enjoy the absolute necessity of setting up my own practice for it, failing miserably because I have no business sense, and waiting tables at Applebee's (I'm your server, DR. Ishie) due to my inability to run a practice.

Oh yeah, and I like pathology a heck of a lot.


Slappy said...

As far as my own perspective, replacing tutu clad ballerinas with hard bodied males wearing nothing but feathered capri pants and extended guyliner wins two enthusiastic thumbs up.

I second that notion. And Jon Stewart has ALWAYS been hot. he gets hotter with age :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Ishie-
I am currently at SGU. I am taking the boards hopefully in May. They are offering a Kaplan class on campus here and many people are enrolled. I have followed your blog religiously and would like to get your perspective on the Kaplan class if you don't mind. I know you did not take the class. How did you study? Did you do questions from UWORLD? or did you study and then do questions? I am confused. Thanks for taking the time to answer. Also, are the Path residencies competitive? I might considet that.

Ishie said...

Slappy, and how... he's so beautiful and small...

Anon, I studied by first doing some reading in textbooks and stuff, going over some notes, and then started incorporating USMLE World questions. The First Aid for the Step 1 book is key, and should act as an outline for the rest of your studies. In hindsight, I would have started the USMLE World questions earlier because the explanations on the questions, even when you get them wrong, are comprehensive enough to constitute a high yield book.

Kaplan wasn't really my bag, because by that time I'd already determined that long-haul lecture based learning wasn't for me, and critically, my self study mode was working for me. If your grades are good and you haven't been struggling too much doing what you're doing, then it's probably fine to skip Kaplan. If your grades have been borderline with struggles, and lecture format works for you, then it's good. It means your previous methods were not working for you and you need professional study revision. I've had friends with both good results and bad results from Kaplan.

I've gotten a number of interviews for path with one behind me (though everyone at the interview asked about why I went to the Caribbean, so grain of salt) but so far it doesn't seem *that* competitive, though the applicant pool seems to have increased. More on par with psych and peds than ED or Anesthesia.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Ishie. Hope you don't mind being asked questions constantly. If you do, please let me know and I will back off. I just feel that you have been totally honest with your views. I have a B average so far and may get an A in Path - not sure- have to wait for the finals. And of course a lot of sweat and anxiety have gone into producing these grades. Would you consider that good - this in reference to the Kaplan class. I hardly go to lectures and view them on the Sonic mostly. They are offering Kaplan on the Island this time at a substantial savings and a lot of people have signed up. I am in a huge dilemma. Please comment. Thanks

Ishie said...

B average isn't bad, and sweat and misery is all part of the medical school package, but if it's causing you this degree of stress, it might be worth taking the Kaplan class if you can afford it. It may build some confidence, you'll know you did everything you can, and if you're just now waiting on path grades, that still gives you plenty of time for independent study both to supplement the class and to keep all sides covered.

It's also important to ask yourself whether you can focus for that many hours a day in a row. For me, not so much. If you're easily able to do a four to five hour run on Sonic Foundry though, it may be more for you. It's also offered on the island you already live on (correct?), so you don't have to factor in the additional hassle of flying somewhere else.

It doesn't sound like you're in particular danger or anything, and since I haven't taken the Kaplan class, but only know people who have, take any advice I give with a grain of salt, but it might be worth it to give you a good review of everything plus piece of mind.

Good luck!

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