Y’all I survived the fall semester. I am so proud of myself and all my classmates because it was a challenging semester. After 8 Exams, I will be honest that I definitely shed a few tears along the way. I think the hardest part of this semester was really figuring out the best way to study because as most people say med school is like drinking from a fire hose which is the most accurate analogy to describe how I felt. At the beginning of the year, I bought an IPad, and it changed my life… no more paper for me. For this blog post, I just want to highlight some key aspects of the semester from academic to personal life.
7 Classes & 8 Exams every 2 weeks
Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM)
Osteopathic Patient Care
Coming into the semester, I’ll be honest I was a bit hesitant because I was a psychology major in undergrad and never took a genetic, immunology, or microbiology class in my life, so I didn’t know what to expect. Our genetics and immuno professors were amazing and made it so easy to understand the material. I can honestly say genetics was by far my favorite course this semester and immuno and micro were not too far. Pharmacology was straight up memorization which isn’t my favorite because I prefer conceptual learning than rote memorization. I soon figured out ways to memorize large amounts of information in a short amount of time and all I can say is sketchy is my best friend especially for microbiology. For those of you that don’t know I attend an osteopathic medical school (DO) so we take an extra course called OMM where we learn to use our hands to diagnose and treat disease. I was excited for this class because you could instantly see the improvement in the person being treated. My classmates and I quickly got close to each other. And during the break, I went home and tried OMM on my family but they weren’t too keen on me cracking their backs lol. Lastly, another class we took is called OSC which is the “doctoring” class where we learn to do a physical exam and take a history. I loved this class because it reminded me of why I am doing this and made me excited to one day work with real patients. For the spring semester, we start our systems courses where we focus on one specific system and learn pretty much everything about that system. I will let you all know how it goes and keeps me in your prayers.
Notability for IPad is the best thing ever.
Sketchy - I wanna hug the narrator and just thank him personally because he made me get through micro and pharm.
Large white board - It’s not necessary but I like to use it to test myself when memorizing stuff.
Books - none expect First Aid USMLE STEP 1 for time to time but really never used any books. I just focused on the material in our course packets and if I needed clarification I can always search it or ask a professor. My school also has books online for us but really never needed it. First Aid was helpful for micro and pharm for mnemonics or helpful charts.
Ohh did I say Sketchy….. :)
Alright lets get to the Personal ishhh….
I remember as a pre-med being so curious on whether med students had social lives and now I can tell you we definitely do. And med students definitely know how to have a good time. But, you really do study every day, so you have to literally schedule time in to be social even if you don’t want to. Also forming a good study group is key because studying alone can be isolating at times so its a nice break from studying…even though you’re still studying. I was fortunate enough to make some amazing friends who I can struggle with and also grow with. Having a good support system both in med school and outside is so necessary. Living away from home, I Facetime my family on a daily, maybe a bit too much. I also go home during the breaks and when I’m home, I make sure I am living in the moment and not thinking about school at all.
My mental health has had its ups and downs throughout the semester. During the difficult times, I am so thankful for my family, especially my sisters for listening to me complain about how much I had to do. Also, my med school has great mental health services with a therapist, and I utilized this service many times because there is something about talking to a stranger about my issues that makes me feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. If you’re a student, please get your money’s worth and utilize the mental health services at your school because it's usually free and why not talk to someone about your problems? We all have mental health issues, and there is nothing wrong with talking to someone.
Okay, this was a pretty long post, and there is still more I want to say, but I’ll end it here. If you have any questions, you can always contact me. As always just know that anyone can do anything it's all about your mindset and how dedicated you are in achieving your goal.