Well I have not started school officially yet but I will start a thread anyways and you can follow my journey. The school is very receptive to non-trads and it has one of the smallest medical classes in the nation with 42 students per class. Their financial aid office is amazing and very very helpful. The allowances are more than adequate and the school has one of the lowest debt per medical student for most med students received either full rides or almost full rides.
I am really excited about my move to MN! I will be going up there with my mom in a week and house hunt once it is narrowed down to a handfull of homes my hubby will come up he he. Mayo is truly an amazing place and I cannot wait to start.
Wow, I just came back from MN and let me tell you to find a home there was such a roller coaster...the homes were selling so fast! we finally found a home and I am so relieved. Everyone at Mayo is nothing but helpful and it feels like we all have known each other forever. I am excited yet dreading the start of classes on July 26th it seems so far away yet it is close.
We will be in the NW side of town next to North Park..it is a really nice neighborhood but dang the yards are tiny compared to the ones here in TN! we have like 0.33 acres.
For those of you applying this year I would really suggest considering Mayo as a potential school for you. The class size is small at 42 which for some of us used to smaller schools is priceless. This also means that you get a lot of attention and of course being at Mayo means that you have tons of resources at your fingertips. Mayo has one of the lowest average debts if not the lowest for medical students. Mayo students have pretty awesome board scores well above the national average year after year. Although the academic year for MS1 is quite long you DO start patient contact early during your MS2 with clerkships. If you would like to see more about the life of an MS1 go to
and click on "A day in the life of...."
Well, we had all our 14,000 lbs of stuff packed and moved to MN. Thank God for the military for they took care of all that...it would have been a nightmare to do this on our own. Right now I am still in TN at a friend's house and we leave this Friday to head to KCMO to spend a few days with the in-laws. Then it is off to Rochester and the fun of unpacking all that stuff. School at Mayo starts pretty early on July 26th so there will be no summer for me this year.
Okay guys I am starting to get butterflies in my stomach...OMG I am going to start medical school so soon! I am now in KCMO one step closer to Mayo and my dream of one day becoming a physician. I cannot believe I have finally arrived...it seems that yesterday we were still on the OPM e-mail list server with Mary Renard now Dr. Renard on the WL "never give up never surrender!" and me being a newbie pre-med wannabe holy cow. I am so very excited about starting the next step of my journey but I am also slightly overwhelmed and feel totally blessed by God.
I wanted to add that the one thing that is *already* setting Mayo apart from other schools for me, is how much it feels like a family. The Mayo folks really help you out no matter what question you ask and how silly you may think it is...They have been nothing but helpful in my move, where to pick neighborhoods, what schools are awesome, where to buy groceries ,etc. Even the post office folks were nice! they actually called me back in TN! that just does not happen everywhere. The medical students that I have met are great as well, they have offered support and they mean it. I just got a call this weekend to attend a barbecue but alas we are still not there...
Okay today is M-Day for my family and I! we are heading to Mayo and this is it folks! no more looking back we are opening a new chapter in our life...my kids are excited to meet new friends and start high school and middle school and my husband is really excited about the fishing/hunting opportunities for he is an avid outdoorsman. I am excited about our wonderful new home and getting started with my goals, it now seems so close. Our drive from KCMO to Rochester is about 6 hours and we will be staying at a hotel for about 9 days until we close. This will give me plenty of time to get the kiddies enrolled in their schools as well as the ligh/gas/cable/phone before we close. Next time I post it will be from Mayo Land.
I have arrived! I am now sitting in the student learning center typing away on this loud keyboard ahhhggg! well it is getting much closer...I am scared!
Okay guys we are now almost unpacked and settled...(can you hear the sigh of relief?) I love our new home it is gorgeous and the kids are loving this neighborhood! there are tons of kids here for them to play with wow. I am now finally letting things sink in (like OMG I *am* starting medical school soon ) so let the games begin!
Yeah my hubby is quite excited about the fishing opportunities here. I guess most of my classes are in Guggenheim building, the talles bldg (I think) and it is glass. I am not sure which one the art deco is unless you are talking about the new Gonda building it is just gorgeous! I will keep you posted..
It is getting closer and closer and I am so very looking forward to it. Our unpacking is done and our house set so that is good.
Date: 07/14/04 10:34
I spent some time the other day at the medical school looking over the list of required books. The list is long but from talking to various medical students most of the books are really not necessary and we can actually check them out from our library. There is a lot of stuff that is required to fill out prior to our orientation. Mayo does an excellent job in always trying to improve things for medical students. We had to fill out a personaly type and I think the other one was a job type test. This will allow us to maybe determine which specialties we are best suited for. It is things like this that makes me realize how fortunate I am to be here...
Okay guys it is getting closer we have our schedule for orientation week (all of next week) and there are lots of activities planned. Over and over all the med students that I meet are telling me how awesome this place is...it is nice to hear this from seasoned medical students. Overwhelmingly they all say that one of the major benefit of attending medical school here is the huge range of opportunities that we will be presented with. These range from shadowing any specialty known to mankind to overseas fellowships. I know that at every medical school there is shadowing opportunities but what I think separates my school from the rest is the willingness of these very knowledgeable and often world reknown physicians *eager* to let some green student observe. I also hear that they really try to get you involved while shadowing...I have met some of my classmates and they are all amazing so far! More later.
I am meeting more of my classmates every single day it is amazing at the breadth of experiences! over and over I am impressed by this school. Mayo above all does an outstanding job of bringing together a very diverse class in all aspects from religious to socio-economic. It seems that many of us are seasoned world travelers that have been exposed to a wide range of cultures. We are all having a potluck this Saturday at my place to meet before classes start..I am so excited. It is amazing how helpful everyone is here. I contacted some prior years to get the scoop about books and many have responded willing to let me borrow books or sell them for a steal! Over and over I cannot get over how much of a family this place is...everyone works together and posts notes, graphs, pictures for all of us to use..amazing.
Today I start orientation week and I am excited yet somewhat nervous that finally I am *there*. I am meeting a classmate to walk to the bus stop that will take us to the medical school. Here at Mayo the bus system is excellent and Mayo picks up the tab! so there is really no need to drive. MS1 and MS2 do not get parking privileges but we can park at a lot and then get shuttled to Mayo (shuttle service is always on time and very often) or we can get the public buses. I will keep you guys posted.
Okay...it was just awesome! my classmates are the best bunch of guys you can tell that Mayo puts a lot of thought into getting a good cohesive yet very diverse group of people! some of these guys are just amazing and have done amazing things wow. Today was mostly a "meet and greet" type of thing with some paperwork stuff to do like the healthcare coverage, computer access, name tags, etc. It was a busy day for we started at 8:00 and ended around 5:00. Tomorrow half of us do not have to go until about 12:00 while the other half get oriented to the learning center and the computer environment at Mayo. We have orientation for the whole week so this week we are still in "chill mode" but next week...he he. I had a potluck at my house this past weekend to meet some of my fellow classmates and it was a blast I just love these guys. I am so very very fortunate to have been accepted at this great institution that I am humbled. The Mayo brothers were truly something else and maintained themselves humble throughout their entire life. We met a gentleman that had been a resident under Dr. Will Mayo and it was such an inspiration to hear this man talk, that he took his time to come speak to us, I was honored. I did get teary eyed a couple of times because I am just amazed at how luck I am...
Gosh I am so tired this morning! it is like a mack truck ran over me he he. Today will be a shorter day but I am meeting with my group (Mayo split the students into groups of five or so for some events) to go on a scavenger hunt. We are supposed to find a number of spots around Mayo and Rochester and document them via pictures. The more creative you get the better because then they will give prices to the three best groups ( a nice dinner). This serves two purposes..the group gets to know each other better and bond *and* you become familiar with Mayo and Rochester.
Yesterday we went on our scavenger hunt and took all our pictures. It was a blast! trying to get creative while at the same time maintaining some sort of decorum..he he. We tried to get into the picture as many folks just walking by as we could. There are extra points for getting strangers on the picture, backwards picture, funny faces, etc. I also realized that the purpose of this event is not only to have fun but to get to know those in your group better. As you walk to find these places you start talking about each other and it was great to learn more about my future colleagues (sp?). Most of the morning went by doing this and for lunch (Mayo feeds us really well and very often) we went around different student organization tables and this way met a lot of the second and some third years. The advice from them was priceless and they are so very nice! they passed along names of physicians to shadow, what books to buy, how to handle medical school, and much more. Today I have extensive computer and how to access everything Mayo has to offer online training. We also get our brand new Dell laptops today. To tell you how awesome this place is...I need to get a network going at my home and a M.D/Ph.D student just gathered a group of us that need this and went over what we need to buy and how to set it up. Because mine is more complicated (two pcs and two laptops) he is coming to my house and helping me out! now that is commitment...I love this place.
It was another wonderful day at Mayo yesterday. My group received our laptops which are just awesome and we became very comfortable with the Mayo electronic environment. Mayo prides itself in not only having one of the best equipped libraries but also that everything is at your fingertips from a computer terminal or for the first time ever with our own individual computers. We then received tours of the learning resource center and we met with our advisors. Each group is assigned an advisor consultant (physician) and a third year med student advisor. These folks are here for questions, to sound off ideas on, to hang out, or just when you need someone to talk to. We had a great picnic outdoors and it was great. Later on a good bunch of us got together at a local medical student hangout until about 10:00. I just again (and you will read this ad nauseum) realized how awesome this place is and what a great bunch of folks I am sorrounded by.
Yesterday was even better OMG it was so much fun! Mayo put the MS1 class through some team building exercises and it was great. We went to an area about 1.5 hours away from Rochester and it was beautiful. We split the whole class into two groups and then each group had a guide that put us through various tasks. It was just amazing to see extremely intelligent folks and many with leadership experience come together to solve these problems. There were no egos, no my way is the best way and we accomplished all tasks and beat time records! I am just in awe really...and it takes a lot to impress me. Everyone was in it together and we worked as a team regardless of where we had come from or what we had done. I think this was an excellent idea and it brings forth sprit de corps. It will be an excellent tool that we will take with us through medical school and residency. Patient care is at least here at Mayo a complete team approach where all opinions need to be heard and thought through to then do what will be best for the patient. The motto here is "the needs of the patient always come first" and this is one of the reasons why I chose Mayo.
Yesterday we went through ethical conduct and the honor code. We were also fed again! an amazing lunch provided by the Mayo Medical School Alumni Association. Then later in the afternoon we met our gross anatomy and histology professors along with our TA's. I am amazed at the great facilities that Mayo provides for gross anatomy. It is a beautiful new building with great locker rooms and an impeccable gross anatomy lab. Our dissection will be four students per cadaver and we were assigned to our groups. I am honored that kind hearted and altruistic folks donated their bodies so that we can learn. This is undoubtedly the best gift that I have ever received.
OMG the technology at Mayo is unreal! like many hospitals it has moved to a paperless environment and this will mean that everything is at your fingertips from a computer terminal. The whole Mayo campus is wireless and the laptops that Mayo has provided for the first year class all are very well equipped for wireless computing. All of our class syllabi are online along with our power point presentations and now also part of our dissection instructions. We will be dissecting and moving along with a interactive type computer set up at each dissecting table. All four years at MMS have different folders that everyone can access and it is nice for many have created great study guides for all to use. Many quizzes and exams will be done online at designated times and we get immediate feedback for many of them As you can see it is a very techie environment and we are all enjoying this tremendoulsy. I am headed off to my first day of class will post tomorrow...
Wow, I did indeed survive the first day of medical school. It was a long day we went to class from 8:00-10:30 although an hour was introductions and then we took a quiz that will not count to see where everyone is at. This class is molecular biology and genetics. Taught by different professors that are expert in their respective fields. This is one of the major perks of being a student here you have world reknown clinicians or scientists teaching you. Teaching here at Mayo is completely voluntary so these folks really want to teach medical students. We then had a break until 1:00 and then it was to gross anatomy until 5:00. I was so honored that someone has graciously donated their body so we can further learn....My dissecting group is amazing and we all learned so much! I then went home to eat dinner with my family and around 7:30 was back at the medical school to study for a couple of hours. I am trying to stay on top of the material so when quiz or test time comes around I will not feel overwhelmed. I think that I really like the idea of separating business from home. This way once I am home it is time to be with my family and relax. I live only maybe 10 minutes from the school tops so going back and forth is no problem at all. I feel that the amount of information can make you feel like there is no way to learn all this...BUT I do hope that by everyday being consistent and on the weekends assuming a regular school day the info will get manageable. I am planning on taking Friday evenings completely off and chilling out.
The second day was pretty intense with molecular biology and genetics, developmental anatomy and histology. The amount of material is very overwhelming but thank goodness we are all in the same boat. It seems that just to stay on top you have to study ala MCAT style non-stop. I hope that I am totally wrong but no matter how much time you put it you CANNOT stay on top of ALL the material. My classmates are just amazing because withing each area we do have one expert that is willing to tutor the rest of us wow! I have to keep reminding myself of how lucky I am and not get to caught up in the madness of studying...yeah easier said than done. For example we easily go through 50 something ppt slides in less than one hour and these are highly complex slides. It seems that my whole semester of cell biology was covered in like one day!
I must say I just love anatomy! yesterday was even more intense (if that is possible) than the previous days but doing anatomy is so much fun that I barely noticed. Expectations are high and the amount of material does not seem to lessen but we are in medical school and it is supposed to be this way. I love learning about each muscle (origin, insertion, action, innervation, blood supply) and the clinical correlation. Here at Mayo each time we learn something the professors give us some clinical relevance. This emphasizes the importance of what we are learning. Although it is hard to get past the "what do I need to really know to pass this exam" we are all type A and possible OCD folks he he, it is nice to start thinking about how you need to know X or Y because one day it will come in handy when treating patients. Yesterday we also broke out into smaller groups and discussed medically relevant news articles. We discussed an ethical issue and it was great to come together with my future colleagues and learn about different points of views. I am still on cloud nine.
Yesterday was also a fun day and it did not seem as hectic as prior days. I think that having one hour of molecular biology in the morning versus three is key. Although or mol bio is schedule for three hours on m,w,f we actually do not have lecture the whole time. It is split into small group discussion so it makes the time fly. We do have time in btw classes, on m,w,f we have two hours and on tu,thu, we have four. This can be used productively but often I procrastinate half the time away. I do need to maximize the use of that time. Our first quiz is on Monday thank goodnes! this will help to determine if we are going about our studies in the right way or we need to change. It will cover all the gross anatomy and developmental anatomy that we covered this week. It will entail all of the back muscles to include origin, insertion, innervation, and blood supply as well as the vertebral column and spinal chord. Developmental will be mostly from bilaminar to trilaminar and then the formation of the vertebral column. So it is quite a chunk. I have been trying to stay on top of it but I could not stay on top of all the classes...this weekend I will have to review mol bio and microscopic anatomy, and hit it hard with develop and gross anatomy. There will be no weekends "off" in medical school from what I see. You can take some time off but now whole days IMHO. There is way to much material to try to cover and understand it not just memorize it. Most of our questions here at Mayo are case based scenarios ala USMLE style. We start like this from the getgo which is good. Everything is about applying it and it gets us into thinking versus regurgitating. This has a huge benefit and it seems to work for we score well above the national average.
This was the last day of the week! woohoooo! our classes on Friday are from 8:00-11:00 and then on most Fridays the rest of the day is for us. Yesterday we did all meet and had a workshop on how to pick specialties, we did some personality tests (prior to starting medical school) and went over those. I am so thankful to have folks in my class that can explain things from lecture that maybe some of us did not understand fully. One of my classmates yesterday spent over an hour with me during our lunch break going over all the embryology that we covered last week. I now understand everything much better. This is the atmosphere that we create and nurture within all of the medicals students. We have a huge server where everyone posts notes, study guides, photos, etc. So at any point anyone of us can access prior years notes/study guides/anything. It is really helpful. Some of my classmates have taken the time to even make note cards with pictures and all and posted them. Another classmate went through one of our books and picked relevant information and made a word document and also posted it. This is a truly non-competitive environment where we are all here to get through it together. It does make for a much more relaxed and cooperative atmosphere. We have a quiz on Monday so one of our anatomy TA's will be available this morning for us and we had another TA offer to stay and help folks last night on a Friday evening. I will be studying this weekend and hopefully pass my quiz on Monday.
We had our first gross anatomy quiz and I did very well so I guess so far I am studying the correct way. BTW it is the same way I used in undergrad so many times I hear folks saying you "must" change the way you study well not in my case. It was a super long day with molecular biology for three hours and then lunch to then take our quiz and into gross anatomy. All of our quizes are online and we all have our laptops so we meet in class and take our quizz. I love it because you get immediate feedback and know you did. It was a great day in gross but the information was even more than last week combined! I can see how they start off easy with the back muscles and then start picking up the speed. It is truly an act of God if you can stay on top of all your classes...I seem to play catch up on the weekend but thtat is okay. I am learning this to become a physician and all this IS meaningful to one day be able to give excellent patient care. Today will be a more relaxed day with molecular biology for one hour then a huge break until 1:00 for microanatomy. It is awesome to be taught by leaders in their field. Although the pace *is* overwhelming I am having a great time!
Yesterday we had a guest lecturer for microsocopic anatomy that is an expert in his field of microtubules. This is one huge benefit of attending this school and learning about this from someone that is dedicating their life to it is priceless. We also broke out into smaller groups and discussed some current papers regarding microtubules that our guest speaker had published. The day was pretty nice with a large chunk of time in btw to either study or do other things. Some folks in my class go for runs, go to the gym, etc. It *is* very important that you still do those things that gave you enjoyment and do not put ALL your energy into medical school. I had my physical so my time was spent with my PCP. One of our of professors has finished his lecture series on molecular biology and had a study session for us from 6-8 to ask any questions we may have. Here at Mayo in some classes like molecular biology you may have two or three experts (in their particular fields) team teaching. So far I have enjoyed all the classes and I do plan to go to most of my classes. The only event that would keep me from going is when I shadow a physician. Monday in gross we had a neurosurgeon that specializes in nerves come to our lab as well as a orthopedic surgeon. These folks spent two hours with us in lab helping us out and explaining things. This happens about once a week it seems and it is very helpful. We have two quizzes next week, on Tuesday we have microanatomy and on Wed we have gross anatomy. The quizzes are very helpful and I am thankful that they have some almost every week. It does help me to stay focused and not fall too behind which is very easy to do. For this upcoming quiz for gross we have to know double the material of what we needed to know for the last quiz! the material is growing exponentially and so far I think I can manage it.
Yesterday we had our first PBL session and it went good. We discussed a genetic disorder and now each member of the group will go find more details regarding different issues and we will discuss this again next week. I do like PBL but I also enjoy a stright up lecture as well. I think that mixing both is the best option for me. We began to learn the brachial plexus which is a huge network of nerves that start as roots and end up as spinal nerves all over the upper limb. It is somewhat dreaded by medical students but so far it does not seem too bad. You just must start studying from the getgo. I truly love gross anatomy and thank God for that because by far it does take the most time. I am beginning to find (if this is even possible) that even though we are getting much more material it is actually becoming a little bit faster to learn it. For example for our first quiz we had the back (superficial and intrinsic muscles) and that seemed so overwhelming....and it took a ton of time. Well for this upcoming quiz we have like triple the stuff and it is taking time but it is not taking as long as expected.
Hopefully more non-trad folks will apply to this great school. Yesterday we covered a lot of material in microscopic anatomy. Mostly we went over the different types of epithelial tissue, basement membranes in great detail, and cell to cell junctions. First we get a 2.5 hour lecture and then we look at slides for another 2.5 hours or so. We also have to know how it looks with a scanning and transmission electron microscope. I am not feeling too good, meaning I caught some bug and I am sneezing and feeling pretty bad. Hopefully a good sleep tonight will do it for me. I have to study a lot this weekend to be prepared for my two quizzes next week. Today I am looking forward to starting a new class called continuity of care. It is only one hour long and then we will head to the learning resource center to learn how to do searches for articles. They really want to make sure that everyone here is knowledgeable and comfortable in searching databases and looking for relevant information.
Yesterday I was so sick ugh. Anyways, we had a morning full of mitosis and meiosis with some clinical correlation. I really love genetics...hmmm maybe a geneticist? who knows. Aftwerwards I went to eat lunch at the cafeteria conveniently located across the street from the medical school. I needed something nice and hot like beef noodle soup! ahhhh. We started our first class of continuity of care. We are required to shadow for six afternoons (to be completed during our first year) a primary care physician for at least three and the other three are up to us. I picked a geriatrician to follow first. I enjoy seniors and thought that this would give me some good insight into what it entails to be taking care of this population. After this class we had our online searching class which was very helpful. I then met with my group to prepare a presentation on Huntington disease for our molecular biology course. This is a presentation that three of us will present to clas on Wed to include the molecular aspects of the disease. I am still feeling under the weather but not as bad as yesterday. This weekend will be a studying marathon for me.
Yesterday was a loooong day with mol bio from about 8:00-10:30 then I studied for the quiz at 12:30 and glad to say that I survived and went beyond my expectations. Thank goodness because the weekend was a total waste without being able to study much due to being sick. After the quiz we had gross with even more muscles and the brachial plexus to learn for tomorrow's quiz! I am still working on that. After the quiz tomorrow I am officially chilling out all night...ahhh
All right I am done with quizzes for this week yipeee! it went really well and now more studying (but not today) and doign the brachial plexus until I have down cold. We are learning the arm and forearm muscles and soon the hand. We have a big exam on Monday for molecular biology and then a mid-term on Thursday for microscopic anatomy...this weekend again will be spent studying. Today I was sooo tired....In mol bio we all presented our specific disease (my group had Huntington) and that went really well. Our quiz started at 12:30 and we get 30 minutes to complete it online. Tonight we are all hanging out at a local medical student hangout and just relaxing with some brew.
Today was nice and it was a shorter day. We only have one hour of lecture on tues and wed from 9-10 and then off until after lunch for microscopic anatomy. I love this place because for example...tomorrow after lunch we have nothing going on. So I called some consultants (physicians here at Mayo on staff are consultants) to see about shadowing...this was really short notice too. I had no problem finding someone and tomorrow will be my first day shadowing a physician as a medical student. I am so excited. I went to buy a suit at Talbots which is really nice and their clothes actually fit me...it is difficult finding good suits for someone short yet with ample hips.. he he. Anyways, I found some good stuff albeit expensive but dang who has time to troll every consignment store known to man? I am looking forward to tomorrow. Here at Mayo everyone is just so excited about having medical students along with them. We also have clinicians come to every gross anatomy and while we are dissecting they will help, or just give us clinical correlations. So far we have had neursurgeons and orthopedic surgeons and it is really helpful.
Yesterday was just awesome! We wrapped up part of our mol bio class and have a major exam on Monday mostly protein structure and function, enzymes (kinetics, etc.), mitosis, meiosis, diseases due to mutations (HD, fragile X, achondroplasis, etc.), replication, transcription, and translation not too bad but lots of info. I then shadowed for the first time in the clinic! family practice and it was great. I had a great time interacting with patients for the first time. Now more studying.
I survived my first mol bio exam woohooo! the rest of the day we spent in gross anatomy learning all the muscles of the hand, we will finish upper limb next wednesday and our first gross exam is next monday. It will cover the back and upper limb muscles. I am so happy that my classmates are so awesome! yesterday while I was feeling quite overwhelmed with all the info for the exam this morning...one of my classmates sent all of us an e-mail with all the pertinent details we had to know. It sure helped a lot. Now it is dinner with my family and then studying for microanatomy.
I did take cell and molec bio and thank God! you know how folks say oh...major in whatever and just take pre-reqs well....although this is true to get into medical school...once you are in this advice may seem somewhat foolish IMHO. The speed of the information is HUGE and although we are all kind of overwhelmed I could not imagine how I felt if this was the *first* time that I ever saw or heard of this. They will NOT slow down for you so beware. I always hear oh everyone will be lost at some point yeah that is true, but the first semester is extremely challenging and any help is good. If I had to do it again I would have also taken embryo and biochem is a must! if you have time or you will like huh? what the heck is all this.
I took the biochem class that has two semesters but only ended up going to the first semester...now I wish I had done both but oh well. About the cell bio lab, yes I did take it as well. I think that looking at experimental data, knowing how to do experiments, and understanding the lecture material will be solidified via the lab. Although yes it is time consuming, it does help. I am soooo very glad I took this class that I called my prof this morning and left a voice message. We are literally flying through biochem/cell bio and that is just the nature of medical school. We literally cover so much that anything that you have heard helps period. I hope that nobody thinks OMG I must take this and that, for that is not my intention *but* if you have time and you can manage it...it does help. We will start immunology soon...and guess what? I have no class under my belt that is even close. Thank goodness Mayo sent all the MS1's a mini immuno book that we had to read prior to starting this year. This will help.
Well life is good so far, we received our grades for mol bio and the class as a whole did extremely well wooohooo! so that is taken care of. Yesterday was pretty good only had our one hour class for mol bio from 8-9 then from 9-1 we studied as a group our microanatomy slides quizzing each other and looking at different slides. Microanatomy went from 1-4:30 and we went into excruciating detail about bone tissue ahhhhgggg! which will be on the mid-term tomorrow. I went home and relaxed until about 7:30 and then hit the books until midnight. Today I will be doing a LOT of studying for there is tons of material for the mid-term tomorrow. I will be teaching a hip-hop class tonight so that will help me in staying up for quite some time tonight...pray for me...this exam is both lecture and lab based...
I had a great time teaching my class last night! It also helped me to stay up and not be too tired...yesterday was an awesome day in gross anatomy dissecting the hand muscles. We also had a clinical correlation session provided by a hand surgeon from Mayo. It is really great to be able to put dissection with clinical relevance. This is again (I know I state this a lot) one of the huge advantages of being here. I studied a lot last night and this morning I am feeling quite tired. My son is sad and bored...it is times like these that you *do* question if this was the right choice for the family. I think that not questioning yourself would be strange at times of high stress. I will be taking my microanatomy mid-term in 2.5 hours and hope to pass. It is a lot of material.
Okay, I survived the microanatomy mid-term! I barely passed the practical by the skin of my teeth but I did thank God! I tell ya...if you start here at Mayo know the electron micrographs...all the questions I missed was an electron micrograph. This is of course my fault because I should have reviewed those more in detail oh well lesson learned. Our mid-term was half web ct (the multiple choice web based lecture portion) and then the other half was lab based. Most of our exams here at Mayo are all done online so you do get immediate feedback and it preps you very well for usmle which is all online. Also, our exam questions are mostly clinically based vignettes. We started this way from the first quiz. This makes total sense to me and will be a tremendous asset when taking the boards. After our exam today we broke out into small groups and discussed the various types of cartilage tissue. I have a barbecue to go to at my advisors home..we do deserve some good R&R. I do not know if I mentioned this but at Mayo the class is divided into groups of five and we are assigned a faculty and third year advisor. This helps for we can ask them questions, get help, etc. We are for sure taken cared of.
Yup I have heard about that mall and need to get more info about how to get there. I am good on suits for the rest of the year but for next year I will need more for sure. My kids start school next week and thank God because they are bored out of their mind! I had a great time at my advisor's and we actually did a little bit of hip-hop. It was a great time to just relax and learn more about each other and just have fun doing non-academically related things. Sometimes it is hard for me to see myself as I used to be...and I have just started but this whole process does kind of consume you. It is like...hmmm I know that I used to do this and that, but it is hard to find the good balance between the amount of time you need to study and being *you*. It is so much easier said than done..about the whole Oh you must find a balance blah blah blah. When you are kneed deep in tons of new material it is like "what balance?" he he. I do try to keep a good positive attitude but at times I do feel like WTF? he he I had a moment like that this past weekend feeling overwhelmed with molecular biology....thank goodness for the upper class folks..they do give us some insight and perspective.
Friday was a relaxed day after our micro exam and all went well. I started studying for my gross exam and that continued through the weekend non-stop. Monday morning rolled around and I was still studying...the exam was at 12:30 about 85 questions taken online. It can take a good 2.5 hours to take the exam for there is a lot of reading and the questions most of them are clinically based. I did not do too well on the exam and barely passed (marginal pass) but as I finished I did not know this..so i assumed that I had failed. Needless to say the practical portion did not go well..more later.
So what happened...I finished my online exam and I was exhausted and I had the feeling that I did not rock the exam by far. I got my score and it was low..so I assumed that was a fail. Different classes have different P/F and marginal pass cutoffs. I left the room feeling like poop because I did study my arse off but did poorly. I did not even want to take the practical after this. I went into the practical very demoralized and basically flew by all the stations not really thinking things out and I finished in record time. Of course I did not pass I just looked at things like briefly. I almost passed so it makes me feel kind of good that flying through I almost passed. Lesson, no matter how bad you think you did just keep on going and give it your best shot. After the practical I went to see the professor and he looked at me like???? huh? you passed the lecture. I was like what? so anyways that was my ****ty day in a nutshell. One of the harder things to swallow as that in medical school you may be at the bottom of the class or middle or top. It just depends and that is okay but it is hard to give up being at the top of the academic food chain (like in undergrad). I know that folks say it over and over ...oh do not worry you are in medical school now blah blah blah it will be fine you just need to pass. Well that is easier said than done. When we are used to getting the top scores in class and breaking curves and now you are barely passing it is quite humbling. Do not get me wrong I am happy that I barely passed it could have been worse and not passed after taking this huge exam. It is very much like sitting for the MCAT..that is how we all felt after we took it. Tons of reading with third order questions so it was not easy by far. I am doing well in everything else and getting awesome grades for my quizzes so that is good. I am determined to just move on retake the lab portion along with my colleagues that are in my shoes and then focus on not letting this happen to me again. Although marginal pass is not the kiss of death you do not want to get into the habit of getting those all the time. I remember when other medical students would say on some forums hey I am passing and that is enough...and I would think to myself geez why not do better? well now I know. It is extremely hard to do better in medical school. The amount of work that you have to put in to do "better" is like the difference btw a 30 MCAT and a 40 MCAT (putting it into terms that you may actually understand). The amoung of studying to go from gettting mid 80's to 90's is an exponential increase for most folks. Some folks with the same amount of studying can do really awesome but most it will take a ton more.
Thanks meowmix! there are for sure ups and downs and the road is long and seems so narrow that I will barely make it but...there is the little light at the end of the tunnel. Thank God I am in Mayo! the support here is just unreal. I have classmates willing to help, TA's, second years..whatever it takes. We work really well together and *that* does make a difference. Today was an awesome day in mol bio with tons of info about RNA post-transcription modifications to the upteenth order he he. We had a huge lecture in microanatomy about nervous tissue and then looked at slides until about 5:30. I am now chilling until about 7:30 and I will start studying.
By far one of the most helpful courses has been cell and molecular biology, biochemistry (the full year if possible and the hard biochem not the baby biochem), genetics, and anatomy and physiology. I wish I had taken embryology. I know that no, you do *not* have to have anything beyond the pre-reqs and after first semester is over all students are on the same foot BUT (and this is just my opinion)the first semester is SO INTENSE that having anything that gives you the smallest advantage is a huge benefit. They will go so fast that you cover thousands of new words and concepts in no time. So the take home message is that you do not have to have the extra but if you do have the time it will help. Also ALL classes in medical school are science like 32 hours worth per semester so the more you can listen, talk and learn the science lingo the more maneagable it will seem...just my 0.2
This week went by really really fast. I want to explain how things work here at Mayo in case you do not pass an exam or marginal pass an exam. In every class there are various quizzes and exams (for gross both lab and lecture based) if you do not pass a quiz you do NOT have to retake it at all, if you do not pass an exam you MUST retake it, if you marginal pass an exam you have the OPTION of retaking it. Once you retake your exam regardless of the grade you receive on that exam during the retake you can only receive a PASS for the said exam. Meaning if you ace it on the retake it does not matter all that will be recorded is a 70 or 75 depending on the course some require 70 for pass others 75, hence some 65 to 69 for marginal pass others 70-74 for marginal pass. Once you have all your grades for all your exams for the course the average is what is recorded on the transcript NOT individual scores. So if you retake X or Y exams this will not affect what is on your transcript it will just say so and so passed so and so course. This holds true for first year so far, I think second year (it may change) is still on a grade system not pass/fail. The atmosphere here at my school is very very supportive no matter what happens...they are making sure that every student passes not weeding folks out of medical school. My retake for the gross anatomy lab is on Tuesday along with other of my classmates. I am looking forward to putting this behind me and moving on to the other two quizzes we have that week...We have a microanatomy quiz on Tuesday and Mol Bio on Friday. The quizzes for microanatomy are worth each ten percent of your grade and the ones for Mol Bio are worth fifteen percent each. The exams for microanatomy are the midterm is worth 15% each (with a lab and written for total of 30) and the final for micro is 25% for each component...for Mol Bio there is only a final exam and it is worth 30%...
Okay after spending the whole weekend studying for the microanatomy quiz we had today and going into the lab every day of the weekend to review structures for my retake today....I have to say that I passed my retake woohooo! ahhhh what a relief. I did really well in my micro quiz I sure needed that morale boost...and now back to studying for the quiz this friday in mol bio. We had our all school celebration tonight where each class presents itself of course with dinner provided by Mayo. It was great! I forgot to mention that last week we had a very special guest in gross anatomy lab...none other then the CEO for Mayo Foundation! how awesome is that? having someone so busy take time off his schedule to come and show important clinical correlation of the lungs to medical students..I was really honored.
OMG this week flew by! I had to study every day from Tuesday on for the mol bio quiz we had today and that seemed to go really well. Today because we missed gross lab due to the day off on Monday we will be doing gross.
Wow here is the start of another week and I still like this process he he. I did extremely well in both my mol bio quiz and gross quiz and now studying again...he he for the micro final next Monday which is cumulative. Today will be very exciting for I will be spending the half the day with a general surgeon. I am very intersted in this specialty (among others) and look forward to interacting with this consultant. We are full fledged into the genetics part of our molecular biology genetics course and I have to tell you.. things get really complicated with penetrance and imprinting, x-linked, etc. I really love learning about this though. Gross anatomy is really my favorite class though and we are now in the abdomen. Once we take our micro exam on Monday we start immunology the following Wednesday...so we are going full fledged the whole time, when something ends something starts up. I will post later about my experience in the OR.
I love being in the OR, I love the smell the lights the interactions everything! wow what a great day. I met the consultant at 7:45 and he took me to the OR here at Mayo which is HUGE! I was in awe of this amazing place what a great time! I was observing surgeries for half the morning and everyone was super nice and pointed out structures and thank goodness for gross atomy for it all made sense. I cannot wait to do this again it was so worth it...tonight all the girls in class went out to eat dinner after microanatomy this of course included the spouses and SO of our male colleagues. It was so much fun getting together with everyone out of class and just hanging out. Ok now back to the grind..
AHHH I am so tired of studying pink blobs! it is amazing how everything starts to look the same after hours of looking with the microscope. I wish I would have taken a histology class then maybe some of this would look better I cannot wait for this class to be over on Monday after our final dang.
Yipee! my first medical school class is over and I did extremely well on the both finals (written and lab portion) so one down hundreds to go ha ha. Yesterday I hosted a prospective student that was interviewing today and it brought me back memories of myself in those shoes not long ago...we started immunology today and wow did they go fast! other than that looking forward to our first weekend off w/o major exams or quizzes on Monday. I am in the thick of studying for a quiz tomorrow so i cannot celebrate just yet...
Gosh I am really tired...today is one of those days that you *just* have to question if this will be worth it. The time spent away from my family is HUGE. I barely see them and my kids are doing stuff that I have no clue about. It *is* hard to be like a stranger passing by in your own home because you are stuck in books all day. I know that this will pass but the road at times does seem so very far away. I have only been in school for what? two months and it seems like YEARS! although the material *is* interesting the load is so huge that you kind of lose site of "life" and who you used to be...it is kind of odd to explain it but sometimes I feel that the person that started on this path is being squashed down by all this information...
Yup, everyone I talk to has questioned this path at some point...I think that if you do *not* ever question this path there is something seriously wrong.
Today in mol bio we watched a movie. The professor felt that it would be appropriate as we are discussing genetic disorders to have us watch this movie. The movie is Lorenzo's Oil and I had never seen this movie. It is based on a true story (although some of the movie is Hollywood style) about this young man Lorenzo that inherited a X-linked genetic disease ALD. This disease involves long chain fatty acids and an enzyme responsible for their degradation. This accumulation affects neurons in the CNS and eventually ALL patients die. Well, needless to say this young man is still alive today! it brings into light the differences among phyisicans, scientists and patients. I urge all of you to rent this and watch it.
I am totally convinced that I hate PBL! it sucks. It is the blind leading the blind literally. I guess going on some hunting expedition for info is good but...dang it is more productive and less time consuming to get it from an expert IMHO. Sure as physicians we will be looking for information on our own but that will be later in our career where a) we know were to look for it b)we have more background to understand what we are looking for. Now it is just go find X or Y then all come together to discuss what you found ...WTF? there is no telling how in depth some folks went our how in depth we need to go you CAN get caught up the minutae (sp?). Thank God we do not have much PBL here at Mayo! make sure that you know what your school is heavy one...some folks like PBL but many do not.