He he he, it is amazing reading back through my posts how things can change at the drop of a hat! you truly have to keep your bearings about you and NEVER lose sight of who you were before this journey started. The important things in life MUST remain! like your family, your friends ,your passions (aside from medicine). I am so happy that I can look back at these blogs and realize just how far I have come...albeit some high prices at times... :yes:
I am sure that given enough time to do the PBL and having very well defined guidelines it would be highly beneficial. I just talked to a third year and like you said you have a patient that present with X symptons and you need to go and do your PBL for this patient and come up with a differential diagnosis....so I guess this is *why* there is PBL but still I find it a waste of time bc I have no clue where to start and how in depth to go...there are just too many questions that we are asked from our pbl from northern blots to chorionic villi sampling it is the whole gamut from one pbl...
your comment about there is no way to learn via PBL with gunners in your group is right on! obviously gunners are found in every medical school class in the nation it is impossible to not have at least one gunner. Now, let me make this crystal clear a gunner is a person who does well above average in every exam/quiz/whatever actually they probly do extremely well but then makes sure that EVERYONE know this. There are extremely bright folks that ace every exam and quiz but keep it to themselves, do not brag, do not answer every question that professors ask within one nanosecond, and are just plain nice folks. A gunner not only brags every his/her scores, makes sure that everyone around can hear it, but also will NEVER give anyone the chance to answer any question bc they do it ALL the time. Gunners are arrogant individuals that exude arrogance and smugness and nobody likes them. Everyone talks about gunners and it would suck to be a gunner.
Path, Mayo is an awesome institution to get your medical education. They *do* care about the students and make sure that not one of us falls btw the cracks. It is not about how well you can regurgitate X or Y fact, but how to APPLY this knowledge. Many medical schools (and yes I have seen their exams and spoken with the students) will test you straight up what is this what is that...here we have to apply the knowledge which is what makes our exams pretty intense BUT then we really really really do well on the boards...the average here is 235 which is really really really good
This week has gone by at the speed of light! we had our third mol bio quiz today with nothing but genetics on it and was extremely tough but fair. I studied hard for it and I am pretty confident that I did well. Today we are kicking off our weekend with a really nice dinner for all MMS1 and their families...this will start family weekend where our loved ones can learn about the ins and outs of our journey here. I would be highly ecstatic if not for the fact that we have our second gross exam this coming Tuesday which covers the thorax and abdomen and on Thursday we have our first immunology exam! ouch! the whole weekend will be spent studying for me. Thank goodness none of my family flew in for this event. Time is going fast and mol bio will be over in two weeks! yay my second medical school class will be over 9999 to go he he. Once mol bio ends we start with pathology and cell biology so we are always taking at least four courses at once.
Holy Cow! what a weekend and week...okay here goes. We had our third mol bio exam (well really it is a quiz and counts for 15% of your grade the final is more) and I am happy to say that I passed woohoo! now the final in two weeks and we will kiss our second medical school class goodbye! we then had our gross anatomy written and lab yesterday and I passed another wooohoo! it was brutal but I thought much funner to take than the first exam with nothing but muscles and nerves...this one entailed the thorax and abdomen which has a LOT of organs, innervation and vasculature but I loved it! we are now starting the dreaded head and neck. Tomorrow is my first immunology exam which I am starting to study for right now holy cow because really I had waaay too much going on this past weekend with gross. We will see how this one goes....the weeks are really flying now and we are halfway done through gross I cannot believe it. Next week a fellow OPM'er and friend of mine xlurker is coming to Mayo for her interview and will be staying with me I look forward to hanging out although I will have to study for the mol bio final.
I did not do too hot on the first immunology exam (note to self if you have time take immunology I wish I had) obviously this part due to waiting to study until the last minute but when you have other things going on sometimes this is just not possible (at least not for me). The department chair is very approachable and we are meeting to day to discuss my exam and how to go from here. Again, another major benefit of going to Mayo is that if something goes wrong and you do not pass it is no big deal really. They will work with you to make sure that you understand the material and pass the class. For this class as long as your other exams are improving you should be fine and if for some weird reason you happen to fail the course you take an oral exam and will more than likely end up with a pass for the class. It does hurt to not pass an exam BUT it does not mean that you did not try or that you are a slacker or that you do not care. Life sometimes gets in the way specially those of us with families. So if you end up in medical school and you do not do as good as you always have (like me) do not get too worked up...things tend to even out during clinical years. Sometimes it is not how much you know but how you APPLY the little that you may know. Today is Friday and a very easy day with just mol bio and then we are off! BUT next Thursday we have our lab quiz for the head and we have to know every foramen in the cranium along with the cavities it connects and what the foramen has in it (nerves, blood vessels) this along with every bone in the cranium as well. So this weekend again is a huge study marathon because the cranium has more holes than I can even think of holy guacamole
I met with the department chair to see what to do different and how to move on from here. I truly love the way Mayo just works with you no matter what. Everything will be fine and I just have to stay focused and kick arse in my next immunology exam coming up in two weeks. I will be meeting with a tutor that will help me focus on the key concepts to make sure that I am on the same sheet of music. I have been working this weekend on the cranium and let me tell you there are more bones and holes than I could ever imagine! although it is a lot..it is kind of fun but it takes many many reviews to get it down cold. The quiz is Thursday so I am doing good but I also have to keep up with the gross lectures, immunology, and mol bio. This is the problem there are so many balls in the air at one time that eventually one does fall. It is easy to study for one thing at a time but three or four? is insane specially when they are really in-depth and a lot of material per subject. Alas that is the nature of medical school. I do have a good group of core friends and that helps. We study together and help each other out. I also still teach my hip-hop class and that keeps me sane...
Okay guys I never like to discuss scores or anything like this but dang this time I am ...I aced my skull quiz holy cow! there were 20 questions and it was a really fun quiz to take. I think that because it was highly visual it was very manageable IF you reviewed consistently over various days. I really am enjoying the head and neck section although it is very very complicated. My friend xlurker is here interviewing today and I am very excited for her. She arrived yesterday and we went for a nice long dinner after gross anatomy...ahhhh I needed that for sure. This weekend is going to be another study marathon...OMG ALL my weekends are study marathons. I am setting up appointments with a possible mentor in trauma surgery. I am really so far looking into going for a surgical specialty and having a mentor will be to my benefit and helpful. Today is our last day for molecular biology and genetics our final is Monday and I am sad to see this class go. I have not enjoyed the part where you do figure out the family tree and the calculations as much BUT I did enjoy learning about the various genetic disorders and how to counsel patients. It is now getting cold here up North aghhh! I am wearing a coat now....we will be starting pathology and cell biology next Tuesday so as usual we are always dealing with three-four classes concurrently. I am looking forward to this class.
It has been eons since I wrote but here it goes. I am done and the whole class passed our second course for MMS1! we all passed molecular biology and genetics wooohooo! It has been pretty intense since then but doable. I had my second immunology exam and thanks to the most amazing tutor AND skipping class and reading the syllabus on my own I passed it! hence the importance of knowing *what* works for your learning style best. To me sitting in a class (with great professors) passively because they are going too fast (never had immunology and NOTHIN made sense) was just not productive at all. I bought this basic immunology book and with my weekly tutoring sessions was able to pass and I understand the big concepts. We started pathology and cell biology right after we took our mol bio final and that class is going to be somewhat challenging. I feel that it would have been more helpful to have that either concurrently with physiology or after physiology but oh well. We have our first quiz on Monday and we will see what happens. In gross anatomy we are in the very very difficult head and neck section and the exam is looming ahead. This is the exam that most medical students do the worse in...I am excited that this semester is almost over OMG and I am looking forward to my Xmas break to spend time at home with my family.
Ahhh the first pathology quiz was not bad at all and the whole class passed it wooohoo! we have our third gross exam covering head and neck on Monday and this one is going to be a bear...we will see what happens. We are moving at the speed of light in pathology but it *is* coming together and I am learning quite a bit in that class that will be very important for patient care. Yesterday I was in the clinic with a general surgeon and it was great. I really enjoyed my time and learned a lot from this consultant. I am still considering GS but who knows what will really be my cup of tea. It is hard to really know for sure until you hit second year (Mayo starts clinicals early) and beyond. We have one more exam for immunology and we are done! wow. The exam is the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I am taking that whole weeked off period no exceptions. I have friends coming over and need to spend time with my kiddies and hubby...weeeell maybe I will just study a little bit.
The book I purchased can be found at
and type in basic immunology. It will be the first book listed on there with this link.
I passed head and neck both parts (lab and written) and by far it was the hardest exam but we all survived it. Pathology is going great and we had our second quiz...of course it does help to skip class every now and then and just read the syllabus and study from Robbins. The classes are pretty long M,W,F from 8-11 and then Tue, Thur from 8-9...so I find it much more productive to skip and study on my own on some days. I have been shadowing and I truly think that to keep your sanity you must do this to remind yourself of why you are studying your arse off. We had an awesome unity ball here at Mayo this past weekend (for medical students/staff/faculty and grad school) it was great with a band nice finger food, some but not much etoh, and everyone was super dressed up and looking maaahhhvelous! we had our last quiz for gross this monday and we all received our overall grades for the quizzes which is 10% of our grade.the whole class passed that portion so one hurdle down. we have four more gross classes thank God! by far that is the most time consuming class ever. Today we have our immunology final and we start allergy today right after the final.
Ahhh, the break was much needed and I did not crack one book open! I did extremely well in immunology and passed the class woohooo! we have two classes to complete this semester gross anatomy and allergy. Although we are taking pathology that class is not over until sometime in January. We have a lab quiz in pathology this Friday just a lot of slides since the beginning of the course..mostly case studies. Once that is over it will be time to study for the last gross exam covering the lower limb and perineum. Here at Mayo we also take the shelf exam for gross and it counts like an exam so I will be studying for that as well. I ordered my stethoscope online and hopefully it will come soon. I will be doing some serious shadowing this Xmas break and we start intro to the patient next semester.
OMG OMG OMG!!! the first semester is pretty much over where did time go???? holy cow! Okay, updates. I kicked arse on my path quiz but I do love that class it is actually very interesting on NOT just rote memorization like gross. I had my anatomy exam for lower limb and perineum this Monday and did extremely well on both the lab and practical woohooo! now that the freaking semester is over I get the hang of it how is that for ate up. Here are some pointers that may help you future MS1's read the heck out of the BRS for gross anatomy and the high yield anatomy these two books cover ALL the important clinical correlation of the material for gross! I wish I had known this for my first exam and beyond...I just found out duh. These books are worth their weight in gold because they are concise (the freaking clinically oriented anatomy by Dalley and Moore are just too much with all the other stuff you are doing) and get to the point fast. Also the BRS has questions at the end of each section a la USMLE style so you can quiz yourself and see how you are doing. We also took today the shelf exam for gross and lemme tell ya, that exam has nothing on our exams here at Mayo holy cow! our exams are so much clinical stuff and so difficult that the shelf was not bad at all. I am so thankful for the way we get taught here and how things are done. I know that it was very hard for me many many times and I would cry and bawl and complain and bicht and gripe BUT now looking back I realize how much I have learned and what a huge advantage it is to have clinical questions from the get go. I mean, some of my gross anatomy exams are so complicated and convoluted that I was like WTF over? he he. Allergy went by we all passed and it was an okay course but just presented to us at the wrong time. Next semester we start with pathology (which continues from this semester) and the cutaneous system. I look back and realize just *how* much that I have accomplished and learned. By far gross was the most time consuming and difficult class for me it took hours upon hours to just pass that class but now I know that it does come together at some point albeit at the end.
Yes, I am staying here during the holidays although I went to see my parents down in Arkansas. My grandmother is with my dad and she is showing signs of alzheimers. It was nice and warm there! no coat needed wow. I come back home and it is -10 with wind chill I am mostly shadowing GI (I love it!) and surgery (also love it!) we will see what else catches my interest. I need to shadow other specialties to get a nice look at what they do day to day. I am thinking of cardiology and pulmunologists...most of my colleagues left to go home for the holidays and will not be back until the day before classes start. My in-laws arrive today from Kansas City and we are planning on clooking/eating/shopping and repeating the cycle as many times as we need to I am so enjoying my break that I have already gone through two books and looking for more after today. I love reading and medical school is not conducive (sp?) to this.
I grew up in Madrid and to some extent in Cuenca (went to boarding school there) and go as often as I can to see my family there. My kids get to go every summer to see grandma (hmmmm, life is rough for these kiddos), but this summer I am also planning on staying there about six weeks. I hear that there *is* a tapas restaurant in the twin cities...I really want to check it out although nothing compares to the real deal.
Classes started back up on Monday and we are sprinting! started with Pathology which is a continuation from last semester and now we are going into the organ based classes. Cutaneous will only last this week and the final is Friday.
I shadowed during my break..one day I shadowed my family practice preceptor and the following day I shadowed a colon/rectal surgeon. For sure, (of course things do change) I am not headed for primary care! you have to know so much! and there is too much talking and not enough doing for my taste. I think that general practitioners have to be so up to date in a variety of diseases that I would find it hard to stay abreast. I also enjoy getting involved with some hands on and get some type of immediate feedback. I am really enjoying GI (subspecialty of internal medicine) and general surgery. We will see what keeps interesting me as the years go by. This Friday there is a big case going in the OR so I will be headed that way after my final in cutaneous...
Hello guys! well we are done with cutaneous and we all did really well another class down! We started growth and development which is not the most exciting topic IMHO but it is a nice break from break-neck speed classes. We had a quiz for path today and the class did not do so hot...we are just kind of tired and it was a lot of material. Thank goodness the professor is one of the most accomodating and committed individuals that I have ever met so far! he is kind and will go over stuff over and over until we feel comfortable. The final for pathology is on Monday with mostly slides and we will have a computer component with images from the presentations that we had to give. Overall this class is the most fun so far yet it was hard to focus on it due to gross last semester. This is actually not a good thing for the boards are a lot of pathology with hardly any gross. I figure that gross is just a rite of passage but it is sad that it comes at the expense of other things. The good thing is that we have pathophysiology next year and we will go over a lot of the same material that we have already covered. I am planning on shadowing a trauma surgeon this Friday and see what that is all about.
I had a blast following the trauma surgeon and of course it helped that he is in the military. We have completed another course in medical school! pathology and we all passed with flying colors! we have started two new courses growth and development and hematology.
Holy cow the weeks are passing by at the speed of light! I just got done teaching my once a week hip-hop/cardio funk class and I am pumped! I love teaching this class and hopefully (although it will be hard to keep doing this during 3rd and 4th year) will be able to teach this for many years to come. We took our mid-term in growth and development and it was not bad at all..we have not received our grades yet but the exam was fair and all the questions were clinical type. We are having our final for hematology next week and that course is really well taught but tons of info! once we are done with hematology we start neurosciences. Once growth and development is done we start intro to patient in the afternoons. This semester is so much more laid back than last semester! I think that gross anatomy was just so time consuming I am looking forward to my summer break for six weeks and going home to Spain woohooo! I am applying for a research project with the MN Medical Association...we will see. I am sure that tons of folks apply for this. More later.
We completed our hematology course and the whole class did well and we all passed. It is so nice to have this whole year pass/fail and we are keeping our fingers crossed that the second year becomes pass/fail as well. I shadowed Thursday afternoon (after the hematology final we were done) a geriatrician that is very involved with the medical school curriculum. At the end of the day he asked me if the environment was competitive at Mayo. I was thrown back by the question because at this point I did not know about his efforts to make the first year P/F, so I answered absolutely not. He then explained that he was a huge proponent of making sure that we would be P/F for the first year, and hopefully the second year as well. He then explained to me the nature of the team effort in medicine. He explained that many of the professors (mostly M.D and some Ph.D) expressed the need for pass/fail due to the team effort that they would like us to learn early on. In the hospital it is NOT about you and your choices, most of the time it involves a collaborative effort among ALL the health care providers taking care of the patient (nurses, PT, OT, RT, physicians, etc) and that getting away from the "I must get this score or that score" was crucial for us to actually *learn* what is needed to take care of our patients. He really made it clear to me (although I somewhat understood the need for team effort) on how truly imperative it is to work as a group w/o feeling like you have to be the superstar or not. He said it is all about using each other and honing on individual strengths to bring forth the best possible care for our patients. Our Dean said "patients do not CARE about how much you *know* but they do care about how much your *CARE*. I can truly say that the cooperativity in our class and throughout the whole medical school is outstanding and we all care about the whole class passing each and every one course so we can all move along as a team.
Yeah, that worries me. It is so not an issue for residency though...I have spoken with many residency directors here and at other institutions and they have ALL said that the grades that they look at is 3rd and 4th year and USMLE 1 and 2 (this is a trend to look at second board scores now for some residencies). So the point about it makes you more competitive is BS at least for the first two years. I think it is one more tool to either make medicine more or less of a team effort...and we wonder why some cannot play well together in the sand box....
Let's see it has been a while...we finished our growth and development course and we started neuroanatomy. This course is pretty intense and there is a LOT to learn. The course is pretty rigid meaning you HAVE to go to all classes and small group discussion (which are every day). The small group discussion are a la PBL style with a lot of problem solving led by a faculty member. This PBL is for sure being taught well although I prefer the good 'ol lecture style. The course is pretty good but pretty stressful, specially if you nave zero neuro background. It is starting to make sense though. We have also started intro to patient which is every afternoon except Friday and we learn how to do the physical exam. This course is taugth by excellent faculty and we do all the practical portion of this in the hospital in an area exclusively for the medical student use. They are patient rooms that have all the necessary equipment for us to conduct the physical exam.
Neuro is at the half-way point with three more weeks left out of a total of six. This course is difficult and a ton of information BUT the emphasis is on localization of injury hence mostly clinical. We do cover the physiology and anatomy but by far the largest component is clinical. That is one of the major benefits of attending this school. The emphasis in pretty much every class is clinical. Most of our classes are taught by physicians in practice, I think this is very beneficial because they can give us so much more insight than let's say a Ph.D that does research only and teach. The Ph.D's that teach us are heavily involved in clinical research so even the few that we see also give us clinical relevance. We have taken the lab midterm and the lecture midterm. One thing that is hard in medical school is not getting the return that you think you should get from your time investment. Meaning, you may study a tremendous amount and then get a return that makes you go but all is well as long as you are passing. It is just so hard to put so much time and then end with something like an 80? this by far is the hardest thing for me to get adjusted to. My class is brilliant and the average scores are always in the high 80's and 90's which speaks volumes of the type of colleagues I will have. I am so thankful that the first year is pass/fail this does take a lot of the competition out and we are competitive enough with our own selves. The neuro exams for lab/lecture were challenging but very fair. You had to know your stuff cold and a lot of emphasis was placed on the basic four (where is the lesion in the nervous system? supratentorial, posterior fossa, spinal, peripheral, or multiple. Is this lesion focal (left, right, midline of the neuroaxis, or diffuse) or not? then what type? mass or non-mass or indeterminate, the last but not least is the etiology is this vascular, inflammtory, neoplasm,etc. We are by far learning a lot and I am happy to have passed all the exams with ample room.
We are finally done with neuro! yipee! although the class was well taught and very relevant to patient car it was not one of my favorite topics. The final for neuro lab was this past Monday and it was difficult but not too bad..the final for lecture was today and that was a bear! it was pretty difficult but I did pretty well on both parts. The course was led by great faculty, three consultants and one resident. It was very much a la PBL style with the class (43) divided up into four groups. Each group had a faculty leader and they rotated among all groups. There were some lectures in lecture hall but most of the course was in our groups. I do not think that PBL is my style...sometimes we spent four hours in the small group and after a while I am ready to get out of there! it was a lot of problem solving with different cases and we had to localize the lesion. A lot of emphasis was put on the "basic four" (see above post) and this will be important when seeing patients with neurological deficits. I have this whole weekend "off" wow! nothing to study for because next week we start two new courses cardiovascular and nutrition. We were also just tested in how to perform a physical for intro to patient class. We had to do the full physicial in 30 minutes or less. Intro to patient is one of my favorite classes because we are actually learning how to interview patients, do physicals, and soon how to do the write-up. Our fourth year colleagues did extremely well in the match and rumor is that almost the whole class got their first choice pick for residency! that is amazing. The residency choices were at great places so they are all very very happy.
After neuro was over we started cardiovascular and this goofy nutrition course. I understand the relevance of this course but geez cram all this info into one week with a final on Friday right before spring break hellooo? I am not very fond of these jump through your arse type courses in one week with a final on the last day...these seem to be very popular right before major breaks. Cardiovascular is well taught the same style as neuro with the class breaking off into small groups and each class led by a faculty member. The faculty rotates so each class gets a different person each week. We have our first exam for this class this coming Thursday needless to say I have not touched the material during spring break so we will see what happens. This is one thing about medical school that is hard to get used to...there is always this nagging feeling that you "should" be studying and doing this or that but dang it we also need to rest! you feel so guilty though...oh well my family is also important and I was able to cook and be mommy for a whole week! I am happy to tell you all that my research proprosal has been accepted by the MAFP (MN academy of family physicians)! I will be busy working on this and hopefully will be able to get a paper out of it. They expect me to present this next March at a research symposium in the Twin Cities. This project will be very interesting and it is addressing issues of getting patients on an exercise routine and how family physicians have barriers when attempting to counsel patients regarding this touchy issue. The state of MN is considering different options to facilitate this for PCP and are thinking of implementing some sort of hot-line that PCP's can call and get suggestions. I am very excited about this project and it will entail me calling various PCP's and asking them about barriers to counseling/suggesting exercise to patients. Tomorrow classes start again and after this week long break I do not want to go back yet! I has such a great time staying at home and being a mother... the kids enjoyed it as well...back to the grind though... :smirk:
Cardiovascular was by FAR the best course for me! wow I love the material and the professors. It peaked my interest in CV, but I am still thinking of GI, and surgery is still an option. I am still sure of the ones I will not be thinking about ob/gyn/family med/general IM/PM&R. I did really well in this course although the lab part bit me in the arse...as usual. Labs are not my thing. We started renal which is interesting due to the high level of physiology in it. Musculo-eskeletal came and went by in one week.. another of those high speed classes that I found to be relevant only to know how to perfom the msk exam when patients come in with muscle/joint issues. We are so busy right now, with award recognitions for research/scholarships/community awards, meeting with preceptors, and shadowing! my mother is coming from Spain soon woohooo! and will be staying with us for one month. I am so looking forward to seeing her again. Medical school at Mayo is long the first year and we will not be done until the end of June wah.