14 August 2009

Welcome to campus

So, this was the first week of Medical School, two days of orientation and three days of classes. Orientation was pretty much the only preparation I had for how many hours I was going to have to sit still in a classroom. I can't speak for everyone, but my undergraduate and even graduate education included a number of different classes, scheduled specific days of the week at somewhat random times which allowed for a long lunch some days or an early afternoon or less often, a late morning. The transition from having an active, moving job to sitting still has not been easy. Count me as fully unprepared for what 8 hours of lecture might do to my rear end, my brain and everything in between. Today is the first day I left the building before 5p and I haven't even been studying on site!

We have already started dissecting our cadavers and the good news for me is that apparently I've already killed any negative olfactory response with some of the other odors I've encountered on the ambulance for the past 3 years. The dissection promises to be an interesting experience and I hope I can feel confident enough in locating the structures not to be completely annoyed by the process. We've also been dumped into the deep end for physiology and histology, hopefully I'll be able to get on top of some of the material soon so I feel less than completely lost.

It has been a long time (if ever) since I have felt so out of place and overwhelmed in an academic environment. The only saving grace is that most folks seem to feel pretty much the same way which means I'm not way behind, but ultimately the assessment is based on competence not on a comparison to the other students. I guess the only theory right now is just to keep plugging along and do the best I can.


Walt Trachim said...

From what I've been told, Jen, your experience is by no means unique among first-year medical students. I've had to deal with first-year residents down here who are in a similar sort of boat, even though they have the initials "M.D." after their names.

Whether you realize it or not, you probably have a leg up on many of them because of your background. I think you will likely surprise yourself as time goes on.

And if you ever need to vent outside of this venue, you know where to find me.

Ellie said...

Good Luck! I saw Andy this weekend and he referred to you as his, how did he put it? his underling. Something like that. Hope all is well and med school leaves you time to blog!

Pregnant In Texas said...

I think it's great that you've killed your sense of smell. I can definitely relate to having to sit still for looooong periods of time. Class on Saturday is 8 hours long with an hour lunch break. I've joked that if I get this degree, it's because I've excelled at sitting in a chair for so long.

B said...

Oh - and just to please Dad, you should know that I'm not pregnant. I just accidentally signed in with the wrong account.