Nine weeks ago, I started the most insane journey I’ve been on so far: medical school. It’s been a dream of mine to go to medical school since I can remember, and so far it’s been everything I expected it would be and more.
Since starting school, I have met some of the most amazing people, and made some friends that I already know are going to be life-long friends. I won the lottery with both my anatomy lab group and my team-based learning group, and have loved bonding with them throughout this first class. Sadly, I’ve already reached the end of my time with my lab group, but based on how much we already hang out outside of lab, I’m sure we will keep up our friendship. Luckily, I get to stay with my team-based learning group until next May, which is amazing.
As far as the curriculum goes, we have basically been learning head-to-toe anatomy through both lectures and dissection of a human donor. This experience has been eye-opening and occasionally disturbing with how in-depth we went while dissecting the donor. Formaldehyde was never a smell that I got used to, but luckily I never smelled like it after leaving lab (or so I’m told). Out of respect for the privacy of the cadavers I won’t say everything that we did to them, but suffice it to say that if you can think of a dissection, we probably did it.
We also took a class called Practice of Medicine, which actually lasts the whole year. This class is aimed at teaching us some of the basic skills that we will use as we reach the end of medical school, and preparing us better so that we don’t get embarrassed or yelled at by attending physicians for not knowing how to do certain things. So far we have had a handful of standardized patient encounters (aka actors who are reading from a script to help us out), which has been a great experience to kind of work out the kinks in how to talk to a patient and ask certain private questions without being embarrassed ourselves.
The biggest challenge has been adjusting to how much time is taken up by school, and how disciplined I have to be with the time I have left. This is the most I have ever studied in my life; I study anywhere from 3-6 hours per day during the week, and around 10 hours each Saturday. Some weeks are better than others, of course, so these hours vary accordingly based on how focused or busy I am.
One thing I have discovered that is going to be crucial to my success in medical school is a great support group. David has been amazing these last nine weeks, dealing with me and my almost weekly meltdowns. He has also started helping me with chores around the apartment that I used to have time for, but just can’t keep up with anymore. My mom has also been amazing; I literally call her everyday on my commute home to just talk about school and life, which has been a great help. David and I have been very fortunate to find a great group of friends at Immanuel Baptist Church that keep us focused on why we are doing what we’re doing, which is to ulti. I also have to give a shout out to Olivia, who is my lunch buddy; we became friends in college, and I’m so glad we still have talks and take naps and study together. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the couple in a previous picture in this article (the Campbells); they are great friends to David and I and put up with our weird sense of humor, and for some reason keep agreeing to hang out with us! I have felt so blessed by this group of people already, and I hope that I have been as supportive to all of them as they have been to me.
When I’m not studying, I spend time with David, watch Youtube, workout (about 4 times a week at this point), and generally relax. I’d like to say that I use my time off to keep my apartment super clean, but that would be the biggest lie ever. Sunday is the day that I take completely off each week, and I’ve come to love that. It allows me to go to church, and to get some general chores done. I also try to meal prep for the week on Sunday; my success with this has been very mixed. Some weeks I nail it, and I only have to cook once during the week. Most weeks though, I end up having to cook way more during the week than I would like just so David and I can both have something for lunch and have literally anything left for dinner. Even now, it’s not even the end of the week and we only have a leftover burger patty, some spinach, plenty of fruit, and some frozen shrimp. So, we had red beans and rice for dinner. 🙂
Since I do generally love to cook and bake, I don’t necessarily mind cooking; it’s the fact that I usually don’t take the time to clean that becomes an issue. When I cook on the weekend I’m much more likely to take the time to clean up after myself. Luckily, David has started to help with the cleaning, so we are getting better with that. The other main issue that I have when I have to rush and make something is how healthy it is. I would like to have some easy healthy snacks and meals to make that are filling. Seeing how the body works in this past course has made me even more passionate about health than before. So, if you have any healthy snack or meal recipes, please comment down below! I would love to get some inspiration!
Thanks so much for reading! I will try to post more updates throughout this journey, probably when I have at least a week off from school.