Day 49: Reflecting at 7 weeks in

Today’s inane images of the day:

This weekend was another round of sweats and studying. My primary focus was on anatomy and microbiology.

One of the few reasons I love the cooler weather is the excuse to drink a lot of hot tea. Mike passed this Irish Breakfast on to me because he “Didn’t like the flavor” — well, I do!

Today marks the end of my 7th week of medical school. Although 49 days isn’t quite a large number in the grand scheme of things [think about how many days you spent in elementary school!], it’s amazing how far we’ve come along since the first week. I distinctly remember the gripping fear I felt during the first couple of weeks. Each night, I went to bed exhausted but guilty for not bothering to open my textbooks. When the sun greeted me in the morning [back then, the sun actually arose when I did! now it’s dark…], I left the comfort of my bed to be met with a sense of foreboding.

There were many days that I questioned my cognitive ability. I questioned my mental stamina. I questioned everything.

But, I’m still here. And I’m starting to understand what it means to be a medical student. One day, I’ll conjure up the words to describe the phenomenon of growing into one.

Anyway, now that I’ve experienced a number of TBLs, I think it’s timely to further discuss my thoughts on it. First and foremost, I find TBLs to really enhance the material and cannot imagine going through medical school without¬†these activities. Many of us were a bit apprehensive at the thought of having this seemingly superfluous, supplementary assessments… but I now understand their utility.

Not only are we forced to practice effective teamwork, but we are also exposed to more of the clinical aspects of all the basic science material we are learning [e.g. TBL topics have included: bee stings, MRSA, pharmacology basics, and Huntington’s Disease]. Each TBL is generally allotted ~3 hours, and I find that time seems to pass in an instant because our whole group is so engaged and invested. Finally, as I discussed in a recent entry about¬†constructive criticism, we are also forced to write and accept peer evaluations.

Either way, I’m happy that we have TBLs to diversify our rapid-fire lectures.

Today’s medical school fact of the day: Streptococcus pyogenes is characterized as a Lancefield type A, beta-hemolytic strain and causes Strep throat.