Friday, November 16, 2007

Office Birthday Parties Gone Wrong
All I have to say is my brother's office knows which of the SIMPSON siblings deserves to be on the cake. It is simply a reminder to the younger sibling that the older sibling ROCKS!

Good news to report

Not only did I pass all my exams this block, I actually did very well on several of them. It gives me hope that I actually have what it takes even though I am a bit lazy. Laziness and medical school do not mix well. Sometimes I feel like the illegitimate child of an already dysfunctional family full of over achievers.

I guess we all have our place, and at least this little family accepts me, flaws and all.

Biochemistry is my worst class. Because it is the bane of my existance, I put off studying for it until the last minute. You can't cram in medical school, and my biochem grade reflects my cramming nature. When I mentioned that I didn't care if I failed biochem because I could go to summer school, a friend reminded me that if I passed it this year, I will never have to take another biochem class again. Sounds nice, doesn't it? Never again. Gave me a little kick in the butt to pull this out. I just worry about the comprehensive exams. I just have to get 70 on better on them to get out biochem. I am well on my way to never having another biochem class again in my life. On a lighter note, I dreamed I was in love with one of my biochem profs last night. I know you are dying to know which one?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Doomed to be a Proctologist?

Over a month ago, I was chatting with one of the deans. My grades are mediocre at best, and I have no motivation to study all day just to get get A's. I told her that I was happy to be learning and passing, and I probably wouldn’t achieve a rank in the top half of the class. With all of the stories about doing your best and making high grades, her response surprised me. As an ER doctor, she told me that some things more important than grades. She placed students into three categories: those with (1) good grades and good people skills; (2) good grades and poor people skills; (3) poor grades and good people skills. Ultimately, residency programs love to have a #1, but they are rare. She expressed to me that personality counts for a lot. You have to be able to handle all kinds of things in the ER that can't be learned. At UMC, they believe that everything an ER resident needs to know can be taught during residecny training, but the people skills needed to be an effecetive EM physician can't be taught. Ultimately, it may be more important to accept a person with good people skills (#3) over a person with good grades (#2). Of course, she asked if I knew what they called the person who graduates last from medical school. (Proctologist. No, no - DOCTOR.) I have heard this a million times, but it made me realize that the lowest ranked person in the class is still an exceptional person with lots to offer.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Are you allowed to be sentimental about flip flops?

If you read my AMCAS personal statement, you know that during Hurricane Katrina, I went to work with just enough clothes to last three days. I didn't think that the hurricane was going to be so devastating. I don't think many people did. I had been on lock down at the hospital before. I pack up my stuff, and I never needed it because I was home in less than 24-hours. After Katrina, I found out that my house was pretty much destroyed. Unfortunately, the shoes I was wearing became my only pair of shoes. There were no stores open - no way to run out and buy a new pair. I needed the shoes to wear to work, but I also needed to be able wade through the mud and muck in my home to salvage my possessions. I had a dilemma. I also wanted to try to get my clothes and some other things from my home. The problem was solved for me. When Mike and I went to check on our elderly neighbors, I didn't want to get out of the truck because of the mud. Mike went to check on them while I stayed in the truck. Mike found a pair of mud-covered flip flops. Someone else had been to the apartment, and they had removed these flip flops and left them in the parking lot because they didn't want to get the mud in their car. They fit like a a flip flop? Anyway, those flip flops meant something to me. In a world were I could call very little my own, these flip flops were now mine. I worked in them every day for weeks to take care of my house and to spare my work shoes from getting nasty. It has been a little over two years that I have cherished these flip flops, and I was devastated the day that they broke. I couldn't bring myself to throw them away even though I couldn't wear them. Finally, I took a picture and wrote this story. Now that my flip flops will live on in blog infamy, I can retire the flip flops to their final resting place in my trash can.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Just another day in Physiology...

Stools have been classified into seven types, on what is called the Bristol Stool Form Scale (see chart), according to their appearance as seen in the toilet water. Type 1 has spent the longest in the colon and type 7 the least time.

Stools at the lumpy end of the scale are hard to pass and often require a lot of straining. Stools at the loose or liquid end of the spectrum can be too easy to pass – the need to pass them is urgent and accidents can happen. The ideal stools are types 3 and 4, especially type 4, as they are most likely to glide out without any fuss what-soever. Also, they are least likely to leave you with an annoying feeling that something is left behind.The average passage time of undigested food residues through the human gut is about 50 hours in men and 57 hours in women, but ranges from well under 20 to over 100 hours. It also changes from one day to the next. Most of this time (80 to 90 per cent) is spent in the colon.

I posted this because I know you have always wondered about your poo, and I couldn't resist the urge to tell you about it. In class today, there was even a quiz question about what type of poo you have after exam. It was embarassing to say the least. I almost didn't want to answer it, but alas, I wanted (needed) the point.