It’s kind of amazing that it’s only been two weeks! I feel like I’ve been here for a year. I think it’s because of the sheer amount of material we’ve gone over in class, plus all the time I’ve spent with the people that I’ll be walking across the stage with in 2017.
If I do a diary-styled entry about what I did each day it will be really long, and I honestly underestimated the amount of time medical school will consume- even within the first two weeks. I was hoping to publish an entry last week after orientation- nope, I was already behind. There are not enough hours in the day! I now have mad respect for the medical student blogs that publish a post nearly every day; I don’t know how they find the time.
Anyway, I do want to write a post that summarizes my first two weeks at NSU and what I’ve learned. I’ll try not to make it too long, but there has been a lot going on. I look forward to reading this post as a fourth year and laughing at what a total med school noob I was. So without further ado and in no particular order, I present to you my first two weeks at NSU:
1.) My class is really close knit. An M2 once told me, “The class dynamics vary year by year. You guys are either gonna be fighting, or f***ing”. I guess you can’t expect things like the latter not to happen, but it’s funny seeing two of your classmates awkwardly sitting near each other in lecture, neither one of them wanting to admit what happened the night before under the influence of alcohol. By the way, everyone will know.
On a related note, my class talks (read: gossips) a lot. Even so, we all get along surprisingly well despite the formation of cliques. Of course there will be some people who keep to themselves, but I think getting to know your classmates is pretty important, especially before school starts. These are people you’re going to be spending a lot of time with, and I’m happy to say that for the most part, everyone in my class is super friendly and helpful. I hope this doesn’t change as we progress through school.
2.) Come to histology class on time. Or don’t, but I will laugh at you along with 200+ other students when the professor calls you out for being late and embarrasses you in front of the whole class.
Our professor for this course has no filter. Her (mostly) sexual jokes and references can be funny at times. I can tell that it bothers some people, but I think it helps to keep most of our attention spans. Histology itself is boring, but she manages to present it in an interesting way.
She also will call people out if they’re late, and let me tell you that watching her do so is great entertainment for 8:00 in the morning. It’s kind of sad/funny at the same time. Just don’t be the person who’s late and you can watch her embarrass your classmates or the dental students (because we share histology with them). I actually wake up a little earlier when I decide to go to this class in the morning because I’m neurotic like that. She also has already learned my name (as well as the rest of my classmates’), which scares the crap out of me.
3.) Anatomy lab was awesome for the first 15 minutes. At NSU, you’ll be placed in Group A or Group B based on your society. One group does anatomy lab first while the other does OPP lab. Then after two hours, you switch. Your lab group for anatomy lab has 6 people, but you share the cadaver with another 6-person lab group from the other group, so technically it’s 12 people per cadaver, if that makes sense.
It’s pretty surreal looking at a dead body for the first time. I don’t know why, but I was expecting the body to look like a mummy with half of it being deteriorated, especially the face. I was, therefore, surprised to see when we unzipped the bag and took off the wrappings that the person inside looked like she was sleeping. The body was surprisingly well preserved.
The first 15 minutes were an adrenaline rush. I know that some people have had prior experience with cutting cadavers, but up until this point I had only dissected cats. And honestly, I feel kind of bad for the person that we’re cutting up. Obviously it’s what they wanted since they donated their body, but I was trying to wrap my head around the fact that this woman whose skin we were trying to peel off was actually a living, breathing, human being at one point, and that at the end of this semester she’ll be completely stripped down to her bones.
Anyway, the body we were working on had skin that was really tough. Also, there was fat everywhere. And I really mean, everywhere. So after the initial 15 minutes of “Omg we’re cutting a human being/is this all fat?/omg all this is fat/where is hell is the muscle?”, I was pretty over it.
4.) OPP lab was super awkward in the beginning, but we’re getting used to it now. Just kidding, it’s still kind of awkward. During our second lab, we had to locate the pubic symphysis. If you look it up, it’s pretty close to your crotch. Actually, it pretty much is your crotch. Nova posts your OMM partner for the day right before lab, and it changes every week so you get used to practicing on different body types. Unlike DMU which apparently pairs guys with guys and girls with girls, you could get a girl or a guy at Nova. We were all praying to God that for just this one OMM lab where we have to feel for the pubic symphysis that we get paired with someone who is the same sex. I ended up getting a dude, but thankfully he was a super chill guy and it helped because it felt way less awkward. He did, however, have to adjust himself down there before I started in order to prevent me from accidentally squishing his penis with the palm of my hand. Kind of makes me wonder if any guy has ‘pitched a tent’ in OMM lab. You’re required to wear these middle-school-gym-looking jersey shorts, so it would be super obvious if that were to happen- yikes.
Some of my friends didn’t get good partners. One of them got a guy, and he was visibly really uncomfortable, which is understandable. However, he asked her if she could just locate her own pubic symphysis and then tell him where it is so he could poke at it. In the third lab, we had to locate the xiphoid process, which is located at the lower part of the sternum. One of my friends said that she got guy who took one look at her breasts and said, “Uh…you look pretty busty…sooo I’m just gonna skip this one….”. Wow, some people just make things weird. My best advice for the entering class is to ask your partner if you can locate the structure and just do it once they give you the okay. Or you can take them out to dinner the night before if that makes you more comfortable.
Whew, that was a lot to type. There were many other things that I could have added, but I really need to get cracking on some biochemistry lectures. Hopefully that gives you a glimpse at what it’s like being an M1 at NSU. Of course, this is all just my own experience and I’m sure others’ would be different. I probably won’t post again until after our first exam which is less than 2 weeks away (ahh!), but when I do I’ll be sure to detail how that went and how sick the post-exam party afterwards was. Woo-Hoo! Class of 2017!! 😀