Friday, June 30, 2006


Yesterday was fairly interesting, though I imagine remarkably boring to hear about. I completed general orientation. Topics covered were fluids and electrolytes, universal precautions, HIPAA (surprisingly not boring, the lecturer made it very relevant to what we as students will be doing), navigating the medical record, how to use our PDAs, and of course CPR training and test. Afterwards I walked over to the hospital to see where we will be meeting for orientation to internal medicine. Unfortunately, it’s a good 10-15 minute walk from where students park, so my usual drive-into-the-parking-lot-three-minutes-before-class-starts won’t go over well. Additionally, instead of shorts and a T-shirt, I will be wearing slacks, shirt and tie, and a white coat (although most likely I’ll be carrying that) in the blazing heat. Oh joy.

Today was a pretty lazy day. I did manage to run some errands, and got about a 60% discount on chicken from the grocery store, which I was quite excited about (yes, I do have a life), although now I am having nightmares about Campylobacter jejuni.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Two down, one to go

One more orientation day done. It was quite a bit more boring than I thought it would be. The day started off early in the morning in a pitch black room (never a good situation when one is supposed to be staying awake) looking at x-ray films. The talks following on pain management and medical errors (the fourth leading cause of adult deaths in the US) were more interesting, but I spent most of the time during the last lecture on informed consent wanting to beat my head against a wall. Obviously, it is an important topic, but it has been covered ad nauseam several times before.

At (free!) lunch we were given our pagers. Very exciting, but also kind of depressing since I will never again be away from it for the rest of my career. Similar to the CPR video mentioned in my last post, it is one of the burdens that comes with this profession.

The afternoon consisted of rather long, somewhat interesting tutorials online, and another hour long radiology session. I finished the tutorials early, so now I have to kill some time before I go to a program put on by finishing third year students on how to survive on the wards. Unfortunately, I have to use that time to go over the CPR training book so I pass the test I have to take tomorrow. I'm sure I could easily pass it now, since the book only requires a high school level understanding of anatomy/physiology, and I like to think that I am a bit beyond that, but I am too chicken to blow it off . At least if I get through it now I won't have to look at it tonight.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Goodbye California

I am now back in the land of Notcalifornia, and have completed the first of three “transition to clerkship” days. It was pretty boring. Topics covered included the utilization of electronic resources, how to hot sync our PDAs, what to do in a bad rotation situation, and of course the hour-long excruciating CPR training video that we are doomed to watch every two years for the rest of our professional lives.

Other highlights of today included PPD testing and the ceremonial throwing out of my anatomy scrubs that have been fermenting in a lovely combination of formaldehyde fumes and cadaveric juices in my locker for the last two years. You may well ask why, since I finished anatomy a year and a half ago, my scrubs were still in my locker. But, I would have to ask you in return, what if I had needed them in my M2 year, and I had already thrown them out?

Monday, June 19, 2006

I have returned

So, after my year-long absence from blogging I have decided to give it another go. Since my last post I have enjoyed the last summer vacation of my life, finished another year of medical school, and taken the step I board exams (an experience I have done my best to blot from memory--in the words of one of my classmates: "It's not that bad, but it actually really is".). I am currently enjoying my last week off before I begin third year. I still cannot believe that I have already completed two years of medical school, it seems as if I just started. Actually, I still wake up some mornings and think incredulously, "I can't really be in medical school". At least I'm past the feeling that at any moment someone from the admissions office is going to tap me on the back, and sheepishly say, "I'm awfully sorry, but there has been a terrible mistake..."

So this last week I have accomplished a few things. I went surfing for the first time in my life, something that I am very glad of, because when people at school find out I'm from California, the first question they generally ask is "Do you surf?". It's a little embarrassing to admit that although I lived the first twenty years of my life within five miles of the ocean I never have, now I can just say "yes" (I could try to make it more realistic and say "yeah dude", but I don't think I could pull that off and keep a straight face). Granted, the waves were pathetic the day I went, and I never caught one long enough to stand, but I think I'll omit that little tidbit.

I visited the used book store on Friday and have since tried out several authors I had never read before, including Ngaio Marsh, Patricia Cornwell, and Ayn Rand. Ngaio Marsh's style seems to be very much like Agatha Christie's. Patricia Cornwell was recommended by the course director of my school's pathology department as a fairly realistic look at the medical examiner's office, so I decided to get one of her books. So far the plot has been pretty good, but with considerably more language than I care for, so I'm not sure that I'll be buying any more of her books. Ayn Rand's Anthem was interesting, giving me one more reason to hate socialism. Unfortunately the main character's conclusion at the end goes to the opposite extreme, resolving that man's individualism is the most important thing, even outweighing commitment to God.

Yesterday I went with my family to see Cars, it was pretty good. It's amazing how realistic some of the CG scenery was. The only problem (aside from the previews for what look to be some of the most moronic movies ever made, including one about several schoolboys experimenting with the best way to eat worms) was the wretched little urchin sitting one chair away from me who decided it would be fun to pelt my face with popcorn. He was a sneaky little 4 or 5 year old, it took me a couple minutes to catch him in the act of throwing the popcorn. A stern glance caused him to cease for about a minute, then he started again. Imagining how satisfying it would be to dump the barrel of popcorn over his head, I refrained and instead leaned over and told him he needed to stop. Surprisingly, it worked, whether because I am intimidating, or because the movie was finally starting to get interesting I don't know. At another point some kid in the front row belched loudly, leaving me to conclude that children don't get spanked nearly enough these days.

One of the mandatory things to do this week is to get a double-double from In 'N Out. I usually eat fast food about once every three or four months, but for some reason have been craving In 'N Out for some time now. Since I go to school in a cultural wasteland that does not have In 'N Outs, it is only now that I can satisfy my craving.

I'm hoping to actually update my blog regularly from now on, since theoretically I should have an endless supply of material. I'll be starting on July 3rd with two months of internal medicine, but I've yet to find out whether it will be inpatient or outpatient. I'm really hoping for inpatient.