Huzzah indeed my dear readers...
2 weeks ago we at NYCOM finished our introduction course, known as fundamentals. It sure was a hell of a way to start off our medical school careers but I feel I am better prepped and primed for the true rigors of the many courses ahead of me the next year and a half.
Fundamentals was a blitzkrieg of information. I was in anatomy lab the other day and the department chair Dr. Hill walked up and asked us to trace the blood supply from the cephalic vein back to the heart. Now, earlier in the year, my only knowledge of the cephalic vein was that it was located by the deltoid muscle and looked purple in our cadaver "Kat Von Dee" ( she has 3 tattoos including a tramp stamp), and white the the cadaver on the table adjacent to us. Fast forward 5 weeks ahead and I can regurgitate that it would track to the axillary v. then to the subclavian v. to the left or right brachiocephalic trunk depending on which side you were tracing the arm from and finally to the superior vena cava.
Yes, I am scared too...
Quite possibly the best part of finishing fundamentals was the SGA sponsored party called osteoblast! Yes the name is corny, but we're nerds, what do you expect? I wrote earlier of the first med school bender, in which we partied after our first exam like no other to the extent the police showed up. Yet looking at all of our ID's, realized our average ages is 24, simply told us to take it indoors and promptly left to wherever cops at 230am go.
This party was much better. It took place at a local Mexican restaurant. Well, They cleared away all the tables to make it seem like it was nothing more than a bar and a dance floor. The best way to describe the night was 2 hours of drinking followed by two hours of pairing up on the dance floor with whomever and having a "good" time. I knew my night was getting off to a good start when the first sentence uttered in my direction was
"Jack and Coke's, $2.00"
Well this was fantastic. I was also offered a jagerbomb (my new haircut anyone) immediately as I entered as well. Needless to say the latter half of the night is still quite blurry most of the next afternoon was spent detagging photos on facebook. Did I do anything unprofessional? Hopefully not. Did some of my classmates? Woefully so. But truthfully, what else was expected. We are 7 weeks in to medical school which ultimately decides our careers, we still don't know 7/8ths of our class, and we've been repressed because no one should be studying on a Saturday from 9am to 10pm. I'm not making excuses but this party was needed.
After all the drinking an dancing, its safe to say that she will be trouble.
After fundamentals, we begin legitimate medical school. I'm not saying fundamentals wasn't legit but the grades we received are not counted towards our class rank, so it was kinda like preseason albeit with a postseason emphasis.
NYCOM functions on a systems base curriculum. Right now we're in the musculoskeletal (MSK) system. What is nice about MSK is that lectures are not all day, we don't have anatomy twice a week and we are usually done by 3pm, not 5pm. In fundamentals, we dissected the thorax, back and abdominal regions. Sounds like we're done right?
MSK delves into the upper and lower limbs. Which are not as convoluted as say the abdominal viscera, yet they contain more muscles/nerves/arteries and veins with the most confusing names ever. MSK is a 6 week course in which we have two written exams, two OMT exams, and one anatomy exam (shit). The first three weeks focus on the upper arm (damn you Brachial Plexus!) with the latter three on the lower limbs. We are also introduced to more challenging courses in lecture, notably rheumatology. It's very interesting and it is peaking my interest in terms of a possibly specialty.
Living Arrangements during your first year
Told you I'd get around to commenting on this topic.
"Live simply so that you can simply Live"
That's probably the best advice you can take when looking for apartments/roommates for living during your years in medical school.
Living in medical school depends most importantly on how much you wish to spend, but also your study habits, your life outside school, whatever you do to relax, and how you study.
When I choose my house, I did it with the knowledge that my twin brother (deserter!) was coming to school with me. Unfortunately as previously stated, he accepted an offer to go to Tufts Med and hasn't looked back. Its fine though, really, now we can corner the market on western philosophies of medicine (well mainstream at least). I am a social creature, not in terms of i must attend every social function but that I like to be around people when I can. I cannot live on my own. I just couldn't, I enjoy company and living alone would drive me crazy.
It's a major factor. Are you willing to live in a 2 family home occupying a single floor (that's me!) or do you want your own apartment? What amenities matter to you? (I prefer washer/dryer at least on location and a dishwasher) How far do you want to live from school? How many people do you want to live with?
All questions which need to be answered by you. The apartments are usually more expensive, at least here in good old Nassau county (the drivers here are on meth), and houses are cheaper. I pay $500/mo plus utilities, which is outrageously good for this area. I know if I went to UNECOM I would be in a penthouse for that much but the first rule of real estate is Location Location Location. As I mentioned, I needed to live with people, which helps bring down the rent and utilities as well.
You are in medical school to learn, no doubt you know that. so how you study and where is very important. If you prefer to stay on campus a house with many people would suffice. If you prefer to control your learning atmosphere, living alone would be the best option for you. You know how you learn best. Make the best choice based on you.
I found my roommates on facebook. Its quite the social tool. Your school may set up some kind of web-board or equivalent to notify incoming students of properties/roommates wanted. This can be a good resource too. I decided that getting roommates and housing out the way early was the best way for me. The pros of this move is that finding housing early, say June, crosses a big item off the 'ole "To Do" list. The cons include a lease starting early. I found that many residences were not completely full even as classes started. So if you are a single, you can almost have the pick of the litter as many people will be begging for a roommate to offset cost. I wouldn't recommend traversing this route but it is an option.
You need a life outside medical school. Whether it be a significant other, sports, exercise, paintball or whatever, if you concentrate solely on your studies, I GUARANTEE you will be burned out halfway through first year. Remember, you're drinking from a fire hose, sometimes you need to come up for air. Is your place near a gym, the supermarket? Fuel costs are still high so take into account what matters most to you.
Keep the questions coming!
Till next time,
3-0-0, 6pts 12/3 (GF/GA)
2nd in division
4th in conference