|Our College of Osteopathic Medicine - Inaugural Class!|
I'd like to give a little recap of what classes have been like and my expectations of what a typical week will be like for the rest of the semester.
First of all, I have 4 "classes" going on at one time for the next several months: a Scientific Foundations, Introduction to Clinical Medicine, Osteopathic Principles & Practice, and Gross Anatomy & Development.
Scientific Foundations: For the first few months of class, SF will be a review of all my basic sciences from college - basically 4 years of material compressed into 12 weeks or so. After that, I'll start my systems-based course. The good news about medical school is that you aren't expected to know the basic sciences at a detailed level like a biologist or biochemist would. The bad news is the AMOUNT of material is immense. Conceptually the material in medical school isn't any harder than college but putting all your knowledge together and being able to apply it in different situations is the tough part.
This class might be my saving grace since I've already learned this information multiple times in undergrad. That said, I never learned or relearned this much material in such a short period of time. And there is no white space on my lecture notes - where am I supposed to write?
Introduction to Clinical Medicine: This is our "learning to be a doctor" course which seems like it will be a lot of fun! ICM is where I will learn how to take a history, do a physical, and explore topics like professionalism, ethics, and diversity. Once we have some basic skills we will have the opportunity to work with standardized patients, simulations, and early clinical exposure.
Osteopathic Principles & Practice: OPP is what marks the difference between the medical education of my MD and DO colleagues (I'm doing DO). The most identifiable thing we learn in OPP is OMM or osteopathic manipulative medicine. OMM/OMT focuses on the palpation and manipulation of bones, joints, fascia, and muscles to diagnose and treat dysfunctions and disease. This class goes hand in hand with anatomy. In order to succeed in OPP, you have to know your anatomy. Period.
( Not my class but this is what it looks like)
We are already practicing our palpatory skills which means we were all walking about shirtless (girls in sports bras) feeling each others ribs and vertebrae from day one. Talk about getting comfortable with people quickly (and having tremendous motivation to go to the gym).
Gross Anatomy & Development: Anatomy is going to be rough. It's largely about memorization and it's the foundation for EVERYTHING I'm going to be learning in the future. Anatomy runs almost until the end of the first semester - I think it's 16 weeks long which is not much time to learn every nook and cranny of the body - you and I are made of a lot of STUFF!
I first want to start off by saying how grateful I am that so many people out there are willing to donate their bodies to science to further my education. I believe we will be having a memorial/thank you service for these individuals and their families once our lab is complete. We started our first cadaver dissection last Wednesday and will be in the lab three times a week until Thanksgiving. So basically I will have a permanent anatomy student smell until Christmas. The embalming fluid...it smells awful but you get used to it until you're eating lunch and still smell it on your hands.
As for the actual dissection, I was pretty nervous when I first walked into the lab. I've been in anatomy labs before when I interviewed at various schools but I wasn't sure how I would respond once we actually "met" our cadaver and started our dissection. I was a little tentative at first but quickly got my hands dirty (literally) and grew more comfortable with the process in a short period of time. It's so interesting to see how much human variation there is - nothing looks like the textbooks! If you have any questions about anatomy lab or this process, please email me!
|Let's just say these are my new best friends!|
So week one is over! I survived but I was pretty lax on myself and didn't try to over do it the first week with anything. I met some of my college friends for dinner one night, I went out with my new med school friends this weekend, and I spent a lot of time just getting organized and figuring out how to attack the material properly.
|Medical Student or just Jaundiced?|
That's all folks! Here goes Week 2!