Near the End of the Beginning

Friday, March 18, 2016

Near the End of the Beginning

Hello followers! I can't believe it is already in the middle of March, time is literally flying down here. I have lots to update you on, as it has been a couple weeks since I have last written. We only have two more exams to go and a practical exam and then I am done 3rd semester! I remember just starting MERP in Dec 2014, wow...

It is 9am on a beautiful Friday morning, with about six hours of lecture waiting before me. I REALLY do not want to start lecture today for some reason, so I thought: "Let's do a blog post!" So much better than learning about GI problems, especially diarrhea, which has been the topic of many lectures this past week. Who knew you could have so many varieties!

We had a really big exam this past Monday, and it was definitely the most material that I had to study to date. It was the "Heme & Lymph" module, which was filled with many blood disorders, tons of pathology, and the biochemistry behind it as well. The whole time throughout the block, I kept thinking how I am never going to get through this much material, it is just WAY too much. The exam definitely proved me wrong on Monday, it was my best score on the island thus far, I never share my grades with anyone, but I got a 92%, which puts me at a rank of 6 out of 199 students. It really opened my eyes to never doubt yourself. I definitely did these past four weeks, but you just have to put your head down, grind it out, but still make sure you are eating and sleeping right! I have answered SO many instagram messages this past week, and even emails! So thank you all who have confided in me to help them along your journey. I find that instagram is the best way to get a hold of me, so if you follow me at @d1todr I can answer all of your questions within 24 hours :)

This semester has honestly been my favourite so far, and many previous students might disagree with me on that one. It is A LOT of information, more than you can imagine, but at the same time, it is definitely doable. You just have to have a plan. You have to wake up every morning and follow that plan through. Day in and day out. No excuses. Med school is literally your full time job! I know at times it can be tough as a lot of your family and friends get to go out and enjoy themselves, and celebrate St. Patty's day with cool green drinks and tons of green attire, while you are inside studying until about 11 pm or midnight, but how amazing will it be to throw a badass St. Patty's party when you are an M.D?! I always keep wishing for my time on the island to be done. I am always wishing for time to hurry up and just "getting these years over with so I can be a doctor already". I have learned that time passes so quickly already, and that wishing it all away will only make myself regret such a thought years down the road. The island is where you learn your medical foundation, high yield information for a medical career, and getting us set up for clinicals back in the U.S. It is a time to really hone your study skills, be familiar with taking a great history of a patient, and enjoy your last bit of the Caribbean for a really long time. I have realized that even though I miss home (a lot) and my family and friends (a lot), I am learning so much here to ever let myself wish for something different.

This past Wednesday some of us has community clinic where I actually got to interview someone in their own home. It was such a neat experience to sit down and interview my very first patient, and even write his vitals in his personal medical book. With no one hovering over our shoulder, or stopping us mid sentence to correct us, it was all on us to conduct the full history and physical exam. To be honest, I was nervous, but the patient was so amazing and cute (I LOVE geriatrics), that he made me feel at ease as soon as we arrived. His little granddaughter that was about 3 years old kept pointing to my stethoscope as I was interviewing and really wanted to sit with me on the chair, and so I pulled her up on my lap and put my stethoscope around her neck and you should have seen her face! The grandmother and even nurse were taking pictures the whole time I was interviewing, it was the cutest thing as she kept trying to listen to my heart! Adorable. These are memories that I will keep forever from my time in Dominica.

I wanted to take a quick second to say we have well surpassed the 18,000 views on the blog, which is CRAZY! Thank you so much for coming along for the ride with my medical school journey, it really has been a roller-coaster of emotions! I am happy I have such an amazing support group and avid readers of my blog posts, so thank you.

Okay, okay, I better start these lectures, it is going to be a longgggggg Friday.