>October 10 2001

>We had our second Gross Anatomy exam on Monday and it was just as tough as the first one. It covered the thorax and abdomen or in my kid’s term, “the guts.” I put 3 times as much effort into this one as I did the first one and was feeling very good about it going into the test. I felt like I was prepared enough for an A but after that bad boy I am quoting the mantra of many of my classmates, “C = MD.” That is a little joke that runs around the student body to remind us that we just have to keep our head above water and maintain the magic 70% level in Anatomy to eventually get our MD. Virtually everyone was crying about how hard this test was. We should get our grades tomorrow so, I’ll know what the damage was. It is extremely frustrating to spend so much time studying and then still not feel good about it when the exam is over. It is really a grueling course. And it never lets up. The day after our exam, we started the next unit on the pelvis and lower limb. The dissection for Tuesday was titled, (as Dave Barry would say, “I’m not making this up!) “The Anal Triangle.” A day after we all got our butt kicked we are having to carve somebody else’s up. Ah, irony!

In Biochemistry we are having some great lectures on stuff I am really interested in – genetic coding in DNA and how our DNA is the blueprint for all of the proteins that our cells make and determine who we are. Unfortunately I feel so far behind after devoting the last week to Anatomy that I feel rushed to catch up. All of the second year students tell us that once we are through with Gross Anatomy (November 30 – only 51 days!) that it will all be downhill for the first year. I hope they’re right!

There are several other little catchphrases that many in the class use that I like. One that sticks in my mind is, “Give me a take home lesson!” One of the professors likes to use this phrase in his lectures to highlight key points and will say something like, “Now the take home lesson here should be that DNA polymerases must have a template.” All of the students will then dutifully write this fact down and star it in their notes as a likely test question. We have applied the phrase now to any thing likely to be on a test and I will frequently hear students ask other professors to “give us a take home lesson!”
Oh yes, we had our first casualty this week. A guy who I had gotten to be friends with had to withdraw and take a leave of absence. Hopefully he will come back next year. It was a little sobering to me. If you’re reading this, my man, I wish you well!

About Marcus Lee

Child Neurologist
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