I love fresh starts. After a hectic week of exams immediately after the holiday break, a confluence of events has made my life seem new and full of promise again.
First of all, we finished biochemistry finally. This class had started on Day One of medical school and at times seemed that it would never end. I got more and more frustrated with it as time went on, because while I found the topics covered to be of great interest, I was getting lost in the details and all of those enzymes were running together in my head. I made an A on the first test of the year and spent the rest of the course watching my average plummet. To all those people who told me that it would not be a hindrance to have never had a biochem course in college … you lied! I didn’t really see the big picture until near the end of the course. The other big difference in my mood came with better weather. After a few weeks of near record cold temperatures and then rain, we have had beautiful weather for a week. But for the leafless trees, it has almost seemed like Spring. I know that more miserable winter weather lies ahead, but for now, I am enjoying the respite.
For the first time since the beginning of medical school, I feel like I am caught up with my studies. We finished our first unit in Histology and I did well on the first exam, so unlike Anatomy, I don’t feel like I am starting off in a hole that I have to dig myself out of. Physiology has just begun, and I am actually familiar with the material so far. There are even some equations to solve, which warms my math and physics loving heart. Psychiatry began last week also. It seems to be the closest thing to a sop course that we will have in medical school. The course is divided into two blocks with the first one covering some basic behavioral science. It is only 16 hours and 90% of the grade comes from the only exam in the course. The other 10% is to come from three unannounced quizzes. We had our first of those today, and apparently they are really only designed to encourage class attendance as it was trivially easy. My first 100 in med school!
I feel like my “adjustment period” for med school is over now. I know what to expect. I am really here, and I know that I belong. That might seem an odd sentiment for anyone reading who has gone straight from a pre-med program to medical school, but I am sure that those who have been out of the classroom for a decade or more will understand.