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I'm an extroverted woman looking for my purpose in the world; I've got charisma, I'm nosey, I'm upfront and I will confront you, but I am probably the most lovable person you'll ever meet :)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Almost Done

Sigh. Med 3 that is.

This semester has been quite a roller coaster. It literally IS the hump of the ride. It's in the middle, so far the most challenging and filled with the most drama, but thankfully, it is almost over.

On Tuesday I have the NBME shelf exam for Neuroscience and Wednesday I have a small quiz also for Neuroscience- this quiz is generally for those who need a last chance to bring them to a passing mark or those who have a 79 or 89 to make it to 80 or 90, respectively.

I am soooooo tired of studying and this 1 month break from school will be so worth it. I really need the time to regroup. You always want to stay focused because you know what your goal is and you know what you need to do to get there, but the stresses of Basic Sciences are quite something.

What sucks more is that you are away from familiar surroundings and people and because we've all just met each other here, makes it even harder. Each day you learn more and more about the people you spend time with and it isn't always positive things, but it seems like you just have to suck it up because you're here alone.

It's hard to be picky when you don't have much choice.

Anyway, I plan to make the most of my time this holiday break. I am planning to study 2 hours each day or at least 1 hour and these will consist mainly of Kaplan videos. I want to start reviewing what we've learned since January of this year just to keep it fresh in my mind. I also want to be able to preview some of the material for Med 4-- Pharmacology and Pathology I. We also have Physical Diagnosis (PD) but I'm not so much worried about that.

I'll be spending some of my holiday in Nigeria and hopefully volunteering at one of the most known general hospitals. I want to use this as a learning opportunity. I know I'll be able to see cases that won't necessarily show up in North America but have had to learn so I am super excited for that.

I'll also be spending a day or two with a plastic surgeon!!!! She does mostly reconstructive breast surgery and facial surgeries and I am so so so thankful to have this opportunity.

Anyways, guys, I gotta get back to studying for Neuro.

Until next time,


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Third Block

Wow, what a block.

Basically we learned.... A  LOT... I mean just incredible the amount of information.

Neuroscience: All the cranial nerves, the thalamus, the limbic system, the reticular formation. For each of these, we have to know the routes they take in the brain and brain stem, the normal function of each part in each system, and the manifestations when there is damage to that area.

Microbiology: We learned probably 50 bacterias, they way they infect, their reservoirs, what body part(s) they infect and their symptoms, as well as their diagnostic criteria-- i.e. what you would see if you did a culture, what medium you would need and sometimes, what antibiotic is useful.

Medical Psychology: I loved this block. We learned about personality disorders, conduct disorders, operant conditioning, and disorders such as anxiety, phobia, panic, OCD, depression, bulimia, anorexia. Very eye opening.

Ethics: Just more of the same stuff.

I wish I had more to say, but that's all I can come up with. Perhaps I'll make posts in between blocks to talk about other things.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012


So we just finished block 2.

This block we focused on:

Neuroscience: Injuries to the spinal cord, cerebrum and cerebellum such as strokes, Multiple Sclerosis, Deafness, Paralysis. This was by far the course I enjoyed most this block because I got to learn why and how patients develop these diseases and conditions. Those people on wheelchairs, those people who had a car accident and can no longer speak, I know how that's happening.

Immunology: We learned a lot of things. This course is extremely boring. Knowing how to identify certain diseases is quite interesting but learning which protein, gene, molecule is defective or missing is a bore!

Medical Psychology: Here we focused on childhood development, Human sexuality + disorders, Learning disabilities and mental retardation as well as depression, bipolar spectrum disorders, autism, etc. It was eye opening to see the criteria that the DSM-IV uses to diagnose these people.

Ethics: More of the same stuff lol. Ethics is just ethics, it seems unimportant but I can actually see how it would be useful.

Block Exams...they were the most challenging exams I've had to date. WOW WOW WOW. I was stunned. You had to think critically, more than one would have expected. Most people didn't do that well, but I must say I am thankful for my grades. I have no one to thank but God. So grateful, I owe it all to him.

Socially, there's not much happening. You gradually learn how to "have fun" but it never quite equates to being home with your family and going out with your "normal" friends.

All in all this was a great block and as stressful as it was, I look forward to the next block.

Thanks for reading,
Until next time,


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Round 3

7:49am, Tuesday, third week of Med 3 (semester 3) and all I can think about is how I can't wait for Med 4, when we get our first real patient contact.

This semester, my courses are Neuroscience, Microbiology/Immunology, Medical Psychology, and Ethics.

So far, I'm really enjoying Neuroscience and Med Psych. In just two weeks, I've learned how to read MRIs and CT scans, how certain nerve related diseases manifest, how nervous system related cancers differ in adults and children--and that's just the tip of it. In Med Psych, we mainly focused on substance abuse this block, from marijuana to ecstasy to opiates to cocaine.

It's true what they say, "cocaine is a helluva drug", "crack is whack", "there's no hope in dope!"

We had to watch a documentary called "Crackheads Gone Wild", and true to the title, they were wild. It was insane. If a "normal", sober person did the things the people in the movie did, there's a good chance, I would have laughed, but while watching this movie, I was heartbroken. How can a human being do this to their body, their mind, their life?

Unfortunately, some drugs are extremely addicting and even the withdrawal symptoms are so bad that you'd even want to provide the drug to the addict. So, in terms of drugs, prevention is ideal. Don't start it. Just don't.

Opiates like heroin, and morphine, or Vicodin are also very addicting, especially heroin. Your body builds up tolerance so fast that you'll need a higher dose to get high each new week.

Ethics is a...boring class, but I can definitely see the importance of it. As physicians, we need to learn how to talk to others with respect, compassion and authority. So although, I sometimes find the class to be a waste of study time, I'm learning to be patient so I can learn, but also, so I decrease my chances of getting sued in the future. LOL.

I'm feeling good that I managed to post two entries back to back, with just a few hours (or 12) in between.

Until next time,


Monday, September 10, 2012

Catching Up...

No no, I don't mean in school. You never want to put yourself in a position where you have to catch up, because that is disaster!

I mean, catching you up on my life, school, etc. I was unmotivated to write any entries during Med 2, but let me fill you in.

Med 2 courses are Physiology, Biochemistry, Epidemiology and Genetics. I went in thinking I would absolutely love Physiology, but it was slightly subpar for me. I didn't enjoy the way it was taught but it is actually one of the more important courses in Basic Science and plenty of it will show up in USMLE Step 1.

Biochemistry, I went in thinking I wouldn't care for but I loved it! I feel like I learned so much from that course--from the way our bodies break down nutrients, to the way congenital blood illnesses manifest. It wasn't at all like organic chemistry. I feel like every single thing I learned in this course was important and will be useful in clinical practice.

Epidemiology and Genetics were small courses and they were alright. It's hard to do bad in these courses. They were easy and not very interesting.

OK, more about social life. My birthday is June 19 so it was in the middle of the second semester. It really sucks not spending your birthday with the people you actually care about and the people who you know care about you. Being away in a foreign land with new people on your birthday isn't the best way to spend it--at least not for me.

I felt really lonely and became extremely homesick. I also got to RELEARN that nobody really cares about you. I feel like the prior 5 months, the people that are "close" to me, I did my best to make their birthdays special, and when it came to mine, it was depressing. I certainly didn't do those things to get something back, but it put things in perspective. Regardless, next year, I'll probably still do the same things for the same people.

I'm my own person and I don't let someone else's actions affect mine. I'll do what I feel comfortable doing.

I don't want to make this post too long, so I'll stop here. Next post will be about the first two weeks in Med 3.

BoomStarz, MD

Monday, April 23, 2012

T + 1 week

Hello blogosphere.

Yes I have been gone for far too long. It's hard to stay motivated to keep writing if there aren't an appropriate amount of written responses. But I guess I should keep in mind that my primary reason for starting this blog isn't for comments but more as a way for me to keep track of this journey.

I am currently 1 week post first semester. Med 1 was great. I studied well and it proved worthwhile. I also learned a lot and I am absolutely looking forward to the second semester. This time we'll be taking Biochemistry, Physiology, Genetics and Epidemiology.

I hope the semester goes just as well or even better for me.

I will try to make at least one blog post per block- as a summary for each block. I hope I can do it.

BoomStarz MD

Sunday, January 8, 2012

One Week Down

....14 weeks to go.

In Med 1 anyway. The first week was quite enlightening. There is so much information, that thinking about it only has me looking like this o_O

Conceptually, the material is not difficult. It is understandable and actually very interesting. However, there is so much! Undergrad courses never went into this much detail! 

I think I've studied more these past five days than I have in a WHOLE semester in undergrad. I'm enjoying it though so that's good and hopefully that'll keep me going. 

I have a schedule for my Mondays to Fridays.

Sleep from 10pm-5am
Shower and breakfast from 5am-6am
Review today's lecture from 6am-7am
Travel to school from 7am-8am
Classes from 8am-3:30pm
Travel home and eat from 3:30pm-5pm
Study today's lectures from 5pm-9pm
Play online from 9pm-10pm

So far, it's worked for the first week and it is keeping me on top of my lectures. I've sort of conquered the brachial plexus, which is what was supposed to be difficult for everyone. I can now map it and remember what nerves come out of each root, trunk and cord. I'm now working on mastering exactly which muscles they each innervate.

Anyway, I just came here for a quick update on my journey.

Until next time,


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Screaming Nocturnal Donkeys

Right now, I'm half way through my second day of classes.

Two days ago was orientation where we took a tour of the school with a few mentors and asked for tips and tricks on how to do well in this program. We met the dean, some professors and also other staff that we can go to for resources as the semesters go by. We also got free lunch (never going to happen again).

Yesterday was the first day of class. I woke up bright and early, super excited to get started. I had been waiting for the day for a long time. I got to class early so I was able to pick a seat that was great for me. Second row centre. I've never been a first row person because I always want the professor to be able to see me and on the first row, there's a chance of being missed by the professor because s/he is trying to make eye contact with the majority of the class that's behind you. In the second row, I'm sitting close enough to be seen and "far" enough not to be missed.

This semester I have: Embryology, Evidence Based Medicine (EBM), Histology and Anatomy. I have Histology and Anatomy every single day (M-F) and Embryology (M, W, F) and EMB (Tu, Th).

Our first classed was canceled and instead the professor gave us some more tips and tricks for surviving and being successful in medical school. The class was canceled because there might be a curriculum change. They are considering combining EBM with Epidemiology (which is normally offered in Med 2) and creating one new class. This change will mean they can spread Physical Diagnosis throughout the 5 semesters here on this island instead of just making it one class for Med 4. We'll know by tomorrow if this change has been approved. I really hope it is. I think EBM and Epidemiology are related and can be combined and I'd also like to do some physical diagnosis now.

Histology was okay, a bit boring though. We talked mostly about different types of microscopes needed in the study of cells. Today's class was a lot faster paced. Still boring though. There are many little details that we need to learn. I have a feeling this will be the class I'll have to work a bit more on.

Anatomy wasn't too bad. Yesterday’s lecture was mainly terminology and today’s lecture is happening in 2 hours but my review of it wasn’t so bad. It was anatomy of the shoulder and all the bones and muscles I have already learned about. This time around, I just have to really learn it and apply it well. The nerves and arteries are new to me, but they don’t seem too bad.
Bottom line? So far, so good…but it is still just day 2 ha ha.

Referring back to my title, apparently the donkeys on this island are nocturnal, meaning they are asleep when we are awake (daytime) and they are awake when we are asleep (night time) and during this time, they scream! Yes, I am on Nevis.

Until next time,

BoomStarz, MD