School’s back in session!
We kicked off the year with Block 7: Microbiology. It’s only three weeks in, but I’m already studying for my second exam. While I was warned about the grueling nature of 2nd year, I was still unprepared to deal with the flood of information that came my way. I’ve already learned an enormous amount about bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses: structure, growth, common locations, pathologies, and pharmacology of treatment. Even though I occasionally feel like I’m drowning, it is exciting to be acquiring the tools to solve clinical cases.
One of the primary reasons why I was drawn to medicine was because I like solving puzzles. So far, this block has been exactly that; a patient walks with symptoms x, y, and z and the lab finds a culture of gram negative bacilli. Given the patient’s symptoms, what is the most likely culprit? While this is a narrow example particular to microbiology, I can envision how this works in the clinics. A patient walks in and I have to use their chief complaint to determine the causative agent and then deliver appropriate care and/or treatment. So while there is an insane amount of memorization, I still find comfort in the fact that the information I’m acquiring will be truly helpful in the near future.
Another challenge of 2nd year is balancing schoolwork with preparing for the boards. While a medical school curriculum is designed to (hopefully) prepare students well for Step 1, we often go into more detail than is needed for the boards. So sifting through this information is going to be tough, but rewarding. It’s crazy to think that I just had my last free summer. After Step 1, it’s on to the clinics!