First Year of Med School Recap: Fall Academics

I recapped 2010, which was a busy year for my personal life. Now that I’ve completed (and passed!) the first year of medical school I’d like to review my Yep, that's melast academic year at Creighton School of Medicine.

We’ll start with the Fall semester classes with short reflections for each one.

Fall

The fall started with a few days of orientation, some team building exercises, social events etc. We quickly transitioned into lectures. Lots and lots of lectures. And Anatomy lab. Here’s how it went:

Anatomy

I posted my some stories about Anatomy several months ago so I’ll keep this brief.

Anatomy was one or two lectures a day and labs MWF. Labs were the most difficult part of Anatomy for a couple reasons. The labs were often after lunch when we were already tired from four to six lectures. Dissection is not an easy skill, and identification is often more difficult. We had some great TAs that helped us with both, which brings up an important tip- get on the good side of your TAs! They’ll help out tremendously, especially if they are in good moods. Help them be in good moods!

Netter is also helpful.

Molecular and Cellular Biology

Or MCB as we liked to call it. This class was an amalgamation of cell biology, genetics, biochemistry and molecular biology. 112 lectures of wonderful basic science, ugh. We also had small group meetings once a week where we discussed clinical cases that ideally related to what we were learning.

To be honest, this class kicked my ass at times. I think it was the volume of information that got to me. That combined with the stress of transitioning to med school (and preparing for a wedding) made this class my worst performance academically for the year. Wahoo.

Ethics and Legal Topics in Medicine

A hit and miss class overall. Lectures such as those on death and dying, problem patients and ethical problems in research were interesting but some lectures seemed irrelevant or at least not deserving of a whole 50 minutes. We also had small group weekly in this course, which was often fun and engaging. I enjoyed hearing other student’s perspectives on complex issues.

This course was not challenging academically, which was a nice break from Anatomy and MCB.

Interviewing and Physical Exam

How to talk to patients, how to listen to patients, how to examine patients. Basically the “doctoring” side of being a doctor. These are skills I think some people take for granted. However, these physical movements and do not come as naturally as one might imagine. Where to place the stethoscope on the body, how to position the patient during an abdominal exam, how to avoid asking leading questions etc. are all skills that take practice.

We had sporadic small groups where we would interview fake patients and then each semester we had an OSCE where we had to demonstrate correct technique in portions of the physical exam. This was our only year long course.

That concludes the academic portion of the fall semester, I’ll recap the spring semester soon.

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