August 4th is technically still summer in Chicago, but my reality says summer ended on Monday. Ooft, that sounded a tad depressing. What I’m trying to say is that med school classes started again and I have officially returned to campus as an M2. Gone are the days of wandering along the lakeshore and reading romance novels (8 books in July, although I promise some were non-fiction — I lead an odd life for a women in her mid/almost late 20’s) and I’m now back to the grind of powerpoint slides, ridiculous numbers of flashcards, and a substantial increase in my daily caffeine intake.
Yea, I guess the explanation didn’t really help to make things sound less melancholy, but in all honesty, I was ready to go back. Well, on Monday I was ready to go back…now, well… I’m just kidding (mostly). It’s nice to get back into the routine of lectures, clinic, and extracurriculars. It’s exciting to be introduced to all of this new information (although a little less exciting to realize how soon my first exam is). It’s great to reconnect with friends and classmates and hear some of the amazing stories and experiences that filled their summers. In summary: Life is good and I’m already exhausted. I’m so glad I like coffee.
This year, things are a tad different. First off, I’m way less clueless about what I’m getting myself into and am about to experience. I know what’s expected of me and (generally) how to achieve it. In some ways it’s nice to be a second year student; but it’s also a bit more intimidating since there’s a whole class of 140+ first year students who think you know things (which may or may not be accurate). This year is also a little different in the way our curriculum is structured compared to prior years, in that our first organ system module is “Head and Neck. A two and a half week block where you’re supposed to figure out and understand the muscles/vasculature/nerves of the face and neck, the physiology and pathophysiology of the eyes and ears, and then a bunch of random odds and ends that could be considered neurology but you need to know to understand everything else. Putting it mildly, it’s intense. Needless to say, I spent a good portion of today silently envying Ingrid’s to do list.
Yet, I think the intensity of this module is about more than just the sheer amount of information coming at us on a daily basis. After all, I’m relatively used to that… it’s always a little different since the topics themselves change, but all in all, I expect feeling constantly behind and invariably busy. That’s a type of intensity that’s assumed. I think the challenging part of this module in particular is the actual subject matter, or maybe it’s the process by which we, as med students, learn it. Continue reading