Saturday, August 29, 2009

Week 4 -- Survived (but just barely)

Week 4 has definitely been the hardest yet witha combination of being sick, feeling a little down over the fact that Saint Peter's started this week and I'm not going back, and OUR FIRST MID-BLOCK EXAM ON MONDAY.

Sunday was my White Coat Ceremony which was really great. Thanks so much Mom and Dad and Aunt Diane and Unka for coming up! Here's my roommates and I in front of our house before the ceremony. At the ceremony, all 135 of us got "coated" and took the Osteopathic Oath.

It was pretty exciting!

Monday I woke up, feeling fine, and went to class. Unfortunately, I had to leave class because I got the stomach flu!! I don't know if it was the coffee that the Christian Club put out that morning or just a 24-hour flu thing, but it was not such a good day for me :(

Tuesday, thankfully, I felt better and was able to go to class as well as to my USMLE study group (review for the board exams I have to take in TWO YEARS). Wednesday (and Thursday) we didn't have to go to class til 10, which was a nice reprive. I also went to a lunch lecture on malpractice insurance. Apparently Northern CA is one of the cheapest places to get malpractice insurance because CA has a law called MICRA that says the cap that you can sue a doctor for "pain and suffering" is $250,000, where in some states there is no limit, so people sue doctors for millions of dollars. They told us that the average cost to a family practice doctor for malpractice insurance here is $6,000-10,000/year as compared to New Jersey (his example, not mine!) where you can be paying $10,000-$40,000/year for malpractice insurance. I also went to a lecture for my "Healthcare Policy" elective by one of the Govenator's Senior Advisors. It was after this that I decided that I need to marry a guy who majored in business and political science, so that he can run my practice and deal with insurance companies and the government for me so I don't have to....
Also on Wednesday was our Club Day. I went with the intention of signing up for one or maybe two clubs. I ended up signing up for about ten, between the free food and free stuff they were giving out, and nice people (read: cute boys asked me to join).
Since then it's just been class and lots of studying for our first mid-block fundamentals exam on Monday: Embryology, Biochemistry, some biology of a cell/histology, and some homeostatsis. But mostly biochem.

On another note, I thought I would share this (one of my favorite) CS Lewis quotes that has been especially true in my life the last few months: "God whispers in our pleasure, and shouts in our pain."

Oh, one last thing. Unka and Mumsy, I downloaded a CD by Chris Rice called Peace Like A River: The Hymns Project and I love it. It's just hymns (as the title implies) and has some of my favorites (How Great Thou Art, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God, Rock of Ages, Great Is Thy Faithfulness, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, etc).
One of my very favorites (and the reason I downloaded the CD) is Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, primarily because of this verse:
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be
Let Thy goodness like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, O take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Week 3 -- Survived

I knew in coming to school that it would feel like it was flying by, and indeed, it does... I can't believe it's already been three weeks! This week was good, but instead of 10 hours of embryology, as we had in week 2, we had 10 hours of biochemistry....significantly LESS interesting. We also had a different professor for biochem than for embryology, so that also might have contributed to the less-than-interesting-ness. There was some highlights though, for example, we got to practice taking a complete history on each other, I got to saw open a vertebral column and see the spinal cord of my cadavar and I got 100% on my first histology quiz! We had to identify different epithilial cell types, which is actually pretty interesting. So overall things are good even though next Monday (the 31st), we have our first mid-block exam so I'm sure things are going to get mildly stressful on Mare Island...

Today I'm just waiting for the fam to come up for my white coat ceremony tomorrow!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Week 2 -- Survived

I have survived week two. We had 10 hours of embryology, OMM (Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine) lab which involves taking your shirt off and practicing being both the patient and the doctor with your partner and finding all kinds of bones and things on their body, started to learn how to take a patient's history and even had a class about "Finding Balance" and stress relief which really just was more stressful because we had to think about all the things that were stressing us out! And then we had to meditate for 7 minutes and think about nothing but our breathing............there's no one anyone can actually do that. I can't even turn my brain off when I sleep; there's no one I can turn it off for 7 minutes and think about nothing but my breathing. But besides that, my week was good. There's a lot of work but so far I feel like I'm keeping on top of it pretty well. I can see how it's going to get really intense really soon though.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Week 2

So week two is significantly more intense than week one. And every time I come to blog, I try to recall my day and think about all the things I need to study and do and get distracted.

Today I was CPR certified and practice finding lots of bones through the skin of my partner in OMM lab.

Monday, August 10, 2009

So week 2 has begun and I don't have time to write anything because I'm too busy reading for anatomy! ahh!

Saturday, August 8, 2009


So yesterday, we had class from 8-3. Not as bad as 8-3, but still long. The first 4 hours were all non-science classes...the history of osteopathic medicine (apparently UCI's med school used to be a DO school),how to interview different types of patients, and cultural competency (we're supposed to call handicapped patients 'disabled' because the term 'handicapped' came from when they used to have to beg with a cap in their hands and they don't like that term anymore....also always 'asian' NEVER 'oriental')

So after that we had a lunch break and then, CADAVERS. I'm not gonna lie, at the beginning I was SUPER nervous and worried that I would faint...and then some kid started asking where we should go if we have to throw up or something and it made me more nervous. But then we started unwrapping the bodies (they're all embalmed and shrouded) and I got to do the first cut!! It was so so interesting and the smell really isn't that bad (we have an amazing ventilation system). We just worked on the back so the head and lower part of the body were still covered. Right now we're just looking at all the muscles...there's a lot to learn!

After that I came home, ran, showered, and straightened my hair for this social for 1st and 2nd years someone had on the island! So my roommates and I all walked over. It was really fun and I met a few second years (including my "big brother") and got to know people in my class more.

And I survived my first week! I'll end with this quote that one of my professors found and I absolutely loved:
"The practice of medicine is an art, not a trade; a calling, not a business;
a calling in which your hear will be exercised equally with your head."
--Sir William Osler

Thursday, August 6, 2009

First Day of Medical School!

Today was it: my first officially day of medical school! It was good, just a lot of introduction stuff which was good, but so long! 8-5 is far too long to be in school! Overall it was good though.

Yesterday I met my advisor (who looks exactly like Gene Wilder/Willy Wonka) who gave us lots of good advice, and we heard about the Global Health program and how a team gets to go to Africa this summer!! I'm so excited, I'm totally gonna apply!

I can't think of much more to write about because I'm tired because I got up at 5:45 this morning to run because I'm a beast! Except tomorrow we start on cadavers! Oh and today we had our first Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) lab where we had to strip down to our shorts and sports bras (or topless for boys) and lay on like massage tables to practice feeling the human body (just the back today). Kindof intense when the professor is like "Shirts off!" but its acutally a super fun lab. Ok, bed now.

Love you Unka (since I think you're the only one who reads this ;))

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Day Two

I have never understood the meaning of "one day at a time" until I got to med school....and it hasn't even started yet!! But I survived day two, and it was a little easier than day one, in that I'm meeting more people, so thats been good.

So this morning the plumber came and fixed our shower!!! So now we have three fully-operational bathrooms :)

Orientation actually had four highlights today: 1-- Buying official "Touro" med student gear 2-- getting my "student doctor" id (pictured below :)), 3-- getting out super early and, the best, 4 -- getting my REFUND CHECK! :D

Tonight I went on a walk with my roommates around the neighborhood, which was really nice and I've already started having to read for my classes on Thursday!

Monday, August 3, 2009

The "Last Supper" and First Day of Orientation

So last night I made dinner for my roommates (with help of course :)) in what we lovingly entitled the "Last Supper" before med school begins and our lives end. It was actually, quite good!

So today was the first day. It was good. Long. Lots of information thrown at us, and people introduced, most of whom I've already forgotten their name. I feel very young. In my lab group, for example, I'm the only one who's just graduated, most have been out for a few years. A lot of people are married or engaged. A lot. People have lots of interesting life stories; its a very well-traveled and diverse group (in interests, not in ethnicity. in ethnicity it's primarily asian, indian, and white). I know this because we spent most of the afternoon getting up on stage one at a time (all 135 of us) and introducing ourselves. They even videoed it so we can watch it at graduation...that should be interesting haha. It was neat though to hear everyone's stories, though its hard to remember what story (and name) goes with what face.

After our very long and tiring day, we had a "Fun Run" which actually turned out to be a lot more fun than I thought it would. After three hours of sitting to listen to everyone's bios, it was nice to a) get to talk to people in person and connect the name and story with the faces and b) be outside and run!

Overall, the first day was pretty good. I'm glad its done though. I'm also super thankful for my roommates and how great they are and how well we all get along....because some of these people are WEIRD!

-- "Student Doctor" Hoppe :)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Roommate Bonding

So I'm finally all moved in! The house and my room are amazing; it's so nice to be settled in before my big first day tomorrow. And all my roommates are finally here so it's been fun to hang out with them and just relax before all the intenseness starts....
Here's a picture of us in front of our house :)
Angela, Nourah, me, and Caitlin.

This weekend we've just gone to the grocery store and run some errands, hung out, ate together (I'm going to attempt to make dinner tonight!), and tried to watch tv. Fortunately or unfortunately the cable company is not joking when they say BASIC cable, so our options are a little limited, but it's ok because I'm sure soon I won't have time to do anything but study....

More to come tomorrow after my first day of Orientation....eek!