"I am still learning."
Yesterday, I leaped out of my coach in excitement when I was able to correctly identify Vancomycin as the proper treatment for MRSA and point out that the actors were wearing their stethoscopes backwards in the medical TV drama "Off the Map". Why was I excited? Because it was thrilling to be able to apply some of my medical knowledge in unexpected ways. I am now a good month into the second semester of med school and once again, I am amazed at the immense amount of things we have learned in such a short amount of time.
This semester includes a physiology, neuroscience, microbiology and immunology, and the continuation of our clinical skills course. In addition, we have a service learning component to our clinical skills course. And this semester has already included dunking our heads in cold water to see how low our heart rate can go (class record is 17 beats per minute by the way) swabbing our noses to learn what microorganisms (my nose is home to Staph aureus in case you were interested), learning all of the finer parts of the brain (and realizing that the infamous Pinky and the Brain song is very inaccurate), and getting a glimpse of what a pediatric exam is like (and realizing how much kids DO NOT LIKE ear exams).
Besides that, I also had the opportunity this past month to attend the 2011 SNMA (Student National Medical Association) Region II Conference in Chicago. The conference was a wonderful experience in which we got to network with other medical students and physicians in the Midwest, bond with classmates (nothing beats a 6 hour car ride complete with Taylor Swift sing-a-longs and copious amounts of candy) and learning about interesting medical topics. Some of the workshops included studying for the board exam, a look at the health care reform, and medicine in correctional facilities. During the conference, some of the discussion topics were familiar to me and some were completely new, which made me realize the more I learn, the more I realize I don't know and have yet to learn....which is a scary but thrilling feeling because it is exciting to know that you are always learning.