Freedom Finally

Today, I finished my course in Physiology: final exam 9 am and histology computer exam in the afternoon. I’ve been leisurely studying and getting my sleep for this mega exam until about 2 days ago. Just last night, I fell asleep on my bed doing practice questions. Then I slept through my ‘nap’ and alarm, waking up for a few hours to snack and power through more questions. Needless to say, I gave up on that too and fell asleep until 7 am, when I seriously crammed so many hormones and graphs before rolling to school.

I love physiology, but learning a system a week is overwhelming. I enjoyed the weekly OSCEs, where we apply the pathophysiology of particular organ systems to the clinical setting. I felt like Dr. House, asking all the questions and thinking through the clinical manifestations and dreadful symptoms. We have worked through congestive heart failure, emphysema, diabetes, diarrhea, and acute renal failure. It’s an accomplishment to begin thinking like a doctor. Plus, learning everything that can go wrong with the body, drawing flow charts and funky animations, and piecing together the jigsaw puzzle are fun. Second year will be a repeat of this speedy first year physiology, only more comprehensive and pathology-focused. Then, I will really be in a doctor’s shoes.

Also today, I crammed several hundred slides of histology in a span of 3 hours. We had 1-3 pm to do the 25 Histology questions, multiple choice and straight identification questions. But no one went in THAT early; instead, many of us ate a quick lunch and rushed to the library to cram cram CRAM. I have not touched histology since Monday’s review in class. That meant I had 7 organ systems plus tissue histology. I was overloading my photographic memory capacity and getting a huge headache in the process. Never before have I crammed so much in so little time. I was going for high yield stuff, including nailing that difference between the esophagus and vagina. I was memorizing based on colors, shapes, and textures; it felt like grade school and not medical school at all. When I finally went in at 3pm, I braced myself for the 25 questions. I zipped and breezed through them all, finished in less than 10 minutes, and took an additional 10 minutes to check my answers. I did fine, but never again will I cram so much information and pictures right before the exam… My brain hurts.

Now I’m still high on caffeine. I have a self-proclaimed 2-week vacation now because 1) it’s only Foundations beginning tomorrow, and 2) I have Spring Break the following week. By then, I’ll be saying 你好 to Shanghai and Beijing!!! In the meantime, I seriously have nothing to do! Today will be a restful night, maybe watch some Taiwanese variety shows and dramas again. Tomorrow, hit the gym and party at night with the professors. Saturday, gym again before hitting Manhattan. Sunday, time with the dad in defensive driving. Monday, back to Foundations and Feelings!

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