Sunday, August 14, 2011

The beginning of week 3 of med school is upon me. To be fair, the first week was full of congratulatory pats on the back and clapping -- and last week we had Tuesday off from classes, as it was the Fast of Tish'a B'av. So, this coming week is the first full week.

Already I've come close to completely dissecting the thorax and back of a cadaver. I've been in OMM labs nearly naked with a fellow student doctors touching and looking for bony landmarks in regions not often touched or felt between the closest of friends. So far everything has been really positive between classmates, but our first exam is next Monday (a week from tomorrow) and I think that people will have a little bit of a reality check. I've seen many people looking for cohorts to go drinking and exploring the area, which is understandable at this point and due to the fact we live in the Bay area, with so much to offer. In fact, people have been so supportive with supplemental material and offering help and such that I can't help but wonder what it would take for the stereotypical horror stories that I've heard about med students to come to fruition. We have a long way to fall.

I really am not so worried though. I've tried to strike a good balance between getting to know people and becoming involved with social get togethers and the like and trying to stay relatively isolated. Because my wife and I live 20 minutes from campus, it is somewhat easier than if we lived closer to school like so many others. I registered for a half-marathon that will take place on November 20th, in Montery CA so that I will also stay balanced and focused with exercise. I've also found a partner to run (read: slow jog, as we are both bigger guys) with, which I am thankful for. These kind of social interactions are what I'm seeking, versus drinking buddies and I am glad that there is such a variety of persons in our class, as there are so many different personalities to get to know. I'll also be playing in a 3 0n 3 basketball tournament this week, which will be fun.

I don't have much philosophical thoughts this time around, but that is to be expected. I'm just trying to keep up with the curriculum coming my way, which is a monumental undertaking. However, I do have one little interesting nugget to share. It seems that much of my class has some consternation concerning their cadaver dissection. I say this not to downplay, demean or belittle their feelings, but I think if this experience in the anatomy lab had the contrasting experience of dealing with a recently deceased body, it would become more clinical in nature and not as nearly as concerning as it is now. I could get into how our culture here has really taken the aspect of death from our scope of experience, leaving us, for the most part only to see a dead body after the embalmer preserves it, make-up is placed on it and it is dressed in a 3-piece suit then to be placed in the ground in a hermetically sealed casket. I personally believe that life and the living would be valued more if a larger percentage of society had to deal with dead bodies more than they do. Anyway, I'll leave it at that for now.


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