Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fun time is over!

I just posted a blog entry not more than 15 minutes ago. Like I usually do, I don't remember to briefly proofread it until I publish it. So then I go back and read through it. As I was scanning the last entry, I got to thinking that I really need to be documenting what is happening at school more, since I aim to use this blog as something to be able to come back to and see my thought's on things as they are happening. I do think that I've been putting tid-bits in here and there, and I really do enjoy writing down memories of this and that, but I think that I need to add just a little more of the boring, day to day stuff. So, I'm gonna start with that here.

This coming Monday is the Mini-exam for block2, and that is what I'm studying during this fall break. There is also some OMM and doctoring stuff to worry about for the end of the block fiasco. OMM is primarily concerned with Facet Diagnosis, in theory and in practice. In The doctoring lab, we've finally got our equipment and we have continued to learn how to examine each other. We've been learning how to take blood pressure with our Sphygmomanometer and conduct cardiovascular exams. It's all very real and exciting. In Fundamentals we have 6 neoplasia lectures, going all the way from the early physiology of cancer to cancer therapeutics. The pulpit was manned by 3 different lecturer's -- all very knowledgeable instructors. Our neoplasia lab was run by the typical path instructor and of course, our blood histology lab was from our histologist. We also had 5 or 6 clinical immunology lectures, kind of as a follow up to our first full blast of immunology, which was tested on during the previous exam. 

The most difficult part of this exam will be centered on the ability to cold memorize this stuff, as many, many therapeutics are introduced and discussed at length. I'm guessing that there are at least 65 different drugs that I need to know everything about, what they are, where they come from, where and when they work, toxicities and contraindications, etc. There is also plenty of signalling pathways and cascades to know. The nice thing is that so many of the players in these pathways are redundant at this point, which makes for an easier time with dynamic comprehension. Clinical immunology introduces a handful of new drugs, but much of it seems simple relative to the first time we were seeing this material, thankfully. 

My core study routine consists of making note-cards for all the pertinent material. I think there are nearly 500 note-cards, which has proven to be about what each exam needs. While crunching through the PPT I listen to the audio of the lecture, were I often find myself listening to selected parts over and over for clarification. I also have the accompanying text when available. I will be re-reading the selected text as  a whole prior to the exam, because as of now (5 and a half days before the exam) I've only read parts that I needed resolution above and beyond what the PPT's provide. I've already done all of the provided practice questions for the neoplasia lectures and will soon do the questions from the clinical immunology. The nice thing about completing whatever note-cards you may want to have early on in the exam cycle is than you actually have time to use them for what they were created for. It really helps. So, I'll be drilling with those for hours and hours the next few days and then during the weekend I'll go back through and make sure I'm not missing any concepts from the provided objectives. 

And that is what I'm doing this week.

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