09 May 2011

Welcome to M4!

One whole week into my fourth year you may be wondering, what have I done with myself? Well, I am starting the fourth year much the same way I started the third year: studying for a USMLE exam.

This week I have covered cardiology, dermatology, GI, endocrine, biostatistics and some infectious disease. I am reading, highlighting, making flashcards and doing lots of practice questions. Fun fun.

However, life is not all work. I had a lovely day and night out (we started a little early) after completing third year: there was sangria, there was gin, there were pancakes the next morning.

I've also been helping to orient the rising M3s, which is a nostalgia-inducing process. It really makes me realise how far I've come in the last year in terms of my comfort in talking to and evaluating patients. It also points out how different the focus in teaching is now - I spend much more time thinking about details: drug choice, dosing, treatment length, etc - whereas before it was about having a workable list of potential diagnoses. A lot of what I struggled with at the beginning of my third year is assumed knowledge in the fourth. My review books don't even bother to classify antibiotic types, for example, it's assumed I know azithromycin is a macrolide that acts on the 50S ribosomal subunit and has good efficacy against gram positives and atypicals. The new questions is: how much and how many days worth for a patient with strep pharyngitis in a COPD patient?

In an effort to stay balanced while studying, I've joined a tennis clinic. I had my first practice yesterday and got a little sun (oops) as well as losing half a toenail jamming my foot in my shoe on some abrupt directional change. Worth it. I'm horrendously inconsistent at the moment, but I hit a few aces and a couple of solid put-away shots. I'm considering joining a USTA team this summer, but I'm not sure I'll have time with the sub-i's etc.

Motorcycle lessons start next week and I'm now involved with admissions for the medical school too - so hopefully those will yield some good stories for a post. In the meantime... nose to the grindstone to (hopefully) pull out a good Step 2 score.