Thursday Born

The everyday life of a medical student (who was born on a Thursday).

Anatomy Reunion

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Today is my first day of classes back from Spring Break. My school divides the first year into 3 main blocks:

Block 1
Practice of Medicine, Physiology, Histology, Anatomy, Biochemistry
Winter Break (2 weeks)

Block 2
Practice of Medicine, Physiology, Histology, Genetics, Immunology, Microbes and Pathogenesis
Spring Break (1 week)

Block 3
Practice of Medicine, Neuro
Summer! (11 weeks)

So right now we have just started Neuro Block, and I’m feeling at home. It is incredibly comforting to be learning material that I might not remember, but that I’ve at least seen before, and it’s wonderful finally understanding this material that bewildered me as an undergraduate Psychology/Behavioral Neuroscience major.

There is a lab component to Neuro Block, and we’re dissecting the brains that we saved from our Anatomy Cadavers. After years of seeing the brain as a 2D structure through drawings, pictures, and imaging scans, it is refreshing to look at the real thing, to hold it in my gloved hands and trace out the structures. For the first time, I looked down on a real brain, parted the two halves, and stared down at a whole, attached corpus collosum, the structure through which the halves communicate with each other. It was a lightbulb moment for me. Much of the lab was. We didn’t do much but identify the cranial nerves and the major arteries, then cut off the brain stem and cerebellum and slice the brain through the corpus collosum, separating the left and right half from each other and observed a few other obvious, major structures. And yet this was the first time that I’ve taken a neuro class and really felt like I was actively absorbing and retaining the information. There really is value in being exposed and then re-exposed to material. At some point it’s bound to sink in.

And another great thing about the lab is I’m lucky enough to be reunited with my Anatomy Lab group. =) We’re in groups of 6 instead of 4 now, so some groups have been broken up. We got to stick together, and have stolen two people from two other groups. Hopefully the inside jokes won’t make them feel uncomfortable. Not all anatomy groups bond well, but it’s an experience that lends itself to that happening.

And so starts a new block, and one that I think I’m really going to enjoy. I’ve improved my studying technique a lot since I started medical school, and I think this block is going to go pretty smoothly. I think I’m finally getting a hang of things.

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Written by Aba

April 5, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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