Saturday, August 30, 2008

Wind Farm!

I've never seen one before, so I was a little excited when my plane back from San Diego passed over one. Here's the picture. From what I've seen on tv, these were actually very small turbines. Out of the whole lot of them, only one was actually turning...not sure what's up with that.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

AUC Clinical Sites

One of AUC's new first semester students, Ted, has created this map of AUC's clinical sites, including the blurb about each one from AUC's website. I cannot vouch for its accuracy as I'm too lazy to go through each site, and I honestly don't know that much about all of the sites, but it is at least as accurate as AUC's website. Keep in mind that these are mostly the sites where you can do 3rd year required rotations, but you can do 4th year electives at just about any hospital that will take you. So, the fact that there may not be a core rotation hospital in your home state does not mean that you won't get any chance to rotate through your favorite hospital! The map can be found here:
Google Maps.jpg

As you can see, if you're from NY or just really like NY, you're in luck!

Back to blogging, unexpected readers, and the truth about Shamu

Once again, sorry for the long delay. But, at least this time, I told you it was coming! Our breaks aren't very long, so i don't really have a lot of time to blog. Usually, I blog while procrastinating, so there is more than enough time! But, when I'm home, not so much.

Anyway, when I was in the SXM airport on the way home, I actually ran into one of my blog visitors! She's from Miami and apparently has no connection with AUC or the island (other than vacation), so I'm not entirely sure how she came across my blog, but it's always interesting to meet the people who read it. Especially when it's people that I'd least expect! I was yelling something out to one of my fellow classmates when she turned around and said "hey, I read your blog!" I suppose she recognized me from one of my pictures. Sunil and Paul may be happy to know that she also reads their blogs, although Sunil is gonna have to pick it up a little to keep her around ;)

This past Wednesday through Sunday were spent in San Diego with Heather and my family. We were actually supposed to go to the Orlando Sea World, but the hurricane changed our plans last minute. It wound up being a great change of plans; it was a lot of fun and the weather could not have been any nicer! If you haven't been to Sea World lately, Shamu has become very lame and the sea lions are probably the most entertaining show in the park!

This may be a bit like finding out that there's no Santa Clause, but there is also not really any least not anymore! The real Shamu died in 1971 and the name is now just a stage name for all of the orcas that perform in Shamu Stadium. If you pay attention to the trainers though, they tell you the whales' real names. As upsetting as this may be to some people, it is not nearly as upsetting as witnessing the "Shamu Slam." This is the name that the trainers have given to the trick where the whales use their tails to blanket the audience with 55 degree water. The trick is fine, but the song and dance that the trainers have made to go along with it is atrocious! Maybe the kids like it, but it mostly just made me want to put pencils in my eye every time they did it. Aside from that though, Sea World, and the rest of San Diego, was a great time. If you go to Sea World, definitely catch the nighttime sea lion show, where they make fun of the Shamu Slam, and every other show in the park (including their own day time show).

OK, I promise, more frequent updates to come...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Michael Phelps vs. Canada


Approximate population of Canada: 33,212,696 (give or take a few thousand)
Approximate population of Michael Phelps: 1

Number of Olympic medals won by Canada: 4
Number of Olympic medals won by Michael Phelps: 8

This is for all of my Canadian friends at AUC. Read into it what you will ;)

What not to do in medical school...

Today, we had our 3rd semester final exams. I am happy to say that I am now a 4th semester medical student with 3 down, and only 2 to go! However, I was very nearly stuck in third semester again! Our first final exam (path) started at 8am. Unfortunately, although I set my alarm properly, I didn't wake up until 9pm, exactly the time when the path exam ended! So, I drove to school about 100 miles per hour, hoping that they wouldn't fail me (a zero on the final would have given me a failing grade overall) and that I'd make it on time for the second exam.

Fortunately, the professors were understanding and said that this happens relatively frequently. So, I took my path and med micro exam in the dean's office (just to make sure I couldn't get hints from people who had already taken it) and then made it back downstairs in time to take physio with the rest of my class. As a sort of punishment, and to prevent people from doing this on purpose to cheat, the highest grade I could get on the final was a 70. So, although I actually got an 88 on the final (it was really a pretty easy exam), I wound up with a 70. Fortunately, I've done well in the class up until now, so I still have a mid "B" final grade. I did pretty bad on the micro final (as I expected), but I only needed a 46% on the final to pass the class, and I easily pulled that off. Parts of the physio final were difficult as well, but I didn't need a very high grade in there either, so I'm sure I'll be fine.

So...only a couple more semesters on the island left and only one full semester of classes left! It's very nice to be over half way done! I may not post a lot for the next couple of weeks, but that's because I'll be back in the US, starting tomorrow!!!!!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

well hello, visitors!

Not sure where all the new visitors came from all of the sudden, but there was quite a jump in the people who read my blog! I didn't even write anything controversial this time! Well, welcome! Hope you'll keep coming back!

3rd semester is just about done!

I've finished studying (or at least as much studying as I could get through) and all that's left is to take the finals tomorrow. Hopefully, everything that I crammed into my brain over the past couple of days won't fall out between now and tomorrow morning. While this semester has been interesting, it has also been the hardest of the 3 so far. Assuming all goes well tomorrow though, it will all be over. At least until 4th semester starts in a couple of weeks! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

study study study

The studying continues, and will continue to continue (if that makes sense) until Friday night! Including today, I have 3 days to get through 3 blocks worth of information! I'm really hoping that I learned it at least moderately well the first time and that it all comes back to me. So far, it seems like micro came back pretty quick. But, it has yet to be seen if it will stick all the way from today to Friday.

As for block 3 exams, they went kind of blah. The med micro exam was very very difficult, much harder than the shelf exam. I was fully expecting to fail that exam, but I fortunately managed a couple of points above passing. Since I've done decent in that class on the previous two blocks, I should be fine on the final. I honored path which was nice, but I made one extraordinarily stupid mistake which cost me two points that I would have liked to have. I was most disappointed with physio though. While I didn't do toooo bad, I did do worse than I've ever done in physio. This is unfortunate mostly because I really did know the information, but we just weren't given enough time to get through it. Renal path is not really that hard, but it does require a lot of thinking. The average on that exam was a 75, so apparently most people didn't have enough time to think through it.

For the physio final, we are getting the chance to make up for the points we lost when some people decided to cheat on the first exam. There are now 14 questions on that exam from the reproductive section that will each count as 3 points, for a total of 42 possible points. So, I will be heavily studying that section so that I can hopefully make up for the points that were essentially stolen from me earlier in the semester. It's not ideal, but it's probably the best solution that the school could have come up with, and a large majority of the class voted for the idea. So...back to studying!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Med Micro Shelf....check!

The National Board of Medical Examiners®.jpgYesterday, we took the NBME Med Micro/Immunology shelf. Although I am confident that I did awful (we were told not to study for it and I didn't even bother doing questions 80-125), it was a good experience. It does not count as part of our grade (hence the lack of studying), but it was nice to see what kind of questions we can expect on the USMLE, as well as give us a good idea of how useful our professors were.

I am happy to announce that, despite the regular complaining of people in my class (myself included), the stuff that Dr. Shupe taught us was right on and her style of exam questions were almost identical. In fact, that shelf exam would have made a very fair final exam for the course, minus probably about 5 questions. There was really nothing on there that I wouldn't have known if I had studied for the final already. I've heard rumors that Dr. Shupe used to write USMLE questions and I'm not sure if it's true, but I'd believe it. For those who have yet to take the shelf, I will tell you that it's very heavy on respiratory and GI bugs and places little emphasis on skin or neuro. They are also big into virulence factors and various toxins. They are also definitely not above asking whether a particular virus is ssRNA, dsRNA, ssDNA, dsDNA, etc. Most commonly, they will give you a scenario, you have to already know the bug, and they'll ask you a question about a toxin or something. Very rarely do they just ask you what you think the bug is.

roughing it....sort of

My apartment building currently has no water, the landlady is on vacation in the US, and the people who are supposed to be watching over the house while she's gone don't seem to be able to do anything to help us. We are currently suspecting that we have a leak somewhere...a massive leak that caused us to lose probably over 5000 gallons of water in 24 hours. We had no water a couple days ago, the water guy came to refill our tanks (with two tankers full of water) and then we were out of water again the next day!

Fortunately, after two days of taking showers in the pool (I figure chlorine is better than nothing) and brushing my teeth with bottled water, I remembered we have a rainwater cistern and decided to figure out how to use it. After turning some valves and knobs, I finally figured it out, turned the pump back on, and managed to get us water. We have no idea how much is in there, how long it will last, or where the leak is, but it was at least enough for all of us to take a shower, wash dishes, and fill toilets. We've decided that in order to make it last (because who knows when they'll actually fix the plumbing), we go turn the pump on and off every time we need to use water. It rained pretty hard last night, so that should have re-filled the cistern to its normal level, whatever that may be. Hopefully, it will continue raining at night so that we don't run out of water again!

I'm currently taking bets on how long it will take to get fixed. My guess is not before finals next Saturday. For whoever lives here when I'm gone, I've made a handy little map for you, so you can have water too.

Edit: After more investigating (I should be a detective) we discovered that we actually have 2 tanks of freshwater and one rainwater cistern. It's just that, for some reason, one of the two tanks has always been full, but turned off. So, we've now got one empty main tank, one nearly full main tank (which we're currently using) and one full rainwater tank, which we can use if we really go a long time without water! I think we'll last until the problem is fixed.

Friday, August 8, 2008

study study study

Path, physio, med micro, path, physio, med micro, path, physio, med micro....repeat x 1000

That's my life for the next couple of days. One more week and third semester is over!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Crazy Rainbow Lady

Next semester, we take neuroscience and behavioral science. Then, maybe I'll be able to figure out what this woman has. It's a good argument though....rainbows close to the ground probably are government conspiracies.

Insane Rainbow Conspiracy Lady - Watch more free videos

Friday, August 1, 2008

just some random thoughts...

-Congratulations to Heath for winning SGA President!
-Third semester is the most interesting so far, but by far the most work
-Cannot wait for med micro to be over!
-I have an absurd amount of studying between now and the last block/final exams
-I'm photographing the 5th semester party tomorrow night...look for pictures eventuall (I'm not sure how fast I'll be editing them, with exams coming up)
-I need to upgrade my Adobe Lightroom software. I don't think you should have to pay for upgrades though to something you already own! Although, there's a good chance that I didn't pay for it in the first place ;)

OK, that's it for now. I'll be writing more on my breaks, but I felt bad going so long with no updates.