Since I’ve been reasonably productive today, adhering (with only a few small gchat interruptions) to my self-ascribed study schedule, I thought I would give myself a quick break to update my blog. Right now, I am T minus 4.5 days from my next big anatomy exam. As usually happens with big exams, I am starting to feel slightly nervous with some sporadic freak out thoughts of, “omg, am I going to have enough time to go back and learn the embryology and lymph drainage I’ve been putting off?!
Random panicky thoughts aside, things are going fairly smoothly as I tackle learning every word on 463 power point slides. For my non-med school readers, this is not an exaggeration. Anatomy requires precision with very little room for bullshitting an answer (there is only so much you can fudge with bad handwriting– the answer better be pretty damn close). As a result, for this next exam students are expected to know pretty much every word on 463 slides covering gastrointestinal, pelvic and peritoneal anatomy and its embryological origins.
That may seem like a daunting and impossible task but on most days I find learning this stuff very enjoyable. Eventually, after you read something enough times it starts to stick in your head and you begin to feel pretty good about yourself and your ability to recall the seven branches of the anterior division of the internal iliac artery (sorry to say no one except for you and maybe your future surgery attending is impressed). Anatomy is best learned through repetition. Which is why I’ve read, and re-read every slide, done hundreds of flashcards and re-read the slides again. At first things seem foreign, almost like reading in a language you don’t understand, but after you see the structures in the lab and go back and re-read the material there is this “ah ha moment!” and everything seems to fall into place.
The next 4.5 days will be a race of memorization and hopefully retention. Sadly, my birthday happens to fall on one of the next 4.5 days, which means it will have to be postponed because when it comes to anatomy–even birthdays can wait.
I just hope my fortitude is handsomely rewarded– because even though the class is pass/fail and no one cares what grade I get, there is a little part of me that will never give up loving to get As.