As I mentioned in my last post, my classes for MS2 year are done! Last week I had my final combined regular exam and all that is left are a series of shelf exams before we disappear to some dark, lonely corner to study for our Step 1 exam. I alluded to the fact that buying a house threw me completely off course in terms of my regular study methods. As a result, because I was packing/unpacking and playing decorator instead of dutifully reviewing new material I had to resort to Emergency Plan B!
What is Emergency Plan B? Well, it is what is colloquially known as the “all nighter” or in med school the “two-or-three nighter.” A marathon of studying and reviewing that eliminates sleep and replaces it with chocolate covered espresso beans, pots of coffee and high carb snacks. This plan is to be used sparingly and only in extreme circumstances. Yes, staying up for 2-3 nights with minimal sleep gives you the time you need to learn the content –but it comes at a price. The information I just last week knew well enough to score at the top of my class is leaking out of my brain faster than a subarachnoid hemorrhage. Not to mention my mental and physical health took a huge hit. Then there are the mood swings that come with feeling like the living-dead. Unfortunately for him, it was my poor husband who had to deal with my irrational self. So, my dear readers, avoid Emergency Plan B if you can. Do the right thing and study every night.
In other news, I had my first oral presentation at an Innovations in Medical Education conference this weekend. I felt honored to be among the three other presenters who had really inspiring ideas. I am talking REALLY awesome, big ideas. For example, check out this website http://www.2minutemedicine.com. It is an indispensable site for those in the medical field who are pressed for time and need to make sense of the 1,000s of medical studies that come out monthly. A medical student from Harvard (now attending physician) came up with a solution by having doctors write a brief synopsis and rate the validity of the study.
I think that is the best thing about attending conferences- the renewed sense of limitless possibilities you get. Hearing what other people have worked on inspires me to innovate. If medicine in and of itself isn’t awesome enough, there is the added advantage of room for improvement. Medicine changes so much and to have the ability to be part of that is incredible. I feel so lucky to attend a medical school that embraces change and in fact encourages all of us to explore technology and how it can better the field. This weekend I will be presenting at the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) conference in Austin, which I am sure will be just as exciting!
My life has been a series of lessons learned and lucky breaks recently, so please learn from my mistakes and don’t procrastinate. You might get lucky and ace that exam, but in the long run it’s a recipe for disaster. Also, don’t accept the status quo, there are so many people out there pushing for change–get inspired!