Sunday, June 20, 2010

Second Semester

Second semester of medical school is well underway. Lots of fun new discoveries, like just what DOES your body do with alcohol? OR how DOES it make all that fat?? Well I can answer that, and that makes me feel real smart. So smart in fact that I'm actually tutoring this semester! Like, I'm teaching the doctors of TOMORROW! Sorry everybody in advance...

So its challenging but kinda fun at the same time. Not like homework was back in university. That crap was tedious and not to mention boring and useless. This stuff actually makes sense, and is so much fun to learn. I mean, I actually get up in the mornings for this crap!

And I haven't done that for my 25+ years of life so far!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sue this. Tort Reform, please.

Yes this article is old, but it still applies. Read and be educated. If only MD's could just all stop practicing as a group, just for one day, so that all those little shitbags with their ear aches and sore tummies, just itching to sue didn't have anywhere else to go when they were REALLY sick. I bet things would change real fast. It could happen. In the near future with this Obamacare and insane malpractice premiums, watch the great doctors you all have just start trickling away to somewhere else. Like Canada. Funny, people think you can't make money there as an MD, but you get paid very similar wages, believe it or not, AND you aren't paying 100k/yr for insurance. Laugh it up.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Semester One, In The Bag

Alright! Semester One of medical school is over! A long 13 weeks that was, full of more work than I thought I could ever do. It's actually amazing how much we get done here, and how much you actually learn. I learned more in 13 weeks than I did over my entire 4 years of undergraduate studies, and a lot of this first semester was actually undergraduate stuff! Genetics, some of the biochem and even some of the physio. They clearly expanded the subjects and taught you a lot more, but many concepts learned in undergrad were really reinforced at this level. I even figured things out here that I had never understood and only memorized back in university (friggin co-transporters...). So now, 3 midterms, 4 lab practicals and a cumulative final later I am in the caribbean doing whatever I want! My girlfriend is sick of the place already, but I can't understand why... Actually I can. She's been on vacation for 4 months, whereas this is the first time in 4 months that I've been able to enjoy myself at all. Sleeping in till 1pm, staying up late, TV and beach all day... mmmm That's the life!

Please don't make me go back to school...

But really.. This semester has taught me many things, the most important being don't listen to anyone else ever. Go with what YOU think is best, not some schmuck throwing out advice left and right. Sure, maybe it works for that guy, but maybe it doesn't and he's just talking out of his ass. Seriously, some people are out here giving advice and they have yet to get over a C in anything. I always used to be worried about what other people were doing and how they were preparing. I'd get stressed when people asked me questions I didn't know, only to realize that they were asking me about the one small detail they knew, but when it came down to it, I could have taught the damn course at that point.. You do YOU, and forget about the gossip and what other people are doing. They may tell you they have A's all over the place and that they know how to beat the system. Fuck them. They are probably failing out and are trying to cheat their way back into school. Try cheating on the boards.

And yes, this is a gratuitous picture of the girlfriend and dog. No relevance to the post whatsoever.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Doin' My Time

Acing med school is awesome. Not to be a cocky prick or anything, but really... So many people I know are failing one or two or even three subjects and it is REALLY hard to see. This is especially true of people you'd rather not see go. I even try to help sometimes, explaining the harder stuff or whatever else which still doesn't always help... I can't even imagine the financial toll this is probably taking on their lives. All this to say that I'm really happy that I don't find myself in that particular situation. Only having to achieve a 30% on the final in order to pass everything is a fantastic cushion, and although getting a 4.0 is the goal, there is always that little voice in the back of your mind saying "it's really ok if you get this one wrong".

Other than that, island life is sweet. I mean certain things suck, such as waiting 35 minutes for a cup of coffee (more on this later.. I promise its worth it) or having every second local you see try and sell you something or just blatantly ask you for money. Also, there being no laws about WHEN you can actually make loud noise here, people start construction at all hours of the day or night. Usually it's only at 6 or 7am, but sometimes some dude will decide that he really wants to get a head start on the next day, and he'll start drilling and sawing right outside my window at like 11:30pm. Seriously? And then there is the guy who insists on singing Bob FUCKING Marley while he works, being sure to be heard ABOVE the ringing of hammers and loud buzzing of circular saws so all the music producers back in America can hear him. At 7am.

But then there is the ocean, palm trees, great weather and cheap rum. Mmmm. And the fact that my apartment doesn't have QUITE as many bugs as everyone else's, that I can pick a mango from out my window and have my dog shit in the street and nobody think anything of it. Some people hate it here more than anything, but I think it could totally be worse. I could be stuck here for the rest of my life for one thing... Or I could be in prison.. That would suck more too. But all in all, I just think of it as doing my time on "the Rock" for screwing around in undergrad. If I hadn't then I'd be at Harvard or something. Or more realistically McGill or McMaster... But I did what I did, (or didn't... study..) and now I'm doing my time. Like T.I. or Lil'Wayne. But they have it worse because they can't go outside whenever they want. I can. But then they get clean water, and decent healthcare... Shit.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

ROFL Jim Carrey and Your Idiot Wife...

Just wanted to point out, as I head off to study for midterm #1 of semester #1 of medical school, the new report I watched last night about the whole vaccinations cause autism thing... Yeah it isn't true. The medical research community has basically outed the guy who performed the study that first hinted at this, saying that in no way is anything he had claimed verifiable in any way. In fact, they claim that he straight up LIED about the whole thing. Incredible. And as mentioned in a previous post, because a bunch of celebs (read: Carrey and wife) with autistic kids decided to get all uppity and support the immediate banning of all vaccinations (I know, I'm exaggerating), people started to listen. And where did it get us? Recurrences of previously very rare childhood diseases all over the country. Because YOU not vaccinating your kid puts EVERYONE else at risk too. Congratulations.

And EVEN now as the whole study, which was dubious to begin with, is thrown out, parents are still INSISTING that the vaccines are the cause. One mother literally said on national TV that well all these kids are getting vaccinated and they are all getting autism, so CLEARLY vaccines are the cause. Well all those kids also drank breast milk... so clearly that causes autism too. As does water. And I distinctly remember my now deceased grandfather really liking oranges, so they must cause lung cancer.

Please note that at least 3 people have read that and taken it as fact.

Read a book...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Meet Mr. Murphy

So Ross has been quite the adventure so far. The first week of class is done and wow is there ever a lot of work to do.. My schedule is typically get up at 6:30am, eat a little and then get to class for about 7:15 (after that it just fills up too much and good luck finding a seat..). Class goes from 8 until noon, and then afternoons are variable. Sometimes there will be another lecture or two until 2-3pm, other times you will have them off, and yet other times you will be in the cadaver lab from 1:30 until 5.

Oh the cadaver lab. Some people are totally scared by it, and some can't wait to get in there. I for one was excited, but at the same time worried about how I would react to cutting up a human being. The smell was something awful, but went unnoticed after about 5 minutes. People were funny, some touching everything, and others trying to stand as far away from the bodies as possible, but once dissection started, it was great. I must say that I was reluctant to touch the body at first, but I put myself in the frame of mind that those ribs I saw were just baby-back ribs and all was good from there. I even caught myself leaning on the corpse for support as I reflected the semisplinalis capitis to uncover the occipital triangle. Like straight up leaning, with my bare arm, on what used to be this old man's posterior rib cage and intrinsic back muscles. Cool. There I was, trying to stick my finger as far as it could go between Mr. Murphy's skull and C1 vertebra to make room for us to identify the vertebral artery (I named our cadaver Mr. Murphy for his resemblance to one of my regular clients when I worked as a bartender..) Too cool. Yes I got home smelling like death and preservatives, and the smell of formaldehyde actually permeated through my nitrile gloves and made my hands stink, even after repeated washings, but it was awesome.

For all those going into a similar lab feeling a bit reluctant, don't worry. You get over it fast and it may well be the best part of medical school.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Only in Dominica...

Well, I've now had my first week on the island of Dominica, going to Ross University and I must say, it isn't so bad!

I will admit that the first night was absolutely awful... I walked into my apartment, which smelled like old refrigerator and mold, and almost walked right back to the airport. The place was small, it stank, and still had someone else's clothing and other personal belongings in it. Even the shower curtain was covered in mold up until about half way to the top. There were dishes in the sink, and all the doors were open, letting in bugs of all kinds. The best part was that after my 12 hour trek to get here, I was hot and sweaty and felt as disgusting as my apartment was, but there was no hot water. Anywhere. It was enough to make me doubt my ability to live on the island.

Luckily enough, some stores were still open and my girlfriend and I managed to find bleach and other cleaning products/accessories which we used to their fullest potential. I cleaned this place for hours until it smelled like bleach and disinfectant. The next day, our packages arrived via Amerijet, as did my dog, and things started to feel a lot more like home. We have no bugs of any kind in here, and we are getting the hang of finding food and places to hang out.

The beauty of the island is irrefutable, and you really can't beat the 3 minute walk from my front door to the beach on the Caribbean sea! I've been on tours to different corners of the island and taken transports to different areas around Ross, and all of it is really cool and new as long as you can keep an open mind. I mean, where else can you get an ENTIRE Ahi Tuna for less than 10$ US? You pay a fortune for this stuff back home, and it is fresher here than you can get almost anywhere. Where else can you step onto your back porch and pick a mango or banana out of the tree growing in your yard? Definitely not in cold Montreal! Tropical fruit can be bough for pennies, fresh produce as well and nobody is starving here. Even the damn beer is good! Actually QUITE good, and when bought at a bar, bottles are less than 2$ US. Buy 'em at a store and they are sometimes less than 1$.

Sure some of the people are distant and rude, but the vast majority are very friendly and say hi as you walk down the street. Be careful at night, as like any city, and don't leave your stuff lying around, but other than that, this place is as safe as can be.

It is true what people have said, this place is definitely not home, but it is manageable. If you can get used to not having everything available all the time food-wise, and maybe living off of fish instead of beef and fruit in the AM instead of cereal and milk (because the first costs a fortune and often has bugs in it, and the milk is not quite the same here), it is totally doable.

Hell, I even have HBO and TWO ESPN's! It's better than TV in Canada.