Baptism by Formaldehyde

I cannot even count how many times I have begun a new post, only to panic halfway through about losing too much studying time. We just had our first final exam last Friday, and it was pretty much every bit as hectic and stressful as I anticipated. On Monday this week, we jumped right back into it, starting our Human Body 2 block with the great unveiling of our cadavers. From Friday morning to Monday evening, I have cycled through the entire gambit of emotion. The combination of the exam on Friday (basically a baptism by fire) and the meeting of our cadaver on Monday (a baptism in formaldehyde fumes) has finally made me feel like an actual medical student. That is: stressed, exhausted, excited-to-the-point-of-butterflies, exhausted, and stressed. We have launched officially from the undergraduate-ish topics of biochemistry, genetics, and cellular function to lectures that incorporate anatomy, physiology, histology, embryology, and more. Our focus in each class is on clinical scenarios and treatment plans. The increase in intensity and volume of material is definitely correlated with an increase in fascination on my part. But I’ll leave the personal updates there, for now.

I originally started this blog with the idea of helping other non-traditional applicants (and also traditional applicants) navigate the long and winding road to a medical school acceptance. I recently was invited to sit on a panel for pre-med students, and my passion to help individuals get into medical school resurfaced. It’s not that I think I’m some sort of spiritual guide or expert on the process; but coming from such a nontraditional background, I feel like I necessarily HAD to be more invested in the process than most of my fellow applicants. From the birth of my ambition to attend medical school to my acceptance, I had only 3 years to get everything figured out: pre-requisites, volunteering, letters of recommendation, medical mission work, research, shadowing, MCAT, applications, interviews, etc. The whole process takes strategy and careful planning. Between the eminent doctor shortage, about which the AAMC keeps warning us, and the reality that a shortage of doctors = a surplus of patients = unreasonable work hours for all physicians (current and future), I feel genuinely invested in helping other premeds figure out their best path into medical school. Whether that means answering questions, like I did at the premed panel earlier this week, or reading through application essays–I want to be involved! So hopefully, this post will mark the turning point in my blog, as I start directing the content more towards the premed audience.

Now, back to studying cardiovascular physiology… šŸ™‚

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