I am a little more apprehensive than I thought I would be as I sit in the classroom, waiting to take my first quiz in Molecular Foundations of Medicine. Although it’s only our second week of medical school, we’re already halfway through Mini Quarter and heading quickly towards our final exams later this month. It is hard to believe we have already reached the halfway point.
This quiz, given under final exam conditions, will help me to evaluate my med school study skills, and I am both eager and anxious to receive its verdict. We have covered a prodigious amount of information in the past two weeks, and I am still trying to determine which study strategies would be best to use. Flash cards? Additional online resources? Reading and re-reading lecture notes? Drawing things out? It will probably be a mixture of them all, and I am hoping that the combination I have chosen over the past fourteen days has been the right one for me.
The rows of tables which usually span the classroom have been rearranged so that we are sitting in pairs. I take a drink from my water bottle, dig through my backpack to find my watch, realize I have forgotten it, and locate the clock on the wall instead.
Only a few minutes until we begin.
Turning in my chair, I glance around the room at my classmates. Although I’m still working on learning everyone’s names (something I really hope to accomplish by winter break–I think I’m about 66-70% there), the faces have become familiar. We are all in this together, I realize. Our shared hopes and goals have brought us together on this Friday morning, and suddenly, I feel a little less nervous.
About half an hour later, it is over. I follow several classmates to the elevator, wondering what they think about the past thirty minutes. While the quiz has been challenging for me, I am satisfied overall with how the morning has gone. Entering the hall, I move on to the next part of my day–lunch, a meeting, our weekly journal club, histology lab.
As the sun sets over Stanford, I receive a notice that our grades are up. Fingers crossed, I log onto our course website and click the link to my gradebook. My eyes flick across the screen, honing in on a number written in black 12-point font.
I have passed!
Now, on to studying histology…
And in closing, a few random thoughts inspired by my week:
You know you’re an anatomy student when…
…You go out to dinner with a fellow med student and find yourself discussing bone saws and preserving fluid while waiting for your meal to arrive.
…You watch dissection videos while eating lunch.
…You realize that one of the highlights of your day was mastering the attachment points of five different muscles.
…You are looking for a scalpel and accidentally tell your classmate that you can’t find your scapula.
Have a great weekend!