Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Time Has Come

for you to PRAY!!! Now back to my last day of studying :) Hooray!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Future Career Choices

USMLE World breaks down where your strengths and weaknesses are by how many questions you get correct in each subject. It's displayed in every possible way - by percentage, using colors (red and green), etc...

Here's what I'm good at:
Behavioral Science (psych)
Histology (what stuff looks like on a microscopic level, CELLS!)
Reproductive System
Musculoskeletal System
Genitourinary System

Looks like I'm going to end up being a sex therapist for athletes. Not sure what the job market is for that.

Now I Know

exactly how long it takes me to get a caffeine withdrawal headache. It's 36 hours, in case you were wondering. On the upside, I slept pretty good last night and was actually sleepy and wanted to get in bed before midnight. Not sure if it's worth it.

Just heard from a friend who took the STEP. She said it was really weird. It mostly tests things you may or may not have learned in the last month while studying - things you were likely to actually learn along the last 2 years. It made me feel a bit better. I have absolutely NO motivation to study today. Don't think it'll get much better tomorrow. Just ready to get it over with and then it's BEACH time! Wahoo!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Sleep is one of my favorite things. I've never had a problem falling asleep. Now, oftentimes I choose to go to bed very very late, but once I get in bed, I fall asleep. Enter my friend the STEP. He has different plans for me. It started about a week ago. My mind would race a little before bed, but after about 30 minutes I was out. Sunday night I took 1 benadryl and it took me 2 hours to go to sleep. Last night I took 2 benadryl and it took me 1.5 hours to go to sleep. Normally 2 benadryl will knock me out in about 5 minutes. I'm beginning to worry about how well I'm going to sleep the night before the STEP. I'm thinking I may have to go to dinner, play tennis or run, then watch a movie and do some yoga. Then maybe some nice calming tea. I don't know. Open to suggestions.

Now it's back to USMLE World. I'm so sick of reading First Aid that answering questions is a welcome relief. It's a sad, sad life.

Runner's Log (a day late)

Leisurely walk, then run. Guessing about 2 miles in all. Kris walked with me for about 20 minutes, then I ran for 10.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

And Then I Told Him...

Actual quote from 3 minutes ago:

"You know Kris, the hard part of doing laundry isn't putting it in the fridge."

I was attempting to make a smart-butt remark about how the tedious part of the laundry process is the switchover and folding bit, not the initial loading of the washer. Instead I just looked like an idiot. STEP study is starting to wear on me.

Motivation to Study

Just listen to this. It'll make you smile :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

I think

my left leg might fall off... It'll disconnect right at the hip area. Also, noticed a nice swelling on my right 2nd toe and had fun running through the differential diagnosis in the kitchen with Kris last night. It's noticeable, right below the most distal joint. It's not really painful and definitely not inflamed. That rules out gout and pseudogout. I also started thinking - osteoid osteoma, chondrosarcoma, etc... and then realized it was a little squishy. That led me to...

BURSITIS! Bonus points if you knew it before you read the answer. I just think it's a little comical to get bursitis in the tiniest of joints. How much work does that toe do while I'm running? Weird.

Also, for your entertainment. I've been having some pretty vivid dreams since all this STEP study started. My dream last night was that Kris and I were vacationing somewhere like the Hamptons. We get to a 4-way stop. Kris kind of rolls through it and cuts off the other car. Then he nonchalantly says, "Sorry Kanye!" and waves. I look and sure enough, it's Kanye West in a white Rolls Royce. How funny is that?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Scheduling Conflicts

Man, this is a toughie. I start my surgery rotation June 9th, right? Well, that weekend I have a tennis tournament (which means 4 games spread out over 2-3 days, and my team might have to forfeit without me)and half marathon (which I've already registered for, which means I've already coughed up $65). The next weekend Kris's little brother is getting married, so I'll need to be at the wedding Saturday. I e-mailed the surgery administrative assistant to ask if it would be possible to be off both of these weekends since you know, the surgery rotation is 12 weeks long and you know, 3rd year med students DON'T ACTUALLY DO ANYTHING besides hold back fat and answer ridiculous questions. I also told her I would be happy to keep my butt up there every weekend for the rest of the rotation.

Her reply was this: It'll be difficult. It won't be fair to your team members. Pick one weekend to be off and I'll schedule you for that one. If you feel comfortable asking your attending for the other weekend off you can do that on your own. Oh Lordy, I knew the actual surgeons were tough to deal with, but even the secretaries? Come on!

I'll be the one stewing in the corner if you need me...

Runner's Log

~11 miles; ~2 hrs; ~1100 calories burned. Once again I forgot/couldn't find my nike plug-ins. Grrr...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


starting to feel a little more prepared for that big 'ol test. I took my 2nd practice test today and thank goodness I was able to see that the studying is paying off. I know it sounds silly to say that, but it's possible for me to study 6-10 hours a day sometimes and feel like I've learned absolutely NOTHING. So it was nice to see that I'd learned at least a little something since the last time I took one of those practice tests. If any of the rest of you feel like you're in a studying slump and not feeling very motivated, just take a practice test. I swear it'll make you feel better. I have realized, however, that I know almost nothing about pharmacology and biochemistry. This isn't really news to me, but it just really sucks when it's confirmed.

Also, I'm supposed to run 11 miles tomorrow with my cousin A. Hmmm... I haven't run at all this week since our 10 mile run last week, so she might have to drag me.

Hope everyone's studying is going well. Ready to get this stinkin' test OVER with!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I Just Walked Outside

and got really cold. I thought it was mid-May in Mississippi. What the heck?

Time to get the TSH Checked...

because I ran 10 miles yesterday and somehow GAINED a pound. WTF???

In a Funk

I feel like I need a day off from studying, but unfortunately there's JUST NO TIME!!! Aaaahhh! Freak out ensues.

Mostly I'm just in a funk because I did a bunch of questions on U World (a set of questions that simulate the STEP) yesterday and my overall percentage dropped 4%. And then it made me want to cry. But I was too exhausted to cry. And now I'm supposed to get up and be happy to do it all again today? Me thinks no... Perhaps I should spend some time reviewing all the notes I've painstakingly made for each section since I learn by repetition. Let's do that. Okay, pep talk over. Going to study now.

Hoping everyone's day is better than mine!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Runner's Log

I might fail the STEP, but at least I can run 10 miles :) Ha ha
10 miles; ~2'10" ~1000 calories burned

I forgot my nike+ equipment today, so those are guesstimates. You burn about 100 calories for every mile you run. My cousin A had her watch, so we used that for the time. It made me a little sad because I was at 98 miles last time I plugged in my nike+, which means today would have made 108. Oh well, guess we'll hit that 100 mile mark sometime this week. Now it's time for a bath and then...

NEURO. Blah. Good luck today everyone who's studying!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Those Pancakes...

are piling up, and I'm going to bed. I can always eat twice as many tomorrow, right?


I still have 1662 unworked questions on USMLE World. Let's see how much I can decrease that number in one day...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Runner's Log

4.14 miles; 43'36"; 405 calories burned

Now it's back to World questions.

Also, favorite quote from Grey's finale:
"If you're not scared, you're not paying attention." Just so freakin' true about where our whole class is at this point. This test in 2 weeks could take out some of us, none of us, the class president, the #1 student, anyone. It's been done before - as in last year. So that's my motivation right now. FEAR.

Study Breaks of the Day

*A nice little run at some point

*Grey's Anatomy Finale at 8!!!

Other than that, I've got some major ground to cover. Let's hope it's a productive study day. Good luck to everyone :)

Yeah, U Be Real Educated...

I saw this on facebook and had to post. My mother taught at Durant High for a number of years. This is the typical student. I could barely understand this, but the response is my favorite part:

>>Like<< Durant High kicked me (Back) Out N Skool ova N 2wks...smh...Ion kno If dey gn let me Walk R Wut...Ion even giv A F*ck, F*ck It...

Response: damn G f*ck it ...u knw u Educated

For those of you who aren't as fluent in ebonics as I am, this should read:

Like, Durant High kicked me back out and school is over in 2 weeks. I don't know if they are going to let me walk or what. I don't even give a F. F it.

Honestly, do these kids deserve to graduate high school? I can't stand kids today with their crazy abbreviations and skinny jeans. I guess I'm getting old.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

STEP Study Day 14

Plans for the day:

*Sleep late - x
*Go to Fusion Coffeehouse and use coupon for a latte :)
*Study some micro and renal - and make notes, dang it!
*Take a break for a Julz's puppy party
*Study some more (ha, this hardly ever happens after dinner)
*Do some USMLE world questions (and hopefully increase the average!)

Okay, that's the plans for STEP study day 14. I actually meant to wake up early this morning, but it just didn't happen. Now it's off to the coffeehouse for 4 hours of uninterrupted study time.


If anyone's ever taken the STEP only having gone through First Aid once - because that might be my situation come May 29th. Who knew 400 pages could be so long?


I NEED my tax refund - NOW!!! I just balanced my checkbook and things are looking a little bit scary. Hurry up IRS!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Why STEP/Med School Sucks

I just had to turn down my husband's invitation to Pub Quiz at Hal & Mal's. Grrr... At least we got a nice dinner break in - Soul Shine pizza with my bestie. Now it's back to micro and reproductive. Double teaming the subjects today since I tend to be a little ADD.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Runner's Log

5.03 miles; 57'30"; 492 calories burned

Kris did the first mile of this one with me. Penelope was only able to hang for the first 1/4 mile. Then she was pooped! Her leash training is coming along well though :)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Pancakes Every Day

I just had to post this. Since I read it, these words keep haunting me:

"If you can't eat 5 pancakes one day, you're sure as hell aren't going to be able to eat 10 pancakes the next day."

That's pretty much how STEP review is making me feel. Say I'm supposed to review 40 pages a day, but some days I just don't have time or don't feel like it and I only make it to 20 pages. Well, how the heck am I going to do 60 pages the next day if I couldn't even do 40 the day before? Grrr....

This is from

Med School Metaphor: Pancakes Every Morning
I have a lot to learn. By Friday, anyway. I have a Pharmacology exam followed by a Pathophysiology exam this coming Monday. Once again, I find myself behind. It’s the funny kind of behind where you look at the stack of notes on your desk (2″ of one, 3″ of the other) and sort of chuckle. “Ha. This is going to be funny.” Cue despair.

Looking at it now, I’m tempted to start the passive bragging of impossible odds. “You have no idea how hard it is,” I’d say. “Medical school is like trying to take a drink from a fire hose,” I’d brag.

And that’s total bullshit.

At the beginning of each course, we’re given a syllabus telling us how we’re going to be graded, the question break-down for each test, and the schedule of lectures
each day for the next 4-5 months. Nothing is going to sneak up on you unless you can’t read the print on the page (in which case you’re blind and things sneak up on you all the time).

But it’s sunny outside or snowing outside or Tuesday. Whatever. You’re in medical school to become a doctor, not to be in a classroom (scheduling conflicts here) and you find yourself out on the weekends, maybe catching a movie on the weekday, and so on. You blow off the first week of any course because the material is supposed to be introductory and you certainly blow off the first week after any exam to recuperate. Maybe you take off two weeks if it was especially difficult and draining.

Eventually though, the next exam is closer than the last exam and you have to return to the desk and pretend to be a serious student. The first week back studying, you won’t be as efficient and as familiar with the material as you were leading up to the last test, so there’s some built-in catching up to do. You can’t understand the material taught TODAY because you blew off the introduction, so until you catch up, you keep falling behind. By the time you’re back in your stride the exam is so close you can feel it’s breath on your neck and you still have material to cover on a first pass. Let’s not forget: you haven’t reviewed or committed anything to memory at this point. It’s now that you understand the truth:

Medical school is like trying to eat five pancakes every morning for breakfast.

You know you can do it. A Premed advisory committee endorsed you saying, “He has the stomach for it. He’s committed.” And you prove them all right. Every day you show up with your first-year optimism and your annoying hunger for learning and you clean that plate (just kidding, it’s adorable). But you begin to notice that those pancakes are slowing you down a little each day and the sugar highs and lows are screwing with your sleep. Smart person that you are, you decide to pass on the flapjacks one day. You think to yourself, “Self, I’m going to eat ten pancakes tomorrow so that I don’t have to eat any today.”

But it never stops. Turns out that “self” isn’t the most responsible lender, and before you know it there are 40 pancakes in front of you and your plate needs to be clean by tomorrow. So yeah, at this point it looks impossible. But really, it’s your fault.

In the future, as I like to imagine it, I’ll be in charge of all medical school admissions. The process will be six weeks long and will consist of nothing more than showing up each morning to eat five pancakes, at which point you can then go about whatever you were going to do that day. At the end of the five weeks a few jaded, newly diabetic hopefuls will come to my office and, mixed with both pride and resignation say, “I did it. I finished those goddamn pancakes.”

“Wow,” I’ll say. “That’s very impressive. You must be very proud, and your parents must be very proud. Just one more thing.” They’ll reflexively clutch their stomachs, shifting their girth from one hip onto the next and groan, “What’s that?”

“Regurgitate it.”

Friday, May 8, 2009

Runner's Log

~8 miles; 1:45'; 845 calories burned.

My stinking nike+ STILL isn't calibrated correctly - drats! It's giving me about .08miles/1mile credit than I deserve. Oh well...

Some Mornings

I just want to throw my scale against a wall. Today was one of those mornings. Also, in studying today I learned that a withdrawal symptom of caffeine intoxication is weight gain. This, my friends, is why I will NEVER give up coffee and tea.

Blech... Now it's time to attempt a 10 mile run with A. Let's hope we make it!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

It's Official

I've passed all my classes of 2nd year and am halfway to my M.D.!!! Wahoo!!! I'm going to go celebrate by....

studying :(

But I might just splurge and get an iced latte instead of my usual medium drip coffee. Hooray for progress!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Study Break of the Day

Kris got an e-mail from the Teach Mississippi Institute stating that his completion certificate is in the mail! Wahoo! He's off at the movies while I'm stuck here studying, but when he gets finished we're going to have a celebratory dinner at the place of his choice. That'll be today's study break and I swear I'll look forward to it for the next 3 hours. After that I'll look forward to running and going to bed. I'm hoping the rain is finished so I can fit in a little run after dinner. Maybe it'll keep me from gorging myself. Probably not though.

P.S. - I can't complain too much about studying today since I didn't get started until 2:15. That's what happens when it's raining and you want to stay in bed all day. I plan on studying until 1:00 tonight to make up for the difference and the hours away at dinner and running. Sometimes I REALLY wish I were a morning person. In one month I'll probably KILL to be a morning person! And so that's how I decided upon my gift to myself for completing the STEP. Behold:

It's a coffeemaker WITH a timer. That way when I roll out of bed at 4:30am I'll have a fresh cup of coffee waiting on me. Goodbye $12 Wal-Mart coffeemaker. I'll miss you!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Study Day 4

Well, today isn't over yet, so here's hoping I finish the rest of the studying I need to before bed.

Here's what I did besides study:

Massage: FABULOUS. Got the "sports massage" instead of the regular Swedish. I needed it. I nearly cried when she dug her elbows into those tight little muscles around my neck (trapezius and levator scapulae anyone?) that are tight from 2 years of hovering over a desk studying and taking tests. But I really needed someone to dig their elbows in there! I feel much better now. Everybody should go get one of these - Massage Plus has some really great specials - 1 hour for $45; 1 hour couple's massage for $60. Seriously, just do it.

Academy Sports: bought some jelly belly sports beans and some Gu. The beans taste good, the Gu is nasty, but both help you get through really long runs. Also lucked out and found a comfy blue shirt for $2.88! I've never been in there and didn't realize all the good deals they have. Definitely going to start shopping there more often.

Grocery: stocked up on some food. Even managed to cook dinner. Somehow everything got ready at the same time. I love it when that happens. It's not too often that it does in this house :) Made turkey spaghetti with wheat noodles, boiled some fresh corn on the cob, salad with egg, and garlic bread.
Also stocked up on some yogurt and granola cereal to make some yummy little fruit parfaits. I had one at CUPS the other day which was delicious, but I paid $5 for it! That's just crazy! So I used frozen berries, granola cereal, low fat plain yogurt, and made 4 individual parfaits in tupperware for $5 total.

All in all it's been a fabulous day. Hoping I'll be really productive tomorrow since I got to relax so much today. Time will tell...

Runner's Log

4.0 miles; 45 minutes; 392 calories burned

Oh my gosh it was HOT!!! This is the last time I run before 5:00 for a long time.


Some cheap-o summer dresses to wear around town for the next month while I study. The cheapo dresses from last summer have gotten shorter due to my inability to separate them from the rest of my laundry. Target, here I come...

Study destination of the day today: Beagle Bagel Cafe
Study Topic: Pulmonology - the embryology, anatomy, physiology, pathology, and microbiology of it all. (Sounds like a lot, but it's not much at all)
Study Breaks of the day: Run, Grocery, Massage, Medium (the show on NBC about the psychic - so good!)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Looking Forward to the Breaks

I've made a crazy study schedule for STEP. I'm currently on day 4, but within the first 3 days, at least half of those days have been breaks. Ha ha. So pretty much all I've done is a diagnostic test and genetics.

Today's goal is to finish up Biochem (aka the bane of my existence)before dinner and then start on the embryology, anatomy, and physiology of pulmonology before I hit the sack tonight. Wonder if it's going to happen? Only time will tell. Currently I'm just looking forward to the small breaks that are scheduled in.

Tonight's break: dinner at Logan's around 7ish, Mad Men at 11; probably going to watch Desperate as part of my study break tomorrow.

Days 'til STEP is OVER: 26

Friday, May 1, 2009

Runner's Log

9.0 miles; 2:07'; 1016 calories burned

Not dying after all - maybe the Gu is all it's cracked up to be.

Done and Done

Yesterday was incredibly productive. I didn't work out (of course), but I did nearly everything else on my list. Made appointments for the animals, made a hair appointment, scheduled a plumber to come by, and had dinner with my M4 buddy.

This morning was filled with taking the animals to the vet, getting the haircut, and finishing up the diagnostic test. Now it's time to study before the 9 mile run. Ack!!! Let's hope I make it!

Oh yeah - massage is scheduled for Monday afternoon. Can't freakin' wait!!!

It's Funny 'Cause it's True

One of my dear classmates posted a link to this article and it's hilarious - if you're in med school. Maybe not so much if you're not. So true though. Any question we get about an African American pt, you can be sure about 50% of the time it's either sickle cell or sarcoidosis they're asking about.

This is from

Stereotyping for the USMLE:
How To Discriminate Your Way To The Top


African Americans have sarcoid and sickle cell.
Africans have Burkitt’s, malaria, sleeping sickness, or worse.
White kids have cystic fibrosis and can’t dance.
Jewish girls have ulcerative colitis or crohn’s.
Eastern Europeans have glycogen storage diseases (oy vey!).
Gorgeous Mediterranian men have beta thalassemia.
Japanese people have stomach cancer and ninja skills.
Peruvians have huge lungs, hypoxia, and polycythemia.
Native Americans are obese, have diabetes, high cholesterol, and gallstones.
Indians (from India) have TB and oral cancer from chewing Betel nuts .
Immigrants all have a disease that we can prevent with a vaccine.
Central Americans have Chagas and can dance the tango.
Mexican Kids have lead poisoning (lead-laced candy was a bad call, vatos).
French people - particularly from Paris, that dirty, dirty city - have toxoplasmosis.
Asians have alpha thalassemia, Takayasu Arteritis, and asian glow.
Americans are fat. Actually, thats just an observation of mine.
“Urban” patients present to the ER with knife wounds that conveniently test your knowledge of anatomy.

Lawyers have STD’s (gotcha now, suckas!).
Dentists and aerospace workers have Berylliosis.
Explosives experts / Explosives plant workers get “monday morning headache”.
Coal miners have CWP, TB, and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Cave explorers have cryptococcus.
Sheepherders have echinococcus and a dog named Lassie.
Radiologists have any blood cancer but CLL.
Nurses and pharmacists have factitious disorder.
Football players, wrestlers, and weight lifters are taking anabolic steroids.
Young athletes have osteogenic sarcoma.
Pathologic States

Kids (0-14) who are tired have ALL.
Young Adults (14-40) who are tired have AML.
Adults (40-60) who are tired have CML.
Elderly (60-?) who are tired have CLL.
Kids with Downs have a VSD, Hirschsprungs, ALL, and Alzheimers.
Transplant patients got CMV in addition to their shiny new organ.
Diabetics have life-threatening mucor infection. Every freakin’ time.
HIV patients have toxoplasmosis, if it’s a multiloculated brain cyst.
Moms who lose their first baby have type O blood.

Women are always pregnant. No matter how careful they were.
Alcoholics have HCC, B12 deficiency, Klebs pneumonia, and Wernicke-Korsikoff.
IV drug users have right sided endocarditis and multiple parietal strokes.
Smokers have both COPD and lung cancer (+ mets to the organ system in question).
Coke Addicts had an MI (don’t smoke crack, kids!)
Travelers get giardiasis, amoebiasis, yellow fever, dengue, hepatitis.
Kids swimming in lakes get Naegleria Fowleri.
Kids playing in the sandbox have cutaneous or visceral larva migrans.
People who look tan either have skin cancer or hemochromatosis.
Patients with a swollen knee are female, young, hot, and caught gonorrhea from their last boyfriend.