Is it Christmas yet?

Interesting my first blog entry comes during the halfway mark of the most challenging class of first year, Cell Structure and Function (CSF). We have an exam on the last day before break so I’m using my return home as a major incentive for good study habits between now and then. I still vividly remember the first day of CSF lecture, in which the course director displayed a PowerPoint slide that stated, “This class is hard, this class is very hard, this class is extremely challenging.” Yeah what an encouraging way to start a class I thought, but I’m beginning to understand the true meaning behind those words.

As first year continues on, I feel I’m in the midst of a tough transition from life to medical school. I’m finding that the lack of sleep affects my mood and having to make the decision to study over enjoying a night on the town has made me somewhat grumpy at times. Hey what can I say, I’m a social Leo. I mean I knew that I would have to study often in medical school, but I didn’t fully grasp the fact that my social life would suffer. Thankfully at OHSU we have preceptorship once a week because that definitely reminds me why I study hard and it also allows me to enjoy patient interaction. I’m on an Emergency Room rotation right now and get to jump in and assist the doctor. It’s so rewarding to enter a patient’s life and immediately provide a solution. The ER may not have a George Clooney or a Noah Wyle, but it’s still a good time.

Today I studied in the library and texted others to ask how they were hanging in there with the intense amount of material to absorb and I came to a realization. This CSF class is not just a test of my capacity to understand cell function and structure, but it’s also a test of my endurance. This class is challenging and to be a doctor is challenging. As doctors we will be facing demanding tasks every day and testing our abilities to make quick tough decisions. The course director showed us the slide to prepare us, not to scare us and I’m grateful for that.

So I ask myself, am I up for the challenge? Yep! I haven’t made it this far to turn back now.

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