Ah, summer. Despite the recent rain, it’s nice that the summer is finally here. Our faculty and upper class people have all been pleasantly referring to this as “The Last Summer Break of Your Life,” complete with ominous music. It’s true; I can’t believe that we are done with our first year of medical school!
Looking forward, I’m pretty sure the next three years will pass as quickly as the first year did. Looking back, I now understand what is meant by the term: a fire hose of information. It feels like 4 years of undergraduate education crammed into a single year.
The last year was also filled with a series of medical firsts for me, most of which were accompanied by a rapid increase in my heart rate: first peripheral IV placed, first patient interviewed and examined alone, first confirmed sighting of dactylitis, first heart murmur I heard in a patient without expecting it to be there, and the first time I heard a physician tell a patient that they would likely die in only a few months. Each of those experiences joined many more, some of which taught me more than others.
All that aside, our first academic school year is still over, with plans to matriculate again in late August for our second year. From then on our schedule is continuous until we graduate (with a winter and spring break sprinkled in here and there). I’m going to be performing research this summer, thanks to the NIH and OCTRI (Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute), and I am already developing a love/hate relationship with western blots. I’m quite certain that the western blots will feel the same about me by the time this summer is over.