Sunday, May 19, 2013


Hard to believe but I am officially 25% of a physician. My first year of medical school is officially over and it is amazing how fast this year has gone. This term was another busy one (as you can tell by the inactivity on the blog) and I have come out the other side alive. I had 6 classes this term (2 of which were short ones in the first few weeks): parasitology, community and preventative medicine, physiology, neuroscience, genetics, and immunology. I have passed everything and will be moving onto my second, and last year on the island. After my first year I have a total weighted mean percentage of 90% and I am very happy with how things have gone. I fly out of Grenada tomorrow at 7:50 am (not a minute too soon) and I'll land in Phoenix at 7 pm. My summer is about 6 weeks long as we have to be back on the island for the start of classes on July 1 for a short semester filled with psychology, bio-stats, medical law, health care, etc. Basically it'll be a mixture of topics that can't fill up an entire semesters worth of material. In 24 hours I will be landing and I cannot express how happy I am to see my friends and family!! I have an amazing summer planned ahead with trips planned to Las Vegas, Disneyland, and Tucson for UA baseball. I will also finally be able to rest, catch up on sleep, and eat at all of my American favorites. Hope everybody is doing wonderful; thanks for reading.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Round 2

So I am back on the island and ready for term 2 !! Since my last post in November, we had finals and I had a wonderful break. Finals went very well and I was very happy and proud of my performance and final grades. It was so nice to return to the states and be back with family and friends for almost a month. I stayed in Arizona for break and we had lots of family visiting. It was so nice to have home cooked meals, television, sports, my favorite restaurants, and all the family and friends right there. Going back for term 2 was bittersweet. It was tough to leave home and all the things I really enjoyed over break but it is nice to be back in the great weather with everybody. I'm excited to get back into the groove of everything and start learning more. This semester I have 6 classes: Physiology, Immunology, Genetics, Parasitology, Community and Preventative Medicine, and Neurophysiology. I might not have too many updates since I've already been here for a semester and most of the new and exciting things have been posted about. I've got classes tomorrow morning so I better get ready.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It's that time again

Well.....I've almost made it through my first semester of medical school. Just have about 2 weeks of classes left and then finals week will begin. I'll have 3 final exams, in anatomy, histology, and biochemistry; just like before. This second half of the semester has gone well and the topics have been more clinically relevent, especially in biochemistry. It is hard to believe that I've already been on this island for 4 months........time goes fast when you're having fun....haha not really. You just lose track of time fast when you devote your entire day to medical school. I am extremely happy (as I'm sure you've seen through my various FB posts) to get back to the US and have plenty of time to rest and enjoy it with family and friends. This will probably be my last post of the semester as I'm sure you all don't want to be bored with posts about my studying. Thanks for reading though, hope to see some of you during winter break !!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Greatest Feeling

Grades from all of my midterms are officially posted and I just wanted to let everybody know that they all went very well! All the hard work and studying is paying off and I now know that I do belong here and deserve to be in medical school. After being told 'No' and after being denied from so many schools, there is no greater feeling than being accepted by one and going and proving all those other ones wrong and showing them that you do deserve to be in medical school.

This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

"Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right." -- Henry Ford

Back to the grind.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

We're Halfway There

So it has been quite some time since I last posted on here, sorry!! I have been studying like a mad person for these midterms that just ended on Friday. We had our Biochemistry midterm on Monday, Histology on Wednesday, and Anatomy (w/ practical) on Friday. So far I have only received one grade (biochem) and I am pretty happy with it. It is weird that you study as much as you do, hours upon hours, and yet when you still do not get an A on the exam you are still content with that grade. Although I was close to the A, I still wish I had done just a couple points better for it. I was very prepared for the histology final so I felt like that went well. The anatomy final was split into 2 sections, a written 125 MCQ exam, and then a 25 question practical in the cadaver lab. The MCQ portion was not horrible and I felt pretty good about it but the practical was much tougher. Overall I was happy with the way the exams went and it is nice to start over with a new half of the semester tomorrow!

The past month before midterms was pretty quiet. It mostly just consisted of me studying, sleeping, classes, labs, and eating subway every day. This weekend after midterms we finally had the opportunity to go out to THE bar (Bananas) and on Saturday we went on a Catamaran trip and went snorkeling. Today I have been watching football and I just got back from cliff-jumping. It has been SOO nice to just sit back and relax for a full weekend and get caught up on sleep before the second half of the semester starts up again.

Hope everybody in the states is doing well. I am starting to really miss all of my favorite things......friends, family, favorite food places, Mexican food, hamburgers, football, ESPN....December 16th can't come soon enough.

Monday, September 10, 2012

One Month

Just wanted to update everybody and let them know that I have officially been in Grenada for a month !! Its hard to believe that I haven't been in the US for such a prolonged period of time but I guess I am just used to everything here on the island. It all seems pretty normal now......except for the 30 minute wait for Subway. Classes are going well and we actually have our first examination next Monday. It is called the 'Unified Quiz.' Basically it is a multiple choice quiz with 25 questions per class. It will make up about 7% of our grade for each class and more than anything, it is used to gauge where you are in terms of studying. It will give us an indication as to whether we need to change our study habits or stick to what is working.

In other news, I finally found the fruit stand that sells a variety of Grenada fruit on campus. I got gnips, or skin-ups as they are locally known (see earlier post) and I got this fruit called carambola, or starfruit as it is locally called. I love fruit so much so it is awesome to have them come onto campus and sell the fruit to us because that eliminates a 90 minute trip to the grocery store. The best part though is that I only spent 5 EC (eastern caribbean dollars) on the fruit which is about $2 USD. So cheap! It will be plenty to last me the week. Pics of the fruit are below so you can see. Have a great week everybody !

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Real Texans Drink Cold Beer

So the title of this post would describe my week in a nutshell. Real Texans Drink Cold Beer is the first (of many) mnemonics that medical students use to remember different orders or organization of things in medicine. This week in anatomy we started going over the brachial plexus, and in an effort to remember the organization of the nerves (Roots, Trunks, Divisions, Cords, and Branches)in the plexus, we used this mneumonic. The upper limbs and axillary regions are extremely complicated and the information is finally starting to stick in my head which is nice. This upcoming week we are moving onto the different organ systems in anatomy.....I think we have the lungs on Thursday in fact.

We had our first anatomy lab this week!! For anatomy lab, which goes on for 4 hour and 15 minutes, we have a small group discussion section, the wet lab, and the dry lab. The small group discussion starts at 7:45 on Tuesdays (for me) and the first hour is spent with standardized patients (basically paid actors from the community) and we practice physical examination skills on them. The topic for lab this week was the back, spinal cord/vertebrae, and shoulder so all of the parts of the examination were centered around those areas. The second hour of the small group discussion is spent in a group of about 7 people and we have these clinical cases with different diseases/problems/questions that we have to answer about the various weekly topics. For example, we had a case about a patient who needed a spinal tap and the questions were all associated with that. The next hour of anatomy lab is spent in the actual cadaver lab. This is the big part of anatomy lab that everybody looks forward to. The cadavers were already prosectioned for us and we went around in groups and had about 8 minutes at each station. At each station (deep back muscles, for example) we had a list of muscles, nerves, blood vessels, anatomical landmarks, etc. that we have to identify and know for the exam. The coolest part was the presence of the visiting professors that walk around the lab and help us identify everything. We had one professor from Albert Einstein SOM, another from Harvard SOM, and one from Loma Linda SOM. After wet lab, we moved into the hour long dry lab session which is learning how to read x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and ultrasounds. Dry lab was pretty sweet too, especially learning how to work the ultrasound machine.

The rest of the week was just spent in the normal classes and of course the histology and bioethics groups that meet throughout the week. Studying is going well and I keep getting better at making my studying more productive by learning what methods work best for these classes.

Our books arrived this week (after the boat that was bringing them got lost somewhere) and one of the biggest aids has been the Gray's Anatomy, Netter's Anatomy Atlas, and the Gray's Review Questions. The Gray's review questions are supposedly very similar to how the questions are asked on our exams. When I first saw these questions I couldn't believe that I would ever be able to answer them.

So you all can see what I am learning, here is a question I just answered before updating the blog:

A 45-year-old man is admitted to the hospital after a car crash. Radiographical examination reveals mild disk herniations of C7, C8, and T1. The patient presents with a sensory deficit of the C8 and T1 spinal nerve dermatomes. The dorsal root ganglia of C8 and T1 would contain cell bodies of sensory fibers carried by which of the following nerves?

A. Medial antebrachial cutaneous nerve
B. Long thoracic nerve.
C. Lateral antebrachial cutaneous nerve
D. Deep branch of ulnar nerve
E. Anterior interosseus nerve

It's truly amazing how much I have already back to studying :)
Have a nice week everybody!