Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Start of Block 4 and About the Classes

Blocks are over and I have less than a month until I go home.  It’s so close I can taste it.  This block went very well being that I learned about the upper and lower limbs anatomy and other helpful topics.  I didn’t attend the Wale concert like I wanted but I got some ice cream.  I have learned over the past few weeks that closed mouth never gets fed so I can’t blame anyone for my shortcomings but myself. 

I have also learned more effective study habits for the course that I am currently taking which should be effective for the rest of my coursework.  Making study sheets as advised from Andrea Tooley on YouTube which I highly recommend checking out before you start any medical school was very helpful.  I will say to make sure that you organize them properly and I haven’t made it to the question sheets as of yet but it will happen one day.

As you can read, I have no main topic today because I believe that I have given all the back story of what to expect when someone is to get here.  Well, I guess I can actually talk about the classes now.

Anatomy is anatomy.  The teachers we have are very knowledgeable and you will be shocked at the amount of knowledge that they expect you to know.  Between the muscles and bones, you are expected to know by the end of the block the arteries and veins and their anastomoses.  I would say that people who have taken the class previously did have an advantage but then again I would also say they don’t.  They on one hand know a lot of information already but learning on top of what you already know makes it slightly difficult to grasp the information at times.  Also, this course just teaches what and how but not why.  For some people, it makes this class a lot harder than it should be.  But according to one of our teachers, anatomy is the easiest course we will take in medical school.  I beg to differ.

Histology.  I will be honest and say that I had no idea what that word meant until I took this course.  It is basically anatomy at a cellular level.  So remember when you had to use the light microscope to look at slides in biology class?  You do it again here in lab.  I didn’t think the lab portion was useful however I see the purpose as a teaching mechanism for teaching what you should see on each slide and points to note.  Sadly, I didn’t realize this until around the end of block two.  It is not very difficult in my opinion but the synonyms to learn and some of the concepts are difficult to grasp.

Embryology is the story of life.  I think you get that from the word embryology.  It is actually a very interesting course where you learn from conception to birth how a life is created and all the little parts that contribute to how individuals are made.  The most interesting part thus far has been the heart.  It’s difficult to explain without seeing.  Also this course has allowed us to learn to fake it until we become it said by our teacher in reference to a TED talk.  By doing this, we should remember that we know a lot which can help us fake being a doctor until we are actually one.  Superman pose and GO!

Medical Ethics is more of a conversation course.  The conversation is that of determining the right and wrong of how you would treat the patient in various situations.  Whether to kill a patient or let them live.  Needless to say, with all the scenarios that could happen, I find it difficult to determine whether to kill the patient or let them stay on the ventilator.  Maybe other people see what I see differently but this course depends on the person.

CCBS or clinical correlation of basic sciences.  This course is the application of what we are learning in all of our other courses and how they appear in the clinical setting.  This class is by far the most interesting however you only have two chances to showcase your knowledge of the information learned in this course.  The other courses are tested each block where this one is tested as a midterm and final.  This class you must pay attention because there is not enough information on the slide.  Plus being that this course is only once a week, you can’t skip it because that could prevent you from being allowed to take the exams.  If you have a background in reading radiographs, this class will be your strong suit being that that is what is the main thing taught.

I hope this brief synopsis of the courses is helpful to some however it is to help from coming in blind sighted.  If you would like a little more information, I advise looking up the SGA website at  You will always have a person in your class that asks a lot of questions.  I hope that the one in your class is one that asks relevant questions about what you’re going over in class.  But everyone has that one! 

Just for some interesting information to give I would tell you that the cost of water is not like it is at home partly because you can drink water from the tap there.  Here, that is not an option because everywhere has water in a cistern.  I once ruined my filtered water bottle by doing this so it’s really not a good idea.  Also to prevent the need for buying water very often, students often use old water bottles to fill up at the water fountain in the student lounge but I didn’t tell you to do so.  But it is there. 

Also, there are two restaurants/food spots walking distance or on campus.  There is Jivanni’s CafĂ© and the food truck behind the white building.  They both offer tasty food choices that sometimes aren’t the healthiest but they satisfy you.  They both offer coffee for $1 and accept Visa and MasterCard.

Well that is it for this time.  I would also ask if you would like input from other students in my class as a blogpost to write it below in the comments.  And for the scripture this post I will leave you with this:

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.  For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.  A double minded man [is] unstable in all his ways.

-James 1:6-8

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Unthinkable Things and Studying

So hello again!  I have been so busy studying lately that I have not had the chance to write but I figured I would force myself to do so tonight.  To point out, next Friday and the following Monday will be our Block 3 exams.  We have a histology quiz set for Friday and an anatomy quiz on the upcoming Monday.  I would say that it's a pretty busy time but it is time as usual.  After the first block, it is pretty easy to get used to a set schedule.  But before you know it, like now, you realize it's almost the end of the semester.  And God knows that I cannot wait!

Our classroom, MD1, Summer 2015 at
Saint James School of Medicine
So nothing interesting has been going on in my world.  Some things that are going on around the island that may seem uncommon would be the fact that there is a basketball camp going on this week with Anthony Davis from the New Orleans Pelicans hosting it.    On Saturday for the conclusion of the camp, they are having a free concert featuring Wale and some other artists. I’m thinking of attending although I would be sacrificing studying.  The school is also hosting its annual health fair on Sunday where we actually perform diagnostic checks of vital signs for the locals here and the professors give the advice.  I think that’s how it works.  It is sponsored by the Red Cross and it has really made an impact on the community here from what I’ve heard.

Anguilla Church of Christ in Blowing Point, Anguilla

So I just thought I would mention that since we had a “seat cushion incident” that if you’re thinking about bringing a seat cushion, I highly suggest it.  It took me about two weeks for my behind to adjust to the hard chairs that we have and I am still not entirely comfortable.  I would also suggest a jacket.  The classrooms are normally cold in the morning and in some, people actually use blankets.  I’m not that extreme but it is all about how your body functions in air conditioning.  Lastly, books.  Books can be purchased and brought here with you or you can wait until you get here and let an upperclassman give them to you on a hard drive.  I will mention that hard copies may be useful especially during hurricane season when the electricity has the tendency to go out for periods of time.  I did not bring any books except one but next semester, I plan to utilize the Cover 2 Cover resources available as well as the library resources.

Lastly, I mentioned that I would give you pictures of the church and I also wanted to give you a picture of me and my friends playing in the water at Mead’s Bay.  It took us about 10 attempts to get our feet completely organized for the perfect shot which we still complained about. 

Photo with Friends at Mead's Bay, Anguilla
It was a fun day with the sunset.  Also, this week marks the conclusion of Ramadan which I have had several classmates that have fasted every single day and I must commend them of their efforts.  It is just amazing I must say.  To end, I would state this:

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them.  Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.  Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men.  Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.  But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that our charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.”

Matthew 6:1-4, NKJV