Our PSS went well today. It helps a lot when the topic is something that is especially interesting. Not that it isn't still a lot of work to do the reading and prepare, but everything we study certainly isn't equally interesting! We worked as a large group again today, and most of us prefer being in the larger group instead of dividing into subgroups. So I think that is what we are going to do from now on.
The journal club went pretty well too, as far as I can tell. There were four students presenting (two in each group), and they presented different papers in each group. One group was discussing papers about apoptosis, and the other group was discussing papers about angiogenesis. We never get to see the papers that the other group reads, but I think that the point of the journal club is less to teach us the science behind the papers and more to teach us about critically evaluating the literature. We also spend some time discussing research techniques. The presenters are evaluated by two faculty and two students. The student evaluation job rotates each week, so we each do it once during the summer, and we evaluate both presenters for that day. We are supposed to look for things that we thought they did especially well and things that they should try to improve. Being an evaluator is probably not as stressful as being the presenter, but it's still a lot of work!
One thing I can tell you too is that the journal club papers are really, really hard to read. I mean that there is just no way that you can read them once and understand everything that is going on. It helps a lot though to have someone leading a discussion who has learned more about the background of the paper. I felt like I understood the papers a lot better after journal club was over than I did when I just read them by myself the first time.
I finished my research plan this afternoon, and my research preceptor approved it. So now I feel like I can take a well-deserved night off. It was a hard week, but I'm starting to get more into a routine and things are going more smoothly. It kind of amazes me to think that I've already finished two weeks of med school. The summer is going by really fast.