Friday, January 18, 2008

Medical School Is Making Me Dumber

We finally got back our test results from the Comprehensive Basic Science Exam (CBSE) that a bunch of us took back in December. I'm pretty pleased with my score, especially considering that I've done no studying for the boards and still have 2/3 of the year to go. One thing that did kind of confuse me though was my subscores. Two of my best subjects were biochemistry and psychiatry, which didn't surprise me. The psych contains a lot of clinical research topics, and since I'm getting my MS in clinical research, all of those questions were pretty easy. I took biochem in college and then I studied it again the first summer in med school, so also no big surprise that I did well in that. But the third subject I did really well in was respiratory, which did surprise me because we haven't done respiratory pathology yet. Also, my worst subjects were neuro and musculoskeletal, which we had just finished covering a few weeks before I took the test. I was thinking, wow, I should stop going to medical school now and take the boards quickly, before all of my subscores in the rest of the subjects I haven't studied yet go down! Plus, I was a little bummed about the neuro subscore after I spent so much time studying neuro last summer.

I went to see Dr. Prayson about these results yesterday. Dr. Prayson is the pathologist who is now the Assistant Student Dean to help Dean Franco. (She's the Student Dean as well as the Admissions Dean.) He basically told me not to worry, because I could have missed or answered a few questions in some of these areas, and that's why my subscores are distributed so strangely. Also, he said that I'm starting from a very good place, and I should be pleased with my performance overall. It looks like I need to spend some more time studying neuro though, so I'm getting another book to do that for this spring.

Today was a pretty good day, even though Dean Franco totally busted me. Our PBL case had a relatively happy ending, and one of the pharmacists that I really like led today's seminar on antiarrhythmic drugs. Our POD talk was given by the infamous Steve Nissen, and it was phenomenal. I've gone to a few talks of his, and they've all been excellent. He's a great speaker, he does really cool research, and he's a maverick kind of guy who likes to stir things up. What more could you want in a speaker? After his talk, we were supposed to have a class meeting. I had to write an essay to get grad credit for the POD class, and it was due today at 5 PM, so I decided to skip the meeting and go to the library. I ran into Dean Franco later, and she commented about my not having been there. It turns out that the administration had passed out vouchers for us to take one of the online NBME exams (practice USMLE tests), and since the vouchers all had our names on them, she knew exactly who was and was not there. So I sheepishly apologized and told her why I didn't go. You have to understand, I almost never skip anything. Then the one time when I do skip, she busts me (though I don't think she was really mad at me). All I can say is that there is a very good reason why I don't ever play the lotto. :-P

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