Hello Again

So, it’s been a while. Hello.

I disappeared all of my second year. It got crazy busy to say the least. I hopped around all over the place. I started at the Coroner’s Office, then to UC Davis, then went all the way to New York for Sloan Kettering, then back to CA to finish up at San Leandro and Modesto. So, it’s been a little crazy. I apologize.

I wish I kept this blog up more so I’d have more memories to share with all of you (if there’s anyone left reading this blog). But suffice it to say, it’s been a very long road to get here. By here, I mean finished with the program, graduated, and most importantly, CERTIFIED.

I learned a lot in the past year. More than you ever could in a classroom or a book. Having an entire year of basically on the job training makes a huge difference. Everything suddenly clicks and those fuzzy pictures you looked at during lecture or confusing charts in books finally makes sense. Oh, so THAT’S what you mean by nutmeg liver. Oh, THAT’S a tumor. Omg, that’s a leg. Ugh, placentas are so bloody and membrane rolls suck. Who knew breasts could be a pain to cut when not fixed properly? There’s bile everywhere! And gallstones! And what do you mean I didn’t find enough lymph nodes?! How is 15 not enough? Oh wait, not all of them were lymph nodes. Back to search the fat.

If none of that made sense, I don’t blame you. If it did, welcome to my world. If you’re a student in a current program or wanting to apply, it will soon make sense to you. A word of caution: when you first see a POC (product of conception), it may be a little shocking to you. That’s all I’ll say on that. I hope your first rotation warns you of that in case you’re a little sensitive. (And there’s no shame in that. Be up front about what you’re comfortable with, but eventually you will get desensitized to it as horrible as it sounds. It is a part of our job after all.)

I was fortunate to rotate at awesome places with great staff and interesting specimens. I may not have been able to gross all the super complex ones, but I did get to see some of them if I was lucky enough for one to come by.

After we finished in May, we had to wait about a month for the actual ceremony to happen in June. It was a good ceremony. We were all very happy to be there even if only me and one of my other friends from my class were the only ones that showed up for the PathA program. It was a very proud moment to finally get dressed in our fancy Drexel gowns and walk across that stage. My blue and gold hood is awesome.

Then I took the certification exam in August. I know, it seems late for some who want to take it right away, but my brain needed a break and I wanted to study some more. I wanted to make sure I could pass on my first try because I was not gonna spend another small fortune to take this exam again. Luckily, I did pass my first time. Now I get to use those special letters after my name to make it look all fancy and official.

In September, I did some traveling. Did a two week cruise to the Mediterranean which was so gorgeous. Omg. Greece is beyond beautiful. Italy had some fantastic food. The one day we spent in Turkey was also lovely. All these countries are so beautiful. Seriously, if none of you have been there, you should do it at one point in your life. You will not regret it. Especially Santorini, Greece. That was my absolute fav and I wish we could’ve stayed there longer.

Now, I’m job hunting. It’s a good place to be in right now. Everything is all lined up and taken care of now that I’m certified. I don’t need to tell a future employer my exam date and have that added pressure. I have the letters after my name that says it all. So wish me luck! I want to pick the best place for me.

I’ll try and update this a little more frequently. It won’t be all about my job or the program in every post, but I figure this is my blog and my life, I can post whatever I want, right? 😛

i like to brag sometimes

I received my anatomy grades today. My lecture exam grade hasn’t improved from the first one which is a disappointment. Apparently I was an idiot when I answered some of those questions and completely misunderstood what was being asked or just didn’t think it through all the way. Guess I need to slow down a bit when I take the final exam next. I was hoping for a higher grade, but I suppose that staying where I’m at means I’m consistent?

Lab, like I said before, went exactly as I predicted. I got two wrong and for those that know me or had me as a student know that will drive me absolutely cuh-ray-zee. I still got over 100, but the fact that I missed two easy ones and didn’t get the maximum amount of points will annoy me to death. I just want one perfect score. Just one. Although I was pleased to see on the spreadsheet that I still have the highest overall score in the class and that I scored the highest on the practicum. Someone beat me by two points in the lec exam. Next time, I’m aiming for perfect whether that’s lecture or lab. If it happens in both, all the better. But I will not miss my one last chance for finals.

It was funny, actually. When I asked to look at my lab practicum after lecture today, I could’ve sworn he missed one of my wrong answers. My prof handed it to me saying, “What more could you have gotten right?” Two more. I could’ve gotten two more, dude. I should’ve said that but I was too focused on double checking his work. He did mark me wrong. I know it sounds crazy to want to point out to a prof that they missed something, but I wouldn’t feel like I earned my grade if he let me off easy. I want to earn my grades, not be let off out of pity or something. (Granted, teachers aren’t perfect and they will occasionally miss something, but I just wanted to make sure of it this time for the sake of my own conscience.)

Well, there’s only a few more weeks until the end of the semester. Technically, next week is the last week of instruction, then finals week. It flew by so quickly. It’s just hard getting back into the swing of things after a nice long break. I’m pretty sure I’m sitting at an A in all my classes but Embryology. I’m at an effing 89. The worst possible position you could be going into finals. I need to get 90 or higher to get an A. It’s ridiculous. Hopefully I’ll be able to scrape by and get a 4.0 this semester so I have some padding going into Fall in case one or more of my classes utterly destroys me (aka medical microbiology — worst subject ever — and possibly medical pathology since that will be an actual med school class taken with actual med students). We won’t be allowed to go on rotations our second year if we don’t have a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher. So a lot rides on this.

You know, no pressure or anything.