Monday, June 30, 2014

MS3 - Orientation - Day 1

Today saw the official beginning of Third Year. I'm (un)officially a third-year med student. Why the (un)? Because we don't actually get our Step 1 scores back until ~10 days from now, and we're not technically allowed to be MS3s until we pass that bugger.

However, barring disaster, I'm an MS3, as evidenced by the new (de-identified) hospital badge and pager. That's right folks - we still use pagers.

Granted, the practical rationale for pagers is pretty strong: cell signal = unreliable in big hospitals but pager function = good .: we use pagers. Pretty sure Wife already hates the idea of a pager. One more way in which med school trumps regular life. Case in point - the phrase "Your time is no longer your own" was used several times during today's orientation...

Speaking of which - Today's Orientation Schedule:

7:30am - Check-in and Continental Breakfast
7:45am-8:45am - Welcome and introduction to staff
8:45am - 9:00am - Intro to the building and operations by Security
9:00am - 10:00am - Professionalism. Apparently stuff gets REAL in Block III.
10:00am - 12:00pm - Fitting for respiratory suit masks for when we interact with quarantined patients.
12:00pm - 1:00pm - Full Hour LUNCH! PROVIDED = Yesssss.
1:00pm - 1:20pm - Pre-recorded Camtasia video by the Dean about being a virtuous physician. People be respectin' and we gotta be worthy of it, yo.
1:30pm - 3:30pm - Orientation Part 1, wherein we learned all the intricacies of the grading system and how important it is to never miss a day of clinical rotations. Suspension = My Eternal Fear.
3:30pm - 4:30pm - How To Properly Present The Patient You Just Evaluated.
4:30pm - 7:00pm - Block III BBQ and Surprisingly Fun Games with Prizes

In summary (because I just spent WAY too long on the North Carolina Vacation post, as was necessary to do it even half-justice), assuming all the material we covered was 100% necessary, it was an incredibly well-done day or orientation. We've got three more packed days planned for this week, wherein I will learn from the wisdom of the students 1 year ahead of me, meet my first clerkship director (Obstetrics & Gynecology!), tour some killer (figurative, people) hospitals, learn about "risk management" (which instantly makes me think of this clip of Ted from Scrubs - skip to 0:21), how to control infections (WASH YOUR HANDS), use new computer programs, suture people, and much, much more.

I'm going to try to put up a quick post each day about orientation, but I might just decide not to. We'll see how these next few days stack up against today.

Photos - Smoky Mountains Vacation - Asheville, North Carolina

Here's a super-quick, photo-heavy recap of our recent vacation to the Smoky Mountains in Asheville, North Carolina. I wish I could go into more detail, but I just got done with my first day of orientation for my 3rd year here at MSU CHM, and I'd like to write out a post about that tonight as well.

Here's how the vacation went following Step 1:

Monday, June 16th: 
      - Step 1 from 7:30am - 5:30pm (click here to read My Step 1 Experience)

Tuesday, June 17th: Driving
      - Drive to Asheville, North Carolina (12hr trip took 13.5hrs d/t traffic jams)

Wednesday, June 18th - Free Day #1
      - We hung around the Hummingbird Cabin, which was pretty much all ours in the middle of ~70+ acres of small mountains, streams, and trails. Went out to eat at 12 Bones Smokehouse - AMAZING. They're so good, they didn't even blink an eye when I jokingly told them we'd driven from Michigan just to eat there. They only laughed once Wife told them I was kidding. Afterward, we soaked in our hot tub and generally recovered from Step 1 and the drive.

Thursday, June 19th: Breakfast & The Biltmore
      - Ate books and read breakfast - oh wait... Nevermind - at the Early Girl Eatery. Highly recommended; awesome books food.
      - Visited the Biltmore Estate. Summed up in one phrase: The American Downton Abbey. Very literally. Couldn't take pictures or videos inside, but below you'll find some outdoor pictures, several of which are pretty cool panoramas.
      - Went hiking on the trails with Wife and Hobbes.

Friday, June 20th - Sliding Rock and Waterfalls
      - Explored the beautiful Pisgah National Forest
      - Visited (and slid down) Sliding Rock. Tons of (cold) fun - luckily weather was hot that day. A video will eventually (once I get the time to make it) get posted, including lots of fun GoPro shots of us sliding down it.
      - Visited Looking Glass Falls - very cool. Sort of wish we'd had time to go swimming here.
      - Returned home to hike around with Hobbes, grill out, nap and enjoy the cabin.

Saturday, June 21st - Blue Ridge Parkway & Mt. Mitchell
      - Got lost finding the Blue Ridge Parkway. Met some interesting mountain people who were having a yard sale by the roadside when I stopped to ask directions. Before I could get out more than "Hi, I was wondering if you could-" all seven of them pointed in the same direction and in unison said, "That way." Apparently there was nothing in the other direction.
      - Found (after speaking with the communally-dubbed "Map Man" (and then getting lost again)) and drove around the Blue Ridge Parkway
      - Drove to the top of Mount Mitchell, the highest point East of the Mississippi River.

To explain the above photo, after walking the trail at this "scenic outlook" there were no Glassmine Falls currently falling. Hence the joking frowns. 

Sunday, June 22nd - Free Day #2
      - Slept in, enjoyed reading around the cabin, cooked the best bacon I've ever eaten. Of course, I can't remember what kind it was...
      - Ate an absolutely FABULOUS late lunch at Tupelo Honey Cafe in downtown Asheville.
      - Walked around downtown, spent too much money on books at a local bookstore
      - Went back to the cabin and enjoyed relaxing one last evening before packing up. Below are some shots of the cabin itself, since I neglected to take them at the beginning of the trip:

Monday, June 23rd - Driving

All in all, it was the perfect post-Step-1 vacation. Many, many thanks to Wife for organizing and planning EVERYTHING while I was in the throes of Step 1 prep. She even worked three 12-hour shifts back-to-back the three days before we left on the trip. I'm still kind of confused as to how everything worked out, but never before has a vacation gone so smoothly. Well done, Wife.

Well done.

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