Sunday, November 16, 2008

Balance

It seems that every day is another drain on the energy built up during the few hours of sleep the night before. Do I still have a life outside of school?

Balance

When final exams are done or in my case the week of block exams, it becomes much easier to slow down the pace as far as studies go. Unfortunately, the material continues to come unrelentingly. Finding balance in student life can be a difficult task and some days I find myself deep in an anatomy book, where other days I am ready to sit back and watch a good movie.

There is no right way to do it, and every student has to learn what works for them. Let's face it, studying until 11pm or later is definitely possible with all the information available, but is it the best thing to do, or will it lead to burnout. I have actually found both to be true. Constant stress with little relaxation or time to get away is similar to the "all-nighter" mistake many of us have made. On the other hand, not studying enough when quizzes, exams or boards are approaching could be costly.

Personally, I have found that a dedicated time allocated to sufficient review of materials on a constant basis will actually reinforce important principles and topics. Leaving enough time for meals, sleep, and exercise is crucial to balancing the mentally heavy load of medical school. It may be wise to set up specific hours each day for study, sleep, exercise etc so that your body gets into a rhythm. This will make study time more effective while ensuring you get the most out of your free time.

Loose Ends

Now almost four months into the curriculum, I am starting to feel a little more at ease with the whole medical school experience. With time I have become more organized and oriented as to what is expected of me. There are still a lot of questions to be answered down the road, but for now the stress associated with the 'unknown' is being whittled away.

TUNCOM is making progress in their ongoing accreditation process. As one of the newer medical schools, it has to show the accreditation board that the curriculum is sufficient and that students are getting the education they seek. Policies and programs continue to change, developing the already well structured programs. The rapidly growing student body compounds this process, however, as we were able to meet with the board and discuss the matters that concerned us most. Even as a new student it is nice to be heard.

I am continually amazed at how much we learn in such little time. Trying to absorb anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, histology and everything else has definitely kept me busy. If we keep learning at this rate, I will have more information than room to store it.

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