During the first semester of medical school at UAB, students take a course known as “Fundamentals” (sometimes abbreviated as “Fun”… oh, the irony!). The course is intended to be a massive, semester-long building block of the basic sciences that will be needed later.
For most students with biology-related degrees, many of the concepts in Fundamentals are somewhat a review (of course, 4 years of review at once, so not as “fun” as it sounds!) while others are completely new. The course is broken up into 5 “blocks”: biochemistry and bioenergetics, development and anatomic structure, pharmacology and cell biology, pathology/immunology, and microbiology.
Currently, we are in the midst of block 3. Fortunately, I have thus far escaped unharmed and able to laugh at myself every now and then. With the help of Michael Scott gifs and memes, I hope the crazy antics of studying for medical school exams become laughable to our readers as well!
Here’s a typical exam week saga:
You begin by trying to understand MEDMap, the online system with assignments and schedules for each medical student.
You finally figure it out, but then you see your schedule for the next week or two.
Attempting to stay afloat, you comb through all of the PowerPoints, recorded lectures, and other materials.
Fortunately, your Introduction to Clinical Medicine (ICM) small group is awesome and they help lead you through Team Based Learning (TBL) sessions and other work.
The days of studying leading up to the exam are… rough.
Sometimes, you feel like quitting.
And it only gets worse when you find out you’re in the earliest possible exam slot.
But then your studying pays off. You see a passing grade on the screen!
Then, of course, you realize that this really only means you’ll restart the same cycle tomorrow. 🙂
Happy Exam Week to all, and to all a sleepless night!
Emily Hayward, MS-1