I can't believe I'm writing this post, but we're finished MF1! To explain, the in-class portion of med school at my school is divided up into five blocks, or 'medical foundations'. MF1, which we just finished, included learning about respiration, cardio, and hematology (blood). We start MF2 on Monday, which runs for 9(?) weeks and includes the Endocrine system, GI, and nutrition. It's actually designed incredibly well, in that everything we learn builds on what we've already done - I can't imagine how much effort must have gone into designing the curriculum.
I have a couple of other posts in the works on some of the specific things I did in MF1 (like spending a day in the OR and how my family medicine rotation has been going), so I figured I'd post a general update to start, now that I'm 1/5 (!!!) of the way through pre-clerkship.
School has still been fantastic - I absolutely love the program and medicine. It's a ton of work, but I'm still really enjoying all of the work, which is great. Knowing that what I'm learning will be the basis of treating all of my future patients makes those 12-hour weekend days of studying so much easier! Not that I enjoy 12-hour days of studying, but you know...
On Tuesday night, my MF1 tutorial group had a fabulous end-of-the-foundation dinner party at our tutor's home. Our tutor is a cardiologist (which was super helpful during the cardio/resp section!), and he and his family are just the nicest people you could possibly imagine. It was so nice of them to host us for the evening, and I'm sad that we're changing groups! I'm a bad blogger and it didn't occur to me to take a group picture, so I have nothing to show for it, sorry!
So, I figured I'd post a general update on some of the things that have happened in my life during MF1, since I haven't been nearly as good about keeping up this blog as I'd hoped. My plan is to write a couple posts this morning and roll them out over the next week or so though, so stay tuned!
The med student backpack - the holy grail for aspiring doctors!
To start with, at the end of August at Orientation we got our backpacks! For those of you who don't know (which is probably anyone who isn't an aspiring pre-med in Canada), the OMA (Ontario Medical Association) and CMA (Canadian Medical Association) along with MD Management give backpacks to all of the first year medical students in Canada each year (except for students at UOttawa, something about corporate sponsorship not being allowed on campus there?). Every year the backpacks are a different colour, and they're a kind of weird status symbol on university campuses - most premed students know what they are, and carrying the backpack identifies you as a med student. Honestly, it's just super helpful to recognize the other people in my class! There are 203 of us in first year, and I've met maybe 1/4 of the people. If you walk by someone else with an orange backpack on campus though, you automatically know that you're in the same program and you can just start chatting! It's happened many a time. We also joke about how we'll never get hit by a car because they make us look like traffic pylons, but that's a different matter. :)
Matt and I discovered that there's a Krispy Kreme donut shop about 10 minutes from our new apartment... I think it's the only one in Canada that still makes the donuts fresh in house (there's a location in Toronto, but this location makes their donuts and they get shipped). This is dangerous. So far we've successfully limited ourselves to going about once a month, which I think is fairly reasonable.
Stethoscope day! I think you guys have already seen this particular picture, but it was an exciting day so I'm posting it twice.
Learning to intubate at a medical student conference - best day ever.
Fist pump happy dance after getting the tube in on the first try!
In October I got to attend OMSW in Toronto, which stands for Ontario Medical Students Weekend. It's a conference put on by med students for med students, and U of T hosted this year (next year it will be at Mac!). I wasn't sure whether I was going to go until the last minute - I'd registered, but was worried about losing an entire day of school work time to go, so until the night before I wasn't totally sure if I was actually going to make it - but I'm SO glad I did. It was a great day - in addition to learning to intubate, I also got to do a casting workshop where we actually got to put plaster casts on each other! So fun, and also a great skill to learn before the first time I actually have to do it. So, future med students, if in doubt, go to OMSW. You won't regret it!
Then at the end of October it was my 27th birthday! I'd been talking about wanting to go apple picking for weeks, so Matt took me on the morning of my birthday. The apples were delicious, but it's so easy to pick WAY too many because you're having fun - we picked something like 12lbs of apples in 20 minutes! Oops. We shared with my parents and ate a lot of apples for about a week and a half, and I'm sad that the season is over because they were SO much better than the apples you buy at the grocery store. Having been able to shop at farmer's markets, etc over the last couple years has been amazing and I'm really glad that I'm lucky enough to live near markets. It feels great to eat (reasonably) local, and everything tastes so fresh. It's also nice to buy directly from the growers, instead of having everything route through a store (and I've also noticed that buying at markets can be cheaper, because it eliminates the middle man). So that's me, really happy with my apples. Haha.
At the beginning of November, Matt and I officially graduated from UWO with our Master's degrees! This is the only picture I have at the moment since it was on my phone and the others are on the camera, but maybe I'll post more later. It was a fun day, and we had an amazing dinner with family after at Morrissey House (if you're in London, go - it's amazing).
Then later in November, Matt turned 25! Yes, I'm older than he is, haha. I made this cake and was really proud of myself, usually my cakes are way messier than this. I definitely don't have a future as a cake decorator, but it's better than nothing! For his birthday, I took Matt to Chilis up in Vaughan - it was a bit of a drive, but Chilis is an American chain restaurant that he grew up with and loves, and it's the only location in Canada! It was really nice - because it was a Thursday night, the restaurant was fairly quiet, and Matt was happy because he got his southwest egg rolls. :)
Then this happened. I'm not sure if you can see, but that's a big horizontal crack in the windshield of the Mattmobile. Ugh. We decided this summer that we were done putting money into the car (after all the money we've poured into it in the last year, things keep going wrong). We had already decided that this summer we'd buy a newer car so that while I'm driving all over the place during clerkship I'm in something more reliable, so this was kind of the last straw for us. Which brings me to....
Last night, Matt and I bought a car!
I'm so excited. It's a 2009 VW Rabbit, which is my favourite VW (from something like 2006-2009, they made the Rabbit instead of the Golf - they're essentially the same car, but the body design is a bit different). As most of you know, my dad works for VW so he got us a great deal and I know that he'd never sell us something that he didn't think was great, so it was a fairly stress-free process. We won't pick it up until sometime next week, but I can't wait. It's just so nice to drive (we took it for a test drive last night), and it just feels so sturdy and well-built. My dad called last night to say that the loan was approved and everything is a go, so at this point all that's left is setting up insurance and picking it up! I'll post some more pictures once we get it.
So, that's the news in the life of me. Keep an eye out for some more posts, coming soon!
Thanks for reading, y'all. :)