Sunday, May 20, 2007

Never say never.

I have been saying for two years that I would not start a blog, which is actually a bit strange; one of my primary hobbies is talking, and back before my career path completely eclipsed the rest of my life, I wrote a great deal. However, over the past few months I have been toying around with the idea of starting a blog about my career path/education, and a few days ago, one of my best friends suggested she might actually read such a thing, so here I am.

So what is this crazy career path which, in my somewhat damaged mind, is worthy of yet another blog in a vast sea of blogs? I am a "mudphud": an MD/PhD student. We are a crazy lot, and gluttons for punishment. I am currently 6 years into an 8 year program. The length of the program can vary according to the duration of the PhD. Medical school is fixed at 4 years.

The structure can vary somewhat from school to school, but the "traditional" structure of the MD/PhD program is as follows:
-Medical school years 1 and 2 (Year 1 is mostly basic science, physiology, anatomy, etc., and year 2 is slightly more clinical, but still almost all of these years is classroom learing)
-Graduate school (the PhD portion--this usually takes four years, but often takes five; some lucky souls escape in three; it depends on the department, the project, and the lead scientist)
-Medical school years 3 and 4 (Both are clinical years spent mostly in the hospital)

Having just completed my PhD, I am about to return to finish the last two years of medical school. I have been writing some essays about surviving graduate school over the past year, so I will post some of that here. I'll also be trying to post some of my experiences on the hospital wards. 3rd year medical school is an enormous transition even for medical students proceeding from 2nd year, but for me, who has spent the last four years in a lab obtaining a PhD, it is kind of like switching from the swimming portion of a triathlon to the cycling portion. I'm pretty sure I'll need training wheels.

I hope my foibles during these experiences, past and present, will be amusing to read about (feel free to laugh at me as well as with me) and I will try to be as honest as possible about my experiences. So please, join me, will you? Especially if you are looking for a perfectly innocent way to avoid doing anything productive, even if only for a few minutes.

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