Saturday, June 16, 2007

Studyin' again... naturally

When you're in medical school, you--by necessity--get used to studying a lot. I did my fair share in first and second year, but I was probably in the bottom third of the class in terms of hours logged. I'm not proud of it, and in fact, if I could, I would go back and kick up the hours I spent (not enough to push me into the top third, but a healthy middle of the middle third). In any case, what is done is done, and all I can do now is learn from my regrets.

By, for example, starting some proactive studying now, while I have lots and lots of spare time, before I start surgery and become overwhelmed with the hours. I have done a little bit, but nothing close to the one hour a day deal I had with myself before I started vacation. What the hell is my problem? It's not like I have anything pressing other than moving the laundry into the dryer before it mildews. It could be any number of things:
1. I'm scared to start studying again in earnest, because it will make me realize how much I've forgotten and made me even more nervous about starting back.
2. My brain reasons that starting too early will just be a waste of time since I will forget the stuff before I start.
3. I'm still recovering from graduate school trauma.
4. I'm a pathetic loser.

I think number four there has the edge. I mean, they all have merit, but it's number four that cuts to the heart of things. Some people think that insane individuals like me, who have chosen years and years (and years and years) of schooling like to study, or have a crazy robust work ethic, or whatever, but I am living proof that that is not always the case. However, once again, my recent fascination with LHotP has shown me the light. Yesterday's episode featured Pa working four jobs, seven days a week (including the Lord's day, as Ma repeatedly reminds him), from before dawn until after sunset, and then continuing to stack giant bags of grain despite four broken ribs, all so he wouldn't lose the farm. As I watched him sweat and wince and stagger and fall (all in a very manly fashion, of course), it occurred to me that picking up a book and doing something with my brain for one stupid hour out of the day is not such a big deal. So now, I go to read. For real. Seriously. Right after I take a little nap.


DHP said...

I'm right there with you Mattie... I was probably in the bottom 10% when it came to studying in the first two years, and I am definitely a believer that the "pathetic loser" label applies to me. However, I think there is a component stemming from the fact that I never had to study before medical school... as long as I went to class and took good notes, all I needed was a little reviewing during test time. I just never built up good habits, and that is something that still kills me today.

Dr.VonB said...

I hear you. I kind of wish I had been sent to some crazy private school so I could have learned to bust my ass way earlier in life. Sadly, my parents wanted me to learn to find internal motivation or some such, and gave me lots of freedom and support. Whatever, Mom and Dad!

docmama said...

WHOA you two! take it easy on yourselves! dr. vonb - you are ON VACATION and I think that is PERFECTLY reason enough to actually NOT study. you have that GUILT - that guilt that grad school tattoos into your very soul that there is always something you really SHOULD be doing, especially if you are actually having fun at this particular moment, because that really should not be allowed.
seriously, you will make it through 3rd year - and it will of course take lots of hard work. but, despite your tendency to be way too hard on yourself, you are really a great student or else you wouldn't be where you are!

I know, I know - I haven't actually been through it yet, so maybe I am again blissfully ignorant. But, I am pretty damn happy and relaxed at the moment and since I'm pretty sure any amount of studying I do this week will only MINIMALLY reduce my suffering when the rotation starts - I'm just going to maximize and APPRECIATE my last few days of freedom.

(yes, you all have free license to laugh at me when I am reduced to a blubbering heap on the OR floor in the very near future - but for now, I'm just loving life and you can't take that from me!)