Archive for the ‘1st Semester’ category

How to Survive Ross University

June 17, 2012


If there’s one thing to be said about a Ross University education, it’s that it produces a special sort of doctor. People who come to Ross and make it through are not the sort of people who will take the road of least resistance. I once heard it said that people who come through Ross are the ones who will take the stairs rather than waiting for the elevator. We’re go-getters. We’re tenacious. We don’t let obstacles deter us. We scoff at naysayers, wherever they may be. Over 700 people graduated with me and as different as we all are, each of us shared one characteristic: we were all willing to do whatever it took to achieve our goal. If I were fighting an illness, I’d certainly want a doctor like that taking care of me.



October 10, 2008

Confession: Sometimes, I’m not overly fond of the first semester students.

On an individual basis, they seem to be nice enough but what gets my goat is the fact that they love to congregate in Classroom 5, the designated Second Semester domain (all of our classes are scheduled in Classroom 5). When I was a first semester, I would never have dreamed of camping out in a classroom that was reserved for another semester (although The Annex is the designated realm of first semesters, my study areas of choice were the fishbowl and Classroom 1, an unassigned quiet study space near the ocean) but for some reason, this new crop of first semesters likes nothing more than coming to our classroom and sprawling out like they own it. I get a perverse sort of pleasure whenever we have classes after 1:00 and they have to pack up their lunches and leave. I know it’s a silly peeve, but there you have it. That’s what annoys me about first semesters.

However – yesterday, the first semester students had their first anatomy lab practical*, practically on the heels of Mini I (we were lucky last semester; our practical was scheduled ahead of the Mini). As a pal and I passed them lined up anxiously outside of the anatomy lab, my pal snickered and said, ‘Don’t you feel sorry for them?’ I nodded, because I did. (more…)

How to Survive Semester 1 – Part 2

September 2, 2008

Back again with more advice and tips for making your first semester at Ross a comfortable successful one. Quite a bit of this information is kinda random but it’s stuff I wish I’d known before coming to the island so I hope sharing it will help some of you first semesters who are reading to be better prepared. The ValueMD Ross forum is also a great resource so be sure to check the message boards. Just ignore the threads from disgruntled upperclassmen. They’re just venting. 🙂

  • The Campus Bookstore

If you could see me right now, I’d be shaking my head. While it is definitely convenient to have a store right on campus with textbooks, school supplies and snacks, you will generally pay two to three times the amount you’d pay back home for any given item. If to you, convenience is paramount and you don’t want to have to worry about shipping all your supplies (or if it’s too late for you to send them in time for them to arrive by the end of the first week of classes), they do offer quite a nice selection of new and used textbooks and study guides as well as pens, pencils, notebooks and (horribly overpriced) Ross gear. The campus bookstore staff is comprised of students’ spouses and they’re all very sweet but that sweetness doesn’t take away the sting of paying $27 for a pack of loose leaf paper or $50 for a pair of shorts.

So what do you do?


How to Survive Semester 1 – Part 1

August 29, 2008

Now that I am safely set for Semester 2, I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the things I’ve learned with the incoming first semesters. Some of these tips are in the ‘do as I say, not as I’ve done’ category but hopefully, someone will heed them and use them to rock the term.

 General Study Tips

  • Pre-Reading is Good

Abandoning my pre-reading routine is probably what caused my disasterous downfall on Mini III.

Here’s what I Used to Do:

Prior to a given lecture, I’d go through the lecture handout and make my notes (this would usually take forty-five minutes to an hour for a two-hour lecture). During lecture, I’d follow along and make notes on my notes, highlighting anything the lecturer emphasized, amended or edited. Then, sometime later in the day, I’d read the notes again.

Here’s what you should do:

My routine was a bit more involved than what is generally recommened but any amount of pre-reading is beneficial. Ideally, pre-reading is only a part of your process (same day post-reading and weekend review round it out) but it is critical. If anything, it allows you to multi-task during lecture beacuse you know what’s being covered (so you can catch up on email, chat on Facebook, etc.).

  • Study Groups are Better

Once Mini I scores come out, people generally have a good idea of where their strengths lie and who’s extra-clever in which subjects. If someone is talking about how they aced biochem while waiting on line at Subway, don’t be afraid to ask them when they study and if you can study with them. Have no shame. Don’t worry that you’re being a leech. Small study groups are beneficial because they allow exchange of information and by explaining concepts to others, one can crystallize one’s own knowledge. Study groups work especially well for biochem and physio. 


終わりの始まり第2 – The End and the Beginning

August 28, 2008

Perhaps I’m a bit over-dramatic.

Dear readers, I have survived my first semester of med school and will be returning to Ross in September as a second semester student. The good news is that I actually managed bring histology up high enough to offset the disaster that was Mini III. The bad news is that I only managed to pull one A. Because of this, I may not be able to take the SGA position (Student Health Rep) I was elected to. I suppose in the grand scheme of things, it won’t be the end of the world. It’s far better than the fate I feared, having to repeat the entire semester.


The Valley of the Shadow of Death

August 18, 2008

(or Weeping May Endure for a Night…)

These have been dark days and there’s yet another battle to be fought. We just got the results of Mini III today (yes, a day before the final) and while it wasn’t an unmitigated disaster, it puts me in a very precarious position. Here’s the sitch: if I don’t score above 70 in every section of the exam, I will have to repeat my first semester of med school.

I need to pause here, the dread is nearly overwhelming.

Prior to receiving my Mini III scores, 70 wouldn’t have seemed like a big deal. I thought that I’d be able to finish with a pack of As. Now, my fate rides on histology. Even if I get an A in every other subject (which would be a miracle at this point), if I don’t score above MPS on histo, I will have to repeat THE ENTIRE SEMESTER. The first repeater I met here was slain by histo and I vowed that that wouldn’t be me. Now…

The air is thick with desperation. Today in the fishbowl, a girl fainted, or had a seizure, I wasn’t close enough to ascertain – I just know that the atmosphere had one of us laid out on the floor and the rest of us frightened for our futures. One more night remains. By this time tomorrow, it will be over. Wish me luck.

終わりの始まり – The Beginning of the End of Semester 1

August 4, 2008

After an insane amount of hassle and confusion that made me wonder if it was perhaps some sort of divine warning against air travel, I have finally managed to book flights to return home for break. Initially, I thought I could make it until December but, as lovely as Dominica is, it’s no paradise – I need to come back home, even if only for a couple of weeks. So, I will be back in Queens from August 20th – September 7th, spending time with friends and family, clearing up health issues and stocking up on island essentials (school supplies, snacks and cute cotton dresses!). Extra special thanks to my father – I take it for granted that not everyone’s dad is there to help out when one is essentially frozen out of one’s funds because of assorted issues to do with living abroad and banking domestically. I’m extremely lucky that even though I am technically a grown woman, I can still count on my parents to come through in a clutch. If fathers were graded, they’d have to come up with a new letter to convey my daddy’s awesomeness.

This may be the last update until after I’m back in Queens, or at least, until I’m waiting for my flight to board at the airport. This Thursday, we have the anatomy and histology lab practicals (back to back). Mini III takes place on August 14th and the comprehensive final will be held on August 19th (that’s right – we get 5 days to study 4 months of material). In fact, I should be studying right now! Okay, I’ll get back to work. Wish me knowledge, confidence and luck – I’ll need them for these final battles.


July 28, 2008

Sitting in the section of the library known as the fishbowl with bilateral sore quadriceps (rectus femoris, vastus medialis, intermedius and lateralis) – it’s delayed muscle ache from the Salybia 5K charity run I completed yesterday. Although it was more like a charity half-n-half (about 50% running and 50% walking) for me, I’m actually quite impressed with myself, not only for doing it in the first place but for finishing in 34 minutes [official time: 33:30.5]. Not bad for a former asthmatic who didn’t take up running until last year. The run, from the gates of campus through Portsmouth to Cabrits National Park wasn’t exactly easy but I was able to appreciate some of the beauty of the island as the path took me along the coastline. Sun-dappled asphalt snaked along to separate vast blue ocean and lush green jungle, natural splendor on either side.


Tests, revisited

July 20, 2008

I guess I don’t give myself enough credit. Not only did I not fail a single section of Mini II but I also managed to improve quite a bit in histology and somehow completely rocked DPS and wound up with a perfect score. I am very pleased.

As for that other test, although I may have faltered, I think I managed to pass it. It was tough though. Perhaps the isolation I feel here made me a bit more vulnerable to familiar foes. Here, while I am surrounded by like-minded people striving to achieve the same goal, the connections between them and me still seem very loose (like lamina propia, har har). It was really tempting to just forgive and forget, if only to have a person to talk to and confide in. But nope – I’m not that desperate. Or foolish.

It is the beginning of the end – three more weeks of classes remain in the semester, then Mini III, then the Final. In addition, we have praticals in anatomy, histology and DPS. This week, my lab group gets to delve deeper into the thoracic cavity. I shouldn’t be as excited about ripping out someone’s heart as I am but I guess I just want to learn how it feels…

Failing Tests

July 16, 2008

What a harrowing fortnight it has been! With the histology lab practical, Mini II, a health crisis (averted–for now) and an unexpected reappearance of an entity I’ll refer to as Jason (as in, the killer from Friday the 13th 2-12 that just keeps coming back), I am mentally, physically and emotionally apoptotic.

I haven’t received my official scores yet but I am very worried about my performance on Mini II. In some areas, such as Histology and Physiology, I think I may have done respectably but I’m not so sure about Anatomy or Biochem this time around. What rankles is that I studied even harder for this exam than I did for Mini I. Granted, my focus was split by the health crisis but doesn’t hard work and diligence count? All those hours in the library…what did they earn me? I suppose we’ll see when the scores are sent. There is still a pair of exams to go (Mini III and The Final) and about a month left in the semester. I know I’ll come out on the other side but the fear of failure is giving me nightmares.