Archive for the ‘4th 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.


On Faith and Pharmacology

August 26, 2009

(Or, How I Survived Fourth Semester)

For most intents and purposes, to me, religion is a private topic. It has a place in my life but it’s not a banner that I wave everywhere I go. It’s something personal, something I’ll share if asked but otherwise, keep to myself. I’m not big on evangelism; I don’t like clubbing people over the head with my beliefs and I especially don’t like the stereotypes with which the people who practice my religion get painted, in broad, bigoted swaths. So it is with a measure of reluctance that I talk about the role my religion played in my triumph over the big bad final. When I began this chronicle, I made a promise to myself to make it primarily about my experience of med school and less about my personal life. Self (and readers), forgive me for my departure from that vow. (more…)

The Saddest Review Question Ever

August 15, 2009

Courtesy of LWW’s BRS Pathology:

7. A 78-year-old man is found in his closed room unresponsive in bed after the first cold day of winter. There is a kerosene heater still on from the previous night. On attempts to rouse him, officers note the cherry hue of his lips, cheeks and mucous membranes. The likely mechanism of his death was:*

a) accidental ingestion of ethylene glycol

b) binding of carbon moxoide to hemoglobin

c) hepatic necrosis with fatty change

d) inhibition of hemoglobin production

e) inhibition of incorporation of iron into hemoglobin (more…)

Chicken Soup for the Salybia Soul

August 7, 2009

The following is an article originally written for the Summer ’09 Salybia Mission Project Newsletter. Although I finished 9th out of 25 female runners, I unfortunately did not beat my best time (official time was 28:49). I wonder what that means for the rest of the semester…

road to cabrits

Four Semesters in 20 Kilometers

My shirt was plastered to my skin with a mixture of sweat and rain. Ahead lay the most treacherous stretch of the race: the winding, crumbling asphalt road that comes just a few hundred meters before the entrance to the Cabrits National Park. I knew I wasn’t last but I’d already seen several runners dash past me and now I was alone; wet, thirsty and tired.  It was seven-something on a Sunday morning and I should’ve been in bed sleeping. Why then, was I running in the rain? (more…)

Practical Magic

August 4, 2009

Today, I will be taking (what I fervently hope is) my last practical exam on the island of Dominica. It’s also the last practical of basic sciences, so you know they’re making it hardcore. Here’s the setup: 4 rooms – two task rooms, one scenario room and one ‘Harvey’ room. In the task rooms, I may be instructed to perform, for example, a pelvic exam (on a model) or test pupillary reflexes (there are about 29 ‘tasks’). In the scenario room, they’ll give me a little vignette (e.g., ‘Patient comes in with a headache. Please show how you would examine the patient.’) and I must choose which tasks to perform (and justify them during the question period). In the Harvey room, I must inspect, palpate and auscultate Harvey (the cardiac simulator), describe the type of heart problem he’s having and diagnose him. No matter what I’m asked to do, I must do it competently and confidently AND leave at least 30 seconds for the followup questions, which could be on practically anything (‘what drug would you use to treat this?’ ‘what syndrome presents with this symptom?’). Even though I’ve been practicing pretty regularly, I’m a bit nervous. Some tasks I feel fairly confident performing, but what if I get something like fundoscopy and can’t see the fundus?!** Or, what if I have to perform the entire respiratory exam* in 5 minutes and 30 seconds?! Eeeeee!

I guess I just need to keep my mnemonics in mind.





For musculoskeletal tasks:





Let’s hope I can competently and confidently IAPP and TPRS my way to an A today.

*If I do get the respiratory exam, they won’t make us do diaphragmatic expansion and they probably won’t make us auscultate the anterior thorax. But still! 5 minutes and 30 seconds is not a lot of time…

**aaaaaand I got fundoscopy as a task. Still couldn’t see the fundus. But I described papilledema well, I think (I hope). I also had thyroid exam as a task, angina for my scenario and ventricular septal defect for the Harvey case. :::sigh::: One down, two exams to go. Wish me luck!

Insane in the Brain

July 18, 2009

This is what med students do on Friday nights:

友達: so! encephalitis. crazy stuff.
自分: yup
insane in the membrane
actually no, that’d be meningitis


Say Ah…

July 4, 2009
mature cystic teratoma

mature cystic teratoma

Although it’s independence day back home, at Ross, it’s the Saturday before Mini II, so instead of celebrating, I’m trying to be diligent and review all of the pathology we’re covered over the past four weeks. While there’s probably a million things I’d rather do than spend my day looking at hundreds of pictures of diseased genitalia, this one, with its absolutely perfect caption (and three exclamation points), made me laugh out loud (in the middle of a crowded classroom, no less). Apparently, 25% of ovarian tumors are dermoid cysts and 90% of those have random contents like teeth, hair and sebaceous material. But seriously? Come on. Of all the things one would expect to find growing in one’s ovary, teeth is probably the very last on the list.

Back to the grind… Happy 4th of July!

頭にくる 6 – Liat Airlines

May 13, 2009

Despite having flown in to Dominica on Saturday, I only just received my luggage yesterday afternoon. My bag made it from JFK to ANU (with a layover at MIA) just fine but when I checked it at the Liat counter at the V. C. Bird International Airport, it disappeared into a black hole (maybe the Bermuda Triangle) and resurfaced on Sunday. It then sat at Melville Hall for 2 days, wishing it could answer the phone at the Liat Luggage Counter (since no one else was answering) to tell me it was okay and to ask me to pick it up and bring it home before the ants got in it. Alas, ants got in it anyway.

This is not the first time that Liat has failed to send my bag along with me – over Christmas break, my luggage somehow missed the flight (even though it had been checked in 4 hours prior to takeoff) from DOM to ANU and I didn’t get it back until a few days before my flight back to the island. Nor was I the only person to suffer this mishap – scores of people were lined up on Saturday when my flight got in to file lost baggage claims and dozens waited at RUH on Sunday and Monday, hoping that our bags had been sent. When I lamented to my pals, quite a few of them, while not unsympathetic, asked “What did you expect? It’s Liat.”

There are two airlines that fly to Melville Hall, Liat and American Airlines. Unfortunately, American Airlines makes only only flight a day to Dominica and that flight usually fill up pretty quickly. Often, Liat is the only option for hundreds of students trying to travel to and from the island between semesters. They don’t have to provide good customer service or assure people that their luggage will arrive on the same plane they do because most of us haven’t got any choice other than to fly Liat. All they have to do is make sure none of the planes crash. That other stuff is just frills.

The  worst (or best?!) thing about Liat is that all their fares are non-refundable. So even if I called them up to curse them out and cancel my return flight (provided they answered the phone, which they seldom do), I couldn’t get my money back. And what would they care, they’ve already got my money. Sigh. I’m seriously considering canceling it anyway.