Posted tagged ‘pictures’

Holiday Treats

December 21, 2008

Here’s something for the students coming in January – some pictures from around campus!



December 21, 2008

Having survived the Fortnight of Hell (but not quite done – final grades are sent sometime next week), I have been taking advantage of the lovely warm weather and relaxing until my flight leaves for New York. Ah, glorious sunshine!

My fingers are still crossed for Neuroscience, the subject that I sacrificed on Mini III to ensure success in Physiology, but unless the MPS is high and I completely failed the Neuro shelf, I should be moving on to my second year of medical school in January. I’m afraid to be too confident because I felt awful about the shelf but I’m just going to hope that everything works out…


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.


唇 and Bags of Hemoglobin

June 18, 2008

Apparently, the most popular post on this blog is one that has nothing to do with my journey through med school – it’s the one about how lovely my lips are. And while I do maintain that they are quite nice, it kinda creeps me out that the picture of them gets searched almost every day. Coincidence? Or internet sheistiness? In any case, that post has been protected. I can’t think of anyone I know who’d really want to stare at a picture of my mouth everyday but if you’re really interested, leave a comment here and I’ll reveal the password.

In other news, it’s Blood Week for Semester 1 students – it started with the Mini on Monday and has continued with lectures about blood in biochem and histology (and will continue through Friday). The Mini I answer key went up yesterday – I was so anxious to know my score, I tabulated it last night. The good news is that I didn’t get all the histology questions wrong! But, I did get enough of them wrong to realize that I really ought to have spent more time reviewing those lectures. In any rate, I’m not unsatisfied with my performance. Next time, I’ll procrastinate less and spend a bit more time on histo when I prepare.

My advice for incoming students on Mini I:



June 3, 2008

While walking from the ATM at the campus center yesterday, I found two adorable little mangoes that had fallen from a tree near the seaside deck. They were perfectly ripe, plump and blushing, so I picked them up and took them with me to classroom 1, where I spent the bulk of my day, trying to make sense of all the histology lectures we’ve had over the past three weeks. Prior to that, I spent 2 hours in the anatomy lab, going over the muscles, nerves, arteries and clinical correlates we’d covered since the beginning of the semester. Foolishly, I hadn’t worn my scrubs and while I was poking around the muscles of the erector spinae, some body juice splashed down the leg of my favorite pair of jeans. I can still smell it. Guess these are the breaks…

Having been here for a month, I find myself occasionally reflecting on the good and bad of being at Ross. Attending med school on Dominica is kind of like being at a nature retreat. The beach is literally right in our backyard. Walking to and from campus and the annex provides good exercise. Succulent tropical fruit is available in abundance (and is cheaper than less-healthy snacks). Discounting the sleep-deprivation, caffeine consumption and other bad habits of typical med school students, it’s almost impossible not to live a healthier life. Unlike some Caribbean islands, Dominica isn’t overrun by tourists. It’s peaceful, quiet, isolated – a perfect study environment. Air conditioning and electricity on campus are free. Most apartments provide cleaning and laundry services so really, all students have to do is get up, get dressed, go to school and hit the books.

However, idyllic as it sounds, sometimes I find myself thinking what I thought that rainy February night as I walked home from the Ross information seminar at MIT. It almost seems too good to be true. And it is.


The White Coat Ceremony

May 17, 2008

The White Coat Ceremony was kind of a big deal. I didn’t expect to feel as moved as I did but the simple act of donning a white physician’s coat – the cloak of my future profession – was quite profound.

In addition to the faculty, Dr. William J. Crump, our keynote speaker, and several local dignitaries, the President of Dominica and his lovely wife were in attendance, as well as an armed color guard. During the advance of the colors, I couldn’t help but compare the national anthem of Dominica (Isle of Beauty, Isle of Splendor) with the Star Spangled Banner. Isle of Beauty is more like America, the Beautiful, a song praising the land and the people. Our national anthem is a fight song.

At the end of the ceremony, we recited The Morning Prayer of the Physician, attributed to Maimonides, the medieval rabbinical scholar and physician.

O God, Let my mind be ever clear and enlightened.

By the bedside of the patient, let no alien thought deflect it.

Let everything that experience and scholarship have taught it

be present in it, and hinder it not in its tranquil work.

For great and noble are those scientific judgements

that serve the purpose of preserving

the health and lives of Thy creatures.

Keep far from me the delusion that I can accomplish all things.

Give me the strength, the will, and the opportunity

to amplify my knowledge which yesterday,

I would not have dreamt of,

for the Art is great, but the human mind presses untiringly.

In the patient, let me ever see only the man.

Thou, All-Bountiful One, hast chosen me

to watch over the life and death of Thy creatures.

I prepare myself now for my calling.

Stand Thou by me in this great task, so that it may prosper.

For without Thine aid, man prospers not even in the smallest things.

Second Week at Ross – First Week of Classes

May 12, 2008

I guess I spoiled you guys last week – there’s no way I’ll be able to have three updates a week regularly, especially now that the real work has begun. I’m currently in the library and though I’m supposed to be reviewing today’s lectures, I’m updating my blog, so we can see how diligent I am.

Goals for Tomorrow

1. Be more diligent

Today we had an introductory lecture from the coordinator of each department as well as our first full anatomy and biochem lectures. The anatomy lecture was especially fascinating, and even though I had a bit of difficulty tuning my ear to the professor’s accent, he was funny and engaging. There’s this awesome software he demonstrated, the visual human dissector (VHD), which is amazing, but only available for use in the anatomy lab. I heard that med schools in the states give this software to all their students – can anyone confirm this? Also sweet: six years of Latin coming back into play. Mr. Minden, Homer and Catullus would be proud.

The biochem lecture was actually mostly review for me: an overview of biochemical molecules, bond types and energies and the beginning of the stereochemistry lecture, which will be continued tomorrow. One thing that irked me – I learned the esterification to create Acetyl CoA from Acetic acid and Coenzyme A in Orgo but for the life of me, I couldn’t remember how to push the arrows…

Although we have dry lab this week, I can’t wait for next week’s anatomy lab when we get to “meet” our cadavers. Hopefully I’ll have learned everything there is to know about the superficial and deep back by then…

Here are the pictures from Saturday’s Island Tour:


First Week at Ross, Part 2

May 8, 2008

Today was Registration Day – I received my school ID, Ross email and login, course schedule and refund check for my student loans (cha-ching!). Waiting on the lines at the various registration stations, I almost couldn’t contain my giddiness. I suppose it’s kind of like those moments you have when you’re in love – you glance at the person you’re with and it suddenly hits you that they are as mad about you as you are about them and your mind is blown and you just can’t help but grin…that is how excited and enraptured I am to be a med student. Really. I am sooooo happy!

But we’ll see what happens when the honeymoon phase is over and classes actually begin.

First semester students take the following courses:

Developmental and Microscopic Anatomy I

Gross Anatomy I

Doctor, Patient & Society I

Biochemistry & Genetics I

Medical Physiology I

I grudgingly parted with over $200 to purchase half of the required texts from the campus bookstore. Hopefully there will be some used books for sale from other students. According to all the upperclassmen, biochem is the killer. I’ve had genetics before (while in HCP) so perhaps that will give me a tiny edge but the first set of exams is on June 16th (four days before my birthday!) and the biochem portion is worth 35% of the final grade. We’ve already got a reading assignment in advance of the first class (Wednesday).

The social scene seems to be becoming more fluid. As people have begun to adjust to the environment, they’ve started to mingle a bit more so perhaps the initial segregation was just a sort of coping mechanism to deal with being in an unfamiliar situation. People are generally friendly so far. Two nice guys I met were kind enough to walk me back to my apartment after a bit of star-gazing last night (it is strongly recommended that students who live off-campus DO NOT walk alone after dark), even though it was like half a mile out of their way. I’m hoping that kindness and camaraderie endure throughout the semester.

Here are some more pictures:

First Week at Ross, Part 1

May 5, 2008

Apologies to everyone I left hanging for the last couple of weeks – things were pretty hectic!

I’m currently sitting on the deck outside of the student center with Sugar, my new macbook, enjoying a balmy breeze off the Caribbean Sea. Things have been a bit overwhelming since I landed on Dominica early Thursday evening but I’ve secured an apartment, got a new cell phone, and am starting to settle in. My parents came down to make sure everything was all right but they flew out yesterday so I’m officially on my own. Even though everyone I know who’s traveled to Dominica has described it as a “third world country”, it certainly isn’t as “third-world” as I imagined. Yes, cows roam randomly along Banana Trail (my neighborhood) and there is jungle all around, but it isn’t that different from parts of the Kansai countryside or the rural South. 

Today is the first day of orientation. While Sugar was being configured to run the campus media sites, a large group of first semesters was ferried down Indian River, a winding waterway along which the native Carib Indians used to live. There was a first semester social last night and a bonfire on Saturday. Tonight, there are several welcome-type lectures at The Annex, the complex where all first semester classes are held. I’m both eager and anxious for classes to begin but we’ve got another week before they start (feel free to call/email while you still can!).

One of the things I’ve noticed is that students have already formed cliques – some of these groups consist of people who met each other while they were MERP students (MERP is a sort of post-bac in Miami with linkage to Ross) while other groups seem to be self-segregated mono-racial pockets. Both types appear to be difficult to infiltrate. In my Action Plan for Supreme Success in Medical School, I didn’t factor in much of a social life. I have met a few cool people so far but to be honest, I’m here to work, not to make friendship bracelets. However, I was hoping to find a few like-minded people to be my study buddies. Will forming lucrative study partnerships be worth the time spent navigating the social scene? Do I really need to make time for fostering relationships?

Here are some pictures –