Sunday, December 31, 2006
I have realized it's not all that easy. After being sick for the past few days, I realize that no one wants to take drugs. There are lots of reasons, most I probably haven't even fathomed. However, I didn't want to medicate (even just over-the-counter) for several reasons. It's an admission that you're sick. It's inconvenient. There are side-effects. Now, I know I will be fine whether or not I take NSAIDs. And I would assume that if I had something life threatening that could be cured with medication, then I would comply. But I can already see that it is not as easy as I originally assumed.
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Thursday, December 28, 2006
The pace was fast and busy. On the first day, our team was on call and received an admission during morning rounds. The third year and an intern rushed down to the ED to admit her while the rest of us rounded on the other patients. During rounds, pagers would go off, people would make phone calls, and others would hunt down a computer to show an X-ray. Sometimes, less than half the team was paying attention to the person presenting the patient. Of course, everyone on the team was already familiar with the patient, so I was not alarmed.
The culture of medicine struck me as highly intellectual. While surgeons and anesthesiologists seem to favor procedures, the medicine service enjoys standing around and figuring out odd cases through discussion. Being able to do an effective differential and explain it was very important. The chief residents stood out during the conferences because they clearly knew the most. It was important to some members of the team to be able to pull out an article from JAMA or cite relevant clinical research.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
I was assigned to Med Team G at Moffitt (the main UCSF teaching hospital). Other students were assigned to disciplines as diverse as emergency medicine and psychiatry to neonatal ICU and labor and delivery. I loved being on the medicine team. It was a lot of fun, and I did not feel completely bewildered. I tagged along with a third-year student who was great.
I was most surprised by how easily I was integrated into the team. I felt that I was considered a member, if only for a short while, rather than an outsider observing the dynamics of the medicine service. For example, I was encouraged and perhaps even expected to contribute to the intellectual discussion of the issues facing our patients. This was a lot less intimidating than I expected. I didn’t feel bad or ashamed to say I did not know anything about the subject. The team was delighted when I would say something, and then they would politely correct whatever egregious mistake I had just made.
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Saturday, December 23, 2006
The principle of autonomy grants patients the right to make decisions (even bad ones) about their health care. The principle of beneficence compels physicians to act in their patient's best interests. Yet the principle of non-maleficence says to "do no harm." (One should point out that nearly all procedures do harm, but we weigh the benefits with the costs. A blood draw harms the patient by causing pain, breaking the skin, etc., but benefits outweigh the costs).
What do you do? The mother and the father both consented to the procedure (and the daughter assented). You want to act in the patient's best interest and do no (unjustifiable) harm. Yet who is the patient? In a transplant, both the father and the daughter are patients. You would be taking years from the father to improve the quality of life for the daughter. Is that morally praiseworthy or blameworthy?
It's a complex case, further complicated by biological reasons (if the daughter rejected the first kidney, wouldn't she reject the second?). No surgeon would actually take this case. Luckily, this is based on a true story; a relative was found to be a match and underwent the kidney transplant without complication.
"If the father wants to run into a burning building to save his daughter, he can do so, but I cannot hold the door open for him."
Thursday, December 21, 2006
I was one of two history takers. It was a little nerve-racking. Something was definitely wrong with the patient. He was very light headed, had a pulse of 120, and a blood pressure of 60/40. It was hard to concentrate on which questions were pertinent - clearly, we would not care about where he lived ("social history"), but we might care about whether he had shortness of breath. My peers did a physical exam, set up an EKG, and got the vitals on the monitor. One first-year was the fake resident who supervised us.
We took a quick time-out to discuss a differential for the patient. We came up with a plan of diagnostics and treatment, and began to administer the plan. Afterwards, we gathered in a conference room where a fourth year explained the pathophysiology of the condition. It was highly educational. In a real situation, would we have been as successful? I don't know. Though we pretended the mannequin was a real person, it's hard to picture what we would do if a real person was dying on us.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
But on the other hand, a physician can detain a person seriously contemplating suicide. We won't let him kill himself. He does not have control over his body. And if we aren't sure whether someone wants medical care, we treat him as aggressively as possible, assuming that's what's in his best interests.
Clearly, this post brings up many emotion-laden and difficult issues. Are there cases when not-treating is better than treating? How do we approach those cases? Where are demarcations to be drawn?
Friday, December 15, 2006
Unfortunately, this is an unfunded mandate; there are no reimbursements. As more and more people take advantage of this act (by coming into the ER without any particular problems or with minor symptoms), hospitals have sustained increasing financial costs to the point that they have to shut down their emergency departments. Waits have greatly increased in length, jeopardizing those who do have medical problems. Those without health insurance turn to the emergency department as their primary care because they cannot get health care elsewhere; however, the ER is not a primary care facility. In practice, EMTALA seems to have hurt emergency departments as well as patients requiring those services.
It's a hard line to walk. You can't deny a basic screen for someone who may have a life-threatening illness. After all, that's what emergency departments are for. However, when people start misusing such resources and when such a mandate is unfunded, it creates an incredible strain on resources to the point that the hospitals have to close their ER. I am unsure whether there is a good solution for this problem, but it is certainly something that we should be aware of.
On the other hand, a doctor cannot refuse to see a particular kind of patient. We cannot limit our practices to a particular religion or gender or race. That makes sense too. Discriminating based on such divisions would be highly unethical. Everyone deserves medical attention and care regardless of their demographic labels.
Both of these arguments seem sound and nearly incontrovertible. Yet they create this dynamic of asymmetry which is very interesting to me. Can we find some philosophic justification of first principles for this? That is, can both these ideas in medical care be derived from one higher level principle? I haven't put too much thought into this, but it is certainly worth contemplating.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
For the practicum, we learned to use our opthalmoscopes to visualize the retina and the slit lamps. It was tough. It was the first time the first years had ever picked up an opthalmoscope, so we really didn't know what we were doing. But with some eye dilation and trial and error, we managed to learn a little about the equipment used in the eye exam.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
The case unfolded over the next week. In these cases, we get information about the present illness, physical findings, family history, etc. We begin to form our differential of what's going on and also discuss labs and diagnostic tests. At the end of the session, we each decide on a learning issue to research for the next week.
On the last FPC PBL, like many others, I wikipedia'd my answer. However, we had a special library session to learn to use the resources available here. I was very apprehensive at first. Not only was it a Friday afternoon, but it was about things like PubMed. Even if you hadn't used PubMed, it's easy to figure out (especially for this generation of medical students, though I will say that PubMed doesn't have the best user interface). But I actually enjoyed the session a lot. There are a good deal of other resources available through the university. Many medical texts and references can be accessed, and these will become essential throughout my training here.
In the end, we came back and solved the case. It was fascinating. While a curriculum based strictly on cases may easily leave stuff out, I feel that a curriculum without PBL lacks a connection between lectures and what a doctor actually does. Here, they equip us with many skills. We learn to work as a team, to learn from and teach each other, to answer questions ourselves, and to think independently as well as with others.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Thursday, December 07, 2006
To delay the flood of generic drugs lowering the market price of the moneymakers, big pharma has entered into agreements in which they pay generic drug makers to drop challenges to patents. By offering generic drug companies perhaps a hundred million dollars, they can keep generic versions of their blockbusters off the market, effectively extending their patent by several years. In the end, the cost is transferred to the consumers. The FTC has tried to block such agreements, but last year, it was ruled that the FTC was beyond its jurisdiction.
While I cannot say legally what ought to be the case, I think this is a very interesting question and brings up one side of pharmaceutical companies that I had not considered before.
Monday, December 04, 2006
By Craig Chen
To read the EKG, you have to examine
the ST elevation – that means there's an MI.
With acronyms, you can convince anyone
you know what you’re talking about, even me.
The nurses here wear make-up,
and all the doctors are available.
When patients seize, swimming up from their beds,
you wonder if they, too, have a crush on the intern.
We learn medicine from our couch
paying TIVO tuition, watching thrice married
surgeons save their ex-wife's ex-husband in time
for Southpark, another Great American Show, at 10.
You never miss an episode; in fact,
I know about the notebook with the love letters
to Dr. Cameron, jotted with suture-supple
hands, starving for validation.
You can do this, you think, as the patient
waits patiently on the screen. The only
motion in the room: the buzzing of the lights,
the sterile surfaces staring back.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Friday, December 01, 2006
The anesthesia side was just as impressive. The anesthesiologist explained a lot of the equipment they use in the OR. I got to see many of the different physiological monitors and drugs available. He explained what anesthesiologists do to prep the patients for surgery. Anesthesiologists worry about the big picture while surgeons do their thing. They play a vital role in resuscitating patients in the case that something goes wrong. All in all, I think the OR is not a bad place to be. The complexity of procedures and cases there along with the sophistication of tools makes it quite an alluring place.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
Monday, November 27, 2006
I was initially surprised that they introduced this to us during our cardiovascular block. At first, it didn't seem to fit. But we focus our attention on papers that are cardiovascular related, and it seems to work fine. We have to learn all of this sometime, and sooner is better than later.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
We also have pathology labs. We look at diseased tissue under a microscope, very similar to histology, but there's a lot less. The more exciting part, though, is seeing actual specimens. We have been able to feel the thickness of hypertrophied hearts, poke our fingers through calcified valves, and look at scar tissue from a myocardial infarct. It's immensely interesting. One of the labs, they had specimens out and we had to try to guess the pathology from simply inspecting the hearts. That was difficult, but very fun.
Lastly, we have physiology labs. These labs mainly help us solidify material we learn in class. We have taken EKG's and PV-loops on each other, helping us learn how these tests work and how they help diagnose clinical condition. That's pretty fun, though it's extremely crowded.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Monday, November 20, 2006
At preceptorship the other day, I asked an elderly lady whether it was okay for me to take her blood pressure and listen to her lung fields. She replied, "Whatever you say, you're the doctor." I quickly explained that I was hardly a doctor, but the message was clear. By virtue of wearing a stethoscope around my neck, I had privileged access to whatever I needed in order to understand her health and illness.
On the other hand, my FPC group went to interview an in-patient once, but we were late. The patient berated us for being tardy, rightfully saying that her time was equally important as our time. She then told us she didn't want us to interview her. It was a lesson learned for all of us. We owe patients the respect that we would give our grandparents and grandchildren.
This last Friday, we had a standardized patient presenting with a cardiac illness. With a partner, I took a history, trying to catch all the possible related factors: presentation of the pain, past medical issues, behavior, family history. We then did a focused physical exam on him, listening to his heart sounds and looking at his jugular venous pressure. It was a great learning experience in how to approach a real case as well as how to talk to a patient worried about his health.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Friday, November 17, 2006
Thursday, November 16, 2006
We also had a live performance of "M&N" (metabolism and nutrition), which parodied Eminem's "Without Me." It was quite good, because you really are quite empty without your GI tract. It had such bad rhymes as ATP and energy and without me. The next skit was "America's Next Top Medic," quite entertaining. The radiologist had to have a photoshoot with a blood pressure cuff, but she had no idea what it was, saying "I haven't seen a patient in years." The MC's were very good too. The finale was "Les Med," a really hilarious and talented performance which touched upon many medical student experiences, from the exciting to the dreaded. We really do have a lot of talent here.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
In any case, I'm very excited about cardiology. I love the heart. It makes a lot of intuitive sense; the electrical activity and mechanical characteristics are very logical and straightforward. As an undergrad, I took a medical physiology seminar and the human physiology course, so much of this is review. My research focused a lot on adrenergic receptors, so I have some grasp of pharmacology. In my research, I took EKGs on mice, looked at PV-loops, and studied the molecular basis of cardiovascular physiology. This block will be fun. I will definitely keep cardiology a possibility in the future.
Friday, November 10, 2006
Thursday, November 09, 2006
But I know that my visceral emotion will not prevent me from treating these patients. After you dig through the fat of the ischioanal fossae of a cadaver and dissect away the plantar aponeuroses, there's not much that will completely gross you out. And when you see these patients, you really understand that they need you, and you have the training to treat them. The visceral response may even help us as physicians empathize with the patients. No longer is it a clinical infectious disease or an avulsion or a third-degree burn. Now, this is something ruining the life of the person in front of you, something wrong with their body that they hate, something that the parents are terrified will scar the child forever. When we see such disgusting, revolting, blood-and-pus-spewing sights, we should be moved, not only by duty, but by some desire to restore humanity to an injured individual.
Monday, November 06, 2006
But it was fun: we started with vital signs and basic appearance. Then, we looked at the head, ears, eyes, nose, mouth, and neck. A lot of that was cursory since we haven't yet learned how to use our oto-ophthalmoscopes. After that, we did a back/pulmonary exam, a chest/cardiac exam, and an abdominal exam. Lastly, we finished with a musculoskeletal exam focusing on shoulders and knees. It was very useful, and I feel a lot more comfortable if I were asked to do parts of or an entire exam on a real patient.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Our class had even better costumes. Three guys dressed up as a huge yellow bottle of mustard, a matching red bottle of ketchup, and a can of Coors lite. The professor then commented that "All we need now is a hot-dog and a baseball game." Immediately, we started clamoring for the hot-dog and applauded when the fourth guy came in, fulfilling our wishes.
Then, there was a guy dressed as a hippie with a huge 80s hairdo, sparkling, glittery, and elaborate. Half-way through lecture, while the professor was answering questions, we hear this odd spraying sound in the back. We turn around and there he is, with a can of hairspray, looking into a small pink mirror, fixing it up. It was hilarious.
Christina just IMed me and said, "You'll like this. One of my coworkers dressed up as a 'cereal killer.'" I love it.
Monday, October 30, 2006
My preceptor is in Oakland. He is an internal medicine doctor, but the day of my preceptorship, he moonlights in a retirement facility. Our patients are older, often with complicated and chronic conditions. This makes the practice of medicine fascinating. My preceptor is very nice and has done this for several years. The first day, he had me interview two patients on my own. It was quite an experience. In theory, taking a history is not hard; there's a checklist of questions you want to ask and things you want to elicit. But in practice, it's very difficult keeping track of everything; patients obviously don't present things in order, prioritize things differently, and take divergent lines of thought. Even presenting the patients to the preceptor ("a 55 year old female enter with a chief complaint of...") takes practice. But I am sure in time I will become more familiar with it.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Monday, October 23, 2006
Saturday, October 21, 2006
I have always had anesthesia on the table, though my old PI Drew has very compelling reasons why it may not be the best field in the future (surgeries are becoming more and more noninvasive that anesthesiologists in the OR will not be as necessary). I also think cardiology is fascinating. I'm drawn to fields with lots of physiology (pulmonology, nephrology) or potential to change (infectious diseases, interventional neurology). The best thing at this point of my career, I think, is the ability to rule out specialties that do not interest me at all. So far, these include orthopedic surgery (I don't find bones and muscles that riveting), radiology (I don't like staring at films), and histopathology (tissues under microscopes aren't that fascinating to me). Hopefully as we start our organs block soon, I can narrow down the fields even more.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
The other aspect of the course is the physical exam. We've covered vital signs, abdominal exam, pulmonary exam, and cardiac exam. We'll also learn the musculoskeletal in the next few weeks. That's pretty exciting; we get to play with our stethoscopes and stuff. It's not an easy thing to do, but I guess that's why practice is so important.
Friday, October 06, 2006
I'm also taking Introduction to Ophthalmology, which is important for me since it might be a field to pursue. It's a seminar-size lecture-style class that covers a lot (in my opinion). We've done a basic overview of eye anatomy (which I know very little about) and covered a few eye diseases and disorders. At the end of November, we'll have a practical clinical skills session where we play with our ophthalmascopes and try to inspect each other's optic nerves. We'll also get to use the microdissection lab to dissect a cow's eye I believe. Hopefully by the end of this quarter, I'll know whether I want to be an ophthalmologist. One big downside, however, is that I can't spell ophthalmologist.
The last class I'm taking is a course offered in the Ob/Gyn department. I attend a weekly lecture series on childbirth and am paired with an expectant mother. I attend her prenatal visits and am also present at the birth. It sounded like a pretty interesting program (though I have no real interest in going into Ob/Gyn) and I expect I'll learn a lot. Originally, I was thinking of a more standard elective, but I decided to push my boundaries with this one.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Saturday, September 30, 2006
The answer was mainly women who had a masectomy due to lymphadema and hemodialysis patients with vascular grafts.
The professor who gave the lecture on the pelvis was so great. She not only explained the anatomy really clearly, but also threw in random jokes, as if it were a stand-up comedy set. At the end, she said, "So...yesterday, I had some problems with urination and I called the urology department here. I got their answering machine which said, 'Can you hold?'"
In anatomy, we were looking at a prosection of the pelvis. (A prosection is a specific part of the cadaver pre-dissected by anatomy faculty to show things that might be hard to find). The problem is that a prosection is an isolated body part removed from the whole body. The second-year student explaining this said, "Sometimes, you can't tell what part of the body the prosection is from, and that can be a pain in the butt," as he pointed to prosection of the pelvis we were examining.
I also attended a research presentation by the department head of Pathology here. It was a good presentation on current clinical trial issues, basic immunology, and the specific research the professor was interested in. I think that from hearing all these people, I have realized you can't do the triad of teaching, researching, and clinical medicine for long periods of time unless you don't sleep or have 30 hours in a day or something. His research was definitely interesting, and he teaches some of our core classes, so I enjoyed it a lot.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
The problem was our schedule that day sucked, so I was not too attentive. We went from 8 in the morning to 9 at night, though after the interprofessional education talk, we had a really nice reception with excellent food. In any case, I think the issues of working in a team, communicating with other professionals, and utilizing all resources are integral parts of health care.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Monday, September 25, 2006
Sunday, September 24, 2006
Friday, September 22, 2006
Me: Buffalo lungs have one pleura.
Rest of class: [silence]
So buffalo (and bison, incidentally) have a single pleural cavity, which means that if you shoot one arrow that pierces the cavity, their entire lung will collapse (called a pneumothorax). Nearly all other mammals, including humans, have separate pleural cavities (making up a left and right lung). So an arrow wound (or broken rib) piercing the pleural cavity will only cause collapse of one lung. I learned this freshman year from an anesthesia seminar.
One of the anatomy texts we use (as well as most medical schools) is Netter's Atlas of Human Anatomy.
Elaine: Does anyone know if Netter is still alive?
Me: He died in 1991.
Elaine: [incredulous look]
Me: I read the preface.
Rest of anatomy group: [incredulous look]
Professor: Can anyone name an effect of the sympathetic nervous system?
Another student: Bronchodilation (opening of blood vessels in the lungs).
Professor: [to that student] Do you know what receptor mediates that effect?
Me: The beta-2 adrenergic receptor!
Professor: [looks over, slightly annoyed]. Does anyone know another effect of the sympathetic nervous system?
Yet another student: Tachycardia (increased heart rate).
Professor: [to that student] Yes. Do you know what receptor mediates that effect?
Me: The beta-1 adrenergic receptor!
Professor: Who the hell is that guy?
Actually, the questions weren't that hard, but I had a leg up doing adrenergic receptor research for a couple years. Some people made some pretty funny comments about that incident later on.
(The reference to "IHum kid" is a Stanford thing. Nobody likes an IHum kid.)
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Gross anatomy happens to be one of the defining experiences of medical school. Few other professions require training where one cuts apart a human body. When I came in, I had anxiety about it. Not too much, but enough. I wasn't sure how I felt about this endeavor or how to approach it. I have never been in a situation like this.
Luckily, a good friend from high school is in my anatomy group. Two other members of the group have done anatomy before. All of us are mature and professional. Roaming professors, physical therapy students, residents, and faculty help us out. It is not that the experience becomes completely detached and scientific; we appreciate that this person made an ultimate sacrifice to education, giving everything he had. I approached this exercise at first with great apprehension and hesitation. But over time, I have gotten much more comfortable.
We have, so far, dissected the muscles of the chest, back, and abdomen, opened up the abdominal cavity to locate those organs, studied the lungs and heart in situ, and examined the spinal cord. We have performed some clinical procedures including a chest tube, a cricothyroid emergency airway, and a lumbar puncture.
All in all, I am not enthralled. The experience is smelly, dirty, and slightly repulsive as you cut through tissue and reflect skin and muscle to locate organ. But I do realize that it is infinitely educational; there is nothing like looking at a real human heart with its great vessels. A book cannot teach us in the same way as this hands-on approach. I see how it is a necessary part of medical education. It has a morbid fascination, a scientific beauty, and a humanistic realism. Death takes on a new face, and as doctors, we have to recognize this and appreciate those who have made such a sacrifice. We realize that we have to distill from this experience as much as we can, since it is unique and fundamental to understanding the human body.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
In these Essential Core Classes, we take an integrated, interdisciplinary course rather than separate biochemistry, cell biology, physiology classes. In Prologue, they are trying to level the playing field (as many people have been out of school for several years or were humanities majors). Subjects that are new for me are anatomy and radiology. These are integrated with basic physiology. I am also new to histology and pathology (staring at things through microscopes). These are further supplemented with lectures on cell biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, and pharmacology. They also tell us we'll get a taste of fuzzy subjects like epidemiology and social/behavioral sciences.
In Foundations of Patient Care, we will learn how to interview patients and do the basics of the physical exam. They put a lot of emphasis on professionalism, developing a good relationship, and other warm fuzzy stuff. But we have already begun meeting patients and learning to use our equipment.
An odd byproduct of just taking this one integrated 19 unit course is that we don't have a regular schedule. Each day and each week is completely different (though there are patterns). This is because they organize classes by relevance of subject matter rather than convenience of habit. So we may have a physiology class of the pulmonary system and circulatory system. Then we may have an anatomy lab opening up the chest plate and studying the thoracic organs and great vessels. Then we may have a radiology of the chest lecture and a lab on epithelial cells. It makes a lot more sense in practice than it does in words.
We can also take electives. I'll blog specifically on all these classes in time.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Thoughts from previous years can be found here on my personal website.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
My parents came up for the White Coat ceremony. Before the ceremony, I didn't expect too much. I'm not sure why, but I usually don't think these things are such a big deal. It was held at the new Mission Bay conference center (near SBC ballpark).
Everyone was all dressed up (which was nice, and we probably won't achieve that again until graduation). They had a string trio, elegant programs, and (I realize this is an odd observation) really comfortable chairs. Dean Kessler welcomed all 153 of us as people who are "willing to treat all patients equally, touch what others see as untouchable, sign up for the promise of blood, toil, tears, and sweat." Several of the other big names spoke, and I really enjoyed their comments. Unlike undergrad, the talks were all very specific to the practice of medicine and its relation to science and society.
We were then coated by our advisers, very reminiscent of grad students being hooded by their mentors. It was neat, and I was glad I didn't fumble putting on the coat. We also recited the modern version of the Hippocratic Oath, called the Oath of Lasagna (I'm not kidding, it's named after Louis Lasagna).
Afterwards, they had a very nice reception. My parents were really happy, the food was very good, and I got a lot of congratulations from the other people in my class and their families.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
We had a registrar information session and an entrance financial aid thing (very boring). We got a lot of Orientation materials, including a free book on safety in the health profession. It was a little hectic, but fun. That afternoon (Tuesday), we had HIPAA training, which is incredibly dull (but, I suppose, necessary) and an introduction to the very odd curriculum here.
We don't actually have separate classes. Everyone takes this monstrous interdisciplinary essential core class, which covers all the subjects of medicine. So I won't be taking like "Biochemistry" and "Anatomy" and "Radiology" separately, but these core blocks called "Prologue" and "Organs." We were introduced to the computer system ("iRocket" = Stanford's "Coursework"). Then that evening, we went to the med student organizations fair where I signed up for way too many groups. Unlike college, medical school groups are very focused, and they all sound interesting ("Surgery Interest Group," "Internal Medicine Interest Group," etc.).
On Wednesday, we heard a little about clinical training and diversity, picked up our ID, and had advisory college lunches. Our entire class of 141 is broken up into 4 "advisory colleges" randomly. My advisers are an ENT (Head and Neck Surgeon) and an Anesthesiologist, and they seem very nice. Then, I slept through a talk on student health services and got scared by introduction to gross anatomy. Anatomy starts on virtually the first day of school! That night, we had a BBQ hosted by the alumni association, which was very yummy. Most of Thursday morning was spent figuring out technology issues like setting up internet and learning about small groups.
A lot of logistics, but at the end, I felt like I was pummeled by all the things involved in being in a new place.
Monday, September 11, 2006
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
We had some team-building activities in a group of 14 random students. We went around completing challenges which were really quite fun. They were reminiscent of middle school science camp. I never went to middle school science camp, but it was exactly how I imagined such a camp would be so I'm making up for lost childhood. One of the competitions had a six foot pipe open on one end with holes all along the length of the pipe. In the pipe was a ping-pong ball. The mission was to stop up the holes with our hands and pour in seven gallons of water to get the ball out. It was ridiculous; I was soaked, but it was quite fun! In another competition, we were partnered up. One person was blindfolded and the other person had to verbally navigate them through an obstacle course. Yet another required us to throw balls into buckets. In the end, we won first place! Which was surprising and quite funny. I enjoyed it a lot.
Then, I hung out with and met new people. I don't particularly like the awkward socializing, but the crowd seemed really nice. We have quite a unique group; though most people came from California schools, we had a good representation of people from all over the country and world. After dinner, two kegs appeared and people started drinking. That night, we had skits, many of which were highly inappropriate but quite funny. I didn't sleep too well due to the coldness of being outside, but it was very pretty. Our tent had a net top which allowed us to see the stars. The next morning, we had breakfast and went home. All in all, I learned the names of some people, became acquainted with many, and enjoyed myself.
Friday, September 01, 2006
Inner Sunset is unfortunately a wind-tunnel. It's foggy, wet, and cold. This reminds me of Oxford, with all the buses and old buildings and walking. UCSF is on top of a decently formidable mountain. I actually like it a lot, though it is very different from Stanford and sometimes a hassle to go outside. Several MUNI lines come very close (the 43, 6, and N-Judah) which makes it pretty easy to get around the city. Within walking distance (though not exceptionally close), there are restaurants, shops, and cafes. It's quite a nice area, and I think I will come to know it well.
My goal is to write at least three posts a week. I am starting on September 1, the day before orientation begins. However, I suppose I will include the events that have occupied my time since coming up to San Francisco. I am writing to no particular audience (other than myself), but I hope you find this educational, entertaining, or at the very least, a decent way to procrastinate.