The Importance of Understanding Physiology

After 2 block tests and through listening to other doctors, I found out apparently that physiology is the foundation of medicine. Physiology is the subject of taking what you know and understand how things work. It’s very interesting and I’m always eager to read more about it. Unfortunately the teacher does not do a good job to help us understand the concepts. The worst part is his voice does not project well throughout the class; it’s as if he’s mumbling. On top of that he flies through the concepts and expects people to understand it right away. I had to learn the concepts on my own, and once I understand it, I’m fully relaxed and I get more interested.

The concept of pressure gradient of the heart; why is the pressure of the left side of the heart greater than the pressure of the right side of the heart? The answer is long and yet very interesting. In general physics particle from a high pressure environment diffuses to an environment of low pressure. In the heart, the blood comes from the superior vena cava and inferior vena cava vessels goes to the right atrium through the tricuspid valves to the right atrium. The right atrium is a pump, which pumps blood to the pulmonary artery which transfers deoxygenated blood to the lungs to be oxygenated. The oxygenated blood comes out from the lungs to the left atrium through the pulmonary veins. The blood then comes to the left atrium and goes through the mitral valves to the left ventricle. The left ventricle is a pump and pumps the blood to the aortic arch. The aortic arch carries blood all throughout the body. As the blood is distributed throughout the body it is taken to the feet. In the feet the blood is pulled down by gravity so there’s no way for the blood to be carried back to the heart without a mechanism. That’s where the pressure gradient mechanism comes in. The hi-to-low pressure gradient comes into play when the deoxygenated blood from different parts of the blood needs to overcome gravity and return to the heart.

My explanation of the importance of pressure gradients above was written in 10 minutes. The only reason I was able to write the pathway very quickly because it was very easy once I understood where is what and how things work. Once I understood the concept, it came to me flowing like water.

Over here a student must have a strong foundation of physiology above all the other subjects, because without understanding this subject the individual is not a physician.

Timing is Everything to be a Physician

The medical school work is getting more do-able this semester; however the load work is adding on more and more. I stay consistent as I study every day. There is no reason not to study. As a student in the Caribbean the ECFMG will expect a bit more work from us than a US medical graduate. I called home recently and found out several of the students I went to college with, and who are married, just had babies. Others are just getting engaged or getting married. Sometimes I ask myself, which life will I have?
I question myself if I should have a family life or a life in which I concentrate on my career. Most of the time it’s not a matter of choice because I’m South Asian (Desi) and we are pressured to get married once we’re done with our education. I doubt I will have a family life due to my pursue of becoming a US Physician with a specialty/sub-specialty.
I called the Saint James Medical School headquarters in Chicago. They gave me a timeline of what needs to be done at what time span.
16 Months (Basic Science Courses)
1. Histology
2. Embryology
3. Medical Ethics
4. Human Gross Anatomy
5. Neuro-Anatomy
6. Biochemistry
7. Physiology
8. Medical Genetics
9. Pharmacology
10. Microbiology
11. Psychology
12. Pathology I
13. Pathology II
14. Epidemiology
15. Physical Diagnostics Introduction
6 Months (Break)
1. Study for and write for the USMLE Step 1.
2. Submit PASSING score to the Chicago Office.
2-3 Weeks
Wait several weeks for the rotation schedule to begin and to settle down to the location.
48 Weeks
Core Clinical Rotations
48 Weeks
1. Complete Elective Rotations
2. Apply for Residencies (National Match Program) and go to interviews.
3. Study and sit for the USMLE Step 2.
4. After PASSING the Step 2, you’re a MD Graduate.

The MD2 Light

OK so it’s been a while since I posted. I moved from my old place to a new one which is a bit further from the school. I usually took me less than 5 minutes to walk to school, but now it takes me about 10 minutes; therefore it’s double the distance. Currently I’m an MD2, which is 2nd semester medical student here in Saint James School of Medicine. Many said MD2 is an easy semester which is not that easy. It’s easier to pass but why work to just pass, one should study as much as they can to get the top marks. Like US medical schools, Saint James School of Medicine just requires student to pass in order to complete the basic sciences.

The classes for MD2 includes Biochemistry, Genetics, Physiology, and Neuro-Anatomy. I learned that Genetics and Neuro-Anatomy are not separate subjects, but instead they are sections Biochemistry and Human Gross Anatomy. Biochemistry and Physiology are taught every day since they are very significant in the USMLE; Neuro-Anatomy are taught three days a week and Genetics is taught two days a week.

The subjects are not that difficult to comprehend but in general it is difficult because of the long lecture hours each subject has. After I’m done with the lectures I come home around 3 and I feel exhausted and fall asleep. I usually have to sleep 3 hours to regain my energy to study. I get up and eat; so I start studying around 7, which gives me 4 hours to study. Because of the heat it makes things difficult for me at times.