Goodbye MD2, and Hello MD3

MD2 is finally completed and ¼ of medical school is done. MD3, which is known to be nightmare, is rumored to be the most challenging semester. It’s challenging because the amount of content taught is overwhelming. The subjects taught are Pathology I, Psychology, Microbiology, and Pharmacology, with Pharmacology to be the toughest. However, I’ve spoken to alumni and other senior students who have already gone through MD3, and they said MD3 has some of the best teachers. MD1 and MD2 does not have good teachers, for me it was basically self-taught. I’m going to get into detail on how they taught the classes for MD2, because it was very disappointing to me.  I’m sure I can compare the MD2 classes with classes taught in Ross.

Last Block of MD2

I haven’t been blogging lately because I have gotten busy with studies. Test week is coming up and this is the last block till the end of the semester. I have also been looking over the outline of the USMLE from the 2009 version First Aid book. It’s kind of tough studying for classes and studying for Step 1 at the same time. I have to understand the concept and then memorize little facts. In all medical schools passing is the main thing; grades have no importance until clinical years in America.

Studying for Step 1 little by little, during the basic science years, helps because you cannot cram in everything unless you know what concepts are going to be on the test, that’s when a review course is mandatory.

I recently found out that a Ross student attempted the USMLE without taking a review course (Kaplan or Falcon) and she got a 180; basically she failed. You need a 188 in order to pass but just passing is not good enough unless you want to end up in a rural town where there is no competition in medical students. She’s a niece of one of my old cousins. And she’s no slacker, she’s been studying on and one, but this shows that when going to a Caribbean school it doesn’t matter which one you choose unless you care about where you want to practice.

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.