Saturday, August 20, 2011

I am now orientated (Part 2)

Day 3

Looking at the schedule, I saw we had a two and a half hour block scheduled for "Student Diversity Panel" and I wanted to slam my head into a wall. But actually, it was probably one of the best lectures we had all Orientation.

Six students who will graduate in 2014 (M14 for short) shared their life stories with us and how their background enabled them to be better doctors and even further, how their stories had enriched the experiences of their classmates around them.

The stories were incredible, emotional and unique. They spoke of losing a family member, being immigrants, being married, being a minority, coming out of the closet, homelessness, extreme poverty, working with underserved populations, and discrimination. It's rare to see people speak with such candor. All of my classmates were riveted for the entire two hours; the student panel got a thunderous round of applause.

Then, we changed gears and learned super fun topics like materials data sheets, hazardous materials, and what to do if we get an accidental needle stick. The PowerPoint slides were DENSE with information....and boring. I'm fairly certain I fell asleep right around the point at which the lecturer was explaining what objects go in a "Sharps" container: pointy objects, needles, scalpels, other pointy objects. Did she mention pointy objects?

Then, for a full 3 hours, we had Orientation Olympics in the boiling sun. I know most of you are probably rolling your eyes, but I had a blast! It was a lot of fun to play games with each other, lots of ice-breakers. The award "medal" we were all fighting for at the end was a garbage can lid laced through with rope. I badly wanted to win. But we came in last place. Ah well, they kept telling us that everyone was a winner. Except for those people who lost, of course.

Oh how I wanted you, garbage can lid
Day 4

Today was our shortest day, consisting of presentations about our community service requirement. I have absolutely no idea what activities I'm going to get involved in, but they all sounded rewarding.

Pairing up with a pregnant teen sounds incredible. From the description, it looks like I'd get to attend the doctor's appointments, be a mentor, and maybe even be at the delivery! But then another panelist spoke about his time volunteering teaching seventh grade students about health care professions, and that sounded great too. Decisions, decisions.

I know I can't do everything, but I REALLY want to. It all sounds so much fun. Perhaps my enthusiasm will wane in a few months, but I don't really see that happening. I can already see I'm going to be one of those annoying students who says, "Hey guys! Wanna go study?" while wagging my tail.

Then, we got a tour of the library. It was pretty silly because the tour consisted of us going up floor to floor:

"And on this floor, we have books. And over here, some more books. And guess what's on this floor? Journals and books. You guys are never going to guess what is on the final floor."

So thus ends orientation.

And Monday we hit the ground running. Next week we have 8 classes on Biochemistry, Genetics and Cell Biology, we start interviewing patients on Thursday, an activities fair (for sign-up) is on Monday, and we also have a medical equipment fair on Wednesday. Not to mention some small group and clinic stuff mixed in.

We got our course outlines. My biology book is on the left for reference. Take a guess how long those booklets are supposed to last us?

A. 1 hour
B. 3 weeks
C. You have to memorize that?
D. A semester

If you answered "3 weeks" pat yourself on the back! Yes, we get a new giant pile of these in 3 weeks. Victory for me. My wish for stimulation has been granted.

Those of you who have advice about medical equipment, please leave a message at the beep:

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