I know, I know! It’s been forever and I have not kept up my end of the bargain in terms of blogging regularity! I’m so sorry if I’ve disappointed-I was disappointed to not be able to blog but these last few weeks of Anatomy owned my existence. But now, I’m thrilled to report, Anatomy is officially over! I know, I can’t believe it either. 11 weeks, 8 exams, and endless hours of studying have finally come to a close. I am relieved to have finished the course and finished on what I feel to be a positive note but I have been feeling somewhat conflicted since the end of the course this Friday at 9 PM when we emerged from our last set of exams. While Anatomy was stressful, absorbing, frustrating, and distressing, it was also the most illuminating 11 weeks I’ve spent in a classroom. I learned everything, practically, about the inner workings of the human body and I was inculcated into an elite group of people who are privy to the very complicated and unexplainable magnificence of the human form. I feel incredibly lucky and honored to have experienced this course and I am a little sad to let it go. I am so happy to be free from the smell of formaldehyde for a little, that’s for sure, but I know I will always reflect on Anatomy as the most influential and exciting course I take in medical school. I am so thankful for my cadaver, my professors, and my peers who helped inspire me and provide me with knowledge throughout this course. A special thanks to all of my family and friends who have put up with me, or my absence for that matter, over the past 11 weeks and for supporting me in this rather challenging endeavor. I am so thankful for all of the support I’ve been shown.
Rather than catch you up immediately on the going-ons of my life, I think I’ll backtrack several weeks to the start of head and neck and a picture I took on my way to the lab at an inappropriately early hour in the morning:
The Moon "Setting"
Although somewhat blurry, this is the full moon several mornings before our last anatomy exam. Mr. Moon was always up to greet me these past few weeks and although I am thrilled by the sight of the man in the moon, I will be very happy to awake in the light of day and not start my morning in darkness. Head and neck was by far the most challenging section of Anatomy if only because of the sheer amount of structures, nerves, and vasculature involved in the head and neck region. Despite being relatively small in surface area, the head and neck pack in an excessive amount of structures that are integral to the function of the human body. Memorizing the cranial nerves took on a whole new meaning…no longer was a mere acronym a sufficient or appropriate for “learning” the cranial nerves. We were responsible for every foramen, functional component, and every aspect of the course of the nerve from its origin to its final destination. Lemme tell you something…the cranial nerves are made to haunt medical school student’s dreams. They are crafted to annoy and irritate. As is the verterbal triangle, a small area containing an endless amount of structures and imperceptible fascial layers. While the head and neck was frustrating at times, it was also eye-opening and absolutely fascinating. I really appreciated the dissections we conducted and I have a definite appreciation for the challenge inherent in diagnosing and treating problems of the head and neck. Our exam was challenging, that’s for sure, but it was satisfying and exciting to take. Once 1 o’clock on Friday hit, there was nothing else I could do but try and display my understanding and knowledge of the subject material. It was almost thrilling in an odd way. Our essays required us to recount the entire path of the maxillary division of the trigeminal nerve, the anatomy of the larynx (ain’t as easy as it sounds), and the anatomy of the vertebral triangle. It was a doozy, and the lab practical was REAL difficult, but we all survived and I, along with the rest of the Class of 2015, cheered at the end of our exam. We made it…11 weeks later and we are one step closer to getting our MD degree. Along the way, we have developed amazing friendships and learned so much about who we are as students and future physicians. Pretty darn exciting stuff if you ask me.
I’m going to post another update this evening and hopefully one more this week to try and get all of you readers back into my good graces…for now, thank you for reading and sticking around as I navigate these first months of medical school!
Hope all’s well on your end!
What I learned while studying the pathway of the facial nerve in the middle ear…the best way to make it through a day of studying, is to have a little pumpkin by your side.