Monday, October 22, 2007

A LIFE IN MEDICINE - 4- The remainder of year 1

Although gross anatomy and neuroanatomy were the most dramatic (and fragrant) of the first year studies, there was a lot more waiting for us. School officials were gracious enough to provide us with a second semester filled with physiology, biochemistry, histology, and embryology. Each course was a combination of lectures and labs, although we were now moved to the main college where we could mingle with real doctors and those mighty upper class men. In our numbed minds anyone who survived the first year deserved the prefix “mighty”.

As we were quickly learning, the material presented to us was not as intellectually challenging as it was overwhelmingly voluminous. There simply was so much to learn!
At that time Jefferson was routinely dropping the bottom 10% of the class after the first year. Officials vehemently denied this, but 176 bright students were accepted into our class, and the pathology labs in the sophomore classes had seating for 157 students. You do the math. I was fortunate enough to be smack in the middle of the rankings. In fact my early average each year was 81.something or other. I was consistent if nothing else.

Feeling somewhat battle tested, we approached the second half of the year with more determination than apprehension. The lectures were long and generally un-inteteresing, and the labs seemed like a wasted of time. Nevertheless we grudgingly memorized the Krebbs Cycle, learned to recognize microscopic pancreatic tissue from adrenal tissue, and became familiar with our bodies efforts to maintain moral osmolarity in in the blood.

Hearing a steady din of stories form the sophomores about the travails of the second year and the absurd antics of one Dr. Kenneth Goodner, affectionately or not so affectionately known simply as KG, we plodded through the semester, with mixed anticipation for the next year.

next...Year 2

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