May 23, 2007


I've been staying up very late these past few weeks studying. I've been worried about the upcoming exams on gastroenterology (mouth to butt), endocrinology (hormones and such) and hematology (blood and immune cells). Our exams will cover our knowledge of common procedures and practices involved in the most common diagnoses of these fields, anatomy, histology (microscopic anatomy), pathology (Dana Scully autopsy work!), physiology, genetics, biochemistry, etc.

Whew. It's a chore just to try and list the topics that we are supposed to know about. I feel pretty confident about the most recent material since I've kicked my butt into high gear... but I'm VERY stressed out about older material.

Our ex-Secretary of Defense said it best:
The Unknown
As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.

—Feb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing

I'm at that stage where I don't really know what it is that I don't know. There's something different about feeling confident with material that doesn't quite cut it when you're faced with a blank page and you're told to "write the mechanism for diarrhea caused by E. coli."

The best way to face this stress is to study, I suppose. And the best way to prove to myself that I've been learning more material than I've been forgetting it is to apply it and start grinding away at mechanisms on scratch paper.

I noticed that I've stopped writing here in lieu of studying, when in fact, this is my best outlet for expressing myself, educating myself and conveying my thoughts in a coherent way that will pay off in the future. I plan on picking this blog up again. I'll use it less as an opportunity to teach and more as a way to figure out what the heck I'm going to do from where I am! :)

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