The calm before the storm

Written on the 30th of March.

Hello again!

The end of March has come and with it our 3rd pharmacology colloquium.

Since I managed to switch some of my classes during the last week I had the last 2 days completely free to study at home. Not going to school saves me time and energy. Studying medicine is 99.9% self-teaching. Thus, most of the classes are not really beneficial to me.

Fortunately, the last 48 hours before the exam were productive. Noor and I went through all the topics more than once. I am lucky to have found someone who studies the same way I do. A study partner can really boost your morale during tough times.

Repetition is key when studying pharmacology. So many weird names must be memorised. I wish there was a way to make those names easier to recall. Unfortunately, I must do it the hard way. Raw memorisation.

Pharmacology exams are always scheduled for Saturdays at 8:00. Therefore, it is important to sleep enough hours the night before such examinations. After 12 hours of cramming my brain was mush. Even though I was aware that I did not know everything I wanted (which always happens the night before an important exam) I could not force myself to continue on. I was so exhausted that I fell asleep rather quickly. Today I got up at 6:25 AM, prepared some coffee and used 30 minutes to quickly review some random facts. At 8:00 we were called one by one into the lecture hall and a few minutes later the timer was on. 50 minutes to answer 40 questions (35 MCQ + 5 prescriptions). The exam was totally fair. I was done 20 minutes before the end which does not happen often to me.

We were tested on antihistaminic drugs, asthma/COPD, antipsychotics, antidepressants, mood stabilisers, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, local/general anaesthetics, and anti-cancer drugs. These are my favourite pharmacology topics thus far. Probably due to the fact that so many people use such medications. Some years ago, I wondered why certain drugs were associated with X or Y side effect. It was sort of a mystery to me. Nowadays, it is all crystal clear. Fascinating. The way I currently perceive the human body is so different than what it used to be. The more I learn about it the more I want to know. Medicine is so cool. I have never felt so accomplished in my life. Feelings of gratitude towards the universe.

The weather in Gdansk is amazing today! I have missed the sun so much lately. I am craving it like never before. Feeling its warmth on my skin is a bliss. I am taking the rest of my Saturday off. No books. I will do laundry, exercise, enjoy life a little bit.

April is going to be the calm before the storm. No exams. However, there is so much to catch up with that I intend on studying extra hard. Whatever I manage to do during April is going to decide whether or not I have a shot at passing the final exams in June. Hell will be opening the gates at the beginning of May. Have a look at my final calendar.

  • 11th of May = Pharmacology 4th colloquium.
  • 14th of May = Oncology final exam.
  • 16th of May = Surgery final exam.
  • 18th of May = Pharmacology resit (3rd and 4th colloquia).
  • 20th of May = Pathomorphology 2nd colloquium.
  • 21st of May = Surgery resit.
  • 24th of May = Pathophysiology 3rd colloquium.
  • 27th of May = Clinical Nutrition final exam.
  • 28th of May = Paediatrics final exam.
  • 1st of June = Neurology final exam.
  • 4th of June = Epidemiology final exam.
  • 9th of June = Neurology resit.
  • 11th of June = Pharmacology final exam.
  • 14th of June = Laboratory Diagnostics final exam.
  • 17th of June = Pathophysiology final exam.
  • 24th of June = Pathomorphology final exam.
  • 28th of June = Internal Medicine II final exam.

My sincere condolences to myself.

Just looking at these dates is somewhat overwhelming. I have not yet decided how I am going to tackle all these exams but I will come up with a plan soon. 3rd year final exam period is the most dreaded among the medical students in Gdansk. And here I am, about to face it.

Well, it is what it is. Just breathe deep, hold, and jump into the cold water.

I am excited for what is left of the 3rd year. We are about to dive into antibiotics in pharmacology and the pathology of the central nervous system. Sooner than we realise we will be half doctors! Yay!

Things are about to get intense over here so do not be surprised for the lack of updates in the next trimester. 

Good luck everyone!

Keep calm and study pathology!

Final lap I

1st-year completed

Back into the maze

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