Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Biochem Test Looming... Study Tips

With the classroom notes in hand, and the test prep questions printed out, the preparation for the looming exam is well under way. Unlike other classes in prep for med school, this one is different.

There are no exhaustive equations to manipulate whilst punching random numbers and variables into a NON-graphing calculator (you did get that, right? non-graphing because obviously if we can program the dumb thing we can get orbital shape right too on a test... seriously, doesn't the administration think if we're smart enough to program a calculator to get the right answer, we just might be smart enough to know how to USE the dumb equations in the first place?)... anyway, I digress.

Biochem is different. Sure there are numbers involved: 200+ is bad on a glucose check no matter the time after fasting: 160 bp is bad no matter when it is taken; and yes there are other numbers involved too: BMI 18<25, 26<30; waist measurements; how many lipoproteins make up a chain that will be cleaved during various processes and yet, biochem is not about numbers. The numbers make the real deal understandable.

What makes studying for this class, almost fun? Integrating organic chemistry with health and finally seeing how knowing what one molecule change (orientation on the molecule for a carbon cluster) impacts the whole chemistry of the body, and especially, insulin response. A fructose is very similar to a glucose except for one tiny little change.

Yep, and we studied leptin, lipogenic attributes of fructose vs. glucose, genetic and environmental impact on various peoples, and how - really how - the impact of personal choice impacts far more today than genetics. Genetics can't leap inside a generation so eliminating one variable leaves, personal choice, or more kindly, "environment"... I'll have to remember that when I reach by personal choice for my diet coke and dark chocolate Milky Way bar. :D

So, how am I studying?

Each component of the test prep sheet gets everything I know about it written down. Then I'm comparing that to the lecture notes, things I find online (the ATP youtube is awesome for remembering things), and WebMD. Oh yeah, and you guys who read this blog and write me back (what's up with that anyway!?! /unschlucking tongue from inside of cheek now - you guys are awesome!)

Here's to biochem, here's to another test... Maybe this exam will be the one that finally puts my test anxiety to bed, and lets me start looking at tossing the propranolol... must say though, I do like that name... lol.

Make it a great day!

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