Sunday, October 26, 2014

Back To Square One

Received from my p-orb yesterday and I'm not sure how she knew I was struggling, or what incentivized her to write me but out of the blue, my p-orb sent this:

"And thought you could use a reminder...
The Tip Top 10 (of many) Reasons Why J should go to med school
(Disclaimer: these are all subject to Olivia's personal opinion, and while they do reflect the facts, they are not directly from the source)
10. Because money is just linen and cotton
9.  Because you would totally rock the lab coat
8. Because you survived O-Chem
7. Because you are excellent at managing people, hence the MD and not a different path in the field
6. Because you have a phenomenal support system
5. Because you love, love, love helping people, and what better way to do so
4. Because life after med school will provide you with stability
3. Because you are an intelligent woman who has more drive than your typical med student
2. Because you've sacrificed so much and have come so far
1. Because the little girl inside you who has dreamed of this their entire life wants to"

And this seems appropriate ... oldie but goodie:

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Gen Chem - Circa 2009

I learned a lot, or rather, got retaught a lot.  And did well, I might add.

Sitting through Kaplan tonight was akin to ... well, it was bad and I'm glad I had the gen chem back then... so long ago (5 years - holy shit).

See, I can remember all the periodic trends (on MCAT) and the definitions of all the theories (on MCAT), how to apply them (on MCAT), relationships between P T V, (on MCAT) most of the formulas (on MCAT), and VSEPR (on MCAT)...

Instructor called it V-PRES  not VES pur like the rest of us...  he also confused inverse and indirect; flipped an answer from right to wrong, drew the wrong Lewis dot structures, and got charge wrong.

Seriously.  5 years and I could teach that buttttttt

There was a passage regarding ions.  So I don't get myself in trouble with Kaplan I won't repeat their passage (as that's proprietary information) but I will give you a similar example.

Of the four following molecules which one has the best conductivity:

[Mn(NH3)5 Cl]SO4

I said the one with sodium (that metal thing, you know, far left side of periodic table, conductive, malleable, creates a really good solution with conducts electricity???).

It has 4 ions, where as the others only 2 (derp).  The charge is irrelevant in this example because shortly after seeing more ions, the charge doesn't matter... if same number of ions then I'd look at what was involved and still come up with Na...

Kaplan didn't need to teach me that.  Instructor's response?

"I didn't want to call you out on that but what if the Na were Na 2 instead of 3?"

Well, duh.  The Na 3 would still win because of greater number of ions.

He then said, "well, if you want a guaranteed increase in score you must do it our way..."

Guaranteed score increase?  I don't care about that, I care about my one shot at the MCAT on 1/15.  That's it.

The kicker?

"If you want to bring in outside knowledge to class, that's fine just know that's not the Kaplan way."

ORLY??? you mean the $15,000 I spent to get the 3.9 in land granting university classes was not supposed to be used on the MCAT?


oh boy.

Thank God I had gen chem taught by someone who could teach (and not get confused with inverse and indirect) ... despite that he was creepy, he could teach.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Confidentiality In Health Professions

Recently, as in last week, my now 22 almost 23 year old son went out to a local lake to do what 22 year old something do (jump off old tire swings, jump off cliffs into ocean waters, etc).

He'd been gone all day so I presumed he was having a blast and thankfully, he did.

A few days later we were sitting at dinner and he had a puzzled, troubled look on his face when I asked him about the friends (one of which is his boss).

He said that the fiancee of the boss's brother mentioned to the entire group after he'd left that she'd diagnosed him with scoliosis and he was not sure he should be mad.

I sat on my hands, chewed the inside of my cheek and just listened.

My son felt like he'd been ridiculed again, singled out, victimized.  She'd waited apparently until he got into his car to leave before telling the group.

"Am I right to be mad?" he asked.

"How'd you find out?" I questioned.

"My boss pulled me aside at work and mentioned it to me, asked if it bothered me."

Well, hell might have no fury like a woman scorned but victimize MY son?

"Who is she and what school does she go to?" I demanded.  "You should be pissed."

See, where I sit she broke MANY simple rules of health care professionals (if not more):

1)  A student of any kind (LPN, RN, NP, PA, DO, MD) should NOT diagnose anyone.  You're a student, not a licensed health practitioner.  Don't let your ego get in the way of your path.

2)  In no place is it appropriate to disclose another person's PERSONAL health to another person without their written consent, or the consent of their parent if they are minor.  It's that little law that went into affect, ooooh, about 20 years ago called HIPAA (not like the rhino friend, Hippo).

3)  It is never appropriate, ever, to disclose that kind of health information to an employer unless expressly requested or demanded for some reason (maybe health screening) but if that were the case, the employee would have signed a consent (there's that consent thingy again).

He asked what he should do and how he should handle it.  We talked it through, he was going to blame a "really good doctor friend of his" that had come "unglued when hearing what she'd done" and tell the boss he was concerned that the fiancee didn't know what she'd done was so wrong and that he didn't want her to screw up her career at some point by gossiping about someone's health.

I was angry.  I AM angry and sat on it for a few days.  Today, I called the school.

The director wanted to know which student, I declined saying I did not want to out her or victimize my son further which would happen given the relationship between his boss, and the nursing STUDENT.

What I preferred (demanded) is that the school use this as a teaching exercise and reinforce privacy of patients (and in this case, non patients).

There IS a higher platform for health professionals to maintain.

We talked further, he really wanted the student's name, I said no.  It would create issues for him at work, make things awkward and I would not do that to my son.

To me, the situation that happened with my son is no different than if 30 students are on spring break, two get too drunk and wipe out on the sloppy slide at Cancun's Tropical Hat Oasis and crack a head open whereupon the CT scan it is found that one of them has a hemorrhage.  To me, the health care students at that point have an obligation to keep their mouths shut.  Even if licensed, they have an obligation to protect the privacy of the people involved.

Students and licensed practitioners have an obligation in all facets of life to protect people's privacy.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Khan Academy

Oooh boy, while I have the biochem down pretty well, biology is seemingly going to be good, chemistry (both gen and orgo) will be fine (review required), physics is going to kick my ass.

See, back in 2010 when I was actually taking physics, I was getting a dreaded "B" so, I withdrew.  Panic had set in during one of the worst years of my life and panic won.

Physics.  I loved the class, the professor was awesome, but panic.

And now here I sit, Kaplan books in front of me, getting questions on basic principles wrong and the savior?

Khan Academy!

Whoo hoo - had it recommended to me while taking the other pre-reqs but it didn't help much because the expectation of my professors was far beyond what was available back then.

Today, however, it's saving my butt.

A sample:

    Acceleration: Calculating the acceleration of a Porsche

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Continuing The Marathon

Back at it.  Mole Genetics, including viral replication, got me fired up.

Videos like this just push me forward!