Friday, February 27, 2015

Childhood Memories &The Characters That Shaped Our Lives

That old Motorola TV on four little wooden pegs for legs and black and white screen replete with rabbit ears on the backside and speakers in the front provided a necessary and pleasant after school show for me.  I was hooked from the first episode.

Many girls my age played with dolls and learned to sew; I learned to use test tube, explored addition of vinegar with baking soda, bleach with amonia and watched Star Trek.

My Barbie dolls were renamed Uhura and Spock; I even painted ears on the one.  My dad created a ship for the Enterprise; and both of us wept when in the movie, Enterprise was blown up.

From the Trouble with Tribbles to Wrath of Khan, Spock was always my favorite.  The science guy, the nerdy one, the unemotional external facade fully aware of the internal raging emotions of the Vulcan race.

Today, I weep again.  My childhood hero passed.  The science officer on the Enterprise went into the last frontier and sadly...

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Biochem Is NOT Hard

Unless you have a truly sucky professor (I did not - I had the greatest biochem prof ever!!)

In less than 5 minutes I can draw all of them which sounds daunting until you try it:

start with the two carbon backbone

off the left side draw an N, with both Hs (yes, both - it makes sense when you start combining amino acids in a string which then form alpha helices, etc)

off the right side draw the carbonyl off the 2nd carbon and the OH group

There, you have the start for 19 amino acids... all except proline.

Glycine is boringly blank - nothing but an H off the primary carbon...

Alanine is almost as boring but has a methyl group...

Then throw in another carbon off the alanine and you have valine...

Eventually, you get this:

I left off the two acids because you simply replace the NH2 with COOH and you get the acids.

There you have it.

How will that help in biochem?

Well, if you know that the reactions of the amino acids combine via peptide bonds, disulfide bonds, H bonds, etc ... and know the pka of the acids, you can start to configure the quaternary structures and figure out:

if the pocket on a substrate has a basic inside, what can fit inside of it?

HINT:  WON'T BE GLYCINE, et al ...

When it comes to the chymotrypsin reaction, knowing that histidine has a 5 member ring with two N in it, help remember the conformational change during the two cycle reaction...

Or when you get into creating urine, or why asparagus stinks in the urine ;)

Anyway, 5 minutes to do all that above ... taught to me by the greatest biochem prof ever !

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Interesting Sites - ID

I am going to sit for the MCAT.  My confidence grows.

I will get into medical school.  My resolve is growing as well.

I will be a doctor, and change my last name (I've kept my anonymity for such a long time, I'll continue to on here!)

So, as I shadowed the doctor on Monday, I started wanting to prep for his lecture on Mondays at noon.

And found this site:

From THIS site!

Holy awesome!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Let's Talk Shoes ...


What do female physicians, residents, student, premed wear on their feet?!?!

I wore my favorite Sperry Top Siders for rounding yesterday and I had leg cramps last night.  Crocs are not appropriate for shadowing so...

Thoughts?  PLEASE?!

I'm looking at Sanita footwear... is that professional enough?

Monday, February 2, 2015

Way Cool Shadowing

Lecture with resident and fellows for an hour.  Diseases that I did not know existed, forms of diseases that I did not know exist.

And who eats FROGS?!?!?!  UNcooked?!?!?  Ask me, go ahead, ask me what's so bad about sushi?

Okay, 5 hours on my feet and I'm paying for it but holy fun, shadowing was awesome.

Patients I won't discuss but suffice to say the population replicated that which I saw in the rural family setting.  And some patients were hard to see.  That circle of life thing always resonates.

But mostly?  Holy awesome!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

"That" Diagnostic Score You Received

is bunk.  If you let it bug you, you'll turn into a mini-me; procrastinating, FUD settling in, questioning the path... don't do it.

I took my first diagnostic about 8 months ago and clicked and pointed and clicked and pointed some more and then guessed.

My score showed it.

A few months into the prep course and I knew taking the exam in late January of this year was a no-go.  Thanksgiving hit, then Christmas back home with my dad and then ... a few weeks of blowing off studying and there I sat.

I gave up my seat for the exam.  Which was the absolute right thing to do.  Take it once, do very, very well on it and never look back is the common theme.

I agree.

Then came the 2nd diagnostic.  Of the new MCAT.  More biochem, less physics I said.  Win!  I exclaimed.  Diagram, I did while the test timer clicked down.

I still skimmed, still clicked and paused and guessed a few.  And realized I was not ready for the MCAT (good thing I canceled my seat!!!).

So, how to use the diagnostic:

Evaluate where weakness lies.

And then develop a plan accordingly.

I work full-time plus (over 45 hours a week).  Studying every day for 8 hours is not workable unless the PowerBall ticket I bought actually pays out the $317M on Weds.

Studying more efficiently for shorter periods will be the only way for me... then longer periods on the weekends.

Over lunch read the iPad app, or flashcards during breaks; writing equations while eating dinner.  Then, use the weekend extensively for intensive prep work; note card making, diagram creation, systems drawing, amino acids repetition...

Because honestly?  Using the diagnostic as anything but a pointer aka study guide is dumb.

And anyone pursuing med school is not dumb.  :)