Class of 2017 Chat

I’m so excited to start this thread! So let’s hear it, guys…when is everyone starting? What are you doing with your summer?

I am getting BLS certified today, per my school’s requirements. I have all my vaccinations and transcripts taken care of, and now I’m just hanging out with the girls and waiting to start!!

I report for orientation 3 weeks from yesterday (7/22), with classes starting the following week. Just got an email from the anatomy director, telling us to buy Langman’s Medical Embryology and read all 400 pages before 7/29. The editor of the book will guest lecture the whole first week, and our first exam, covering embryo, is 8/5. Whaaaaa??

Also got an email from one of the profs who teaches Cellular and Molecular Medicine (which starts AFTER fall break in October). He sent three video lectures (about 2 hours total) and three sections of notes…all biochem info we are required to know before day one of that class.

On one hand, I’m grateful for the head start. On the other hand, I may now need blood pressure medication. LOL.

Holy crap…we’re starting med school!!

Good luck, everyone…let us know how you are doing as you have time this year. Proud of you guys!

WOW! Be careful what we ask for huh?!?

Hi Carrie

well as for me, I am going to work my ass off in July to pay down some debt that I am trying to get rid off (somehow debt is like this boomerang that keep coming at you whenever you throw it away!).

Ah well, I am finishing work on August 9 and the orientation retreat starts on the 8 and over the entire week-end to start school on Monday Aug 12. So there is some overlap I will have to handle (and I don’t know how at this time). But I will figure things out.

I have received a partial schedule and knowing it is only partial, it is already insane. So like you, I have some apprehensions, and so did my wife when she saw it, because evidently family time is going to be cut to a bare minimum. Other than that, I still have to handle some situation with foreign transcripts, and also a Background check and a new requirement: DRUG TEST. Luckily, they don’t test for beer in the blood (my blood is probably more beer than blood at this point). I am done with immunization requirements (finally).

I have only 2 days of vacations left, when I told my 6 years old son, he was mad (he replied: now you have to pay, you are going to buy me a toy!).

Otherwise I bought a telescope as my 3-year old daughter calls it (a stethoscope of course). Got a littman cardio III used for $60, which is well below market price. But frankly, I believe those are overrated, but my (non-expert) opinion. I am presently shopping for a tablet, will buy a chinese one (my favorite Cube U9GT5 half the price of my wife’s samsung and twice more powerful if not more). Theses tablets are very good for the price, will last 2 years (hopefully) and I need something to have my Pdf books on, and keep a scan of my notes. I will be commuting by train, so I will have plenty of time to read and won’t have to carry heavy crap.

Finally I have done some extensive repairs on my 23 years old Jaguar (fuel system, brake system, A/C, headliner etc…). It drives fantastic. Dare I to say, better than that expensive german berlin my wife drives (ah now you know why I have to drive a 23 year old car, so that she can drive the fancy one!).

So setting in slowly and very eager.

I have just been added to the Facebook group of my class, and it is funny to read how different us nontrads’ concerns are compared to younger students.

Redo- how long will your commute be? My commute situation is not ideal. We can’t sell our house, so I will have to carpool with my husband everyday to school. Thankfully his work is not far from my school. The drive is 40 min one way, and I have been told that it might be too long. I can not fix the housing situation, so I am hoping that I can still study in the car. Any thoughts?

My doctor shared two mottos with me to calm my nerves a couple days ago: " P (pass)= MD" and " What do you call a bottom-ranked student in a med school graduating class? -Doctor."

Haha…Apple, my girls’ pediatrician said the same thing. She was NOT fond of the first two years. She basically just said to keep breathing and hang on. Your school believes in you and will get you where you need to be. Just put in the work and pass…so you can get on to the PRACTICE of medicine, which is why we’re all there in the first place. Too funny…

I have been fortunate to meet several students in M1 and M2 at my school who are in their 30s…many are married and have kids. Common ground is nice! My class is only 72 people–I am really looking forward to that. It sounds like the small class size really lends itself to teamwork and excellent access to professors.

Redo, I don’t envy you having to work right now, but getting rid of debt is a GOOD thing! Good for you. I’m having so much fun with my girls that I’m finding it hard to be motivated to do anything else (I.e. read this 400 pg embryo book!) At least continuing to work will keep you on a schedule. Mine is totally out the window! :).

I’m so glad you guys get to commute every day and be with your families. You are so lucky!! I will see my husband and girls about 3-4 days a week…better than nothing, but not ideal. I plan to stay on a strict study schedule Mon-Thursday, so I can take time off on weekends to really be with them. My 4 month old wont ever know another schedule…it’s my 6 year old I worry about the most. Lots of planning and open communication…fingers crossed.

Off to the pool! HA…won’t be able to say THAT much longer.

  • Apple pie Said:

Redo- how long will your commute be? My commute situation is not ideal. We can't sell our house, so I will have to carpool with my husband everyday to school. Thankfully his work is not far from my school. The drive is 40 min one way, and I have been told that it might be too long. I can not fix the housing situation, so I am hoping that I can still study in the car. Any thoughts?"

Wait, whaaaaaa???? 40 min is too long for what again? Commute not ideal? You got to be kidding! Your situation is very close to ideal, and I am not comparing it with mine, but with many who have to move, or physically separate from family and so on.

For me it will take about 1h, because I want to use the train for 2 reasons. One we get the deal of the century. I pay only 5% of the annual fare for a 1 year pass ($50 instead of $1000). Second, I want to use the time (to relax, read my notes, sleep, think). Driving is an absolute waste of time in my opinion (aside from talking on the phone or listening to music, ok you can listen to an audio book, but what's point if you don't read the book?)

So it seems you solved both issues very nicely. Free ride (your guy still has to commute), and time for you to do whatever you want. You avoid all the inconvenience of common transportation. You can also use this time to talk to hubby about important stuff. Plus 40 min is really not that long. I think you have it pretty nice there.

I have commuted to this university for 6 years in the past, by car. Nice days, it would take about 45 min. Bad days, double that at least. Plus there is the stress of traffic and so on. Last december the train station showed up 5 min drive from my place . So it is a blessing, as if "Since Redo is going back to Med School, we will have a train station for him to commute, and BTW because he is a Med Student, he will pay 5% of the fare". Seriously, I am very happy of my arrangements (I have seen what commute by car in Dallas can do). But I must also say that I would be even happier if I had the same deal as you (although my wife drives like a racecar driver and she scares the hell out of me...)

PS: I am just realizing that these posts are the first I am writing in the "Medical Students" section. That feels very very very good my friends.

Doesn’t it?? I am so excited to finally live in this section of OPM!

Apple, Redo is right… Don’t worry about your commute. I’ve driven 45 mins to my office every day for 9 years. I’d be thrilled to share that time kid-free with my husband. What a blessing! You get used to it very quickly, trust me. You’ll be fine, and I bet it won’t be very long before you see those 40 minutes as a treasure every day…a gift, really, because dedicated time with your spouse will be rare in the days to come. Don’t worry at all!!

A train would be pretty sweet, too… My apartment is about a 7-10 minute drive from campus…I’m not even sure what to do with that after driving all those years! As for my weekend commute, I’m hoping my husband will be able to fly over and pick me up as often as possible, but I know I’ll do the drive quite a bit too. Oh well… I’m going to see my weekends as a reward for good performance throughout the week…I have a feeling the days will fly by!!

Looks like my housing situation will also be complicated. I’ll be out at school during the week and coming back home to my family on the weekends. I’ll probably be getting a small studio very near school.

It’s not ideal but since we own our place and we don’t really want to deal with the selling process in a hasty/compression fashion. Also, my first son will stay in his current pre-school which will he good for him and my wife. There is also some selfishness here as the first year at my school is “front-loaded”. On the plus side, second year it a lighter load!

I’m hoping by 2nd year we’ll all up at school for when my first child starts kindergarten (already looking at school districts!).

At least my school starts fairly late (Aug 16), so I have some time to get all this sorted out.

Lol, now I feel that I whine too much. I was told by my husband’s good friend who went to UT southwestern that 40 min drive each way is too long, especially during clinical years. He was probably a gunner though. He graduated first of his class which is definitely not my goal.

Yesterday my school sent me a welcome letter with a book list and some medical instruments a to buy. My school recommends the same embryo book as Carrie’s. I also bought a cardiology III and practiced how to take blood pressure on my poor husband.

I am thankful to have found our online community. With everyone’s support, the journey does not seem to be as long or lonely.

Dnelson- congrats on your acceptance. It is wonderful that you get to skipped the gap year.

I will post some useful links stay tuned

My last day of work is July 26 - will be the first time I haven’t worked since shortly before my 16th b-day. Then we take two weeks as a family to get away before my school starts August 12. Still have to figure out the whole parking thing - NO parking on campus unless you pay $12/day, but have a few leads. Getting nervous about how my family will respond to this new stress…we’ll find out soon, right?

There are a lot of “non-trads” in my class, including one that I sat next to in my physics class last year…at least one familiar, friendly face

40 minutes??? PSHAW!!! Did 45 minutes morning and night for six years while working at the prison. For undergrad - it was 90 minutes one way. For Grad school, it was 70 minutes one way. In my mind, what are you willing to do in order to get to where you want to be in life???

Vicki- I assume that your comment was about my previous post. You probably do not mean it, but the post feels a little insulting to me. To be clear, I am willing to do whatever it takes to reach my goal of becoming a physician. The reason I posted was to find out what redo plans to do during his commute and if he has any good strategies that i have not realized before. I am hoping to fully utilize my time in the car and not merely waste at least 80 mins each day on transportation.

Vicki - when med students say “40 minutes is too long” they don’t mean it in terms of tiredness or aggravation. What they mean is that they need to either be at class or study for 16 hours a day, and 1 1/2 hours a day traveling will be inevitable subtracted from sleep or study time…and that’s “too long” on a consistant basis to leave you enough time to get thru the material. If apple pie can be driven and possibly read during the car trip, no prob. If she has to drive it, it could be a problem Hence redo’s strategy of using the train makes great sense.


PS - i’ve heard people say - “I almost passed neuro…probably would have passed if I lived closer to school” -that’s the difference it can make.


I had about a 40 minute commute for my postbac program. I ended up recording classes using my iPhone and then re-listening to them on my drive. While not high-quality studying, I think that it helped the material sink in a little better. :slight_smile:

My orientation is on Aug 7, and classes start on the on Aug 13! I decided to spend this summer taking care of my son (he’s 7 months old). My spouse and I figured that whatever I would have earned working this summer probably wouldn’t be too much more than the cost of having the baby in daycare; and this way I get to spend quality some time with him before school takes over my life…

Looking forward to reading about everyone’s experiences this year! :slight_smile:

My “big” as they’re called at my school (student one class above me who took me under her wing and showed me the ropes during my first year) is a non-trad in her early 40s who has a young daughter. She drives about 45 mins each way and she said she loves this alone time in her car. She listens to music to relax, or to the news to stay current with what’s happening in the world. There IS downtime in med school and because you have to keep your sanity, don’t be worried if you don’t use your commute to study - it sounds like it could be a great opportunity to chat with your husband so he won’t feel neglected if you spend your hours at home studying diligently.

Oh my goodness! This is it…this is the week. I start packing tomorrow. I call to have power turned on in my teensy apartment in the morning. Thursday night, I’ll be sleeping over there. Orientation starts a week from tomorrow. Deep, deep breaths!

All of a sudden, after all this time, I just don’t quite feel ready. This summer went by WAY too fast.

In other news, I’m doing the assigned reading for embryology, and my mind is officially blown. The series of absolute miracles that had to occur for tiny, microscopic cells to turn into that sweet, perfect, beautiful baby girl snoring softly across my bedroom…simply unbelievable. I’m telling you…mind BLOWN.

I wonder if we’ll be in a state of perpetual awe for the next several years? I, for one, certainly hope so.

Carrieliz -

One of our professors said “neural crest cells are my favorite cells” which sounds funny, but when you study embryo and realize what all they are doing, they are really miraculous


oh, by the way, if I had to pick a favorite cell it would be Schwann cells because

a) Schwann cells are cool

b) if they turn into a tumor, it’s generally a benign tumor with a cool name (“Schwannoma”). Plus you can sing “Schwannie, how I love you, how I love you, my dear old Schwannie”

Ok, I did NOT have enough coffee this morning!

open up, and say AAAAAHHHHHHHHH

Hilarious. Now I will always think of Kate when I read about Schwann cells. If I have to pick one, my “favorite” gene has to be the sonic hedgehog gene. In addition to its amazing function, a gene deserves some attention with such a cool name.