Ohio State continued

So - although I seem to have been spending an excessive amount of times posting responses on here lately, it occurred to me that I haven’t posted much lately about what is happening in Ohio State land.

Seems hard to believe that second year is about half over. To refresh a little bit, I am in the Independent Study Pathway at Ohio State. In ISP, we are given “modules” with objectives that we are responsible for knowing. The modules reference specific texts. Some modules are all inclusive, others are straight lists of objectives, and we are responsible for finding the information on our own in the reference texts. Some module leaders include additional on-line resources, photos, lecture sessions, etc. All module leaders are supposed to be available to answer questions from students via e-mail or in person. Most of them are pretty good about being available. First year, all students take anatomy together and then the Independent Study students study normal physiology first year. Second year, we study pathophysiology. Each module has a recommended amount of study days and a recommended date to take the exam by as well as a “max date” that you HAVE to take the exam by. We schedule our tests when we are ready as long as we don’t exceed the max dates. Some students are WAY ahead, others are way behind, most stick to the recommended dates.

Those of you who followed my posts last year may remember that I made the mistake of falling behind early in the year. I was on the max date schedule for most of the year. I also struggled with finding a way to study and learn the material appropriately. I ended up not finishing my last Med 1 module until the end up July.

So far, Med 2 is going better. Although I haven’t been able to get ahead like I would have hoped, I am at least staying on the recommended schedule for now (more on that later). The first few modules of Med 2 are filled with incredible amounts of information - we start with Microbial Mechanisms, Pharmacology and Infectious Diseases. I am currently on the 4th module, Cardiac Pathology. This module is pretty long as well, but after this one, they are shorter.

We still have our Patient Centered Medicine course which consists of lectures and small group sessions on various topics (addiction, human sexuality, integrative medicine, human development, etc) and our Physician Development course. In PD, we have had components focusing on different aspects of conducting a patient interview as well as learing many of the various physical exam techniques. This year, we have two preceptorships focusing more on the physical exam. The first preceptorship was in the fall and we were assigned to a physicians office to work with a practicing physician on our physical exam skills. I was assigned to a pediatrician. Our second preceptorship, which is in January or February, is hospital based, and we are assigned to work with a physician in the hospital conducting both interviews and physical exams on hospitalized patients. This will also be our first real experience in presenting a patient to an attending and learning how to write up our patient interview/PE findings.

The normal schedule for ISP students is to finish up our med 2 modules by the end of April. All students have two weeks of “Introduction to Clinical Medicine” where we learn needed details before starting our clinical rotations in July. All students need to study for and take Step 1 of the USMLE before the end of June. The goal for most people is to have ~ a month to prepare for the boards. At the end of Februrary, we start a weekly PBL type class that involves taking case studies and working through them. We officially start clinical rotations July 1 as Med 3s.

That is how its SUPPOSED to work. My schedule is going to be a little bit different. My husband and I are awaiting the birth of our first child at the end of this month (Jan. 24th is the EDD). Obviously, I am not going to finish up year 2 on schedule. I will be taking my cardio test in the next week or so. I have been assigned to the January group for hospital preceptorship. I am hoping to get one more module done and hopefully all of my preceptorship done before going into labor. The administration has been incredibly supportive in working with me.

Because all third year preceptorships are two months long, I am (kind of) taking two months “leave”. Obviously, I will not do much for probably 3 - 4 weeks after giving birth. After that, I hope to be able to attend the PBL course and finish out our PCM course (which will require two trips to campus a week). Since I can’t start clinical rotations until July (there’s no way I will be able to finish everything up and take Step 1 in time), I will start one clinical rotation late and start in September. Depending on how things go, I will be taking Step 1 in late July or August. By not taking some of our 4th year vacation time, I should be able to graduate on time and participate in the match in 2009 with my classmates.

Things will be incredibly busy for the next month. Although we have most things prepared for the baby, I still need to do some shopping for some essentials and get my house in order in addition to getting as much studying done as possible. The next couple of weeks may well be the most challenging. I have had an incredibly easy pregnancy so far, but I am starting to have spells where I all of the sudden just want to lay down and take a nap.


Amy, I am so excited for you! It sounds like you’ve got a good plan worked out for when your baby arrives. I hope that you’re able to give in to those nap inclinations whenever possible… yeah, it gets hard to focus much outside your own body at this point. We’re all pulling for you!


Thanks for the excellent writeup, and congrats-to-be! Sounds like some extremely interesting stuff, and a whole lot of busy to go with it.