Starting at UTMB

I have been around on the e-group for a little over a year now. I’m not quite a medical student, but since all of my questions/posts are heading that way, I thought I should put an introduction here.
I am currently in the prematriculation program at UTMB, and will be an MS-I there in August. I was a paramedic for 10 years in Austin and taught paramedic stuff for a few years (Some of that was while working for Jeff Jarvis!).
I have a very understanding wife. She teaches kindergarten. It’s kind of funny. When she has a “challenging” student, she comes up with a couple of possible solutions, and then asks me how I would respond to them. Generally, my response is pretty similar to the children’s.
I also have a wonderful 1 year old daughter. Tensions are a little high, because medical school will put her in daycare for the first time. I get the impression that this will probably be more traumatic for my wife and I than it is for her.
If there are any questions that pertain to my situation or background, I am more than happy to answer them. I am also generally more than willing to give my 2 cents, regardless of my qualifications.
Take Care!
Trey Wood

Hey Trey,
I am interested in the prematriculation part of your story. How does this work? I am very interested in attending UTMB. I live in Dallas and spoke a little with Jeff at the conference. Any info will be appreciated. Also, I have 4 kids and just put the littlest in daycare at 17 months. It was harder on me than her. She is in a small private daycare in a friends home. Our speech therapist said she needed to be around kids her age that were speaking so she could see that she needed to use words and not gestures. I think it will be hard on your wife and baby for a while. I agree that it probably be harder on your wife!
Good luck you this summer! Enjoy Galveston!
Cindy in Dallas

Howdy Cindi!
I did the prematric program before my first year, too. It may have changed some so this only applies to what I exerpienced.
The program was around 6 weeks and covered a little of each of the science courses we'd cover in the first year. It had about two lectures a day, a PBL every other day and a lot of anatomy labs.
The major focus of the program was Gross Anatomy & Radiology. We did dissections on cadavers, basically focusing on the chest and some of the abdomen. The dissections were pretty close to what we did first year, just taking longer to do it.
I found it to be a great introduction to medical school and am really glad I did it. I'm not sure if it helped me much with my grades but think it helped tremendously with my comfort and stress levels.
We took exams but they didn't count towards anything. It was just for experience.
Take care
MS-II (in a little over a week)

Hi Cindy!
I highly recommend the prematriculation program. I have no idea what it will do for me grade-wise, but like Jeff mentioned, I think it goes a long way to reduce stress. I think it would have been pretty overwhelming to have started “cold” in the Fall.
I have been trying to use the time to learn the skills I will need more than the material. I spent the lab period the other day working on my dissection techniques. I can now work faster, and mutilate considerably fewer important structures!
It also seems like this has been helpful for my family. Its nice to get a taste of how things are going to be, and get a chance to work through the issues and emmotions that come up without anything counting academically.
My only complaint about the prematriculation program is that is does not seem to correlate very much to what things will really be like in the Fall. Right now, we are often in class for 10 hours a day. In the Fall, we will generally get out closer to noon, but we will have a lot of stuff to do on our own. Right now, we are taking 5 courses and a couple of seminars each week. In the Fall, we can concentrate our efforts on 2 courses at a time. I think I am really getting a lot out of this program, but I think I would get even more if it were more “realistic”. Based on my experiences so far, I would highly recommend this program!
Let me know if you have any more questions.
Trey Wood