What it’s like to be a second year Medical Student:

What it’s like to be a second year Medical Student:

My first semester of medical school was probably the most stressful with adapting to a new country and the amount of course work that I had. But by now, I have routine so its a lot less stressful trying to balance everything.

I’m sure that most schools differ in when they schedule their classes and labs but all medical students generally take the same classes so that we can be prepared for Step 1 of the USMLE and ultimately be ready to treat our patients.

With this being said, my day usually starts early at 5:30am on weekdays. I start to get ready for classes, pack my lunch, drink my tea, mentally prepare for the day, and head to campus. I usually get to campus right at 7:30am and I study for an hour or so then I eat breakfast right before my 9:30am class or lab. On weekends, I wake up at 7:30am and start studying at 9:30am.

My first lecture or lab (depending on the day) starts at 9:30am everyday until about 11:20am. We get a 10 minute break halfway through the lecture for a quick snack or restroom break. After this lecture/lab, I get an hour break for lunch. During this hour, I usually eat lunch, call my mom, and go over flashcards before my next lecture if I have time. We also have a farmer who comes to our campus to sell fresh fruits and veggies so I make sure I visit them when they come once a week.

My second lecture is from 12:30pm until 2:30pm and afterward I stay on campus until about 3:45pm either to go to office hours or just wait for the school bus. Because I attend school at a Caribbean medical school, transportation is provided to the students at my university and the majority of us don’t have cars because 1. we can’t afford to have one or 2. we don’t feel comfortable with driving in a foreign country because of our lack of experience driving here. While I’m waiting for the school bus, I usually study my flashcards.

On my way home, I’m usually flipping through my Quizlet flashcards. I love Quizlet so much because I can access any of my flashcard decks on the go. I also flip through these cards as I’m waiting for the bus in the mornings before school. I get home at about 4:00-4:15 everyday. I sit down to study for about 1 and 1/2 hour then I give myself 45 minutes to eat dinner, meal prep, and clean up a little bit. Then I study from 7-9:30 and I work out from 9:30-10 on some days. I wish I could give myself more time to exercise but because of the demands of med school, I can’t. After I workout for a little bit, I shower and get in bed and continue studying.

My schedule differs day to day but is consistent every week, if that makes sense. For instance, I grocery shop once a week, either on Wednesday or Thursday but I have an allotted time for grocery shopping. I do my laundry once a week as well on the weekend and I do the majority of meal prepping with the exception of salads on the weekend. I’m grateful for the weekend because that’s when I get everything organized for the week in terms of my personal life and academics. The weekend also gives me a lot more time to catch up on school work. Yay!

With my experience, I’ve learned t’s all about balance in medical school. I’m the type of person who plans her meals ahead of time and makes lists for every little thing but I can honestly say that that has helped me maintain my sanity because it can all get so overwhelming so fast. My routine isn’t really set in stone and flexible because it’s important to realize that there are unforeseen circumstances that arise every once in a while. With that being said, I like to try to get ahead as often as possible with school work because in case something happens that throws me off of the schedule, I’ll know that I’m not really too far behind.

I keep mentioning my flashcards because that is the study method that works the best for me. Flashcards and drawing diagrams are what I usually do to help retain the information and Quizlet has helped me so much with this.

I hope this post gave some of you guys some insight on what a day in the 2nd year of medical school is like. If you have any questions, get in touch (:

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I’m sure that somehow, somewhere, we’ve all heard about a prostate. Perhaps you know someone who had prostate cancer or you know that because you’re a male, you have a prostate. Or, if you’re like me and my sister, you had to do your own extensive research about what “benign prostatic hypertrophy” is so that you could explain it a loved one. But what exactly is this mysterious thing and why is there so much fuss about getting it checked at age 50?

When you google the word “prostate” you get the general definition of the prostate being a walnut sized gland that is found ONLY in males and it secretes something that helps nourish the sperm. This definition pretty much sums it up. Having dissected the prostate in Anatomy Lab during my first year of med school, I would say that it is a li than a walnut but then again, my person could have had an enlarged prostate because he was elderly. If you have an Iphone, look at the port of your charger. The prostate is just a little bit bigger than that. It looks like a ball. It looks so harmless.

So now that we have established what it looks like, what does it mean for the prostate to be a gland? A gland is “something” in the body that secretes these special chemicals called “hormones” which go to other places in your body and perform certain functions. Our bodies are FILLED with glands and we have MANY different hormones in our bodies. For instance, the PINEAL GLAND our brains secrete a hormone called MELATONIN that helps us fall asleep. With this being said, the prostate is a gland that secretes a special substance (a fluid) which nourishes the sperm. This fluid that the prostate secretes is what makes up semen. With all of this being said, it’s important to know that the prostate is not REQUIRED for life but it is only required for reproduction.

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I found this image on google to help illustrate where the prostate gland is located.

In terms of where it is located, the prostate sits right underneath the bladder. Think of the bladder as a bubble that holds the urine. There is a hose that that is connected to the bladder which takes the urine out of the bladder and eventually out of the body. That hose is called the “URETHRA.” This hose runs right through the middle of the prostate. Now, we can see why an enlarged prostate can cause some problems with urination but we will get to those in a later post.

It is important to note that the prostate normally gets larger as the male ages and it is also important to note that an enlarged prostate does not always mean cancer. The doctor usually performs SEVERAL tests before confirming a diagnosis of prostate cancer or benign prostatic hypertrophy. Younger males generally don’t have to worry about prostate cancer unless there is a family history of it.

There is a screening test at AGE 40 for males. Remember, screening tests are important because they help catch a disease early so that it can be treated earlier!

I’ll definitely go in depth about this gland in a later post but I hope that you found it helpful in understanding what exactly a prostate is. If you have any questions or need a more in depth understanding about prostate, don’t hesitate to email me at: Contact@nilechild.com

My “go-to” comfort food

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My absolute favorite dish is Lo Mein! I don’t really like a lot of Chinese cuisine (nothing personal) but this is the one I can’t get enough of! This recipe is so easy to make and it is quite tasty! Not to mention, it doesn’t cost too much or take too much time to cook.

INGREDIENTS:
8 oz Cooked spaghetti noodles
1/2 cup green peppers
1/2 cup broccoli
1/2 cup white onion
1/2 carrots
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sriacha sauce (optional)
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
3 cloves of garlic
1 inch of fresh ginger

RECIPE:
(Prepping the stuff first)

1. What I like to do first is chop all of my veggies and have them ready. This is the step that probably takes the longest. I make sure all of the veggies are cleaned and chopped and set to the side.

2. Next, I chop the cloves of garlic and ginger and also set aside. I mince the garlic and ginger. I don’t combine them just yet though so I chop  and place them separately.

3. I also measure out my sauces just to have them ready to go as well.

Now is where the fun starts:

4. In a semi deep pan or pot, I warm up the 3 tbsp of oil until it gets hot. I test the oil by throwing in a tiny piece of the minced garlic and once it starts to sizzle, that means its time to start!

5. Next, I lower the heater to a little less than medium and drop the rest of garlic in there. The garlic is usually simmering at that point. I saute it about 30 seconds and then I add the chopped ginger. I saute the two for another 30 seconds. The garlic will start to brown at this point but I make sure it doesn’t burn.

6. Next, I drop my veggies into the pan one at a time and saute with the garlic and ginger. I like to throw in the hard vegetables first and work my way toward the soft ones. For instance, I will throw in the broccoli first, saute for 15 seconds, then the carrots, saute some more, then the green pepper and last, the onion, etc.

7. Once all of the veggies are in there, I add the cooked noodles and mix with the veggies.

8. Next, I throw the sugar in there and mix.

9. Then I add the rice vinegar AND Soy sauce AND sesame oil and mix.

10. Last but not least, I throw in the Sriracha sauce. This one depends on how spicy you want your noodles to be. You can completely omit it or add 1/4 of a cup or just a little more depending on what you prefer.

I usually serve this with sweet carrots as well as roasted zucchini. I love to add Japanese Shrimp Sauce to the noodles after I’m done cooking and before I a

When I was first working with this recipe, I purposely left our the meat because I used to eat it as part of “Meatless Monday” meals and have never tried it with chicken or beef.

You can change the veggies or add more or replace them with other ones. This is one of those recipes that you can experiment with.

I hope you all like it! Let me know if you make any changes and how it turns out!