Saturday, April 30, 2005

A New Day

"Don't let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game."

I have a totally new outlook today. I just know that everything is going to be all right and that my life can turn out the way I want it to because I believe in myself and my family, coworkers, professors, and community believe in me, too. In fact, the English Department believes in me so much that in addition to me becoming a departmental destinction candidate, I just earned a new scholarship for my achievement in the English department!! I am so happy and I am definitely out of the funk I've been in the past couple of days. I took my Physics final, so I'm completely through with all my med school pre-reqs and now I can just focus on my med school apps and making myself in to an awesome candidate. I know I can do it, and I know I will make it. I will be a doctor.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I Will Be a Doctor




Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Thrill is Gone

Ever since I took the MCAT (last week), I've had little motivation to do anything. That test really took a lot out of me. I was kind of hoping I'd have some time to slack off at school before finals, but no such luck. This week is the last week of classes at SMU and finals week at UTD. So my schedule this week:
  • Monday - Meet with our scribe coordinator to plan summer schedule
  • Tuesday - Formal interview with SMU Health Professions Advisory Committee
  • Wednesday - Later Victorian Lit paper 3 due (4-5 pages) and Psych Disorders of Children Test 3 (last day of class)
  • Thursday - Children's Lit paper 4 due (4 pages on a novel for young adults) and extra credit due (write a children's book!) and Physics final exam and extra credit due (last day of class)
  • Friday - Scribe in the morning on my day off from school
So I'm pretty busy this week. Which sucks when you're not motivated at all b/c you took the biggest test of your life and all you're thinking about it what your score is and you won't find out until June. And med school apps start May 1, so I'm really just wanting to focus on that, but I've got my finals in Victorian and Children's Lit and my final paper in Italian Humanism. Then the week after that I have my last test in General Nutrition. AAAHH!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

MCAT April 2005

I'm freeeeeeeeeeeee! I took the MCAT today, and I feel great! I woke up on my own 5 minutes before my alarm clock went off (this never happens to me). I felt calm, almost euphoric, as I brushed my teeth and got ready for the day. I hooked up with some of my friends when I got to UD and we all felt pretty good (yay, TPR!). Overall, our classroom had 1 1/2 hrs added to it because our proctor kept delaying everything. The PS section started out easy, but then got hard. It was about as hard as the AAMC tests, though, so it wasn't completely unexpected. There were some things on it that I don't remember covering in class, but I used POE and the passage and tried my best. I had 2 passages left over, but I always do and I got a 9 on my last AAMC test so I know I can still make a good score. My VR section was so easy! I had a passage on Islamic scientists and 2 on scientific revolutions. Boy am I glad I took that class on the History and Philosophy of Science! And one of the sci rev passages was straight out of Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions, a book I've studied in 2 classes. I had read the passage before! I even had time to do the "killer" passage on Modernism. So I finished that section right on time and went on to do BS which I finished w/ 5 min to spare. My prediction: 8PS, 12 VR, and 11 BS. Here's hoping.

Friday, April 15, 2005

April Is the Cruelest Month...

Tomorrow is the day that will determine the rest of my life...but I'm not supposed to think about that because it will increase anxiety and the most important tip for the MCAT is "don't freak out." I feel well prepared. I scored a 29 on AAMC 8, which is supposed to be really hard. I'm really glad I took Princeton Review classes. If I hadn't, I'd be screwed. Today is supposed to be a day of rest and relaxation, and we're not supposed to study (but I'm still glancing at notes, tee hee). I skipped my SMU classes yesterday (well, one was canceled and the other was a quiz that I asked to take next week). I was planning on skipping classes today, but Dr. Cox said that we're going over sleep disorders and that it was kind of an important lecture. Could it be that TS Eliot was referring to the MCAT when he started The Wasteland by saying, "April is the cruelest month"?

Monday, April 11, 2005

Practice Makes Perfect

So I've been practicing for the big MCAT test this Saturday. I've taken AAMC 6R, 7 , and 3R. I've started 8 in that I'm doing one section a day just to get familiar with real MCAT questions. Today I did the Bio and I'm happy with my score. Overall, I'm feeling pretty confident, but I of course still want to improve. I pulled a 12 on the verbal for 3R, so I'm hoping to do that on the real deal.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

My First Diagnosis

Guess what: I made my first diagnosis today! I'm serious, it was a real diagnosis. We have a patient in the ICU, and we didn't know what to do (hey, that rhymes). We have this software called Diagnosis Pro where we can put in some symptoms and check out the differential. OK, so we put in some info and the comp kept saying he had a diabetic coma (no, the guy was talking) and cancer (ok, we already thought that, but the CT scan kept coming up negative). One thing about this patient was that he had acetone in his blood (and no, you're not supposed to have nail polish remover in your blood). We checked out the differential some more and one possibility was chronic alcoholism (ding ding ding!). When alcoholism is suspected, the patient is automatically given Thiamine. The doctor went ahead and wrote that order and moved on while one of the patient's other doctors said that he had no idea what was going on with this guy.

As we were walking away to another building I said, "Doesn't acetone build up through ketosis?" and my doc said yeah and I said, "Well, ketosis occurs during fasting. So if our patient has acetone in his blood, he must be starving." My doctor said, well I checked his Hemoglobin A1C and it was normal. I said, "But our patient is an alcoholic...didn't you say that he looked 'emaciated and wasting'?" Yeah, he said. I said, "then maybe he's not eating at all, just drinking. He's choosing alcohol over food. His alcohol is depleting his niacin and he doesn't have enough niacin for the Krebs cycle. So now he has sugar in his body, but he can't metabolize it. Since he can't metabolize glucose, his body is going through ketosis since he's fasting. How much acetone was in his blood?" My doc said, "A very small amount...but there shouldn't be any at all. That's why it's a big problem." "So," I said, "that means that he's in the second, not the third, stage of fasting. We can still help him. Shouldn't we give him niacin?" "You're right, Maryam!" he said, "We have to give him Thiamine first to save his brain and then Niacin to save his body. I'll let the orders stand because if I go back and write for Niacin too they'll give it to him in the wrong order. But I'll go back later today and write for Niacin. Great job!"

I was sooo happy! I really can be a doctor. I do have the qualities that make a good physician: breadth of knowledge + analytic reasoning + critical thinking (+ compassion). I have to do well on my MCAT so that I can show the admission commitees that I do have what it takes, and I can finally begin the career that I was born to do.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Registration Time

It's the most wonderful time of the year...Registration! I love registering for classes because it promotes the idea that there is something new and exciting just around the bend. There's so much promise and knowledge to be gained in the coming term. Today I registered for my SMU classes for Fall 2005. Check them out and let me know if you want to take a class with me. I've taken classes with 3 of the professors, so I can give you the heads up.

  • ENGL 4339 Earlier Romantic Lit
  • ENGL 5349 Seminar: Literary Theory
  • FL 3393 Dante's Poetic Vision (I'm petitioning for Honors)
  • PSYC 3380 Health Psychology
So I'll have no SMU classes Wednesdays or Fridays! How cool is that? Sweet!

Saturday, April 02, 2005


Today I took the AAMC MCAT Practice Test 7 and scored a 28!! I got an 8 on Physical Sciences, 10 on Verbal Reasoning, and 10 on Biological Sciences. This is soooo awesome! I met my goals for VR and BS, now I just have to do it on PS, and I will rule the school. I was so excited when I graded my test. It's so funny that I did well because when I was taking it I thought I flunked it. Here's hoping I'll do even better on the real thing -- it's just 2 weeks away!