Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Fitting in

It's been an incredibly busy last week. We had the histology midterm today, and are currently deep into Head and Neck, with the exam on next Tuesday. Rather stressful. Still, we had a chance to go out for one of my classmate's birthdays.

To clarify things, my classmates and I actually get along pretanaturally well. for instance, this was the third time we've gone out to eat and had to split the bill by everyone paying cash. Normally this turns into a debacle as no-one has money and the person that ends up paying gets stuck paying way too much, but with this group, it was smooth as silk.

We were joined by three second years. Two of them are the TAs, who have calmed down considerably since the begining of head and neck. It's now much clearer that their threats are in jest, and they really do wish us well. The third second year flunked anatomy, and so she is retaking with us. It's so incredibly helpful to have someone like that around since she knows the ropes, is one of those people who knows everyone,* and is quite sympathetic to us because we are in the same boat. She's obsessed with setting my overwhelmingly male class up with the incoming first years and her class of second years. I think it's rather cute, but appreciate that getting set up with people will also mean that I get to meet people.

Whenever we eat, MSTP with MD (or perhaps messed-up with normies), the rivalry always comes up. The problem is that people with very different career plans are in the same classes together so there will always be some cross talk, but understanding that doesn't make it any less likely to occur. One of the reasons I chose to come here is that the MD/PhD program here comprises a REAL MD and a REAL PhD - that is, full degrees, with nothing cut out, and very few relaxed requirements. In one of my first posts, I mentioned seing a group of MSTPs in a second year medical class describing their patients, and noted that the preceptor didn't realize they were MSTP until they told him they were going into the PhDs rather than into the clinical years of training (3rd and 4th years of med school). I therefore take it as a priority to fit in with the medical school class.

Thus, it bothers me that the TAs talk about playing 'spot the MSTP.' I suppose the year ahead of us was incredibly cliqeish in class the first year, and may have been haughty, but the thing is that we too will stick out. Having taken anatomy and histology, we won't be taking those classes with our MD counterparts. Physiology and Touchy-Feely I may help make up for it, but if we're not in there bitching about our anatomy readings, it could be difficult to connect. Ultimately, I think I care more about getting some friends here than having my administrative quirks remain unknown.

* Part of the reason that she knows everyone (other than the fact that she is rather outgoing) is that she failed anatomy. Everyone knows that she failed anatomy, therefore she knows everyone, and seems to enjoy her noteriety. She described me as the 'most sarcastic member of the class' a high honor, seeing as how we seem to have been admitted on the basis of most sardonic wit.

No comments: