Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Death By Powerpoint

Last week I went through a five-day board prep course. A few of my classmates from residency and I flew out to the Midwest and camped out in a hotel. We endured 50 lecture hours over 5 days! I had forgotten how painful it can be to spend so much time in a lecture hall, and haven't slugged down that much caffeine in a long time. A couple of my classmates from medical school were there as well, although no one that I keep in touch with.

The course itself was pretty thorough. Some of the lectures were interesting, while others weren't really geared to board review. In addition to attending the lectures and following along with the provided notes and daily quizzes, lectures were continually run on one of the TV channels in the hotel rooms. There were also a couple of rooms upstairs that were filled with x-rays and images to quiz yourself on.

The first couple of days were a little overwhelming, but by the end of it, I feel like I had been given enough material. Very little of it was new, but there are a few areas like hemotologic disorders, derm stuff, and random neuro findings I need to focus in on to pick up a few points here and there. The majority of first-time test takers pass the exam, but it is pretty expensive and only offered once a year, so I would like to not repeat the experience if at all possible. Board certification in Emergency Medicine is a two-step process. The second part involves an oral exam that you only get "invited" to take once you pass the written part. After that, there's just some continuing education stuff to keep up with, and recertification isn't for another 10 years.

AG finally gets to come home for his "mid-leave" break in just a few days, and so my plan is to just relax during his leave. Afterwards, I have about a month after he leaves before the exam, so that will be the time to hunker down and really get back into studying.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

An Unlikely Patriot

I have been well-intentioned about updating more regularly, but this last week has been hell. Now that I am done with residency, there is no protective 80-hour work week restriction. So far, my shifts had been scattered here and there, but due to a number of trades I did to accommodate my partners and my leaving town for a board review course, I somehow ended up doing 8 shifts in 9 days (at all different hours) logging in over 96 hours. Welcome to the real world, baby girl. There was some interesting stuff scattered in here and there and I'm now scrambling to remember it.

Just after Patriot Day, a paranoid schizophrenic showed up at the main gate on base. He wanted to borrow a bulldozer because he knew where Osama Bin Laden was, and he wanted to "corner him with a bulldozer." I'm not sure why he drove several hours to get a bulldozer from the base when there were probably several closer to his residence, or why wouldn't want something with more oomph like a tank, but I suppose he was well-intentioned. I imagine he is still inpatient somewhere, and as for Osama, he's probably on the loose again.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Jeopardy Flashback

I just finished watching "The Bucket List" with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. In the movie, Morgan Freeman's character is constantly watching Jeopardy and always knows all of the answers. It made me remember a high school math teacher of mine that only lasted a year in our meager school district. The guy had a fixation with Jeopardy and was always talking about the database that he had made over the past 10 years or so of all of the questions and answers. He seemed to think that there was a finite number of questions and was always looking for someone to coach and get to memorize all of the random facts he had collected. He was a strange guy with bizarre mannerisms and dressed like he was about 30 years older than he was-- I wonder whatever happened to him.