Because it’s not enough that I have school in the summer…

…it has to be hard, too.

This sign is entirely too cheerful.

Medical school at the UWI, in all its omnipotent glory, has stuck us with six 3-credit courses for the duration of the 8-week summer period. So while my friends are prepping for beach trips instead of bi-weekly quizzes, I’m up to my ears in haematological reference ranges and obstretic complications, trying to explain for the umpteenth time that it’s not summer school, I simply have school in the summer. (There’s a big difference).

On one hand, we are steadily inching closer to our graduation in 2015 – as of June 18, 2012, we were officially 3rd years! – but on the other hand we are spending our summer studying vaginal discharge and biostatistics. There is no possible way I can interpret any part of this summer as pleasant. When people come back to school in September and ask me how my summer was I’m going to answer, “Fishy”. (Little BV humour there).

In the mean time, we’re dealing with lectures on every possible thing that can go wrong with having a parasite baby inside of you, and putting up with lecturers who say things like, “The best age to have children is 16.” Because it’s his duty to inform us that a 16 year old only takes two weeks to get her body back, but a forty year old takes two years, if she ever gets back in shape at all.

What being 16 and pregnant means in today’s world.

We are convinced with each subsequent class that the continuing survival of the human race is nothing short of miraculous, given the brutal torture physical stress women repeatedly subject themselves to and also the sheer magnitude of the odds stacked against Junior developing into a viable pregnancy.

(Secret: One of the things I love about medicine is how human physiology just never ceases to surprise and amaze me).

In addition to the wonders of human reproduction (she adds drily), we’re also subject to the twin horrors of epidemiology and biostatistics. Epidemiology is the nice twin. Biostatistics is like the twin who screams all the time after you fed him and changed him and stayed up all night trying to understand just what the hell he was trying to say to you earlier today in class. There is a reason all the lecturers start the classes by trying to convince us that the subject really isn’t that scary. Because it is.

Our course assignment is to prepare a biostatistics presentation based on a published research paper, which doesn’t sound so bad if you consider the fact that it’s assigned to groups of about sixteen. But if you factor in that no one out of the sixteen persons even understands what’s being asked of them so that the burden of fleshing confused, half-assed answers falls to one person then you pretty much have my day on Tuesday.


But as much as I bitch about the crazy workload and incomprehensible concepts, I’m actually kind of excited about it all. This is as good a way to spend the summer as any: I’m with friends and out of the house. And I at least get to drive by the beach every morning.


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