Drs. Hogan and Ellis
Dr. Cohan was an extremely well-liked lecturer and coordinator. He made an effort to get to know everyone in the class, and was ubiquitous during labs. He was always looking for opportunities to teach and was always available to provide extra help. There are also 4th year TA's, some of whom were very helpful. They are also good resources for tips on Step 1, since Neuro falls right around the time of year when 2nd years are just starting to get agitated about the USMLE.
The Neuro pathways are difficult at first and require a fair degree of commitment to memorize. The good news is that once you start to learn the histology (during lab time) and master a few pathways, the rest fall into logical order. I think most members of the class found Neuro challenging but also fascinating. It's hard to argue with the incredible clinical relevance of this course. The exams were difficult but fair—all of the information was accessible but learning all of it took a lot of work. Be prepared to work hard during this module, but if you learn it right the first time you will be ahead during the clinical years.
Psych is a very enjoyable module. It is also (arguably) one of the easiest module of the first 2 years. I think it's unfortunate that most people did not attend the Psych lectures—they certainly didn't need the time to study, as most people found the amount of information we were expected to know to be very straightforward, but rather they were taking a "break" after the stress of Neuro by sleeping in and not doing much work. I understand why that must have seemed attractive, but they missed out on some really interesting lectures and some fascinating videos. I think there is a lot to learn during the Psych module that is not contained in any textbook. For instance, I am pretty sure I'll never forget one particular video of a bipolar woman during a manic episode who was furiously chewing gum and talking a mile a minute about anything and everything. Dr. Pessar is a great coordinator, and I think you can learn a lot from the compassionate way that she describes patients who she has known over the years. She shows weekly movies that have psychiatric themes, which had a pretty good turnout from the class. FYI, she bakes cookies. They are delicious.
Drs. Brownie, Ryan, Gallant
Drs. Brownie, Gallant, Egan
Drs. Severin, Spurgeon, and Tamburlin
It'll be difficult to keep all these skills in your memory bank for third year but after taking this evening course you'll be SO HAPPY you've had this 2nd year exposure before going into the OR in third year! You go through different procedures and skills quickly so try your best to soak it all up. Dr. Spurgeon generally plays the "bad cop" during these sessions and will teach you the art of surviving an attending's pimping sessions…all the while infusing your brain with random facts from his favorite movies. Dr. Severin will usually be sitting quietly in the background as the "good cop," mouthing hints and answers to Spurgeon's questions so always keep a lookout for his help if Spurgeon puts you in a tight spot. Dr. Tamburlin (married to Dr. Severin!) is your microscopy/histology savior who will also run several sessions and review slides with you. Procedures has weekly quizzes that take place in the first 10 minutes so make sure you're on time. And don't forget to wear scrubs.
3rd Year Lottery
Third Year Lottery
The 3rd year lottery is a time of panic, chaos, and hope all in one.
Everyone went into the lottery dreaming of the most incredible and
fool-proof schedule. SURPRISE… don't be shocked if you aren't
floating on cloud 9 after the lottery. Here is how to get through the
lottery night smoothly and without disappointment:
1. Create your ideal schedule.
2. Change it around 3-4 times to create a 2nd or 3rd choice for EACH
block. (ex. Block 1: 1st choice Medicine, 2nd choice (if Medicine is
not available) Surgery… you get the point. Do this for every block.
In essence you are creating 4 different schedules or so.
3. The system is set up so that you can be "blocked out" of your
choice even if there are still spots available. Basically, there is a
giant grid on the screen in which you can see how many slots are still
open as your number approaches and is called out, so you are thinking
you want Medicine and you are VERY ready to scream out Medicine C!
Then all of a sudden a little blip shows up on the giant screen for
all to see that says "Sorry, pick another choice) EVEN THOUGH THERE
ARE STILL SLOTS OPEN. There is NO rhyme or reason to who it blocks out
even though you are told there is rhyme and reason. When someone does
get blocked out, you should all feel sympathy for this person and say
"awwww" but secretly be happy that you have a chance at this slot now.
SO, be prepared for this ahead of time.
4. If this happens to you, KNOW that you CAN switch with someone after
the lottery and there will be a flood of emails immediately after to
ask people to switch.
5. If you think that your schedule could not get any worse, trust me
it is not that bad! EVERYONE gets through it and the schedule that you
think is hell could have been the dream schedule of the person next to
you. So, it really is not a big deal when you do things, just as long
as you get through them and show interest.
6. Do not hyperventilate, cry, whine, or throw a fit. This is the 3rd
year lottery, not life or death. I hyperventilated and thought I was
going to pass out and it didn't make an ounce of difference.
7. You will have terrible numbers for at least one block. (I had
terrible numbers for all four blocks) The numbers do not matter. Refer
to number 3. You could have number 1 for something and get "blocked
8. Say you are number 4 and your friend is number 130 for block two
and you don't care what you do in block two and they do, well if you
want to be nice, when your number is called you can say "Switch with
number 130" and your friend will then shout out what THEY want for
block 2 and you will answer for 130 when 130 is called. However, refer
to number 3, you could have switched with this person and they could
STILL be blocked out.
9. Some people say that you should schedule your interest in a certain
block. For example, if you think you are meant to be a surgeon,
schedule surgery for block 3 or 4 so that you can be close with the
people who will be writing your recommendations and they don't forget
you. Again, it really does not matter what you do when you do it. If
you love surgery and show an insane amount of interest and form a few
good bonds, they will remember you.
10. Some people say to do what you hate first or last so you can "get
it over with early" or "Have junioritis during the 4th block and it
won't matter b/c you have no interest in your 4th block clerkship."
Again, don't panic if this doesn't work out for you.
11. OR, you can forget everything I said and not think about the
lottery until the minute after it starts… if you take this approach,
just DON'T be late!
All in all, everything works out. There is no reason to panic (like I
did) and freak out. Everyone has aspects of their schedule that they
love and hate. You will too. PLUS, no one can be 100% sure that they
want to do something until they see it and if you choose surgery for
block one b/c you think you are going to hate it and want to get it
over with… don't be shocked if you love it and want to do a
Sub-Internship in it 4th year. (AND don't fret that you didn't have it
3rd or 4th block so the attendings will remember you.)
IT ALL WORKS OUT :) GOOD LUCK!