Bragging Rights

I don’t like people who brag, and I don’t like being one of them. Sometimes, though, events call for celebration.

Last year I decided to really start pursuing emergency medicine as a career over technical theatre. As such, I took Human Anatomy this semester. I sat in on the lectures for a semester before I took it to see what I was getting into. I was afraid. Very afraid.

The hardest part of the course that people talk about is the lab. Hundreds and hundreds of new terms. Find them on this cadaver, in that specimen, on this model, in this illustration. What it’s structural classification? Functional? What kind of epithelial tissue is it? What hormones does it secrete? What’s it’s origin? Insertion?

Head asplode.

I bought the lab manual and spent all summer learning just the bones. That was two weeks of material? It took me three months to get comfortable with this. I could lose my scholarship. FML.

Then came the first day in lab. I kept up with my TA for about the first 30 minutes of the 2 hour lab. After that my head was full. Why are you still talking to me? Words come out of your mouth, TA, but it sounds like you’re speaking in tongues. Did I just have a stroke?

So I went to open lab – free study time with TAs to get all the information you missed in your proper lab section – meaning probably most of it. 6 hours a week. By the time my weekly quiz rolled around I found myself standing next to the TA teaching other students.

So the quizzes went well. “That’s to be expected,” I thought. We were still reviewing the material I had self-taught over the summer. D-day would be week 3: upper body muscles. But that came and went. The nice thing about sciences is that you can always put more time in. It’s got nothing to do with your feelings (cough theatre cough); it’s either right or wrong.

By the midterm I could count on one hand the number of pins I had missed. It was a good feeling, and a lot of people disliked me for it. But they didn’t spend 6 hours a week studying in open lab. They complained about how cold the specimens were. They complained about the smells. They complained about the relentless onslaught of new terms. What they didn’t do was study.

And then there were the lectures. 2 hours per week with it’s own separate language, and it has everything to do with the lab because… They’re both about humans? That’s about where the overlap ended. 3 more hours per week of review sessions. At least the TA was cute.

Between lecture and lab I spent an average of 12 hours per week either in class or in reviews/open lab.

Lecture midterm 1: 94%

Lecture midterm 2: 95%

Lecture Final: 91%

Lab midterm: 98%

Lab Final: 99%

Overall grade 96%.

A solid A in a class I was scared to death of. Take that stuck up pre-med and nursing students. pwn3d. And I didn’t use a single word that ends in -ism.

Hell. Yeah.

Maybe this medicine thing will work out after all.

Mat Goebel
EMS Fellow

My research interests include EMS, EKG, STEMI, cybersecurity, data viz, ML, and NLP.