The biggest thing looming over our heads right now is that we have our Complete Physical Exam finals starting the day after tomorrow. Mine is on Monday morning (immediately following a two-hour cardiology exam... I did mention breakneck speed, right?) and I am also serving as a 'patient' for three of my classmates, so a good percentage of DPAP is going to be familiar with much of my anatomy by the time vacation starts. I'm really nervous about the exam -- it's 154 components, completely from memory, with a time limit of 45 minutes. I'm doing a little better in terms of remembering all the components, but it currently takes me well over an hour to get through the whole thing, so I definitely need to put in some more practice time in the next six days.
Other things on the horizon:
Tomorrow: EKG exam plus 2 two-hour CPLs (basically, case discussions that we walk through in small groups... one for hypertension and chest pain)
Thursday: done with school at noon today, and then a group of 17 of us are having dinner at my house and going to the midnight showing of Harry Potter 7, yippee!
Friday: second-to-last anatomy lab plus the Duke/Colgate basketball game
Saturday: serve as a mock patient for one of my friends' physical exams
Monday: 8am cardio exam, 10am be a mock patient, 11am perform my own exam (yikes!)... and then my parents roll into town tonight!
Tuesday: explore Durham with the rents (I think there might need to be some Parker & Otis and Local Yogurt action) and also serve as a patient one more time for another friend.
Wednesday: drive to my aunt's house in Charlotte
Thursday: Thanksgiving Day
Friday: take the train back to Durham
Saturday: chill, study, breathe
Sunday: chill, study, breathe
Monday: back to school (jumping headlong into oncology, from the looks of things), plus Liz comes home from Spain!
Tuesday: full day of school
Wednesday: our first scary scary scary CPX!!!
CPXs, or Controlled Patient eXperiences, are scenarios where medical actors pretend to be patients. We wear our white coats, knock on the door, introduce ourselves, and then have 15 minutes to take a history, perform a focused physical exam, come up with a diagnosis, and plan the next steps, all as if we were the sole provider. We are videotaped and then have to watch ourselves and give feedback as well as accept feedback from the mock patients (who do this for all the medical learners in the Duke system, from MDs to PAs to DPTs, and so are very good at critiquing us). I knew these scenarios were going to start happening at some point, but I thought I'd feel 'more ready' by the time they came about; we were given an intro lecture to the CPX concept yesterday and I was rudely disabused of my comfy little notion that I wouldn't have anything else to be nervous about if I could just get through the 45-minute final exam. The CPXs are ten times as nerve-wracking. To me, at least. I'm sure they won't seem so scary once we get through the first one, but right now... ugh. So much for a worry-free break.
In other news, I tripped over a curb in the dark on the way back from the basketball game on Sunday and essentially ripped off my entire left big toenail. It's at that awkward stage where it's too attached for me to get the rest of it off and have done with it, but too detached (sticking up at an angle) for me to put on a close-toed shoe and go on with life. It's nowhere near as painful as it was the night it happened (I could literally see the pulse beating in the exposed nail bed), but it's still bothersome. I've just been soaking it, drenching it in Neosporin, and wearing flipflops -- hopefully the rest of the nail will come off quickly so I can get back to running.
OK, we're getting started with anatomy lecture, so I better peace out...