So very close to the end

One more week and two finals left – and then I’ll be done with first year! … heck, I’ll have only one semester left of lectures!  Power through it, self.

So I cleaned my room yesterday.  I’m proud to award myself 500 Grown-up Points for this rare event – but I got a little carried away and really wanted to hang up a new mirror as well.  And.. long story short: I’m subtracting 600 Grown-up Points for trying to pound a nail into the wall using a plastic peanut butter jar as a hammer.

It was a new low in dorm life.

… I really need to buy a hammer.

Also:  Endocrine is all kinds of awesome.  I’m so fascinated with the symptoms for these diseases:  tiredness, mild depression, weight gain/loss, heat/cold intolerance…  First of all, no wonder so many people never get diagnosed – the symptoms must sound so random and nitpicky if you’re not specifically thinking ‘endocrine’.  Second, how cool would it be if we figured out the pathogenesis for those same symptoms, in excruciating biochem-level detail?

If we had a molecular pathway, or a hormonal diagram even, for how hypothyroidism causes depression, or thyroid toxicity causes psychosis?  That would be the coolest thing I could imagine.  And when we get there, will endocrinologists be able to prescribe medication for psychiatric conditions as well?  Because I would totally get onboard that train.

It might be a better fit for me, because (let’s be honest) I really don’t have my life together enough to be analyzing anyone else’s.  Somehow the endocrinologist label would just make me feel more free to not be some kind of mental-health model to the world.

(Or – since that scenario is super hypothetical – I guess I could actually suck it up and just try getting my life together.)  (Step 1:  buy a hammer.)

16 thoughts on “So very close to the end

  1. I just took (undergrad) biochemistry, and I totally share your enthusiasm for the WORLD of potential that exists just form determining a few pathways. I wish I shared your confidence that we’ll eventually have it set in stone. I was so disappointed when I realized we can’t even understand protein folding to a basic degree yet*. Science really let me down on that one.
    Also- props to you for another stellar post. I hope your hand’s alright. I’m also grateful that you’re psychologically secure enough to post about the idiotic things you do (sorry; I mean idiotic in the most complementary possible way), which encourages idiots like me to follow our dreams. Less secure medical bloggers would’ve written about some patient (or all patients) being stupid to compensate. Okay, I’ll run along now before you get into trouble for encouraging the entry of hippie quacks into medicine, as well as the peanutbuttery mess you made of your dorm.

    *Even having electron potential maps and bond lengths and steric interactions determined, chaperones identified, and a general understanding of cellular conditions, and fancy schamcy computer modeling programs to stich all that together. Seriously baffling how we can know all that, and not know why/how a protein folds into the shape it does.

    • Haha, this is possibly my favorite comment ever. If I ever change the banner on my blog, under “Action Potential” I want small letters saying “Psychologically secure enough to post about the idiotic things she does”. Or, even better, “Encouraging the entry of hippie quacks into medicine”. Love it. 🙂

      Luckily, I didn’t break my peanut butter jar. I just spent 5 minutes failing at hammering the nail, and then realized that I wasn’t making good choices.

      (Also: protein-folding = magic. I’m calling it.)

  2. We’re on the same sched! I am done* on Friday as well (only difference is I have 4 exams, all of which are cumulative for the past two years).

    A preemptive Friday *clink* of the glasses to you, amiga!

    *Well, done my Irish curriculum exams. Then there is that whole whats-it-called on July 18th.

  3. I think it’s pretty common that the people who are interested in psychology/psychiatry are those people who are aware that their own lives aren’t perfect, so I wouldn’t let that stop you LOL.

    I’m not sure exactly what you want to be doing as a psychiatrist. I know many MANY people who are or have been in therapy, and not a one of them has seen a psychiatrist for anything except medication. They see an MSW or PhD for talk therapy and, if they do also see a psychiatrist, it’s only something like once a month or once every six months for meds. Except Howard Stern. He sees a bonafied psychiatrist two or three times A WEEK for talk therapy. But I guess I don’t actually *know* him LOL.

    • Haha, nice. Well, psychiatrists are required to be trained in talk therapy during residency – but with reimbursement in the real world, there’s a LOT of financial incentive to shift to meds-only.

      On the other hand, all the psychiatrists I’ve met so far do therapy + drugs – but that’s because they’re cash only, and cost $300-$400 an hour. (Nice work if you can get it, I guess.)

      I’m going to try to spend some time shadowing in the psychiatric ER this summer – we’ll see how that goes! I feel like that would be more my scene.

      • Psych ER is fantastic!

        There are ways for psychiatrists to include talk therapy in their practice without being excruciatingly elitist, but you’ll need to be creative and not insurance-dependent. Lots of the talk therapy is being done by folks like me (psych NP), but where there’s a will there’s a way.

        But given your fascination with endocrinology, psych meds may be just your ticket. It is not as robotic as it may sometimes seem.

        Also, shoes are better for driving nails than peanut butter jars.

  4. haha, I love that you used a peanut butter jar. I have, in the past, used the handle of a hairbrush, the handle of a butter knife (so as not to cut myself) and the flat cap end of a water bottle to nail stuff to the wall. I like to think it’s a sign of creativity to use objects in ways that they were not originally intended. (:

    Also, I’m taking bioc next year, and that. sounds. AWESOME.
    (still intimidated by reports of it’s gpa crushing nature, though.)

    • Haha, so glad I’m not the only one.

      Biochem’s awesome, I bet you’ll love it! (If your lectures and book ends up being less than helpful, see if you can get your hands on a USMLE biochem review book. I know it sounds like overkill, but I found that the diagrams and summaries really clarified the concepts that my textbook hadn’t bothered to explain in recognizable English.)

      • USMLE review for undergrad Biochem? (maybe I should have mentioned that.)
        I’m a Biochem major, so I take the year long series at my university, and I’ll go more in depth into concepts than my non bioc major peers… but it’s not exactly medical school.

        • I’m totally serious – can’t speak for anyone else, but my 1 semester undergrad biochem course went into much more detail than med school biochem did. Medical biochem is surprisingly restricted in subject and depth.

          That undergrad course was when I started borrowing my boyfriend’s USMLE biochem book to review metabolic concepts. I think the only extraneous stuff it mentioned were genetic diseases. But I’d only recommend it if you have the same kind of trouble that I did – I probably shouldn’t have mentioned it, because most people are fine! 🙂

          • no, it’s a great tip. I’ll definitely keep it in mind, I’ll probably need all the help I can get. Thanks!

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