Wednesday, December 12, 2012


It's Advent! Also, God answered my prayer fervently beseeching Him to send me someone to head up the Catholic Medical Association and Medical Students for Life next year! I am now no longer ridiculously burdened, just semi-ridiculously. :D

ADAPT is over, CMA-SS is in another person's hands (although I'm still first mate), MedSFL is soon to be handed off (although I'm still committed for another year or so), and I declined leadership in the 1flesh university group here as soon we mentioned it. Life is so good. God is so good.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Eugenics, Abortion, and other Insanity in the Hallways

A few snippets of conversations I've had.


In lecture on polycystic kidney disease (PKD):
Medullary sponge kidney doesn't account for a large percentage of PKD, but it still adds to the burden on society.
I was jarred to hear the sentence end that way. I was sure it was going to end with a simple, charitable, "but it makes a difference to the patients who have it, and we should be prepared to recognize it for them."


Talking with the former Interprofessional Ethics course coordinator, a Catholic OB/GYN, about abortion:
I've done maybe seven [abortions]. One of 'em was an anencephaly case. I talked it over with a priest and he said it was okay, since it never apparently had a soul.
I just saw a MedSFL facebook post featuring a young woman who chose to carry an anencephalic baby (person) to term. The baby boy lived for sixty-one minutes, and he and his mother and father are a beautiful family even now.


Talking with other (probable) future OB/GYNs:
It's gross, but I'd go into it just for population control. Some of these people are too stupid to have kids. [And, after lauding Essure and complaining about how dumb teen moms are] I hate people.
 Population control? Birth control for the less intelligent? Hating people? These are the opposite of everything good, just, and loving. I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

The Last Anatomy Lab

Last Wednesday I walked out of the anatomy lab for the last time. To my surprise, I wasn't thinking deeply about it at the time. I remember the last time I was in the anatomy lab as an M1, I felt and thought a lot leading up to it. Even if I didn't feel momentous surges of emotion as I walked out, I stored the moment with resolution I would usually use for hugely important things. I remember what I was wearing, I remember which exit we used, etc.

This time I actually forgot it was my last time walking out until I was already in the hallway walking away. Then, I calmly walked to the lab management office and said to the lady who works there, "I'm not going to use this coat any more. Could you [i.e. the anatomy department] use it?" And I left it with her. (I had noticed recently that our professors use lab coats with unfamiliar names embroidered on them. Fun to think of who will use my lab coat, which has my name in sharpie on it.)

But now I think of the magnitude of things: unless I am invited to participate as a professor or physician (e.g. during our pelvis lab an OB/GYN was invited; during our leg lab a sports medicine doc came in), I will never legally reenter an anatomy lab.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Consecration to Mary and the USMLE and the Immaculate Conception!

Today I renew my total Consecration to Jesus through Mary! Says Pope Pius XII,
Consecration to the Mother of God is a total gift of self, for the whole of life and for all eternity; and a gift which is not a mere formality or sentimentality, but effectual, comprising the full intensity of the Christian life - Marian life. [This consecration] tends essentially to union with Jesus, under the guidance of Mary.
Today is also marked by the formal beginning of my preparation for Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE). We now interrupt this announcement for a brief rant.

Medical testing is expensive. The USMLE has three "Steps." I will take Step 1 this June, I will take Step 2 after third year, and Step 3 in residency. And these are some pretty pricy steps to take. I am about to pay $560.00 to take Step 1, which is seven hours (excluding breaks) of multiple choice questions. Step 2 has a multiple-choice component (eight hours) called "Clinical Knowledge" (CK) and a clinical component (eight hours of seeing standardized patients) called "Clinical Skills" (CS). Step 2 CK costs another $560, and Step 2 CS costs $1200 and can only be taken in five locations nationwide.

I thought the MCAT was a big test, but looking back, the MCAT cost $270 and was only five hours long (excluding breaks). However, there will be no inorganic chemistry, plant biology, or irrelevant physics on the USMLE. So I am happy. End of rant.

Traditionally, Christmas break of the second year is the time to begin studying for Step 1. I am especially fond of doing things traditionally, plus we have a practice Step 1 next Thursday; therefore, today I will begin earnestly reviewing and practicing for the USMLE. Since the formal beginning of the preparation for Step 1 and the feast of the Immaculate Conception coincide, I am going to do something rather special.

I here consecrate all my studying for this largest test of my life to my Mother, Mary.

By this consecration I promise to become dependent on Mary in all my studies: to offer all my effort and time to God through Mary, and to seek every gift from God through Mary. 

And I do this with the greatest confidence. Since she is my mother, she knows my needs better than I; and since she is Queen of Heaven, she has immediate access to the infinite treasury of graces in the Kingdom of her Divine Son. 

I beseech her, with St. Joseph, my guardian angel and my patron saints, and all the host of heaven to intercede for me in this endeavor and in my perseverance in the imitation of our Lord Jesus unto my death. Amen.†

An exciting period of my life has begun! Happy feast day to everyone!

† I took some of the text from my little consecration of USMLE prep from here.