(A glimpse into my life as a Vanderbilt medical student)

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Neuronal Cell and Tired Bodies

Tangled axons shooting off synapsing with distant dendrites; my day was as chaotic as this picture (more on that later). Let’s start at the beginning: neuroscience. While this might not seem like your typical beginning, I have quickly found out that everyday in medical school has some kind of atypicality about it.

On Thursdays at Vandy we have neuro (as all of us MD wannabes call it) from 8:00-12:00. Our professor, Dr. Jeanette Norden, is an amazing lady. Every Tuesday and Thursday she inspires me to become a neurosurgeon.

Did you know that there are over 100 billion neurons in your brain and that each one of these cells has a specialize function and characteristic appearance (See fig. 1 above)?

The level of complexity in the brain awes me every time I go to study. Like Dr. Norden always says, the fact that any of us developed normally is a miracle. Simple but profound.

After lunch, we watched a video on the Tuskegee Syphilis Study and had discussion groups about the ethical issue surrounding the study. This experiment was documented in the Pulitzer Prize winning play Miss Evers' Boys by David Feldshuh. As someone from a neighboring county in Alabama, it was hard for me to hear Feldshuh’s story. I know how insidious this problem still is in the South and not much can make me angrier than the thought of racism to anyone in any form.

On a happier note, my new 20GB 4G iPod came in today and I am in love all over again. Did you know that an iPod can give you a better body? I am living proof. Working out is fun when you have a soundtrack.

After working out, I went to sing in Immune Response, our men’s choir at the medical school. It’s my first time and I am really excited. I was in glee club all four years at my undergrad (Asbury College) and the songs we are singing, Coney Island and For the Longest Time, are a lot of fun. If you have suggestions for us, just post a comment and let me know.

Working out was immediately followed by Bible study, shower, dinner, laundry, and an intense study session. Like I said, crazy day…but awesome…visual metaphors are cool.


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