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Climbing the Ladder

by Apr 8, 2016

With Medical Microbiology exam #3 in the rear view mirror, this week has been spent studiously planning my Finals Week assault.

Step One: Figure out what chunk of material you need to know for which class. Hunt down, gather up, and sift through the stacks of papers and notes, organizing them into manageable stacks for each class.

Step Two: Assess the amounts of material for each class and factor in material difficulty level.

Step Three: Prioritize classes based on their weight — how many credits is each class worth.

Step Four: Look up the exam schedule and determine which one of your prioritized classes is going to be ground zero.

From there on out, finals studying is pretty straightforward — work through a stack of material, test your knowledge, and move onto the next.

As daunting as Finals Week can be, I always find it exhilarating. It’s a milestone. It signals and marks the mastery of another rung on the ladder. Not to mention, it signals two weeks of rest and recuperation before reaching the next rung. This round of finals, however, means a bit more to me than the last few. These finals mark the end of Phase One — the basic sciences — for me. It means that next trimester I’ll be officially starting in on Phase Two, my clinical sciences. This is what every student dreams of. Putting the pieces of science learned over past year and a half together in a clinically significant picture is exciting! Learning to treat and manage conditions in detail is what drew me into this profession in the first place and it’s finally about to be actualized.


Although a decent chunk of this week was spent taking a moment to relax and gather myself before the final push of the trimester, the time did not go to waste. I had a night to spend some time with good friends and good food. Flank steak tacos were on the menu with homemade guacamole, salsa verdé, and corn salad. Food is such a huge part of life and health and I’m glad it isn’t overlooked in this field of healthcare. I’ve spent a good chunk of time this trimester making diet recommendations tailored for individual goals for Science of Diet and Nutrition — first for a classmate, and more recently for my mother. This is an excellent way to teach the finer points of diet maintenance, and provides an opportunity for students to display the knowledge they’ve gained in the areas of diet, biochemistry, and physiology. Needless to say, I’m incredibly excited to have more classes that paint a clinical picture in the trimesters to come!

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Gregory Swets

Gregory Swets


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