Wednesday, August 1, 2007


"What are you doing??"

Those were the words that brought me out of my zombie-like state one morning before a neuranatomy examination. I had not slept the night before. Instead, I had made one final desperate attempt to try to understand each of the different neural pathways and make sense of the countless CNS cross-sections that were presented over the previous two weeks. For some reason I found this section incredibly difficult and spent many late nights wrestling with the material.

Staying up all night did not help me understand the material any better (surprise, surprise), however, it almost got me killed. That morning, I walked to school in a zombie-like state. It was as if I was on auto-pilot. My leg muscles did not need any input from my brain, having memorized this course on the daily walks to school throughout the year. It wasn't until I heard someone shout, "What are you doing??" that I snapped out of it. I was in the middle of a high-traffic street with cars heading toward me in both directions. Thankfully, I was able to dodge a van and make it to the other side of the street unharmed.

Getting regular sleep is vital to success in medical school. It helps you maintain a strong immune system; it helps with memorization; it helps you maintain a good mood. Although I will not be able to sleep 8 hours every night as I did while I was on
vacation (the workload in medical school is just too great), I am going to make sure that I get a decent amount of sleep every night -- especially the night before an exam.

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